Touching on chaos theory whilst pursuing academia in a previous life I return to this mathematical concept on Sunday’s WCC roadie run. The ride is to Leamington Lakes east of Moreton in Marsh and there is a good turnout amounting to 11. As last week the feeling of autumn is abounding but the warm westerly wind that favours our outbound journey negates the need for ‘The rug up’ El Presidente blesses us with a guest appearance together with his far more attractive other half the Lovely Lou and from the off leads the way. He’s particularly keen on riding in pairs with a sense of order that never seems to transpire on the average run. Captain and Stoker giggle as they witness the immediate disarray mainly caused by a freshly serviced Tandem rattling away as if a random bag of spanners. The service also seems to cause huge entertainment to others, none more so than The Pupil clearly amused to see the Granny chain ring hanging on by one bolt. It’s rare for the pupil to be on the upper end of the banter and the opportunity to exploit vulnerability is seized post haste. On we push and without ‘The Leaders Leader’ on show ‘The Leader’ is flummoxed. I silently witness from the Stokers throne a display of organisation that could have only been described as shambolic. We lose Martin the machine, The Pupil, Fruit FarmJoe and Rookie Lee - a chef from Bromsgrove (and Brummy Lee from now on as its north of Evesham) The remaining seven arrive at Leamington Lakes to be greeted by a closed sign. The Captain and our leader admits that he’s never been to the venue before and had it mixed up with The Lakes at South Cerney? There is more than a bite when its suggested that they are quite close together? Anyway no problem! We are now off to a great Café recommended by 60 Kilo Steve on the outskirts of Moreton. The familiar closed sign is again on display. Then it’s off back to Moreton where a new café is discovered. It’s a good find in a neat little courtyard and momentarily we settle into a degree of order. It’s only momentarily as the 7 are soon to discover the breakaway 4 are in another café? Heading back to The Combe on a non planned route its agreed to stay together as The Tandem duo lacking any gears need a minimum profile return journey. Railway Rog is on top climbing form and attacks ‘ Bourton up the Hill’in fine fettle The Veteran has a quieter day – although equipped with the Bobby Dazzlers they are hapless following the previous days birthday celebrations. ‘He cant be 69’ declares Railway Rog – ‘hes been 69 for the last three years?’ The Captain is concerned as Ma and Pa are round for lunch and he has left the honours to the Lozzer - well known for her passion of culinary art, its offering a sense of urgency to the motion of the crank. ‘Anything could have happened’ he informs The Veteran. As brothers in the world of fire fighting they discuss potential damage to the Captains career if there’s a pump outside the house hosing the lamb in the oven down. As we all gather in dribs and drabs at The Lion we discover the breakaway 4 have subdivided again echoing a further tumultuous tone of mayhem. Settling down- alcohol related activity offers a newly found sense of order. Lots of laughter on a ride that will never be heralded as perfect. Forty ish miles 2800ft of climbing. As they say ‘It wouldn’t have happened in Terry’s day’ – The Stoker ... See more
Free cycle coaching sessions for WCC members! I am currently completing my level 2 British cycling coaching qualification. As part of the course, I will be planning, delivering and evaluating a series of 6 coaching sessions. These will take place in a traffic free environment during October/November (dates, times and location TBC - although they are likely to be Saturday mornings in/around Winchcombe). The sessions will focus on key skills including riding in a group, riding through and off, bike handling, cornering and gear selection (sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of the group). These sessions will be perfect for anyone who is looking to build confidence to complete a sportive, begin riding the weekly club run or looking to start competing in any cycling discipline. You will need to be over 18 and have access to a functional bike and a safe helmet. In the first instance, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest and I will be in touch with further details. Cheers Rich ... See more
The chosen route for the Sunday Spin this week was code named ‘The Oxfordshire Raid’ Its a steady tread to Ramsden and an opportunity for the proletariat of The Combe to rub shoulders with the bourgeoisie of West Oxon. The morning resonates the onset of autumn and as I climb Stanway a feel-good factor is in the making. The gluttons for punishment have agreed to meet at the top of Stanway and ride to start point in Stow. A gang of seven congregate at the summit of Stanway in dribbles and consist of moi, Captain, The Veteran, (boasting once again the Bobby Dazzlers)The Pupil, Scouting Simon and Jubilant Jules. (Always a positive pleasure to ride with) As we push on towards Stow we are joined by Greyhound Griff catching us up effortlessly. For those who don’t know The Greyhound has just secured new employment and will soon hold The title ‘British Cycling Coach’ - congratulations Rich! His relaxed and natural riding style is a pleasure to witness but panting away to stay on his wheel whilst he is seemingly free wheeling is an exhausting exercise. At Stow we meet Terry - ‘The Leaders Leader’, Railway Rog and the whippet like newbee Joe. Joe was born and bred on Hailes Fruit Farm but is now living in Tewkesbury. I consider asking him why he made such a hideous geographical move? but decide it inappropriate on a first meeting? Anyway, welcome to WCC Joe! It’s a good deal of climbing and as we wind our way through a beautiful route it’s great to be on unfamiliar territory. The Leaders Leader as always is reliably on hand to answer questions from the leader like ‘Is it right here?’ He offers votes of confidence on statements such as ‘I think its next left?’ All round Terry is a brilliant Leaders Leader. Arriving at the Café we enjoy unhindered service and a welcome break from the Oxfordshire potholes. Are the Chadlington Chumps paying any road tax at all I consider. The Captain is in a mess - apparently the Fire Service bed push to Chipping Campden one day previous has left him a broken man. He has the energy of a late autumn wasp and I am piteous of my touring friend and partner as I see the look of horror in his face at the thought of 35 miles home into the wind. We leave and head off back to Stow and and at Kingham The Back Lane Velo Club contingent decide to take a quicker and less mountainous route back to The Combe. ‘All for one and one for all’ the motto and ethos of the membership. We bid farewell to the others and off we head. Although our route is shorter we are soon caught up again by Scouting Simon, Jubilant Jules and The Greyhound. A tear up down Stanway Hill is followed by refreshment at the pleasant Pheasant. ‘Just one more Jim’ - ‘Go on then the Mrs is at The Car Booty’ is the reply. She was still apparently there for the next one too? A very pleasant morning out once again and for the gluttons 70 odd miles and 5000 ft of climbing. A good effort. See yee all next week - The Stoker. ... See more
C2C ✅ Well done Karen & Janette!
Bon Voyage and happy cycling to Karen & Janette who started the C2C route this morning @ 9.30am. Have fun, you’ll zoom along! They certainly are zooming along...well done!
A few days late, but the results are in for the August segment. It's that man 'Brendon Hill' who claims the maximum, chapeau sir. Two months to go until the curtain comes down on the league and it's pretty tight at the top. This month is a on the commuter run from Gretton towards Gotherington, with a pull up past Prestcott before a nice run down, finishing by the nursery (garden variety). https://www.strava.com/segments/18743303 Good luck
Blast Round Bredon Hill Waking up to an inspiring Autumn morning it’s a pleasure to tread on down to ‘The Combe’ from Toddington to meet the other troops. Arriving at the Library, Veteran Mason is first at the starting gate and chomping at the bit to get out of the stalls. Apparently The Pupil has signed in but disappeared to scrabble around the cash points in search of funding. At 8.30 Railway Rog turns up – bang on time and reflecting train reliability of yesteryears. Finally Double Agent Ballanger out for a leg stretcher before his End to End mission next weekend. We are five. Given the instructions from The Captain – our leader from the armchair. ‘Choose the route on the day’ is the request. We discuss punishing routes into the Cotswolds but strangely a flat blast to Defford was unanimously agreed. We make a good pace to the farm shop and enjoy a flyby from Railway Rog as he surges to chosen destination clearly full or Weetabix – in fact the healthy 16 mph plus results in a 20 minute early arrival. I request politely that they boil an early kettle but we are dismissed with non negotiable reasoning. The peloton is hurt, a feeling of betrayal lingers – ‘We are regulars’ rant the punters. In protest of the degree of inflexibility we have encountered the decision is made to make use of the Loos (which were open) and press on to Tewkesbury Garden Centre. A good pace continues. We enjoy some unusually good service at what could be described on many occasions as ‘Café Confusion’ With SA Ballanger setting the trend with a greasy bap. The Veteran is disgruntled when his request for a tea cake without butter arrives without Jam also. ‘How could they imagine Id want a dry tea cake? We agree café confusions assumption was ill-conceived. Onward and as we trip home it was noted that Railway Rog is the only member of the WCC Sunday peloton who isn’t also a member of the famous Back Lane Velo Club. He explains that one of his relations lived in Abbotts Leys some years back. The Veteran is happy with his credentials and proposes membership - its seconded by Double Agent Ballanger. Railway Rog is inaugurated as a full member of ‘The society with secrets’ not as is often accused by the mockers‘ The Secret Society’ We head off home via Kemerton and Beckford – ‘Having one Veteran? - ‘Rude not to’ he reliably replies. ‘What about you Pupil?’ – ‘I’m having a bottle in the bath’ is the answer. Following a lecture on secret drinking he also succumbs to the invite. SA Bally doesn’t need to be asked as that’s what ex MTB`s do. Railway Rog is asked but chooses not to join us. – as he declines we can hear a mutter - ‘lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil’. See you next week Rog. A healthy 15.5 mph over 40 plus miles and 2000 odd feet of climbing topped with a chin wag in The Lion all contributed to another top Sunday Morning! Looking for a good turnout next week as we Tour new pastures in Oxfordshire – starting in Stow on Wold. Best of luck to Double Agents Ballanger and Morrison as they take on End to End next week – don’t think they’ll be doing that on the MTB eh??. Best Regards – The Stoker ... See more
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Tour of Britain Stage 4 passes closest to us here in Winchcombe on Wednesday going through Ilmington/Ebrington at around 13.30 +/-. Weather forecast looks good so this would be a great opportunity for those members of WCC with the time to cycle up to watch the peloton that contains Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome no less. The MTB group hope to plan an off road route up towards Ebrington. It would be great to have the roadies and the MTB in Club colours to support the Tour. http://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/tour-britain/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/07153252/ToB2018_Stage4_Map_Lo-Res.pdf
Great Sunday MTB ride out yesterday. After an unintended drop down into Broadway we had a hard off road effort to tackle to get back on to the escarpment then tracking back via Broadway Tower and the Mount descent.
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