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.
To ride directly between the ,music clubs might not be the best plan so I’ve worked out a route that ensures some good riding with distances of around 30 miles every day. Here it is (it’s an interactive Google map so you can zoom in and click on the various objects, including the Folk Club Stars, to see what they are about):
You’ll see that it zig-zags across the county, each club runs on a particular day of the week so that introduces a random note into the whole plan compared to your usual point to point or circular route.
This is a tryout for the plan so we have two test pilots: myself and my friend Olivier from Belgium. He is a very experienced cyclist but he doesn’t know the North of England and is not familiar with British folk music. We have booked bed and breakfast accommodation each night, found on the internet, prices for a single room range from £20 for the Ibis Budget hotel in Bradford (purchased in their summer sale, it’s usually £28) to £40-£50 for most of the B&Bs we found. Single rooms are not as easy to find as double.
The Bikes are not your usual touring bike because both of us are into recumbent bikes. Olivier and I are both members of Juliane’s Feet-Up Gang, the fastest (and slowest) recumbent Brompton racing team in the world. Olivier rode his recumbent Brompton (Brecki – a kit conversion of the normal Brompton bike, invented by our heroine, Juliane Neuss, in Germany) but I rode a slightly more sensible HP Velotechnic Grasshopper Recumbent Touring bike.
The white pannier contains my Lukas Brunner travel guitar, hence the height, the two small red ones were to see if they would both fit, I just used one for my clothes on this trip.
And here’s my Brecki, Olivier’s was similar but a different colour (I do like yellow, it’s so cheerful)