Rye and District Wheelers Newsletter, October 2019.

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Rye and District Wheelers

Newsletter October 2019

From the Chair

Dates and more dates for your diaries! 

1. I hope everyone has already noted the date of the next Captain’s Ride on 24 November. More details will follow shortly. We will need to have confirmed numbers in advance so that we can buy the right amount of bacon and cakes for your free brunch!

2. The AGM will take place at 7 30 on Thursday 12 December at the Queens Head, Rye.  Please ensure we have a good attendance. I think it is really important that members take the opportunity to give feedback to the outgoing committee and to elect new committee members. The AGM agenda and further information will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

3. We intend to hold the customary Christmas lunch but have still to confirm the final date and venue. Please “pencil in” 8 and 15 December.

4. The Annual Dinner and Awards Evening will take a different format next year. It will be held on 18 January at Udimore Village Hall.

It has been drawn to the attention of the Committee that some non-members are riding with our groups on a regular basis. We don’t for one second want to be officious in our response to this – we always have and will continue to welcome guest riders and friends on an occasional basis, and we think it is always best for potential new members to try the rides before joining the club.  If someone rides with the club on a regular basis it does seem unfair to those who do pay their subscription and a little mean not to cough up the annual sum of £15! I trust you agree and are prepared to pass on this message as and when appropriate.

Paul Wilson

From the Captain

The wet and windy weather had its effect on our weekday and Sunday Club rides for September. The back to back Sunday Club Rides I got to ride were both wet and windy, so it was back to basics with no nonsense rides to Hythe and back. I am pleased to report that our Wednesday night chain gang, got off to an excellent start last week.

For those new to the club or just curious, The Chain Gang is a 25 mile, evenly paced training ride, usually ridden by club members who use it for closed season training from Sept-March. It is ridden in close single line formation, taking your turn on the front for a prearranged time, (usually 3 minutes, numbers depending), indicate your intentions to peel off by a flick of your left elbow then peel off to recover on the back in the slip stream of the others, till it is your turn again. The key to a successful Chain Gang is to maintain the even pace when you are on the front, hold a wheel when in the line and communicate any hazards, pot holes or close passing traffic. The pace is quickened as we approach Rye along the military canal, reducing the time on the front, to two minutes, then a minute and there is always a sprint to the Rye sign by those who can muster the energy. The Chain Gang is on Wednesday’s and leaves Skinners Car park at 18.30 sharp, a decent set of lights is a must. For any further information or fancy giving it a go contact myself using the details at the bottom of the newsletter.

David and Sean
The sock incident.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of being invited for a ride out with cycling legend Sean Kelly. By, Wildside Cycles Tunbridge Wells. The day started with a meet and greet and photos over coffee, before splitting into two groups. I chose the social group, having ridden the 12HR only two days previous. During the ride, I had the chance to chat with Sean about his work with Eurosport and asked did he get to ride while away commentating on the Grand Tours, only to find out that they are based in Feltham London for the majority of the races. I also picked up, that if you are Sean kelly you can get away with tucking your leggings into your socks. I may see how that sits on a Sunday Club Ride. After a 30-mile loop into East Sussex then back to the shop I was invited to lunch with a very small select group, Sean talked about the importance of maintaining training through the winter months and stands by his quote from back in the day. ” I check the weather, put on my gear, I go out and do my spin, then when I’m back do I decide if it was too wet or not. I know a few in the club employ this method.

Looking forward, to the next Captains Ride, 24th November. New routes are being recce’d and a change in the venue, so please look out for updates nearer the time. 

David Greenwood

From the Racing Secretary

Riding a 12-hour time trial may be tough, but organising one is a monumental effort. It requires upwards of 40 volunteers throughout the day and that comes after all the complications of devising a course which satisfies the regulations, particularly on Kent’s busy roads. Huge thanks are due to Paul Mepham who was determined to restore the fixture to the KCA calendar, and accordingly assembled a team to make it happen after an absence of three years.

I’ve always had a bit of a difficult relationship with the ‘12’, I have previously started three times, but only finished once. Paul had asked me whether I would consider riding it if he were able to resurrect it and, since I consider it unfinished business, I agreed. With the September 8th date set, I spent the weeks leading up getting the miles in on my time trial bike. From the beginning of September, it was all eyes on the Kent Highways website as word spread that there were several sets of temporary traffic lights scheduled within each of the planned circuits, including the complete closure of the level crossing at East Guldford until well into the day.

Paul and his team were able to overcome these trials and settled on a simplified course which started with an out and back leg from Brookland to Ashford up to five times, followed by laps of the marsh before moving to the Appledore, Fairfield, Brenzett finishing circuit from 3 pm.

The entry was a little bit disappointing, with only 31 riders on the start sheet, of whom three were ‘Wheelers’. Steve Gooch withdrew before the start with a shoulder injury, leaving myself and captain Dave to battle it out. I started reasonably well, and might even say that I was enjoying it while I passed the 100-mile mark at around 4 hours 12 min and then headed towards the marsh. There was quite a stiff breeze from an unusual north-east direction, which made the passage from Jury’s Gap around to Brenzett quite hard going. Three laps of the marsh, my tank was empty and no amount of encouragement was enough to make me carry on. Seven hours in, 165 miles covered and I stepped off the bike and wouldn’t let Rebecca persuade me to get back on, she had been dutifully looking after me all day and I had failed again.

No such trauma for Dave though, he was in ‘army’ mode and wouldn’t let anything step into his path to prevent him from finishing. Mark Amon provided support and updates throughout the day and Dave became the club 12-hour champion as he crossed the line at 18:31 having covered 234 miles. A remarkable achievement following his record braking 24-hour ride in July.

Club Captain on a mission.

I’m afraid I still have to count the 12 hour as unfinished business, so I may be back, but rest assured I’ll never be writing about a 24-hour attempt.

Rebecca adding to the Wilson Trophy Cabinet.

A week later, on the 15th, the Kent VTTA time trial was held on the Q25/12 Brenzett course, the event doubled as our club’s 25-mile championship. I was absent on this occasion as I was competing in the Duo Normand (see write up on the website / Facebook), but there six Wheelers on the start sheet. The weather was beautiful in Normandy, and I believe it was no different around the marsh which provided a great morning for racing. It was Steve Gooch who was able to take the top honours in one of the closest fought contests in the championship history, just three seconds separating him from second placed rider William Murtagh.

Steve Gooch 56:06
William Murtagh 56:09
Geoff Pullen 59:34
David Greenwood 1:02:27
Mark Amon 1:07:24
James Ashburnham DNS

With the racing season drawing near to the end, three of us were keen to ride another 25 on the popular Q25/8 Molash course. Unfortunately, as seems to have been frequent this year, the course had to be amended at the last moment as the traffic involved in a boot sale meant that the Chilham – Ashford out and back leg could not be used. The substitute was the relatively new QS/20 20km Molash – Thanington – Chilham course. Having caught a bit of a cold, I decided not to race, but Rebecca Wilson and Mark Amon both raced in spite of the poor weather forecast. Rebecca won the ladies event and was awarded the ‘Peter and Gill Stone’ memorial trophy.

Rebecca Wilson 29:49
Mark Amon 31:13

The autumn weather seems to have properly set in and the conditions have been far from perfect for riding and racing, but autumn also brings the hill climb season, and 29th September saw the 44th running of the Wigmore climb up Hollingbourne Hill. William Murtagh was the only Wheeler bold enough to take on the rainy hill and completed the course in 3:47.8, which although not a pb, was a great performance in difficult conditions.

Nick Wilson

Contact Details

Paul Wilson, Chair. stonegarth@gmail.com Dave Greenwood, Club Captain. dmgreenwood65@aol.com
Steve Blattman, Hon Secretary. ryewheelers@outlook.com Nick Wilson, Racing Secretary. mail@dotwilson.com
Doug Lambert, Treasurer. lambertdoug@hotmail.com   General Enquiries info@ryewheelers.com

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