Bikes in the Peaks

Oct 7 and 8 saw another Saddle Skedaddle bike weekend from HF’s Peveril of the Peak.

First item on the agenda was the legendary Tissington Ford led by Senior Guide, Les Haddon


Then on  to the ‘ Thankful Village’ of Bradbourne, so called as no-one was lost in the First World War. From Brassington there was a short sharp hill up to the plateau where the riders joined the level ride along the High Peak Trail at Hopton Cottage.

Lunch was at a windy spot at Parsley Hay and then the gentle downhill gradient took everyone back to Tissington for Tea and then a short ride to Peveril.



In tune with the watery theme day 2 starts with a hop across the famous Dovedale stepping stones.


After this carefree moment the hill out of Ilam warmed everyone up but provided some lovely views as well as some disturbing wooden figures in an old police station garden.


The Manifold Track is a narrower and more twisty old railway route and after lunch at Waterhouses we climbed up to Calton and had a fantastic ride down to Throwley Hall and back to Ilam with a just a last climb back up to Thorpe.

A great weekend, thanks folks!

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Way of the Roses

I have had a great week supporting this group riding from coast to coast from Morcambe to Bridlington.


Lunch and coffee stops along the way was my job


170 miles and some steep hills later Tessa, Peter, Anthony and Wouter arrived at Bridlington.


Congratulations to you all!



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Cycle camping Austria


After leading 5 group tours in nice hotels on the Danube it was refreshing to set of in July with just a bike, a tent and the Bikeline book.  I got a bit of time to explore some the spots I had not had time to visit when leading a  group.  I now have a few more little gems to share with customers if I lead the Blue River again.

This was a superb camp spot at the village of Au.


The Wachau region offers not only wine but lots of lovely fresh fruit.


The weirdest moment is this wooden alpine chalet next to a power station!



It all ended as I hit Bratislava in Slovakia from where I returned to Vienna by high speed catamaran.



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The Dromoise – bike festival in French twin town

My hometown of Wirksworth in Derbyshire has a twinning link with a very lively little French town called Die (you pronounce it ‘dee’) .  One of the many annual ‘animations’ a Die is the September Dromoise bike event which combines stiff cycle rides over the nearby cols and fun family events in the town itself.

Just watch this warm welcome extended by the president of the organising committee.

Why Dromoise? Well the Drome is the name of the local river which also gives its name to the administrative departement


Now just try and count how many kids got involved in last year’s bike procession in the streets.

Tempted to go along? Well details of the Dromoiose are here



Continue reading

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Splashing time

It was a breath of fresh air to lead a family bike HF holiday in Derbyshire. Here we are enjoying the ford next to Hognaston.

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Reunion with Danube ferry captain – first met on bike trip 2 years ago

It was a joy once again to lead a group  from HF Cycling down the ‘Danube Radweg’  to Vienna once again.

Nibelungen Denkmal- Tulln

Nibelungen Denkmal- Tulln

July 2016 saw may fifth lead on this route (it’s becoming a habit!)  and it was especially good to encounter the same ferry captain  at Ottensheim who we’d met on my first trip back in 2014.

Ottensheim, just above Linz, has a quirky ‘cable ferry’ which needs no motor but uses the power of the current to move the boat from bank to bank.

Alastair and ferry captain.

Ottensheim ferry captain reunion July 2016

Ferry captain (dubbed Popeye by cyclists) May 2014

Ferry captain (dubbed Popeye by cyclists) May 2014

This July we had superb weather an a great group. IT was great to ride with Peter, Linden, Hilary, Phil, Andrea, Chris, Judith, Aileen, Bryan, Cathy and of course Suzanne.

Talking of Suzanne, she offered her own impressions  of the trip in the Skedaddle Blog. 

Here is a short montage of pictures to jog memories of rides and whet appetites of anyone who has not yet taken the Danube challenge.

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From Italian Mountains to the Sea with 3 Steves and 2 Mikes

What a great trip this has been! Starting in the Dolomites we hurtled downhill to Lake Garda  on a route with stunning views and very little flat let alone uphill.



A real joyful start to any trip.


From Riva di Garda we took boats to the southern end of the lake then wound our way to ‘Fair Verona’ – I’d only heard of this place thanks to Shakespeare.

Group of cyclists in front of Roman arena at Verona, Itlay

What a spot! Arrival in the city centre means photo stop by the Roman Arena – still used for performances today.

After the obligatory view of Juliet’s balcony and some impromptu amateur dramatics we followed the river Adige towards the wonderful walled town of Montagnana. It was only a tiny bit hilly on the next day when we made it to Padua with its enormous central piazza.

Then……. well I was van driver on the last day so for me Venice will have to wait for another time but the group went through the city and took the archipelago of islands with short ferries to the magical port of Chioggia where we toasted the week with Proseco.


In addition to the Mikes and Steves, we had Manuel, Judith, Kathy and Penny.  Great cycling, great landscapes, super culture, wonderful food and a very nice group of fellow riders.

Chioggia on our last day – we didn’t want to leave!




Mille grazie to the folks at Skedaddle Italia for the arrangements.


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