West Yorkshire Folk Music Bicycle Ride – Reflections

30 September 2015


This was a tryout for the idea of a live music bike ride and it felt like a real success. I would like to take it further by publishing the ride for others to follow but of course it’s important to consider what worked, what didn’t and fine tune the plan. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yorkshire Folk Music Cycle Ride Day 5

29 September 2015


From Bradford to the Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley, via Queensbury, Halifax, Calderdale, Hebden Bridge and Oxenhope Moor.

Our overnight stay was at the excellent and cheap Ibis budget hotel in Bradford. Bed & Breakfast guest houses in Britain are often good but for the cyclist on a budget, a hotel like the Ibis, Travelodge or Premier Inn gives terrific value and a reliable bed for the night. And you can choose your own breakfast, Ibis had fresh croissants and fruit but I nipped into the city centre for a proper Italian coffee and a fresh pastry. The Ibis, like most budget hotels, was very accommodating with our bikes which spent the night in a store room off reception. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yorkshire Folk Music Cycle Ride Day 4

29 September 2015

Otley to the Topic Folk Club in Bradford. Via Ilkley Moor, Keighley, The Worth Valley, Cullingworth and Thornton.


The 5-day ride started by passing through some very affluent areas of West Yorkshire, especially the spa towns of Ilkley and Harrogate. Otley was much more down to earth and from here on we were firmly in the Industrial Woollen District. But still plenty of fine countryside as well as a great deal of historic interest.
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West Yorkshire Folk Music Cycle Ride Day 3

29 September 2015


Knaresborough to Otley Folk Club via Harrogate and the Washburn Valley

In Knaresborough we stayed at Ebor Mount Guest House, an interesting very old building with comfortable beds and an excellent breakfast, especially because we had a choice including kippers. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yorkshire Folk Music Cycle Ride Day 2

29 September 2015

Crossing between Airedale and Wharfedale, peaceful wide-open spaces

Skipton to Knaresborough  for the Cross Keys Acoustic Jam night. Via Bolton Abbey, Ilkley, Timble, the Washburn Valley, and Harrogate. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yorkshire Folk Music Cycle Ride Day 1

29 September 2015

The Ride Starts at Guiseley Station which is one stop from Leeds station on the Ilkley Line, getting you nicely out of the city and close to the Sustrans cycle route along the Leeds Liverpool Canal towards Skipton. Our destination is the Skipton Folk Unplugged club. It’s the red route on this map:


It’s a short and relatively easy ride for the first day, starting about midday to allow time to travel to the start by train, we came from Sheffield, about 90 minutes away, allowing a coffee break at Leeds station. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yorkshire Folk Music Bicycle Ride Day 0

29 September 2015

So the aim is to ride for 5 days between 5 folk music clubs in West Yorkshire ensuring live musical entertainment every evening as well as an interesting scenic ride each day. It’s based on the Folk Music Map, a crowd-sourced resource which I moderate and which currently shows nearly 800 live folk music events around the world, particularly in the UK where folk music clubs are very common. I wanted to see whether the map could be a basis for sustainable tourism that promotes cycling and live music.


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Learning to Ride a Bike

18 September 2015

I thought I had done this. Having spent quite a while mastering the Brecki I assumed that I could ride a recumbent pretty well.

ride-bikeBut the Grasshopper is quite a different beast and although it seems to be more stable on the road I’ve had to go back to school with the basic manoeuvres such as starting, stopping, negotiating tight situations and even getting on and off. Read the rest of this entry »

Recumbent Muscles?

18 September 2015

I’ve had the Grasshopper for more than a week and I’ve been putting in some effort preparing myself and the bike for the first big tour next week.

musclesMy first priority has been to give my recumbent muscles a bit of a workout.

11 days is not sufficient time to alter your fitness, you need around 6 weeks for proper payback from exercise, but I did need to test my recumbent muscles and at least wake them up after several months riding only upright bikes. So my plan was to do three short but testing rides over 5 days, then relax and hope for the best. I picked an uphill route  and planned to go further (and climb further) each time. Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t wait

5 September 2015

Here’s my new bike, in Glasgow where Ben Cooper of Kinetics has just finished re-assembling it and setting it up after it was repainted in yellow.

Grasshopper Yellow 1

The factory had a long delay on special colours so Ben arranged for the yellow paint locally in Glasgow and did the strip down and rebuild himself and all for the same price. What a star!

It will be in Sheffield on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to some happy days getting my recumbent muscles to work and thinking about setting the bike up for touring 5 days with guitar and luggage. Read the rest of this entry »