Introduction - About Us02 Jun 1970
Welcome to our site.
We like to think we’re normal, but you’ll have to make your own decision on that. We’ve both retired, but don’t like the idea of doing nothing. We’re both involved in various local organisations. Our children are now adults, and we’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel.
We’ve done a bit over the years, but we’re not impressive cyclists - most of the time we use our electric beasts now, with fairly short rides. Electric bikes have been a revelation to us, allowing us to get back out again when we’ve had problems and probably wouldn’t have managed ‘normal’ bikes. We’ve found it best to ‘give it a try’, although we do try to prepare and keep ourselves as fit as we can.
Nick cycled a little when growing up, but then didn’t cycle again, until about 1990 - the family was very young, and money was tight. Nick decided to find out if cycling to and from work was a possibility in order to save money. A raleigh racing bike was rescued from the shed, and on one of his days off he set off with a packed lunch to see if he could ride the 4 miles into work - this, with the return journey, was a major expedition, and he didn’t know if we would be able to manage it. Nick was a bit surprised to find the return trip could be done in a little over an hour! After a few weeks of cycling too and from work, and having worked out how much money was being saved, we cut down on car and motorcycle use significanlty, and Nick continued cycling.
By 1992 Daphne & Nick each had cycles, and we also had ‘trailer-bikes’ which fitted onto the rear of our bikes, and allowed our children to cycle with us. A trial holiday on the South Coast convinced us that England wasn’t the most cycle friendly Country, and in 1992 we cycle-camped in Holland.
Although the children loved that holiday, after a couple more trips to Holland we did very little more cycle camping for several years.
In 2004 we used our favourite bike, a tandem, cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats - we were not at all confident when we started that journey, and we’d only booked accomodation for the first few nights. If it wasn’t going well we planned (if we got that far), to have a relaxing holiday in South Wales. We had 18 cycling days over a 26 day holiday, and always felt we’d gone too fast, as there were many places we would have liked to explore more.
Having cycled ‘LE JOG’ we looked for a fresh challenge & after a search of the shelves in Stanfords in London, we hit on ‘The Loire Valley’ - a cycle trip which we thought would be easy as it was a shorter journey. We used a trailer (B.O.B. Yak - ‘Beast of Burden’). For some reason we decided that the trip would be started at the Sea, and finished at the source - PPP comes to mind (Piss poor planning!). That first year we made it from St Nazaire, to the Chateau region. We were in love with France! It was so beautiful, and there was so much too see, that we just lingered. Our son drove out to meet us, and brought us back - we finished the length of the Loire river the following year - another wonderful holiday.
Nick had broken both of his wrists when he was in his early 20’s. They never completely healed, and caused him a few problems, so that by the time 2013 arrived Daphne and Nick were riding a very different tandem.
It turned a few heads when we cycled the Coast to Coast in 2013.
We still have our recumbent tandem, but began breaking spokes a little too regularly, so now we ride solo machines. Nick’s current machine is still a little unusual!
Hopefully we’ll find time to tell you more about our adventures. But don’t just read about our trips - give it a try yourself.
We thoroughly enjoyed walking Hadrians Wall, and take walks on pretty well a daily basis. Our current ‘challenge’ has been going on for several years = The North Downs Way
Canals & Narrow Boats
Daphne & her family had a relative who they visited, and he lived close to a canal. They became interested, and began to take canal boat holidays every year at Easter. Nick joined them, and enjoyed these holidays as well. Fast forward over 40 years, and we now have shares in narrowboat ‘Maia’, and spend roughly 4 weeks a year on her.
Daphne has been a member of the Girl Guides since she was a young girl, and has held various roles. She is currently a Ranger Guide Leader, and is also heavily involved in the management of Paxwood, a local Guide campsite.
Daphne is also a member of Kent Search & Rescue, where she becomes involved in searching for missing persons, and also gives talks. Most people have heard of Mountain Rescue, but just as important are their lowland cousins. There are many missing people each year, who are vulnerable through illnesses such as dementia, or just through circumstances, such as young people. Children are an obvious concern, but in this highly pressurised environment of our lives, teenagers concerned about exams, life or love, are also extremely vulnerable, and are frequently reported missing to the police. The police rely heavily on the volunteers in their local Search & Rescue branch to carry out searches. There are stringent National standards that the volunteers have to achieve and generally speaking they receive no funding, and very little recognition. If you’re looking for a worthy charity to support, consider your local Search & Rescue Branch.
Nick has been a member of the Scout Association ever since he was a cub scout in the the 1960’s - there have been a few gaps though. His roles have been varied, and he is still a keen supporter of the Scout Association and all that they do for young people.
Nick has been a contributor for OpenStreetMap since its infancy. He was a member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and subsequently has been heavily involved in the Missing Maps team of volunteers who try to make sure that Aid Agencies such as The Red Cross, Medecine sans Frontiers, and many others, have high quality mapping data to help them in their work.
Nick may also be a nerd as he loves computers and gadgets!
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