Trulli great trip to heel of Italy – Puglia

Bike sign

Six months after after my first visit to Puglia leading for HF Cycling , I was back again with a great group of bikers.  We rode two days near Alberobello (famous for pointed stone houses called Trulli).

We then took the train and had four days riding from Lecce to the southern tip of the Salento peninsula at Santa Maria de Leuca.

The montage below tells (some of) the story!


Special thanks to the guys in Newcastle who make HF Cycling work.  There’s quite a team but Kay, Eilidh and Jess were staffing Mission Control at Skedaddle and Fran keeps us tweeting.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Giant Prize and huge honour

I was gob smacked to learn last night (27 Feb) that I had won the Saddle Skedaddle Guides competition.  A great honour as they are a great outfit and the others entries came from fellow guides who are very prolific social media users as well as great group bike leaders.  The other entrants  are all listed at  the Skedaddle Twaddle Blog but I’d like to mention fellow prize winners Richard Blackmore for the amazing Lands End John O’ Groats blog  and to Tom Owen for his instagram and  Blog content – with a great Lakeland feature including a mouthwatering cheeseboard pic! mmmm .

Tweets and tubes


I guess this is the sort of persistent you tube, tweeting and blogging that helped me win a bike! Yep a Giant road bike .  

Watch out for Al in Lycra!

May not be  a pretty sight!  




Along with  about a dozen other HF cycle guides we joined the Skedaddle crew a year back when the two organisations joined forces to market and deliver bike holidays. There has been some great co-operation and I have certainly enjoyed this year’s #Guides Week at HF Derwent Bank house near Keswick where I met (and in some cases danced with)  long standing HF colleagues and and made lots of new Skedaddle friends from UK, Italy and Spain.

I just have to say that the awards as based finally on votes on Facebook so thanks so much to everyone who did support me (and to those who passed the word).

Finally I am always in two minds about competitions as they can be a bit divisive in singling out individuals and I’d hate this to have that effect – the HF leaders who joined me on the transfer list to Skeddadle are a great bunch as are all the Skeddadlers I’ve me so far. Here’s to great team working.


Merci, gracias, grazie mille, danke schoen.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pedalling in Puglia


Map of Puglia with bike route markedThe first week on October proved a great time to ride the heel of Italy – Puglia.  A good chance to dust down the Italian I learnt for the HF walking tours in Tuscany


Working with fellow guides Doug and Danilo  we had a   group of 12 cyclists who rode over 300 kms right to the end of the peninsula. All nicely organised as part of the HF Holidays and Saddle Skedaddle partnership with local support from S-Cape in Italy


We started in at the town of Alberobello famous for these rather strange stone buildings with stove roofs called Trulli  – all made without any mortar!


Trulli houses in Puglia

Trulli houses in Puglia





Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Dovedale with adult bike group

A great weekend cycling from Dovedale


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Litera-Tour on the bike (in Deutschland)

Litera-Tour on the bike – A weekend on the traces of the writers Elisabeth Langgässer (1900-1950), Anna Seghers (1900-1983) and Georg Büchner (1813-1837) in the Rhine Valley around the Kühkopf near Darmstadt.


I was delighted to be invited to work with Klaus Heuer on this project. This is a fantastic combination of gentle cycling and opportunities to discuss the literature of these three writers who all have connections with the area.

More information is available at

In English

Auf Deutsch 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Isle of Bike

What a great week we had biking on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.

Working with HF Holidays and Saddle Skedaddle you are always assured of a chance to meet like-minded people  wall with a passion for the outdoors and the bonus is that I always learn new things for other riders.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dovedale daredevils !

It was great to lead a family bike holiday at Dovedale in Derbyshire this week for HF holidays and Saddle Skedaddle.

The age range of riders was from six and three quarters (and a bit!) to several score and more.  We had fun exploring together.

RIDE  1 High Peak and Tissington Trails

A bit of drizzle but everyone kept going thanks to expert back up from Honest John – Duke of Glasgow.

Honest John's cafe was welcome in the rain.

Honest John’s cafe was welcome in the rain.

RIDE 2 Carsington Reservoir 
This ride was a bit more up and down so gears and brakes came in to play and after a hard morning of hills we visited teh famous Bat House and the bird hide.

Carsington Water - 9 miles right round!¬

Carsington Water – 9 miles right round!¬

Wooden 'bat house piano' We tried but it wooden work!

Wooden ‘bat house piano’ We tried but it wooden work!

RIDE3 Monsal Trail

The tunnels and viaducts of this old railway never fail to inspire – but not everyone rode the right sized bike!

Does this one fit me?

Does this one fit me?

Mark, Alex, Peter Mel and Mayer were all great company and Honest John looked after us brilliantly and Suzanne joined us for a day as well.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment