Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 2, 2019

Tarp Making Guru

Yes you read that right. I have never been called that before until last weekend.

You may have notice that I didn’t post last week and that is because I was at the Cycle Touring Festival held at Waddow Hall , Clitheroe where the cycle touring tribe gather. There were about 350 of us this year and there were many who had cycled


Its a fabulous weekend with such varied speakers from Tom Allen giving a follow up talk about cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats with not money and not spending more than £25 on bike and all his kit. We haven’t seen Tom for a couple of years as he is living in Armenia and helping to build a long distance walking /mountain biking trail through to Georgia with all the complication that brings. However , the delight for me was finding out that the £10 bicycle has been all over the world with different people and the last Tom heard it is in the Vietnamese jungle with a 6’6″ Dutchman.

Not all the talks were about far flung places although there was a one where the chap had been to Syria, Somalis, Afghanistan and  other “dangerous” places but came out OK even though he was nearly blown up.


Ann Wilson, born the same year as me , gave a talk about her around the world trip and has written a book called “Mainly by Bike” . I missed her talk but more on that later. I bought her book and am thoroughly enjoying the read.

This year there were  more families there and the children had their own programme varying from fixing a puncture and mending a chain through to painting bicycle bells and dyeing cloth with natural flowers and leaves collected on site.

As ever, the food was wonderful provided by Sharon, Laura’s mam who organises the whole food thing. She wants a medal as big as a frying pan. Laura Moss’s extended family come and help to keep every thing going smoothly.  The whole ethos is that we sit and eat together and make friends . I have been  for all of the festivals that have been held and we get a bottle . This years colour was green.

Here is my collection down near the Transporter Bridge statue “Waiting for me Dad”.


There were yoga sessions, camp stove cookery and panel discussions on mental health.


Now here is why I got the title. I was asked to run a talk/demo and had made a tarp to take across to show and then demonstrate the techniques. Well Graham , who is fantastic at putting tarps up , asked me for it on Saturday evening so he could try it out. Panic !! It wasn’t in the car or the tent and when I phoned home it was on the chair. On No!!!

Well, someone said, why don’t you just make one of the kits up. So I got up early to start it.

IMG_0472The wonderful Barry Godin came to film me .


Look him up on YouTube to see his cycling films- all was going well until I broke the needle. The lovely Sharon sews so send one of her daughters home to get me more needles as I didn’t have any spare. Can you believe it? I always have spares.

Anyway , they arrived and I got stitching again and Barry filmed when he wasn’t  talking to his audience about filming your rides. The tarp got a try out pitch and then Graham did his bit. I have to say I learned another new knot – the Prissic knot- which should come in useful.


It was a bit wet by this time but never mind, we just got on with it.

Graham showed us how to use the bike and no poles to out up the tarp


and here is my own made tarp being out up.


If I sound very enthusiastic , its because I always feel so energised. The lovely Libby Bowles was talking about her work with ecology and it was so packed with information that you just could not do all the talks , demo’s etc. One of the things I love is that its not for profit and so there is no hard sell by big manufactures.

I did get a short ride. I went with Kate on her specially adapted trike that she usually transports her daughter on who has complex needs including epilepsy. It was a joy except when a bus passed us and the exhaust fumes got me.


We came home on Sunday evening and had a short ride on Monday followed by the usual rides . On Friday , I went off on a solo ride to Cozy Coffee and got a good soaking  but no worries as there was hot chocolate and cake on offer. DH did come out to meet me. The rain had abated until we met up and it started to rain again .

I saw the goslings again and they are growing well. The swan is still sitting her nest but I haven’t seen any cygnets as yet. The photos I took were blurry so wont bore you with them .

so in two weeks I cycled 134 miles making  YTD 1900miles


  1. I’m still hoping you’re going to do a blog post on how to make a tarp!!!

    • I will do . Barry Godin video’d me making one and it will go on to U-tube but not sure when as he has to edit it. You might want to look up some of his videos.

      • Excellent! Yes I will look him up.

  2. What good work. It sounds like an entertaining time all round.

  3. What an achievement Brenda. Clever!

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