The Rough Stuff Fellowship
In the Beginning...
The history of the RSF goes way back to its foundation in 1955, long before anyone had ever heard of Marin County. It was formed by cyclists who wanted to get away from roads and cycle off-road on tracks, and byways.
Bikes then were a world away from their modern-day counterparts. Steel frames, no suspension, no disk or V-brakes and gearing to make your hair curl. That was only part of the story though. Clothing, too, has seen major advances in materials and design in the intervening years. Of course, some prefer the more traditional approach...
Why the name "Rough Stuff"? Read more about the organisation and derivation here
The RSF has a number of established local groups around the UK who organise local rides and events. Details of these can be found here on the website.
The RSF also publishes the bi-monthly Rough-Stuff Journal which is circulated to members free of charge. The Journal includes a wealth of news and trip reports from around the UK and further afield. You can view or download a sample copy of a past RSJ issue here.
A number of route descriptions and trip reports from near and far have been archived - feel free to browse them.
You don't have to be a member to use the noticeboard section. If you want to place your own small ads - either a For Sale or Wanted, then this is the place to do it. Local group organisers might also want to put up messages concerning meets, or whatever...
The RSF promotes responsible access to the countryside. We have a Code of Practice, which members are asked to adhere to. For legal reasons, the RSF has formed itself into a Company. More details of this, and of insurance issues, can be found on the Legal & Admin page.
The RSF has members scattered across the globe. Most, of course, are UK-based. Membership includes free copies of the Journal and access to many other RSF publications. If you're interested in joining, then details can be found here.
The Easter Meet and AGM are held at various locations around the country. Read more here...
Steve Griffith has written an article describing the origins of off-road cycling in the UK.
Special offer from Impsport on RSF cycling clothing until June 1st. Get 10% discount on online orders when you enter code YCS10 at the checkout.
See the Sales page for more details.
Get Britain Cycling Campaign
This is part of a statement issued recently by Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman:
"Last Wednesday a group of MPs published a report about how we can Get Britain Cycling. At the heart of the report is a recommendation for strong political leadership to put cycling at the heart of transport policy.
The current level of investment and piecemeal approach will not realise cycling’s potential to have a positive impact on the nation’s health, wellbeing, and the environment – including how cycling can transform our towns, cities and villages into much more pleasant places to live.
If we want 10 percent of all journeys to be made by bike by 2025 – a five fold increase on today’s figures – then we need the government to reallocate the existing transport budget to spend at least £10 per head on cycling. We also need a mandatory cycling assessment to be made before new roads and junctions are built and a commitment to improve existing infrastructure, as well as a commitment to put cycling in the national curriculum so that all children get the opportunities to learn how to ride a bike confidently.
We need to keep putting pressure on the government to put these recommendations in place. To that end, the Times newspaper has started an e-petition and, alongside other cycling bodies such as the CTC, we are supporting it wholeheartedly. The government require 100,000 signatures before they will consider holding a debate in parliament. We’re almost half way there but we need your help to really keep up the momentum on this vital issue."
If you'd like to find out more and sign the petition then you can visit the British Cycling website
CTC York Rally
We need a York Rally coordinator to organise the RSF stand at the CTC York Rally held at the end of June. This is a vital job and we really would welcome a volunteer.
The purpose of this role is to organise the RSF stand at the annual CTC York Rally held at the end of June over a weekend. The purpose of the stand is to publicise the RSF, you will meet quite a few of the existing membership and help recruit new members, in conjunction with a number of members who man the stand. Arranging the rota: time duration approx Sat 1000 to 1600 Sunday 1000 to 1400. NB the RSF stand is held locally and all material is provided. For further details please contact Steve Griffith
Posh Bikes and Tea Leaves...
Staffordshire Police have been noting an increase in bike thefts in their area, particularly in the number of high-value cycles being stolen from sheds and outbuildings across the south of the county.
Their comments come in a document available from the Online Watch Link website and it says that:
"Our investigations have shown that some of the victims had been using websites and mobile phone apps to log their routes - these sites allow users to view each others' routes and track their rides.
"Some of the GPS data recorded and shared on these sites is so accurate you can pinpoint the house where the journeys have begun and ended. We suspect some thieves have been using these sites to identify potential victims and high-value bikes.
"Many of the sites also link to social networking sites to share routes. Users are urged to check the privacy settings of any apps they use and avoid using Twitter and Facebook to share maps of their routes, as these could potentially identify their home addresses and inadvertently 'advertise' the location of their bike to thieves.
"Alternatively, they can opt to start the tracking function a few streets away from their home address and stop it again before returning home.
You have been warned...
Autumn meet will take place this year on 4th to 6th October at Sherwood Forest YHA Nottinghamshire. A great area for tracks and quiet lanes and not one of our usual areas. All RSF members are welcome and there will be organised rides leaving the hostel at 0930 on the Saturday and Sunday.
Bookings to Steve Griffith by 20th September please. Costs: overnight £21 per night in small dorms (£18 for YHA members), evening meal £7.95 and breakfast £4.95 cheques made payable to the RSF. Please note that due to making a loss last year only 21 beds have been reserved so first come first served
Charlie, born in Bolton in 1904, was an early pioneer of off-road cycling and, in fact, became the first Chairman of the RSF. The Veteran Cycling Club has produced a book describing those early years based on Charlie's diaries. It is called "Rough Stuff -
The Pre-war Diaries of Charlie Chadwick"
There's a selection of photos on Flickr
The price is £10 plus £2.00 p&p. Order now from Club Sales Officer: Lynn Bickle, Campbell House, 2 Front Street, Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland NE64 6PJ Tel: 01670 816595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(cheques payable to: Veteran-Cycle Club)
Psst, wanna watch a video??
If you like scary videos then you might want to give this one a peek, but it's really not for those of a nervous disposition...
Danny MacAskill never fails to astound, and here are a couple of his best ones:
Way Back Home
The 8.5 mile Monsal Trail between Buxton and Bakewell is now complete with a number of the original tunnels having been renovated and opened recently. More information and a leaflet can be found on the Peak District website
Steve Evans, a Paramedic and cyclist has created a first aid course which is aimed specifically at cyclists. He is trying to distibute it as widely as possible and at no charge.
Unfortunately, first aid is an issue that can often be overlooked and ignorance of even basic procedures can result in unnecessary trauma and serious situations becoming worse. If it's an area that you haven't looked at for a while - or even if you have - then the course is freely available to download and use.
Copyright, of course, belongs to Steve but he assures us that he's happy for anyone to use it as they wish and to help in the effort to circulate it.
You can download it from the link here and it comprises a free-standing Powerpoint presentation - just save the file and double-click to fire it up. You don't need to have Powerpoint installed and you can use your mouse to navigate through it.
NB: some of the images may make you wince a little, so you have been warned...
Sales & Publications
Our Sales & Publications page has recently been updated and you might want to take a peek at what's on offer.
Publicity & Recruitment
Jane Gill has a selection of posters and smaller flyers advertising the RSF and can send them out to people in the mail. One idea is to ask local bike shops to display them. She adds that her local shops were very keen, with the attitude that anything that encourages cycling is good for all of us! We've already had one enquiry as a result of this.
If you think you can help then please contact Jane at email@example.com
GPS and mapping issues
We'd like to offer facilities contributors to the Routes Archive to supply GPS data and/or Google Maps for users to download and/or view - further information and discussion can be found here and there's more information about using Google Maps here
Hostels in the Western Isles
Some, but not all, hostels in the Western Isles are run by the Gatliff Trust. For more information about the facilities on offer by the hostels you might want to take a look at this page
...and as at June 2011 it appears that the Garenin hostel has now closed permanently, leaving just three others.