welcome

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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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

Image

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wotr 2014 update

way-of-the-roses-route-profile

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!

route-signs-way-of-the-roses-coast-to-coast-cycle-route-from-morecambe-to-bridlington

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wotr guide (thanks to cycle.travel)

MORECOMBE TO SETTLE

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.

SETTLE to RIPON

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.

RIPON TO YORK

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.

YORK TO BRIDLINGTON

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

Amos-RoadClub-Logo.

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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

route

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.

dates:

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

costs:

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:

http://bit.ly/1jQDxkR

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

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/way-of-the-roses-amos-road-club-2014-ride-tickets-10573175653

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dan

Daniel Rowland – a tribute from Amos Road Club.

Dan and I are the only two people who have completed all the Amos Road Club rides. In fact the Road Club itself wouldn’t have existed at all if it had not been for Dan’s enthusiasm to follow our first ride together the 2008 Coast to Coast (C2C for street kids) with a Welsh version the following year. Dan and Simon Braybrook organised this and then Dan went on to organise London to Paris ride in 2010 with Adrian Reith.

Dan, just like most of us, was a complete novice in 2008.  Whenever I think of Dan from that ride I immediately think of the Welsh four Dan, Simon, Karen and Sarah. They had such a good time that they even somehow managed to convince Jochen to go off roading with them – he hadn’t quite realised that you were meant to stay on your bike.

I got to know Dan in Wales in 2009 – we may even have shared a room a couple of times.  Of all our rides Wales was my favourite.  We had great weather and it was stunning scenery with great climbs and great descents.  Starting off in Anglesey we headed south on the Lon Las Cymru ride. The second morning crossing the Mawddach estuary was breathtaking and then heading down into the hills around Brecon and watching the Lions lose to South Africa in the final minute. Dan struggled with puncture after puncture and his cycle shirt ended up covered in oil.  We finished in Cardiff with a fantastic meal at Dan and Diane’s and an annual pattern was established.

The next year was London to Paris (well Cambridge /Cardiff- London – Paris). Dan’s organisation was immaculate, even if the map reading leaving London and cycling round and round in Dieppe at 4:00am left a great deal to the imagination. On Day 1, in perpetual and horrible rain Dan would be stopping at every junction to study his highly detailed A4 maps, which were almost 1:1 scale such was their detail.

One of the great joys of this and subsequent rides was that Dan’s father Richard joined us – from then on, they were simply described as Richard’s son or Dan’s dad. Their pride and delight in doing these rides together as well as their obvious affection was wonderful and became a feature of subsequent rides. We all felt so proud to have them both involved and also a little jealous as so many of us have lost fathers- and in some ways this makes Dan’s death even more heartbreaking for us all.

Dan and I were in the same middle speed group for this ride –cursing Sarah Fry’s frequent punctures and watching the Coq massive speed off into the distance, only for us to overtake them 10 miles later and then finish each days ride half an hour before them and having done 5 miles less riding.  We spent so much time talking about families and children. Dan’s love for Diane and joy, delight and pride in his son and then in subsequent rides his sons was always so evident.

The next year was Scotland and Dan’s enthusiasm for whiskey seemed to take hold. We battled the worst weather ever and then forgot all about as we celebrated at the foot of Ben Nevis and tried to sleep in the same room as 12 other cyclists and a cacophony of snores.

Dan’s journey to and from the Norfolk ride in 2012 was a demonstration on the how to inadvertently drag out a cross-country train journey to last several days.

Then finally Belgium 2013 where I saw very little of Dan – as he, Dean and Ben headed off on their own route from London to Bruges. The three lost deep in conversation and a shared love of exploring alternative routes.  We would only meet over some ludicrously strong beer each evening when we were both too tired and too …. to say anything other than complete nonsense.

Dan’s death has been a real shock to the entire Road Club.  I have had emails from nearly every member expressing their sadness and shock at this news. Very few of us had any idea of how ill Dan was and how he had struggled with depression. We saw very much the lighter and more playful side of his nature and it was really clear how much he loved coming on these rides. He will be greatly missed by all of us and we can only imagine the loss that all of the family are experiencing now.

Kip Gresham summed up some of our feelings: “The shared endeavour, the shared experiences, the shared challenges unite the Road Club. It’s mostly a non-verbal communication, a shared understanding of what it is to be human, part of a community, part of the world. So, for many people, Dan was and is one of us. Part of the shared experience and memory, a treasured part.”

Dan, may the wind always be on your back.   May your gear changes be as smooth as silk and may yours be an eternity without punctures.

Go in peace dear friend.

Chris Rose

Oct 2013

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amosroadclub may 2014

just back from greenbelt where it was good to see so many amosroadclubbers enjoying the festival.

details to follow but we are definitely on for the ‘way of the roses‘ coast to coast ride next may (24th – 26th). get the date in your diaries. we’ve booked the accommodation and are looking into all the logistics of the weekend. all suggestions welcome!

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flanders – 2 weeks later

chris’ reflections from a great three days:

“Two weeks later I have so many great memories from Belgium.

The Peace Centre was fantastic. The picnic lunch that emerged from nowhere on day two was a highlight (Mike did you apologise to the Morris dancers?) and then later that night being thrown the fridge keys and told to lock up when we finished was like an evening in Paradise
The hill up to Cassell – not everyone’s choice.  Cycling along the canals, stopping at a great café in Ypres (5.50 Euros for a milk shake!!!) and lunch at the German cemetery. Tyne Cot. The Last Post then losing half the group. The great meal in Bruge and finally sitting on the steps in the square – a very special moment.
But most of all it was great to cycle with you all and have such a good laugh and I need to say thanks to loads of people and well done to everyone.
First up to Nive, without whom Amos will quickly fall to pieces Jake –  it was great to have you back.
Then to Mike for all the organisation and work – absolutely fantastic job.
Then Sarah – driving is so thankless – but thank you so much – best looking van driver I know.
Next up must be all the new riders
John we normally try not to lose too many of our new riders
Jane what a superstar – we all speak of Kip in muted tones as Mr Bike – now there is Mr and Mrs Bike
Jill, great sister in law who claimed she started to enjoy it a bit by day three
Liz, wonderful sister, van and accommodation finder extraordinaire
Sam – who charged off on the first day much to his parents pleasure
Zak –  one of my favourite moments was when he heard the DJ names of Kip and Jane’s 3 sons. It would have meant nothing to the rest of us, but as they are stars of the drum and bass scene and he is really into it, it was great.  It also upped my standing as an uncle.
Neil – brother in law extraordinaire and drinking companion.
Jonny and Richard’s (and Mike’s) obsessional quest for Belgian beers – which led us to a fantastic meal on the monday night – thanks Richard
Ben – gets the best road rash award, for his dramatic crash on a wide open road
Sue – I hope we get to finish off the conversation we kept on starting and never completed.
Millie – obviously I’m biased but what a star, as she bombed along on the last day.
Now for the regular riff raff.
Richie – unbelievable – Suzi and Lucas kept on blaming him for why they were late, when the truth was they could barely keep up with him.
Nat – had been really ill just before he came and did brilliantly – great nephew
Jack – ‘we saw kangaroos, really cool, never thought we’d see them in Belgium’ obviously I’m biased again but great cycling.
Peter and Iain Mc– Who needs to book ferries on the bank holiday weekend? The 5:15 am ferry departure will do fine.
Jenny – responsible for us doing the Palestine marathon, then burns up the miles, please don’t suggest a swimming challenge.
Iain C + Lucas – the whippets.  Iain had little use of his burst of speed – Lucas decided he’d start late and having caught up with people extend that yet further to every possible departure time.
Nick’s amazing grace- he waited for a couple of hours for Lucas, who then ditched him 40 miles later.
Ian – the only person I didn’t cycle with once all weekend, I wondered if it was personal.
Dean – best shorts (and Olympic stories) by a country mile.
Richard – once again unbelievable performance, only got back from Palestine on the Wednesday. I’m sure you get younger every year.
Ellie – great to see you in Ypres and your absolute delight to see Millie on your old Puch
Jochen – fast becoming the wild man of the ride, battling with Iain to see who’s hair will fly most freely in the wind, slightly alarmed to hear that a tractor driver tried to take you out.
Sarah for her incredible first aid kit – a cure for everything including late night drinking sessions
Dan for keeping the Welsh (well people living in Wales) flag flying, we need more of you next year
And last but definitely not least Brian’s customised bike – wing mirrors galore –I half expected to see a troop of Mods on scooters burning up beside us.
We always say lets met up and nothing happens – but this year there is chance to on Tuesday 9th July we have a special reception for a group of former street child surfers on HMS President on the Thames and you are all very welcome to attend – invite attached.
2014 – I think my ego may have run rampant but we are starting to explore the possibility of the ‘Way of the Roses C2C ride’.  You can find out about it  here. It is a little lumpy on day 1 and the start of day 2  but then pretty flat for the rest of the time.  We’d really welcome any thoughts you’ve got about this as a possibility.
Take care
Chris”
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