Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nottinghill Carnival

An amazing day out. See also more photo's on the KPRC Blog.
Something different to Whasps Green!
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

News From Graham and Gill Holder

Well since my last email we have cycled to Tartu in Estonia, surprisingly good roads through pine forests with little traffic. We spent a pleasant few days here in what appeared to be student digs but acceptable as accommodation was limited. We passed through undulating countryside where the big sport is Nordic skiing and they even had a 90m ski jump, so the Baltic States do have one or two hills but nothing to match Surrey!
In the end we decided to catch a train to Tallin (06.39 am!) again on the advice of the Tourist Info office but on reflection we perhaps could have cycled an indirect route but thats for another day.
We spent an enjoyable few days in Tanlinn; certainly worth a weekend break from where we boarded a ferry to Helsinki / Finland. (2 hours duration). From Helsinki we booked our return ferry to Rostock (26 hours duration!) leaving ourselves a day for sightseeing etc. However we had not checked the location of the ferry terminal which turned out to be 20 kilometers outside the centre. The little of what we saw of Helsinki certainly warrants a return visit.
The ferry journey passed surprisingly quickly and docked the following day at 2130 hrs so this turned out to be our first night ride into Rostock or rather a ride through the industrial estate and docks area totally lost and then onto a train into the city centre! We arrived at out hotel about 2330hrs tired but awake enough to enjoy a cold beer.
The following day we boarded another ferry this time to Gedser /Denmark. The weather has turned decidely cooler and seems to rain at least twice a day. Having said that the scenary and the friendly people make up for this.
Anyway more later as we head north west to Esbjerg and home.
So far we have notched up 1760 miles and been on the road/ train/ ferry etc for two months and starting to look forward to some home comforts. Touch wood the Dawes tourers continue to behave themslves!
Gill and Graham

Thursday, August 26, 2010

B Group Aug 25th

The forecast was not good, so I was expecting only a handful of takers for the B ride. How wrong could I be? I set off with a group of 23, becoming 21 at Staines: Judy, Irene, Pat, Stephanie, Frank, Pete M., Bernard, Grant, Les, Johns G, M. & S., Robin, Kens x 3, Mick, Bob, Robin, Eddie, Paul and Terry. For a change we headed due north out of Shepperton down Old Charlton Lane, across the M3 on a footbridge, through Charlton village to Ashford. At the first set of traffic lights we turned left and followed a series of back roads westwards before taking to footpaths past HMP Bronzefield, over the railway and across Shortwood Common - two kissing gates rather slowed our progress here but fortunately the cows with calves were keeping their distance. Coming into Staines near the station we soon found ourselves dicing with traffic queuing to get into Shopping Centre Car Parks as we made for Moor Lane. The rain was now making itself felt. Continuing northwards, we followed the path by the M25, threaded our way - literally under a fallen branch at one spot - over Jct 14. After this it was a straightforward ride through Horton to The Royal Stag at Datchet. Tables had been reserved both inside and outside. Not surprisingly we opted for the former! Service was quick and the food was good.

With the rain now falling steadily, full waterproofs were donned by those who'd come prepared, while trains from the nearby station proved irresistible to some. In view of the conditions, it was a speedy ride back via Old Windsor, Runnymede, Egham, Staines, Thames towpath to Laleham and on to Shepperton. Here 9 of us stopped for a warming cup of tea at the Bakery before venturing back out into the rain and heading home for hot baths. Well done, everyone! One puncture to record - Grant at Laleham - and thanks to Terry for being back marker. (Gill Finlay)

Easy Riders Aug 25th

I led C group from Shepperton along the towpath to Hampton Court; where Albert, Peter and Bill turned off to have lunch at the Albion. The rest of us, Roger, Chris, Alan W., Beryl, Fuzz, Norman and Ron continued to Kingston, through the apple market and made our way passed Raynes Park towards Malden Manor. We had lunch at Woodies, a well known memorabilia pub, where they serve good food and a good range of beer. After lunch, some made their way home due to the rain, and Beryl, Norman and myself continued to Nonsuch Park in Cheam for hot drinks and cake at the Mansion House. I clocked 33mls. Then went for a jaquassi.


A Group, 25 August

Shepperton - Hedsor - Staines

Sunk in leather at the elegant Chequers - definitely not spit and sawdust
Ready for anything the heavens can throw at us

A Group Aug 25th

Seven riders left Shepperton at 11.16, set to extend the midweek envelope a bit more.We were favoured with fine weather as we rolled through Laleham,Staines,Egham,Runnymede,Old Windsor,Datchet,Eton,Dorney to enter territory previously untouched by the Antique Road Show.Through Burnham,past Cliveden (no sign of Christine Keeler) to "The Chequers" at Hedsor for lunch at 12:46. This was where rain set in for the rest of the day,so it was capes on. Down Harvest Hill to Hedsor village then mainroading through Cookham,past Boulters Lock to Maidenhead Bridge,Bray,M4 cycle path,Dorney,Eton Wick,Windsor,Old Windsor,Runnymede again,then the secret way to Hythe End and Staines for tea at Wetherspoons.Only two did that,the rest having decided to make for home unrefreshed,being already waterlogged.Our GPS custodian having quit,the basics of the ride were about 40 miles on the official ride,75 metres from nadir to zenith.We could have done with the weather of recent weeks,but we are blessed with waterproof skins ,so we can take it.You have to.
From Vic

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Les Johnston

On Sunday was the 75 Annversary of the Dulwch Paragon. Les rode the 75 km with Michael and it took 4h50m he was the fastest in his age class and the slowest. It was a lovely day with his old friends and the club members Barbara

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Easy Riders August 18th

A Good crowd of us turned up at Kingston Centre about 18 altogether.
We rode through the back street's to Maypole Rd, then onto Long Ditton & then onto Hinchley Wood, then onto Arbrook Common. then through Blackhill's, & onto the Fairmile Road where we turned left to the back roads to the Runningmare in Cobham where we had a nice lunch.
A few left after lunch & the rest of us went through Cobham village onto the Fairmile again & back toward's Claygate, Esher Common, then onto Molsey & onto Five on the Bridge at Hampton Court for tea.then after tea we all made our own way home.

from roger - m.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

B Group 18 August 2010

Meath Green Lane teddies - one I took earlier - in
more optimistic times !

As I was about to lead Christine, Gillian, Liz, Bernard, Brian (2 off), Dave, Ed, Eddie, Godfrey, John G, Ken, Mike M, Pete M (tec, thanks) and Ray H from Caterham, Les J arrived. He had thoughtfully had the B group puncture en route so causing the minimum delay. Thanks, Les. After ascending White Hill we briefly caught up with the A group. Meanwhile Grant had joined us and after checking our lunch venue was eagerly awaiting us, we headed south. After passing Outwood Mill we turned into Chithurst Lane which gradually deteriorated into a reasonably challenging bridleway. Emerging onto West Park Road it was just a few miles to The Cherry Tree at Copthorne. Here a large table was reserved for us and we all enjoyed generously portioned lunches.

Perhaps disappointingly after lunch there were no ascents to compensate for the morning's descents, however we pedalled on through Horley, taking Meath Green Lane (admiring teddies as we passed) and Lonesome Lane to arrive promptly for 3s at Reigate Garden Centre. There were huge blackberries growing by the side of the car park. Most people stopped here, but when we restarted the outlook was very grey. Some returned via Pebblecombe, others via Brockham and Dorking. I rode just short of 60 miles dtd and arrived home dry.

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A Group - 18 August

Caterham-on-the-Hill - Knockholt - Fanny's Farm Shop
Some images to accompany Mark's ride report
Gathering at Caterham

Sailing up Gangers Hill

Seemed appropriate - especially on 18 August (click on link)
The Tally Ho, Knockholt
Déjà-vu? Sorting out the gears on Tilburstow

And then there were two

A Group 18th August

Blue skies and bright sunshine as I set out this morning, so no need for a jacket. But, unsettlingly, it had clouded over by the time I reached Caterham. Fingers crossed - too late by then, anyway.

Seven of us set off a bit after eleven: Dave, Grant, Jeff, John, Ray, Tony and me. Grant turned back on Roffes Lane - I don't know why - so we were a handy six as we traversed the top of the North Downs on War Coppice Road before swooping down to Caterham past Caterham School and the Caterham Seven factory. Crossing the A22 we headed up past Woldingham School on the bridleway, actually a well-surfaced private road, past cornfields back up to the edge of the Downs. Here was the main challenge of the day - Gangers Hill - which is quite an elegant way up to the Ridge. There is a short steep section of about 15% with the rest being much easier, winding pleasantly through trees to the top. Jeff went ahead to get photos then the 'A' Team stormed the hill.

Once on the Ridge the pace picked up, past Chalk Pit Lane, that we last came up in the snow, past the iconic White Lane, course for the Bec Hill Climb (10 October this year), through pretty Tatsfield decked with flowers, past roadworks on Ship Hill and a brief sprint to the top. We all got the right gear for that one - we weren't always so good along the undulating crest.

Crossing the A233 - imaginatively called 'Main Road' we saw giant puffball mushrooms growing in the hedge on Grays Road. We didn't stop to pick them, though had Vic been with us we might have. A brief photo stop at Bombers Lane and then we were at the 'Tally Ho' - table ready for us, good food and friendly service.

After lunch John turned for home - he needed to be early to get ready for this evening's Prom. The rest of us set off along Brasted Lane to Brasted Hill - steeply down - where we got the best speed of the day at 38 mph. A quick right turn before it really flattened out took us on to the Pilgrims Way and the nature of the route - and the riding - began to change. The morning had been about hills, big and little, the afternoon was about steady pace in rolling country. With a few hills thrown in for variety, of course.

The bottom of Titsey Hill gave us another burst of speed, and once we had passed under the A25 at Oxted we hit our pace again, rolling at about 20 mph for five or six miles until Tilburstow Hill gave us something to think about. We stopped in the car-park at the top, both for views over the Weald and for an extended Dr Bike session where we demonstrated, at least to our own satisfaction, that if the bike trade would only listen to us then better products would be the certain result.

The sun was out but maybe not for long, and cake was calling, so we set out briskly through Bletchingly, up the bottom part of White Hill Lane and then another burst of speed - 31 mph - across Spring Bottom Lane. Ten minutes later we were at Fanny's - cake and home made lemonade for me, tea and cakes for Dave and Jeff and the road home for Tony and Ray. Tony wanted to make sure that Ray didn't go too fast on his new Boardman.

39.4 miles elevenses to tea, rolling average 13.4 mph, 2711 feet of ascent and 106 watts. A strong team, and a privilege to ride with them.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

News From Graham and Gill Holder

The next instalment......
Arrived safely in Klaipeda and after a day cycling on the sand spit which connects Lithuania to the Russian out post of Kaliningrad we headed north along the coast through Palanga to Liepaja. This route although on the RI ( signed R10) was again on a major road but thankfully with little heavy traffic. This turned out to be our highest mileage day of the trip so far - 70 miles.
From Liepaja we turned north east to Kuldiga and then to Talsi. Still on the R1/ R1O ( but no longer signed!) we joined the coastal road north of Tukums (heading south east) and then into Riga where we are enjoying another city break!
The secondary 'yellow' roads in Latvia have little traffic and the road surfaces are by east European standards are good. There are however no 'country roads' or white roads that are asphalted. All small roads are either gravel or sand so if you are considering venturing eastwards bring your mountain bike!
Total mileage to date is 1489 and bikes are performing well although chains and rear mech are fit for growing potatoes and over due a clean!.
We have booked a train ticket for Wednesday 18/08/10 again to avoid what looks like major roads out of Riga. This will take us to Valga on the Estonian border. From here we intend to cycle to Tartu and then review the route on to Tallin/ Helsinki etc.
Weather for the trip so far has been very hot - in fact mid to high 30's so early starts to avoid cycling in the midday heat. Of late however we have had incredible electric storm that last half an hour then the sun comes out again. So all in all nothing to complain about.
The cost of living in Lithuania and Latvia is by UK standards very cheap. Hotels or Guest Houses are on average 20/ 25 GBP which is just as well! Camping is even cheaper 5/8 GBP although the sites a very, very basic..
Will do another update probably from Tallin
Best wishes
Graham and Gill
Promise a few photos on our return!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Easy Riders Aug 11th

Four of us from North Cheam - Dawn, Pat, Judy and Lynda made our way to Walton, where we met up with the rest of the group. It was a very pleasant day, so we decided to go the length of the tow path to Teddington; where we had lunch at The Anglers. Ron & Doreen made their way there by car, Mark and Fuzz took the short cut through Bushey Park; and the remainder of us went via Kingston and Ham, along the river. Albert thought it a bit too far for him, so probably decided to do a shorter route with Dennis. After lunch Roger, Beryl, Bill H., and myself had a ride through Bushey Park . Bill got a train from Hampton Court station, and 3 of us went to Squires at Long Ditton for tea. We noticed, that The Swan, at Thames Ditton was shut and undergoing some extensive refurbishment. As we were having our tea, Mike P. came in with a group of cyclists. I left Roger and Beryl and made my way home via Claygate, Chessington and Ewell to Nonsuch Park. I clocked 33mls, and it stayed dry all day.


A Group, August 11

New Haw - Old Windsor - Lower Sunbury

A Group Aug 11th

A Team Wednesday 11th August Frank

The prognoses for a well led “A” run got off to a bad start, getting lost trying to find New Haw day centre. But ”hay” is that the group ahead from North Cheam equally lost.
Arriving at the Day Centre at 11-00 it was a quick cup of tea and away by 11-30 only to find Grant had a puncture, not wishing for any further delay he agreed we should carry on after confirming our lunch venue.
That left 11 of us, Jeff, Tony’D, Mike, Pete B, Bob, Phil, Geoffrey, Dave, Mark & John. Within the first mile I turned into a private road that led into a residential caravan park, with a u turn and friendly comments from the residents we were on our way to Ottershaw and Foxhills Road then Accommodation Road, a left and right at Longcross Road over the M3 and West of Virginia Water to pass Prune Hill on our right to the A30. Straight over into Englefield Green, a clockwise loop through Egham Wick, past Savill Gardens, Bishops Gate and down Crimp Hill to the Fox & Castle at Old Windsor. Here Pete, Bob & Phil made there own way back.
Although I did let the landlord know before hand of our visit, we were lucky that just after ordering our meals a group of 20 from the Uxbridge Loiterers arrived.
But meals were served very quickly indeed, and by then Grant had arrived.
Then I had a problem. From lunch to tea at The Walled Garden in Sunbury traditionally ends up in a burn up, how do I control this unruly lot ? answer. A constant 17.4 mph ride through Runnymede, Staines, Laleham, Shepperton, Halliford to Sunbury, and success, all arrived together. From there members made their own way home. For me 63 miles total, and no problems leading a competent group of riders.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

B Group Aug 11th

How I came to lead a "B" run is a mystery so keep it simple was my watchword. Nine cut across the playground behind the day centre and were soon toiling up the only hill into Rowtown. After Addlestone's backstreets and Chertsey's Meads came a leisurely trundle on the Thames towpath and under Staines bridge. Here the elastic snapped separating the leading five from the rest. After forlorn searches and a phone call, we found the tail was now ahead of the head and somewhere on the Moor. A lengthy chase beside the M25 and through the tunnels of junction 14 meant we caught them only as they turned off into a near empty Five Bells at Horton. Soon food was on our tables for what became a leisurely lunch. Having punctured at the start, John joined us but needed Ed's practical tyre refitting before we could continue. Junction 14 was also on the return leg but this time it led towards Stanwell. Having avoided Ashford town centre, we skirted past BP and Felthamhill's (what hill?) wheat stubble. Ducking under the Chertsey Arterial Road (as was), we entered the leafier surrounds of Hampton and a lengthy stay at the Pheasantry within the park completed the ride. I was home at the unusually early time of quarter past four.
From Graham Hill

A Group 11th August

Not as sunny as forecast, but mild enough for Frank's ride from New Haw to lunch at the Fox and Castle, Old Windsor, and tea at the Walled Garden, Sunbury. 24.6 miles at a brisk rolling average of 14.3 mph, 89 watts and 1,170 calories.

Geoffrey asked for the altitude gain from Cheam to Sunbury - apparently the result of a sweepstake hinges on it. I recorded 326 meters.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

B Group Aug 4th

16 Set off from Chobham. Ken,Gillian, Terry, Paul, Eddie C, Pat, Les, Liz, Charles, Ian, Godfrey, Judy, and Robin, Mike M joined at lunch.

Going south across Great Bookham Common, up the hill through Fetcham to the A246 roundabout above Bocketts Farm. Off road through the woods of Norbury Park ( first shower) down to Boxhill & Westhumble station. A24 to

Denbies roundabout where Paul with right of way was run down. Thank goodness although badly shaken he had no permanent damage. We then rode across Bookham Common, then one puncture and to Leigh for lunch at the Plough.

After lunch going north through Betchworth we had a cloud burst and part sheltered for five minutes, then up Coombe Hill ( good group no complaints)

Then through Headley to Epsom Weatherspoons with eight for tea.

Thanks to Liz as back marker. Coffee to tea approx. 30 miles. My total 60M


Saturday, August 07, 2010


Dear All

A number of members have asked what the position is following the voting at the CTC AGM in May.

Motion 8 - To register CTC as a charity and merge with CTC Charitable Trust - was lost on the votes cast at the meeting, but then passed when the Chairman cast his discretionary proxy votes in favour of the motion.

Nevertheless, Motion 10 - To adopt the revised Memorandum and Articles of Association - failed to achieve the required 75% and was defeated.

This motion could still be put again to an Extraordinary General Meeting or AGM. If passed, the change would take place.

In view of the risk that this fundamental change might still be carried out, a petition has been drawn up to require the CTC to put motion 8 to a poll of all members.

I am attaching a link to a copy of the petition.

I would ask you to read it. If you agree with some or all of the grounds put forward, please print it off, sign it, including your CTC membership number, and return it to me. The completed form should be returned to me by no later than 7 August, 2010.

If you agree with this petition, if you have not already done so, please sign it and return it now, as time is of the essence.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Graham & Gill

Gill and Graham

Thursday, August 05, 2010

News From Graham and Gill Holder

We are currently in Lithuania/ Vilnius having crossed the border at Scypliski - total mileage to date 1235.
After a few days rest in the lakes, in the north east of Poland we rode across very undulating country roads to the Lithuanian border to one of only two road crossing points, Unfortunately we chose the one that ALL 40t trucks use and so the 20 odd miles between the border and Marjampole were covered in an average of 13.5 mph - fully loaded. Gill was leading so I think a 'road bike' is in order for her and a crack at the club 10!
We have turned into tourists for a while and boarded a train to Vilnius for a few days. We have also bought tickets for another train ride on Saturday 97/8/2010) to Klaipeda ( on the coast) to rejoin the R1 heading north into Latvia/ Riga and then on to Estonia/Tallin.
I forgot to mention that the trains only stop a the stations for a few moments at Marjampole and Gill thought that she was going to be left on the platform with no money, bike or kit whilst I 'sailed' on to Vilnius! However a very helpful passenger came to our aid and helped load our bikes and interpret for us with the conductor for tickets - clearly our luck is still holding as our adventure continues!.
So far only one puncture ( outside a bike shop in Germany) and a loss of front brakes on my bike entering Vilnius - now resolved thankfully! Fingers crossed and well done to Dawes Super Galaxy not to mention Brooks B17.
Our view of Poland is not overly favourable, The secondary roads are generally dreadful ( pot holes, sand and cobbles randomly laid.) and the car drivers think that cyclists are fair game - hence our use of trains. It is I think the only country that we have travelled.todate. where off road bikes should be retitled on road bikes! Anyway hoping for better when we rejoin the R1 and if not there is always Denmark to look forward too.
More to follow when we rejoin the R1
Gill and Graham

A Group, 4 August

Cobham - Rowhook - Tanhouse Farm
Today’s ‘A’ group consisted of a round (figuratively, not literally) dozen. Present were Frank, Simon, Vic, Jeff, Mark, Simon, Toni, Graham, Ray, Brian, John B and Rob.

The name of the game today was ‘Dodge the Rain’, which finally arrived to put an end to our recent drought. Our route from Cobham was due South to Rowhook, via Effingham, followed by a long ascent to the top of White Down, where Frank and Vic peeled off, and where our first spell of lightish rain started. The descent of White Down in the wet was a bit tricky, but without mishap. Continuing on past the ‘Volunteer’ pub, and Holmbury St Mary, there was a gentle descent to Forest Green, and a straightforward run through Walliswood into Rowhook, where the ‘Chequers’ awaited us, complete with its recent addition of a well stocked vegetable garden.

The heavens opened while we were at lunch, demonstrated by Pete M’s dripping appearance, but with impeccable timing the sun had emerged by the time we set off once again. The way back was through Oakwoodhill, Weare Street and Capel, though we were a couple of miles short of our tea destination at Tanhouse Farm, when the rain returned again, precipitating a spectacular burst of acceleration to avoid the worst of it. Thunder provided a musical accompaniment to tea, where we managed to demolish a substantial banana cake, the final gargantuan ‘slice’ being claimed by John.

Once again, the rain had stopped by the time we left to go our separate ways, though I encountered a further sharp shower on Epsom Downs, which hopefully will help to resurrect the arid wasteland which passes for my front lawn.

I covered 60 miles in all.


Easy Riders Aug 4th

Good turnout at Cobham. Peter and I had the tandemtrike again and Phil led the ride to West Byfleet with Lynda, Beryl, Roger, Fuzz Bill H., and a couple more to our lunch spot, the name of which only came to light on our arrival viz., Catherine of Aragon {one of the poor girls with whom Henry once dallied). With the others we tackled Plough Lane, turned right at The Mucky Duck and after a bit of offroad, made for Ripley and Pyrford village. From there it was just a short ride to our destination where we found Bill and Margaret already having arrived. Good food and a couple of pints put us in form for our return, We skipped tea at Shepperton. Just as well since we got caught in a heavy rainstorm from the moment we left. I do hope no one got too wet. ------Albert

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Group 4th August

Given the weatherman's prognosis of widespread heavy rain it would perhaps have been unreasonable to expect that Rob would give us a dry ride. But he came close, with the vast majority of the rain being confined to the lunch and tea breaks, and there was even a some sunshine from time to time. 28.7 miles from elevenses at Cobham to tea at Tanhouse Farm, with lunch being taken at the Chequers, Rowhook. Rolling average 12.9 mph, 1,756 feet of ascent at a robust 97 watts and 1,364 calories.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

News From Graham and Gill Holder

Sorry about delay in email, but the route has taken us mostly through countryside, and suprise suprise there are few internet cafes. We are now in Poznan, Poland, having completed 1076miles. Have been averaging about 40m + a day, but average seriously reduced since entering Poland as it is a cyclist's nightmare!!! Rough and busy roads, potholes you cannot imagine, and roads dwindling into sandy tracks!!
To arrive in Poland we have travelled from Dunkirk, through Belgium (along the N Sea coast route), to Netherlands (The Hague) where we cut eastwards along lovely cycle lanes to Germany, with equally good cycling routes (although slightly more off road in some places than we would like).
We had a couple of days rest in Berlin, where we also bought a new tent (Jack's lightweight one not quite up to the job - now proud owners of a Helleberg tent tested by he Swedish Army!!) and front panniers for our bikes to better balance the load. We then pushed on to the Polish border. From Poznan we are catching a train to avoid any further roads, to Mazury area, in the north east, where there are lots of lakes and opportunities for some kayaking etc. From there we will cross into Lithuania and cut back to the coast avoiding Kaliningrad visas etc. Plan is to stick to the coast through to Riga and Tallin.
En route to Poznan we were adopted by a Polish Priest for 48hours, after sitting in his church for a rest. He bought us dinner at a restaurant, provided us with breakfast and secretly paid our hotel bill!!! Fact is stranger than fiction.. Despite our protest he would take no money for anything!!
More later at our next stop. Hope all good with you all.
Graham and Gill xx

Two Up - A Tandem In the Alps

For the last several seasons I've been lucky enough to enjoy a week or so's pass-storming in the Alps with one or both of my sons. Maggie had always been careful to stay clear of these 'Boys Own Tours', on a variety of grounds, but the particular being that a tandem in the Alps would be hard work. However, this year things were a bit different. The boys are now embarked on careers and leave is too precious to waste, and Maggie and I have done quite well on the tandem in Provence and Mont Ventoux. So she was prepared to reconsider.

The rules of the game were to be one pass a day, a decent hotel and a good lunch - all of which seemed fair enough. The passes were the Col des Saisies, Petit St Bernard, Iseran, Galibier and Alpe d'Huez - all ones that I know well and which are Tour de France classics. We took our Cannondale tandem, which has twin big discs and a SRAM XX based gearset that I had set up for the Alps and it all worked out very well. The tandem was fine, the weather mostly very good - a shower on Alpe d'Huez but that was all - and all of the passes were within our compass. We found Alpe d'Huez to be the hardest, probably because it was the last of the week, and the Petit St Bernard was quite a pull, too. But we had a good time and next year, who knows, maybe the Pyrenees ...