2013 Road.cc Tourist Trophy

by VecchioJo   January 2, 2013  

Right then, new year, new challenge.

For 2013 I present the Road.cc Tourist Trophy - ride in a different county each month of the year.

Basically an excuse to travel round this country and remind ourselves how beautiful it is, visit some places you’ve always wanted to go, and maybe see far-flung friends you’ve been meaning to ride with for ages.

The rules are pretty simple – aim to ride in a different county every month of 2013.

You’re not allowed to count your home county as a tick for a month.

You can start from your home county and ride into a neighbouring one, but only to claim a maximum of two counties so that those within striking distance of many aren’t at an unfair advantage.

You’re allowed one Wild Card foreign destination for a month should you be lucky enough to travel overseas. A ride must be what you would normally class as a proper ride and not just a quick spin round the car-park to claim a county. A race will count as a ride.

There won’t be a trophy. Maybe just some socks.

Sign up and send a postcard each month below.

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Resident County: Bedfordshire

January: Middlesex
February: Derbyshire
March: Hertfordshire
April: Oxfordshire
May: Cheshire

Friday I rode from Bedford to Droitwich Spa almost entirely on back roads but passing the walls of Warwick Castle (Olney - Towcester - Southam - Warwick - Alcester). I barely came across a car, it was a bucolic odyssey albeit one that featured an unrelenting headwind. I shared a lift to Chester with a friend for a reunion and then rode home to Beds on the Sunday. Having struggled to get out anywhere new last month I get to choose from Northants, Warwicks, Worcs, Cheshire, Salop, Staffs and Leics.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [320 posts]
13th May 2013 - 17:40

16 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)

Dorset blog post now online - http://milltag.cc/uncategorized/apriltt

May:
Stage 1 - Perth & Kinross: Etape Caledonia [medium mountains]
Stage 2 - Fife: Tayport to St Andrews and back again [flat]
Stage 3 - Angus: Tay Road Bridge & Dundee [city centre criterium]
Stage 4 - Perth & Kinross: Cairngorms [summit finish, in Aberdeenshire]
Stage 5 - Cumbria: The Lake District [medium mountains]
Stage 6 - Cumbria: The Lake District [intermediate]

Tourist Trophy trip to the far north for the Etape Caledonia last Sunday. Afterwards drove down to Tayport to visit friends, so day after Etape was a recovery ride along Fife Coastal Route to St Andrews and back again. Day after that a spin over the Tay Road Bridge into Dundee. On the Wednesday drove up to the Glenshee ski station and rode down to Bridge of Cally, and then back up to the ski station.

Started the drive back to Brighton on Thursday morning, breaking the journey in the Lake District. So Thursday afternoon a short lap of Derwent Water and over Newlands Hause and Honister Pass. Up at the crack o' sparrows on Friday for a short ride around the hills near Ullswater. Then the long drive back to the seaside.

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
18th May 2013 - 11:14

13 Likes

Was just tidying up my flickr stream and remembered Jo has asked us to send a postcard in this thread. So here's April in Denbighshire:


Horseshoe Pass Summit by Bhachgen, on Flickr

and May in Durham:


Three-wheeling at Burnhope by Bhachgen, on Flickr

posted by Bhachgen [93 posts]
20th May 2013 - 9:55

17 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling

(Photo was taken in Highlands!))

Towards Kinlochleven by blackhound59, on Flickr

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
29th May 2013 - 10:01

17 Likes

I might have to bend the rules here a tiny bit to fit in, and am only just starting so will backdate as much as I can... Here goes.

Home 'county' Vallee D'Aulps, Haute Savoie, France.

Jan - Leicestershire
Feb (too snowy!)
Mar (too snowy!)
April - Zillertal, Austria
May - Lake Geneva, Switzerland
June -

posted by Ali Gibb [8 posts]
29th May 2013 - 13:30

19 Likes

just found the postcards for last month.

unfortunately couldn't find any proper old-school postcards with faded photos of ford anglias parked half way up a big hill

2013-05-19 12.18.00.jpg 2013-05-19 12.17.46.jpg
themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 8:45

15 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria

June:
Stage 1 - Somerset & Wiltshire: 100 miles from Bath to Salisbury via Cheddar Gorge and Wells. Got 'lost' a couple of times, rained so hard between Bath and Cheddar that route notes disintegrated, and maps got wet.
[I know I did a bit of Wiltshire in April but it was only a tiny bit, not a proper ride]

Stage 2 - Wiltshire, Hampshire, West Sussex: Another 100 miles to get home from Salisbury. Technically Hampshire and West Sussex don't count as Jo is counting West & East Sussex as same place, and Hampshire is bordering West Sussex and I've used up all my neighbouring counties* already. But there were no trains home due to Southern Train banning all bikes on trains to Brighton due to London2Brighton charity bike ride, and I had to get home somehow. Gashed rear tyre on metal or glass near Southampton, patched it up best I could and hoped for the best. Got to Chichester and couldn't face the suburban sprawl of Littlehampton, Worthing, etc, so headed inland to Petworth and back via the countryside.

*However I see rules state riding from home into a neighbouring county for max of two counties. Doesn't say anything about riding from the other side of a neighbouring county, through a neighbouring county and back into home county. Therefore I think I've found a loophole that allows me to claim Hampshire.

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
17th June 2013 - 8:56

16 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex

Last weekend rode along the SDW so picking Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex, as my point 2 day of loaded touring with a camp at Amberley.

And the tea shop at Pyecombe (The Forge?) is shut. Thought I missed it last year but think it has been converted to a residence.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
21st June 2013 - 21:01

16 Likes

Here's June's postcard. County bagged was Staffs though I think this photo is just over the border in Cheshire:

posted by Bhachgen [93 posts]
28th June 2013 - 12:07

16 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire

I pootled down to North Warwickshire on Saturday, quite close to where I often ride in a 4 county ride (including my home). So some new roads a little further out which I will be visiting again.

August will be a far-flung one as about to disappear for weeks.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
7th July 2013 - 18:53

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May TT blog post http://milltag.cc/riding/may-tourist-trophy

Playing the wild card this month. Off to France to ride up and down some hills, and along some valley floors.

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
13th July 2013 - 7:43

19 Likes

Home county: Lancashire

January: West Lothian. Special guest appearance in the snow with Lothian and Borders CTC - beats a day in with the Mother-in-Law.
February: Merseyside. Commute from Chorley to Rainford via Orrell and Upholland. Sunny day, freezing in the morning, several layers less going home!
March: Cheshire. Another work trip, this time in Warrington. Got a lift to Wigan in the morning. Rode all the way home by which time it was pretty windy. Fortunately the blizzards held off until much later!
April: Denbighshire. Race Marshalling on the Cheshire Classic at Weaverham. Took a 'minor diversion' on the drive home. Nipped across the border, parked up at Llandegla and rode the Horseshoe Pass both ways. Great fun road but must head back sometime when it's less windy!
May: Durham. The word "windy" is becoming a theme in this thread. Some fabulous roads - the road builders up there seem not to care for terrain, they just lay the road wherever they want it to go irrespective of the gradient! 500m of ascent in just over 30km. Loved it.
June: Staffordshire. More marshalling at Weaverham. Went east this time once my duties were over. Parked up in Biddulph and went to check out the (in)famous Mow Cop. Steep!
July: Shropshire. Another multi-tasking type trip. My wife had a meeting in Telford and we decided to continue on to visit family in Mid-Wales from there. I found a really enjoyable route using cycle paths down to the Ironbridge Gorge and then into the lanes around the Wrekin. Cracking little loop in beautiful weather.
August:
September:
October:
November:
December:

Still managing to avoid using Greater Manchester which is the nearest one.

posted by Bhachgen [93 posts]
15th July 2013 - 17:04

16 Likes

Here's July's postcard from Ironbridge in Shropshire:

posted by Bhachgen [93 posts]
15th July 2013 - 17:06

17 Likes

January: Middlesex
February: Derbyshire
March: Hertfordshire
April: Oxfordshire
May: Cheshire
June: Buckinghamshire
July: France

I struggled for miles in June and ended up having to play my second local joker which may well doom my attempt at this come December. July, on the other hand, was La Marmotte which was a struggle of a different kind. The French Alps are really exceptionally beautiful in summer and the ride is genuinely tough. Anyone who fancies a crack at the 21 bends of Alpe d'Huez with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees in the shade and 100 miles of Glandon, Telegraphe and Galibier in their legs probably needs their head examining. Go on and examine my head because I'd be back there like a shot given the chance to do it again. It is an extraordinary day out on the bike and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [320 posts]
16th July 2013 - 22:30

15 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire

July: Lot and Correze, France

http://www.themanfromicon.com/rapharising2013.html

next up...somewhere flat

lot postcard.jpg
themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
27th July 2013 - 21:12

14 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire
July: Lot and Correze, France

August: Suffolk, Norfolk (somewhere flat as promised)

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
19th August 2013 - 21:07

16 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire
August: Sweetwater County, Wyoming

Did an almost 7 week touring trip from Fernie, Canada to Denver covering about 1,800 miles including rest days. September will be more mundane.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
30th August 2013 - 10:06

13 Likes

Home County Bedfordshire

January: Middlesex
February: Derbyshire
March: Hertfordshire
April: Oxfordshire
May: Cheshire
June: Buckinghamshire
July: France
August:Warwickshire

Injury, holiday and work had all conspired to keep me off the bike. Thanks to this and the MCC I had to swing a leg over the bike yesterday and eat up the miles. It was a beautiful day, I combined part of the Phil Cooke challenge route with a route across Northants and Warks I had done in May. Thanks for the inspiration to keep on riding, I wouldn't have gone out without you. The Phil Cooke is a great early season leg stretcher and charity fund raiser. If you are in striking distance of Rugby or Towcester it is well worth a try.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [320 posts]
1st September 2013 - 11:44

19 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire
July: Lot and Correze, France
August: Suffolk, Norfolk

September: Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Powys

First day rode from the Wye Valley over the border into Wales and to the Black Mountains and back again. Day two was a "recovery" ride in the Forest of Dean.

IMG_20130914_190142.jpg IMG_20130914_180941.jpg
themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
15th September 2013 - 22:10

17 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire
August: Sweetwater County, Wyoming
September: Northumberland

Rode from Kielder to Newcastleton in Scotland and back using the border trail. Saw 3 people all day, none on bikes in 40 miles.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
16th September 2013 - 9:05

14 Likes
themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
22nd September 2013 - 9:23

13 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire
July: Lot and Correze, France
August: Suffolk, Norfolk
September: Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Powys

October: Derbyshire, Staffordshire

Tour of the south eastern part of the Peak District from Ilam up through Bakewell to Winnats Pass, and back via Taddington and Hartington. Then a short ride in the Staffordshire Moors the day after.

IMG_4025.jpg
themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
29th October 2013 - 19:39

15 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire
August: Sweetwater County, Wyoming
September: Northumberland
October: Staffordshire

Had a weekend away with Herself and got a spin in around Rugeley area although also visited on a long road ride from home,

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
3rd November 2013 - 23:03

14 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirling
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire
August: Sweetwater County, Wyoming
September: Northumberland
October: Staffordshire
November: Leicestershire

I entered Leicestershire just 13km into my ride via Nottinghamshire. I crossed county boundaries a few times venturing into Staffs as well before getting home after a 167km day.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
26th November 2013 - 22:50

12 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire
July: Lot and Correze, France
August: Suffolk, Norfolk
September: Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Powys
October: Derbyshire, Staffordshire

November: Cornwall

Couple of days in Cornwall. First day 40 mile round trip for a pasty, along the north coast from Wadebridge to Tintagel before blasting back a bit further inland. Second day was 70 miles up and around Bodmin Moor before heading down to the south coast and back again. Seemingly via every hill possible.

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
1st December 2013 - 23:07

11 Likes

Resident County: Greater London

January: Buckinghamshire
February: Middlesex
March: Kent
April: Somerset
June: South Yorkshire
July: Norfolk
August: Gwent
September: Hertfordshire
October: Greater London
November: Essex
December:

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 21:48

16 Likes

Home county: East Sussex

January: Surrey
February: Kent
March: Isle of Wight
April: Dorset (and a tiny bit of Wiltshire)
May: Perth & Kinross, Angus, Fife, Cumbria
June: Somerset, Wiltshire (properly), Hampshire
July: Lot and Correze, France
August: Suffolk, Norfolk
September: Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Powys
October: Derbyshire, Staffordshire
November: Cornwall
December: Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey

Went "home" to ride the hometown roads that I rode as a kid, and then local roads from my teenage years when I got into road biking after watching Robert Millar in the 1985 TdF. Not ridden these roads for about 25 years but didn't need my map as it all came flooding back. Chased my teenage self for 65 miles.

Photographic record of the whole year www.themanfromicon.com/TT2013/TT2013.html

themanfromicon's picture

posted by themanfromicon [20 posts]
14th December 2013 - 22:51

7 Likes

Home county: Derbyshire

January: Powys
February: Lincolnshire
March: Gwynedd
April: Norfolk.
May: Stirlingshire
June: East Sussex
July: Warwickshire
August: Sweetwater County, Wyoming
September: Northumberland
October: Staffordshire
November: Leicestershire
December: Nottinghamshire

Had planned December to be Yorkshire but despite a 100+ mile ride I was 2 miles short of the county and it also felt a bit 'ceremonial'. So, my counting ride is from a 114km ride earlier in the month on my CX bike to Sherwood Pines and back joining up minor roads, bridleways and some Sustrans tracks.

Thanks to VecchioJo for the inspiration to get to a fe different destinations.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
17th December 2013 - 12:34

10 Likes

i have been remiss with keeping tabs on this apologies, and my own attempt has been scuppered, ironically by travelling too much and breaking the Wildcard Foreign Country Rule Smile

January: Surrey
February: Wiltshire
March: West Yorkshire
April: Dorset
June: Gloucestershire
July: France
August: Lancashire
September: France
October: Italy
November: Hampshire
December: Kent

congratulations to Blackhound and themanfromicon for seeing it through, i hope pedalling to every corner of the country was worth all the effort

posted by VecchioJo [753 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 16:49

4 Likes

Failed in September unfortunately.

Or I could use an iffy local option of Greater Manchester for September, an even iffier West Yorkshire for October (as in an area that used to be in the West Riding of Yorkshire and some locals still claim as such but is now in Greater Manchester aand thus would negate my September one!)

That still leaves me failing in November anyway though I ended the year on a high with some frosty mountain bike action in Perthshire.

Here's a postcard from there:

posted by Bhachgen [93 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 12:39

7 Likes