highstreetmannequin

Every dog has its holiday…

How do you make two moody, timid pets smile?

Let them loose in the Forest of Dean

  • Comedian Jane Bussmann took her dogs to a retreat in the Forest of Dean
  • She stayed in a cabin in the forest with a wood-burning stove and hot tub
  • Her pets loved the nature around them and made friends with other dogs

|

4

View
comments

I thought dogs were supposed to be happy-go-lucky. My dog is so serious he could be Kanye West trying to understand a knock-knock joke. I thought when I got a dog he might chase sticks; my dog Homer lies holding my foot, listening to the love songs of Michael Bolton and sighing. And no one warned me that going on Discount Holidays © holiday without your dog is pretty much cheating on your partner.

My mum, who looks after Homer when I m gone, says he waits by the door refusing to eat. Kennel club: Jane Bussmann took her pets for a break at a dog-friendly retreat in the Forest of Dean. Pictured is Jane with Thistle at the cabin

Bark and bite: Thistle enjoys a trip to the local

Last time I came back from holiday, he sat with his back to me, making a soft weeping sound. I wasn t going to let my life be dictated by one small dog. I had the answer: get one more.

Keep each other company… I d scoot round the world… guilt-free… Brilliant. I went online and found Thistle. She d been so starved she d lost half her teeth. Her fur was yellow from sitting in her own wee.

Thistle was where a third of puppies come from: a puppy farm mum locked in a shed. She d been forced to have litter after litter of puppies. When I met her, she was tiny.

One remaining fang stuck up like a deep-sea viperfish. She was so happy to be rescued that when I cuddled her, she clung to me with all four paws like a hideous monkey. Thistle would be perfect.

She was a Maltese terrier. I d read somewhere they are placid and silent. Placid? If EastEnders Peggy Mitchell came back from the dead, she d come back as Thistle. Surely this 4.5lb whirlwind could teach Homer to lighten up. Forest Holidays has luxurious dog-friendly log cabins in unspoilt nature sites from Scotland to Cornwall.

We chose the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, famous for wild boar, bluebells and fantasy Tolkein s Middle Earth is apparently based on it, and all manner of sci fi has been filmed here, from Doctor Who and Harry Potter to Star Wars. Happy Thistle in the bluebell field, having left behind all the years locked in a dark shed breeding puppies

When we first got Thistle, she d howl in terror when we put her in the car, in case she was going back to the shed. But now she scrambled in by herself. Homer s not as bright as Thistle, so when the suitcases came out, his ears went down sadly.

When we told him he was coming too, he stared at us in disbelief. Then his ears went up, a huge smile broke out on his face and he barrelled into the car, knocking Thistle over. After three hours of Michael Bolton, we pulled into a meadow ringed by log cabins like a cowboy circle but with better wi-fi and a well-stocked off-licence.

The dogs went crazy, thumping their tails in my eyes: they could see their fellow holidaymakers a cuddly Staffie, two female labradors Homer had his eye on and a bulldog in a wheelchair. There was even a dog parking sign for well-behaved pets. Homer cocked his leg on it. Got it licked: Homer makes himself at home in the cabin, which has a spectacular wall of glass looking directly on to deep forest

Forest Holidays runs night-vision nature walks with affable ranger Jerry and there are kids activities, endless cycling routes, and you can visit mystical healing wells and caves galore.

The Forestry Commission have partnered with Forest Holidays to preserve the landscape, so you can Discount Holidays © holiday with a clean conscience and clean lungs. You select a cabin near the restaurant or in the trees. Ours had a spectacular wall of glass looking directly on to deep forest, and chilled Prosecco waiting. Thistle is an old girl.

We want her to have comfort for the rest of her life, and she agrees. She took one look at the wood-burning stove and stretched out in bliss. Homer lay on his back with his legs splayed like Oliver Reed after a night out while the rest of us lay in the outdoor hot tub listening to the birds for hours, looking up at a canopy of pines. You couldn t pick a better dog Discount Holidays © holiday than a forest, where the animals can really take advantage of their sense of smell

Homer discovered a wooden bridge to our personal treehouse, decorated by the real Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen at his most bonkers: LLB had done Alice in Wonderland s honeymoon suite in the treetops.

A ten-person luxury log cabin with bonus treehouse seemed impressive value. Forest Holidays will send room service at reasonable rates curry, champagne, rose petals, a private chef or masseuse or even drive though the trees to bring the dogs treats. (I didn t tell them that). You couldn t pick a better dog Discount Holidays © holiday than a forest. A dog s sense of smell, I learned, is millions of times more powerful than ours.

To me, the forest smelled like several trees; to Homer and Thistle, it blew their minds. Thistle enjoyed the sensory overload but stuck near our feet. Homer flew about like a demented rabbit. During Jane’s stay, there were other families who brought their pets too – giving Thistle and Homer the opportunity to make some new friends

There are dozens of beauty spots. We had set out for Symonds Yat Rock when Homer saw the female labradors, and suddenly we were off the path.

The Forest of Dean s signs were clearly installed by Corporal Jones of Dad s Army, and since then have done a brilliant job of confusing everyone. Three hours later, we were still walking. The dogs were delighted. I suspect the labradors were in on it. Symonds Yat Rock offers once-in-a-lifetime views.

I expect. I gave up and drove us to the pub instead. The Saracen s Head had an equally fantastic view because it had a pint in the foreground. One morning, Homer found Thistle in a field of bluebells. She had the biggest smile I ve ever seen on a dog s face.

All the years locked in a dark shed breeding puppies were behind her. And Homer finally learned from Thistle how to lighten up: he bounded into the bluebells and rolled around in delight. I realised too late it wasn t delight, it was fox poo, but at least he was smiling.

TRAVEL FACTS

Forest Holidays (forestholidays.co.uk/dogs1) offers four-night pet-friendly breaks to the Forest of Dean from 295 in a cabin sleeping four, with hot tub. Treehouse cabins sleeping ten cost from 695. Dogs cost 10 per night extra.

If you are interested in getting a rescue dog or puppy contact Many Tears (01269 843 084).

References

  1. ^ forestholidays.co.uk/dogs (forestholidays.co.uk)

Thomas Voeckler wins Tour de Yorkshire overall after stage three victory

Thomas Voeckler wins final two-up sprint from Nicolas Roche in exciting finale to 2016 Tour de Yorkshire in Scarborough
– Photos by Andy Jones

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Thomas Voeckler wins Tour de Yorkshire 2016 stage three

Veteran Frenchman Thomas Voeckler1 (Direct Energie) won the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire2 overall on Sunday, after claiming the final stage victory. Voeckler had followed Nicolas Roche3 (Team Sky) as the Irishman had attacked on the day s final climb of Oliver s Mount. The two rode together on the descent into Scarborough, with Roche unable to match Voeckler s sprint to the line. Voeckler s win propelled him to the top of the general classification, with Roche settling for second overall at six seconds. Frenchman Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) was third at 16 seconds.

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Thomas Voeckler wins Tour de Yorkshire 2016

Top-placed British rider overall was Adam Yates4 (Orica-GreenEdge) in fourth after he placed third on the final stage.

>>> Tour de Yorkshire 2016: Latest news, reports and info5

Roche had originally instigated the race-winning break when he attacked on the Harwood Dale climb with 25km to go in the final 20km of the long 196km stage from Middlesbrough. He was joined by Yates and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), with Voeckler and Turgis bridging to them after a furious chase.

What a win for @voecklerthomas! #TDY pic.twitter.com/2mijpeyWzt678

Tour de Yorkshire (@letouryorkshire) May 1, 20169

The five rode together until the Oliver s Mount climb, when Roche went clear followed by Voeckler. The three chasing riders could not catch them as they skirted around the Scarborough sea front, with Voeckler opening up his sprint early to take the win. Earlier in the day, a 10-rider escape group had led the action during the first 110km before getting caught. Sky then hit the front of the peloton, with Peter Kennaugh10 (Team Sky) doing a huge pace-making turn, just as he had done on the previous two stages.

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Peter Kennaugh on Tour de Yorkshire 2016 stage three

Kennaugh s efforts whittled the peloton down severely, with only around 25 riders left with 45 hilly kilometres to go. At several points Sky riders split off from the front of the lead group before being caught, signalling the team s intention to dictate the stage. In the end, though, Voeckler s race experience came through, with a perfectly-timed effort to seal the win in the second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire having placed third in 2015 s inaugural race.

Australian Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) took the King of the Mountains win.


Watch: Tour de Yorkshire 2016 stage two highlights


Tour de Yorkshire 2016 result

Stage three: Middlesbrough to Scarborough, 196km
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at same time
3. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 9 secs
4. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at same time
6. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky at 41 secs
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky at same time
8. Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-09
9.

Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing
10. Nikias Arndt (Bel) Giant-Alpecin at same time

Final overall classification
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 6 secs
3. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 16 secs
4. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 17 secs
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 21 secs
6. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky at 52 secs
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky at 53 secs
8.

Nikias Arndt (Bel) Giant-Alpecin at 1-13
9.

Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 1-20
10.

Dion Smith (NZl) One Pro Cycling at 1-21

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Steve Cummings

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Team Sky lead at Robin Hood Bay

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Serge Pauwels at Robin Hood Bay

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Thomas Voeckler congratulated after his win

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Classification winners

Thomas Voeckler Wins Tour De Yorkshire Overall After Stage Three Victory

Team Sky take team honours

References

  1. ^ Thomas Voeckler (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ 2016 Tour de Yorkshire (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Nicolas Roche (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Adam Yates (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ >>> Tour de Yorkshire 2016: Latest news, reports and info (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ @voecklerthomas (twitter.com)
  7. ^ #TDY (twitter.com)
  8. ^ pic.twitter.com/2mijpeyWzt (t.co)
  9. ^ May 1, 2016 (twitter.com)
  10. ^ Peter Kennaugh (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

The six sexiest bikes of 2016 so far

We’ve always got time for a bit of bike porn here at Cycling Weekly, so here’s our pick of the six sexiest bikes we’ve spotted so far this year. And don’t worry, it’s all safe for work…

Enigma Exemplar

The Six Sexiest Bikes Of 2016 So Far

To celebrate its 10th birthday, West Sussex brand Enigma has produced a very limited run of the Enigma Exemplar1 which has been made without regard to time or money . Each of the 20 Exemplar s that will be produced will be individually built for its owner and cost 10,995.

>>> Review: Enigma Elite HSS ST2

This bike is as much about looks as performance. You get a custom paintjob with the electric blue on the bike above extended to the Campagnolo Super Record groupset and Enve wheels, which have all been finished with a stunning blue lacquer.

Fabian Cancellara s Trek Madone

Although Fabian Cancellara3 will take on Paris-Roubaix4 and the Tour of Flanders5 on his new Trek Domane6, its the Swiss rider s aero Trek Madone7 that really got our mouths watering with its deep aero tubes and clean lines thanks to the fully integrated cabling.

>>> Review: Trek Madone 9.98

And what makes it even better is the almost completely black finshing kit, especially the seriously long slammed stem9, which means that attention is drawn entirely to the beautiful frame.

Pinarello Dogma F8W

The Six Sexiest Bikes Of 2016 So Far

The standard Pinarello Dogma F810 is a good enough looking bike as it is, but its clean lines and sweeping curves are only enhanced by the lack of wires and cables on this F8W model with a SRAM Red eTap wireless groupset11.

>>> SRAM eTap vs Di2: which is better?12

And how about that beautiful red and white paintjob? We ve always been fans of the black and blue Pinarellos that Team Sky13 use, but this look takes things up a notch, especially when combined with the all black Zipp 303 wheels.

Peter Sagan s world champion s Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS

The Six Sexiest Bikes Of 2016 So Far

One bike that you re unfortunately not going to be able to get your hands on is the special world champion s bike that Peter Sagan14 will be enjoying this season. He s got similar custom paintjobs on his Tarmac and Roubaix, but we think that it s the deep aero tubes of the Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS15 that best show off the flecks of rainbow paint that cover the black base.

>>> Pro Bike: Marcel Kittel s Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS (video)16

And it s the details that really make this bike, with the names of all the former world champions (yes, including Lance17) written into the white of the S-Works logo while the double cross of the Slovakian coat of arms is also subtly incorporated into the paintjob.

Boardman SLR Titanium 9.4

The Six Sexiest Bikes Of 2016 So Far

Titanium frames always turn heads, and this one from Boardman s first foray into titanium bikes is no different, with the polished silver of the bottom of the frame contrasting nicely with the dark navy of the painted top half and fork.

>>> How are titanium bikes made? (video)18

Whisper it, but we also think it looks half decent with disc brakes19 too, and your eye certainly isn t drawn to the rotors and calipers quite as much as on other disc brake bikes. Shame about those hoods, though.

Alejandro Valverde s Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX was released last June20, and for 2016 Alejandro Valverde21 has managed to bag a custom painted version with a rather lovely white paintjob22 with a red top to the top tube that celebrates his national championship win.

>>> Pro Bike: Alex Dowsett s Canyon Aeroad CF SLX (video)23

Aside from the frame, the rest of the kit is in standard blue and green Movistar colours but still work rather well with the white frame. And somehow the green hoods don t clash with the red top tube. Stunning.

References

  1. ^ Enigma has produced a very limited run of the Enigma Exemplar (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Review: Enigma Elite HSS ST (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Fabian Cancellara (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Paris-Roubaix (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Tour of Flanders (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ new Trek Domane (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Swiss rider s aero Trek Madone (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ >>> Review: Trek Madone 9.9 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ slammed stem (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ standard Pinarello Dogma F8 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ SRAM Red eTap wireless groupset (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  12. ^ >>> SRAM eTap vs Di2: which is better? (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  13. ^ black and blue Pinarellos that Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  14. ^ Peter Sagan (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  15. ^ Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  16. ^ >>> Pro Bike: Marcel Kittel s Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS (video) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  17. ^ Lance (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  18. ^ >>> How are titanium bikes made? (video) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  19. ^ disc brakes (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  20. ^ Canyon Ultimate CF SLX was released last June (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  21. ^ Alejandro Valverde (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  22. ^ a custom painted version with a rather lovely white paintjob (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  23. ^ >>> Pro Bike: Alex Dowsett s Canyon Aeroad CF SLX (video) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)