welcome to the new blog for the amos road club. we hope that all things bike and amos-related can find their home on the site.

all posts and other nonsense will also be shared on twitter and facebook:

there’s an email address too: amosroadclub@btinternet.com

if you click on about and gallery you can see that i’ve attempted a summary and any relevant pictures from the various amos rides over the years . there are gaps – please help me fill them!

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planning the route

we (chris, mike, nive, lucas, jack) didn’t set off from amos until 12pm so maybe colchester was always a tad ambitious.

the first few miles were typical london cycling, pretty good route out along the ‘superhighway’ but not getting very far quite slowly. nive made it as far as west ham and then shot off for some whelks while the rest of us followed a rather complex route through the sights and sounds of the east end. we went past chris’ old stomping ground (romford ymca) and pushed on, yearning for a bit less concrete and a glimpse of vegetation. nature-lover jack was particularly keen on finding the country and we eventually found some, just in time to repair the first of our three punctures.

on we went through countless essex villages all seemingly devoid of cafes, open pubs or even shops. we finally found a garden centre with a teashop advertised in big bold letters but upon closer investigation discovered that ‘we’ve turned the cookers off’ so ‘you’d better go somewhere else you lycra-clad imposters’. whilst admiring a pearlised peacock-themed birdbath in said garden centre, a helpful woman directed us to a nearby village and the promise of an italian cafe.

after we’d asked almost every inhabitant of the village for further directions we finally, and gleefully, found the establishment and headed to the door. as we approached, the owner literally sprinted to the door and managed to turn the ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’ before we got there – shouting through the now-locked door that they would be shutting in 10 minutes. she also pointed up the road to another venue for our refreshment. we headed to ‘bygones’ only to see the proprietor taking down the sign which advertised the tearoom; this was starting to feel like a conspiracy! happily they agreed to stay open for us and toast, teacakes and cake later we headed off with renewed vigour.

we picked up the ncn1 near to chelmsford and discovered that it passes right by chelmsford station which might be handy in may. jack’s second puncture soon after the town centre was the final nail in the coffin and we got as far as hatfield peveral before heading our separate ways.

a good day out and it will certainly help us plan our route to harwich in may.

1 copy

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amos to amsterdam 2015

Its been great to hear that people have been booking ferries for the Amsterdam ride this summer and it will be great to welcome a number of new riders , as well as those who have not been for a few years. It is also great to have more families join us for the ride.

We now have a very simple booking form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/amostoamsterdam , which we’d ask all those who are coming to complete asap so we know how many are going and what accommodation we will need.

As we are not sure of numbers and to give an idea of costs we have provisionally held accommodation for 40 at Voldelpark hostel for 2 nights- http://www.stayokay.com/en/hostel/amsterdam-vondelpark

This is made up of 2 x 4 bed rooms, 4x 6 bed and 1x 8 bed.

Half board accommodation at the hostel for 2 nights, plus a picnic lunch on the monday, snacks and contribution to the vehicle costs £110 per person.

We know that this accommodation will not suit everyone and again this is why we need to know who is going asap so we can work out a suitable way forward.

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happy 2015

hello everyone. lots more to finalise but time to share thoughts so far about our ride this may.

amosroadclub 2015 – amos to amsterdam; red light to red light


saturday 23rd may

 we will set off cycling on saturday morning to harwich potentially from two starting points: 

  • amos trust HQ (st slement’s eastcheap) – harwich approx. 85 miles
  • cambridge (st pauls church) – harwich approx 66 miles

 both routes pass through colchester so we could meet there.

there are also other possibilities:

  • drive or take public transport to harwich on saturday to meet the cyclists there
  • drive or take public transport to harwich on friday and spend saturday in holland

23.00pm saturday night – we will take the ferry from harwich – hook of holland.

fares: foot passenger + bike £40.50. you also have to book a cabin which is approx £30 for single, £20pp in 2/3/4 berth cabins

sunday 24th may

 the ferry gets in at about 8.00am sunday morning

we will set off on the LF1 for pancake breakfast in wassenaar. cycle to leiden for lunch (approx 40km)

afternoon – cycle from leiden to amsterdam (approx 45km).

we will leave the historic centre of leiden via a network of canals and rivers that take you past some of the city’s highlights. and journey around the lakes in the kaag en braassem region, which are all connected by rivers and canals. We will see a lot of windmills which were built to regulate the water level in the surrounding polders.


we aim to arrive in amsterdam mid-afternoon and plan to  stay at the hostel amsterdam vondelpark for 2 nights. the cost will be approx. 50 euro bed and breakfast per night. amosroadclubber mark rigby has taken students to the hostel at vondlepark. it’s a stones throw from the museumplein where you have  the rijksmuseum (which has rembrandt’s- ‘the night watch’) and the van gogh museum and a nice little cafe called ‘cobra’, and is on the tramway 5 which takes you through amsterdam to the main rail station & city centre.

monday 25th may

there are plenty of possibilities:

zaanse schans cycle route


traditional windmills, green wooden houses and industrial heritage – a 52km route through the zaan region shows you some of holland’s rich industrial history. highlight of the route is museum village the zaanse schans, with its industrial windmills and traditional green wooden houses.

marken cycle route – 51km


this varied route takes you through waterland, a region whose history has been dominated by water. Highlight of the route is the former island of marken, with its elevated wooden houses, small fishing harbour and striking lighthouse.

a tour of amsterdam

amsterdam has good cycling infrastructure. most of amsterdam’s main streets have separate cycle lanes and a network of cycle paths takes you through the city fast – and away from other traffic whenever possible.

getting home

once again there are a number of permutations. some will want to leave on monday, some on tuesday and some might stay longer.

the ferry back to harwich leaves the hook of holland at 14.15 and gets in at 19.45.

  • if we set off early we could cycle from amsterdam (84km).
  • alternatively the 11.28 train from amsterdam links with the ferry and trains from harwich get into london at 22.14 and cambridge at 22.40

you can take the eurostar from amsterdam via brussels. it costs about £70 one way plus £30 for the bike

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wotr 2014

2 reflections on the ride have been posted in the ‘about’ section, here

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a week to go!

a few laps of richmond park today has probably not done anywhere near enough to prepare me for next weekend – who cares! really looking forward to seeing everyone again and west to east is the most popular direction: there are only two taxing climbs this way, and walking up the first is almost de rigeur (apparently).

the source of this last quote is cycle.travel who have a really useful routebook you can download and print together with loads of useful information.

huge football match on saturday – no, not madrid v madrid but the super hoops against the clueless rams – to entertain us as we walk cycle.

see you next weekend


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wotr 2014 update


time to get some training in!

we’ll provide some instructions and you can download routes for gps and smartphones.

however, if the publicity is correct, even the amosroadclub might struggle to get lost!


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wotr guide (thanks to cycle.travel)


Take a photo by the Way of the Roses sign on the promenade before setting off. The first seven miles are all easy railway path, crossing the River Lune in Lancaster on a splendid new cycle bridge. Note the Lancaster Canal passing overhead on a sturdy aqueduct.

The friendly little café at Caton marks the start of the country lanes that characterise this route, often unfenced through lush pasture. There’s a few climbs as you dodge along the side of the Lune Valley, but nothing too steep; the gently undulating ride up the Wenning Valley from Wray, long a favourite road with cyclists, is greatly enjoyable.
It might be called the Way of the Roses, but only 19 miles of this 170-mile route is in Lancashire. Clapham is a pretty Yorkshire Dales village, and a good tea-and-cake stop. There was once a notorious cobbled lane here, all tunnels and rocks, but the route has sensibly been rerouted along a new cyclepath beside the busy A65; those with suspension might still like to try their skills at the original route.
The valley of the infant Ribble leads to Settle, best known for its railway to Carlisle but in itself a friendly, not-too-touristy town. Local supermarket legends Booths (like Waitrose, but northern) have an outlet here.


Any coast-to-coast route is going to involve some hills. The good news is that the Way of the Roses is much kinder than, say, the C2C. But it’s still no pussycat – and the climbs start here.

The climb out of Settle is crazily steep… and cobbled. It’s also pretty short; the main action is over in half a mile, so there’s no shame in pushing. You’re rewarded with the surprisingly remote scenery at the top, followed by a string of little villages over the succeeding miles. The tiny narrow road out of Cracoe is particularly enjoyable.

Burnsall thrives on its riverside tea rooms, while Appletreewick has two excellent pubs, camping and a ‘mountain bike livery’.

There’s another tough climb up from Appletreewick to Greenhow Hill, but it’s the following descent where you have to take more care. The B-road down to Pateley Bridge is twisty, steep and often potholed. Take it carefully, especially in wet weather; there have been serious cycling accidents here. Ridden sensibly, it’s very enjoyable.

Pateley Bridge itself is a pleasant Dales town, a good place to refuel for the next climb – pretty much the last one for 60 miles. It leads to Brimham Rocks, a National Trust-owned playground of “weird and wonderful” rock formations, and a genuinely surreal area to cycle through.

The National Trust figures again five miles further on, at Fountains Abbey. This World Heritage Site is a stunning assembly of history: the Cistercian abbey, the landscape gardens, the medieval deer park. Best of all, you can cycle through the grounds, in a remarkably forward-thinking move by the Trust – one which other stately home owners would do well to emulate (yes, we mean you, Blenheim Palace). It makes a fittingly grand approach to the cathedral city of Ripon.


Had enough hills for now? No problem. The route is almost entirely flat between Ripon and York, following the Ure and Ouse valley (one of those rivers that changes its name). Neither city needs an introduction.

The Way of the Roses meanders down the valley along quiet rural lanes, stopping in at Boroughbridge – less well known than Ripon, certainly, but worth a brief stop. It crosses the Ouse on the rickety Aldwark Toll Bridge, which is free for cyclists; motorists are charged a sky-high 40p. From here the roads get a little busier, but still very tolerable except, perhaps, at school run times.

The route enters York on a tarmac cycle path across the meadows, neatly avoiding the city traffic. Then, instead of continuing along the riverside, it diverts past York Minster onto another traffic-free route, the Foss Islands path. It’s a good route all told, but you’ll miss out much of York if you simply follow it; so lock your bike up by the Minster, and go for a stroll around town.


The easy riding continues through the flatlands of East Yorkshire, passing Stamford Bridge – site of the other 1066 battle. The journey there involves an unsurfaced bridleway, but it’s easily rideable and avoids the busy A road running parallel.

Pocklington is a real find, an unspoilt market town with an endearing mix of architectural styles. It marks the beginnings of the Yorkshire Wolds, a superb cycling area that has somehow escaped the attention of most riders. The next ten miles of riding are among the best on the whole route, tiny lanes nestling in narrow dales. There’s a small amount of climbing to do – we’re starting from just above sea level, after all – but it’s worth it.

After descending into Tibthorpe, a roundabout route takes the Way of the Roses into the proudly old-fashioned town of Driffield – perhaps best known for its annual agricultural show.

From here, it’s quiet lanes all the way to Bridlington, with a short off-road interlude after Harpham. This area, particularly the Roman Road of Woldgate, is a frequent source of inspiration for painter and Bridlington resident David Hockney.

Bridlington’s cheerful promenade, busy harbour and acres of sand make for a terrific end to the route. Arrive on a summer day and it’s the quintessential seaside resort, still with a touch of the 1950s about it; even on an autumn evening it has an undeniable appeal. But be warned – people have been known to stare out to sea and think “hmmm, maybe my next challenge should be the 4,000-mile North Sea Cycle Route”…

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amosroadclub logo april 2014


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easter update

an update from chris and an encouragement to please sign up if you haven’t already. details below.

happy easter everyone

Now that the hugely successful Street Child World Cup in Rio has happened (a huge thanks to all those who were involved / supported this) and the Bethlehem Marathon (which was also great),  I am starting to get really excited Way of the Roses from Saturday 24th -Monday 26th May.
Full details of the ride can be found at www.amosroadclub.org.  We have tried to bring the costs down as low as possible, £130 per person (including accommodation, food and transfer) and please do extend this invitation to new people and people of all ages as we are keen to welcome new people to take part.  
It would really help us if people are planning on riding if you could book up now so we can confirm the number of places and T shirt sizes at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/way-of-the-roses-amos-road-club-2014-ride-tickets-10573175653
While we will have a support van,  we rely on all participants being responsible for themselves and to keep an eye out for others and as such it is an informal ride as opposed to the more formal advertised challenge rides. 
For many of us this year’s  ride will be in memory of a much missed friend Dan Rowland,  who lost his battle with depression late last year.  We will remember him in the ways he would have loved best,  laughing together, catching up on each other lives,  testing the local beers and by taking numerous unplanned detours.  
It is not a requirement of the ride to raise money,  as so many involved have done so much with Amos, but in memory of Dan we will  be encouraging people to either raise money or make a donation that  will be split between the Mental Heath Foundation ( many congratulations to Kate Braybrook on her marathon run for them) and our work with traumatised young people in Gaza.  If  however you wish to raise money for a particular partner project or area of our work then that is also fine. “
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way of the roses – may 2014


delighted to be able to blog the first lot of information about the amosroadclub ride for 2014 – the way of the roses. if you follow the link there is plenty of information about the route and the small bumps along the way.


saturday 24th may – monday 26th may 2014

we’ve booked:

  • accommodation – saturday night in malham youth hostel  & sunday night in york youth hostel 
  • meals – breakfast on sunday & monday, evening meals on saturday & sunday all at the hostels, sandwich lunches on saturday, sunday and monday
  • 57 seater coach from bridlington back to morecambe at 16:00 on monday 26th
  • removal truck to move bikes from bridlington to morecambe at 16:00 on monday 26th


the cost of the ride will be £130 per person including all of the above. we are also producing a cycling shirt for the ride which will cost £36.

n.b. the cost does not include accommodation in morecombe on either friday or monday night.

raising funds:

there is no expectation that riders will raise money for amos trust projects although we welcome this and would encourage any first-time riders to use this as a fundraising activity. late last year a key member of the amosroadclub, dan rowland, tragically took his own life. as a consequence any money raised as a result of this year’s ride will be divided between the mental health foundation and to provide psychological support for highly traumatised young people in the gaza strip. if you would like to make a donation please follow this link:


how to sign up:

we have set up an eventbrite page where you can register your interest in taking part in the ride and pay a £30 deposit and £36 for your amosroadclub cycling shirt if appropriate.

follow the link below and sign up. if you have any questions please email, leave a comment or send us a message via twitter @amosroadclub


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