Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Top Cycling Trips on a Budget!

    Tilnar challenge ( This Is Life Not A Rehearsal )

    This unique event takes place on 25th June this year between 6am and 9pm.It’s a simple idea, sign up for the event at Tilnar Cycle Challenge select what category you’d like to enter, there’s something for everyone, all ages and abilities and even the option of doing it on a static bike! You ride whatever route and distance you want for as little or as much as you want. So, whether you want to ride a couple of miles with the kids or set yourself a personal challenge of doing your furthest ever distance this is a fantastic idea that In my opinion the most accessible and inclusive event in the cycling year.
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    Entry fee for an Adult is just £2.95 with a £5 donation to charity

    FAT LAD AT THE BACK-THE UP NORTH SPORTIVE- 7th May 2017

    Described by many as 'THE FRIENDLIEST SPORTIVE THEY’VE EVER DONE' our Up North Sportive takes to the roads again and is just the incentive you need to get on yer bike.
    Same routes as last year, the routes have been planned by Fat Lad in Charge Richard Bye, who grew up in Ilkley and has been cycling the surrounding roads for the past 20 years, so you’re in for something exceptional.
    Breathtaking views, historic locations, superbly enjoyable cycling, varying levels of challenge and hills (that goes without saying!).

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    Our emphasis is on enjoying the ride so these routes avoid some of the worst lung stinging climbs available and offer interesting, varied, challenging and well balanced rides, that you only get with local knowledge.

    Our objective is to ensure that you have an ace day out, meet some of the awesome lads and lasses in the FLAB community and leave wanting more. Not more to eat however - our lunch stops are legendary!

    There are 3 options, so there is definitely one for you. The three rides overlap and include sections and drink stops which are shared so you have every chance of meeting up with riders who are on the other 2 routes. £30 entry for the 25 mile route. FLAB up North Sportive

    RIDE TO THE SUN –Sunday 17th June 2017 free entry

    Register here-ridetothesun  After cycling 100 miles through the night you arrive on Cramond beach to watch the sun come up.

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    UK Cycling events

    UK Cycling events offer a huge range of sportives all over the UK. They offer several distances on every route so there’s something for all abilities.

    The C2C2C -29th June 2017 is a 100 mile charity cycle ride that takes you across Linconshire from Castle to Coast to Castle more details can be found HERE

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  • Top Cycling Trips - Splash the Cash

    Lifecycol is the business of Amy and Ian Johnston. They offer pre-organised, structured cycling and fitness breaks. There are two training camps planned in 2017 run in conjunction with Better cycling coaching company and led by Mike Wilson. Bike fitting is on hand to help cyclists improve their riding based on the advice of qualified coaches.

    25th June- 2nd July

    2nd July – 9th July

    Prices start at £550 per person- based on two sharing at their partner chalet down the road which is full catered except for lunch.

    They also offer exclusive, personalised breaks designed for your group’s needs. Prices to stay with Lifecycol at Chalet Avenir start at £835. They are passionate about food and know how extremely important quality nutrition is and offer a 4-course meal with their half board package. Amy is a qualified PT and Yoga teacher and can offer pre and post ride stretching which will help alleviate those aching muscles from climbing the local cols.
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    A 75 minute transfer from Geneva airport, the stunning Chalet Avenir is in Morzine in the French Alps, this awesome alpine location is a world class cycling playground that has hosted a stage of the tour de France and L’Etape du Tour and also has world class mountain biking in Morzine and nearby Les Gets which boasts some of the world’s best downhill trails.

    Hot tub and stunning deck for post ride relaxation.

    Bike hire available nearby with top end road and mountain bikes available.

    Lifecycol’s local knowledge and expertise means they can organise and support you on daily rides on varied terrain.

    Visit the lifecycol website for more details
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    LEJOG-Land’s end to John O’Groats

    An iconic long distance ride the entire distance of the UK approx 1000 miles depending on which route you take. There are many options for this ride, and you can take a few days or a few weeks, do it self-supported using hostels, camping, B&B’s or doing it with a cycling holiday company who organise the route and move all your bags. I used Peak tours for my supported 10 day LEJOG in 2015 and they were superb. There is also a LEJOG pack available from cyclinguk packed full of all the info you need to organise a self-supported trip.
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    Cape town cycle tour

    The annual Cape Town cycletour is the world’s largest timed cycling event with 35,000 riders traveling from all over the world to take part. It’s a 109km route through some spectacular scenery with Table top mountain as a back drop. There are many packages available with some offering guaranteed entry, flights and transfers all included.

    CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 10,  during the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2013 on March 10, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa Photo by Greg Beadle/CTCTT/ Gallo Images

     

    San Francisco to LA

    Cycling tour company More Adventure are offering a 500 mile bike ride along the west coast of California starting in San Francisco and finishing in LA. It’s a 13 day trip but with eight days cycling there’ll be plenty of time for sight seeing.

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    L’Etape du Tour

    Etape du Tour is a mass participation event that allows amateur cyclists to ride a stage of the Tour de France on closed roads. The 2017 event takes place on Sunday 16th July where riders will ride stage 18 of the tour in the Alps. This superb package from sports tours international lets you watch the pros in three stages of the tour and ride Etape du Tour.

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    If you don't fancy selling a kidney check out our lower budget suggestions tomorrow!

  • Top Cycling Trips - Middle of the Road

    DIY trip to Paris

    Ever fancied cycling to Paris?  This fantastic route from Donald Hirsch gives you turn by turn instructions on cycling from Dieppe to Paris. It also includes information on accommodation options along the route, getting home via Eurostar and route advice if you want to do the ride in reverse and cycle back to Dieppe. I’ve cycled it three times and what I love about this route is that it’s so quiet and as you get into the suburbs takes you into the city through the old hunting forests that surround Paris. It feels like a mini adventure as you are carrying your own gear and navigating yourself. I’ve taken two, three and four days to do this trip and have had a great experience every time. It also works out very good value for money especially if you’re sharing a room and many of the B&B’s offer an evening meal as part of the package.

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    NORTH COAST 500

    The North coast 500 is a circular route around Scotland starting and finishing in Inverness. A challenging ride in some of the most stunning scenery the UK has to offer. I’m sure this ride will become an iconic must do on every cyclist’s bucket list, it’s certainly on mine and I’m hoping to complete it this year. You can plan your own or Sheffield based Pedal Nation are one of the first cycling companies offering it as a supported trip.

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    French cycling tours

    There are a lot of companies out there offering cycling holidays in France, recommended by a fellow FLAB Green jersey French cycling tours offer loads of supported rides for all tastes and abilities and also offer special interest tours to the battlefields.

    15219630_1199186206840117_6238064061374746847_n  Way of the Roses 

    At 170 miles long this coast to coast ride crosses Lancashire and Yorkshire. Using minor roads, cycle paths and disused railway lines this route has something for all levels of cyclists. You can do it in one day or take a week to do it a leisurely pace. There’s loads of information on the Way of the Roses website for planning your own trip or there are companies offering a fully supported guided trip.

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    Coast 2 Coast

    The 140 mile sea to sea route is best ridden west to east to take advantage of the prevailing wind, it doesn’t happen very often but I once did experience the elusive tailwind…. loads of information is available on the C2C website

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    Check out our blog tomorrow if you are up for splashing the cash on an awesome cycling trip!

  • Getting past Chris Froome

    Getting past Chris Froome was so important to me.

    Crucial, you might say.

    I can hear you now, as you read this. “What is he talking about?”, “He’d never be able to get past Chris Froome – there’s no way!”

    Well I have! And here’s how…

    Of course, I’d never be able to cycle past, or go faster than the esteemed Mr. Froome (I do love his name, by the way, all sports stars should have onomatopoeic monikers). By ‘getting past’ him, I don’t mean in a race. I’m sure Chris would still beat me, on my bike, if he was on foot (again). What I’m talking about is getting past the image, in my head, that to be a ‘proper’ cyclist I needed to look like Chris Froome.

    Let me explain. I’m a big fella, always have been. At primary school I was 6 foot plus and dwarfed the headmaster. I can still remember getting stuck when trying to climb under a school bench as part of a Sports’ Day obstacle race. It took a team of teachers and a lot of butter to release me. These days I’m 6 foot 5 and around 18 stone. My weight has been a lot heavier than its current level – through cycling I’ve lost around 5 stones.

    The thing was, despite this impressive increase in fitness, I wasn’t happy.

    Why?

    Bloody Chris Froome.

    I’d got it into my head that in order to be a cyclist of any proficiency (by which I mean someone who enjoys to ride in their spare time) I needed to look like Chris Froome. This was never, ever, ever going to happen. Chris has a completely different body type to me. He’s built like a whippet, 4 inches shorter and almost 8 stones lighter. If I lost 8 stones I doubt I’d be able to get onto a bike, never mind ride it. Do you see my point?

    For too long I’d been beating myself with a (metaphorical) stick – beating myself with a literal stick sounded far too painful. I would look at myself in my cycling kit and shake my head. Why? Because, I’ll never be a lean-mean cycling-machine. At best I’ll be a bulky-hulky… well, you get the idea. When I put on bib tights I don’t bring Miguel Indurain to mind, I look more like Giant Haystacks (the wrestler). I’m always going to look slightly too big for my bike – and I ride a big bike. I’m never going to be a sprinter. My body doesn’t do that. Speedsuits don’t come in my size, mainly because people my size don’t travel fast!

    So, recently, I’ve put Chris Froome to rest – I’ve got past him. I now look at myself in the mirror after a ride and still see a sweaty, slightly chubby, man in Lycra. I also see someone a lot fitter than I was, and that’s as a result of the cycling. I’m fine with that now. It’s a great place to be. To be fair to me, Chris Froome could never achieve my body shape either. Should someone want to shift a piano or need a fella to work a nightclub door, I’d be the first choice over Froome, every time.  Sorry Chris.

    I hope you get past your own personal ‘Chris Froome’. There’s little point spending time worrying about what you’re not, when you could be focusing on what you are. As the much shared statement says: “I may be going slowly, but I’m still lapping everyone on the couch.”

    Enjoy your riding…

    Chris.

    PS: I will get my own speedsuit one day – and be the world’s slowest TT racer – as soon as they figure out how to make stitching strong enough!

    Chris McGuire is a Westcountry-based writer.

    Follow him on Twitter @McGuireski He’s the guy who looks nothing, and we do mean nothing, like Chris Froome.

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