Welcome to the home of the Absolutely Average Cycling Club.

The club's 'root's' were laid down in April 2009 to record the 'antic's' of the hardy souls.... who initially rode the Coast to Coast cycle ride on the 11-13th September 2009.
The ride was in aid of St Teresa's Hospice, Woodland Road, Darlington, where Mr 'Absolutely Average' (Chris Barber) was cared for, by his wife Ann, family members & staff of the hospice before he sadly died, after a short illness on the 5th April 2009.  The ride was a great success and raised £10,254.47.
As a result of this and the friendship that came from within the group it was decided to continue cycling and so the Absolutely Average Cycling Club came into being.
You can read of the exploits and fun the club has through these pages.......

Giro d’Italia 2015

giro2015_generale_plan_a4_670The 2015 Giro d'Italia will include six mountain finishes, three other testing days of climbing, six stages for the sprinters and a 59.2km individual time trial from Treviso to Valdobbiadene.

Six mountain finishes, six stages for the sprinters
59.2km individual time trial
Race starts with a team time trial
Full route of 3,481km, from May 9 - 31
Stages for Contador, Nibali, Cavendish and Kittel

The 2015 Giro d'Italia begins with a 17.6km team time trial along a spectacular coastal bike path from San Lorenzo al Mare (at the foot of the Cirpressa climb) to San Remo on Saturday, May 9. It will end three weeks later on Sunday, May 31 with a 185km road stage from Turin to Milan and seven laps of a city centre circuit. The riders will race for 3481km during the three weeks, for an average of 165km a day.

The mountain finishes are at Abetone in the central Apennines between Florence and Bologna, Campitello Matese near Naples, Madonna di Campiglio, Aprica - after climbing the Mortirolo. Cervinia in the Alps and finally at Sestriere, after climbing the dirt track to the summit of the Colle delle Finestre.

The finish in Cervinia is preceded by the Saint-Bathelemy and the Cole de Saint-Pantaleon climbs packed into the finale, while 18.4km climb of Colle delle Finestre near the French border is the highest of the 2015 Giro d'Italia at 2178m and so will award the Cima Coppi prize to the first rider to the top.

RCS Sport seems to have avoided climbs approaching 3,000m in a move to avoid the bad weather and consequent polemics that occurred this year on the Passo Stelvio.

The six mountain finishes stand out like shark teeth on the route profile but the early stages to Sestri Levante and La Spezia, stage nine to San Giorgio del Sannio and stage 18 to Verbania also have lots of bite and should not be ignored. Monte Ologno rises from the shores of Lago Maggiore for 10km at an average of nine per cent and is followed by a hair-raising descent back to Verbania. It would be perfect for a late attack from Vincenzo Nibali if he can convince the Astana team to let him ride.

There are only 76.8km of time trialing but with the opening team time trial only 17.6km long. That means the Treviso-Valdobbiadene individual time trial is a whopping 59.2km, one of the longest seen in the Giro d’Italia for several years. The mixed profile of flat roads and then rolling roads in the Prosecco vineyards will make it even harder for the Grand Tour contenders and no doubt open some significant time gaps.

Six stages for the sprinters

Nacer Bouhanni, Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel may be tempted to return to the Giro d'Italia in 2015 after seeing the six sprint opportunities in the route. The stages to Genoa, Castiglione della Pescaia, Forli, Jesolo, Lugano and Milan are flat, while even the stages to Fiuggi and Imola could end in a sprint of some kind. Stage 11 to Imola includes three 16.9km circuits with the finish in the motor racing circuit named after Enzo and Dino Ferrari.

Race director Mauro Vegni promised to limit transfer to less than 1,000 kilometres in 2015. Riders face a 350km haul to the Adriatic coast after stage nine to San Giorgio del Sannio before they enjoy the first rest day. However the remaining stages are closely connected meaning riders should be in their hotels within an hour of most stage finishes.

RCS Sport is hoping it is just one factor that will convince many of the big-name Grand Tour contenders to take on Contador in both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2015. The Giro route makes it physically possible, it is perhaps up to the riders and their teams to accept the challenge.

Route of the 2015 Giro d'Italia:

May 09, Stage 1: San Lorenzo Al Mare - Sanremo (Team time trial), 17.6km
May 10, Stage 2: Albenga - Genoa, 173km
May 11, Stage 3: Rapallo - Sestri Levante, 136km
May 12, Stage 4: Chiavari - La Spezia, 150km
May 13, Stage 5: La Spezia - Abetone, 152km
May 14, Stage 6: Montecatini Terme - Castiglione Della Pescaia, 181km
May 15, Stage 7: Grosseto - Fiuggi, 263km
May 16, Stage 8: Fiuggi - Campitello Matese, 188km
May 17, Stage 9: Benevento - San Giorgio Del Sannio, 212km
May 18, Rest day
May 19, Stage 10: Civitanova Marche - Forlì, 195km
May 20, Stage 11: Forlì - Imola (Autodromo Ferrari), 147km
May 21, Stage 12: Imola - Vicenza (Monte Berico), 190km
May 22, Stage 13: Montecchio Maggiore - Jesolo, 153km
May 23, Stage 14: Treviso - Valdobbiadene (Individual time trial), 59.2km
May 24, Stage 15: Marostica - Madonna Di Campiglio, 165km
May 25, Rest day
May 26, Stage 16: Pinzolo - Aprica, 175km
May 27, Stage 17: Tirano - Lugano, 136km
May 28, Stage 18: Melide - Verbania, 172km
May 29, Stage 19: Gravellona Toce - Cervinia, 236km
May 30, Stage 20: Saint-Vincent - Sestriere, 196km
May 31, Stage 21: Turin - Milan, 185km

Tour De France 2015

TDF 2015

The route

Running from Saturday July 4th to Sunday July 26th 2015, the 102th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,344 kilometres (before ratification).

9 flat stages

3 hilly stages

7 mountain stages including 5 summit finishes

1 individual time trial

1 team time trial

2 rest days

This 21st Grand Départ from abroad will also be the 6th from the Netherlands which is a record. The Tour will then spend two days in Belgium before reaching France.

Like in 2014, the peloton will have its share of cobbled portions during stage 4 between Seraing and Cambrai. There will be seven sectors over a distance of 13.3 kilometres.


Two final climbs will spice up the first week of racing. First of all, the climb up the Mur de Huy (1.3 km at 9.6%), which is the traditionnal finish of the Flèche Wallonne, where stage 3 will end. Then, the climb up the Côte de Mûr de Bretagne (2 km at 6.9% with some passages at 15%), known as the Alpe-d’Huez of Britanny and already on the course in 2011, where the finish of stage 8 will take place.

L’ALPE-D’HUEZ ON THE PENULTIMATE DAY With its 13.8-km ascent and its famous 21 bends, the real Alpe-d’Huez will be the final showdown of the 2015 Tour with the summit finish of stage 20. A mountain top finish on the eve of the finish on the Champs-Élysées had already occurred in 2009 with the Mont Ventoux and in 2013 at Annecy-Semnoz.

Stage Date Start/Finish Distance
1 : Time Trial Saturday, July 4th Utrecht / Utrecht 14 km
2 Sunday, July 5th Utrecht / Zélande 166 km
3 Monday, July 6th Anvers / Huy 154 km
4 Tuesday, July 7th Seraing / Cambrai 221 km
5 Wednesday, July 8th Arras / Amiens Métropole 189 km
6 Thursday, July 9th Abbeville / Le Havre 191 km
7 Friday, July 10th Livarot / Fougères 190 km
8 Saturday, July 11th Rennes / Mûr de Bretagne 179 km
9 : Team Time Trial Sunday, July 12th Vannes / Plumelec 28 km
Rest Day Monday, July 13th Pau Rest Day
10 Tuesday, July 14th Tarbes / La Pierre-Saint-Martin 167 km
11 Wednesday, July 15th Pau / Cauterets - Vallée de Saint-Savin 188 km
12 Thursday, July 16th Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille 195 km
13 Friday, July 17th Muret / Rodez 200 km
14 Saturday, July 18th Rodez / Mende 178 km
15 Sunday, July 19th Mende / Valence 182 km
16 Monday, July 20th Bourg-de-Péage / Gap 201 km
Rest Day Tuesday, July 21st Gap Rest Day
17 Wednesday, July 22nd Digne-les-Bains / Pra-Loup 161 km
18 Thursday, July 23rd Gap / Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 185 km
19 Friday, July 24th Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 138 km
20 Saturday, July 25th Modane Valfréjus / Alpe-d’Huez 110 km
21 Sunday, July 26th Sèvres - Grand Paris Seine Ouest / Paris Champs-Élysées 107 km

La Vuelta 2014

La Vuelta RouteRunning from Saturday August 23rd to Sunday September 14th 2014, The Vuelta will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,181.5 kilometres (before ratification).

5 flat stages

13 hill and mountain stages

1 team time trial stage

2 individual time trial stages

Distinctive aspects of the race

44,5 individual time trial stages

12,6 kilometres team time trial stage

40 summits

New start cities

Algeciras, Mairena del Alcor, Alhendín, Baeza, Carboneras de Guadazaón, Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela, Belorado, San Martín del Rey Aurelio, Ortigueira, A Estrada, Salvaterra do Miño, Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil.

New finish cities

San Fernando, Ronda, La Zubia, Alcaudete, Borja, Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar, Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno, La Camperona. Valle de Sabero, Mont Castrove. Meis, Cangas do Morrazo.

Giro d’Italia 2014

14333960-U201314533001sfB-386x225@Gazzetta-Print-Milano--940x470A Giro d'Italia in the name of Marco Pantani. The edition number 97  of the pink race, which will set off from Belfast (Northern Ireland) on Friday May 9th and end on June 1st in Trieste, marks the centenary of Gino Bartali's birth and the tenth year since the demise of the Pirate. And the race that witnessed some of his greatest feats will remember him on the Carpegna climb, where the Pirate used to train when living in Cesenatico. The race will pass by here on 17th May, during the 8th stage, from Foligno to Montecupiolo. And in memory of the Pirate, there will also be the ascent to Oropa (fourteenth stage) where Marco won wearing the pink jersey in 1999. It's also worth to note the presence of the Stelvio, which was skipped this year due to bad weather. The most selective stage is the one on 31st May, the penultimate stage, featuring an uphill finish on the foreboding Zoncolan.
THE ROUTE : This is a tough but well balanced Giro, with more reasonable transfer stages for the riders. There are 8 stages reserved for spinters, 3 time trials (2 individual and one team trial on the first day of the Giro), 5 medium mountain stages and 5 high mountain stages. Climbers should have an advantage.
THE LEADERS : The presence of Vincenzo Nibali, the 2013 winner is still uncertain: the Shark could sacrifice the Giro in order to prepare for the Tour de France and challenge Chris Froome. Ivan Basso will be back with serious ambitions after being penalised by a cyst before the start this year. With him Purito Rodriguez, one of the strongest and most spectacular riders in the group and recent winner of the Lombardia. Cadel Evans is also expected to line up at the start.

Virgin Money Cyclone

Virgin Money Cyclone

The Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling was created in 2007 to encourage as many people as possible to get out on their bikes, get fitter and enjoy the countryside. It is a multi faceted event designed to cater for the needs of competitive and none competitive cyclists. For the first 4 years the event was run over 3 days with events to meet the needs of all who wish to compete or just ride for pleasure as well as allowing spectators to see some of the best riders in the World in action.

Due to the success of the event over the 4 yrs (2007-2011) the event was increased to 4 days in 2012 to accommodate an even broader spectrum of participants. The additional event planned for the Thursday evening was created to attract an even wider participant group with two shorter rides on traffic free cycle paths along the banks of the Tyne. Unfortunately on the night the event had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions. The 2014 event did go ahead with the 4th day and was so successful that it will once again be included in the 2014 edition.

Since the inception of the event in 2007 participant numbers have quadrupled and over £500K has been raised for various charities. The event is now one of the biggest and possibly the biggest event of it's type and attracts riders and participants from all over the World. The 2011 edition of the event hosted the British National Road Race Championships for both Men and Women.

All riders/participants/spectators who are on the mailing list will be kept up to date with information in the months and weeks leading up to the event. 

Thursday 19th June 2014

Tyne 6 Bridges Leisure Rides

The event will start and finish at the Cycle Hub, Ouseburn and use Sustrans Routes 72 & 14 along the north and south banks of the Tyne heading out in a westerly direction. There are two rides of 10.5mls and 15.5mls for those who want to experience a leisurely ride along the banks of the Tyne. These are ideal rides for the inexperienced who may be afraid of traffic or those with young families. All participants must pre register on the event website.

Friday 20th June 2014
Newcastle Leazes Criteriums

The Criterium racing in Leazes Park, Newcastle will start at 6.15pm. There will be races for all ages and abilities. The evening starts with races for youngsters Youths. there will be two races, one for U10/12 followed by one for U14/16. 

The supporting senior event will precede the main event and is for riders who race regularly but are not full time riders.This is for riders who hold either a 2nd,3rd or 4th category BC licence.

The finale for the evening will be a one hour race for the best riders in the Country. Many of these riders will have won medals and there even may be some current world and Olympic champions in their midst. Some of the best riders in the World may be competing on the Friday as well as on the Sunday.

Saturday 20th June 2014
Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge.

A series of 3 rides of differing distances and difficulty to test all those who compete. The rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park. There is limited parking within the grounds for all those who are travelling to the venue. This parking can be pre booked. There is also additional parking at the Great North Park  This will be signposted.  The three rides leave from the Club between 8.00am and 10.30am and go directly out into the Northumbrian countryside on country roads, therefore avoiding the city traffic. Riders will be set off in Groups of 60 at 2 minute intervals. Those riders doing the 104ml ride are advised to leave between 8-9am. Those doing the 63ml ride should plan to leave between 9-10am and those doing the 33ml ride should leave between 9.30-10.30am. There are catering facilities open at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club throughout the day so that a refreshing drink can be had upon completion of your ride.
These events are not races and no positions will be given on the website. Each rider will be given a finishing time along with split times calculated along the route. This will be done with the aid of electronic chips. All finishing and split times for those completing their own Challenge will appear on a results page within 48 hrs.
Each competitor will be given a T shirt and Goody Bag upon completion and will be able to download their own personalised certificate from the Marathon Photos website. There will be feeding/re-hydration stops on all of the routes with food and drink which also act as timing stations and medical control centres. There are also many cafés and pubs along all three of the routes and competitors can stop off and enjoy a well earned rest and sample the local cuisine.
The event will have full medical cover courtesy of St. John Ambulance and comprehensive marshalling provided by The Sea Cadets and Army (Queen's Own Yeomanry). There will be Technical Service vehicles sweeping the routes for those who have major technical difficulties. All junctions will be signposted courtesy of Northumberland County Council.

If you decide you are going to ride on behalf of one of the nominated Charities you will be sent a sponsorship pack from that charity once you have registered. You can then raise money for that charity. This could be as little as £1. There is no obligation to sign for a charity and you can just do the ride of your choice without any charity involvement if you wish. However it is hoped that many people will ride on behalf of a charity. There is also a bonus if you decide to ride on behalf of a charity. You will then be eligible to win one of the great prizes on offer for those raising the most amount for their charity. In 2013 there were over £2000 in prizes on offer courtesy of Madison/Shimano.
Sunday 22nd June
Curlew Cup
Womens National Series Road Race

The first event of the day will be the Curlew Cup which will attract some of the best riders in the Country. The race will start at 9.15am and will use both the Ingoe and Ryals Circuits which pass through the villages of Stamfordham and Matfen. The smaller circuit is 13.9mls and the larger circuit is 22.3mls. The women will complete 3 laps of the smaller circuit and one lap of the larger circuit before finishing in Stamfordham. Total distance for the event is 62mls (100kms)

Beaumont Trophy
UCI 1.2 Road Race

This will be the 62nd edition of the event. The race will be run over a distance of 117 mls (187kms). It will start with one lap of the smaller circuit (13.9mls) before going on to complete 4 laps of the larger circuit (22.3mls) which will include the climb of the Ryals. There will then be one final lap of the smaller circuit to complete the race.

I hope many thousands of riders and spectators will once again come and enjoy the weekend and increase its status in the National Sporting Calendar.

Peter Harrison


Operation Spoke

Put a spoke in itOperation Spoke is a bike theft reduction campaign led by Durham Constabulary, working in partnership with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, Local Motion and the Safe Durham Partnership.  It’s an important part of the ongoing work of these projects and organisations (and others) to promote cycle security and encourage more people to cycle more often. Operation Spoke aims to significantly reduce cycle crime by uniquely marking and registering cycles in County Durham and Darlington. Success of other property marking schemes at reducing the overall levels of acquisitive crime is well documented and now we are expanding this concept to cycles.

The benefits of marking and registering cycles is that they can easily be identified by Police should they ever be stolen or go missing. Easy identification means that cycles can be quickly reunited with their rightful owners and thieves can be quickly arrested and brought to justice. Property marking also deters would be thieves in the first place by increasing their chances of being arrested and by making the cycle harder to sell on.

You can have your bicycle marked at one of your local cycle retailers participating in the scheme.  There will also be a number of registration events organised by your Safer Neighbourhood teams.

Visit Cycle Security - Operation SPOKE for more information and advise on how to keep your cycle safe and secure with details of Putting the brakes on cycle crime and on Hook a Crook.

Tour De France 2014

Visit the website of the Tour De France 2014Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014, the 101th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,656 kilometres (before ratification).

These stages have the following profiles:
  • 9 flat stages
  • 5 hill stages
  • 6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes
  • 1 individual time-trial stage
  • 2 rest days
9 new stage cities

Leeds, Harrogate, York, Sheffield, Cambridge, Ypres, Oyonnax, Risoul, Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour

To view the stages in the UK please CLICK HERE



Stage 1 : Saturday 5th July

191 km

Leeds / Harrogate

Stage 2 : Sunday 6th July

198 km

York / Sheffield

Stage 3  : Monday 7th July

159 km

Cambridge / Londres

Stage 4  : Tuesday 8th July

164 km

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole

Stage 5 : Wednesday 9th July

156 km

Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Stage 6 : Thursday 10th July

194 km

Arras / Reims

Stage 7 : Friday 11th July

233 km

Épernay / Nancy

Stage 8 : Saturday 12th July

161 km

Tomblaine / Gérardmer La Mauselaine

Stage 9 : Sunday 13th July

166 km

Gérardmer / Mulhouse

Stage 10 : Monday 14th July

161 km

Mulhouse / La Planche des Belles Filles

Rest day : Tuesday 15th July



Stage 11 : Wednesday 16th July

186 km

Besançon / Oyonnax

Stage 12 : Thursday 17th July

183 km

Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne

Stage 13 : Friday 18th July

200 km

Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse

Stage 14 : Saturday 19th July

177 km

Grenoble / Risoul

Stage 15 : Sunday 20th July

222 km

Tallard / Nîmes

Rest day : Monday 21st July



Stage 16 : Tuesday 22nd July

237 km

Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon

Stage 17 : Wednesday 23rd July

125 km

Saint-Gaudens / Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet

Stage 18 : Thursday 24th July

145 km

Pau / Hautacam

Stage 19 : Friday 25th July

208 km

Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour / Bergerac

Stage 20 : Saturday 26th July

54 km

Bergerac / Périgueux

Stage 21 : Sunday 27th July

136 km

Évry / Paris Champs-Élysées

Tour De France 21013

TDF 2013The route :

Running from Saturday June 29th to Sunday July 21th 2013, the 100th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,360 kilometres (before ratification).

  • 7 flat stages
  • 5 hilly stages
  • 6 mountain stages with 4 summit finishes
  • 2 individual time trial stages
  • 1 team time trial stage
  • 2 rest days
First up Corsica... then nothing but the French mainland
Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse were the only two departments in metropolitan France that had never before hosted the Tour. The Grand Départ of 2013 will put an end to that. Once back on the mainland, the race will continue entirely within France and not take in any foreign countries – a concept last applied in 2003.

IndividuaL and team time-trials
The 4th stage, contested at Nice across 25 km, will represent the team time trial challenge, last carried out in 2011. Two individual time trials are also scheduled over a distance of 33 km between Avranches and Mont-Saint-Michel on stage 11, then over 32 km between Embrun and Chorges, on stage 17.

Alpe-d’Huez 1 and 2
The most significant change and, without a shadow of a doubt one of the highlights of this 100th edition: the Alpe-d’Huez will be climbed twice on the 18thstage. The first passage at the top of Alpe-d’Huez 1 will take place 50 kilometres before the finish at Alpe-d’Huez 2. Three further summit finishes are planned: Ax 3 Domaines, Mont Ventoux and Annecy-Semnoz, a new venue on the Tour map.

10 first-time city stages
  • Porto-Vecchio (start of 1st stage)
  • Bastia (end of 1st stage and start of 2nd stage)
  • Ajaccio (end of 2nd stage and start of 3rd stage)
  • Calvi (end of 3rd stage)
  • Cagnes-sur-Mer (start of 5th stage)
  • Saint-Gildas-des-Bois (start of 10thstage)
  • Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule (start of 14th stage)
  • Givors (start of 15th stage)
  • Chorges (end of 17th stage)
  • Annecy-Semnoz (end of 20th stage)

The stages

Saturday, June 29th
Porto-Vecchio > Bastia
212 km
Sunday, June 30th
Bastia > Ajaccio
154 km
Monday, July 1st
Ajaccio > Calvi
145 km

Tuesday, July 2nd
Team time-trial
Nice > Nice
25 km

Wednesday, July 3rd
Cagnes-sur-Mer > Marseille
219 km
Thursday, July 4th
Aix-en-Provence > Montpellier
176 km
Friday, July 5th
Montpellier > Albi
205 km
Saturday, July 6th
Castres > Ax 3 Domaines
194 km
Sunday, July 7th
Saint-Girons > Bagnères-de-Bigorre
165 km
Rest day
Monday, July 8th
Saint-Nazaire - Loire-Atlantique
Tuesday, July 9th
Saint-Gildas-des-Bois > Saint-Malo
193 km
Individual time-trial
Wednesday, July 10th
Avranches > Mont-Saint-Michel
33 km
Thursday, July 11th
Fougères > Tours
218 km
Friday, July 12th
Tours > Saint-Amand-Montrond
173 km
Saturday, July 13th
Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Lyon
191 km
Sunday, July 14th
Givors > Mont Ventoux
242 km
Rest day
Monday, July 15th
Tuesday, July 16th
Vaison-la-Romaine > Gap
168 km
Individual time-trial
Wednesday, July 17th
Embrun > Chorges
32 km
Thursday, July 18th
Gap > Alpe-d’Huez
168 km
Friday, July 19th
Bourg-d’Oisans > Le Grand-Bornand
204 km
Saturday, July 20th
Annecy > Annecy - Semnoz
125 km
Sunday, July 21st
Versailles > Paris Champs-Élysées
118 k

Durham Big Rides 2013

Durham Big Ride

DURHAM BIG RIDES – Little, Middle and Big
Sunday 1st September 2013
County Hall, Durham

Sunday 8th September 2013
Sniperley Park and Ride Site


Visit : http://www.durhambigride.co.uk/index.asp for further details

Tour of Britain 2013

national_webThe Tour of Britain will celebrate its tenth anniversary in style, with the hardest ever route including the first ever summit finish for a stage and the race's longest ever individual time trial.

The race will get underway from the Peebles in the Scottish Borders on Sunday 15th September and visit the Lake District and Snowdonia for the first time, before ending in the heart of London on Sunday 22nd September with a ten lap circuit race finishing on Whitehall.

Headlining the features will be the finish at Haytor on Dartmoor on Stage Six, which will bring the drama of a summit finish to Britain's biggest professional cycle race for the first time ever, as well as a 10-mile individual time trial based around Knowsley Safari Park on Merseyside on day three.

Challenges for the world's top riders will be present throughout, with Stage Two seeing The Tour's longest ever leg, at 225-kilometres through the heart of Cumbria and the Lake District, with a tricky uphill finish in Kendal, whilst Stage Five through Wales includes two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain towards the end of a gruelling route.

The Tour will also visit Dumfries & Galloway, Stoke-on-Trent and Surrey during the eight stage event.

"This year's Tour will be an exciting and dynamic route, building on the success of last year's race and celebrating what has been an incredible ten years of growth for The Tour of Britain and cycling in the UK," said Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of SweetSpot Group, the organisers and promoters of The Tour of Britain.

"I would also like to welcome the return of IG Group as Partners of the Race. I am sure in 2013 whoever wears the race leader's IG Gold Jersey will definitely have earned the honour."

The Tour of Britain was revived by SweetSpot Group in 2004, with Jonathan Tiernan Locke becoming the first British winner in the modern race's history last year.

"This will definitely be the most challenging Tour of Britain yet," said Race Director Mick Bennett.

"We have several unique features and are very excited about the inclusion of our first ever summit finish. Our longest ever time trial balances the course and will ensure that for spectators at the roadside and at home on television The Tour of Britain is a thrilling battle throughout."

The route of the 2013 Tour of Britain is as follows:

Stage One
Sunday 15th September, Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, 201km

Stage Two
Monday 16th September, Cumbria, The Lake District Stage, Carlisle to Kendal, 225km

Stage Three
Tuesday 17th September, Knowsley Individual Time Trial,16km

Stage Four
Wednesday 18th September, Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis, 190.9km

Stage Five
Thursday 19th September Machynlleth to Caerphilly 177.1km

Stage Six
Friday 20th September, Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor, 137km

Stage Seven
Saturday 21st September, Epsom to Guildford, 150.4km

Stage Eight
Sunday 22nd September, The London Stage, presented by TfL,88km

Great North Bike Ride 25th August 2013

gnbrlogoThe Great North Bike Ride starts from Seahouses at approximately 9:00am on Sunday 25th August 2013

You will cycle along the beautiful North Northumberland coastline. A designated area of outstanding natural beauty, Seahouses is the ideal starting point to explore this magnificent part of England. After cycling an estimated 60 miles along the scenic coastline you will arrive at Tynemouth Priory and Castle.

Entry Fee is £25 to include cycle top, medal and refreshments.

This is a sponsored Charity Bike Ride for The Chris Lucas Trust. Your entry fee only covers the cost of running the event so please ask family and friends to sponsor you generously to make a real difference to the lives of children and young adults suffering from Cancer.

To visit the website please CLICK HERE

Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge 2013

Virgin MoneyThe Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge will be held on Saturday 29th June 2013.

The format for the challenge will be as previously with three rides :

Ride A – 33 miles - Green Route
Designed for families and those just who want to enjoy the countryside without any large hills. The route is undulating and ascends for a total of 390M (1280ft) whilst passing through a number of small villages with pubs and Coffee shops. There is one feed station at Stamfordham

Ride B – 63 miles - Blue Route
This ride is for semi serious cyclists or those who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. The route is the same route as Ride C for the first half and then goes off in a different direction to eventually join up with ride C again for the last 1/3rd of the ride. It ascends 1217M (3993ft) in the 62mls. There are feed stations at Forestburngate and Stamfordham. The ride also passes through a number of villages and hamlets where there are pubs and coffee shops.

Ride C – 104 miles - Black Route
A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists or those who are very fit. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing. The route is very choppy with 8 significant climbs and the highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills. There are 4 feed stations on this route at Forestburngate, Elsdon, Wark and Stamfordham.  Riders competing this distance will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride. The standards are set as follows:

Gold Standard - under 5hrs 40 mins

Silver Standard - 5hrs 41 mins - 6hrs 30mins

Bronze Standard - over 6hrs 31mins.

To learn more about the rides please click on the image to go to the website :

Click HERE to go to the website

Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour De France 2012



The achievement of being the first British rider to win the 99th edition of the Tour de France, founded in 1903, is more than merely historic; it is monumental.

By winning outright the 2012 Tour de France, Wiggins joins a pantheon of greats. For anyone as steeped as he is in the history of cycle racing and the Tour, to be bracketed in the same league as riders of the past such as Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault is a lifetime achievement in itself. In its more than 100-year history, the Tour has belonged almost exclusively to the countries of continental Europe; Lance Armstrong's seven straight wins (if they stand, after Usada's doping charges are heard) were an aberration.

For a Briton to win the Tour is as seismic, in its way, as it was for the first American to do so, in 1986. Like the US, Britain has been until now an outsider in the "world" of professional cycling – and Bradley Wiggins is our Greg LeMond.

He may lack the chutzpah, charisma and craziness of LeMond, but in his bloody-minded dedication and grit, Wiggins has shown himself a truly British champion. Having raised expectations in 2009, a combination of bad luck and disappointing performances relegated him to 24th place in 2010; in 2011, he crashed out with a broken collarbone. His victory in 2012 is the final realisation of great potential transformed by an unimaginable amount of hard work – not just his own training regime, but the collective effort of his team-mates (most notably, second-placed Chris Froome) and the ultra-rigorous, appliance-of-science approach of Brailsford's Team Sky.

A large part of the story is the physical and psychological transformation of Wiggins himself. There was never any doubting the raw talent of the self-styled mod from off the Edgware Road, but he had formerly seemed a Tour contender only for solo stages raced against the clock – the individual time trial and prologue. Wiggins Mk1 was a track specialist, a pursuiter who had cornered the 4km time trial event in the velodrome and won a fistful of Olympic medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008. On the road, his type – a lanky physique with long levers and a big engine, capable of sustained high aerobic output – is known as a rouleur.

Rouleurs can win single stages or one-day races by escaping and outrunning the pack. But a Tour winner has to be the perfect all-rounder: able to hang with the specialist climbers at 2,000m over the Col du Tourmalet, yet powerful enough to survive the cobbles of the French-Belgian borders and crosswinds of Les Landes. The rouleur is equipped for the former, but in the Alps and Pyrenees, where the Tour is decided, gravity is against him.

The trick of creating Wiggins 2.0 was to change the arithmetic: a rule of thumb says that a grand tour winner needs to be able to produce at least seven watts per kilo at peak aerobic output (to put that in perspective, a handy amateur racer might manage four watts/kg). For 2009, Wiggins shed 6kg (about a stone) off a frame where it was not obvious how such savings might be made. Maintaining "negative energy balance" is neither easy nor fun when your body is craving calories to compensate for the rigours of racing multiple back-to-back 200km-plus stages. If the Wiggins we see in press conferences now seems a little dour and phlegmatic, this was the price: he could no longer be the bloke who liked a few beers and would go on the lash for weeks after winning at the Olympics.

The leader of a team in the Tour de France has to be serious: a budget of millions is riding on his efforts, and he must show himself worthy of the sacrifices every one of his team-mates is expected to make. It was a telling vignette to see Mark Cavendish filling his world champion's rainbow jersey with water bottles from a Team Sky car to re-supply his team-mates in this year's race. Brad is answerable for that, and he knows it.

To some, Team Sky's ultimate domination of the 2012 Tour may have looked a little processional. That grossly underestimates Wiggins's and Sky's achievement in defending and extending his lead. The tactics are always the same, whoever you are, whatever the team, and in 2012 Wiggins and Sky were simply the best in world cycling's biggest event. Yet I also relished Wiggins's outburst against the "fucking wankers" among the Twitterati and press pack who had called into question the credibility of his performances. Wiggins's choice of Anglo-Saxon terms may have made Sky's press pack wince, but we needed to see that this coronation of a new champion was not a bloodless coup.

And Wiggins has a point. The 20 years between LeMond's last win and Wiggins's first were the dark era of EPO and blood-doping – low, dishonest decades that came close to wrecking the entire edifice of professional cycling and the Tour's prestige. We many burned fans are entitled to suspicion and scepticism; we have been lied to so often. But for this fan, at least, Bradley Wiggins's victory was all the more sweetly significant precisely because I believe in it.


Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Cycling DisorderDave Barter is a British cyclist. Excellent we've got that out of the way.

A non-cycling author of a series of bicycle based reflections would have a hint of incongruity about it. He likes to think of himself as an all rounder having tried many two wheeled disciplines and fallen off most of them.

In 2001 he chucked in his job and went cycling. In 2010 he did exactly the same thing again. In between times he's written a few articles about cycling and a few of them have even made it into print.

Dave was born in Ely Hospital in 1966 after his Dad raced floodwater to get his Mum to the ward before the river Ouse burst.

This explains why he is always in a rush. Dave lives in deepest Wiltshire with his wife Helen and his children Jake and Holly. Wembley the cat used to reside within the family as well but sadly snuffed it a few years ago.

Dave's fiscal profession is Information Technology. He writes articles to fund bike parts and is currently attempting to finish a number of books. Once he has read them, he'll turn his attention to his half completed writing projects. Like all good IT practitioners he rarely finishes anything.

Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder is the rare exception.

Paperback : £6.98    Kindle edition : £0.77


Halfords Tour Series–Durham

DurhamProfessional Racing returns to the city for the third year on Thursday 17th May at 1900hrs

For more info please visit : http://www.tourseries.co.uk/RoundInfo.asp?Round=DURHAM&Id=264

Northern Rock Cyclone 2012

Click to view

Enter online or dowload a postal entry form


Ride A (33miles) - Enter Online
Ride B (63miles) - Enter Online
Ride C (104miles) - Enter Online

Postal Entry

Download Entry Form PDF


The Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge rides are now recognised as one of the premier cycling events in the UK where non competitive cyclists can test their fitness and set themselves a personal challenge. The event is part of the UCI Golden Wheel series and attracts riders from both inside and outside the UK.

Sportive cycle rides are becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe and in the UK. They offer a challenge to all ages and abilities and allow participants to ride at their own pace, whilst enjoying the countryside. These events are not races but do allow those who wish, to test themselves and set their own goals and try and achieve them.Northumberland is known as the “secret County” with some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, quiet roads and friendly natives. What better way to view this spectacular County than by bike. Take in the scenery, stop in small villages along the way and sample the local “fare” on offer.

On 30th June 2012 you have the chance to enter one of three events. The three events and distances have been planned to ensure that there is a challenge for everyone and one that will allow you to ride within your capabilities. All rides meander through the beautiful Northumbrian countryside, passing through quiet lanes and hidden unspoilt villages.

All rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park and will use part of the route to be used on the Sunday by the very top riders in the Country when they compete in the Beaumont Trophy Premier Calendar RR. This race has been won by many famous riders and in 2011 the winner of the Men's National Road Race Championships, Bradley Wiggins, was awarded the Trophy. This was the second time he has won it, the first being in 2009.

The feed stations all remain the same as 2011 The four Feed/timing Stations will have energy drinks, bars and bananas all provided  as part of the entry fee plus a selection of hot drinks and cakes/sandwiches which can be purchased. They will also be manned by volunteers from the villages along with Gosforth Sea Cadets and the TA REME

The feed stations also act as timing stations and it is important that all riders check in using their electronic timing chips so that the organisers can accurately monitor where riders are on the course. These stations also have 1st Aid Facilities and contact back to the Event HQ.

  • Ride A – 33 miles
    Designed for families and those just who want to enjoy the countryside without any large hills. The route is undulating and ascends for a total of 390M (1280ft) whilst passing through a number of small villages with pubs and Coffee shops. There is one feed station at Stamfordham

  • Ride B – 63 miles
    This ride is for semi serious cyclists or those who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. The route is the same route as Ride C for the first half and then goes off in a different direction to eventually join up with ride C again for the last 1/3rd of the ride. It ascends 1217M (3993ft) in the 62mls. There are feed stations at Forestburngate and Stamfordham. The ride also passes through a number of villages and hamlets where there are pubs and coffee shops.

  • Ride C – 104 miles
    A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists or those who are very fit. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing. The route is very choppy with 8 significant climbs and the highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills. There are 4 feed stations on this route at Forestburngate, Elsdon, Wark and Stamfordham.  Riders competing this distance will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride. The standards are set as follows:

  • Gold Standard - under 5hrs 40 mins

  • Silver Standard - 5hrs 41 mins - 6hrs 30mins

  • Bronze Standard - over 6hrs 31mins.

All rides use safe and quiet roads and visit numerous villages along their way. Finishers in all events will be given a finishing time as well as intermediate split times. Riders will be able to download a certificate after completion of the event which will show their finishing time.

Riders will be set off in groups of 60 starting from 8am.  Riders registering for the different rides are requested to register in the following order:

Registration - Friday -  Leazes Park

1pm -8pm

Wherever possible participants for the Saturday rides are requested to register on the Friday to ease congestion on the Saturday morning.

Registration - Saturday - Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground

104mls - 7-8am

63mls - 8.30-9.30am

33mls - 9.30-10.30am

Start times

The following start times are recommended for each distance

104mls - start 8-9am

63 mls - start 9-10am

33 mls - Start 9.30-11.30am

In 2012 it is intended to start the groups in the following order:




If it is not possible to start within the allocated time do not worry as you will be able to start as long as it is before 11.30am.

Entry Fee

Adult over 16 - all rides: £25

Youth Rides A & B: £12.50
Every rider will receive a free T-shirt and Certificate upon completion of their event once they have handed back the timing chip which will be issued to every rider before their ride.  There will be refreshment stops on all three rides where riders can get food and drink supplied by Abbey Well Mineral Water, Powerade & Traidcraft.

There are  numerous cafes and pubs along all three of the routes where competitors can stop and have a rest as well as taking on board food and drink. If you are doing Ride C why not pop into the Cyclists Cafe in Elsdon. This is the cafe situated to the right of the Village Green, behind the church as you come in from Rothbury. You will receive a warm welcome from Allan and Marion and you can have a look a the cycling memorabilia in the Cafe.

Every rider will have automatic event insurance provided by British Cycling for the duration of the event.

The Feed and Timing stations will be manned by the Army (REME) and the Sea Cadets and there will be full medical cover throughout the event. All junctions will be sign posted and exact route details for each ride are on the website. Throughout the event vehicles from Shimano will be on hand to assist those in difficulty and give advice.

Registration for the Sportive rides will be done at the Leazes Park Criteriums on the Friday  as well as on the Saturday before the start. All riders must register individually. It is not possible to register for a number of riders as this invalidates the insurance for those riders. Each rider will be able to see their number and start time on the website before the event. It is hoped that most riders will register on the Friday afternoon and evening in order to reduce queues on the Saturday morning. The added bonus for registering on the Friday (1pm-8pm) is that you can watch and enjoy the Criterium racing in Leazes Park and socialise with other competitors whom you may see on the road the next day.

Free bike checks will be offered by Cyclelogical www.cyclelogical-newcastle.com to all those who have entered the event. Just quote your number and the event you have entered. It is advisable to have your bike checked well in advance so that your enjoyment of the weekend is not spoilt by a mechanical failure on the day. Advice can also be given to the about  what clothing to wear, correct riding position and what tools and drinks to carry on the day and during training for the event.

Event Parking

There is parking for 700 cars at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground. These spaces can be pre booked. A voucher will be issued which can then be used in either the Bars or restaurant at the Falcons on the day. Free Car parking for all those who have not booked a space will be at the Great North Park Park and Ride which is 1.5mls from the Falcons Ground. This car park will be sign posted with Stewards to guide riders to the start. The Car Park can accommodate 500 cars. There is also parking at Newcastle Airport. Information about this parking is in the News Section.

Match Day Parking will apply in the vicinity of Kingston Park and you will receive a Parking Ticket if you do not have a Residents Permit - be warned.

Charity Information
If you decide you are going to ride on behalf of one of the nominated Charities you will be sent a sponsorship pack from that charity once you have registered. You can then raise money for that charity. This could be as little as £1. There is no obligation to sign for a charity and you can just do the ride of your choice without any charity involvement if you wish. However it is hoped that many people will ride on behalf of a charity. There is also a bonus if you decide to ride on behalf of a charity. You will then be eligible to win one of the great prizes on offer for those raising the most amount for their charity. In 2011 there were over £2000 in prizes on offer courtesy of Madison.

Litter disposal
After the problems regarding litter disposl at the feed stations in 2009 things did improve in 2010 & 2011. However riders are still disposing of Gel wrappers etc in the countryside and this lead to several complaints from the residents who live along the routes. Please dispose of litter considerately in 2012.


The Official photographers  for the Challenge rides are  Marathon  Photos. They will have a Team of photographers out around the routes to taking pictures of all riders. The photos will then be available at www.marathon-photos.com within 48hrs of the completion of the event.


All riders will be able to download their own personalised certificate Free from thewww.marathon-photos.com website.

Event Entry

All those wishing to take part in one of the three rides must pre - enter either using the online entry module on the website or by sending in a completed entry form which can be downloaded from the event website. Entries willclose when the maximum capacity has been reached for each ride.

It is not possible to enter on the day of the event or the day before. Entries will close on the 25th June or sooner if the maximum for each ride is reached.

Time trials and new, steep climbs are set to take centre stage in the 2012 Tour de France

route1 Tour de France route officially revealed in Paris

The route features 90km of time trials, as well as the 6.1km opening prologue in Liege, favouring riders who are strong against the clock as well as in the mountains.

The peloton will tackle 25 second, first and HC climbs, two more than this year’s race, but with only three summit finishes, one less than 2011.

“There are more time trials and less summit finishes, but you really can’t predict who is going to win it,” said race director Christian Prudhomme.

Three-time winner Alberto Contador, Briton Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans will start among the favourites, but pure climbers will have the opportunity to gain time on a series of previously unraced climbs.

Prudhomme added: ”There are new climbs featuring very steep parts with very high gradients. It should make for a thrilling race. Those who will want to attack far from the finish will be able to do so.”

Liege is the only city to have hosted the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia,  and the prologue, on Saturday June 30, will follow the same course that saw Fabian Cancellara claim victory ahead of eventual champion Lance Armstrong in 2004.

Two road stages then follow in the Belgian provence, the first using the roads of Liege-Bastogne-Liege and set to suit a puncheur in the mould of Philippe Gilbert. Mark Cavendish is likely to get his first shot at a stage victory a day later with Prudhomme predicting a bunch sprint in Tournai.

The race enters the Jura Mountains on stage seven, with the first summit finish to La Planche des Belle Filles, a new 5.9km climb at an average gradient of 8.5 per cent, with a section at more that 20 per cent. Stage eight finishes in Porrentruy, Switzerland, while stage nine is a 38km time trial.

A final day in the Jura features the tough climb of the Grand Colombier – 17.4km at 7.1 per cent - before two days in the Alps begin on stage 11, featuring the ascents of the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon, Col de La Croix de Fer, Col du Mollard and the final ascent to La Toussuire.

After three transition stages, the Pyrenees beckon, with stage 17 featuring the final summit finish to Peyragudes. Stage 19, a 52km time trial, will provide the final general classification shake-up before the race arrives in Paris.

In total, there are nine flat stages, four medium mountain stages (one summit finish on stage seven in the Jura Mountains), five high mountain stages (two summit finishes on stage 11 in the Alps and stage 17 in the Pyrenees).

2012 Tour de France route

P Prologue Sat 30 June Liège-Liège 6.1 km
1 Road stage Sun 1 July Liège-Seraing 198 km
2 Road stage Mon 2 July Visé-Tournai 207 km
3 Road stage Tues 3 July Orchies-Boulogne-sur-Mer 197 km
4 Road stage Weds 4 July Abbeville-Rouen 214 km
5 Road stage Thurs 5 July Rouen-Saint-Quentin 197 km
6 Road stage Fri 6 July Épernay-Metz 210 km
7 Road stage Sat 7 July Tomblain-La Planche des Belles Filles 199 km
8 Road stage Sun 8 July Belfort-Porrentruy 154 km
9 Time trial Mon 9 July Arc et Senans-Besançon 38 km
10 Road stage Weds 11 July Mâcon-Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194 km
11 Mountains Thurs 12 July Albertville-La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 140 km
12 Mountains Fri 13 July Saint Jean de Maurienne-Annonay 220 km
13 Road stage Sat 14 July Saint Paul Trois Châteaux-Le Cap d’Agde 215 km
14 Road stage Sun 15 July Limoux-Foix 192 km
15 Road stage Mon 16 July Samatan-Pau 160 km
16 Mountains Weds 18 July Pau-Bagnères de Luchon 197 km
17 Mountains Thurs 19 July Bagnères de Luchon-Peyragudes 144 km
18 Road stage Fri 20 July Blagnac-Brive la Gaillarde 215 km
19 Time trial Sat 21 July Bonneval-Chartres 52 km
20 Road stage Sun 22 July Rambouillet- Paris Champs-Élysées 130 km

Mark Cavendish – Boy Racer

Mark CavendishFour Stage wins in the 2008 Tour De France and six in 2009, made HTC-Colombia’s Mark Cavendish a household name amongst cyclists.

Read his story of the 2008 Tour de France and a little of 2009

RRP is £7.99 but once again it can be bought post free from Amazon for £5– so ‘Sprint’ over to your

computer, dial in www.amazon.co.uk and order yourself a copy.

High5 Sports Nutrition – Guides to download

High5 Advanced Sports Nutrition – Guides to help you when on our ‘longer’ rides.

Click on either of the images below to view / print or save the documents (in pdf format)

Click Here to download High 5 - Road leaflet Click Here to download High5 - MTB leaflet