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Refinding its Cycling Pedigree NOVEMBER 2019




Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat. It’s good to get away and see somewhere new. And when you’ve finished a long ride, exploring new places, it’s good to have a little bit of comfort; a cold drink, a hot drink, a microwave, gas hobs, running water, a sofa, double beds with mattresses. The things we take for granted in our own homes. The 6-berth OPUS® Camper Trailer can offer you all of those comforts, plus a whole lot more, including the ability to carry up to 6 cycles on it’s roof. OPUS® takes care of the simple things, leaving you more time to concentrate on your routes. Start planning your next route today with OPUS® 01473 601200




6 Cycling in Pennsylvania It’s early morning. The first warm glows of a rising sun dance across the magnificent waters of the Delaware River, glistening with a radiance that will only increase as the day goes on.

12 Maintain the Benefits of Summer Although there are still plenty of weekend road riding opportunities left before winter rears its ugly head again, as the days shorten the short sleeved summer evening rides become a thing of the past‌and cyclists generally look for other ways to keep their hard-earned fitness.

28 Pedal Power Muesli Elinor was part of the GB quartet who won gold in Rio in the team pursuit to retain the title GB won at London 2012. She starts her day with a nutritional breakfast to fuel a sprint training session.

30 From the Big City to the Open Road My eyes had only been open a few seconds and already I knew that the alarm was not far behind. Maybe it was the light. We had camped under a thick canopy of Mediterranean pine trees and those few rays that managed to sip through were not aggressive, on the contrary, the soft light was a pleasant way to start a brand new day.


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A recent cycling interaction lead me to two related thoughts: 1) Cycling, like all skills, needs to be learnt, often from mistakes made. 2) Cyclists are part of world-wide, caring peloton. It was early evening and the family was leaving a pub, having dined, in Kingsdown, near Deal in Kent. A wonderful area to cycle, by the way, where a two-mile coastal stretch takes you past two castles and a cycling café. Anyway, outside the pub I met a young Siberian man trying to fix a puncture. I say trying, his knowledge was patchier than his inner tube and his pump was broken. It was twilight and he needed to make a return journey of two-hours and, you’ve guessed it, he had no lights. So I bundled him and his bike into my car and dropped him off at the local train station. I have ridden to that same place in my exuberant youth. Jump on a bike, ride towards the sunset and end up in Predicamentville. I still like to ride with exuberance, but I also take a spare inner, puncture repair kit,

working pump and lights if there’s the slightest risk of a return in darkness. I hope this young man will be equally well-equipped from now on. Having said that my now lessfrequent (though still occasional) moments of desperation have always been resolved by help from another, usually a cyclist. The loan of a tool or pump; the gift of an inner tube; mechanical assistance all generously provided. Hence the feeling of being part of a universal peloton. They say you are never alone as a cyclist. A roadside incident hails your momentary guardian angel also on two wheels. Turn up to a sportive on your own and you’ll soon be riding in a small group. Travel anywhere in the world, get in touch with a club and you’re invited on their club ride. That’s why there is a whole generation of cyclists who greet one another on the road. It’s an acknowledgement of being part of a caring network. Let’s all continue to do our bit.

> Nick Branxton - Editor

Magazine Team


Editor: Nick Branxton

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Refinding its Cycling Pedigree






It’s early morning. The first warm glows of a rising sun dance across the magnificent waters of the Delaware River, glistening with a radiance that will only increase as the day goes on.



The fresh air fills your lungs, leaving you energised, enthused, eager to hit the trails and pathways, not wanting to waste even a single moment of your cycling vacation in Bucks County. You put foot to pedal and with one last smile at your travel partner, you set off on the adventure of a lifetime. As you go, you take in awe-inspiring scenery full of dramatic cliffs, acres of lavish forests and vistas sweeping out as far as the eye can see. You hear the rush of the mighty Delaware River, you hear laughter and joy from the groups enjoying whitewater paddling, kayaking, and tubing, and you get up close and you get a front-row seat to see some of the United State’s most spectacular creatures in their natural environment... Sounds like a dream vacation? Making that dream a bright reality is easier than you think.

“If you’re planning to cycle around the Delaware Water Gap, you’ll be delighted to find a number of leading attractions right at your feet. ” At the historic 1740 House in New Hope, PA, our prime location close to a number of the area’s best cycling routes makes us a popular choice for those planning a two-wheeled adventure of their own. Here, we combine our own expert local knowledge with advice and top tips from some of our regular cycling vacation guests to provide you with this: Your complete guide to cycling around the Delaware River. Where to Ride Whether you’re a novice cyclist or a seasoned veteran, the area boasts a plethora of different routes to suit all abilities and all ages. It would take us an entire book (or several!) to cover them all, so we’ve done the next best thing: Rounded-up some of the top cycling spots that are essential for any vacation in the area. Bull’s Island Recreation Area

Where to Stay From the gorgeous views surrounding our favourite cycling routes to unique attractions and gourmet cuisine, you’ve so far experienced the very best the region has to offer. So, when it comes to finding the perfect place to rest, relax, and recharge, why settle for less? Ideally situated on the banks of the iconic Delaware River, a short ride out to many of the area’s most loved cycling routes, 1740 House is delighted to offer our best available rates for your next getaway.

Saddle up and head out from our hotel to the famous Lumberville– Raven Rock Bridge, where you’ll have to dismount and walk your bike across into NJ.

Combining a certain contemporary elegance with the grace and charm of a classic Bucks County inn, each of our 24 guest rooms come with all of the following features: En-suite bathroom; Riverfront views; Complimentary WiF; Access to our exclusive, members-only bar and restaurant.

The bridge, one of two pedestrian footbridges crossing the Delaware River, is an attraction in its own right. Year in, year out, it attracts scores of visitors who come not only for the novelty of walking from one state to the other via a footbridge, but for the truly spectacular views you’ll encounter as you cross.

Book directly online today to see how much you could save on your next cycling vacation. Alternatively, to talk your innkeeper about your stay, call now on 215-297-5661 or email

We start our adventure close to home, with a unique that takes us from Lumberville, PA into one of New Jersey’s best-loved recreational areas.



Reaching the other side of the bridge, you’ll find yourself at Bull’s Island Recreation Area. From there, take the towpaths along the Delaware & Raritan Canal and journey off along a trail which takes you into the heart of those very same forests you saw from the bridge earlier. There, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lofty sycamore trees and ancient silver maples, passing acres of unblemished tulips and all manner of rare fauna. A gentle ride along the towpaths and surrounding areas before heading back up and over the bridge can prove to be the perfect day out for those who prefer to take things easy. Meanwhile, more advanced riders will enjoy venturing off into the hills and tackling some of the tougher terrain surrounding the area. Delaware Water Gap Ask any experienced cyclist for their favourite cycling routes around Delaware River, and we’d be surprised if the answer was anything other than Delaware Water Gap. Hugely popular among more advanced cyclists, the area offers exhilarating rides for both road bicycles and mountain/hybrid bikes alike. For the latter, The McDade Recreational Trail covers almost the entire length of Delaware Water Gap, running alongside the river for 32 miles. Whether it’s an adrenaline-charged rush through the forests you’re looking for, or a leisurely ride taking in delightful streams, vast fields and grand, sweeping vistas, the trail truly does offer it all. If you prefer road biking routes, Old Mine Road on the New Jersey side of the park is just the thing. Uhlerstown to Frenchtown Loop The towpath trails along Delaware Canal State Park and Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park run parallel to the Delaware River itself and create a number of exciting loops. Of these, it’s the Uhlerstown to Frenchtown loop that gets our vote as a must-try for your next cycling vacation.



Clocking up a total of 18.9 miles, the round trip may not be the longest cycling route in the area, but it’s certainly one of the most enchanting. Crossing the Uhlerstown–Frenchtown Bridge (remember to dismount and walk your bike!), you’ll again encounter truly stunning scenery at every turn, and all with the added bonus of being back in time for dinner. What to See and Do Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the saddle, but what about those moments when you want to give your legs a rest or simply try something different? Luckily, the area is packed full of things to see, do and explore. Here’s just a few of our favourites. Water Sports at Bull’s Island You can’t come all the way up to the Delaware River without experiencing the thrill of taking to the open waters. Several areas offer a wealth of opportunities to do just, but few quite beat Bull’s Island Recreation Area. Boating, kayaking, canoeing, tubing and rafting are all popular here. With equipment (including canoes, kayaks and tubes) available for hire in nearby Point Pleasant, a quick 12-minute bike ride from 1740 House. Lakota Wolf Preserve If you’re planning to cycle around the Delaware Water Gap, you’ll be delighted to find a number of leading attractions right at your feet. If you only have time to do one of them, however, make it this one. Situated less than four miles beyond the Gap itself, this is your chance to get up close and personal with some truly magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Take note, however, that this isn’t the kind of attraction you can simply ride up to whenever you feel like. To see the wolves, you’ll need to join one of the twice-daily tours that run seven days a week. Pre-booking is essential for weekday tours, but not for weekends. Pocono Snake and Animal Farm Sticking with all things wild and wonderful, we next head to Pocono Snake and Animal Farm which you’ll find a little over two miles from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Perfect for those of you bringing your young ones with you on vacation, the park features a huge collection of rare and exotic animals. A 14-foot King Cobra and 23-foot Python are



among some of the highlights, though younger visitors may simply enjoy feeding the monkeys and petting rabbits. Where to Eat All that cycling can work up quite an appetite. The good news is that no matter where your cycle ride along the Delaware River takes you, you’re never too far from some seriously good eats. The Landmark Restaurant After taking on the trails around Delaware Water Gap, take a 1.5-mile detour to the acclaimed Landmark Restaurant in East Stroudsburg. Serving up a truly mouthwatering menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Landmark frequently earns rave reviews for its generous portions of delicious food, reasonable pricing and wonderful hospitality. Village Farmer and Bakery Prefer a sweet treat as a reward for all that cycling? Look no further than the famous Village Farmer and Bakery. As renowned for their exceptional apple pie as they are for a tantalising collection of cakes, cookies and other scrumptious goodies, dining here is definitely a can’t-miss experience for your vacation. Nina’s Waffles and Ice Cream The Village Farmer may be ideal if you’re over the Delaware Water Gap area, but what about elsewhere? Closer to the Bull’s Island region, Nina’s is the place to go for hand-crafted ice cream and wonderful waffles. As you tuck in, the aromas of freshly cooked waffles and the charming atmosphere will ensure the whole experience is the perfect end to a long day of riding. The Club @ 1740 House Last but by no means least, guests staying with us are always more than welcome to join us at our exclusive bar and restaurant, The Club @ 1740 House. The Club is typically a members-only establishment, but hotel guests can join us Wednesdays-Sundays to enjoy a regularly-changing menu which offers modern takes on traditional dishes with a local feel, all served in beautiful, riverside surroundings.


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A BIKING BOOST WITH BLU ROUTES Visit Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel in Jersey and discover the array of #BluRoutes available for an exhilarating cycling holiday, all mapped out for you and available to download. The beautiful island of Jersey packs a punch with its breathtaking scenery, green lanes, sea views and variety of cycling trails for you to explore. Radisson Blu is conveniently located on the Waterfront in St Helier, overlooking the bay of St Aubin’s and Elizabeth Marina. With a relaxing Spa and recently refurbished bedrooms, it’s the perfect place to start your cycle tour of the island.... For more information: Call +44 (0)1534 671180 Email





Tim is an Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) Level 3 Coach and owner of

Although there are still plenty of weekend road riding opportunities left before winter rears its ugly head again, as the days shorten the short sleeved summer evening rides become a thing of the past…and cyclists generally look for other ways to keep their hard-earned fitness. But… how much fitness will you actually lose if you can only complete one ride a week from December through to March? The physiological effect of detraining is an area which has been extensively researched and the good news is that, whilst you could lose up to 10% off your VO2 power after 4 weeks’ inactivity, you don’t need to do too much to maintain the gains you made in the sunshine when the clocks go back. So…make the most of the weekends now. Where you can, try and ride on both days – make Saturday a shorter, faster ride with some hill efforts or sprints – make these

fun, against riding pals or just as the whim takes you if you are riding solo. On Sunday do a longer ride at an easier pace…but don’t leave out some sprints/hill efforts: the key to maintaining fitness as you go through the winter months is to keep the intensity of the effort, even if you don’t ride for as much time in a session. As this month goes on, the days get shorter and unless you don lights and ride after work, you may be limited to a commute, or to no session. If you can ride in the evening, steady but brisk work at around 30-40bpm below your max heart rate will give you a good return, and avoids the risks associated with very hard, fast efforts in the dark. Around 1 hour including a warm up and cool down is perfect. Pick roads that are well-lit, and be aware that if you are travelling at 20mph plus in low-light then it isn’t advisable to look at your computer display for your average heart rate for more than a second or two at a time.



No commute? No lights? Want to do something that will help you keep the extra mph from July and August? When this coach started training back in the 80s, cyclists used to run, do weight training, circuit training and maybe swimming in the off-season. In fact, I recall well looking at an example weekly winter training plan from my then coach and being surprised (and horrified) that there were no rest days at all! You don’t need to go to these levels… but if you do want to cross-train then by all means do. Be cautious with running and circuits, though: cyclists have “big engines” and often get injured quickly when their ambition exceeds their flexibility and specific running fitness – start slowly and build. Next month I will look at the equipment you may need if you want to keep things cycling-specific through the dark months…and begin the process of hopefully adding some speed and endurance in 2019.



PEARL IZUMI 24 HOURS CYCLING This 10th edition of the Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling of Le Mans took place under a mild weather, despite a cool night and a strong wind on Sunday morning. Ideal conditions to allow cyclists and visitors to enjoy festivities planned this weekend on the Bugatti circuit. Shortly before the “Le Mans Type” start given by Roger Legeay, the “family picture” has gathered more than 2000 riders on the track for the pre-race briefing.

For the victory in overall ranking, the Roadborn Team (Julien Guay, Jordan Levasseur, Thibault Ferasse and Tony Hurel) finally won after a fierce battle with the formations Socopa Viande 1 (Dany Maffeïs, Romain Bacon, Kevin Lalouette, Remy Gras, Cyril Saillard and Alexandre Delettre) and Ekoï Cycling Nutrition (Sylvain Georges, Pierre Almeida, Theo Vimpere, Maxime Roger, Damien Vuillier and Thomas Chassagne). The young and local boss, Simon Barbier, could not dream of a better result for his small company specialized in the artisanal assembly of carbon wheels to get known. Icing on the cake, the team improves the previous record of one lap, 637.11mi traveled (245 laps). Used to seeing teams of six riders win since 2015, we did not bet on the four friends. “The management of sleep has been complicated, because relays at 4 came back very quickly! I was knackered when I left for my last relay, but sensations were finally good”, said Tony Hurel. The podium gradually appeared in the early morning, before seeing the end-of-race strategies to be set up. With the flat tyre of Thibault Ferasse, a last risky change of rider for Socopa that will prevent Dany Maffeïs from competing in the final sprint, or Sylvain Georges’cramps in the last lap synonym of the 4th place ... the suspense remained until the last laps. Distinxion Alençon finished 3rd! In the « single » riders category, Freddy Drouet won with 212 laps (551mi and 124th overall) and the english woman Gina Cleere made the difference again with 124 laps (322km and 479th overall). Bike Paradise Women’s Community, the first 100% women formation, ranked 235th overall with 510mi (196 laps). SAVE THE DATE: The 2019 Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling of Le Mans will take place 24th and 25th of August and the registration process will start around mid-November.


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Refinding its Cycling Pedigree NOVEMBER 2019 MADE IN THE UK


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75-MILE CYCLING NETWORK A 75-mile isolated cycling system is set to be finished by mid 2019 with the expansion of new bike lanes. The Bristol Cycle Path Network, which highlights 12 routes incorporating new augmentations in Southmead, Filwood and the From Valley extends over the whole city. Bristol City Council has now recorded a few cycling upgrades it means to finish by mid 2019. The Better by Bike online cycle organizer will likewise outline the most secure and briefest course for cyclists to take, close by cycle trails in the West of England. Bicycle pumps, cycle repair shops and BMX offices are likewise featured on the guide. Mhairi Threlfall, bureau part for transport at the gathering, stated: “By mid 2019 we will have finished 12 distinctive cycle courses over the city – covering 122 miles of cycle highways, 75 miles of which are isolated. “A portion of the rest of the plans incorporate the last connection in Baldwin Street which is being done at this very moment and Prince Street is relatively entire. “Cycling and strolling are great alternatives for some adventures which is the reason we will keep on making upgrades to serve our wellbeing and prosperity.” Leader Marvin Rees included: “We trust anybody contemplating cycling all the more frequently will be energized by the help we can offer, regardless of whether that is through the new framework, data on more secure courses by means of the cycle organizer or our Bikeability instructional meetings. There’s a great deal of assistance we give to develop your certainty.” – Over a third of a mile (0.6km) of new or improved on road cycle lanes (lining, signing) – A mile and a half (2.5km) of segregated cycle lanes (hard kerbing) – Nearly five and a half miles (8.75km) of new or improved shared/ delineated cycle lanes – Almost three miles (4.5km) of new/improved pedestrian footways – 872 new or upgraded cycle stands, including 14 new residential cycle hangars – 5 new floating bus stops, where the cycleway runs behind passenger boarding – 40 new or improved pedestrian and/or cyclist crossings – Two and a half miles (4km) of route signage – 3 new junction speed tables




WARWICK MAN CYCLES 1,000 MILES FOR CHARITY A man from Whitnash cycled almost 1,000 miles to help fund-raise for a philanthropy that enables powerless individuals in the Warwick to region. We got up to speed with him to perceive how his test went. So what was the test? Steve De Bruyne from Whitnash cycled almost 1,000 miles, as part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. This is the third year that Steve has finished the occasion, which happens each year. Cyclists travel 980 miles from Land’s End to John O Groats in nine days. Who was he fund-raising for? The Way Ahead Support Services in Leamington, which enables defenseless individuals in the Warwick to area. How could he do? As indicated by his JustGiving page for Steve’s cycling challenge, he has so far raised £1,020. What has he said in regards to it? He stated: “I’ve finished Ride Across Britain three times presently speaking to my organization DHL. I initially entered in 2015 and raised £2,000 for Brake, the street security philanthropy and Cancer Research UK.



“I had back damage in 2016 so I was not able enter. In 2017 I finished the ride again and raised £800 for Brake once more, which DHL coordinated up to the aggregate of £1,600. “This year I raised over £1,000 for Way Ahead Support Services and I have entered one year from now’s ride as of now and plan to collect more cash for Way Ahead undertaking to help the life span of its administrations in the under subsidized part of social consideration. “Over the most recent three years I have I finished 15,000 miles in preparing and occasions and my point is to finished five Ride Across Britain occasions.” So what keep him propelled? Steve stated: “The reasons I get a kick out of the chance to contend in the occasion separated from fund-raising for foundations is that I need to remain fit. I adore the British Isles and I need to move my multi year old child, Roman, to accomplish something comparative later on. “The ride’s topography has been a valuable learning apparatus for Roman and he has possessed the capacity to stand up in class and tell everybody the course I secured utilizing maps.”

Did he get any help? “Amid my preparation my better half Louise and multi year old child Roman have been my ideal back up group who have given me the opportunity, bolster and now and again gave mechanical help when something’s has turned out badly with my bicycle,” said Steve. How might I give? To give to the raising money page go to: https://www.justgiving. com/crowdfunding/barbara-winterburn-1 Why Steve partakes in the occasion Steve stated: “The reasons I jump at the chance to contend in the occasion separated from fund-raising for philanthropies is that I need to remain fit, I adore the British Isles and I need to rouse my multi year old child, Roman, to accomplish something comparable later on. “The ride’s geology has been a helpful learning device for Roman and he has possessed the capacity to stand up in class and tell everybody the course I secured utilizing maps.”



Written by Alison Jacobs



THE LAKE DISTRICT by bicycle How to handle the Tour of Britain (with stops for brew and touring)

Proceeding with our arrangement on handling the course of the 2019 Tour of Britain - at an all the more restful pace Simon Parker offers a manual for the precarious inclines of the Lake District. The adventure This is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most ostensibly astonishing of all the visit’s stages this year, starting in Hand truck in-Furness, adjoining Morecambe Sound and conclusion 105 miles later on the edges of Keswick at Whinlatter Pass. The race is depended upon to last barely short of four hours, anyway most learners should allow no under twofold that, in light of the fact that there’s so much scene worth stopping to appreciate. The best stop Keeping the messy stack of Morecambe Bay on your right shoulder, you’ll wind north towards the neighborhood of Ulverston, before the course scrambles toward the lakes by methods for undulating farmland on every horizon. An irritating summer heatwave couldn’t dry this rich, clearing scene - and you’ll wind up cycling adjoining soaked, lichensettled slopes and lazy feeding pens mistook for dry stone dividers. In case you’ve anytime done “thumps and dashes” at a flipping around class then this region is the veritable frame a substantial bit of a mile up, an expansive segment of a mile down. Go once more. You’ll take after the A593 that runs neighboring the five mile long, a vast part of a mile wide, Coniston Water - the District Lake stop’s third greatest lake, before accomplishing the town of Coniston at the northern tip, where you’ll find a bank, a little




broad store and a couple of bistros. Starting there the course brushes the north side of Windermere, before moving to in excess of 600 feet at Dunmail Raise, just south of Thirlmere. North of Ambleside there’s a remarkable cycle way that will save you the issue of cycling on the A591 twofold carriageway, taking you on the west side of Thirlmere, neighboring congested banks and rising above pine trees looking like bigger than common Christmas trees. Finally the course slides into Keswick where you can either whole a further 40-mile hover to Cockermouth and Workington, or (like me) save it to the next morning when your legs quit feeling like stick. Rest and refuel Convent House Hotel (01229 838282; is only a mile from the focal point of Barrow-in-Furness and the suites are gigantic, with baths and showers, couches and chimneys. The eatery, Oscar’s, has healthy plates of mixed greens, nearby frankfurters and steaks. Breakfast is served from 0645am, which is ideal for a solid start, and there are Manx kippers from the Isle of Man, right over the Irish Sea. Duplicates from £70. Around five miles from the finish of the race, west of Keswick, The Cottage in the Wood (01768 778409; thecottageinthewood. is a brilliantly comfortable spot and situated appropriate next to the course. The nourishment is excellent and has progressed toward becoming something of a nearby foodie journey as of late. There’s Morecambe Bay crab, privately raised pork emblems and scrounged woods nourishments where conceivable. The fried eggs with smoked bacon and chanterelle mushrooms are scrumptious. Duplicates from £130. Backup ways to go On the off chance that you’re getting the plan from Lancaster then you should need to get off at Ulverston and join the course there, instead of taking care of business to Wheelbarrel inFurness. This will shave off the flattish 11-mile segment toward the start of the stage that skirts Morecambe Bay. How to arrive? By means of set up this is decidedly a pinch of schlep from most corners of the UK, yet it’s legitimized, in spite of all the inconvenience. A limited toll from London to Cart in-Furness changes some place in the scope of £47 and £109 and it takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes. There’s no get ready station in Keswick so you’ll need to either ride a further 17 miles to Penrith or take a taxi. Confirmations from Penrith to London start at £44. Rundown Spectacularly awesome the distance - this stage displays the most sweeping sees and the minimum people. In case I could ride one stage over and over, it would be this one.




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FLEETWOOD TEXT BY BENJAMIN EASTERLEY Distance: 11 miles Start: South Pier, Blackpool Finish: The Esplanade, Fleetwood Train stations: Blackpool North, Blackpool South and Blackpool Pleasure Beach Grade: Moderate



Written by Benjamin Easterley

Terrain, gradients and access Flat, wide concrete promenade with a very short and quiet on-road section at Rossall Beach (or dismount to push along this narrower part of the promenade) Route description The razzmatazz of Britain’s definitive bucket-and-spade destination provides a lively start to this ride, but is quickly superseded by the quiet, natural beauty of the attractive Fylde Coast. Start at Blackpool’s South Pier and head north along the wide promenade. It’s sensory overload in the opening miles, with the clatter of Blackpool trams alongside the route, the sweet candyfloss scent of the kiosks and a million bulbs lighting up the seafront during the famous Blackpool Illuminations each autumn. The adrenalin-fuelled rides of the Pleasure Beach are left behind as you cycle towards one of England’s most iconic landmarks: the unmistakable Blackpool Tower. In the opening miles, attractive and ornate Victorian shelters on the Promenade make great stopping points for taking in the scenery over the Irish Sea to north Wales, before you swoop between the curved, sandy-coloured layers of the promenade at Cleveleys, where the Isle of Man can be seen across the water on a clear day. Beside the shingly, pebbly banks of Rossall Beach there are great views of the Lake District’s peaks in the distance. However, the best views are in the final mile from Rossall Point Tower, a futuristicstyle observation station that leans eagerly towards the sea. Go to the top deck to look over Fleetwood Beach,

Morecambe Bay, the Lake District and the Forest of Bowland. From here, roll past Fleetwood’s Marine Hall Gardens and the little pastel-coloured beach huts on the seafront, before ending at the white sandstone Lower Lighthouse on The Esplanade. It’s just a short ride from here to Fleetwood’s ferry point for the 10-minute boat trip over the River Wyre to Knott End-on-Sea. Loops, links and longer rides From Blackpool’s South Pier, NCN 62 follows a mix of on-road and traffic-free route south to Lytham St Annes. Stay Queens Promenade Hotel, Blackpool (01253) 355449 Eat and drink There are many places to eat in Blackpool, including ‘Parks’ Art Deco café overlooking the ornamental Italian gardens in Stanley Park, Kwizeen Restaurant or Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips near North Pier. At Fleetwood, try Beachside Café on the waterside, or head into the town for popular Café Royal or the Granada Fish Bar and Restaurant. Cycle Hire Bike & Go, Blackpool North train station

“attractive and ornate Victorian shelters on the Promenade make great stopping points for taking in the scenery over the Irish Sea to north Wales”


Written by Geremy Jasper

GET ON YER BIKE AND NEVER GET OFF AGAIN Enjoy a day out with friends or take the family on a leisurely ride. Explore the attractions, history, eateries and hidden gems that turn an afternoon’s cycling in Lancashire into an unforgettable experience.




Time to make a change From gentle, quiet lanes and off-road cycle trails to the adrenaline pumping peaks and troughs of moorland or the challenge of coastal routes around bays and beachfronts, this variety confirms Lancashire’s claim to having the best choice of cycling routes in the UK. To the west, Lancashire has flat coastal plains where you will find a variety of rural lanes linking villages, farm land and coastal resorts. In the heart of the county the terrain becomes more challenging, as you ride up through the Trough of Bowland, along winding lanes over Pennine Hills or meander along the river valleys of the Lune and Ribble for scenic views and dramatic landscapes. Venture into Gisburn Forest for off-road trails, dirt jumping and heart-thumping down-hill drops. While hidden amidst the hills and valleys of Rossendale is the adrenaline seeker’s dream, the rocky and unforgiving Lee Quarry. This purpose built mountain bike venue with around 10km of red and black graded mountain bike trails, two pump tracks and numerous cycle trials sections is strictly for the fearless. It can be ridden on its own or if you have the stayingpower, combine it with a ride to Cragg Quarry. West Lancashire and the Fylde coast is perfect for exploring peaceful canalside and coastal routes, through some of Lancashire’s more traditional market towns and quiet seaside locations, making it a great destination for leisure cyclists. Head for Burscough Wharf on the Leeds-Liverpool canal and explore the towpaths of this man-made wonder of the industrial revolution. ‘A Grand Tour of West Lancashire’ is a popular longer route starting at any of three stations, Town Green, Rufford or New Lane, this 65km tour which takes in most of West Lancashire, covers part of the much longer Lancashire Cycleway. For those with stamina, the Lancashire Cycleway is a demanding 418km route, comprising two circular routes which meet in the village of Whalley in the Ribble Valley. The Cycleway can be ridden as one long tour or split into two, on a journey that takes in the Bowland Hills and West Pennine Moors, the quiet country lanes of Fylde and spectacular views of the Silverdale coast. Lancashire really does offer something for all cyclists and if you are looking for a more family-friendly route then where else to head than to the seaside. Blackpool seafront and the stunning promenade offers a traffic free, flat and family friendly cycle route taking you past the resorts famous landmarks such as The Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

“Lancashire really does offer something for all cyclists and if you are looking for a more familyfriendly route then where else to head than to the seaside” and the must-see comedy carpet. Further north explore one of the most stunning coastlines in the UK, Morecambe Bay. The award-winning family-friendly Bay Cycle Way is a 130km relatively flat route to be enjoyed at your own pace. Discover some of the secrets of the coast with plenty of opportunities to take in the spectacular views and enjoy a taste of Lancashire - on a route promising you’re never far from “a view, a brew and a loo”. Don’t just come for the day, make a break of it. With over 40 places to stay boasting the ‘Welcome Cyclists’ quality marque you’ll find everything from luxury 4 star hotels to rural self catering cottages offering special ‘cyclist’ facilities such as dry rooms and dedicated lock-up areas for bikes. Some even have cycle hire and electric bike facilities on site making Lancashire a cycle friendly destination for all. With such diverse terrains and hundreds of established routes in city, coast and rural locations, it is no surprise that Lancashire is increasingly the destination of choice for anyone who loves life and fun on two wheels. For more information on cycling routes, events and accommodation in Lancashire go to West Lancashire Cycle Hire Scheme There’s no need to bring your own bike when visiting Lancashire: from as little as £1 per

hour you can hire bikes from automated cycle hire stations across the county. Cycle hire facilities have recently been installed across West Lancashire at Ormskirk Park Pool, Edge Hill University, Burscough Leisure Centre, Burscough Wharf, The Ship Inn at Lathom and Riverside Holiday Park. On Yer Bike Cycles - one of the leading cycle retailers providing cycles, servicing, repairs and cycle hire. Cycle hire fleet includes mountain, road, electric, tandems and children’s bikes. Based in Burnley. Bike and Go – Blackpool North Station a scheme combining train travel with the freedom and flexibility of riding a bike. Cycling Friendly Accommodation Stirk House Hotel in Gisburn, near Clitheroe (3 star) – Forest of Bowland area. Regional award winner – small hotel of the year Martin Lane Farm Holiday Cottages (4-5 star) in Burscough (West Lancashire) Blacksmiths Cottage, Dam Head Farm, Nelson (4 star) – East Lancashire/near Pendle Hill The Boatyard – close to the famous Hoghton Tower, canal side location in Riley Green is within minutes of the M65 and just 15 minutes from Blackburn, Chorley and Preston



PEDAL POWER MUESLI Written by Elinor Barker Elinor was part of the GB quartet who won gold in Rio in the team pursuit to retain the title GB won at London 2012. She starts her day with a nutritional breakfast to fuel a sprint training session.

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TO THE OPEN ROAD Matt and Becky’s adventure

Matt + Becky




My eyes had only been open a few seconds and already I knew that the alarm was not far behind. Maybe it was the light. We had camped under a thick canopy of Mediterranean pine trees and those few rays that managed to sip through were not aggressive, on the contrary, the soft light was a pleasant way to start a brand new day. Having written the log just before bedtime the night before I knew it was day 176 of the trip. 8275 kilometres since we had started pedalling in Helsinki and, only on rare occasions, didn’t I wake up with a feeling of longing to get on the saddle. Actually, quick change of subject, that’s by far the question we get asked the most by our non-cyclists friends and family members; “aren’t you sick of it yet?”. More often than not the answer is a simple and long “no” pronounced slowly and with a little tilt of the head as to pretend to be really thinking about it. The truth is that we are still loving every second of this trip and we wouldn’t even know where to begin explaining it, so those two little letters and a quick recent anecdote as to steer the conversation somewhere easier is the preferred tactic. Anyway, even though the day was only a few moments old, it had in fact started well; nothing had barked during the night and nature had given us a soft lullaby of far away leaves rustling and the occasional splash coming from the water. But yesterday bitterness had managed to lower my morale and immediately I wished we had bought more supplies so that we could just lounge around that little piece of heaven on earth 24 more hours. It was one of those previously mentioned rare mornings that I didn’t feel like cycling and, as always, it was due to external factors. Having spent 6 weeks in Turkey we had already gotten used to the local way of driving and behaving around foreign bike tourers, but the day before had been different; we both got the feeling that we had found a special pocket of Anatolia where people were a lot less welcoming to two-wheeled strangers and acted in such a way that we hadn’t like at all. Apart from seeing the first hugely awaited cave dwelling of the trip, the only good part of the whole day had been arriving to that beautiful spot which really eased our sore souls and was an almost perfect ending to an otherwise not great day.

The site in question was a quiet and solitary crater lake about 2 kilometres wide. The water was rather warm and bubbling from the breath of the dormant beast lying underneath it, there was a large, human planted forest which gave us warmth during the night (october nights are cold in central Turkey) and shade in the morning (without mentioning stealth from possible curious eyes) and there was even a small set of explorable caves in the vicinity which provided an excellent afternoon activity and a chance to stretch our legs a little before going about the evening chores. Trying to forget the uneasiness felt the previous day and concentrating more on the fact that that day was going to start with a few kilometres of awesome, rare and well-deserved volcano downhill gravel path, we consumed our breakfast in silence and listened to some Queen as we proceeded to pack everything away just as we had done 175 times before. It’s amazing what “Don’t stop me now” can do to your mood. Even though we had set an early alarm, we had taken the usual 2 hours to get ready and the sun was already beating down hard. The climb out of the crater took care of the warming up and, having stopped for just a minute to look down on that impressive place one more time, take one more picture now that the sun was shining from the “right” angle and, having wiped the first sweat of the day off my forehead, we moved toward the dirt path which was going to take us down. We soon realised that “our” crater was just the smallest member of a large terrestrial cone family which proudly stood in the middle of a huge plain in front of our eyes and, although I am highly annoyed by stopping too frequently first thing in the morning, I actually suggested

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that we should get the filming equipment out of my forward right pannier and take the time to immortalise that moment, something which always takes a lot longer than expected but that it’s usually well worth it. Oh and yes, it definitely was! Although we hadn’t felt 100% optimistic at the beginning of the day, that quickly changed and we were soon speeding towards some famous underground dwelling (which we really liked) and we finally set off for one of the most awaited destinations on our trip; Cappadocia. This unique area of central Turkey is not only where we were going to rest for a few days, but we had also arranged a RDV there with some cyclists we had met along the way and we were eager to arrive. Cappadocia is famous for many things and I really think that 5 days are enough to enjoy everything it has to offer; it’s a huge, sparsely populated natural park, ideal for horse riding or, in our case, hiking. Together we walked many trails around this unique territory and explored its numerous and incomparable valleys, getting lost as we had given up trying to navigate using only rudimentary maps and no mobile coverage and, after having spent uncountable hours climbing and crawling, we also just did some good old sitting around feeling overcomed by the sheer size of this huge network of ancient tunnels and houses which were skillfully carved out of the rock using nothing more than hand-held tools many, many years ago. The cherry on top of this unforgettable experience was being able to spend a night in one of the abandoned stone carved houses we had discovered; an utterly unforgettable experience! Last but not least, Capadocia is also notorious for its simply breathtaking sunrises which even managed to get us out of our warm sleeping bags at 6am! Stress, uncertainty, tiredness and alienation are factors which all bike tourers must face on a daily basis and which can really get to you when you are so far from your comfort zone that you can’t even remember your postcode but, when on the road, you also learn that as long as you have a bike and the motivation to cycle a little further it will, in the vast majority of the cases, give you the chance to go to bed with a smile on your face, a few more anecdotes in your pocket and a lot more wisdom.





PORTUGAL REFINDING ITS CYCLING PEDIGREE Jeremy Edwards discovers an untapped beauty and a re-found cycling heritage



I am hunched over my top tube and sweat is mixing with sun cream, stinging my eyes. As my breathing recovers I take a swig from a solar heated bidon and sit up to survey the climb that has just encouraged me to stop at its summit. I smile. Sprawled out in front and below is the Arrábida Natural Park. With its deep green Mediterranean vegetation and cloudless skies, it is a welcome sight for sore eyes. I am here to discover a bit of what a cycling holiday in Portugal might offer as an alternative to the tried and tested col hunting in France. Portugal has a rich cycling heritage, the Volta a Portugal em bicicleta was first ridden in 1927 and whilst not as important as the three grand tours it always has been and remains a significant competition. My arrival in Lisbon coincides with the 9th and penultimate stage of the 78th edition of the race, which runs between Alcácer do Sal and Setúbal, covering 187.5km. At this point a Portuguese rider, Rui Vinhas representing the Portuguese team W52-FC Porto-Porto Canal, is still in contention for the GC. It is clear from crowds gathering early in Setúbal that expectations are high. These expectations are driven by memories of Jaoquim Agostinho, Portugal’s most famous cycling son, who was champion of Portugal in six successive years and twice finished third in the Tour de France, winning on Alpe d’Huez in 1979. More recently Rui Costa, who won the 2013 UCI Road World Championships, has inspired a new generation of cyclists. Professional cycling in Portugal is growing again,

powerful Football clubs such as FC Porto have returned to sponsor a team after a 31-year hiatus. Fernando Pedrosa of Phoinix Cycling, a small tour operator based in Setúbal has arranged for me to ride part of today’s stage, which also follows the route of the local Granfondo held annually in October. Two short rides have been planned, which will complement the timing of the stage and enable plenty of time to enjoy the company of my hosts whilst pit stopping at a couple of their favourite cafes. This is, after all, a special day, being the first time the Tour has passed through Setubal in 40 years. The first ride, in the morning will head into the Arrábida Natural Park, and will include both the category three climb at Alto das Necessidades and the coastal category two at Alto das Arrabida. The second ride, in the afternoon will head back via an alternative route to Alto das Necessidades, where we will wait for the Tour to arrive, hoping to witness an attack on the 20% gradient that appears near the end of the climb. Somehow we then have to make it back to Setúbal before the leaders arrive for what should be a sprint finish. The tour riders

Phoinix Cycling Phoinix cycling, based in Setubal south of Lisbon, are a small cycle tour operator who offer bespoke packages for those who do not wish to move base every day. Instead they are focussed on providing a personal experience with rides from a single base led by guides who have an encyclopaedic knowledge of cycling. Comprised of a group of friends with a passion for and a lifetime involvement in cycling, Phoinix want to share the best of road cycling in this undeniably pretty part of Portugal. Phoinix can provide bikes, full mechanical support and massage as well as a choice of accommodation. Whilst being lovers of cycling this group are also most definitely lovers of life and as such they are keen to share the best of the local food and drink.



have a much greater distance to cover and this includes a lot of climbing; despite this I have my doubts regarding our ability to return in time. As we leave for the morning ride I am too busy enjoying the heat (36C) and the sea breeze to worry about missing the sprint finish. The ride out of town is a steady climb and quickly takes us away from the noise and traffic of the busy port. As a first time visitor to Portugal I am immediately struck by how green the hillsides are in August; the contrast between the perfect azure of the sky and the olive tones of the hillside is stunning. I am cycling with a mixed group and as such the pace is steady, given the temperature I am happy to be eased into the ride. We break onto a narrow road that takes us deeper into the Natural Park and leads towards the day’s first climb, the category three at Alto das Necessidades. The climb is steady at first and there is time to enjoy the mixture of farm land, which is mostly comprised of small vineyards, olive trees and grazing sheep. As we progress the climb undulates and I find myself looking forward to the tree-lined sections providing shade as the heat takes its toll. In the last 300m the gradient begins to really ramp up and I find myself out of the saddle and relieved to take the crest in order to take on some much needed water. Thankfully the journey to Aldeia Rica, a small town on the edge of the park is flat and the pace leisurely. We break for a drink at a cafÊ and I enjoy sampling



the locally-baked pastries, my pastel de nata, a type of egg custard tart, is superb. A mountain bike parked in front of the café sparks conversation about bikes owned past and present and it is quickly apparent that the team from Phoinix have an encyclopaedic knowledge of bicycles and are keen to share stories. Fernando, who fell in love with mountain biking whilst training for fitness to further his motocross career, tells me how he started with a converted Rossin Mistral cyclo-cross bike which he then fitted with a flat bar. Many of the tiny roads which form a maze across the Arrabida Park are unsealed gravel tracks, the local riders frequently opt to take cyclocross bikes or simply fit heavier tyres to road bikes in order to benefit from these rural lanes which complement the tarmac roads. One of our party, João Serralheiro, who runs a local cycle distribution business is actively involved in the development of the local cycling scene. He plans to make good use of these gravel roads as they will comprise part of the route for the spring classic that he has created and has just been added to the UCI calendar for 2019. Returning to the saddle we head back into the park and begin the ascent towards the coast. The sun is dominant the sky, and as I push harder the bushes and trees which line the roads are filled with cicada and their rhythmic song adds to the contrast from cycling at home. I am cycling with a grin, in fact as we begin to traverse the coast and the gentle breeze provides some relief, that feeling of flight or even Jean Bobet’s la volupté, (‘pleasure from a combination of speed and ease, force and grace’) begins to hit me. The ocean sparkles to my right and a smooth curving asphalt strip beckons to the fore. I have already decided that I will be returning to discover and explore more of what this area has to offer, it is so different in culture and landscape to Northern Europe. It is worth exploring these contrasts from a saddle. The drop from the category two climb at Alto das Arrabida down to Setúbal is a heady combination of smooth dry roads and open bends which encourage you to let go and lean in. I am rapidly passed by the local riders who know



these routes so well and are possibly spending less time admiring the views of the Tróia Peninsula. Following lunch in Setúbal we head back to Alto das Necessidades to wait for the Tour to arrive. We cycle via an alternative route, this time heading back along the coastal road before heading inland up a steadily rising lane. Either side of us the combination of red rock and eucalyptus trees reminds me somewhat of Western Australia. As we climb out of the valley the views change and we are moving through a cork tree plantation, a firm reminder that we are definitely in a wine producing area. Soon we arrive back at Alto das Necessidades, where the crowds that have already developed are mostly made up of local club riders. The atmosphere is one of bonhomie and the crowd is cheering the last of the vehicles to pass the up the climb before the road is closed. Many of the lesser powered cars and mopeds are stalling on the 20% gradient and the audience delights in celebrating each failure before helping them on. As the tour arrives a small break of about ten riders is leading the peloton by a couple of minutes. No decisive moves or attacks are made, but the atmosphere is fantastic and it is great to see that the behaviour of the crowd is respectful to the riders. The last support vehicle passes and there is a scramble as the crowd turn to their own bikes and begin to hurtle back down to ensure arrival in Setubal in time for the finish. Cycling with the group from Phoinix we get ourselves organised and after negotiating the lanes of the natural park we manage to average over 50kmh on the final 5km of sweeping downhill into town. What a way to finish a perfect day, that was capped by the sight of home favourite Rui Vinhas coming in safely to maintain his lead of over two minutes in the GC. Time is precious and for most of us, especially those with families. If we get away once a year for a cycling holiday we consider ourselves lucky, which means we must choose wisely. Whilst the Arrabida Natural Park and surrounding areas obviously does not provide the chance to take on any of those cols on your bucket list it does provide other opportunities. It is a pleasure and a change to cycle in a southern Mediterranean landscape. The terrain offers some seriously punchy climbs and very rapid descents, all set against the stunning backdrop of olive groves, glistening ocean and unspoilt beaches. Furthermore, the welcome is as good as or better than anywhere else is Europe and the local restaurants do not seem to know how to serve a bad meal. Anyone who loves seafood will be in heaven. Whether it’s for a cycle only holiday intended for use as a training camp or for a combination of cycling and family downtime I would highly recommend this area as an alternative to the tried and tested destinations.





STIF MORF £499 Harking back to the eighties a Windsurfing shop called Stif Sailboards began offering the mountain bicycles that best windsurfers continued seeing abroad.

A little bit at a time, the sail loads up began clearing out as mountain biking in the UK blasted – and Stif made the move to wind up a devoted MTB pro. Numerous items that we see today were advocated by Stif in the good ‘ol days – like the Camelbak that such huge numbers of chuckled at. With more than 30 years encounter in the off-road bicycle scene, the Stif group joined forces with eminent edge designer Brant Richards to create the Stif Morf hardtail outline –   which takes it’s name from organization organizer Paul Morphet. THE DETAIL The Stif Morf is a forceful trail hard tail outline produced using 4130 chromoly, and intended for 27.5in wheels. The casing is offered in 3 sizes – short, medium and long – and highlights forceful geometry intended to handle specialized trips as excitedly as level out plunges.

Our size medium demo bicycle said something just shy of 13.5kg/29.7lbs with pedals on – however surely feels lighter when you saddle up. In advance there is a 65degree head angle designed around a 130mm Rockshox Pike – we like this as fork jump doesn’t influence the geometry as much as longer forks. Top tube length is ample on each of the three bicycles – our own had a 630mm compelling length and a 435mm reach – and is outlined around a 35mm stem for a steady ride with responsive dealing with. Out back a tight 420mm chain stay makes for a dexterous feel; and intensely ovalised situate stays add consistence to what could be a cruel ride if the back end was too firm. An inside mounted 180mm back circle mount is perfect and avoids hurts way – and looks awesome alongside the flawless 142mm dash on drop outs. The entire bicycle has an extremely very much thought about spec, in light of a Shimano XT 11speed transmission. Expectation center points





bound on WTB edges with Maxxis Minion DHF demonstrate the aim of the bicycle, and Burgtec bars; stem; holds and a seat make for a pleasant UK completing bundle. The Stif Morf outline accompanies a multi year guarantee, and a multi year crash replacement pricing plan as well. Wherever you look on the Stif Morf, you see pleasant specifying that has been considered – from the butted tubing and external exchange plate gussets to the straightforward link guides and inside dropper post steering. Our most loved piece of the Stif Morf is the chainstay connect – which is formed like the finish of a 12 bore shot weapon. This takes into account sufficient leeway with a tight back end and keeps a pleasant piece of Yorkshire about the bicycle. OUT ON THE TRAIL When I swung my leg over the cross bar out of the blue I felt quickly at home on the Stif Morf – despite the fact that it’s a hardtail, it has a recognizable vibe that I ordinarily connect with full suspension bicycles. An impact around a local disused Bath stone quarry, got me familiar the second I dropped the seat – it ordinarily takes me several rides to get in a state of harmony with another bicycle, so I knew I would get on with the Morf. Of course the short back end implies the bicycle has that simple to use feel to it, yet dissimilar to the cruel feel of other hard tails I’ve ridden, the Morf feels significantly more settled rough terrain. Without considering I was on a hard tail I ended up gunning it down a short specialized downhill line, that needs some wrenching to get up to speed. Accelerating on a hard tail is something you have to consider as the bicycle can skirt about as the back end bobs off the ground. Yet, the Stif Morf feels shockingly planted – there is a definite ‘give’ to the ride that truly helps this, and it’s far more sympathetic than numerous hard tails I’ve ridden.

Once pointed downhill, the long front end and combo of short stem with great Burgtec Ride Wide bars makes the bicycle need to charge. The solid wheels, wide edges and beefy Maxxis Minion DHF tires unquestionably help as well – and sharp Shimano XT brakes with 180mm rotors are plentiful for speed control. The Morf isn’t simply intended to crush it down slopes however – it handles especially well on all elements of a run of the mill trail ride. Undulating single track can be hammered in the seat on account of the generous ride, and the precarious seat point places you in an awesome position for climbing. I thought I’d wind up wheel-turning on more extreme stuff, yet the combo of the tight back end and the steel outline truly made a difference. Amid the testing time frame I never needed to change to my typical full susser – even on the rootiest rides that alarm numerous hard tails, the Morf simply needed more. I truly miss this bicycle as of now! CONSLUSION While full suspension bicycles will dependably make progress superior to a hard tail, there’s as yet something exceptionally unadulterated about a decent hard tail. The Stif Morf is exceptionally straightforward; very much planned and rides perfectly. The plain conservative back end gives the casing all the fun loving pop you could need, however those straightened oval remains extremely tame the dealing with. There’s no harsh pin-balling on the Morf – simply extraordinary simple to use rough terrain taking care of that prizes what you put in. The Stif young men have nailed it with this casing – it’s extremely very much adjusted, has an awesome spec and in particular it rides incredibly out on the trails it was intended for. While the £2K manufacture offers a decent spec with a lot of UK parts, the £500 outline cost is exceptionally luring for those hoping to construct a second bicycle. The Stif Morf would make an impeccable winter thrasher – there’s no issues with mud freedom and the taking care of is on point.


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T E Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, loved cycling. When he left the RAF in 1935 he cycled to his Dorset home, Clouds Hill, from Yorkshire. This year we want to encourage visitors to cycle to Clouds Hill, rewarding them with a special Clouds Hill shortbread biscuit. The cottage is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am-4.30pm, until 30 October.

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Profile for BIKE Magazine

BIKE Magazine – November 2019