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2-page colour supplement with this issue! December 2012 SHROPSHIRE .....................................................................................................

Magna nimous AGM

President’s Ponders

Alan Jones (Wrekin Cycling section) was presented with the Ray Page award for his always smiling commitment to the club and for introducing many new members. After the individual Section Leader reports, Peter Crofts summarized his ‘Right to Ride’ report, mentioning awkward/ hazardous cycle routes in Shrewsbury and out of town: St. Julian’s; Otely Road; Smithfield Road; Wyle Cop; the Pontesbury to Minsterley road. The Secretary read the Thursday Evening Rides’ report on behalf of Alice Stanley, currently in Sicily. She reaffirmed last year’s request for a new organiser for this section. She thanked John Nowell and Ken Knight for their help in preparing the rides’ programme. Ken Knight reported on his Easter Tour to Cambridgeshire which had been blessed with reasonable weather and interesting destinations. Peter Mathison thanked the helpers of the successful Birthday Rides. 506 cyclists registered for the occasion. However, a combination of ill

Over 60 members attended the AGM recently, more than last year, which is most encouraging (or was it for the refreshments afterwards!?). Our active membership has increased and, even if some members join group rides only occasionally, is also most encouraging, because it’s great to know people are attracted to what we do and enjoy it enough to come for more when they can. Welcome to Julian, who not only is a new member this year, but he has also agreed to be our Secretary. I hope he enjoys the role. The committee met recently and discussed the good ideas for future club activities that were aired at the AGM, and intends to put them into action over the year. Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and enjoyable New Year.  Anita


health and accidents prevented some from being able to join us: they were by and large 60+ in age after all! Those who could make it enjoyed ‘super’ rides through our peaceful Shropshire countryside. Ken Knight gave a captivating slide presentation of club cycling many years ago. He was, by surprise but richly deserved, for his unstinting service to cycling, presented with the National Certificate of Merit by David Cox, Chair of the National Council. Peter Lobban requested more contributions to the web site. He

offered a prize of £20 for the best ‘blog’, received by December 31st. Members were encouraged to register (which needs to be done to get rides lists, events, etc. anyway), and share their adventures and experiences in words and pictures. On behalf of your absent Editor, the Secretary asked for a contact in each cycling section to be a source of news for the benefit of readers of Cycle News. [Phone 01978 821 379 or email cyclenews@]. Jonathan Blowers reflected upon the volunteers who

was considered still useful. There was a general view that the surplus money should be spent: a matter for the committee to discuss. Thanks were given to Helen Gilmour for auditing the accounts. It was felt the committee needed to address ways of attracting new members. Ideas were put forward at the AGM. [The full minutes can be found on the website.] 

fraxinea). We have about 80 million Ash trees in the UK with the possibility that all or most of them could be wiped out. Large specimen trees would take several years to die. If you have an Ash tree in your garden don’t compost the leaves, burn them, as it is from the dead leaves that the fungal spores are spread. In the 1970-80’s we lost 25 million Elm trees to Dutch Elm disease – another disease from the Continent. Only a few disease resistant Elms remain. Hopefully we will be left 11th December a ride (or with some disease resistant drive by car) to the Hand and Diamond pub at Coedway for the Ash trees. Even more bad news, Christmas lunch where you especially at Christmas can scoff good food and have a good natter. Book the lunch with time, the Nordmann Fir, one Richard Newey. Price: £12.95.  of several species sold as A social evening dinner Christmas trees, is being attacked by another fungal is planned near the end of disease, as yet unidentified. each month, following the This causes the needles to success of the one held in drop off. They turn yellow in October at the Trattoria in Shrewsbury. For details, check July then to brown in August and later fall. It is known out the website or pester any as ‘current season needle member of the committee.  necrosis’ [CSNN]. Things are not looking too good on the bird front either. Recent statistics show that More bad news on the tree front! Yet another disease has species including Turtle Dove, Willow Tit, Grey Partridge, arrived from the Continent Tree Sparrow and Corn via imported saplings and Bunting have shown a decline possibly wind blown fungal in population of up to 93% spores.This time it affects the between 1966 and 2009. Many Ash tree which is one of our most numerous trees after the factors have contributed to this decline such as habitat loss Oak. The disease is known as and loss of seed and grain due Ash dieback fungus (Chalara

What’s On

Nature Notes

Shropshire Cycle News is published by CTC Shropshire. Please send material for publication by email to

give their time both to the Shropshire CTC and the wider cycling community. There is a range of valuable experience [other than riding bikes] amongst our members, perhaps you yourself. Don’t let your expertise go to waste. Use it for the benefit of the club in taking up a vacated post. [If no-one bothers in the belief that someone else will do it, there can be no club, can there? Many people would then be disappointed, perhaps yourself too.] See the Your Club Needs You flier. Peter Lobban reported that there was an excess of income over expenditure, due largely to the success of Audax events. However, printing costs for our publications would rise unless someone takes over the printing of them using the club’s colour printer. Helen Gilmour, suggested the club simplify accounting by only having one bank account, particularly as the savings account earns very low interest. Use of the club’s surplus funds was discussed. The club’s YHA membership had been used twice this year and was therefore deemed useful. John Leese suggested contributions to Sustrans; Graham Milne suggested contributions to the CTC National Cyclists’ Defence Fund; the subscription allowance from Head Office.

For information, phone 01743 249 961.

to modern farming practices. Population decline in migratory birds is due to unregulated hunting in the countries they have to pass through and changes in their African wintering grounds. However, some birds have managed to increase their population by as much as 439%. These include Buzzard [very noticeable in Shropshire], Great Spotted Woodpecker, Collared Dove, Nuthatch and Blackcap.  Paul Hope

Aloha! I had my second season of riding with the Shropshire CTC group this past spring and I have to say it was even better than the first. (Summer of 2011) I was greeted with warm and friendly hellos from familiar faces. In Hawaii we use “Aloha” for hello and goodbye, but it has a deeper meaning to those who live on the islands. However, I found Aloha among the Shropshire CTC group.

Cycle Shrewsbury and Travel Shropshire The latest news from Shrewsbury is that three characters have been chosen to figure on a “portrait bench” as part of the Sustrans Connect2 route on Smithfield Road. Over 25,000 votes were cast and the three winners are: Wilfred Owen; Sabrina, goddess of the Severn; and town crier Martin Wood who was chosen by a vote in Shrewsbury primary schools. It was very exciting to have this level of support and interest. We hope that the bench will be installed in May 2013; to find out more go to The Travel Shropshire website is now fully live, and there is a link to CTC Shropshire from the webpage: www.travelshropshire. Please send us details of anything you would like included in the listings. We have also been very pleased with the response to our courses. We now run regular basic cycle maintenance classes as well as adult one-to-one training for beginners/returners. We have also trained more leaders for easy-paced social rides – 18 people have now been trained on three courses. All the training is open to anyone who lives in Shropshire and is free; courses can be booked online via the Travel Shropshire website and feedback has been excellent.  Emma Bullard, Promotions Manager, Cycle Shrewsbury 01743 255435

Head in the Clouds?

Jenny’s Jottings

We managed to attend the AGM on the tandem. It was very The CTC’s head office has gratifying to see such a large A – ala, watchful, alertness produced a strategy for the attendance and a new secretary L – lokahi, working with unity next eight years. If you can appointed. We both enjoyed O – oia’i’o, truthful honesty make head or tail of the high- the refreshments after, and left H – ha’aha’a, humility speak language you are a with Edwin completing 40 miles, A – ahonui, patient perseverance better person than your Editor. managing to avoid the dirty In his view it does nothing to lanes! Some of the lanes have Looking forward to riding with address today’s problems now, become nearly impassable and the group in 2013.  but seems to waffle on about the condition of the bikes has Robin Halbert grand designs. Email CN for been terrible. However, we must a pdf file (of the shortened have sympathy with the farmers version!) and let us know what trying to get their crops in, under you think.  these wet conditions.


We are choosing carefully our club rides these days and usually meeting up at the venue. We are also riding out on our own more, as we are finding the club rides a bit too fast – perhaps our advancing years! During the winter we often still take a picnic to explore the wider countryside. We use bus shelters and have a mental list of 4-star ones with a good seat and room for the bikes. Atcham, Lilleshall, Tibberton, Agden (near Grindley Brook), Norton-in-Hales and Calverhall have some good ones (anyone know any more). Wrenbury and Hamner do not have good shelters but on a sunny day a seat by a wall is nice in the full sun. At Venus Pool and Wood Lane we can have our picnic in the hide watching the birds. Church porches are also useful (but we don’t like leaving crumbs for the church mice!).We welcome ideas for other winter picnic sites. We are disappointed that the long standing Christmas buffet at Yorton has been dropped from midweek rides this year especially as we shall miss the Midweek Christmas Dinner, being on the wrong side of Shrewsbury for us to ride to. However, we hope that the weather will be OK for us to meet up with you all on Chris Lovatt’s ride to Ellesmere on the 23rd. December. If we don’t see you on the road, Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2013, to all

Birdy Bill The view from the back – again! From my usual position at the rear of our groups it’s becoming noticeable that our group riding discipline is on the wane. Because of the large numbers on our rides, for our own safety we must pay attention to the way we behave as a group. Already more cyclists have died on our roads this year than during the whole of last year. We form a formidable obstacle to any following vehicle trying to pass us as much on main roads as on narrow lanes. It’s gratifying to see us pull into gateways, field openings etc to allow vehicles to pass on narrow twisty lanes But when we’re out on wider, main roads very few of us seem inclined to create sizeable gaps in the group to allow following vehicles to pass us by leapfrogging. Such small concessions to our fellow road users will improve our standing in their eyes. They will come to learn that we are not deliberately obstructing them but that we are aware of their presence and are trying to let them pass as soon and as safely as we can. It will also mean that those of us regularly at the back of the group won’t be suffering the pent-up frustrations of following vehicles breathing ever closer down our necks! Also in a large group please don’t leave all the responsibility of the ride to the leader. The leader can’t always be aware of who is at the back of the group and how far behind they are. We all have different abilities and ride at different speeds so it would help the leader greatly if each of us on the ride is aware of who is following them, how far back they are and most importantly, which way did they turn at that last junction? If they aren’t in sight one could wait at the junction confident in the knowledge that another colleague will be waiting at the next turn. Don’t leave it all up to your leader – they want to be able to relax and enjoy the ride too!  Bill Dorrell


our cycling friends. WEM INFORMAL GROUP meets Sats when poss at 10.00 for local rides. 40 miles at 1011 mph ave. 01939 232061 or Edwin 01939 235556. 

Progress Perhaps After your Editor’s initial tumour activity of 246, then sticking at 80 for months, it’s now down to 41. It should, of course, be zero. Cautious optimism prevails. 

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