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Monday 5 August 2019
08:00 - 22:45
Tour: Lake District
Day 7: Langdale to Home
Dry with sunny spells
11 miles (▲ 200m ▼ 300m)
5 Participants: Tao Burgess, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
The weather was much brighter this morning, so after a good self-catering breakfast and some photos we returned the way we had come last night to the start of the path around Grasmere lake. Michael quickly went down to see if Faeryland was open this morning, but the place was locked up with nobody around – we had been told on previous visits that the owner opens up quite late in the morning, essentially whenever it suits him, so he lost our business once again.

We followed the cycle path around Grasmere, stopping on the “beach” near the end to feed the ducks with the last of our bread. They were all very friendly – too friendly in one case when a duck flew up onto Michael’s lap to steal the bread right out of his hand. Michael was quicker than the duck, however, who quickly found himself caught for a few seconds, much to everyone’s amusement. Tao put the camcorder on the beach and took some interesting 4K video footage by feeding the ducks in front of the camera.

We continued along the scenic cycle path past Rydal Water and on to Ambleside. Once again Michael’s attempt to arrange a group café came to nothing when everyone except Dillan wanted to browse the shops instead. If only John had been with us, he would have jumped at the chance of a café every time! Michael and Dillan enjoyed their refreshments in Lucindas café, although they felt sorry for the barista who was verbally admonished in front of the customers by the rather austere proprietor.

We looked around Gaynor Sports, billed as the largest outdoor clothing showroom in the country, and several of the other unique shops in Ambleside before buying our lunch and heading back along the road to Hawkshead. Dillan felt a little unwell along the way so the rest of us continued to Hawkshead youth hostel and Michael returned to collect him in the car. By 2.40 Tao had loaded all the bikes and we set off for our long journey home.

An accident on the M6 had resulted in long queues of almost stationery vehicles on the M6 as we approached Keele services, so we pulled off as quickly as we could at 5.15 and decided to take our longer break here instead of at Gloucester. We watched frustrated drivers hardly moving through the jam from our vantage point on the restaurant bridge over the motorway. Things started to move again at 6.40 so we set off for the second stage of our journey, made good progress to Gloucester Services for a half hour coffee stop and completed our journey home by 10.40.

This had been a good tour where we ended up getting far better weather than we had feared on the way up. Using some of the routes we used in 1991 made it an interesting trip where we got some of the best cycling experiences available in this largest and most popular of the UK’s national Parks. We’re planning a major tour to Switzerland next summer, so watch this space to see what happens.
Sunday 1 September 2019
10:15 - 13:00
Morning ride: Holne
9 miles (▲ 380m ▼ 380m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson
Dillan wanted to test his new chainset, chain and cassette this morning so we rode up to Cross Furzes and found that everything worked pretty much perfectly. Leo the dog wasn't outside his farm at Scoriton today when we rode past, so we do hope he is still OK.

After the climb from Michelcombe to Holne, Gavin showed us the enormous hedge he would be laying next week as part of a course he is doing, then we called in to the Community Cafe for some refreshments. The last two times we visited it had been closed for one reason or another. Today it was open, but they couldn't do hot food as they have no chef yet, and they couldn't do proper coffees as none of the volunteers knew how to operate the machine. We found John, George and Ziggy in there and had a nice chat over our refreshments.

The return journey took us back down through Hembury Woods and home for 1pm.

Special Notice

Our club has been providing activities for cyclists of all ages for more than 34 years now, and we have some great adventures to look back on. Many of our members still cycle regularly to this day and have happy memories of their time in the club.

The number of riders has subsided over the years from the heady days of the 1980s and 1990s when getting more than twenty riders on a Sunday was not unusual. We have had no new riders for well over two years now, and since our last tour in July there have been no riders out for any of the subsequent Sunday rides until today. This therefore seems like an opportune moment to bring the club’s regular activities to an end, giving me a well-earned rest from the regular commitment of organising and supervising weekly rides.

Whilst the Section will close from today, I do understand that many ex-members will from time to time want to get together for cycle rides, tours or other events, possibly including a tour of Switzerland next year which was provisionally planned in early 2019. These will be arranged informally as needed between those interested.

I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking the many hundreds of members who have contributed so much to the success of the club over the years, and to wish all our members the very best for the future.

Michael Jones
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