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Hugh Spear
From the fast lane to the slow lane in twenty easy years.
Interests: Cycling, Sea Kayaking, Ocean Racing, Paddling, Skiing, Reading, Watchint films
Recent Activity
This was my final day on these mountains and my plan was to return to my car, but rather than take the long diversion of the track, I was going to try to navigate over the hills using the directions a back-country skier would follow during the Winter. This was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at Travels by Bicycle
On the third day my destination was Betty Bear Hut. To get there I would need to cross the Continental Divide at Hagerman Pass. On the third day my destination was Betty Bear Hut. To get there I would need to cross the Continental Divide at Hagerman Pass. Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at Travels by Bicycle
On the second day in the Rocky Mountains I was going to descend from Uncle Bud's hut, cross over to the other side of Turquoise Lake and then ascend the gravel track, followed by the old railway grade towards Hagerman's Pass to reach Skinner Hut. I decided that as my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at Travels by Bicycle
I got up in the condo in Vail I was staying at, and made breakfast and made some sandwiches for later in the day. The bike shop would not open until 10am and would take an hour to reach, so I had plenty of time. I had already packed most... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
I planned to visit Vail in Colorado in July 2016 and wanted to do an interesting bike trip. I had already heard about the 10th, Mountain huts as places to stay in the Winter when you were travelling cross-country on skis. But then I read this article which opened my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
I awoke early, just after 5am to the sound of heavy vehicles. I realised that the logging truck on a hill above my camp, had started work again. I turned on my head torch and whereas the previous morning I could see condensation on the inside of the tent, ready... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
It hadn't been a great night in my new tent, with new sleep mat and new sleeping bag. There was a lot of nylon against nylon and as I hadn't pitched my tent level, I found myself pressing against one side and the end of the tent. There was a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
This trip was inspired by two others. Chris from Omafiets bike shop has described his journey here, and he was in turn inspired by Arran Pearson's crazy account of the same journey in a single day. The cycling starts at Lithgow railway station and finishes at Mittagong railway station. Before... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
As I said at the start of this journey, this trip has transformed my attitude to cycling. I have done several multi-day cycles in the past, mostly with others, and mostly supported by a vehicle. This was my first on my own and unassisted. Somewhere on the way I stopped... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
Having had at nice breakfast with Jude and left her with an awkward hug, I headed off. This was my last day on the bike, and by this stage in my journey, I wasn't really thinking about the cycling. Instead I was thinking much more about people and places. Jude... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
It was a beautiful morning and I went down to wave goodbye to my new Welsh friends. They would have the fun of descending the Haast Pass in the sunshine. Then for me the view would be of lake Wanaka initially. And then lake Hawea. Every corner brought a postcard... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
I was woken by thunder, lightening and very heavy rain. It was 4am. I thought of the rugged bike packing tourers and knew they would not care about the rain, they would just get on with it. I on the other hand, turned over and went back to sleep. I... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
When you wake up and see this from your bedroom window, you know you did some good in a previous life. I got up early, showered and packed and headed out to get some breakfast. I decided to have breakfast in the restaurant where 12 hours earlier I had dined... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
I left my little piece of the middle ages at quite an early hour. It was light, I was awake, I'd finished cleaning up, and it wasn't raining. I cycled to the general store I'd used the previous day and got myself a coffee. While I drank the coffee I... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
It had rained all night, and the morning looked dark. I didn't want to cycle in the rain without some lights. This West coast road was the only one for anyone travelling any distance, so I could expect quite a bit of traffic. Fortunately Hokitika has a pretty good cycle... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
My plan today was to start early and do a bit of climbing before breakfast. The Bealey Hotel wouldn't open early, so my best bet was to get to Arthur's Pass and get breakfast. So that is what I did. It was dark when I got up and retrieved my... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
When I started this journey I was glad that I'd broken the trip between Christchurch and Bealey into two. The distances don't look too long, but there was a fair bit of climbing, and as I was to discover, a headwind for most of the day. On the plus side,... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
The Air New Zealand flight landed at Christchurch at 1:30pm on the Friday. I had already emailed the airport beforehand, to ask how to dispose of my bike box. Their response was an indication of the welcome cyclists are given in New Zealand, and contrasts markedly with the New South... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
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765kms of cycling up and down 5,223m of hills in 9 days. Bruce Bay, Westland, New Zealand It is fitting that this is the first entry in this blog, as it was the trip that transformed my approach to cycling. Originally planned at New Zealand Part 2 - South Island,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at Travels by Bicycle
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Mother's Day 12th May - here are some great ideas for a personalised gift for Mum! Olly did a lion for Mum - hope he did not mishear Mum say " I would like a lie in for Mother's day and not a lion!" & Molly did her Mum a... Continue reading
General There are many events throughout the year in the Peak District. There are detailed listings at the Peak District Vistors website here, or on the Chatsworth House website here. So below you will only find a selection which we have attended and can offer some first-hand recommendations. The Peak... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Rokeby Cottage in Hathersage
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Dear Siri, We have had a great time together, but I'm afraid I have been seeing somone else and I'm going to be going away with them. "Hello Galaxy". That would be one way of starting my "Dear John" letter... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Hugh Spear's Blog
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This fine work by David Green was the winner of Pot of the Week at Jenny's on March 6th 2014. David was awarded the prize as he used some interesting colours and also used a cut sponge to make the flower shapes decorating the outside of the vase. David Green's... Continue reading
For many years now the Peak District has offered great dining and drinking. The list below is not at all comprehensive, merely a selection of places that the owners have enjoyed and can recommend. We would encourage guests to try out new places and the let us know their experiences.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2013 at Rokeby Cottage in Hathersage
This list is by no means complete. But it does provide a starting point from which you can explore further. Hathersage. David Mellor’s factory and museum is about 15 minutes walk away, towards Grindleford. This is nothing to do with the politician, but everything to do with fine silver cutlery... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2013 at Rokeby Cottage in Hathersage