Hope RX4 Road/CX disc brakes - review

A quick update as it's been a long while since I posted anything about the CX bike - it's been almost as long since I rode it as well!
First up, I finally got around to putting some larger volume tyres on (WTB Resolute, 43mm) which have been great and, after a fairly disastrous ride along the Oxdrive way turned into a long run in the rain (carrying the bike) thanks to more punctures (from recently topped hawthorn hedges) that I had spare tubes, I spent an evening converting the Hope 20Five wheels to tubeless - this was a bit of a pain but a combination of Gorilla tape (to seal the off-set spoke holes), WTB rim tape and Muc-Off tubeless valves saw me right, and what an amazing difference it makes!
A note on the valves - the Muc-Off valves have a rubber o-ring that sits between the wheel rim and lock ring on the valve stem which helps to seal the valve hole properly - they also have an ingenious valve cap that doubles as a tool to remove the core from the valve for re-filling wi…

Walking the Cleveland Way - in 4 days!!

"Let's go on a nice walk for our anniversary" was Donna's opening statement back in January (2019).  Well that's how the idea started, and then it turned in to something resembling a real challenge!

"The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 109 mile (175 Km ) walking route through beautiful and ever changing landscapes and scenery.  It was the second National Trail in England and Wales and was officially opened on 24th May 1969. The Trail offers the best of both worlds, heather moorland and stunning coastal scenery." (

Generally this route is walked either piecemeal or in around 7-10 days which gives you a chance to explore a bit and enjoy the scenery - due to time constraints imposed by childcare and the Easter Holiday's we were aiming to walk it in 4!

Yes, 4 days.  That's just under 30 miles per day - ouch!

So we set about training - or rather we didn't!  We managed to get in 2 back-to-back 25 mile walks in mid-March but t…

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

Sitting above the banks of Ullswater, to the NW of the junction of the A592 and A5901 lays the grounds of Gowbarrow Park, owned and managed by the National Trust and home to the stunning Aira Force waterfalls.

Nestled in the middle (ish) of Gowbarrow Park is Gowbarrow Fell which rises 481m above the huge expanse of Ullswater and, as the weather was pretty rubbish and along with a walk up to the falls, was to be our "target" for the day.

While not a long walk we'd decided that as Aira Force was somewhere we didn't get round to visiting last time we'd have a walk around the grounds and waterfall before heading up towards the summit of Gowbarrow Fell and then continuing the circuit back to the carpark - a walk of around 4 miles.

The grounds of Aira Force are managed by the National Trust so are well maintained as you'd expect.  There is a charge to park and it does get very busy in the summer months, but on a rainy, chilly Saturday in February there were loads …