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Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

An annual magazine for members of the

HARLEQUI%S CYCLI%G CLUB Greetings from the Editor

Club Chairman: Colin Seago Club Treasurer: Larry Horton Club Secretary: Terry Grey Racing Secretary: Ken Knight Club Social Secretaries: Marion Knight Vice Presidents Den Goddard Stan Lawrence Harlequinade Editor: Derek Banting Production: Ken Knight Contact us at

Hello Harlequins Looking back over my “greetings” expressed in past editions I usually mention that it does not seem that long since the last edition and blow me if it has not happened again. Amazing but true. I have yet to get around to the “pipe and slippers “ bit because of what we and other members I talk to do throughout the year. But that is what keeps us going I suppose. As usual we are indebted to all those who take the time and trouble to arrange and organise the various events throughout the year and those who oversee the general organisation of our Club for all our benefit. Also to the band of willing? contributors to this yearly diatribe, you are a great bunch of people. Another year of “happenings” is in hand and members are encouraged to take part as and when they can to support the efforts made on their behalf.

Cover Course for 2012 Club Hill Climb Championship

Me, well I am looking forward to 2012 and all that it may bring and I wish you all the best of luck not just over the coming festive season but for all the months that follow. Keep twiddling.



Saddle Saws

So 2011 prepares to slip into the mists of history. Bring on 2012.

Health, wealth and weather have all been very erratic and all of us have, or know someone who has, been adversely affected by one or more of them. We must hope for better next year. There were of course the high points of the various Harlequin events, of which others have written, but here's my take on them. The year started with the Dinner and AGM at Foxlease, and for the first time it was a three night stay for those who wanted extra time. I feel it was a good move as it gave the opportunity for a day riding or visiting local places of interest. As usual the staff at Foxlease looked after us in the manner we have now come to expect, and next year's break will follow the same pattern. The World Track Championships took place at Apeldoorn. Brian and Kay had found us a superb house to stay in at Uddel, not too far from the Velodrome, Dutch Cape style I would say; I haven't been there but I've seen pictures! The weather and cycling were fine, but it was very cold at night, with a hard frost. In my bedroom one night the thermometer was reading minus centigrade numbers, and alongside was a thermostat (well I think that's what it was) which only had numbers 0,1,2,3 on it. It was set just above 0, so I upped it to 1 and went to bed. About an hour later I woke thinking I had a raging fever but soon realised that it was the room, not me. I checked the thermometer which was reading +54 degrees C! I haven't So here we go with a run down of events for been so hot since Saudi Arabia! I 2012 turned everything to 0 and opened all .Club Club Dinner/AGM at Foxlease the doors and windows which rapidly cooled things off. By some strange Opens Monday 23rd January. coincidence there was no hot water Club Dinner/ prize giving and all that the next day – peculiar, that! Wednesday 25th. The AGM 26th January at 10am. The incident with Rosemary and the Dinner, as usual, provided Mon. and Tues. locked toilet is best summed up in the Bookings, as soon as possible, to Colin words of one of our monarchs when 01725510630 in a not dissimilar situation, 'Honi Soit

Matters of the Moment

The Audax. Audax

Qui Mal Y Pense'.

Sunday 29 April at Northmoor preceded by dinner on Saturday at the Red Lion Northmoor. Riders and Diners book with Marion and Ken 01694 751270 The Old Buffoons. Sunday 7th October. Time trial by the Bath Road club with lunch provided by ourselves. Riders to Chris Morris 01933 419121 and diners to Marion and Ken 01694 751270 Summer tours.


No definite plans at this moment, something will happen, most likely 3rd/4th week of June.

In a more chivalrous age and company I would have been given an elaborate sash and made a member of some exclusive order or the other, but I doubt I shall be so lucky. Next in short order comes the Hack. The weather was benign this year and, whether it was that or the lubrication of my knees by Ken's Hereford gin, it was the easiest I have ridden so far. Mind you, a new pair of legs (Brian's) with me up front for those last 16 miles from Uffington was a great help. Thanks to all who helped to make it a great week-end. Coppleridge in June was about the time the weather broke, turning into a wet and windy summer. However we did manage a couple of very pleasant rides in new territory and I'm sure we all look forward to next year. Finally came the Old Buffoons. Although the weather was mild, a nagging south-west wind made the course hard over almost all legs. Most of us were a little slower, but it was the wind – honestly – nothing to do with getting older. The Bath Road seamlessly took over the race side of the event and the rest was as we have come to expect. Well done everyone and thanks for all the raffle items (including some from Laurie Higgins from Australia) which raised £ 190 for club funds. The final event is the Ghent Six in November but, as I am not going, I look forward to the report on how it went.. So, although my yearly mileage is not what I had hoped, the various club events have made up for it. The cycling may be declining but socially we go from strength to strength; may 2012 be as good if not Colin better. Pedal Note: A 'saw' is a saying, usually wise, and uttered by a wrinkled, grey/bald-headed old geezer, who is sometimes referred to as a sage. Well, the spelling's nearly the same .

Things Cycling British cycling is at a level never achieved before in nearly all the different disciplines by both ladies and men and is quite capable of producing many, many winners. Ok it may not have achieved all its aims but the strength in depth is quite amazing. A certain Mark Cavendish has blazed his way into the headlines on more than one occasion. His win in Paris was quite superb. The Worlds followed and the final transition to the Sky team finished it all off. It will be interesting to see how the Sky thing will work out. At HTC everything was based around Cav. But with Sky you have others contenders in Wiggins and Thomas, interesting times. Here, bike sales are improving, bike journeys are going up and with “Boris Bike” use in London exceeding 1.5 million, it’s all happening. Finally, whether or not somebody has been reading my moans about cycle paths and yellow lines and taking notice but, for once, nothing has jumped out to surprise me this year. Mind you, with the loonies still running the asylum anything can happen. We Ed. shall see.

A sign of the times

In the office: Toilet out of order- please use the floor below.



Club Dinner/AGM

This annual eat and talk festival took on its usual format with good attendance over the four days with everything up to the usual Foxlease standard. At the Dinner Rosemary was presented with “The Book” in recognition of the example she set in fighting her way back from the nasty accident sustained on an icy road. Other presentations were made in the traditional Harlequin fashion to the amusement of members. Nonsense, of course, but it is fun. The formal business of the AGM went smoothly as before, reports made and excepted. In AOB points were raised regarding whether subscriptions might be required to safeguard the Club’s financial future and should provision be made to allocate assets in the unlikely event of the Club being wound up. These matters would be discussed by the Committee and any conclusions brought to the 2012 AGM. After an excellent buffet lunch we all made our way back home after an excellent four Ed. days.

The Audax Once again those hearty souls went on their way to ride the now, in most cases, familiar route but once again with slightly fewer numbers than last time. The thought was that with the bad, early in the year, weather meant that riders did not have enough miles in their legs. Who knows? Never the less it all went smoothly, the controls being well manned and with the usual fine spread of cakes at Uffington. We always get good reports on that. I was going to say good feed back but that is a pun too many. Or is it a “bun” too many. Sorry!!

A sign of the times


After tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.


We seem to have the headquarters bit off to a fine art with many favourable comments from riders. Most riders seemed to enjoy the day even if it was a bit windy in places. The pre-event dinner was again first class and those who arrived on the Friday partook of more food and fun in fine style.


Another successful weekend.

In Control

After the Old Buffoons, for People What Lunch! While the “new” team in the kitchen was not all new the head honchos were and it all went very well as expected. Lunch was up to its usual standard with 55 diners being catered for in fine style.

The Buffoons Harlequins Bill Bentley Heather Bone Colin Seago Brian Wright Robert Bone

‘10’ 26.58 42.00 33.20 34.13 33.17

Bath Road Andy Bennett Dave Devine Richard Willcox Stuart Jackson Colin Mann Dave Giggs Bill Cox (run)

31.50 27.10 26.20 27.12 30.22 32.33

Lap 28.55 45.12 35.39 36.37 35.34

H’cap 23.50 27.52 28.19 28.42 29.04

34.35 27.15 29.10 27.20 28.22 27.27 29.10 29.10 32.33 29.48 35.22 30.07 1.31.19

Greenford What with peoples generosity we had a magnificent raffle Derek Thompson 35.35 38.10 24.20 30.17 32.19 27.34 table . That, together with the auction of a great photo of Jim Williams Monument Valley donated by Bob Mahoney, record sales Colin Williamson 25.54 27.48 27.43 of raffle tickets and the profit made on the lunch all gave Terry Williamson 39.45 42.45 28.00 our funds a good boost. Ian Prior 30.35 33.06 28.06 John Pearce 30.21 32.35 28.25 Big thanks to the cooks, servers, table and chair shifters John O'Donnell 35.01 38.49 32.59 and anyone else who helped make it happen. A great Phil Williamson (run) 1.31.19 ending to a great day. Ed.

Punny things

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine. KW


Oh dear, what can the matter be ? We first saw advertising for the UCI World Track Championships at the 2010 Gent Six-day race. And so, after a Leffe or three our trip to Apeldoorn was conceived. It was almost inevitable that we would rent a house rather than stay in a hotel and we found a gem in the village of Uddel about 15 miles from the velodrome. The booking was made over the internet following an exchange of e-mails with the owner called, Mercedes ! When I asked if we could pay the deposit via PayPal the response was, ‘no, I’m sorry we are not allowed to have PayPal accounts here in Curacao where we live, but don’t worry you can pay the full Vinca Minor amount on

arrival’ ! This kinda set the tone as you think blimey there they are living in the Caribbean and they have this fantastic house in Holland, don’t want a deposit and they will leave the side door open so we can let ourselves in. I just can’t imagine it happening in Tower Hamlets. And so with its large and luxurious living areas and comfortably


The Annexe

sleeping 9, Vinca Minor became our base for the week. Ken & Marion, Keith & Ann, Janneke, Colin, Rosemary and Kay and me arrived progressively, each to marvel at the house, 8 acres of gardens and paddocks and the very high standard of furnishings. As Harlequins used to say, ‘this is far too good for the likes of us’ - but we quickly adapted. So, a good start but even better was in store for the weather was truly exceptional, every day sunny with cloudless blue skies; quite amazing for the last week of March. We all cycled several times mostly not far but, being on forest tracks and smooth cycle paths away from any traffic, always a pleasure. Our hard riders, Colin and Rosemary, did much more, getting some serious miles in, in an effort to be fit for the Audax. Colin did keep a record and they clocked up 151.348 miles – approximately. The smallest room in the house was the downstairs toilet with just enough space to stand up and turn around but no window. I came down the stairs one evening to hear raised voices and see the WC door open as Ann emerged to join a small crowd and explain that Rosemary had been locked in and panicked, oh dear ! She was followed out by Colin and then by Rosemary looking slightly sheepish and saying, ‘you’re right Colin, it was stiff’. For some reason this reduced us all to helpless giggling. One of the highlights of our visit was a day spent at De Hoge Veluwe National Park. We decided to drive there to be decent for the Kröller-Muller Museum but we still had a club run because they have 1700 white-painted Dutch bikes which you can pick up and drop off at many points around the park. A greater contrast with the lycra- clad athletes of yesteryear would be hard to imagine. The museum itself was a revelation with a superb collection of paintings by major artists including 83 Van Goghs, Mondrian. Seurat, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir, James Ensor and Picasso among many others. The museum is also famous for its large sculpture garden, within the forest park of more than 75 acres, with a fine collection of modern and contemporary sculptures. It would be good to go back again because I’m sure we missed many works e.g. there were sculptures by both Henry Moore and Rodin – didn’t see them ! Perhaps not surprising when you learn that the park has 40 kms of cycle paths and covers 21 square miles. The velodrome was only completed in 2008 and this was the first time ever that the World championships had been held in the Netherlands; I’m sure it won’t be the last. The track is part of a super multisport facility with lots of circulation space and room for exhibitions/trade stands. The ‘Worlds’ were very well organised and unlike many major sports events these days, the car parking area was vast and free – a fact seized upon by a couple from Exeter CTC who parked up their camper van and stayed for the week. As I recall the Brits did quite well although some of our established stars e.g. Brad Wiggins and Geraint Thomas were off riding road races. Just in front of us in the stadium were a family wearing green and gold complete with stovepipe hats and waving Koala bears and a vaguely familiar flag. I asked the bloke ‘who are you supporting mate ?’ Didn’t really understand his response but they were quite extrovert and kept cheering. You see the Australian team were exceptional and won almost everything but the biggest cheer was for Marianne Vos who won the 10 km scratch race – the capacity crowd raised the roof for this talented and popular local rider.


‘Our’ house, as you can see, was unlike any holiday rental in my experience. Our impression was that the owners over-wintered in Curacao and came back to Holland for the summer. All of their possessions, books, CD’s, pictures, ornaments and bric a brac were there to be enjoyed. One of their most prized possessions was a pair of large, floorstanding, ceramic AliBaba jars –probably priceless. Ann was All in the best possible taste looking for somewhere to put her sweet papers, lifted the lid to see what was inside and, oh dear, the knob fell off the lid which smashed into a myriad pieces and left a dent in the beautiful wooden floor. It was an OMG moment. The caretaker lady, Leonie, contacted the owners with the bad news, Keith was looking very stressed and drinking heavily and then the news came back, ‘it’s alright you don’t have to pay for the damage’. Built for comfort – no, the bikes stupid ! To celebrate I took Keith and his groupies to the local pub in Uddel and, challenged him to a game of pool – except that there weren’t any pockets in the table – the patron explained the rules and we concluded that the game was more like billiards. Anyway I picked it up quite quickly and soundly thrashed him. Oh dear, this outing was intended to cheer him up but the one-sided result had


quite the opposite effect as he became quite morose so, I agreed to let him win at tennis the following day. And what else did we do ? Well, we self catered in style with some excellent meals and tried a couple of local restaurants – and would we do it again – BW certainly.

After eels at Hardervijk p.s.

At the velodrome

Co-incidentally Janneke has since visited Curacao to see her daughter and son-in-law who recently got a job there. While there she discovered that the owners of Vinca Minor also have rental properties on the island. Keith says she won’t be going back because apparently lots

of mosquitoes also holiday there to enjoy the high humidity. The links below show Mercedes’ properties on the island and their rental costs!


CAPTION COMPETITION Dream up a caption for the photo below.

Send your masterpiece to the Editor by 18th January 2012. The winner will be announced at the Club Dinner and a prize presented (hoorah)

Coppleridge June 2011 This was my first visit to Coppleridge and I must say the accommodation and food were first class. I drove to Shaftesbury where I awaited the arrival of Colin & Rosemary on bikes, and Ken & Marion in the car. We had a light lunch in the cafe at the top of Gold Hill, of Hovis fame. We met up with the remainder of the Harlequins at Coppleridge for our first evening meal. The next day the cyclists met up in Castle Cary, where, to our delight, Jan greeted us in the cafe. She had driven over to meet up for a chat and treated us all to coffee. We all then rode to Lytes Cary, a National Trust property with very nice grounds. Unfortunately their lunch menu was virtually non-existent and we had to make do with coffee and cake. However, we made up for that in the evening with yet another good meal.


Brian joined us rather late at Lytes Cary. He had decided to ride alone from Coppleridge, without a map! When he found himself on the outskirts of Southampton he decided to buy a map and eventually found his way. There is a moral here!!! Colin & Rosemary rode back to Coppleridge whilst the rest of us returned to Castle Cary to our cars, where we said farewell to Jan. Brian wisely joined Kay in their car. On Thursday we rode to another Gold Hill--the organic farm, shop and cafe at Hazlebury Bryan. We were joined by the motorists and having settled comfortably decided to stay for lunch as well. The food was not to everyone's taste, but we more than made up for it with our evening meal. I overindulged on a gigantic chocolate pudding--shades of Bruce Bogtrotter in Matilda--and I am glad we had en-suite facilities in our room! After breakfast we dispersed to the four corners of the UK and look forward to our Terry usual re-union at Foxlease for the AGM in January.

It was a wild and windy night The noise - it was tremendous One and all we had a fright The atmosphere horrendous

What was the cause of all the noise? What was the horror on the loose? It was Terry being “one of the boys” He’d indulged in too much chocolate mousse! Rosemary

A sign of the times

Would the person who took the stepladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.



Cambridge Circus

In late June we found ourselves in a rather nice hotel just a few miles south of Cambridge. We had not been to Cambridge for many years. I had some brief contacts with the applied maths department when I still had a brain and Pat’s father was Warden of Churchill which gave us access to some comfortable (and free) lodgings but that was all long ago. This time we were celebrating Marion’s birthday and the exceptionally fine weather encouraged us out on our bikes First to Saffron Walden and a nostalgic visit to the youth hostel. Saffron was the second hostel I stayed at, the first was Nazing the night before on my first ever Easter tour. Then to my wide youthful eyes the hostel was an amazing timber framed adventure playground. Now it was a sad sight, a calamity of scruffy My first hostel night at dereliction that was to close forever that very week. A sad irony for us to have visited at just that time. The pub at Nazing was a warning of Little Walden was better and the strawberries and ice cream the true nature of one’s our hotel served at the end of a tiring ride under a burning so called club mates. sun was better still. Reg, who was leading

the tour told me at that first ‘self cooking’ breakfast that as it was my first tour he would let me have the very best part of the mushrooms - the stalks! You know I believed that for almost ten years.

Once my great grandparents lived just a few miles down the road in Wendens Ambo so a visit was mandatory but a trawl through the churchyard yielded no evidence of their existence. What it did yield was the ghastly spectacle of the recently converted tithe barn. Once a magnificent thatched barn alongside the pretty squat East Anglian church and reputed to be the biggest and grandest of all the tithe barns in England, it has been converted into a black slab walled eyesore decorated with some small copper wall lights, probably from B & Q. However St Mary’s church and the cottages of Church Street remain exceedingly pretty and well worth some time to stand and stare.

Next we decided on a visit to that citadel of academe - Cambridge itself. Our hotel was about 10 miles south of the city with a fairly busy main road all the way. However there is a well signed cycleway which once it has crossed the railway and ducked under the nearby M11 follows quiet roads through pretty villages. When needs must it joins the route of the main road but on a purpose built track well separated from the motor traffic. As on almost all cycle tracks, junctions, especially at busy roundabouts, are a problem. That said it is a good cycleway, a pleasant ride to the very centre of town and a really pleasant surprise at the end for the cycleway leads you to a capacious purpose-built underground cycle park. Secure, dry and free, looked over by the cycle shop within and with toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms. Nice!

Punny things

A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.



You immediately notice that the cycling community here is devoted to learning and untouched by consumerism. The bicycles are students’ bikes, wrecks of bikes. Here in this excellent cycle park my 20 year old Dawes looked quite a classy machine. Then as you emerge into the bustling market square there is more evidence of the nature of Cambridge cycling. Among the usual market traders selling cheap clothes, dodgy CDs and the like are itinerant cycle mechanics offering from their tented pitches to fix your gears, straighten a wheel, mend a puncture or just lend you a pump. The bicycles, the mechanics, the cycle park, the streets and the buildings are all very nice. But one strange thing struck me: everyone in Cambridge seems to be playing a part. Academics walk around in gowns. College servants, there to stop you venturing too far into cloistered quads, wear bowler hats and speak with affected working class accents. They exude deference whilst somehow making it clear that they mean no such thing. Cafes are not called cafes but tea shops and the young waitresses therein contrive without word or gesture to make it perfectly clear that they have a first in medieval history. It’s all very nice. Fan vaulting in King’s College Chapel

The English summer that had burnt us for almost two full days abruptly ended with a massive thunder storm. But no one seemed to care. They (and us) just carried on, getting wet. We briefly sheltered under some ancient portico before exercising the evident common right to drip dry in King’s College Chapel. I have always found delight in the Yuletide festival of the Nine Lessons and Carols but at future Christmases it will be doubly so as I remember our visit to this truly magnificent building. Such was the storm that we thought of taking the bus home but we missed it by a short head so we splashed about some more amongst the quads and quatrefoils and eventually retrieved our bikes as the storm abated. We retraced our route along the cycle way and were almost KK dry by the time for dinner.

A sign of the times

In a Laundromat: Automatic washing machine- please remove all your clothes when the light goes out. KW


To be in France and see the Tour pass by has been an inspiration of mine since being in the Parc des Princes stadium to see the finish in the late 50s and on the road once in 66 and again in 08. The desire to be there for an extended period has been with me for some while but work and lack of funds did not allow it. Coverage on Australian TV is pretty good but means 2 or 3 hours viewing very late at night. However changes to work patterns and a return to regular riding meant I could perhaps live the dream. Last year I located a tour company that could provide the whole package, coach and bike transport, guides the lot. All I had to do was get to France. I chose the “Classic Climbs” package which took place in the Alps in the last week of the 2011 Tour including climbing classic alpine cols on stages 17, 18, and 19, the finish in Paris and a ride up and down the Champs Elysees. To make it even more special I managed to arrange for my son Nic to join me. Even though the normal lower age limit is 18 I persuaded them that even at 14 he was a big lad and more than able to ride. So the day came, us, bags and bikes packed off to Perth airport. The usual security checks, some a bit over zealous, were carried out and off we went. With changes at Dubai and London Heathrow we arrived at Lyon to meet the rest of the group on the Saturday. After a group “club run” and a welcoming dinner on the Sunday we were ready to begin. Each day we had a luxury coach and a custom trailer to take us to a location so that we could ride to the day’s destination and return by coach or even ride back to the hotel depending on the location. It was planned that we were usually riding on the morning of race day before the roads were totally closed, as the race was not due to arrive until late afternoon. Monday we were on the coach early to go to the Italian corner of the Alps (staying 3 nights). On the way we had time to ride the Col de la Madeline, our first serious ride of 20k up by 2000m. Nic found the going hard and suffered with cramp so we had to stop a few times. Eventually, as it was our first day and without


with Richard Barville

any preparation, Nic got to within 7k of the summit but we had to call for help from the support van. With a gradient of 8% and about 24 bends it finally took me 3 hours to get

to the top. With a hot chocolate and some cheesecake we were off again. The ride down was fantastic, 20k and no peddling but with lots of heavy braking. What a day. Tuesday’s ride from Briancon taking in the Col d’Izoard (the tour doing that on the Thursday) was cancelled due to the bad weather, the temperature at the summit being 1o C. We later heard that about 200 people had to be rescued from the Galibier! Wednesday we rode the Sestriere in cold but sunny conditions passing fresh snow nearer the top. Uphill for 30k which was not too bad, only a couple of


hours at about 7%, one of the nicest day of the trip. This was stage 17 of the tour finishing in Pinerolo. We missed Cadell Evans but saw Cav riding well in the main bunch. The alternative return route had fewer spectators so we zoomed down in great style. A great day and we saw the finish on TV. Leaving Italy on Thursday bound for Grenoble we stopped at Briancon to climb the Col du Lautaret then, hopefully, the Galibier to finally arrive at Bourg d’Oisans. As it was stage 18, with the race due over the Col in the afternoon the summit was jam-packed and with rain forecast we decided to go on down to pick up the coach somewhere warmer and dryer and we watched the rest of the stage on TV.

Australian hero - Cadell Evans

Friday was the big one, the assault of Alpe d’Huez. Leaving early we fought thro’ heavy traffic to our start point. It took us 2 hours to do the 14k what with traffic jams, crowds, fans spraying the road and past “Dutch Corner” everything was orange, even our tyres. The final stretch to the finish was blocked off by police even with about 4 hours before Tour arrived. After something to eat we decided to make our way back as, what with all the confusion we may not even get to the pick up point on time. We finally got back and we found a place on the lower slopes to watch the riders go thro’. Such were the conditions our coach ride back was not easy. Saturday was another early start to catch our TVR ride to Paris. The timing was such that we were too early to see the start of the time trial stage just along the way but we knew that we could watch it in our Paris hotel. Sunday morning our group had an early morning ride thro’ the streets of Paris including a ride up and down the Champs Elysees before it was closed off. Our grandstand seats were about 150m from the finish and we were right opposite a large screen TV. From there we were able to see the final day unfold. To see Cavendish burst out from the main group was just amazing, no one could stay with that pace. A fantastic day and a fantastic week. It was that good I think I might have to do it again, the impression it left me with was enormous. So if any of you Harlequins think you might want to do it let me know. I have all the information regarding the tour group and would recommend them to anyone. A wonderful experience.

Richard Barville

Editors Note.


The original version of this piece is some 6 pages of A4 and it was necessary to reduce it to fit our available space. That version has a lot more detail and is a good read. If anyone would like to read the whole piece let me know and I will send you a copy.

Hon. Sec. off to pastures new! I have joined another cycling Club!! As we meet so few times a year, and only a few of us still cycle, I felt the need for more regular cycling. I also wanted to get fit enough to endeavour to keep up with Colin & Rosemary when we do meet. So, I am now a member of the very aptly named "Uxbridge Loiterers", whose club runs could have been organized by the Harlequins. They have three levels of ride-short , medium and long, and they take place every Wednesday and Sunday, normally starting at Uxbridge Underground station. I am only interested in the Wednesday rides and so far (up to the middle of November) I have been on three rides. The organizers tried to get me on the long rides and when I asked for details was quickly deterred by the 10 minute morning coffee break, half hour lunch and no afternoon tea ! The medium ride is just right. About 10 miles before a half to three quarter hour coffee break. Another 10 miles to lunch, normally a pub for about an hour or so, and then another 10 miles to afternoon tea. Sound familiar?? They are a great crowd, mainly "oldies", so in a few years I will fit in nicely!! They are part of the West London CTC so with my existing membership it only costs me ÂŁ5 per year. So watch out Colin & Rosemary - you might only have to wait for me for a few minutes in Terry future! PS. I have been out with the Loiterers again today (Dec 7th). A lovely ride, good lunch at the BA Concorde Lounge for ÂŁ5.50! Got talking to a very nice couple - Bernard & Ivy Darbon - who it transpired are ex-Greenford. Further chat revealed that Ivy was Bob Iles sister! We spent about 4 hours reminiscing and I had a wonderful day. What a small world.

Punny things

Dijon vue - the same mustard as before. KW


Swiss Mountain Memories.

Our main jaunt in the caravan this year was to join 17 others at a rally in Interlaken, Switzerland. Along with another couple we set off on a 7 day wander down thro’ France to Switzerland. A couple of one night stops then 4 days in the Vosges mountains, the Grand Ballon and all that. The weather improved as we went along because that part of France had had a lot of rain over the previous weeks. We finally arrived at Camping Lazy Rancho! Yes, I know that this is an odd sort of name but it appears that the original American owner always wanted a ranch. Strange but true. After a welcoming “do” we got down to some serious holiday making. We went up and down mountains in various funiculars, ski-lifts and rack railways. On a coach trip over the four passes including the Susten, all very twisty with a couple of bends not unlike the one in the “Italian Job” (without the gold). We did lakes, bits of rivers, tunnels, all sorts. We even had a couple of days on site doing sweet….nothing, what bliss.

Punny things

Practise safe eating - always use condiments.



All the time the weather got better and better with the temperature peaking at about 35 degrees C, hot. The penalty for this was a couple of rain storms that roared thro’ the valley taking chairs, gazebos and the like flying all over the place. Nail it down or it’s gone. The Swiss, of course, being creatures of perfection, have everything going spot on. Trains, buses (free to visitors) and cable cars all leave and arrive exactly and I mean exactly on time every time. The people are not best not known for their humour but are pleasant, courteous and helpful in every way. Want to cross the road in town?, cross, the cars just stop and over you go. Everywhere is so clean and tidy, no rubbish anywhere, we saw more roadside rubbish driving the first mile up the hill from Dover on our return trip than in the whole 2 weeks in Switzerland.

The penalty for this is the cost. The exchange rate what it was made everything sort of pricey. Due to some keen forward planning and “restraint” we managed quite well. You only live once! A beautiful country, wonderful views and so much to see. Their road network is first class and the motoring is quite sedate. Something not to be missed and recommended by all those on the rally. Save your pennies and go, you will not regret it.

A sign of the times

In a Health Food Shop: Closed due to illness.

In a Safari Park: Elephants please stay in your car. KW


When you have drawn deep the pungent vapours of Athletic Rub (Elliman’s 2/8 a bottle from all good chemists); when you have bravely bathed in changing rooms banded with a greasy stripe (from the spindles of racing wheels, precisely 13 ³/8” above the benches); when you have lain scourged to be scrubbed and cleansed with stinging carbolic by the angels from St. Johns; when eventually you are rid of the senseless desire to bring these things upon yourself then there is little better than watching others still ensnared by the magic of the track . . . I was about to tell you the story of another stay in Dimitri’s stylish pad in Bruges and our pilgrimage to the Ghent velodrome when I saw this in our local paper much more interesting.

Shropshire cycling ace reveals what racing was like in 1959 Far from the front on the climb to Staylittle and with 40 miles still to the finish, top Shropshire racing cyclist Frank Clements was just about ready to pack it in. And then he remembered the pills! !ow which one should he take? The red one or the white one? "I had another long drink, then gingerly took out the red twist of paper from the depths of my right hand pocket. I carefully unscrewed it and took the pill in my fingers. It crumbled. I licked the powder from my fingers and took another long drink. I accelerated. The effect was electric. Soon there were riders strewn behind as far as I could see, all seemingly struggling. I saw Bill Bradley, the best climber in the race, about 50 yards back. What was happening to them all? Had they all suddenly got the knock?" Frank crosses "I ate everything I had. I drank most the line in of my two bottles, but my ‘special’ Aberystwyth drink might have rated 2 on a scale where one of the pills was certainly 10.” In the sprint along the promenade, Frank jumped away from the bunch to pull out a lead of five lengths. That incident on the Rhyl to Aberystwyth stage of the 1959 Tour of Britain Milk Race was the first and last time that he had used one of the pills. Dave Handley at "I now knew what one of the pills did for me. They came to me after Herne Hill the finish and I gave back the pill in the white paper. I decided that evening that I would not take any more. If I had to take pills to compete, then I would not compete." Now the really interesting bit. Do you remember that at about this time Dave Handley came to one of our local club rooms in Hayes to give us a talk on his career as a top amateur sprinter? He was asked about dope. He joked, “A team official would come up to us whilst we were warming up and say - have you had the white pill - not the red one, not yet. Smarties. It was all in the mind, just to psyche us up.” I believed him then and I hadn’t heard of the red and white pills again until now. KK


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