Category Archives: Tat

In Dorset?

Yes, I’d recommend it to anyone.

Family Holiday Fun

We spent a week in a field in Dorset recently, staying at a Camping & Caravanning Club site a few minutes from the coast in Charmouth.

The site was excellent. Clean, welcoming, lovely big pitches with good drainage (a must in the British summertime), well-equipped shower blocks and a well-stocked shop.  As a family, we enjoyed 7 nights of restful fun, helped by an almost complete lack of 3G signal which prevented me from checking in on work emails! 🙂



From a cyclist’s point of view, let me tell you that Dorset is hilly.  Surprisingly hilly.  I took a brief excursion onto the Sustrans NCN2 past Monkton Wyld, just behind the camp site, and was alarmed by the steep drop, which led me to abandon my plans to ride to Bridport and back.  Instead, I turned back after a mile and a half and picked a different, flat loop which circled the site in a nice easy 5 miler.  Wimped out.

But not before dropping my bike accidentally and smashing my rear light off.  Two cable ties later it looks as good as new.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is silly steep.  It’s basically a drop down to the coast with streets scattered along the hillside.  The roads are almost impossible to drive safely, so it’s a “point, hope and squint” experience!  In the end, I parked a little higher in the town and walked the family down towards the beach, vowing never to return.

But return I did. It’s such a pretty place once you take it in away from the car.  The day after our first visit, we went back for a lovely Italian meal and loved it.  We stayed so late that they were cleaning up around us and presented us with complimentary Limoncellos by way of an apology.  Limoncello’s lovely, once you get over the thought that it’s like drinking Flash kitchen floor cleaner.


Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis, very pretty

Cycling in Devon

The Dorset coast isn’t really made for cycling.  Far too hilly for an unfit bloke on an MTB plus a family of 4 other fairweather cyclists.  So, we took a 45 minute drive West and headed to a river basin in Devon.

However, we bought a fantastic little £5 Treasure Trails guide booklet for a ride around the river Exe and the Exeter Ship Canal which took us on an excellent 11 mile loop of around 3 hours.  The booklet presents a sort of treasure hunt, where you solve a puzzle by completing 21 clues.  Then you can submit your answer to be entered into a prize draw.


Treasure Trail Around Exeter

Treasure Trail Around Exeter

The Treasure Trails books cover walking and cycling, and can be bought for most areas in the UK.  What a brilliant little idea!  Learn more about them here.

Hopefully I’ll post more about our adventures in the next few days, but I hope this gives you a taster.  If you like the idea of the trails, please buy one and give it a try – I can’t recommend them highly enough if your kids have a short attention span! 🙂

Tell ’em Phill sent you.

How Many Sit Ups Should I Be Doing?

Is it wrong to use a blog to ask a dumb question?

No. No, it isn’t.  It wont’ be the last time I do it, either.

A few weeks ago I had this picture taken on a particularly good ride to Todmorden and back with my longsuffering OH.

Who Put That Cushion Up My Shirt?

My Hydration Pack Has Slipped To The Front!

I wasn’t impressed.

So I’ve started doing a bit more work on my core.  I know it helps balance and general agility and it will help me be a better rider, and less likely to fall off so much… into canals, for example.


I’m not looking to enter Mr Universe (what do you mean, you know?!) but I’m not happy about the size of my gut. I’m not really overweight, it’s a localised issue.

How many sit ups should a slightly wobbly-paunched man in his early 40s be doing, a couple of weeks after first starting to do them again?

And how often?

Tell me, please.  Thanks!

Where Are You On The #Cycling Venn Diagram?

You Can’t Beat A Good Venn Diagram About Cycling

… and this is nothing like a good Venn diagram.  It about cycling though. One out of two ain’t bad (to quote Meat Loaf on a forgetful day).

What Type Of Cyclist Are You?

What Type Of Cyclist Are You?

This Explains Everything!

  • Some MTB riders are also roadies (but not many)
  • Many bad and/or inexperienced riders own MTBs (because they’re accessible, can be cheap and easy to sit on)
  • If you have a roadie, the chances of you being a good cyclist are higher, but it’s not guaranteed
  • MTBs transcend all abilities. Some MTB riders are hopeless; some are genius

It also offers a few theories about why roadies view MTBs with such disdain (some of them do, don’t try to deny it).

The MTB fraternity includes everyone from the “bought a bike from Halfords, ride it on 2 sunny days a year” to “got a Ti boutique model imported from the USA for £7,000 and ride it, or one of its stablemates every other day“.  The roadie group is smaller and better at riding, to make a gross generalisation.

I’m in Marketing, gross generalisations is what I do.  Otherwise I’d never promote anything cost-effectively.


On the basis that people are basically lazy and presumptuous, all MTB riders often get tarred with the same brush by the smaller, more elite, roadie community.

By the way, I see myself as a good MTB rider, towards the bottom left of the “good riders” ellipse, just within the “MTB” one.  Where are you?

Discuss…. 😉

How is THIS Better ??!

Meeting Point Rest Area, Littleborough

A while ago, I blogged about a fantastic little coffee stop that some enterprising guy had erected on a piece of crappy land alongside my beloved Rochdale Canal.

The last time I had a brew there, the chap was telling me about having to take a case to a planning tribunal, since somebody had complained about his portakabin not being in keeping with the local architectural specifications required for planning approval in that part of Littleborough.

Well, Guess What? The Moaning Buggers Won Again!

What is it with these Daily Mail reading, interfering idiots?  I’m all in favour of pretty towns and villages, but can someone explain how the first picture below is an improvement on the second?

Note how the sign says “Yard To Let“.  So… thanks to the complaints of one or more people who would like to maintain the architectural splendour of Littleborough, an amenity for walkers, cyclists, kayakers and passers by has been shut down.  It will, at some point, be replaced by a yard.  Until then, it stands as a piece of wasteland protected by fences and containing a few piles of rocks, discarded pallets and (for now) a fork lift truck.

That’s progress, that is. Sheesh. Idiots.  I hope they’re proud of what they’ve done.

Now I don’t have an incentive to get my 9 year-old stepdaughter on her bike, because the pull from this “Yard” up to Hollingworth Lake is hard work for her.  A milkshake and a cookie from The Meeting Point was fantastic for her to recharge her batteries and break up the ride.  Now she’s not interested.

I know that me with my 3 kids and other half are just one family.  But we’re one family who have been negatively affected by these interfering, unhelpful people.  What have they gained?  I wouldn’t be so angry if there had been an improvement.

What Should Have Happened?

If the Meeting Point Rest Area was too ugly (which I dispute but I’ll let that go), then the owner should have been given a timescale to install a more permanent, more attractive Rest Area on the site.  The “sledgehammer to crack a nut” approach that’s been used has created an ugly residue where once there was a potentially thriving little enterprise…

… and some happy canal users.

I hope these people regret what they’ve done.  If you’re one of them, why not explain how you’ve benefited the local area? Please?

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