Monday, 6 February 2017

Becky Bryan - Derbyshire Dales DC

So, I have met up with Becky at DDDC this morning. She is the Sport and Health Development Officer for DDDC with a support staff of 4-5 people. Contact number is 01629 761385 and email at

I explained to her about the White Peak Ranger group, how we linked into Dan and the wider Sustrans organisation. I said I would send her a copy of the map of NCN routes that we cover, as she didn't seem to be too familiar with these.

DDDC have very little specific cycling based activity since the loss of funding for Ruth Taylor's position. She is keen to work with us, and support any activities that we arrange. The only active programme she is aware of is the regular Monday (ladies) group who meet at Hassop Station. That group regularly attracts 15+ riders and has a total membership of perhaps 30 people. The only ride they do is along the Monsal Trail.

It was interesting to hear that the Monday Group has an arrangement with HAssop Book Store and cycle centre whereby riders are able to park for free and riders can hire bikes with a 40% discount ie £6 per bike per ride. Similar discount levels wither agreed with DCC at their Parsley Hay and Ashbourne sites, but no led rides have yet become a regular feature from there.

Becky has got access to the DDDC website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and through which she will help promote any rides that we organise. She is also keen to ensure promotion of them is made at the ARC.

She was interested to learn about the programme that we are putting together and I have said that I will send a draft to her as soon as we have progressed it to the next stage.

Unfortunately DDDC does not have the resources to initiate many biking activities and so they are keen to support others who are looking to do something. In practice, at this stage their support will probably be little more than promoting our events. However, this could be a relationship which might grow over time. I am not aware of much else, by way of funded stakeholders or partners, in the area.

Please let me know if there are any other matters which you would like me to ask her about.

Cycling therapy by Lee Craigie!

Watch this inspiring short Sustrans video, sent to me by Andy Staines, about champion Scottish MTB rider Lee Craigie and the therapeutic value of cycling. Click here to watch it. It made me want to immediately charge up to the Scottish Highlands and start pedalling! What breathtaking scenery! What wonderful commitment Lee shows! Anyone care to ride the Caledonia Way (NCR78)? 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Public rides for 2017

After our discussions on Thursday evening I hope that you will also consider further what format our programme of rides for 2017 should take. We originally agreed we would aim for one a month, but I may look to supplement this with a few shorter, evening rides along the Monsal Trail. Is this too ambitious a programme?

The question is.... do we look to establish a regular group for whom we can establish greater levels of competence and confidence over the summer months OR do we just hold each months' ride in a different location around the area as a way of trying to introduce the cycle network to as many people as possible?

Anyway, I will circulate separately the draft "2017 Programme of led rides" document (not sure how to include it here), which is indicative of what the programme will look like, once I have all your feedback and comments. It has embedded documents which include example risk assessments and communication briefs to use to drum up attendances.

The programme will only be successful if we can all make some commitment to it, so its important that we set out something that we are all happy with, and which is not too ambitious in this first year.

Please let me have your suggestions for rides, thoughts and other comments by end of February, at which point I will send an updated draft for us all to consider.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Had a great meeting last night with all the White Peak rangers.

Great to welcome Jane, the new Group Coordinator. I'm feeling very excited about all you're going to achieve this year to promote cycling and walking in the Peak District.


Mount Teide, Tenerife

Last night’s meeting has spurred me into action!  Ruth and I haven’t done any exciting rides recently – apart from island hopping along the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, where we failed to take any photos!  So I thought I’d tell you about the ascent of Mt Teide, Tenerife in 2003.  This is one of the very few places in the world where you can cycle and walk from sea level to 12,000 ft and back in one day – at least that was the plan.  We’d hire bikes and cycle up from the coast to 7,700 ft then walk the rest.  

We hired nice Scott bikes and set off early but soon found that, though the bikes were good, the saddles were torture so we had to keep getting off and walking for a while until the pain subsided!  So we were late setting off on the walking part and, by the time we reached a mountain refuge at 10,700 ft, we realised we had to stop there for the night.

The next morning we set off at 6 a.m. in the dark and managed to be on the summit for the sunrise at 7:30 – 24 hours after we set off. 

So we did manage the ascent in “one day” but will have to go back sometime to do up and down in a day.  See all the pictures at and click on the link “Mount Teide ascent 2003".

PS – No, we didn’t do it in pirates fancy dress - Ruth’s eye patch was because she was having trouble with her corneal graft at the time.