The 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
A great weekend cycling from Dovedale
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
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.
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.
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!¬
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?
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.
June 24th 2015 saw me back on a bike in Austria. This time the Danube ride planned by HF Holidays and Saddle Skedaddle actually started at Schaerding on the river Inn.
By 11.30 on day 1 we met the Danube at Passau (actually in Germany) and the lunch-time organ concert was an ideal way to see the baroque cathedral.
The Jausenstation at the hamlet of Au by the huge meander is legendary for local produce. Our Romanian friend served cider and cake made ‘in house’.
Day 2 is always Linz and the trip takes us past the Schopper boat museum at Aschach.
Sankt Florian is patron saint of upper Austria as well as fire fighters so we just had to drop into the town that bears his name and see the impressive baroque monetary (Bruckner started his career playing the organ here too).
Ferries play big part in this trip and this one took us to the colourful river-side town of Mauthausen.
(Just a couple of kilometres beyond this idyllic scene is a concentration camp memorial – chilling reminder of 20th century history).
Later in the trip we entered the Wachau wine growing area and passed the archaeological site where the 20,000 year old ‘Willendorf Venus’ statue was found. The original was tiny but this greatly enlarged replica was good for a picture.
We were frequently reminded that the medieval saga of the Nibelungens (Burgundians) was written close to the Danube. Tuln provided the best reminder with cast statues of Sigmund the dragon slayer and the other protagonists
On previous trips we had finished at Griefenstein and taken the train to Vienna but this time we rode all the way in and found our hotel not far from this amazing incinerator build in the style of wacky architect Hundertwasser.
This was the third trip for me and I doubt it will be my last.
Wonderful group of people to ride with and thanksbto HF Holidays and Saddle Skedaddle for giving me the chance.
Love cycling? Love France?
It is great to see that a Soirée de Vélo is a part of Inspiring Derby Week this year.
Pendant la Soirée de Vélo on peut appredre un peu de francais.
But as well as picking up some useful bike-related vocab you can share experiences of biking in French speaking countries.
Whether you are a beginner leisure cyclist, serious club rider or a French language beginner or fluent speaker – the Soirée de Vélo is for you
It all takes place at the Park Bikeworks, Full Street – drop in between 6pm – 8pm Monday 22 June.
Huge thanks to Park Bikeworks for hosting the event – they will be selling refreshments to add to the enjoyable evening.
Booking essential Over 18’s only Derby Adult Learning Service 01332 717900 email@example.com