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. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Grasshopper’ Category
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. (more…)
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.
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. (more…)
Skipton to Knaresborough for the Cross Keys Acoustic Jam night. Via Bolton Abbey, Ilkley, Timble, the Washburn Valley, and Harrogate. (more…)
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.
I thought I had done this. Having spent quite a while mastering the Brecki I assumed that I could ride a recumbent pretty well.
But 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. (more…)
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.
My 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. (more…)
Seven League Boots has been quiet for a year or so as I’ve been caught up in some non-cycling activity, including the Folk Music Map which has been quite a success with folk music people round the world.
But everything comes round and my efforts on the map have led me to start planning folk music cycling tours. If you have a map of every live folk music venue in the UK it stands to reason you will want to cycle between them!
Plus I failed to publish anything about my very successful tour last summer on my Brompton Recumbent, along the first part of the tour of British Bromptons route. 50 miles a day for five days and no discomfort, which is astonishing for me, especially as the Brecki has a well shaped but barely cushioned seat. It made me realise that I really don’t want to use an upright bike for touring.
So a new bike and a new plan
I’ve bought one of these:
It’s an HP Velotechnic Grasshopper, and yes it folds, although not quite as neatly as a Brompton. And mine will be bright yellow! Hoping it will arrive in the next couple of days.
So watch this space.