Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Early season sportive

14th March Woodford, Cheshire

Early season cyclosportive around the Cheshire lanes. Taking advantage of Cheshire's micro climates mild winter weather. The event features 3 distances 30 miles, 50 miles, and 80 miles catering for all levels. The picturesque route takes the riders past the famous Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope.

More details here:

A nice part of the world and home to the most recent Clarion section: North Cheshire Clarion:

Cyclists on ice

greers on ice

Neil Greer on an alternative Clarion club run in Kirknewton:

"Hi All, Just to let you all know this is why the bike has not been out! ...actually, we were just doing the weekly shop...
Cheers, Neil"

Wednesday, 23 December 2009



Season's Greetings to all our members and regular readers of our news blog!

Don't forget the Gut-Buster Classic on Boxing Day. Riders meet 10.30am at the Black Bitch in Linlithgow for an hour and a half social ride and then back for a drink at the pub afterwards.

click here for the post and a map of where the start is

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Committee meeting and AGM

The next committee meeting will be Wednesday 13th January, please send any items you wish to go on the agenda by Wednesday 6th January to me (Matt), by EMAIL ONLY, at secretary[AT]

I'd also like to remind members that all items for the AGM agenda need to be sent to me via email by January 15th. We are looking for nominations for the post of President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Secretary, Rides Secretary and and Race Secretary. If you are interested in volunteering please send an email by the same date.

The committee is presently one person down, with the post of Race Secretary vacant.

Let me know if you would like clarification on what the roles entail.

Attendance at the AGM is open to all paid-up 2010 members. Membership renewals and new applications will be accepted up until half an hour before the start of the AGM but earlier renewal would be preferable.

All classes of club membership have full and equal voting rights.

Click here for all the details on club membership. This week Allan, Donald and Craig have joined up again for 2010.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Weekend ride reports

Unsurprisingly, due to the state to the roads, few riders made it out on the club runs at the weekend. Saturday's weather was so bad that Bill even opened up the Hangar of Anger for an indoor club run!

Allan brrrrravely made it to the Cross on Sunday, here is his report "I wasn't surprised that no one showed for the Sunday run given the conditions. The icy roads meant it took me a little longer to get out of Philpstoun, so I didn't get to the Cross till 9.05 am, there wasn't anyone there and the snow was just coming on so I didn't hang around"

"I headed out on the Edinburgh Road through Winchburgh and Kirkliston, and because it was still snowing, I turned and retraced the same route. The ride was uneventful and nothing of interest happened, the distance was only about 20 miles ridden at a reasonable pace, just fast enough to keep me warm and slightly out of breath and took about an hour. I should add it took me longer to clean and lube my bike than it did to get it dirty!"

This week's award for the hardest rider in the club has got to go to Allan!

Volunteer training

Six Clarionistas have signed up to the SCU's volunteer workshops on January 16th and 17th at the University of Stirling.

Assistant MTB XC Commissaires Course
Simon and Mark

Assistant Road Commissaires Course
Tobias and Matt

Timekeeping and Recording Training

Event organising workshop
Matt, Bill

Safeguarding and Protecting Children
In Safe Hands


Many thanks to those who volunteered, it will go a long way to developing the club's level of experience.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tips for riding on ice

Thanks to Giles at North Cheshire Clarion for this link:

Boxing Day Gut Buster Classic

This weekend's club runs

sunday run

Allan will be at the Cross in Linlithgow on Sunday for 9.00am, and says "Not a great forecast for the weekend but i'm planning a ride from the cross at Linlithgow 9am along to Cramond and back, aprox 25 miles, if anyone wants to join me, I'll see you Sunday."

The 'Social' and 'Active' Saturday rides will leave Linlithgow Leisure Centre at 9.00am but there won't be an East Calder Saturday ride this weekend.
Saturday's weather looks like it will be more inclement than Sunday's, if its raining, the Linlithgow group will be sheltering at the entrance of the Leisure Centre but if the roads are icy there may not be many people turning up.

All our ride details can be found at

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Welcome to the club Mike

Mike Batley

Mike balances family life and keeping fit by getting most of his miles in on his way to work.

Mike says "2009 will see me crack the 100 mpw barrier for the first time, mainly doing the 32 mile work round trip. But as I was once a competitive runner, I still get the urge to ride harder, so I've done the odd TLI race and sportive – Bealach Beag in 2007 (about 10% down the field) and the Northern Rock Cyclone (60 miler) in 2008 have been the highlights."

"My first target for 2010 is to keep off the operating table. I’ve already had one major hip operation (called a resurfacing) and arthritis is gradually getting the better of my left hip too; but that’s what great about cycling – the modest stress on the joints means you can still push yourself. So I’m aiming for the Lakeland Loop in April then as I’m 50 in 2010, I want to get in a few >50 events, such as the TLI Cumbrae RR. One thing I’ll probably never do though is beat my work colleague, Mike “the cannibal” Ewart to a 30 mph road sign! (I know the feeling - Matt!)

"I do most of my miles on a B’twin – basic frame built up mainly with 105 kit. I also have a Planet X – again an aliminium frame – which I’m re-building with Sram Rival/Force and a new wheelset this spring. Somewhere lurking in the shed is a vintage Specialized Rockhopper that does as a hybrid when I need it; of course, it’s donned with slicks."

"Every year I say I want to do more cycling so hopefully joining the Clarion will help and I won’t be too much of a stranger. It’s great to see more people out on bikes and I’m sure the Clarion has made a big difference locally. So keep up the good work!"

Monday, 14 December 2009

Kids cycle club update


Five dads involved with the proposed youth section put on bike session for their own kids at the weekend.

Seven youngsters took part in a variety of activities like slaloms, relay races and a 'devil' race. The morning kicked off with a bike check, a warm up and then a few easy activities to boost the riders' confidence.

The programme was set up to allow the dads (Andy, Simon, Mark, Matt and Denis) to get a better idea of what a coaching session involves and to see if the kids would enjoy attending every week. This first informal event got a big thumbs up from the kids and dads a like, with Ryan and Sam saying the "relay race" was the best bit.

The next step for the youth section is to elect the officials and apply for funding so that four coaches can get trained up next March. The club plans to begin coaching next summer if WLC members agree to having a kids section at the AGM.

If you would like to get involved with the kids section come along to the next meeting:

When: 8.30 pm Wednesday 16th December
email Matt at secretary[AT]westlothianclarion if you want to attend

For more pictures click here


Veteran TT Association

Jim Harris, our honorary member and and go-to-man for the Scottish section of the Veteran Time Trial Association (VTTA) has sent me their 2009 report which documents all the events and winners from this past year.

If you are 40 or over (and lets face it many of us are), you might be interested in joining up with the association, they run a comprehensive calendar of races throughout the year including 10, 25, 50, 100 TTs, a veterans Best All Rounder competition and numerous trophy races.

The VTTA was established in 1943 with the aim of providing realistic competition in time trials for older racing cyclists, so they would be encouraged to continue in the sport. Races are won not by your actual time but by times calculated using a set of 'standards' according to age.

The standards, which are either times for set distances, or distances for set times begin at the age of 40 and become more generous with each passing year. Standards for women are similar to those for men but there is a phased shift to reflect physiological differences.

If you are interested in finding out more go to

Or visit the Scottish VTTA website to find out more about the racing north of the border here

Easter meet 2010

Border Crossing 3

Last year Jez and I had a great time riding to the Easter Meet in Ramsbottom, Manchester and won the milage trophy, for the section that cycled the furthest to the meet, in the process. This year's 115th meet is a little further away - Eastbourne, about as far away from West Lothian as you can get while staying in the UK.

Nevertheless there are plans afoot for a West Lothian contingent to make their way to the annual gathering of all the Clarion sections.

A group of riders are planning to ride to Eastbourne, but get this, the most direct route is via the Netherlands. We plan to ride or train it to the ferry at Newcastle, take a berth to the Netherlands and then ride down to Dieppe where we will catch the ferry to Newhaven and ride the remainder to Eastbourne, arriving Good Friday.

For the less adventurous, a few members planning to take the train or drive down to the meet as well.

If you are interested in attending the Easter Meet (whichever way you will be travelling) come along to the Four Marys in Linlithgow this Thursday 17th December at 8.30pm

The Easter Meet starts Friday April 2nd with people setting off home Monday morning April 5th

Over the Easter weekend there will be a sportive, a time trail, kids events, a Friday get-to-gether, a Saturday night party and the annual prize giving knees up on the Sunday night. Plus local tours, historical visits and the annual Clarion conference.

Foggy Forth

Forth Fog

Sunday's temperature inversion along the Forth Valley.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Saturday ride report

It looks like the fog persuaded most people to stay at home today, nevertheless two riders made up the group at Linlithgow Sports Centre. Here is Andy's report:

Just two people out on todays run myself and Mike. We waited to around 9:10 am and then set off. Our route took us along to Bridgend, Faucheldean, Winchburgh, Broxburn through Almondell country park to East Calder then the sustrans route to Kirknewton this involved about half a mile of what could only be described as a cyclo cross track.

From Kirknewton we went up Leyden road to the LangWang, this is were the fun began, the visibility went down to about 50 yrds and was baltic, patchs of black ice and puddles frozen, it was like a frozen waste land. We then turned of the LangWang and down through Harburn to West Calder, Blackburn, Bathgate and then we went our seperate ways.

Although it was cold and a very moist fog as we were soaked it was good to be out if not a bit exciting. Had about 41 miles when I got home including my ride over to Linlithgow, so Mike would have had around the same by the time he got back. Hope to be out agin soon.

All our ride information can be found at:

Friday, 11 December 2009

SCU volunteer weekend

The Scottish Cycling Union are organising a number of courses and work shops for people wanting to get involved with the volunteering side of the sport:

Workshops for Event Organisers = Saturday, three sessions in a day

Assistant MTB XC Commissaires Course = Saturday full day

Assistant Road Commissaires Course = Sunday full day

Coaching Development Session = full day (for BC qualified coaches)

Timekeeping and Recording Training = Saturday afternoon 2pm – 5pm

The courses will take place at the Stirling Management Centre, University of Stirling, on the 16th and 17th of January.

It would be great if a few people from the club attend, especially the timekeeping and event organising courses bacuse those skills could be used next year in our TT series

If anyone wants to attend (any of) these workshops which are free of charge, please confirm by 16th December 2009, email me at: secretary[AT]

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Welcome to Simon

Simon Fagan
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Simon Fagan joined up last week after coming out on a Saturday 'Active' ride. Simon says "I'm married with two daughters of 11 and 6. I’m a keen cyclist though haven’t always been. I ride for fitness, fun and not least to reduce the carbon emissions I’m responsible for. That’s why I’m involved in the Cycle Action Group and the Kids Club developing."

"I’ve been into mountain biking for about 10 years. The things I enjoy most about it is the escape from cars and the concentration required on technical bits. Often I end up at trail centres which are great but it’s the big outback rides that I find the most rewarding. Just for the scenery and the sense of adventure. I recently did a loop round Ben Alder which was absolutely stunning; well recommended."

"All that said I recently bought a road bike and am really enjoying it. I guess I’m doing about 50:50 on and off road now (so hopefully the components will last twice as long!) and will enter some sportives in the coming year."

"I’ve got two MTB’s (Santa Cruz Superlight and an Orange P7) and the road bike of course is a Focus Cayo with a compact chainset (we’ll see if I make it up the Bealach na Ba before I pass judgement)."

The quiz questions from last month's social

Matt Muir's excellent quiz at last month's prize giving was very successful, so by popular demand, here are the questions asked by the quizmaster. If you didn't manage to make it to the social, test your knowledge now and I'll upload the answers next week.

A big thank you to Matt

West Lothian Clarion Christmas Cycling Quiz 2009

1. Where will next year’s Tour De France start?
2. Which famous cyclist was given the nickname ‘the professor’?
3. Which icon of British cycling died earlier on this month?
4. What distance is the men’s individual pursuit held over on the track?
5. The 2010 Clarion Easter meet at Eastbourne will be which edition of the annual celebration?
6. Who is the current president of the Union Cycliste International?
7. What place did Bradley Wiggins finish in this year’s Tour De France?
8. Which of the world cup ‘classics’ cycle races is known and ‘la primavera’?
9. Who was the winner in 2009?
10. What team will Lance Armstrong ride for next year?
11. Which ex Teeside Clarion rider is the reigning Brittish points race champion and Bronze medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics
12. Chris Hoy won the 2008 BBC sports personality of the year. Who is the only other British cyclist to have been given this award?
13. Who holds the world record for the fastest unpaced speed achieved on a bicycle (set in 2000 on snow at Les Arcs, France)
14. What speed did he reach?
a. 138mph, b. 72mph, c. 96mph
15. What are the colours of the leaders jerseys in the 3 grand tours?
16/17. Name the winners of 2 of these in 2009
18. Who is the main sponsor of Britain’s latest professional cycling team?
19. How much did the Tom Groom Trophy cost in 1949?
a. £120, b.£140, b: £160
20. Who won this year’s men’s UCI downhill mountainbike world championships
21. Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka currently holds the althete’s hour record on the track. Who holds the best/ultimate hour record?
22. Who is this year’s men’s world road race champion?
23. What climb, used in the 2008 tour de france is the highest road in europe
24. Which Scottish town holds an annual round of the mountainbike world cup?
25. According to the highway code what is the (seldom used) hand signal to indicate you are about stop or brake?
26. Which company was the first to introduce clipless pedals to the cycling world?
27. Who was the first rider to win the tour de france on clipless pedals?
28 How many points did Ross, Julie and Blair get to win their respective 10 mile TT series championships"

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Club AGM and 2010 membership

When: 7.30pm, Wednesday 27th January
Where: Linlithgow Rose Social Club, Linlithgow
Location map: click here

Attendance at the AGM is open to all paid-up 2010 members. Membership renewals and new applications will be accepted up until half an hour before the start of the AGM but earlier renewal would be preferable. All classes of club membership have full and equal voting rights

Senior membership is £15.00.
Household membership is just £10.50 (for partners or those aged 15-17).

If you are renewing your membership there is no need to re-submit a membership form unless your personal details have changed.

New members can download a membership form form the website here:

Cheques for should be made payable to "West Lothian Clarion"

email: secretary[AT] for details of where to send you membership form and/or cheque

Kids club meeting

This week we will visit Wallace Warriors on a fact finding mission to find out more about organising a kids club from Scotland's best youth cycling club. At the weekend there is going to be a preliminary cycling session with the kids to give those involved a better idea of what to expect when the club is up and running.

If you want to get involved in any way come to our next meeting:

When: 8.30pm Wednesday 16th December
Where: Matt's house, email secretary[AT]westlothianclarion for more details

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Group riding

Our re-launched Saturday club runs have been a great success with more people participating than ever before. In October we started categorising our rides into three types: 'Social', 'Active' and 'Training' so riders could choose a group that suits their level of fitness.

Before you come on a ride, read the ride guidelines and descriptions for each type of club run so you know what to expect. While on the ride, keep to the ride descriptions appropriate for your group, so the club runs remain consistent from week to week.

Riding in a group is very different to cycling on your own, you have to alter your riding style to accommodate other riders and think of how your actions will affect the group as a whole.

• Keep your pace steady, don't accelerate uphill or sprint - a group can easily lose its cohesiveness.
• Communicate your intentions to your fellow riders and other road users
• Warn of any hazards like pot holes or debris
• It is important to be consistent, if the group is riding single file, ride single file, if the group is riding two-up then ride two up.
• Fit mudguards
• Never ride more than two abreast

Our second Group Skills Workshop is at 3pm this Sunday at the Mill Road Industrial Estate, Linlithgow Bridge. All the details here
Come along and improve your confidence and acquire valuable skills for Sportives and road races.

1. 'Social' rides
This ride is ideal for people coming out with the club for the first time. The pace is steady and the average speed is about 13-15mph over mixed terrain. No one will get abandoned but riders can get dropped on climbs, if this happens the group will wait and regroup. If you find the pace too high please SPEAK UP so the speed can be slowed or the route altered to get you home safely. Riders are assumed to be self supporting and, while the group might have a café stop, this is not guaranteed, and riders should carry adequate food and drink. If you don't feel up to this level of riding we can put you in contact with the local Cyclists Touring Club.

2. 'Active' rides

This ride is aimed at people who want to improve their fitness. The pace is steady with an average speed of about 16-19mph so you need to be fit to participate. The pace is kept up over climbs and there is sometimes a sprint at the end. Rides tend to be between 30-40 miles and don't wander too far from the start. The group will aim to accommodate a reasonable range of abilities but those significantly slower than the general pace of the group should be prepared to navigate their own way home. The Social ride will roughly follow the same route so you can drop back and ride home at a more leisurely pace.

3. 'Training' rides
These rides are for people preparing for road racing, sportives and time trials. They normally follow a circuit and ride as a chaingang at an average speed of 20+mph and begin when the clocks change for British Summer Time. The group will not wait if you get dropped off the back.

All the club run details on the website:

East Calder Saturday ride report

East Calder crew

Neil sends in his report on about the weekend's East Calder Saturday 'Social' ride.

Four riders met up at East Calder on Saturday. New club member Debbie Pollard joined Keir B. Grant C. and myself for an easy paced run in the drizzle. Due to time constraints (and virus recoverees) we opted for a shortish run taking us out through Pumpherston to Uphall and Broxburn then headed up the Ecclesmachan road where we headed west at the crest of the hill to Ochiltree.

Weather conditions did not improve but the chat was good and we soon found ourselves descending into Linlithgow after an hour or so. It was difficult to resist the call from the the Cafe Neuk so hot chocolate and freshly baked scones were the order of the day!

We then headed East along the TT route where we took the opportunity to introduce Debbie - gently - to the delights of chain-gang riding for a mile or two - no problem - a natural! At Wynchburgh we turned South on the back roads to Broxburn before retracing our tracks back down the Pumpherston Road to East Calder. All in all a very pleasant run - about 26 miles at 13 mph. Also, many thanks to Debbie for officially being the first lady to come on one of the East Calder spins!

All the club run information can be found at:

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas gut-buster classic

Ride off the Christmas indulgence with a gentle 'Social' ride around the lanes of West Lothian and to keep warm, dress as Santa!

When: Boxing day, 10.30am
Where: Black Bitch Pub, Linlithgow
What: Social ride for about an hour and a half then head back to the black Bitch for a few drinks afterwards

Weekend run reports

Eight riders met up at the Linlithgow Sport Centre, Bill, Stevie M, Jamie, Andy H, Ewan, Matt, Stevie B and Jonathon all decided to participate in the 'Active' ride. Ewan complained of a hangover but it didn't appear to put off his riding too much, Bill and Stevie were out on their new winter bikes, very stylish even with mudguards. Bill's ride was tricked up with a power meter, which hit 888 watts at one point, serious stuff!

The group headed off through Linlithgow to the Boness ridge via Bonnytoun Farm, skirted Boness and jumped on to the Sustrans route to Inchyra Grange for views accross the Forth onward to Polmont and then kept climbing up the two-lump hill to California.

By this point the rain was starting to fall more heavily and I had to get home early, so headed to Linlithgow at Avonbridge while the rest of the group rode on up to Torphichen and then home. About 25-30 miles, pace wasn't as steady as previous weeks but a good ride even in the poor weather.

Allan sends in this report for the Sunday club run:

Sunday was an excellent day for a cycle. There were five of us out, myself, Stevie, Dennis, Steve and Eve.

We headed out to the west through Whitecross then cut back over to the north along the top of the boness flints, down to Blackness, up through Philpstoun, along the Winchburgh road to 12 Mile Lodge and cut down through Hopeton Estate. We then headed through Queensferry, up into Dalmeny, down into Kirkliston and straight back along the 10TT course through Winchburgh and home to Linlithgow, giving us a run of about 35 miles.

We cycled at a comfortable pace but took slightly longer than antisapated as Stevie punctured in Hopeton Estate and Eve punctured at Kirkliston, 2 punctures in 1 day - a little unlucky. Thanks to everyone for sticking together as one group.

All the club run details can be found at:

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Sunday run is back!

Allan McCrimmon

Clarionista, Allan McCrimmon, will be at the Cross in Linlithgow this Sunday for a 'Social' club run. If you fancy a ride around the lanes, meet up at 9.00am.

Everything you need to know about our club runs, including the Sunday run, can be found on the rides section of our website:

The Saturday club run will meet as usual at the Linlithgow Sports Centre where an 'Active' group and a 'Social' group will leave at 9.00am.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

2010 membership

Membership is now open for 2010. Senior membership is £15.00. And household membership is just £10.50 (for partners or those aged 15-17). If you are renewing your membership there is no need to re-submit a membership form unless your personal details have changed.

New members can download a membership form form the website here:

Cheques should be made payable to "West Lothian Clarion"

Last week Jim Bird, Neil Fraser, Andy Richards, Neil Heys, Bob Simpson and Angus Gallie rejoined for another year.

National Clarion Kit

Clarion Jersey

Young Alex here, is resplendent in his new National Clarion jersey made by Endura. There is stock available so email Ian Clarke, the National Secretary, if you want to get hold of a jersey: clarion[AT]

Stock available:
Road Jersey, short sleeve with full length zip £36.00 XS, S, M, L, XL ref: 4005
Road Jersey, long sleeve full zip £38.00 XS, S, M, L, XL ref: 4006
Pro Road Jersey, short sleeve, with full zip £59.00 S, M, L ref: 4065
Pro Gillet with full zip (snug fit for the size) £35.00 S,M (tight) ref: 4032P

You can download the custom catalogue to find out the specification for each garment here:

Orders will be taken in January for West Lothian Clarion club kit.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Get yourself seen!

I wouldn't go as far as "taking a brush to your bike" as suggested in this 70s classic but its pretty gloomy at the start of our club runs, so attach a couple of LEDs and wear bright clothing, like our club jersey, to "get yourself seen".

East Calder Saturday ride report

East Calder Saturday run
Neil Greer send in this report about the East Calder Saturday run:

"Three of us (myself, Neil Lovett and Grant Craven) braved the wintery conditions on Saturday and , after all having had some skittish moments en oute to the East Calder rendez vous, decided, initially, on a low level type route. We therefore headed out to West Calder via the A 71 then turned North towards Blackburn/Bathgate.

"Conditions were very foggy - down to just 50 metres in places and road surfaces "challenging"....After climbing up the big hill in Bathgate we decided - maybe foolishly on reflection! - to head up to the Knock as there seemed to be the faint prospect on "the sunlit uplands"...No - not at all - just even more challenging surfaces and the sound of breaking ice at one stage! We then went past the KWM to Linlithgow for a welcome cake stop at Cafe Rondo.

"Replenished, we headed via Threemiletown to Kirkliston where we think we may have passed the other Sat. social ride coming in the other direction at about 11 am (7 or 8 riders?). After dealing with a broken spoke (me!) we then went on to Newbridge and Ratho before returning to East Calder. Overall 38 miles at c. 14 mph - given the conditions, we were pretty happy with that."

"Fingers crossed for next week... "

All ride details on the website:

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Linlithgow Saturday Run 28th November

Saturday run 28th November 2

Saturday run 28th November 3

A group of 11 set off with the intention of splitting up into the 'Active' and 'Social' groups after a couple of miles. We had a close shave when a car tried to overtake the group as lorry came in the opposite direction. It reinforced the need to be aware of the dangers on the road when cars are driven by irresponsible people. After this incident we stopped and checked whether everyone was happy to continue in the misty conditions.

After this the group split and headed off to South Queesferry via Blackness, Philipstoune, Kirkliston and back through Winchborough and West Binney to Linlithgow

The conditions were cold but the county looked pretty with rays of sun disolving the mist as the morning continued. In the Active group, Lesley and Neil and new guy Simon rode strongly through out the ride. Congratulations to Alan who became a father for the second time when his daughter was born two weeks ago.

Tobias led the social group and said "The social run went very well indeed and I am pleased to see that more and more women are joining us on regular club runs. After the two groups split, we headed through Philpstoun and down to and past Hopetoun House to the Queen's Ferry. We then had a democratic vote on whether to carry on to Dalmeny or loop back via Dundas Mains and Duntarvie. We decided to do the latter and arrived back in Lithgae with frozen feet around half eleven. A cold but nice ride."

In the group photo: From Left: Simon, Melwin, Neil, Tobias, Crawford, Lesley, Alan, Debbie, Eve.. not pictured Steve

Champions Night

2009 Winner

The Black Bitch pub was packed with Clarionistas on Friday celebrating the best of cycling and fellowship in 2009. The evening began with a welcome from club President, Tobias Bauer who thanked everyone who had helped out and volunteered through out the year. Special mentions of thanks were made to:

Jimmy Harris who has donated a number of trophies from the West of Scotland Clarion and his advice and time has been invaluable in training up time keepers for the TT series.

Grant's work on last February's RadTour and the spectacular spread of food at the refuelling stop.

Out going president, Bill Young's, commitment to the club, being a stalwart of the Saturday runs, organising the club and open hill climbs, last winter's 'Hangar of anger' and coordinating two kit orders.

Graham for setting up the TT series and managing it effectively through out the year, even after the arrival of little Alexander.

Neil Greer for setting up and championing the East Calder Saturday run

The evening continued with West Lothian's ONLY cycling quiz with our very own quiz master, Matt Muir, setting 30 very challenging questions. The competition was narrowly won by the team of Sadiq, Neil and Graham. They each received a cycling biography and a book about the history of the Clarion.

After a bite the awards ceremony began, with the following members presented with trophies, medals or certificates:

Men's TT champion: Ross Dewar
Women's TT champion: Julie Domiguez
Junior TT champion: Blair Campbell
Best All Rounder Champion: Bob Simpson
Tour of the Trossachs Trophy: Matthew Ball
Women's Hill climb champion: Denise Schofield
Men's Hill Climb champion: Graham Gillooly
Freewheel Champion: Tom Beattie
Sea to Sky record breakers: Matthew Ball, Steve McCaw, Craig Marshall
Ride of the year: Night Time Ride to Berwick upon Tweed
10, 25, 50 Club TT records: Matthew Ball

A big thank you goes to everybody who donated prizes for the raffle and bought tickets. It would be an understatement to say that sadiq was happy with the prizes he won, our first President and honorary member did very well for himself, celebrating each lucky draw as if scoring a winning cup final goal!

Many thanks to everyone who came along and enjoyed the evening,especially Matt Muir for planning the Quiz and Tobias for sorting out the trophy engraving and cleaning but a very special thank you goes to Bob Simpson who organised the night and then ran errands to make sure we had everything we needed.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Introducing another new Clarionista

Steve Heneley

Welcome to Yorkshire man, Steve Henley (celebrating the big four-O in December) who moved to Scotland 15 years ago and now lives in Bellsquarry, Livington with his wife, Sarah, and two children, Nathan (7) and Milly (4).

Steve says "I have always enjoyed cycling however family life meant that time was limited and I found that my fitness levels were dropping. In 2008 I decided to enter Pedal for Scotland, raise some money for charity and invest in a new bike. I completed the ride and raised over £800 for Myeloma UK cancer charity. After watching me complete the ride my son, Nathan, wanted to complete the 2009 ride with me. As he was not allowed to ride by himself I said he could ride on the tag-along behind me if we were able to raise over £1,000. I completed an Edinburgh to St Andrews ride in June as a warm up beforehand. We raised £1,300 and my son cycled the full 50 miles behind me. He was in a better condition than I was at the end!"

"I had been thinking about buying a road bike for a while and decided to purchase one of the Chris Boardman bikes for my 40th. Given the investment I thought I should join a club to ensure that I got the most benefit from it. Having always cycled on my own I hope that this will help me to improve my fitness levels, as well as meeting fellow cyclists. I hope to get out on a Saturday morning as often as possible during the winter, family commitments permitting. At this moment I tend to prefer the downhill sections of the ride and struggle on the climbs, hopefully this will change the more that I cycle in a group. In 2010 I hope to raise some more money for charity by cycling again with my son in Pedal for Scotland and also by completing a long distance (100 mile) ride."

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Last weekend's Saturday ride report

Eleven riders ventured out on to the West Lothian lanes on Saturday. Eve and Andy made up the 'Social' group and Matt, Steve-B, Angus, Darren, Andy-H, Jamie, Neil, Mike, Craig (for a wee while) filled out the ranks of the 'Active' group.

Social Ride
Andy R. says "Had a great ride with Evie out of Lithgie towards Blackness.. up past the Binns, along the A-904 to Abercorn. Onto the muddiest back roads in the district ...through Hopetoun estate (loads of deer), did a bit of cyclocross and then out to Queensferry for tea and cake."

"We retraced the route to the old Abercorn primary then crossed the A-904 and continued under the motorway and on up to the Kirkliston road where we were chased by a bus and crossed the 10 TT finish line at fastest yet. It was an easy cycle into linlithgow after that."

"It was a 25 mile route at 13 mph including the off road, mud gates etc and was great with plenty of chat and both of us on our new bikes..."

Active Ride
The Active group rode out to Torphicen via Lanark Road then on to Bathgate, Blackridge, Caldercruix Road, Limerigg and Avonbridge where the group split with some heading back via Standburn, while the rest carried on to Torphicen and the Korean War Memorial before returning to Linlithgow.

Angus says "There was North East tailwind going out - making the pace 'brisk' and It got 'brisker' coming back over the hills!

Super-fit fell runner, Andy Hemingway rode consistently and had energy to spare at the end when riding up to the Korean War memorial, he and Darren even went on for a few extra miles.

Matt said "I was flagging by the end but thoroughly enjoyed the ride, the pace was steady but fairly brisk, I think we must have clocked up 30-odd miles, back home by 11.00am"

Mike blasted past Matt and Steve to win the sprint at Avonbridge by a country mile, after Andy H. politely led everybody out for about 2 miles beforehand

One of the club runs should suit you, come out and try the All New Saturday Rides.
All the details on the website:

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

New Member!

Debbie Pollard
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

A big welcome to Debbie Pollard who joined up this month. We met Debbie for the first time on a Sunday run last year when she came along to the Forth Bridge as a taster.

This Winter she has been out on the Saturday social runs riding her fab new Specialized

Debbie says: I've been cycling most of my life, for fun and fitness, also for some short journeys instead of using the car. At the moment I cycle about 50-60 miles per week, with 25 miles being a long run, and over the past couple of years have progressed from mainly using cycle paths to doing most of my cycling on the road."

I have recently bought a Specialized Vita, which is basically a road bike with flat handles. I am married with two children, a 9-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. I have a special "piggy-back" trailer for my son, who has severe autism, which I tow with my Raleigh Metro on short family bike rides."

"I joined the club to meet other people who are into cycling and to improve my fitness - my aim is to get out on club rides as often as possible so that I can enjoy the company while cycling further and faster than before."

Saturday, 21 November 2009

New Member!

Ian Robertson
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Welcome to Ian Robertson who joined recently. Ian has cycled pretty seriously for the last 15 years or so with the balance moving from an initial focus on MTB to the point now where he is almost fully road orientated.

Ian says "I try not to let the winter weather put me off too much albeit ride lengths are inevitably shorter. Typical mild weatrher rides are 70 - 100km two/three times a week whilst cold weather riding tends to be 40 - 60km once or twice a week."

"I take at least one overseas trip per year to attempt to bag as many of the iconic continental climbs as possible with Ventoux being my primary challenge for 2010.

"My pace is modest - 25/27kph on a typical lumpy run, and a climb rate opf c700metres vertical per hour. So you can imagine that Europe's highest pass, Col de la Bonette, at 2,802m required a lengthy stretch in the saddle!"

"Equipment wise I have, like most cycling fanatics, accumulated an ever expanding garage full of gear. My dry road bike is a Specialized Roubaix/DuraAce/Mavic R-Sys combination that is both light and comfortable."

"Winter riding is done on a Lemond Alpe Duez/105/Mavic Aksium combination. For travelling I have an Airnimal Chameleon folder and an old, but beautiful, Flying Scot 653. Traditionalists would despair however that I have kitted out the latter with DuraAce and Easton EA70 wheels to ensure the going up and coming down off mountains is all the more enjoyable. My rare foray on MTB is done on my Cannondale F700SL/XTR/Mavic Crossrides."

"I very much look forward to joining the Club's runs and activities."

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Committee Meeting Minutes

I emailed the minutes from the last committee meeting to the membership last week, if you did not get a copy please let me know via my email, secretary[AT] and I'll send a copy back to you


Should we have a Sunday run?

sunday run

The Sunday run doesn't appear to be popular with members but I'm constantly getting requests from prospective members who want to take part in the ride. So much so that 5 non members turned up last Sunday with no-one from the club participating.

We promote the ride on the website but if none or few members attend then is it worth doing so? Should the format be changed? Or is there simply not the demand for a regular Sunday run?

I need to be able to advise prospective members whether or not it is worth making the effort to turn up on a Sunday.

Let me know if you want the club to promote the ride or have any constructive views on how it can be improved or even better, why not go along for a lovely 'Social' ride.

All the details on our website:

email: secretery[AT]

Raffle prizes

We'll be having a raffle at the social and are asking members to donate prizes, like chocolates, booze or read cycling books.

Please bring your donations along on the night!

2nd group riding skills session

Group Skills 2

Learn to cycle in a group confidently and pick up essential skills for racing and sportive riding at our second group riding skills session. The session will be about 1 hour and will cover a few basic drills to improve your technique.

Date Sunday 13th December
Time 3pm
Location Mill Road Industriual Estate, Linlithgow Bridge.
Bring cycling shoes and trainers, warm clothing
Don't use your best wheels or lovely carbon fibre racer!

Minimum of 6 riders for the session to take place

See the report from the last session here to find out what is involved

Please email me at secretary[AT] if you want to take part

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Come along to the Winter social and prize giving

This year's knees-up will feature a raffle, buffet, annual prize presentations PLUS West Lothian's only cycling quiz!

How much? FREE! (apart from raffle of course)
When? Friday November 27th
Time? 8.00pm
Where? Upstairs at the Black Bitch in Linlithgow

Partners welcome

Come and cheer on this year's champions...

There will be prizes presentations for:
Men's TT champion: Ross Dewar
Women's TT champion: Julie Domiguez
Junior TT champion: Blair Campbell
Best All Rounder Champion: Bob Simpson
Tour of the Trossachs Trophy: Matthew Ball
Women's Hill climb champion: Denise Schofield
Men's Hill Climb champion: Graham Gillooly
Freewheel Champion: Tom Beattie
Sea to Sky record breakers: Matthew Ball, Steve McCaw, Craig Marshall
Ride of the year: Announced on the night

If you are up for an award please come along to receive it

New member!

Welcome to Darren Crumpton, 44, who started out as a roadie, switched off-road and now rides the road again.

Darren says "I hadn't raced before 2009 but have completed a few sportives this year including the Cairngorm and Bealach events. I did some duathlons, team triathlons and even managed to tackle the mighty Tourmalet."

"For me, 2009 was about training to compete in events, I really enjoyed it and now I know what I have to do for 2010."

"I've joined the Clarion because I'm fed up riding alone into a head wind, flicking my elbow and then no one comes to the front! I found out about the club by seeing the club jersey at a few events, especially the guy with all his gears sealed in his hub (Malcolm!)."

"I have two bikes, a Kona Kapu which is my favourite and a Cube agree, boxed standard bikes but appropriate for what I do."

"In 2010 I hope to enter as many UK Sportives as possible and ride one abroad too, I also want to complete a full triathlon and continue with other adventure race commitments. I'm going to France to watch the Tour too and plan to ride up the Ventoux while I'm there"

SCU Volunteer & Coaching Conference

On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th January 2010, Scottish Cycling will organise a Volunteer & Coaching Conference. The location of the conference is yet to be confirmed.

A variety of courses will be offered, ranging from officials training and coaching development sessions to sports equity and child protection workshops. It will be a great opportunity to extend your knowledge, share your thoughts with others, get advice from experts and learn new skills.

The following courses are already confirmed:
• Saturday 16th January (full day): Assistant MTB XC Commissaires Course* (new)
•Sunday 17th January (full day): Assistant Road Commissaires Course*
•Sunday 17th January (full day): Coaching Development workshop

Keep an eye on the SC website for updates on courses and the location of the conference.

It would be great asset to the club if a member attended the assistant Assistant Road Commissaires Course

to register your interest, please contact me at secretary[AT]

*Participant must hold valid British Cycling Membership

Lets make the women's club run a regular event

Kerstin sends in this report from Saturday's women's ride.

Despite the bad weather forecast our first ever women's club run had a turnout of three riders. We left the leisure centre just after nine o'clock and took the slow route to Blackness Castle via Phillipstone and passing the Binns. After a rainy chat outside the Castle we made our way back to Linlithgow along quiet country lanes. Arriving in the High Street, after a total of about 12 miles, we decided to stop for a cuppa.

The general outcome was: this should become a regular!

Kerstin is planning another ride next month, email her if you are interested in going along: kbonau[AT]

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Saturday 14th ride report

Andy the club captain sends in this report form Saturday's club run

Good run out today 5 brave souls ventured out into the showers and wind. Myself, Crawford, Lewie, Stevie from Livingston and Neil on his Holdsworth. Headed over to Torphican, Bathgate, back roads to Armadale, Blackridge, Harthill, and over the hill to Fauldhouse. From there went minor roads to Blackburn via Stoneyburn area and home. Weather wasn't as bad as it seemed a few showers and gusts and the odd flood across the road which was quite refreshing. Good to see riders coming out regardless of the weather.

All the rides details on our website:

Thursday, 12 November 2009

This weekend's ALL NEW Saturday rides

Women's group
Our first Women's ride starts from the Linlithgow Leisure Centre at 9.00am on Saturday. Kerstin will lead the social group over a 15 mile circuit at about 12mph. If the ride proves popular it will become a regular feature on the Clarion rides calander, so come along and give it your support. For more details contact Kerstin on: kbonau[AT]

Linlithgow 'Social' and 'Active' groups
Also Leaving the Linlithgow Leisure Centre at 9.00am are the two regular 'Social' and 'Active' groups following a slightly longer 40 mile route: riding up to Torphichen, Bathgate, Blackridge, Forth, and back to Linlithgow via Bathgate and Torphichen.
More details form Andy Weaving on: macclarkson[AT]

East Calder 'Social' ride
For this Saturday's run out of East Calder (Meet East Calder Leisure Centre at 8.30am) Calum MacArthur and Neil Lovett have worked up a 40 miler that will travel anti-clockwise taking in Ratho/Kirkliston/Sth Queensferry/Hopetoun House/Linlithgow/Little Ochiltree/Broxburn/East Calder.
More details from Neil Greer on: ngreer[AT]

For the last 2 week-ends we have managed up to 18 riders on the Linlithgow runs and 7 or 8 riders on the East Calder run. Forecast looks good, so why not come along and join us, have a blether and a lovely morning out on West Lothian's country lanes.

All the the ride details on our website:

All you need to know about preparing for a club run:

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Introducing another new Clarionista

Keir Bradie
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Welcome to Keir Bradie, who has been riding the East Calder Saturday rides and joined up this week. The 42 year old ex-rugby front row forward now rides to keep fit, socialise and lose weight and is married with one exceptionally energetic 7 year old boy called Angus.

He coaches rugby at Currie Rugby Club, working with the younger kids and teenagers there.

Keir says "I've been cycling now for just about two years encouraged onto the road bike by the guys in Kirknewton Village where I live. Since I retired from rugby I have been struggling over the years to find an active hobby to replace rugby that I enjoy. Cycling is perfect for me, quality exercise without stud marks down your back the morning after!

"I would like to use this opportunity to thank now fellow members Neil, Rob and DD for relentless encouragement when I started, you were right guys, and all these month later I am indeed hooked."

"Moved up to a Van Nicholas Euro this year from my 'entry level' Allez. Love the bike and it suits my style of riding. Never felt that I possessed the bodily aerodynamics for a carbon flyer but there is always time. The 'Van' is now a firm friend and the titanium frame gives a big guy like me a load of confidence."

"My aims are to continue to improve, 12 months ago I would have laughed at anyone suggesting I ride 30 miles non-stop, now doing twice that quite comfortably. Very much enjoy the social side of the rides out of Kirknewton and delighted to have formalised as a Social ride under the Clarion banner, this move has already brought us some new faces, long may it continue. (Saturday morning’s East Calder Sport Centre- 8:30am)"

"I still have not ridden an event, had to call out of the Et-'tack' Caledonia 2009 last minute this year as my retina detached and needed a quick bit of eye-surgery. Have my good eye fixed firmly on doing it in 2010."

"I look forward to meeting more of you as time goes on, my thanks for the welcome to the club."

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Calendar of events

The main website now has a calendar which will get updated with club events over the coming year, there are already a few items posted on it.

Take a look at:

New Members

Michelle Gregory

Michelle Gregory joined up this week after coming along on the Saturday run. You'll recognise New Zealand born Michelle as the winner of the women's open hill climb in October. That was the first race for this prolific sportive rider who rode for the Ribble Valley CC in Lancashire before moving north of the border

Also joining this week in Lynda who stays in Stirling. She bought a road bike about a year ago and didn't really use it until recently. After cycling 20-30 mile rides on her tod she has upped her milage on longer rides with her brother, who has introduced her to he joys of riding up hill, they even completed a Dunning Glen 60-miler in the Autumn.

Lynda owns a GT series 5 but intends to buy a new bike at the start of next year, She says "hopefully one that goes a bit faster! My aim is to keep building the miles and try some speed training. I also want to do the Trossachs Ton in June."

Monday, 9 November 2009

New Member

Alex Keys

79 year old Alex Keys has ridden for the Clarion all his life and joins us from the West of Scotland section. He says he'd like to help out at club events and I'm sure we'll benefit from his considerable experience.

Alex was a keen time trailer before he hung up the wheels of his Higgins bike, which had tapered tubes to the bottom bracket. During his racing career he finished the Tour of the Trossachs in 1 hour 12 minutes, and knocked out a 1 hour 6 minutes for a 25 TT.

Welcome to the club Alex!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Saturday 7th Ride reports

Saturday Social Group

All 14 riders who met at the Linlithgow Sport Centre on Saturday chose the 'social' group and rode the classic route to Slammanan via Loan, Standburn, Avon Bridge and Back via Longriggend, Limerigg, Westfield, Torphichen past the Korean War memorial and then the fast descent down Preston Road to Linlithgow. The distance was about 35 miles with an average of about 13mph over a tougher route than last week's ride to the Dalmeny Estate.

The group was made up of Lesley, Matt, Graham, Dave, Andy, Tobias, Donald, Melwin, Denise, Steven (in yet another cracking retro jersey!) and Neil with Michelle (our open hill climb winner) Stewart and John (from Pedal Power) out for the first time. We enjoyed the lovely autumnal weather and rode together as group pretty consistently, stopping to regroup for mechanicals and for riders to catch up. Steve and Bill briefly swelled the group to 16 at Avon Bridge and we spotted a few other roadies out, taking in the sunshine.

Melwin said "Today’s ride was great, I really enjoyed it, but got a bit tired near the end". Michelle said "Thanks for the ride on Saturday. It was a great route and a nice social pace. It was especially good to be able to join a local club ride, rather than lug the bike on the train or car to get to a club."

Keir Sends in this report about Saturday's East calder Club run:

Six riders congregated at 8:30 at the East Calder Sports Centre, we were all surprised to see Neil there in his car to see us off, even in ill health! There were some jokes about whether he was going to follow the peleton with a boot full of spare wheels, handing out gels etc. but alas no!

The six became seven at Murieston where we picked up Calum. We tracked the back lanes towards Carnwarth on the newly resurfaced roads. The weather was superb as the cold receded, turning into a fantastic sunny, even warm day.

The group buzzed along and after Woolfords we crossed the A70 ahead of Carnwarth and rode down to Newbigging on some wonderful back roads, moving in a 'Biggarly' direction.
We turned back towards Carnwarth on the B7016 and arrived in town on the 'Rue Du Apple Pie', navigating directly to our favourite cake stop at exactly 30 miles gone.

In a flurry of caramel slices, yum-yums, latte's and hot chocolates we were gone, taking the direct route back towards Kirknewton on the Lang Wang. We dropped three of our party as they veered off at the Harburn turn, the rest of us carrying on until the Kirknewton Airfield, to complete the circuit.

50 miles, average 14mph, total climbing 870m and a time of three and a half hours PLUS cake stop. Just a superb day out for the East Calder bunch. We look forward to Neil's full recovery for next week.

All the ride details can be found on the website

East Calder Crew

Group test

Group Skills 1

The club promoted it's first group skills workshop on Sunday. Four riders participated, Tobias, Kerstin, Angus and Matt Muir, who rode up from Edinburgh. The hour long session was designed to boost riders' confidence and technique when riding in groups, sportives and road races.

The riders followed simple drills to help them get used to riding closely and get a better understanding of the dynamics of a group.

As a way of loosening up, we began with a 'follow the leader' and rode around Linlithgow Bridge's Mill Road Industrial Estate in close formation. During the next stage the riders cycled more closely next to each other in pairs and rested a hand on their partners shoulders, followed by touching elbows and leaning in on each other while on the move. These routines are a great way to show that close contact can be managed and in some instances elbows can be used to protect your 'space' and prevent anything catastrophic happening.

Next up, we passed a bidon up and down the line which got us more comfortable riding closely together and showed that by riding consistently a group can move along in close formation. Following on we practised singling out and front changeovers before finishing off with our most demanding challenge: touching the wheel of the rider in front.

This drill sums up the purpose of the workshop: to enable us to overcome nervousness and deal with potentially hazardous situations. We paired up and road around a car park forcing ourselves to touch the wheel in front, to find out what it felt like and how to deal with it.

Ultimately all the drills were devised to show that in a group, riders have to be consistent, communicate and look after themselves and others.

Matt Muir. said "The session went well and I think all agreed that it had been useful and would be very good for other club members if they are at all nervous about group riding. Even as an experienced rider I feel a bit more practice at riding extremely close (i.e. touching elbows) to other riders was still useful."

If there is enough interest the club will run the workshop again in a month.

Friday, 6 November 2009

New T-shirt order

bathgate alpes t shirt

I'm going to order more T-shirts. If you want one, let me know by Wednesday 11th November via email, including the size you want to order.

T shirts will be around £11

email: secretary[AT]

'Fraid the design isn't new, if you want to get an original go here

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Thanks Bill, thanks Tobias

Presidential treat

Bill has had to step down as club President because of a promotion which brings extra work and travel commitments.

On behalf of the club I'd like to say a massive 'thankyou' to Bill for putting in so much work this year. Not only has he been a club run stalwart but he has organised key events, including our first Open event, coordinated the kit orders, and hosted last year's turbo sessions.

While Bill has been President he has seen the club grow rapidly and he has played a major part in shaping what the club is today.

The club's Constitution allows the committee to co-opt appointments to vacant posts. Bill proposed that Tobias take over as President and the committee was pleased to support this proposal unanimously. Tobias will continue to carry out his existing responsibilities as the club's race secretary. There will be the usual election of all club officers at the club AGM in January 2010.

Congratulations Tobias!

Tobias the time keeper

Saturday rides details

This week's social ride from East Calder will most likely be the 40 mile loop via Murieston/Woolfords/Carnwath/Lang Wang/Kirknewton with the cumpulsory cake stop at the Apple Pie Bakery in Carnwath (23 miles).

Neil - and all his family - have got some sort of flu bug, and won't be riding so Keir will be co-ordinating - thanks Keir. However, feel free to contact Neil if you have any questions ngreer[AT]

The 'Social' and 'Active' rides leave the Linlithgow Leisure Centre at 9.00am and will follow the same 'classic' route to Slamannan and back

See map for details:

If you have any questions about the Linlithgow runs email Andy on macclarkson[AT]

All the rides details can be found on the website here

Before you come on a ride please read all the ride guidelines here

Vote for ride of the year 2009

It has been very difficult narrowing down the nominations, but we have a very strong shortlist for Ride of the Year 2009, as voted by you. Please email me your vote from the shortlist below (each entry has a link to the story behind the nomination)

Email your choice to me at

Only votes emailed to me will count and only West Lothian Clarion members get to vote.

Deadline is Friday 2oth November.

The winner will be announced at the Christmas Social and annual prize giving

1. The night time ride to Berwick upon Tweed

2. Silver for Julie Dominguez

3. Mandy and Andy Weaving ride the Vatterdun on a tandem

4. Simon Taylor rides the RAAM

5. Matthew Ball and Jez Hastings ride to the Manchester Easter Meet on fixed

6. Craig Marshal smashes his PB for the Northern Rock Sportive

7. Malcolm Wake, Mark, Jim MacDonald, Peter Buchan ride the Baeg in atrocious conditions

Monday, 2 November 2009

Winter Duathlon Series

Edinburgh Road club are now taking entries for their Winter Duathlon Series at Kirkliston via
This year the series will run from December to February. For more info see the ERC news page

New Saturday ride format a success

Clarion Saturday run
Over a third of our members took part in a club run on Saturday. 11 riders made up the 'Active' group which set off first from the Linlithgow Leisure Centre, followed by 8 more in the 'Social' group. At East Calder Neil Greer lead another 8 riders on a 'Social' ride around the two bridges. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the rides.

All the ride details:

Graham on the Linlithgow 'Social' ride said:
"I was on the Social ride and it seemed to go really well. The weather helped and the group stayed together well I thought, always regrouping quickly if it did split for any reason. The route was fairly low-lying, out to Dalmeny House and back via Hopetoun, about 30 odd miles, and the general feel was relaxed and very, ummmmm, Social, with a few stops to chew the fat and an average, on the move, that stayed within the advertised 13-15mph.

Personally, I really enjoyed the ride and hope to make it back for more next week. Thanks to all in the group and Andy W for taking the lead. "

Sadiq on the 'Active' ride:
"Glad things went well with the social group, the active group certainly had a good workout, heading out to Dalmeny and back before venturing into the Alps via Bridgend for a wee slugfest. It was great to chat to a few people I hadn't really spoken to before. It looks like it was a great success. Hopefully we will continue to get solid numbers for both rides as the weather worsens. We saw a lot of people are out on their bikes on the stretch between linlithgow and Dalmeny on a nice saturday morning like that and we are always likely to attract new people to our club"

Neil on the East Calder 'Social' ride
we had 8 riders out for the inaugural run from East Calder on Sat. Set off west via the back roads through Livingston/Bathgate to Grangemouth/Skinflats, across the new Kincardine bridge then headed to Culross for the compulsory cake stop - as usual it didn't disappoint. With a tailwind we then made good progess along to Rosyth with the chain-gang bowling along comfortably at 25 mph. We then returned via Kirkliston/Newbridge and the back lanes to East Calder where one rider double punctured - 3 miles from home...Glorious sunshine for most of the route - felt like Spring! Overall about 60 miles in 4 hours or so..
Thanks to everyone who took part - truly memorable.

West Lothian toothpaste

WL Toothpaste
Thoroughly enjoyed the 'Active;' ride on Saturday but managed to get a mouthful of 'West Lothian toothpaste' in the process.

West Lothian toothpaste is a particularly yucky mixture of water, muck and manure sprayed up off the road from the bike in front. The minor roads we tend to ride along can be covered in the stuff and on a dirty ride without mudguards, the group gets plastered in the sticky brown gloop.

So, In Winter, if you are coming on a Clarion club run please fit mudguards. They will protect your own kit and that of the grateful riders behind you.

If you've got a fancy carbon bike your Friendly LBS will sort you out with a descent pair of clip on mudguards.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Meet Chris Hoy

Wednesday 4th November at 12pm
Waterstone's, 13-14 Princes Street (East End branch), Edinburgh T: 0131 556 3034

Go and meet one of Britain’s greatest Olympians and most admired sporting heroes, Scottish cyclist Chris Hoy, who will be here signing copies of his new autobiography.

Arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you are unable to attend, Waterstones can often reserve signed copies - contact the branch in advance for details. Signed copies cannot be guaranteed and may not carry dedications.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Women's club run

In an attempt to attract more women to the club runs Kerstin is leading a women-only bike ride on Saturday 14th November.

The ride will start at Linlithgow Sports Centre at 9.oo am and complete a 15 mile loop at about 12 mph.

If it proves popular it'll become a regular part of the Clarion rides calendar.

If you've not been on a group ride before take a look at the rides guide on the website

New East Calder Saturday club run

A sizeable portion of the club's membership live in the east of the county and don't always get the opportunity to make it over to Linlithgow to ride our two Saturday runs

Neil Greer, who joined earlier in the year, has been organising a group ride from East Calder and suggeted making it an 'official' Clarion club run. If you live over in that part of the county why not ride over to the start at East Calder Leisure Centre for 8.30am.

The ride is 'Social' with the speed between 13-15mph covering about 40-50 miles. They always stop at a cafe and lke all our 'Social' rides no body gets left behind

Alternate Saturday club run: East Calder start
Start Promptly at 8.30 am so arrive with plenty of time beforehand
Meet East Calder Sports Centre. See google map
Type of ride This ride is a 'SOCIAL' ride
Distance Can be anything from 35 to (rarely) 80 miles but the average is 40 - 50.
Cafe Stop A re-fuelling cake stop is compulsory!
Parking We encourage riders to cycle to the start but there is ample parking at the sports centre and also in neighbouring side streets if you need it
Contact Neil Greer on ngreer[AT]

All our rides information can be found at

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

All new Saturday rides

From 31st October the Saturday club run will start from the Linlithgow Leisure Centre at 9.00am. There will be two rides, a slower 'social' ride and a faster 'active' ride. Please come along and support the new format.

All the details are on the website

Monday, 26 October 2009

Ride of the year nominations wanted

Last year Brian Bernard was awarded the club's Ride of year award. He crashed during the Fred Whitton Challenge, dislocating his finger and damaging his ankles. He showed great resilience in the face of adversity to finish the sportive in 8 hours forty minutes and his ride was overwhelmingly voted ride of the year by the Clarion members.

Please send in your nominations for this year's award so that a shortlist of five rides can be made and then voted on by club members.

The award recognises an outstanding ride by a member or a group of members during the year. It doesn't have to be the fastest ride.

Nominations could be for a new personal best time or a ride where a member overcame adversity, or completed a major challenge, or a new record or simply a ride that makes a great story.

Send in your nominations to me at

Explain why you think your nomination should be on the shortlist, describing their amazing ride.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Clarion Braveheart Fund Donation

Message from club treasurer Graham Foster:

The Club gives one pound of every membership fee as a donation to the Braveheart fund. Given that applications are now open for 2010 membership renewals (don't forget!!) we totted up 68 memberships in 2009 and sent off a cheque to the Braveheart. As it's a donation from each and every club member, I thought I'd share the letter I've just received:

Dear Graham

Many thanks for your kind donation on behalf of the West Lothian Clarion CC.

It is very kind of the club to think of the Braveheart Fund like this. It is also pleasing to hear that your membership is rising. I'm sure you must be doing good things at the Clarion to attract such numbers. Hopefully in the near future one of your riders will qualify for funding from the Braveheart.

Once again thank you for the donation.

Kind regards
Alan Miller
Braveheart Fund

The Braveheart Fund was launched in 2003 by former British champion, Motorola professional and Giro d’Italia survivor Brian Smith. Its aim is simple: to raise the funds to allow young Scottish cyclists, be they roadies, trackies or mountain bikers, to fulfil their potential.

Monday, 19 October 2009


On the 31st October the meeting point for the Saturday run will move to the Linlithgow Leisure Centre and start at the new time of 9.00am.

We will also now be running two rides: a 'social' ride and an 'Active' ride following a similar route and covering about 30-40 miles. We want everyone in the club to come out and give them a try, the new format will only succeed if you come along and support them.

Our rides are not suitable for those who are new to cycling or occasional leisure cyclists. But if you are regularly riding at least 30 miles in about 2.5 hours and are looking to develop your abilities in the company of others, our social rides would be an ideal and welcoming place to start.

This ride is ideal for people coming out with the club for the first time. The pace is steady and the average speed is about 13-15mph over mixed terrain. No one will get abandoned but riders can get dropped on climbs, if this happens the group will wait and regroup. If you find the pace too high please SPEAK UP so the speed can be slowed or the route altered to get you home safely. Riders are assumed to be self supporting and, while the group might have a café stop, this is not guaranteed, and riders should carry adequate food and drink. If you you don't feel up to this level of riding we can put you in contact with the local Cyclists Touring Club

This ride is aimed at people who want to improve their fitness. The pace is steady with an average speed of about 16-19mph so you need to be fit to participate. The pace is kept up over climbs and there is sometimes a sprint at the end. Rides tend to be between 30-40 miles and don't wander too far from the start. The group will aim to accommodate a reasonable range of abilities but those significantly slower than the general pace of the group should be prepared to navigate their own way home. The Social ride will roughly follow the same route so you can drop back and ride home at a more leisurely pace.

Before you come on a ride please read the following important information

1. Prepare your bike
2. Safe group riding
3. Group riding technique
4. Group riding hand signals

Kid's section

We are in the early stages of planning a kid's section which will run in parallel but insulated from adult club. The section will have a separate committee and finances from the adult club.

The kid's club will be aiming for GoRide accreditation, Scottish Cycling's programme for developing youth cycling.

The kids club will revolve around a Saturday morning or evening training session following the GoRide manuals, which are provided by Scottish Cycling . The emphasis is on fun, while teaching a variety of cycling skills which can be done on any bike. All the activities take place on traffic free facilities, such as school playing fields and playgrounds.

We are looking for volunteers to get involved with running the section and start planning the next year for a launch in April 2010.

If you are interested in getting involved or want to find out more information about the kids section come along to the first planning meeting.
Please email me (Matt) directly at if you would like to attend.

Date: Wednesday 11th November
Time: 8pm
Location: TBA

I've visited a Johnstone Jets training session and plan to model our kids section on their set up.

Group riding skills session

View Mill Road Industrial Estate in a larger map

Learn to cycle in a group confidently and pick up essential skills for racing and sportive riding at our group riding skills session. The session will be about 1 and a half hours and will cover a few basic drills and to improve your technique.

Date Sunday 8th November
Time 3pm
Location Mill Road Industriual Estate, Linlithgow Bridge.
Bring cycling shoes and trainers, warm clothing
Don't use your best wheels or lovely carbon fibre racer!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

President's run photos

On Saturday the club held it's first ever President's run, announcing the start of the cycling 'social season'. Mr President Bill Young, devised a fabulous route down to Biggar for a cafe stop. Almost 30 riders from all over our county set off in two groups from Bathgate on a cold but gloriously sunny autumn day. The group rode through some of West Lothian's finest countryside as we trundled though Blackburn, Addiewell, Woolfords, Carnwath, Biggar and back via Braehead, Forth, Climpy, Fauldhouse and Blackridge for one of the club's most successful events.

Friday, 16 October 2009


Allan Massey found this useful link on Bikeradar outlining hand signals for group riding

1. One hand ‘gently patting an invisible dog’: The whole group should slow down or ease back.
2. Hand straight up in air: Group is stopping for a junction, puncture or because there’s an obstruction.
3. Left or right hand extended: Change in direction ahead or indicating the direction of a turn.
4. Elbow flick: This is more often seen on the track, but it’s sometimes used on the road when riding in a chain gang. It indicates that a rider on the front has finished a turn, is about to pull off and would like you to come through.
5. Waving/pointing behind: Indicates there’s an obstruction that the whole group needs to move in the direction indicated to avoid.
6. Pointing down at road: Obstruction on road to avoid, such as road kill, pothole or drain cover.