Monday, 25 February 2013

Route Planning with Raymondo “The Devil is in the Detail!”

Well February has been an interesting month to say the least. Sadly I've not been out on Mr T as much as I would have liked but the weather wreaked havoc with the planned rides.

The only good thing to come out of all this is, I've had time on my hands to plan ahead. This has allowed me to put a few routes together ready for later on in the year.

As those of you who know me personally will know that Garmin’s MapSource & I are very close friends. My affinity with route planning goes back year, right back to my childhood in fact when I used to plan walks out in the Peak District with walking maps. I then started on pushbike rides all meticulously planned using Ordinance Survey Maps. The thing is I just hate being lost, it’s that simple.

Looking back on my first motorbike ride from Munster in Germany back to Chesterfield makes me smile now. No Sat Nav, not even a map, I was given the route home by my Cook Sergeant on a small "Yellow Stick-it Note”, it read :-

1  Munster,  2  Duisburg, 3  Antwerp (keep in the middle lane), 4  Gent, 5  Brugge,  6  Calais 

Don’t be late back on Monday or you’ll be Duty Cook for a week!

Have fun!

I kept that bit of paper for 3 years and rode between Germany & the UK relentlessly never getting lost once. Mind I did run out of petrol on one occasion at 1.00am in the morning! Oh and the tip about the middle lane around Antwerp was spot on, even though there are 6 lanes of traffic around the city!

I suppose my route planning took a turn for the better when I volunteered to become the IBA UK Official ride verifier back in 2010. I spent many hours over the next two years checking IBA UK rides. I would plot in each and every stop measuring, checking both distance travelled and in what time to ensure all the stringent rules were met in order for the  rider to receive an IBA UK Certificate commensurate with whichever ride they had chosen to attempt. Verifying rides which had taken place throughout the UK & the whole of Europe including Poland, Lithuania, Italy & Greece. This has given me a thorough understanding of what it takes to plan a successful and enjoyable route.

Riding 1000 miles in under 24 hours needs planning thoroughly, often right down to each and every fuel and rest stop. Nowadays I just enjoy using MapSource to plot new adventures both in the UK and around Europe. There are individuals out there who just know where they want to end up and “Just Go for It!” That’s fair enough, as long as you’re not on a tight “time budget”. This approach can be very rewarding but in my case I usually find I’m always on a tight “time budget” . Therefore I like to know where I’m going, when I’m due to arrive there, how far each section of the ride is & how long my journey is going to take. Sad I know but everyone has their own way, this is mine.

I’m not really interested in the age old debate over which is the best mapping program, MapSource, Basecamp, Google Maps, Microsoft Auto Route or The AA Route Planner. All I will say is find a program that you feel comfortable using and just enjoy making it work for you.

MapSource is my program of choice simply because I have been using it since 2009 and I run a Garmin 660 Sat Nav.

Here's one I planned earlier, in 2009 to be exact!
9000 Mile round trip in 14 days 
Who says Route Planning isn't Fun

So how do I plan a route? Well the very first thing I do is open my basic route, aptly filled as AAA. This MapSource file has just three Points of interest (POI’s) already plotted, Home, Folkestone Channel Tunnel & Calais Channel Tunnel & with that I’m off!

I find UK routes so easy to plot due to our glorious “Postcode” addressing system but remember those postcodes can be misleading. Europe can take a little more effort but using coordinates can really help bring routes to life.

Here are a few tips that I think may help you in planning your next “Big Trip”

1 – “Zoom is your friend” The closer you zoom into the map the 
more of it’s hidden secrets reveal themselves.

2 – “Use the POI Coordinates” Such a simple statement but totally overlooked by many.

Here’s a fantastic tip for getting accurate coordinates.

a)      Google Wikipedia & find a POI - eg. Trollstigen in Norway and open that page

b)      In the top right corner there are a set of coordinates for the POI but the coordinates will not work in MapSource as they are not in the right format

c)      Left click on the coordinates themselves - this will take you to the GeoHack page

d)     Now look down and find ACME Mapper - left click on “Map” to the right of ACME Map

e)      A map will open up & in the bottom right corner are the coordinates

f)       Highlight & copy these coordinates

g)      Open MapSource & create a new “waypoint” anywhere, paste in the coordinates into the “Position” box and re-name the “waypoint” Tollstigen. Job Done!

Give it a try with a POI you know, you will be surprised just how easy it is to do.

3 – “Take you time” In the excitement of planning a “Round Robin Trip” be it in the UK or abroad many rider just do “fly-by’s” Missing so many spectacular views and attractions that it beggars belief why you bothered setting off in the first place. I know I've done it myself, numerous times.

4 – “Get someone else to check the route” It’s no good spending hours on end plotting the perfect tour only to discover, you've missed a classic monument or a POI that’s just a mere 5 mile detour from your planned route.

5 – “Break routes down and number/alphabet each stage” Rename each stage using numbers 1 – 9 or if it’s a really complicated or a multi-day trip us letters A - Z

6 – “Check uploaded Routes before leaving” Simply view the route once uploaded onto you Garmin (or other Sat Nav).

7 – “Carry a map & a list of you destinations” If your Sat Nav gives up the ghost there is nothing worse than being left high and dry.

Armed with these simple tips you can really create an enjoyable route all from the comfort of your favorite chair.

The Derbyshire ride was snowed off the day before but no sooner one door closes, another one opens in its place.

This really is a great day out in Derbyshire

I’ve just finished putting the final touches to our North European Tour Route which Bruce of & I will be undertaking in July. There were a couple of locations which Bruce wanted to visit including Tollstigen being Hairpin Heaven, plus the amazing Atlantic Road & I obviously want to visit NordKapp at long last.  

To prevent us having to back tracking through Norway I've planned for us to return through Finland then taking the ferry over to Estonia then on through Latvia, Lithuania, where we will visit the Geographic Center Of Europe  & Poland just to keep the ride interesting on the return leg.

9 Days of Biking Bliss!

To stop me going stir-crazy, Jeannie & I have decided that I will ride down to Spain this weekend  to a business meeting. Rather than ride straight there and back I've taken my own advice and created a round-robin route!

Just popping out Love, see you Sunday!
Don't you just love Europe?

So as you can see, plotting routes and having some fun with mapping programs really can keep you busy and stimulated. Ultimately it will also have you visiting some stunningly beautiful corners of the world.

Here’s hoping to see you out and about in the not too distant future and remember “The Devil really is in the detail!” Happy Route Planning folk’s.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Mr T’s Tent Pole Storage Tube

“Today I will be mainly using Cable Ties, Extractor Fan Ducting & Sticky Back Plastic!” He says smiling to himself knowing it gets worse, much worse!

Something has been bugging me ever since my trip to Squires Café Bar last year, the tent poles! They are long to hard to stow away safely!

I suppose taking a camping bed didn't help either!

Don’t get me wrong, after shelling out a small fortune on a Series 2 Redverz Expedition Tent the quality of the poles is not in question it’s just the fact that they are just too long to fit inside my panniers. Plus I’m always worried I’ll damage them when the tent gets strapped onto Mr T. It’s as simple as that!

Heading over to Squires Café Bar at Sherburn in Elmet (just the other side of Leeds to you & me)  to help out on the RBLR1000 ride last year, I stowed the tent on the back. In doing so it made me realise that it’s quite a big bit of kit, hanging over the panniers.

My next trip was down to the Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meeting near Belper in Derbyshire. Again the only option for getting my gear onto Mr T without too much messing about was across the back seat and onto the panniers. This makes accessing the panniers a pain without shoving the tent out of the way.

There’s one word that describes this tent perfectly

Now having used the  tent a couple of times I’m over the moon with it. There is so much room in it once erected that I would not go back to using a small crawl in tent ever again. What I want to be able to do is just stuff the tent in a pannier and go. Not have it sat across the back seat all the time. I've even managed to fold it down to two thirds its original pack size with very little effort what so ever.

As you can see, it folds down nice 'n' small.

So where to fit the poles without constantly worrying about their welfare every trip. As I have a couple of trips away this year, plus the RBLR1000 with Ben. I needed to get this issue resolved sooner rather than later.

After much head scratching the answer was staring me in the face. There is a space down the inside of the pannier rack on the right hand side rear. It’s something I've thought about before and having read about a chap in the USA fitting an empty mock exhaust there for storage. It stands to reason it’s just begging to be utilised in some way.

As the tent poles are way too long to fit into tool tubes as I seen advertised of ebay and "as look would have it" I read about this week on  Pat Around the Americas Blog. Pat  attached a couple of  the tool tubes to the inside of his panniers which utilised the same space perfectly.  All be it on the XT660Z as opposed to XT1200Z.

Now I’m not a great lover of “Sticky back plastic style DIY” but when all else fails I always turn to the garage for inspiration. I started first of all by making a cardboard oblong tube. This was made after measuring the space available so as it would fit perfectly behind the Metal Mule Pannier Rack. Ensuring the tube did not  foul the swing arm or brake was paramount along with it being long enough for the tent poles to fit inside nice and snug!

I then posted the dimensions of the cardboard tube which are:-  650mm long x 110mm deep x 55mm wide, on my local riders site. The 55mm width being the maximum space available behind the pannier rack before the tube touches the rear bake or swing-arm.

As luck would have it one of the lads came back with a solution, “Cooker Hood Extractor  Ducting” 110mm x 55mm x whatever length you need. Brilliant! Only drawback when I found it on eBay was it was “white!” Still at £5.75 a metre I didn’t care. I placed my order and within three days the ducting arrived. As it happened the section that arrived was broken at one end but the kind people at “The-Ventilation-Shop” gave me a 100% refund, for which I thanked them very much indeed.

The ducting is the perfect size to slot behind the pannier rack and can be cut to whatever length required. The poles fit perfectly inside in their storage bag without rattling. I was delighted.

Next problem, how to turn the white ducting black. eBay came to the rescue again in the form of “Sticky Back Plastic” Yes!!!! Or more precisely “Matt Black Air Drain Vinyl Film” from M-99 Shop. 1000 mm x 1000mm x 1000mm cost just £8.95 including (free) postage.

An hour in the garage cutting and shaping a stopper for the solid end i.e. near the rear foot peg. I used a little bit of clear silicone as I had just finished refurbishing the shower that day. I cut a piece of sponge and stuck the inside the closed end to stop the poles from chattering (sad I know, but if I ‘m doing something I’m doing it right).

I cut the number plate end at exactly the same angle and parallel to the pannier frame tube. Tipping the tube down a little first so any water that gets in will run to the end and out of the drainage hole I've drilled.

I melted 4 small slits in the ducting to accommodate the cable tie fixings before covering the hole tube in the “Matt Black Air Drain Vinyl Film”.  Once covered I applied heat by way of Lilie Rose’s hair dryer for about 15 minutes. The film is fantastic and really goes very soft. Care was needed not to ruffle the soft vinyl but the finish is unbelievable. There is no way on earth I could have got such a professional finish with paint.

Threading the cable ties through the holes took some time and was quite fiddly but well worth the effort. Now once attached to Mr T, I had the dilemma of how to make a stopper / flap for the number plate end.

Jeannie jokingly said you need one of these and passed me the lid from, of all thinks, the children’s milk shake carton! It fitted perfectly! Yes, I laughed too but hey it works so don’t knock it! A couple more small clear cable ties this time and a spare reflector just for good measure and the “Tent Pole Storage Tube” is fitted and working perfectly.

“Tent Pole Storage Tube,  DONE!”

Tent Poles Stowed Away, Safe & Sound

The reflector just finishes the job off nicely

I’m going to get a waterproof tent pole size bag made and use the tube for other stuff, gloves, head-overs, first aid kit, in fact just about everything in my top-box will fit in it including the Cycle PumpAdventure Model & Stop & Go  Tube & Tubeless Repair Kit. Not that I will put those in as it is not secure but you get my drift, it’s uses are endless!

So there you have it, a usable, cheap and fairly tough storage tube made to measure for Mr T.

“Tent Pole Storage Tube,  DONE!”

Monday, 11 February 2013

“The Future of Biking is in Safe Hands”

The thing is, it could easily have turned out so differently because Ben’s biking future was put in jeopardy almost 2 years before he was even born.

Looking at my heavily pregnant wife knelt down consoling the swastika shaped broken biker with the words “well you couldn't have chosen to have had your accident in a better  place, what with a nurse & a doctor here”.

I looked up to see biker number four frantically ripping his own helmet off just in time to vomit at the side of his bike. The reason being, he was partially responsible for the mess we were now dealing with. He had just ridden over his friend, well in excess of the national speed limit, braking his mates collarbone and his own bikes belly pan in equal measures.

My stomach was churning. If I ‘d not been a biker, this poor wreck laid out on the floor would most certainly have been dead.  The reason being, I would have driven over him. I’d backed off  as soon as I heard his bike screaming to keep up with the his two mates on their 1000cc sports machines who had just overtaken us and the two cars in front. When biker number three appeared alongside us I knew exactly what was going to happen, Black Suzuki 600cc Bandits are no match for full on 1000cc race replica bikes.
The poor old couple heading straight at the Bandit never had a chance, he hit them full on sideways just 20 foot in front of us ……..

Every single time I take Ben out with me, that vision is as clear in my head today as it was 12 years ago when it happened. Does it stop me taking Ben with me? The simple answer is, no!

Jeannie was beside herself the morning I told her I was going to nip Ben to school on the back of my “Jamie Oliver” the aptly family named Aprilia 125 Mojito Scooter. Ben had wanted a “go” on the back for the last 6 months, well from the moment I brought the scooter home to be honest. The crash had meant I’d had a few years break from biking. Well what do you expect! We had just been driving back form the Clay Cross bike shop where I’d almost just put a deposit down on, yes you guessed it, a Black Suzuki 600 Bandit, when the crash occurred.

I remember Jeannie asking me to be really careful, she even came out to take this photo.

"From Tiny Acorns, Giant Oaks Shall Grow"

Maybe not the roughtie, toughtie,  leather clad Harley riding duo some lucky kids get for a first photo but I’m as  proud of this photo today  as I am of any that I have taken since.

Ben has joined me on so many adventures in the last 6 years, as pillion. I did however have to undergo professional training to satisfy Jeannie’s desire to ensure both our safeties. Enrolling on the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) Bike course in 2010 and passing with flying colours really put the hat on it and since then Ben has done some serious mileage.

Local ride outs with the RBLR (Royal British Legion Riders) became a regular fixture in 2009 – 2011 attending Rallies in Birmingham, The Lake District, plus The Wirral Egg Run amongst many others.

In 2010 Ben became the youngest Britt Butt Light Rally Pillion to finish the 12 hour photographic Rally. He covered 376 miles in 11 hours, collecting 6345 point along the way to put us in 18th  position out of a field of over 30 participants. He was aged just 8 years old at the time. Ben collecting his certificate from Pete West the President of the Iron Butt Association is still one of my proudest moments ever. The framed newspaper article and certificate hang on our wall to this day

IBA UK Britt Butt Rally 
"Youngest Ever Pillion" at 8 years old

Mind all this pillion riding does take it out of you!

During the winter of 2010 I decided to spend some time in the garage re-building a 1993 Kawasaki ZXR750 L1 to its former glory. Not everyone’s choice of “Classic Bike” but it is the bike I owned when I met Jeannie and so hold great sentimental value to me. Ben helped me every step of the way. He made so many videos for YouTube he became a real dab hand at it. A friend of mine suggested I blog the whole process. Ben was delighted with idea and helped all the more. I named the bike Trinity, wrote the blog and made the decision to give the bike to Ben for his 21st Birthday.  Trinity will be 30 years old when Ben inherits her and with a full blogged history to back up his present I’m sure she will be in good hands.

The blog is now used to plot all our rides and is easily found on line at “The Wandering Walton’s”. 

Ben's Filming Debut 

That's the wheels sorted! Whats's next Dad?

In 2011 Ben travelled to  France with the a group of local riders and I, visiting a great many of the World War Two War Memorials, the Allied Landing Beaches, Museums and even had a day trip to Le Mans.

The beaming smile says it all!

Not bad for a 9 year old. One poignant photo which I took still brings a tear to my eye. We spent a few hours searching for head stone of  one of the riders relatives. On finding it Ben knelt down and wept and in doing so brought a tear to many a tough riders eye.

"Lest We Forget" 
I know we won't

It’s not all been plain sailing mind. In 2011 I decided we would have a “Dad’s & Lad’s” trip down to Monaco on Mr T. We got as far as Reims in France when disaster struck. We spent an interesting night under canvas and just as we were about to leave the camp site I decided to take a photo (nothing new there I hear you sigh). The first photo of Ben sat on Mr T looked OK but I wanted one more photo with more of the camp site in it. I walked around the front of Mr T and put the camera up to my face at the exact moment Mr T complete with Ben on board fell over!

Next stop Monaco, or not as fate would have it!

I can still see his little face, trying his hardest not to upset me but I knew deep down the adventure was over. Ben asked me to pull in at the next available services so he could ring his Mum. Heading back the way we came I was fined 150 Euro’s for doing an illegal U turn on a French motorway. I was so stressed out I even forgot to pay at the next fuel station. Honest as I am I tried to sort the payment at the next services but it was a waste of time, I don’t speak French and the attendant did not speak English. Ben just wanted to get home.

We rode 687 miles from the South of Reims back to Rochdale in one hit. Stopping only for fuel and some food, Oh! and a warm through at 1100 at night on the A1 services in Doncaster. Arriving home just before midnight Ben was frozen to the core but so pleased to be back. It took almost 6 months of short rides before Ben would trust Mr T again.

When 2 wheels are just not enough!
Ben enjoying the farmers Quad

So as you can see Ben is doing a great job of becoming the next generation of British Biker. “Trinity” is now totally complete and we are showing her for the first this year at the Manchester Motorbike Show on the 23rd & 24th March 2013. It would be great to speak to you if you’re at the show.

"And here's one we built earlier!"
"Trinity" Ben's 21st Birthday Present

Ben still loves a challenge and this year 2013, he will be taking part in the annual RBLR1000 riding as pillion 1000 miles in less than 24 hours which is an official Iron Butt UK Saddle Sore 1000 (SS1000). On successfully completing the challenge Ben will be the “Youngest Pillion” ever to have completed an RBLR1000 in its 5 year history beating the current title holder by a massive 5 years. Ben will be 11 years old. Now that's something we will both be extremely proud of for years to come.

The RBLR1000 is all in aid of the Royal British Legion and if you so choose, please feel free to sponsor us at “The WanderingWalton’s RBLR1000 2013” Just Giving page.

Ben Mixing it with the Celebrities at the
Over-landers Meeting at the Ace cafe in 2012

I  really do hope this inspires you to just get out there with your youngsters and enjoy the world of Biking. Happy riding folk’s and if you ever see Ben & I out and about feel free to say hello, we don’t bite!

"It's all down hill from here Dad"

Friday, 8 February 2013

Derbyshire Ride Raymondo’s Style – "The Test Ride"

Welcome to Derbyshire

“They’ll be fine in the top box Dad, just as long as I don’t come off that is,” referring to the half a dozen freshly laid eggs my Dad had just given me to take home.

Sat on the grass covered bank,  with my back against Mr T’s seat , boots six inches deep in loose soil and grass. I was sweating profusely, despite having taken my helmet and gloves off and un zipping my jacket, I could still feel it running down my back.

I just couldn’t help but start to laugh, suddenly I heard a loud ping, only inches away from my left ear, it was a message on my mobile,  which read………

Bike Down Alert - Device attached to Mr T triggered a Bike Down Alert at 13:25 07/02/2013 at North East Derbyshire Lat/Long: 5xxxxx22 , -1xxxxxx97  Map:

When I’d stopped laughing I typed out a quick text to Jeannie,

“Don’t worry just a small spill off road lol”

Just how heavy can an unladen Super Tenere be?
Very bloody heavy is the answer!

As it happened Jeannie didn’t read either text until much later that afternoon.  It was just as well I hadn’t had a major accident somewhere and was lying in a ditch unconscious or worse!  Still it’s nice to know the BikeTrac does what it says on the box!

“ Now how the bloody hell am I going to get you back onto your feet if I can’t even stand up myself?” I asked myself, with just a hint of annoyance and worry in equal measures, creeping in.

After a good ten minutes trying to lift Mr T up there was a huge hole on the opposite side of the banking where my boots had just ripped the grass and soil away. It really didn’t help, the fact that I was still laughing, so much so I couldn’t get a grip of Mr T. I just found the whole situation hilarious.

Here I was 85 miles from home, 10 miles from my Dad’s (who couldn’t help even if he had wanted to due to a recent shoulder operation), 3 miles from the nearest paved road and looking at Mr T wedged into the side of a small grassy bank at the side of a dirt track a foot deep in mud. What’s not to laugh at. At least I wasn’t in the deepest darkest corners of the planet stranded and fearing for my life!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve sat and watched all the “Off road survival”  video’s on YouTube. My side stand was down in readiness for the eventual “up standing”. I’d turned the handle bars the right way, well I think I had and bent from the knee’s with my back against Mr T.  The problem was,  each and every time I began to get Mr T off of his side the banking below my feet just slid away, again and again and again.

After 10 minutes I took a rest, “Right I’ve had enough of this messing about” I told myself as I eventually managed to wedge my right knee under the crash bar with my right boot  far enough up banking for it not to just crumble.  Another good heave ho on the bar end and Mr T up right. I carefully  lowered him onto the side stand only to have to run around the other side as fast as you can run a foot deep in mud, just in time to stop him falling over the other way! So much for the side stand extender, mind we were a foot deep in pure mud,  so I’ll let it off.

Riding another 20 foot forward without my helmet felt strange but once I was on something that resembled “terra-firma”  I parked up and walked back to pick up my helmet and gloves. My face was stinging were the tears had been running down my cheeks.

If you fit "Knobblies" 
you just have to use them, it's the law!

So what was I doing in the back end of Sutton Wood caked in mud? Well the truth is “My Big Mouth!”  had got me there Oh! And getting a bit too over confident up on the peg’s  in a foot of mud.  Just as well I was taking it really steady or I’d have been up and over and in the ditch!

Late last year I had asked the lads (Manc Riders) if they fancied  a ride around Derbyshire Raymondo Style. I was really pleased when a small group of about 5 said yes. Unfortunately the ride was cancelled a few weeks later when someone (LBK) booked a white water rafting trip in Wales not realising it was on the same day. Well time moved on and before long the weather broke and I never thought about the Derbyshire ride again until late last year.

The trouble with trying to get a group of folks together on a ride is timing. The lads (& lasses) all work different shifts and trying to get anything organised takes quite a bit of logistical manoeuvrability. (Wow where did that come from?) So to cut to the chase, I posted up “Derbyshire Ride – 2nd Attempt” at the end of December to give everyone a chance to plan ahead . To my delight a fair few folks got behind the ride especially as I had factored in two “unpaved” sections. Plus as it’s so cold I didn't have to worry about any white water rafting trips “gazumping” me.

Due  to being a bit of a perfectionist, I spent a fair few hours at the computer planning what I hope will be an enjoyable and entertaining ride. Just  to make sure it is, I chose to ride it all yesterday. Hence being where I was, a foot deep in mud in the North East of Derbyshire.

I did say Raymondo Style.....

The route starts off in the South of Manchester at the end of the M67 heading due South through a couple of small villages before climbing up and over Monks Road. Finding two foot of snow on the tops was a bit of a shock as most of the white stuff has now gone around Rochdale.

Just how deep is that snow?

The route takes predominantly single track roads all the way to Buxton then on to Bakewell.  Continuing towards Clay Cross via the Fabrick and Alton. Stopping for refreshments at CMC Chesterfield which is the turnaround point.

However I would not want the ride missing out on a couple of nice roads which run by Sutton Hall and Hardwick Hall,  continuing up through Hardstoft where the only “English Oil Well” can be found at the local garden centre. Cutting through Pilsley, Higham and on towards Crich. 

I called in at Crich War Memorial to ensure we would be welcome. The caretaker has lots of RBLR  information around the very cosy “Tea Rooms”. We will be able to visit but I was somewhat a taken aback when he said we could park on the two “Cripples” Parking spaces.

I have an interesting story about Crich Tower,
Ask me about it the next time we meet.

Looking him straight in the eye I replied “I have a disabled daughter!" He immediately apologised and then went on to explain that "the Derbyshire Cripples are a pain as they never want to pay for parking!” I’ll leave you to make you own decisions on this somewhat out of date character, needless to say he will not be appearing on my Christmas card list in the near future. I was absolutely appalled by his comments and just hope someone from the Worcester & Sherwood Foresters Society comes across this Blog.

Moving on the ride loops down into Matlock Bath for a late lunch break. After Lunch we're off again towards Monsal riding through Chatsworth Park, passing the house set out on the right. There is a  section of “unpaved” road on the way to Monsal Head but finding conflicting signage along the way yesterday has made me a little unsure as to whether it is legal or illegal to ride over. Still we will be taking in the  full length of the Monsal Valley before turning left at Litton and riding the back roads towards the last “must see” location in Derbyshire and our dispersal point the famous “Cat and Fiddle” public house.  After that we will all head in our own directions home.

I am fully aware that I have not taken in any of the amazing classic biking roads that you all know and love. That was one of my main criteria for putting the ride together, not to use all the well know routes. Anyone can jump on a bike and zip along the Cat and Fiddle A537 or over Woodhead Road A628 but this ride is just a little more sedate and personal, especially to me.

If ever you feel like having a look at Derbyshire from a totally different prospective give me a shout, I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Who knows I may even join you on a tour of Derbyshire Raymondo's Style.

Derbyshire Lad, 
Born & Bread