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In print and online in full at


4-page colour supplement with this issue! October 2011 SHROPSHIRE .....................................................................................................

President’s Ponders

For Sale

As the world is praying for an economic miracle, so the committee is praying for a secretarial miracle! There must be a member somewhere in our group who would be ideal for the task, but may be shy to volunteer his or her services. It is a vital role in the club and would certainly be given loads of help and support by the Chairman, John Nowell and committee members. The Club needs you!! Please contact John or any committee member if you are interested or know a member who would be willing to take on the role.  Anita

Dawes Discovery Twin mtb style tandem. 20”/18”. £450. Can be seen at Perry’s Cycles, Tan Bank, Wellington. (01952 244802) Also Dawes Somoran ladies Hybrid. £120. Also at Perry’s. Paul Rapson 

Cycle Shrewsbury: Love Your Bike month October 2011 As a result of its successful bid to the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (see the last issue of Cycle News) Shropshire Council has funding to continue promoting cycling as an everyday means of transport, and providing practical support and encouragement to get more adults and children cycling. This is what Cycle Shrewsbury has been doing since 2008; we’re now starting work in Oswestry and Ludlow as well and running Love Your Bike month in all three towns. Highlights of the month include: ɶɶ New walking and cycling maps for Oswestry and Ludlow ɶɶ Guided bike rides for beginners and returners of all ages ɶɶ Family rides to Shrewsbury Town home matches; with discounted tickets provided by the club ɶɶ Love Your Bike day at the football stadium in Shrewsbury on Wednesday 26 October,

featuring Shropshire’s first bicycle polo event – all welcome. ɶɶ A free set of lights for new members of Cycle Shrewsbury during October. All the details are at love-your-bike-month. This website is also being developed to include information about Oswestry and Ludlow. Membership of Cycle Shrewsbury is open to anyone wherever they live. The month started with the opening of the new Oswestry Leisure Centre where we spoke to about 200 people, and had a wonderful response.  Emma Bullard, Promotions Manager, Cycle Shrewsbury 01743 255435



Pausing for a Myther Malcolm’s Mytherings in the August newsletter got my attention. (Is there a world championship for mythering? Might we have a champion . . . oh never mind.) Among all the sound indictions (thank God the newsletter doesn’t come with a sound track) I thought the bit about letting slower riders have a ‘breather’ at the top of hills might be based on a misunderstanding. Now I’m pretty slow these days (anyone who says “Always was” is a nasty insensitive person) and it might well be me you’re waiting for at the top of the hill. I appreciate that you have waited, I am grateful not to be cast adrift, but I don’t want to stop. It takes me a long time to get going and if I stop, even for a ‘breather’, then the ‘getting going’ process needs to start over. It may not be the case for others but as far as I’m concerned the ideal situation is for the waiting group to pull away just as I arrive. Going Dutch Let me share something with you. I have been ‘spinning’ on my home trainer. These days I get some chest pain when I open the throttle even a little bit but I have discovered that if I sit upright on the bike rather than lean forward with my hands on the bars, pain is much reduced. All ties in rather well with Rob’s article in the latest Wheelmarks where he extols the virtues of his Dutch roadster and its upright position. Anyone know if you can get SPD clogs? [Yes, they are called ‘toes’ – Rob] Easter tour 2012 Next year’s Easter tour will be in Cambridgeshire staying at the very nice Crown House Hotel in Great Chesterford. See the supplement or ask Ken and Marion Knight for details. (01694 751 270) 


At the time of writing (mid August) we had roadside verges that gave us a wonderful display of colourful flowers, with equally colourful names, ranging from Herb Robert [not our Editor], Prickly Lettuce [definitely our Editor], Rough Hawkbit, Common Toad Flax, Ox-eye Daisy, Nipplewort, and so on. In the hedgerows making a spectacular display were the bright red berries of Rowan, White Bryony, Whitebeam, Guelder Rose, Honeysuckle, and Lords and Ladies. In clear flowing streams, gently swaying from side to side in the current was Water Crowfoot and the more firmly rooted Flowering Rush and Arrowhead, whilst along the banks was Purple Loosestrife. I recently read that a fungus has been found that attacks Himalayan Balsam. It will take 2-3 years to complete controlled experiments on its suitability as a control agent. When all the roadside flowers set seed, they are an important food source in the Autumn and Winter months for members of the Finch family, which includes the Siskin, Redpoll, Linnet and two winter migrants, the Brambling and the Twite. It is important that councils only cut a metre in from the roadside and leave the remaining vegetation to flower and set seed, thus providing seed-eating birds with winter food. With monoculture in fields there are no wild flowering plants for the birds to feed on so the roadsides provide a very important food resource. Many farmers now leave a strip around their fields where a variety of plants are sown specifically as winter food for birds. One bird that farmers do not welcome is the Bullfinch which raids orchards in the Spring when the buds begin to form on fruit trees. They consume vast quantities of the newly formed buds and can ruin a crop altogether, a single bird can remove 30 buds a minute.  Paul Hope

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

Nature Notes

Shropshire Cycle News is published by CTC Shropshire. Please send material for publication by email to For information, phone 01743 249 961.

Malcolm’s Mytherings I’ve mythered about clothing before and how, whatever you wear, it never seems right, either too hot or not warm enough, and now the weather seems to be doing that to us!! What’s going on? During the past couple of months we’ve been really lucky in Shropshire with remarkably dry weather but the temperature has varied enormously day to day, and I know from what’s been said that recently some of us have had to resort to putting on the central heating on the odd few evenings. Now all of a sudden we’ve got summer back with us and everyone stripping off layers, on the road, like a burlesque show, only nowhere near as interesting. We are not pretty sights as we get older and less firm!! And whilst I’m going on about things I’ve written of before, I may as well say that there are still a few that have not taken earlier mytherings about distance/speed and safety into consideration. 30+ miles before lunch and 10+ afterwards does not make a ‘C’ ride, however it’s ridden, even if some of those in the party were originally intending to go on a ‘B’ ride that day.


Buzzard in a bag

Most of you will know that I regularly commute by cycle between home and Telford Princess Royal Hospital. On a cool summer morning I was riding along past the old sugar beet factory. I was puzzled to see five magpies and something bigger flap and roll across the road. I parked the bike down a farm lane and walked back to the main road to find a buzzard against the chain link fence. He was badly hurt and

Also there is still the question of safety whilst riding the odd stretch of main road [and other roads and lanes where overtaking is difficult – Ed.]. We should split into small groups of no more than five, and leave at least 10 to 15 car lengths between each group to allow safe overtaking. Recently I’ve been challenged over this whilst out on a ride. Let’s not argue over the merits or otherwise of safety measures please. Our individual lives are too precious to us and our nearest and dearest. Hmm, I seem to have run out of things to myther about, so I’ll only mention in passing that it continues to be a worry that so many of our country pubs are closing and we should do everything we can to support those we can. In this vein please note The Tontine at Melverly is open for lunch every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday and is a viable alternative ride venue to Llanymynech where there’s very little choice of lunch stops for a reasonable sized group. Also note the Longville Arms in Longville in the Dale is still closed after the last tenants left in April/May this year and I’m not holding my breath for it to reopen any day soon. Late news this week is that the Bottle & Glass at Picklescott has closed, although not a popular lunch stop for most riders I bet our esteemed Wheelmarks Editor will miss it!!  Malcolm

I decided I could not leave him to be pecked to death by magpies. An understanding lady gave me an old handbag to transport the buzzard. Worried by big talons and a beak I threw my high vis. over his head and scooped him up. Having wrapped the high vis. around his wings I placed him in the handbag. Hanging the bag on the handlebars I cycled to the nearest vet. Sadly the buzzard was too badly injured to

survive. I offered to pay for the treatment. This was declined. I now know that vets have an obligation to treat wild life. Always wear your high vis. It could do more than just make you more visible!  Sue Collinson

81 to 59

John Farr

I have ridden up and down Route 81 for many years. During this summer I have been troubled by a lady driver in a sliver Astra. It took me a little while to notice that it was the same car approaching me from ahead very fast and dangerously on a single track road (with passing places). I tried riding more assertively, as suggested by the CTC. This didn’t help my stony-faced racer. In fact it led her to skid as she had to brake. I decided enough was enough and I would film her using my i-phone (my helmet camera had given up the ghost). I made a point of showing the camera and that I was filming her. It made no difference to her poor driving. On the third occasion of filming her she actually made a point of swerving the car towards me. Frightened I continued to cycle but when looking in the mirror on my bars I saw her reversing lights come on. I was very frightened that she was going to reverse up the road and hit me from behind. Fortunately for me the wind was behind me and I scooted off too fast. I contacted CTC for advice and they said I would need to report this driver and fill out a SMIDSY form. This done I then reported her to the police using the film as evidence. The police were really brilliant taking my complaint very seriously. Following their visit to my home and seeing the film, the two officers turned up at the lady’s home, pointing out the error of her ways. They gave her a Section 59 which means that should she choose to carry on driving with no regard for cyclists and other road users, they would impound her car. It’s a relatively new police power usually used against boy racers. It seems to have been effective as I haven’t seen her again. I would urge all of us to take a more proactive role in reporting bad driving.  Sue Collinson

After a long period of failing health, John died in hospital on the 8th July. His funeral service at Oxon Church was held on Thursday 21st July. The collection was for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation. John joined the Mid-Shropshire Wheelers (MSW) in June 1962. He was always ready to assist with the running of the Club, did long stints as time-trial secretary, press secretary, social secretary and timekeeper, and will be remembered by those of us who knew him for his quiet but efficient way of doing things, and his willingness to assist others in their duties. In 1996 MSW made John a Honorary Life Member and, he served as President for the next three years. At the end of the 2000 season, although by now a “back seat member”, (his words!) he was awarded the Clubman of the Year Trophy in recognition of his, still considerable, input and interest in Club events. Always a keen tourist in Britain and abroad, in later years, Tuesday and Thursday potters with the local CTC were still something to be enjoyed by this lifelong cyclist. Our sincere condolences go to his widow, Janet, their six children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  Terry Egglestone


Clean Brest of It Edwin Hargraves completed the 1230 km Paris Brest Paris in 79 hrs 43 minutes on the 25 August.  Ken