The first part of the journey
I cycled with Jason Patient, who contributes many of the photos for Velo Vision. I didn't
get round to taking a lot of photos on this bit, largely because I only
managed to buy myself a bum-bag (that's a fanny-pack for you Americans)
at Lincoln. As you can see, we were carrying a fair bit of gear, full camping
equipment. We'd spent the first night in some woods just north of Laughton,
about five miles from Gainsborough, and this is taken just as we left the
second night's campsite, at Ancaster (nice enough place, spoiled somewhat
by goose-droppings all over the camping area). It was all pretty flat until
Lincoln, then rolling through Melton Mowbray and through to our next halt, Belton-in-Rutland. I was knackered after this ride - I must have been pulling
a good 60kg of combined trike and luggage. Then a short day on to Leicester:
The main venue for Spokesfest
was Leicester Racecourse, with camping and a hotel nearby. The racecourse
provided a nice flat area for trying out bikes and trikes, and a bar on
site (in the Grandstand). Here Seamus King demonstrates a fine grasp of
multitasking by drinking a pint of beer as he circles the track one evening.
The folks from the British
Pedal Car Championship were there too, and that's one of their machines
overtaking Seamus on the inside.
A pretty good turn out for the first year and a good atmosphere. Fantastic free food on the first night! This is a crowd either about to go for a ride, or maybe about to set off on a ride down to the Castle Gardens for the public event...
Sorry about the quality of
the scan, but this is the public event in Castle Gardens. Loads of public
turned up and tried things out, and a good time was had by all. The Greenspeed
nearest the camera is Jean Seay's GTJ with 16" wheels and a very light
frame. It looked in perfect proportion.
It was good to see some human-powered boats at Spokesfest - here are two, but there were more. At the back is the very neat Escapade - they had two over - and I can't remember the details or name of the front boat, but it was very elegant. There was also a human-powered aircraft on display, the Airglow, but indoors, and I didn't manage to get any decent photos.
Back at the campsite, the Baby Brox came in very useful when we had to move a park bench that was in the wrong place (i.e. not next to our tents). Jason's brother Trev takes bench plus Seamus for a ride.
All good things come to an end, and so we started out for the journey over to Lancaster. We'd ditched the camping gear (thanks, Ashley, for taking it over to Cyclefest in a van!) and picked up several more riding companions - I was lucky to draw Stefan Thonett, professional load-carrier from Cologne, as a stoker. We were flying that day. It was mostly flat, mind... this is taken as I recall some 30 miles out of Leicester, but I can't remember the name of the place.
Nice picture, taken by Stefan as we rode along. Paul Stobbs, made famous by a starring role in Ross Lowell's new film, which we saw premiered at Spokesfest, rode with us on his Windcheetah.
After Ashbourne, our route took us along the Tissington Trail, a converted railway path which offers a rather convenient and flat route into the heart of the Peak District. Stefan had switched bikes with Lisa, his partner, who stoked for the rest of the day. Having a stoker definitely made it easier! Good thing, as after 70-something miles I was pretty knackered. Incidentally, to complete the introductions, that's Trevor and Sharon on the tandem, taking in Spokesfest and Cyclefest on their End-to-End.
Our destination that night was the Orpheus caving hut, splendidly booked for us by Spokesfest helper Ned (in the white T-shirt) who caves there, too. He gave us some excellent route advuice, too. At something like £4 a night (could have been less, can't remember) it was great value and fun. The club would like to have more groups of cyclists staying (it helps with the upkeep) so if you're interested see the Orpheus website. Self-catering, matresses, showers all there! It's situated just before the Tissington Trail runs out, a few miles south of Buxton.