Journal / Yompin

  • Around the World with Rutland CC pt.2

    Can you tell us about that morning that you woke up with the Indian guys with shovels stood around your tent? The photo of the guys with the shovels was, in fact, Pakistan – this was our first night in Pakistan on the road north. We flew in from Athens and landed in Karachi. The flight was one to remember, it was packed full of Pakistani’s – Coucho got sat next to a Pakistani guy on the flight and tried to make conversation, in very slow English he asked the guy “what’s it like in Pakistan” – the guy answered...

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  • Miles Munchers #1 ~ Felix Ormerod

    I’ve always had a fascination with cycling images from the past. In the early rise of the internet, I collected photos on a hard-drive and posted them on a Tumblr account. This lead to online conversations with many people from all over the cycling world. I still like scouring the web for images of cycling past. I am fascinated by the history of club rides and personal stories and how the bike plays a roll in the lives of so many people. Some of the best tales and rides are done by those who wouldn’t even declare themselves athletes! I introduced...

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  • Around the World with Rutland CC

    There is sometimes something new to be found in something old. I have always enjoyed the camaraderie and tales that come with riding with a cycling club - we all love a good story and if it involves the bike then even better!  Whilst out riding with the famous Sheffield club Rutland CC I've heard numerous stories during cafe-stops including fights in fancy dress, drunken shenanigans and the odd 'epic' ride. One story that kept popping up was the round the world trip of four Rutland members back in 1980, so I got in touch with one of these men, Malcolm Pearce to see if he could shed anymore light...

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  • On Cycling in The Peak District

    Adventures From Your Backdoor  I woke up on Friday thinking about the rise in trendy new independent bike races and long-distance events such as the TransAtlantic, TransConti, Sportifs etc. I gave some consideration as to why I have never done one, nor have any desire to do one (I’m open to having my mind changed on this by the way). It’s not that I’m looking down my nose at those that partake. But there is so much to explore riding from my house in Sheffield that I don’t have the desire to do one. Within a 100 mile radius in any...

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  • The Beeley & Chatsworth Estate

    I've explored these parts many times on the road bike, both the road and rough-stuff from the top of Beeley Moor. I've noticed a few footpaths and bridleways that I thought would be worth checking out on foot.  The influence of Chatsworth house on the surrounding villages of Pilsley, Edensor and Beeley can be felt in this area, for over two centuries Beeley was effectively an estate village belonging to the successive Dukes of Devonshire.  Many of the properties now have been sold-off but the village pub, The Devonshire Arms, has been brought back into the Duke's control in recent years. Formally three...

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  • Lathkill Dale & The Limestone Way

    “Lathkill is, by many degrees, the purest, the most transparent stream that I ever yet saw either at home or abroad…” ~ Charles Cotton, 1676  If you park at the Lathkill Hotel at Over Haddon as we did, you can walk down the winding lane to the Lathkill lodge, or you can ride here but you’ll need a change of shoes in your saddle bag, or cycling shoes that are ok for walking (the route is approx 8 miles).  Before you reach the lodge, you will turn right onto this beautiful limestone dale next to the River Lathkill. Down here,...

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  • On Racing (And Why I Don't)

    For a short time I considered trying my hand at bike racing. This was before I realised how hard racing actually is! Every cyclist must be able to relate to the visions of grandeur that you have when you start getting fit. You start with the bike, you enjoy it, you ride more and more and you get fitter. Then you ask yourself the question “I wonder if I should race?“.  A good friend told me “Apart from a small number who are good enough to win races and enjoy it, most lads who race do it to prove something...

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  • We All Start Somewhere

    I found this photo attached an old email.  It was taken by my pal Tim on the 1st of November, 2010. The location is at the top of Ringinglow Road, right before the sign that reads ‘DERBYSHIRE’. The road has since been resurfaced. I imagine that Tim rode away from me on the climb and then stopped in the lay-by to take the photo as I approached, I don’t remember much about the ride, it was a long time ago.  I’m wearing some M&S casual shorts over the top of my bib-shorts,  a pair of Nike trainers, Campagnolo cap and a vintage...

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  • Fluid Mechanics #5 ~ Michele Bartoli

    During the 1997 edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Italian Michele Bartoli broke away with another Italian, Marco Pantani and teammates Alex Zulle and Laurent Jalabert of the ONCE team. The climbing specialist Pantani was quickly dropped on the flat stretches and the World Champion Johan Museeuw failed to bridge the gap to the leaders by 50 meters. With 16miles remaining, the breakaway trio had 1min10 on the chase group. Teammates Zulle and Jalabert attacked one after the other on the Cote Sart Tilman but were unable to drop the Italian. A tired Zulle was dropped after an acceleration by Bartoli in the...

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  • Q&A with Josie Dew

    I was given a copy of The Wind in My Wheels when I first got into cycling just under a decade ago. A travelogue which detailed the experience of the English touring cyclist Josie Dew.  At that time, I had read numerous cycling books but mainly about professional bike racing. I found Josie’s book inspiring and it gave me a different perspective on the bike. Although a caterer by profession, Josie frequently takes long cycle tours and then writes books about her trips, full of humour and human observation. Sometimes putting herself in mortal danger - all in the name of...

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