The Rough Stuff Fellowship…

Started in May 1955 at the ‘Black Swan’ in Leominster by, amongst others, our old mate and hero Charlie Chadwick!

The RSF is a national club for cyclists who enjoy riding on bridleways, tracks and quiet lanes.

Myself and a number of the #grassupthemiddle gang are members and if you’ve been following this blog long enough you’ll know that we’ve posted a number of submissions from other RSF members.

It’s a club with so much history and a wonderful way of doing things. I thoroughly look forward to receiving my ‘Rough Stuff Journal’ in the post every time a new edition is due. Not too dissimilar to this blog, it is a way for members to share what they’ve been upto wherever they may be and whatever cycling they may be enjoying.

If you aren’t already a member, or are unfamiliar with the Fellowship I would encourage you to head over to their site – RSF

I’ve recently been corresponding with Rob Newton from the Fellowship and am delighted that a link to our humble blog can now be found on the RSF site and in return you’ll find a link to the Fellowship on our header menu. You’ll also find a new link to the fabulous Charlie Chadwick blog by David Warner. So nice to be able to make new friends through a shared passion for cycling!

To give you a taster of what to expect from the Rough Stuff Journal, here’s a few words from Rob, with some choice Rough Stuff themed pics thrown in for good measure.

Enjoy.

Cycling through the seasons…


 

What I love about off-road cycling in the countryside is the sense of connection you have with the landscape and of course the seasons.

 There are landmark moments when I’m out on my bike which I only realise later that Ive been waiting for to mark the turn of the seasons. I always await with great anticipation the call of the curlew and peewit up on the high Pennine moorland which marks the end of winter and beginning of Spring. The freshly minted greens of trees and hedgerows in bud seem to light your way home at twilight.

 

It is also the peewit that marks the beginning of summer for me – the first time I’m bombed by one I know it’s nesting and that it is trying to keep me away from the eggs. Swallows skim the cornfields and martins flock in farmyards.

 

The end of summer and onset of Autumn creeps up on you. The nettles are everywhere and there is no truth in the rumour that they lose their sting after August! Great flocks of twittering goldfinches rise from fluffy clumps of nettle heads as you approach and seemingly give you a good telling off for disturbing their feeding! Swallows line the telegraph wires waiting for just the right moment to depart. Suddenly it seems the heather is purple and the hills have changed colour. Blackberries await you in every hedgerow, ripe and luscious – can the dogs reach this high to wee?

 

The leaves begin to turn and then suddenly they’re gone and it’s winter. You wait for frosty mornings when muddy tracks are solid with frost. The now rare snowfall can mean the postponement of a ride or more wonderfully the crunch of virgin snow under wheel as you venture forth on unridden tracks.

 

And then it’s the curlews and peewits again!

Words – Paul Rance & Rob Newton
 

 

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