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Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees Head Robin Hoods Bay Route

Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees

The Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay Route you take might not exactly reflect the classic Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walking route using the same start and finish points but it will be pretty close. This is largely due to the use of cycleways, roads, tracks and bridleways rather than footpaths but it’s still your choice whether you dip your toes in the sea at both ends.

For example Trailbrakes have a route starting at Ravenglass on the West coast just 16 miles to the south of St Bees itself rather than St Bees to take advantage of different trails. Just remember that all roads out of St Bees are uphill!

Anyway – the fact is that there are loads of different routes so hanging my hat on a particular map is difficult. So I will base this information on the well known Tim Woodcocks version called the Wheelwright’s Coast to Coast. Whilst being an excellent route it does come with a word of warning as it does go over Black Sail Pass, Wasdale Head and Walna Scar Road. Other options could be to go via Scarth Gap Pass, into Honister Pass for example.

Insider Information

The route through the Lakes is very hard going, the North Pennines are moderate, Vale of Mowbray is very easy and the North Yorkshire Moors is moderate.

One option is to follow the Sustrans C2C route to Keswick, then do the Old Coach Road and drop south to Pooley Bridge, then pick up the Wheelwright’s route from there. The Wheelwright’s uses the Tan Hill road from Barra’s, instead of the Nine Standards which after a period of heavy rain is very hard going underfoot and is not impossible on a bike.  Tan Hill Inn is the highest Inn in England and a great spot for a pint. Then the descent into Swaledale exciting to say the least.

How to recognise your achievement

Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees Mountain BikeThe Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay Route is a great challenge. I have found all the information in this blog whilst researching the maps and data to enable me to create a picture for a customer. He had completed this route more than 20 years ago and it is still a strong memory for him. He chose the colour of the cycle frame to match the bike he used. My previous bike picture for Coast to Coast Cycle used the Sustrans C2C route which is very popular although the start and finish points are always in some doubt given the multiple variations. I have also produced this using my Tandem Design and the Road Bike Design.

Useful Links

http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/trail_news/mountain-bike-coast-to-coast-365206

https://www.gpsies.com/map.do;jsessionid=7A8A3CF08FA3819097651C26C8EFC1AF.fe1?fileId=ccnsuzselpzfqoyn

https://www.routeyou.com/en-gb/route/view/145385/cycle-route/st-bees-to-robin-hoods-bay

http://www.trailbrakes.co.uk/mtb-holidays/wainwrights-c2c-ravenglass-robin-hoods-bay

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/sea-to-sea-c2c

http://www.mapmyride.com/sc/victoria-english-river/wainwright-coast-to-coast-cycle-route-3428847

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Presents for Men

presents for menMy wife Elaine is always telling me that finding presents for men is always a challenge.  I never thought I was that challenging but I think women are over thinking mens gifts to be honest! Nevertheless, our 5 step guide to finding unique, personal and excellent presents for men will help you.

presents for menWe hear it every day when people visit our stall. My wife has a chat and at some point she will be discussing the worldwide difficulty in finding unique presents for men that their husband, dad, uncle, boyfriend, fiancee or brother will appreciate. Especially since many men love sport so lots of mens gifts are sport related, but sometimes this becomes somewhat boring. I mean how many items with their football team logo or name on it can you find.

Your mission is to find presents for men that are different, unusual and something that shows you put a lot of thought into it. Let’s face it you love them right? It pays to put in a little more effort so that your mens gift reflects some of your character and knowledge, and of course affection, as well.

Thankfully we have laid out some options below for you. 5 steps to creating a unique presents for the men in your life to ensure you buy that unique present that no one else will have thought of. Don’t worry this won’t take long, just follow the steps and you will create a picture gift, with our help, that he will appreciate and love forever.

Presents for Men Tip #1 – What are their Interests

Presents for Men InterestsAll men have an interest in something and most have a number of key areas of interest that we can use as the first step in the search for presents for men. If I were you I would start by listing up to 5 areas of interest, and remember there might be latent interests that your loved male might not spend much time on but you know deep down that it is still close to their heart.

For example, I don’t make a big thing of it but I used to play a lot of rugby, I was never a real fan of football, and out of the blue my wife came up with the idea of getting me a ticket to Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Final. Absolutely loved it and it brought back an area of interest that I am keen to rejuvenate.

So, areas of interest that we can use to come up with great ideas for presents for men. Obviously we need to look at sports of many kinds, perhaps driving, animals, reading, watching films, music – it could be anything. Don’t hold back as we will filter these down later on as we add more ‘Ideas’!

Presents for Men Tip #2 – Memories & Experiences

We find that this is onPresents for Men Tip experiencese of the most powerful emotional drivers when trying to find the perfect mens gifts. Since we have been running Gecko Designs we have become awakened to just how much impact memories and experiences have on people’s happiness across the age range.

For example my late father in law sometimes mentioned the time he drove down to the south of France in the 1940s with a mate of his. It was a long time ago but you could tell that it was still a strong emotional memory for him despite it being suppressed in the following 60+ years.

Perhaps a very strong memory is associated with a vehicle. It could be a first car, mine was a mini that was close to my heart but also many people meet and go out in a car and relationships started in cars and the cars themselves have become a poignant element of the memory that lead to a happy marriage for example.  Perhaps your man’s children now live away and he does not see them as often as he would like. Maybe he was a hippy or mod in the 60s and rode a Vespa or drove a VW Camper van to music concerts. Anything like that is great stuff to consider when looking for presents for men.

With younger people though experiences and shared experiences are very powerful images that warrant serious inclusion in mens gifts thought process. Today life is driven by achievement and often joint achievement whether that be having a first child, running a marathon together, the wedding day, going up in a hot air balloon or even buying their first house. These achievements are solid experiences that mean a lot to the person or people involved and are typical ideas that need to be put into the presents for men options pot.

So when you are creating your presents for men ideas you might like to remember that there were experiences that mean a great deal to him that did not involve you like a classic bike ride or challenge he did with a friend, playing footy with Mike down the road, restoring an old car with mates from the car club, camping in Cornwall, waterskiing in the south of France, the list can be endless.

Presents for Men Tip #3 – Preferences

Presents for Men Tip preferencesOne of the other things that helps to come up with mens gift ideas is understanding their preferences. For example there is no point getting him something that is wine related if he is a beer lover and remember if you live with this bloke your preferences might have to get involved too.

Chances are that you have shared preferences when it comes to your home, although this is not guaranteed, for example liking wooden frames for pictures rather than white. Or knowing that your house is more black and white than red and blue in terms of home décor. Is there a preference for homely, country colours like greens and browns or do they love bright colours, stripes, or is there a generic colour that comes through via their love of a certain football club.

This reminds me of a story here on the south coast. You might or might not be aware of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. In fact some of my bio photos are taken in the coffee shop at the top.  Well, not long after Elaine and I visited the tower, which was all white at the time by the way, it was announced that Emirates were planning a sponsorship deal with Portsmouth Football Club. Now one of the key colours of Emirates is red and the plan was to re-paint the Spinnaker Tower partially red.

Supporters of the football club went bonkers because the main colour of Portsmouth Football Club is blue and to make it absolutely unbearable is that the red Emirates had chosen is the main colour of their arch south coast football rival Southampton. Needless to say the colour scheme was redesigned and it is now blue and white. So this is a clue on preferences.

Presents for Men Tip #4 – Locations

Presents for Men Tip locationLocation Location Location. Don’t forget this when trying to nail the perfect presents for men gift ideas.   All the work you have done above thinking about memories and experiences had to happen somewhere. My wife and I got engaged in Paris and married on the Greek island of Zante for example which would be good information for someone wanting to buy me a great gift, but the location does not have to be  abroad of course unless something special happened on holiday or on your honeymoon.

The bike ride they did might have just been London to Brighton for example, or your man might have been born in Cape Town, South Africa, or Sherborne in Dorset.  Perhaps they  had a memorable holiday with the ‘Lads’ in Ibiza . They might have taken a year out and traveled around Asia or Australia. They might have gone to the World Cup, chased the Ashes to Australia or something like that.

Their most important memory might have been going to and graduating from University, but which one? They might have cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats, bungee jumped off a bridge in New Zealand, or run the New York Marathon.

When you think about it everything has to happen SOMEWHERE, and that ‘somewhere’ becomes very important to people and the location becomes a massive part of the visualization of any memory or experience.

Pretty much all of the custom gifts we create for people have some indication of location, mostly using maps but often words and sometimes the picture image portrays a location too, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris for example. So don’t forget this crucial location element of finding mens gifts.

Presents for Men Tip #5 – Unique, Individual & Original

Presents for MenThis is where you start to put it all together to come up with an unusual presents for men in your life.  If you want the best present for him then the main aim is to make sure that your man gift is Unique, Individual and Original.  You might be thinking how the hell can I do that?  But never fear there is a way you can create the perfect present and someone can make it for you.

What you need to do now is to bring together all the information you have assembled above, look at the options available and you could be giving a handmade, One-off or limited edition, attractive and extremely poignant gift to your man on their special day.

This is where you have to become a little creative so to help you out I will give you some real examples of actual commissions our customers have asked for to enable them to give that perfect gift.

Presents for men – Real Examples

mens gift ideasA couple had a close family friend.  All of them were into skiing and their friend was famous within their group of skiing buddies for skiing down a mountain wrapped in a Union Jack. His birthday was in a few days and they were struggling to decide what to get him as a present. They saw our skier cut out and our Union Jack fabric and their perfect gift search was over.

DragonDevilJenny’s father was going to attempt the famous Dragon Devil cycle ride in Wales and it was his 70th birthday  coming up. An enormous challenge with more than 6 massive climbs. This is an annual event and one that mad cyclists fight to get accepted to take part in. She asked us to use one of our Bicycle cut outs and use maps to signify important segments of the ride. This was the perfect birthday gift for her Dad.

CapriMk1-FrenchFlagJohn was visiting an old friend in France. This old friend had owned a Mark 1 Ford Capri and it had been a lasting memory for him and all their friends. John put together the two key items, Ford Capri Mk1 and France and so we created a cut out design of a Mk1 Capri and put a French Flag behind it. Delighted.

These are just some examples of how to take your hard work and come up with mens gift ideas. In a lot of cases we might be one jump ahead of you. Based on customer feedback and sales we have identified 3-4 fabric choices for each of our designs that are most popular. This does not mean that your perfect picture is not unique because the fabric placement within the picture is never the same twice.

But this does not take away your ability to make your own choices so you always have access to our wide fabric swatches and of course for that absolutely personal picture you can send us your own fabric. Clearly any map based perfect gifts are also unique to you.

So you have the idea distilled in your head, an idea of colours, locations, designs etc.  The next stage is pulling it all together and producing your perfect gift. This includes your own creativity, add some of our magic and you can create the perfect gift. This is the way to do it:

  1. Choose the cut out design from our online shop
  2. Select your choice of size (if available) and select your frame preference from the dropdowns
  3. Select your choice of popular fabric – or select the ‘Custom’ option and then
  4. Select from our wider swatch of available fabrics – or
  5. Send us your own fabric
  6. Make a map choice if this is part of the design (we will be in touch directly to confirm the exact locations)
  7. For all custom choices complete ‘order notes’ at checkout and we will contact you
  8. Select your delivery/collection option (only select local collection if you will be collecting from us in Dorchester)
  9. Pay via Paypal, Debit or Credit Card
  10. Then it’s over to us

So go to our online shop – Gecko Designs Shop – and get started. Need some more reassurance – have a look at what our delighted customers say. 

Please don’t forget to tell everyone you know how easy this is. Use our sharing options to tell everyone you know. We do run competitions and offer seasonal discounts so everyone can benefit from knowing a little more about Gecko Designs.

 

We hope our guide has helped you come up with some unique and great mens gift ideas

If there is a design that you feel you need to complete the picture just get in touch  we will do all we can to help.

All the best

Tim & Elaine

 

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Mens Gift Ideas

Mens gift ideasWomen are always looking for Mens Gift Ideas. My wife Elaine tells me that women are easy to buy for and that finding unusual gifts for men is a challenge. And they DO have to be unusual apparently. I never thought of myself as that demanding but it is the buyer that feels the pressure it seems. Personally a bottle of JD and a meal out does it for me!

mens gift ideasWe hear it every day when people visit our stall. My wife has a chat and at some point she will be discussing the worldwide difficulty in finding unique mens gift ideas that their husband, dad, uncle, boyfriend, fiancee or brother will appreciate. Especially since many men love sport so lots of mens gift ideas are sport related, but sometimes this becomes somewhat boring. I mean how many items with their football team logo or name on it can you find.

Your mission is to find something different, something unusual and something that shows you put a lot of thought into it. Let’s face it you love them right? It pays to put in a little more effort so that your mens gift reflects some of your character and knowledge, and of course affection, as well.

Thankfully we have laid out some options below for you. 5 steps to creating a unique gift idea for the man in your life to ensure you buy that unique present that no one else will have thought of. Don’t worry this won’t take long, just follow the steps and you will create a picture gift, with our help, that he will appreciate and love forever.

Mens Gift Ideas #1 – What are their Interests

mens gift ideas InterestsAll men have an interest in something and most have a number of key areas of interest that we can use as the first keystone of this birthday present search. If I were you I would start by listing up to 5 areas of interest, and remember there might be latent interests that your loved male might not spend much time on but you know deep down that it is still close to their heart.

For example, I don’t make a big thing of it but I used to play a lot of rugby, I was never a real fan of football, and out of the blue my wife came up with the idea of getting me a ticket to Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Final. Absolutely loved it and it brought back an area of interest that I am keen to rejuvenate.

So, areas of interest that we can use to come up with mens gift ideas. Obviously we need to look at sports of many kinds, perhaps driving, animals, reading, watching films, music – it could be anything. Don’t hold back as we will filter these down later on as we add more ‘Ideas’!

Mens Gift Ideas #2 – Memories & Experiences

We find that this is onmens gift ideas heading_experiencese of the most powerful emotional drivers when trying to find the perfect gift for men. Since we have been running Gecko Designs we have become awakened to just how much impact memories and experiences have on people’s happiness across the age range. I guess we often associate the word ‘memories’ more with older people but they have had experiences, and shared experiences with loved ones in the past – so was there something they often talk about that is close to their hearts.

For example my late father in law sometimes mentioned the time he drove down to the south of France in the 1940s with a mate of his. It was a long time ago but you could tell that it was still a strong emotional memory for him despite it being suppressed in the following 60+ years.

Perhaps a very strong memory is associated with a vehicle. It could be a first car, mine was a mini that was close to my heart but also many people meet and go out in a car and relationships started in cars and the cars themselves have become a poignant element of the memory that lead to a happy marriage for example.  Perhaps your man’s children now live away and he does not see them as often as he would like. Maybe he was a hippy or mod in the 60s and rode a Vespa or drove a VW Camper van to music concerts. Anything like that is great stuff to consider when looking for birthday presents for men.

With younger people though experiences and shared experiences are very powerful images that warrant serious inclusion in the perfect gift thought process. Today life is driven by achievement and often joint achievement whether that be having a first child, running a marathon together, the wedding day, going up in a hot air balloon or even buying their first house. These achievements are solid experiences that mean a lot to the person or people involved and are typical ideas that need to be put into the perfect gift melting pot.

So when you are creating your mens gift idea you might like to remember that there were experiences that mean a great deal to him that did not involve you like a classic bike ride or challenge he did with a friend, playing footy with Mike down the road, restoring an old car with mates from the car club, camping in Cornwall, waterskiing in the south of France, the list can be endless.

Mens Gift Ideas #3 – Preferences

mens gift ideas preferencesOne of the other things that helps to come up with mens gift ideas is understanding their preferences. For example there is no point getting him something that is wine related if he is a beer lover and remember if you live with this bloke your preferences might have to get involved too.

Chances are that you have shared preferences when it comes to your home, although this is not guaranteed, for example liking wooden frames for pictures rather than white. Or knowing that your house is more black and white than red and blue in terms of home décor. Is there a preference for homely, country colours like greens and browns or do they love bright colours, stripes, or is there a generic colour that comes through via their love of a certain football club.

This reminds me of a story here on the south coast. You might or might not be aware of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. In fact some of my bio photos are taken in the coffee shop at the top.  Well, not long after Elaine and I visited the tower, which was all white at the time by the way, it was announced that Emirates were planning a sponsorship deal with Portsmouth Football Club. Now one of the key colours of Emirates is red and the plan was to re-paint the Spinnaker Tower partially red.

Supporters of the football club went bonkers because the main colour of Portsmouth Football Club is blue and to make it absolutely unbearable is that the red Emiraes had chosen is the main colour of their arch south coast football rival Southampton. Needless to say the colour scheme was redesigned and it is now blue and white. So this is a clue on preferences.

Mens Gift Ideas #4 – Locations

mens gift ideas map_locationLocation Location Location. Don’t forget this when trying to nail the perfect mens gift ideas.   All the work you have done above thinking about memories and experiences had to happen somewhere. My wife and I got engaged in Paris and married on the Greek island of Zante for example which would be good information for someone wanting to buy me a great gift, but the location does not have to be  abroad of course unless something special happened on holiday or on your honeymoon.

The bike ride they did might have just been London to Brighton for example, or your man might have been born in Cape Town, South Africa, or Sherborne in Dorset.  Perhaps they  had a memorable holiday with the ‘Lads’ in Ibiza . They might have taken a year out and traveled around Asia or Australia. They might have gone to the World Cup, chased the Ashes to Australia or something like that.

Their most important memory might have been going to and graduating from University, but which one? They might have cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats, bungee jumped off a bridge in New Zealand, or run the New York Marathon.

When you think about it everything has to happen SOMEWHERE, and that ‘somewhere’ becomes very important to people and the location becomes a massive part of the visualization of any memory or experience.

Pretty much all of the custom gifts we create for people have some indication of location, mostly using maps but often words and sometimes the picture image portrays a location too, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris for example. So don’t forget this crucial location element of finding mens gift ideas.

Mens Gift Ideas #5 – Unique, Individual & Original

mens gift ideasThis is where you start to put it all together to come up with an unusual gift for the man in your life.  If you want the best present for him then the main aim is to make sure that your man gift is Unique, Individual and Original.  You might be thinking how the hell can I do that?  But never fear there is a way you can create the perfect present and someone can make it for you.

What you need to do now is to bring together all the information you have assembled above, look at the options available and you could be giving a handmade, One-off or limited edition, attractive and extremely poignant gift to your man on their special day.

This is where you have to become a little creative so to help you out I will give you some real examples of actual commissions our customers have asked for to enable them to give that perfect gift.

Mens Gift Ideas – Real Examples

 

mens gift ideasA couple had a close family friend.  All of them were into skiing and their friend was famous within their group of skiing buddies for skiing down a mountain wrapped in a Union Jack. His birthday was in a few days and they were struggling to decide what to get him as a present. They saw our skier cut out and our Union Jack fabric and their perfect gift search was over.

DragonDevilJenny’s father was going to attempt the famous Dragon Devil cycle ride in Wales and it was his 70th birthday  coming up. An enormous challenge with more than 6 massive climbs. This is an annual event and one that mad cyclists fight to get accepted to take part in. She asked us to use one of our Bicycle cut outs and use maps to signify important segments of the ride. This was the perfect birthday gift for her Dad.

CapriMk1-FrenchFlagJohn was visiting an old friend in France. This old friend had owned a Mark 1 Ford Capri and it had been a lasting memory for him and all their friends. John put together the two key items, Ford Capri Mk1 and France and so we created a cut out design of a Mk1 Capri and put a French Flag behind it. Delighted.

These are just some examples of how to take your hard work and come up with mens gift ideas. In a lot of cases we might be one jump ahead of you. Based on customer feedback and sales we have identified 3-4 fabric choices for each of our designs that are most popular. This does not mean that your perfect picture is not unique because the fabric placement within the picture is never the same twice.

But this does not take away your ability to make your own choices so you always have access to our wide fabric swatches and of course for that absolutely personal picture you can send us your own fabric. Clearly any map based perfect gifts are also unique to you.

So you have the idea distilled in your head, an idea of colours, locations, designs etc.  The next stage is pulling it all together and producing your perfect gift. This includes your own creativity, add some of our magic and you can create the perfect gift. This is the way to do it:

  1. Choose the cut out design from our online shop
  2. Select your choice of size (if available) and select your frame preference from the dropdowns
  3. Select your choice of popular fabric – or select the ‘Custom’ option and then
  4. Select from our wider swatch of available fabrics – or
  5. Send us your own fabric
  6. Make a map choice if this is part of the design (we will be in touch directly to confirm the exact locations)
  7. For all custom choices complete ‘order notes’ at checkout and we will contact you
  8. Select your delivery/collection option (only select local collection if you will be collecting from us in Dorchester)
  9. Pay via Paypal, Debit or Credit Card
  10. Then it’s over to us

So go to our online shop – Gecko Designs Shop – and get started. Need some more reassurance – have a look at what our delighted customers say. 

Please don’t forget to tell everyone you know how easy this is. Use our sharing options to tell everyone you know. We do run competitions and offer seasonal discounts so everyone can benefit from knowing a little more about Gecko Designs.

 

We hope our guide has helped you come up with some unique and great mens gift ideas

If there is a design that you feel you need to complete the picture just get in touch  we will do all we can to help.

All the best

Tim & Elaine

 

Posted on

New Tennis Wall Art Goes Down a Storm in Winchester

Tennis Wall Art -WW10

Tennis Wall Art – Game, Set & Match

Tennis Wall Art -WW10

I am well happy after our new tennis wall art , called ‘Game, Set & Match’, was so well received at the Winchester Art & Design market on Sunday.

Just for your diaries folks the Winchester Art & Design market is held in the high street of the historical Hampshire city in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral on the third Sunday of each month.

The story behind our unique and exclusive tennis wall art is that my late father, as well as being a carpenter and joiner hence our use of just wooden frames for our cut out wall art, was, in his heyday, a fanatical and successful tennis player well known on the Cheltenham and Gloucester tennis circuit.

Not Wimbledon standard of course but Wimbledon did feature very highly in his sports viewing program and those two weeks in June and July tended to be pretty focused on watching as many matches as possible. Wimbledon 2016 runs from 27th June to 10th July 2016.

But back to our new tennis wall art.  We had the idea, designed the cut out – which was not that straight forward as there had to be an element of artistic necessity in the design to give the cut out design strength thus the cut outs on the tennis racquets.  Also the white line on the tennis balls is thicker than usual because it had to be to cut it out and give the white cut out enough rigidity to survive.

Then we thought – hang on a minute – what material do we use for this design?  We did decide to use a deep purple for the tennis racquet but found a fantastic lime green fury material which means we really do have furry balls!

furry tennis ball - tennis wall artSo we bring you new and exclusive tennis wall art with furry balls.  What could be better than that?

We can of course offer all the usual personalisation and customisation options for fabric and maps but bear in mind that maps are not going to show that well behind the thin art cut out of the tennis racket.