Rye and District Wheelers
Member Newsletter April 2019
From the Chair
It is good to read the reports from the Captain, Secretary and Racing Secretary which show a lot of club activity in the early season. You will see they have included some important future dates for the Club TT series and the annual Treasure Hunt. Both these events had slightly disappointing levels of participation last year so please so please support them if you possibly can.
Another important date for the diary is 18th January 2020 for the Annual Awards Dinner. It will be taking a different format this year, taking place in Udimore Village Hall. More details will follow in due course.
Sorry to say that our Treasurer, Andrew Whittaker, remains in hospital but continues to take a full part in club business and keep our finances in good order. Best wishes from all members Andrew!
From the first Newsletter in January I have hoped we might generate a “letters section” so thanks to David Ovenden for our first (complementary) letter. More would be very welcome, so here goes with an attempt to generate a bit of genuine debate.
I was told a story recently about a rider who was fed up with an impatient motorist on his tail on a country road. The cyclist waved the car on only for a fast car to appear in the opposite direction. An accident was avoided but tempers were very frayed! I have always worried about this practise feeling that, whatever the provocation, cyclists should never take the responsibility away from the motorist for overtaking decisions. I rode a sportive a few years back which issued a ride protocol which said, “never do it”. What do you think? Please let us know via emails to either Steve Blattman or me.
From the Captain
Good to see the sun is finally burning through on a regular basis making for a more pleasant ride. The Tuesday morning/Friday group are posting numbers well into the teens on a regular basis. Sunday Black group are still a little light on numbers, however some of the group are posting some mile munching distances up to and including century plus rides. Riders from the Sunday Red Group represented the Wheelers at the Sean Yates Spring classic. Apparently it was not very “spring like”. Tuesday afternoon group are holding steady with their regulars as well as recruiting new group members.
It is good to see Jamie Kirkham posting rides for the first time in a good few months and we hope to see more of those as he gets his cycling legs back. Our very own Four Old Guys cycling from Wipers to Ypres (Paul Simpson, Ralph Sperring, Kevin Beale and Andrew Button) have moved on from the planning stage (drinking beer) to the training stage (drinking more beer), good to see they are still leading by example.
Note: most of the content I report on is from the WhatsApp groups, if I miss anything worthy of a mention please do let me know.
Ride safe all.
From the Secretary
Well, it’s been good to enjoy some decent weather and a recent Tuesday ride was to Hythe with virtually no wind and lovely meander along the seawall from New Romney. We stopped at the Hythe Fish Shack (not sure of the proper name) some of us had scallop and bacon rolls, not available at the Blue & White Café so I understand!
I think I mentioned last month that I would review where club members can get a discount in our local shops subject to presenting your in-date club membership card.
Romney Cycles, New Romney – up to 10%
Handsome Cycles, Hastings – up to 10%
RM Cycles, Tenterden – up to10%
Spiral Cycles, Ashford – up to 20%
I think, like all discounts it is subject to various conditions but if you’re uncomfortable with persuasive discussions on price, production of the membership card is a good start!
Lastly, please make sure 30th June is in your dairy. It’s a combo of Captain’s Ride,
Treasure Hunt and BBQ at the Great Escape, Peasmarsh. More details to follow.
From the Racing Secretary
The time trial season is now well underway and several racing Wheelers have been active and recording some excellent rides. At the beginning of the month, Rebecca Wilson went along to the first of the VTTA 10@10 events which is a series of mid-week ten-mile time trials held on our club course at 10 am. If you are interested in taking part please contact me.
On the 6th, Mark Wright returned to the Q10/24 Isle of Grain course and improved the time he set just two weeks earlier by 43 seconds and completed the course in 23:56, a very good start to the season.
By the 13th it was the turn of William Murtagh and Josh Clark to have a go on the fast Q10/19 Tonbridge bypass, but all I can report is that the early start brought very cold conditions as so far no results have been published.
The following day, and again with a very cold early morning, Rebecca Wilson and I went to Chilham for the KCA 25 where the recorded times were all generally a bit slow and there was an air of disappointment in the hall. Thanks are due to Mark Amon who marshalled on the Thannington roundabout for the duration of the event, and on a day when 25 riders were put off by the temperature, it was a particularly great effort.
This brings us to the long Easter weekend which, as we all know, brought about a complete change in the weather, and no one made more use of the holiday than William Murtagh, who raced three days in a row. On Saturday, he went to Brighton for their hilly 10 on the G10/44 course, which he completed in 24:07. On Sunday, he was back to Kent for the KCA 10 on the local Q10/1 Hamstreet by-pass, where the Wheelers numbered eight of the fifty-two finishers, nine if we include Josh Clark (2nd Claim Wheeler):
|20:59 20:42 21:38 21:40 21:58 23:16 23:19 24:56 (road bike) 27:10 (including 1:30 late start penalty)
To complete his weekend run, William Murtagh rode without a partner in the Thanet RC 2up team event, but still managed an excellent 21:34 on the QS/18 non-standard distance course.
As I write, there’s just one week until the start of our summer series and I’m extremely grateful to those who have added their names to the marshalling rota. I’m looking forward to getting underway and I’ll risk sounding like a stuck record in encouraging everyone to dust off their bikes and come and have a go. As I have mentioned before, we’re introducing a handicap system which will reward an individual’s improvement during the season, so not having the latest kit or riding the fastest times shouldn’t put anyone off coming and having a go and being competitive.
Get to Know…Rick Box
When did you start cycling?
I started cycling 30 years ago, at first social MTB riding, then after a few years I started cycle touring. Over many years I went touring in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, most of Eastern Europe and of course the UK. Possibly my favourite trip was from Sicily to Rome, great scenery, food, and of course wine!
When did you join Rye Wheelers?
It was during my ‘touring’ days that I started road cycling, mainly as preparation for my touring trips. The more I did the more I liked it, and ended up joining Rye Wheelers, thanks to an introduction from Jeff Gage in 2013.
What motivates you to ride?
I love going to new places on the bike, and particularly love the Mountains and the stunning scenery they hold. I have really enjoyed several trips to Majorca and the French Alps in the last few years.
Do you have plans and ambitions for cycling in the future?
I have recently rediscovered mountain biking and have had trips to Myanmar (Burma), Madagascar and I am off on another MTB trip in June to the high places in Mongolia. Then in September it’s off to the Mountains again, this time to the French High Pyrenees.
Do you have a favourite route and cafe stop?
When cycling at home one of my favourite routes from ‘the Bridge’ is to the community cafe at Benenden via St Michael’s and back via Rolvenden Layne.
Tell us more about you . . . not related to cycling?
Aside from cycling I love walking, in the Mountains when possible. Off to Scotland next week. Hey Ho, it’s a tough life. Happy and safe pedalling!
Letter to the Editor
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your newsletter. It is a good mix of content, well presented – and very readable too! Thanks for your hard work.