Thursday, 26 February 2009

Club Constitution

The club constitution, which was passed at the AGM with a couple of amendments, can now be downloaded from the club's home page. If you have time please take a look. Many thanks to Sadiq and Foz for writing it and getting the details sorted out.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

John's Midweek Ride Out: Tue 24th Feb.

John McComisky sent in a report about his midweek ride with David and Jason. They organised the ride using our forum's ride buddy thread. If you're looking for someone to ride with then take a peek.

John says" Dave McTurk, Jason Bell and myself took on the wind and buffeting today with a run out from Boness. The idea was to have a steady paced ride, so Jason could get used to being in a group. We need not have worried as the boy done good and his membership is in the post.
I normally take a battering while training on my own, so it was a nice change to have this run of around 50 miles, taking in Kincardine, Clackmannan and a nine mile run along a railway cycle path to Oakley in Fifedom. A steady pace of around 15mph, no heroics but we did some through-and-off work into a headwind at TT pace, which was hard going for us all but good fun nonetheless.
David regaled us of his pre-ride nutrition which consisted of a Chicken Tikka Masala Curry, a cunning ploy, I personally think, as he was kept downwind as much as possible! Dave has to get the mileage of the month award, he reckons he's ridden 400 plus miles already!-good effort mate.
Jason has potential on climbs and blasted up a couple of lengthy numbers with ease, leaving us trailing in his wake. (I think we need to enter him in a couple of junior races at some point). As with all good rides a café stop (Loganlea) was included at Forestmill and that was a good end to a day in the saddle. We had to battle the gusts back across the Forth and away from the Kingdom of Elves, Goblins and pixies-lol.
I'm making the most of a week's holiday but if any of you fancy a midweek spin just get in touch, as the banter alone is worth it, and the pace can be altered to suit anyone.
Route: Boness-Falkirk-Kincardine-Oakley-plenty of back roads-Saline-Forestmill Kincardine-Falkirk-Grangemouth and Boness. (40+ undulating miles).

Monday, 23 February 2009

Saturday Run Report 21 Feb

Another good turn out for our Saturday run, Bill sent in this report: "Eight of us today and nearly nine if Steve had made it on time to the KWM. I took the group on a bit of a mystery tour, but we eventually went through, wait for it! Slamannan! The head wind was hard going and myself and Stevie led the group for most of the way via the wind turbines and eventually back to Avonbridge where we regrouped and headed home towards Torphichen. Highlights today: Craig surprised us all by sneaking an early 30 sprint only 2 miles into the ride. Malcolm took the next one at Slamannan by a nose or a wheel or something and I got a puncture, again! Don't know who won the Avonbridge sprint as I told everyone to head off to save them getting cold whilst I changed a tube. My moment of glory came when I took the Westfield sprint, at last I have one in the bag! All in all a great run today with some big efforts into the wind and on the hills so everyone should have benefited from the pace. Thanks to Jonathon and Peter for taking turns with me and Stevie on the western leg after Slamannan. Good effort by Craig on a reasonably fast paced ride because he's not used to this style of riding. Looking forward to next Saturday and we may even get the fixed wheels out hopefully, Rgds, Bill"

Mr Reliability

First Mr President
Sadiq rode the Falkirk Reliability Trail on Sunday. Here's a little report from the man himself "lovely day for the reliability. Into a headwind all the way to just outside Drymen then we got blown all the way back along the A road between buchlyvie and stirling at about 28mph. I was going alright till the scratch group caught us at Cambusbarron but got cramps during the melee as we all tried to grab a wheel. 63 miles at 20.5 av. speed. feel beaten up now - can't wait to get off the winter bike!

Ice breaker 2-up TT report

Icebreaker numbers
Inside Drybridge HQ
Icebreaker route
Jez and I rode the icebreaker 2-up TT over in Ayrshire on Sunday. The preparation started a few days earlier when Jez, who stays on Islay, rode all the way to Edinburgh from his home. We met up in Linlithgow on Saturday and took a trip up to the Bike and Ski Clinic in Polmont to get a new 16-cog for my wheel, giving me a closer ratio to Jez's 84" gear.
Shop owner, Robin, was rushing off to the ballet (seriously!) but he still had time to make us a brew and have a blather while Tam swapped over the cog. Both bike mechanics stepped outside to gawp at what we were riding. They completely ignored my stunning bike and spent a good five minutes cooing over Jez's "beautiful" Bob Jackson, re-sprayed by, mainly I think, because it was a bit cleaner than mine.
On Sunday we arrived at Drybridge with enough time for a warm up and to find the start. In a personal triumph I remembered to bring some team toilet roll in case the locally sourced variety sold out - which it did!
Graeme Obree was spotted at the start chatting with riders and later we flashed by him as he marshalled at the first junction. You can't miss which direction he points because his hands are so big! In which other sport could you get one of the greatest ever sportsmen offering to marshal at a grass routes event?
We're planning to ride the Duo Normande 2-up TT in France later in the year so we need as much 2-up time as possible. Our race plan was to ride within ourselves so we could partice our through-and-off skills. We weren't using tri-bars or fancy wheels so our retro bikes looked slightly out of place next to the sleek carbon variety leaning up outside the HQ.
Our start time was at and we rolled up with plenty of time to spare. It was my first TT where there wasn't a pusher off, it didn't really make that much difference so I don't think it's completely necessary that we have one for the club's 10 TT series.
Straight away, we were nearly blocked in by a farmer, turning his tractor in the road, but managed to get round without any time loss, we quickly put this behind us and set to getting up to our planned 42 kmh.
The route was flat apart from two ramps off the dual carriageway, the first few miles were twisty as the route passed through a couple of RABs and we needed Mr Obree's help to point us in the right direction.
Once onto the dual carriageway we kept it tight and tried to be as consistent as possible, taking one minute turns on the front. The wind picked up towards the 2nd RAB and our wheels slowed as we rode up to turn. It was the only portion of the ride where we dropped below our target speed.
I wasn't using a speedo so found it difficult to keep a consistent speed on the new gear I was using. We were overtaken by a couple with all the aero kit, Jez had to stop me from chasing them down with a shout of "ride your own race." Towards the closing stages we managed to knock out a good rhythm and almost caught our two minute markers.
We crossed the line in 31st place with a time of 28.40, with both of us feeling pretty fresh and happy in the knowledge we could have gone faster. We gained valuable experience riding together which we can build on for events later on in the year.
Back in the event HQ you could see there had been a great turn out for this first TT of the year. We had a chance get a bite to eat and a cuppa and took in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Fullarton Wheelers ran a great event - many thanks to the organiser Willie Stephen, time keepers, marshals and helpers in the HQ.
Jim Cusick and Alan Thomson from Glasgow Couriers won with a 30.49.
When we got back to LInlithgow Jez gave me a master class in bicycle cleaning. Never again will I let my bike get into such a sorry mess again!
Jez shares a blog with David Harmon about their fixed wheel exploits in preparatin for the London to Paris ride.
Jez clean 2

Friday, 20 February 2009

2009 Clarion Easter Meet

The Clarion's annual social event will have its 114th edition in Ramsbottom, Lancashire this year. It's a packed weekend of riding and relaxation and there  are still a few rooms available at the Old MIll Hotel where the event will take place. This photo was taken at the Shrewsbury Easter Meet in 1914.

Matt and Jez will be cycling down from Linlithgow over three days, hoping to win the milage trophy, awarded to the section with the highest total miles cycled tot the event. If you are interested in attending contact Matt at

Assemble and sign on in the Evening.

Day: Hill Climb, Heritage Walk, graded bike rides and annual conference
Evening: Grand buffet and band.

Day: Witches' Challenge Sportive finishing at the Clarion Club house or a Leisure ride to the club house
Evening: Annual dinner and prize presentation

Besides the Old Mill Hotel There is other accommodation available in the area too, including self catering cottages and a 5 star caravan park, contact the organiser, below, for more details.

£36 to cover buffet and dinner (not including accommodation)
Paid to organiser, Peter Roscoe:

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Where am I?

where am I?
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

After my efforts at Tuesday's Hangar of Anger I needed a recovery ride, so I took an easy trip around our county today. This is one of my favourite roads - any guesses as to where it is? First person to post the correct answer will get to go home from work early...

John's killer climb

killer climb 1
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

John McComisky is hoping to start a trend, He sent me his favourite local climb, and wants to start getting other members to do the same. Why not post your time for riding john's route?...

John says "Now hailing from the Kingdom of Bonessia, I thought it appropriate to let you all know about my favourite wee climb. For those of you not familiar with the area, head through the centre of Boness as if heading toward Falkirk and Grangemouth.

You will encounter a roundbout next to the site of the Pub once known as Girsie Nichols. Simply take a 90 degree left and get the bike into a good climbing gear for you (around 10mph is tops for me).

The climb has it all, as it snakes upwards past the old graveyard and iconic war memorial. Still climbing upward through a series of high drystone walls and on on a slick road service, this little leg burner of just over a third of a mile tops out just past the Richmond Park hotel and BP garage.

As a special treat I normally continue skyward through Birkhill and up towards the Fire Station. At this point the legs will be starting to burn, so an out of the seat effort may be required or a sit in the saddle dig up to the very to of the Flints. Just when you think about a downhill squirt to Linlithgow, take a left at the crossroads and heave your way all the way to the top of the area and West Lothian Golf Course.

The view alone is worth the climb and aside from the prospect of some traffic, this is firmly on my list of Killa Climbs.

Total distance 1.5miles
Bike Used Carrera Vanquish
Best Time: God only knows, I just like a good flow and tempo to see me up to the top.

Would like to hear from other members what hills rock them."

Monday, 16 February 2009

Forum Frenzy

The club's Forum has been a great success in it's first week. There are already 18 members who have added 149 posts, with an average of 20 posts a day, the site has received a total of 6570 visits. The most popular topics are the Hangar of Anger (22 posts), Personal Bests (11 posts) and the Weekly 10 TT (15 posts).
It's a good place to visit if you want to know what the club members are up or if you are looking for a ride partner or want to see who'll be out on the club runs. If you are not on the forum yet, go and have a look and start posting!

Saturday Run Report 14 Feb

Mark sent in a report about the Saturday ride:
"I headed over to the KWM leaving Livingston at 8.00am and meeting up with five riders at 9.00. Mike, Neil, Angus, Steve, Peter and myself headed over the usual roads through Torphichen, Westfield, Avonbridge, Slammannan (Yeah!) Longriggend and back to the KWM via Avonbridge, Westfield and Torphicen. One sprint to me at Avonbridge from Waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy out! And one to Mike at Westfield by a wheel. Mike and I then headed over the tops and down to Faucheldean (where we didn't sprint but I won the lunge) and up to Winchburgh. Mike then headed back to Linlithgow and I headed home through Kirkliston, Newbridge, East and Mid Calder and back to Livi. 58 miles in total for me and the two turbo sessions this week have really hurt my legs today.
It was a good run on very dirty and potholed roads....Bring on the summer (not that the potholes will be fixed!)"

Club wins award

Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

The West Lothian Clarion have won the Tom Groom Trophy. This prestigious award is given to the National Clarion's most meritorious section. We've been given this honour because of how quickly we've attracted such a strong membership over the last year. Well done to all 39 of you who joined our club and helped make it happen. 2008 saw Clarion riders on start sheets of cycling events in Scotland for the first time in a generation, reviving the Clarion name and continuing the history of this great club north of the border. Congratulations!
The Tom Groom Trophy was first awarded in 1949 to the Leicester section. According to the National Clarion book Tom Groom was a founding member of the Clarion in 1894. After he died in 1946 a memorial fund was set up which raised £120 to buy a trophy to celebrate his life. It takes the form of a globe which spins and is engraved with geographical accuracy.
The club will be presented with the trophy at the Clarion's Easter Meet gala dinner.

Musselburgh Audax Report

Foz sent in a report about the Musselburgh Audax last Sunday 15th.
Tobias and I made it round in decent enough style. It was supposed to be 66 miles but with a change of route and a few 'variations' of our own we counted 72.
The turnout was strong - well over 100 - and the main change of route involved abandoning the climb up Redstane Rig which was apparently closed until Sunday morning - certainly there was plenty of snow left up on the Moorfoots. So the organisers added a 'prologue' loop out along the coast to Lochniddry and back along a busier road. Various peletons (we were set off in graded groups of about 10) spun past in tight formation. It all got much more enjoyable in the countryside with quiet roads, thinning groups, a following wind and hints of spring. A long break was taken in Dunbar to steel ourselves for 29 miles back into the westerly wind and by Haddington the gloom was starting to settle. The final 13 miles back from Haddington didn't add much to the experience but we teamed up well - Tobias battling the wind at the front and me volunteering to be luminously visible at the rear!
We met Peter at the sign-in and Tobias said he saw Andy and Mandy around too. Hope they enjoyed it. It was a good ride and further than I rode in the whole of 2008. I'd like to get back to Redstane Rig some fact I wonder it might be a good option for the overnighter in June?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Mark Beaumont Lecture

A message from Clarion friend Ron McCartan "Mark Beaumont is giving a lecture next Friday evening in the Botanic Gardens Lecture Theatre at 7pm. Tickets are available on-line or at the door. Maybe you already know but it might be a worthwhile evening for interested bikers."

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

RadTour lookin' pretty

Mark has been putting in the miles around the RadTour route, he took this rather lovely photo of the Carron Reservoir while he stopped for a breather. If you hadn't planned to ride the RadTour, surely this image will persuade you...

Club event calendar

We've now got a club calendar on the forum, if you are entering an event or know of one coming up stick the details on the calendar

Clarion kit inspires arts and crafts!

Proud father Mark Paul sent in these pictures of his family's brilliant handywork. Mark's wife, Sharon, daughter, Erin and Son, Declan must've spent hours making these replica club jerseys out of crafting beads from IKEA. (presumably waiting for Mark to get back from a trainin ride!) They've made an impressive job of recreating both the front and back of the new jersey. I just hope the real jerseys look as half as cool as these minatures! Mark says "I shall be taking orders for the WLC Mug Mats soon at a VERY reasonable cost"

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Read all about it

A story about Jimmy's honorary membership was published in the Linlithgow Gazette

Welcome Kerstin!

Kerstin Bonau Joined the club at the AGm to become our 5th lady member. Kerstin says "My cycling background is touring and utility cycling. As a non-car owner, the bicycle is my main form of transport and in the last 8 years I've been on many cycling holidays, particularly in the UK and in France. My main bike is a Dawes Horizon but I also have a Scott mountain bike.
Like most Germans, I have cycled all my life but got into more serious cycling through Tobias and his enthusiasm for his former job as cycling officer for an English county council and the opportunities provided by the ferry link to France a few miles down the road. We spent many a weekend cycling in France and did London to Paris rides a few times (Tobias was the UK project manager for the Avenue Verte, a greenway between London and Paris – an excellent opportunity to combine pleasure and work); I also worked as volunteer bike rides leader for a local authority for a couple of years. Since we moved to Scotland two years ago, we have been to the Western Isles and the Highlands and did the Pedal for Scotland ride last year.

I cycle to work every day even though it’s just around the corner and use my bike for everyday shopping. Still, I would like to cycle a bit more, particularly at the weekends and that’s why I joined the Clarion. 

My goals for this season are to go out more often, get fitter and meet other Clarion members."

Events updated

On the website I've updated the events section and created a new page for the BAR competition which has a diary of all the races that are eligible.
Take a look:

Monday, 9 February 2009

New forum up and running (fingers crossed!)

I think I've managed to get a forum working, its not linked form the main site yet but please head over there and take a look...
Now also linked from main site

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Weekend Roundup

The cold weather appeared to keep many riders under their duvet this weekend! David was the only cyclist who made it to the Korean War Memorial on Saturday. He said "Went out this morning in the snow from Larbert and headed to Linlithgow, Preston Road, Bathgate, Whitburn, Armadale then home via Bike and Ski Clinic. Waited around 15 minutes at KWM but no arrivals so headed off on my own. Roads were absolutely fine and far less greasy than they have been over the last few months."
The Two Bridges was one route well travelled though, Foz said "I rode round the two bridges over lunchtime on Saturday and it was absolutely fine. There was a bit of frozen stuff on the back roads from SQueen to Winchburgh but nothing serious and avoidable of course.
On Sunday Matt and Grant met at Kincardine for a hard ride that also took in the route around the Forth. Newbies Andy and Peter arrived at the Cross late on Sunday but with no one around they also decided on the Two Bridges route, Peter said "we got to the Cross but were running 10mins late. No one was there which was fair enough if the ride started at 9am. We did the two bridges run instead, which was great but freezing. We'll definately try again to meet up in the near future"
BikeRadar poster Graham, wondered if he spotted a Clarion rider out on the road on Saturday, he said "Were any of you lot out this afternoon, heading along the road from Caldercruix/ Limerigg to Avonbridge? I passed someone on my way home to Caldercruix at about 2:30pm. Anyway, what an enjoyable ride, ended up just cruising for most of it to take in the sights, probably my favourite ride of the winter!"

Did anyone else brave the freezing weather over the weekend or survive the Stirling Reliability Trail?

Two new Members!

Blair and Dean Campbell are two new members who joined at the AGM and lower our average age by a considerable amount. Blair said "I think I may be the youngest member in the club at 15. This will be my first cycling season, I would like to gain experience from the other members by getting involved in as much club events as possible. I was introduced to the sport by my brother Dean. I haven’t had a lot of practice leading up to the start of the season but I have been keeping in ‘shape’ through playing football. I currently own a Carrera Virtuoso which I will be using for this forthcoming season. I am hoping to compete in the 10 mile TT this season and bring back some mediocre times and I would like to do as many club runs as possible and just enjoy myself."
Dean (19) is a Biology student at Stirling University, and will be supervising Blair on rides and club events. Dean said "This will be my first cycling season therefore keen to get involved with anything to gain experience. I work in Halfords (Falkirk) where I was introduced to the sport by my friends' and colleges Ross and John. I must confess to not being out in the bleak weather but am getting some miles in through spinning classes. I currently have a Carrera Vanquish which i will ride this coming season and a Swinn custom build for playing on the trails. I hope to achieve some respectable novice times in the 10 mile TT this season and get involved with as much club runs as possible."
Look forward to seeing you on the road fellas, Halfords has quite a contingent in the club now - enough for a TTT!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Friday skiving

Blackness2 6/2/09
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Took the afternoon off and rode around our great county, this was taken at Blackness at around 4.30pm, it got a bit cold after the sun went down but the roads weren't too icy even in the Bathgate Alps. You can see the start/Finish of the Sea to Sky Challenge, I wonder who will be the first to give it a go this year?

The Spring RadTour

Click on the image to see a bigger version!

The Spring RadTour
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Distance: 50 KM and 115 KM
Date: 15 March 2009
Entry: £3 including scran
Start: 9am start for 115km; 9:45am for 50km
Entries on the day: Yes
Location: Linlithgow Leisure Centre
Map: Click here to see a google map of the start
Route: click here

Open to club members only.
Go here to download a membership form. You can join on the day of the event.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

New member

Craig has been mentioned a few times on the blog already but under a variety of names and from the wrong hometown! apologies Craig, mistakes now corrected! (note to self: must employ a fact checker). Craig was spotted at the Hanger of Anger this week giving his bike some serious abuse on the turbo.
Craig says "First things first - to set the record straight - My name is Craig Marshall and I am from Grangemouth. After reading the WLC blog people will think I am Chris Marshall from Bo'ness!!!! Not to worry, I have been called alot worse.
I have been cycling for the last couple of years mostly to keep fit and get out and about in the fresh air. My trusty Carrera has served me well over the last couple of years but will be relegated to a winter/training bike as I have just ordered a TREK 1.9c - I can't wait for it to arrive.
This year I am aiming to do the Clarion Rad Tour, Etape, Northern Rock Cyclone and Pedal for Scotland. Given my intentions for this year I felt it was time to get involved in a club to help improve my fitness and to cycle in a group. I thought I was quite fit until I joined the WLC and realised I have a bit (alot) of work to do yet!!!!
I don't have a favourite route as such, I just enjoy getting out on the bike especially into the hills above Falkirk and Linlithgow."

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Reliability Trial renamed RadTour!

Grant sends in an update for the clubs reliability trial, now re branded as the 'Clarion Spring RadTour'!

Grant says "Myself and Tobias have agreed a £2 entry fee with around £1.20 of that covering 2 bananas, 1 litre of isotonic drink and tea/coffee for each rider. The other 80p or thereabouts will go to club funds so if we get 25 riders that'll be £20 towards paying off some of the clarion loan! Tobias has also suggested an optional donation to club funds which I reckon is a good idea. Begging bowl can be passed round at the end perhaps?

Any other donations of homebaking shall be gratefully received for the mid-way snack-stop! Matt, is keeping a camping stove on stand-by, Tobias also has one so we can maybe arrange some soup as well - keep me busy up in Carron Valley, eh?

There will be an amendment to the route at the B8028 from Glen Village to Shieldhill. Foz has informed us that this stretch of road is pretty hazardous and that there is an unclassified road virtually adjacent which is more suitable (plus it's just as steep!) so I'll amend the Bikely route to take this into account.

Oh, one final thing - to give this event a 'unique' slant I thought we could give it a German moniker as a wee nod to Herr Bauer. The literal translation (so Tobias informs me) is Radtourfahrt. I think the Clarion Spring RadTour has a nice ring to it, just to be different. Everyone and their granny does a Reliability but we shall have a RadTour!"

Musselburgh Audax 15th

Foz is doing the Musselburgh Audax in a week and a half, on Sunday 15th February, entries close on 5th February. Foz says "I found a link with event details: (click through to 'events')
I'd be interested to hear some chat/opinions on the route, conditions etc - I imagine that the big climb (Redstone Rig) is a bit dicey right now. Whether I have 62 miles in the tank is another issue!" Foz

The event starts in Musselburgh and visits Pencaitland, Gifford, Whiteadder, Dunbar, Haddington and Longniddry before returning to Musselburgh. The Musselburgh website says you don't need to be super fit to take part, provided that you cycle fairly regularly, you should be able to complete the event.

Reliability Trail update

Grant and Tobias have sorted out the details for the club's Reliability Trail, it looks like a very fine ride.

Distance: 50 KM and 115 KM
Date: 15 March 2009
Entry: £3 including scran
Start: 9am start for 115km; 9:45am for 50km
Entries on the day: Yes
Location: Linlithgow Leisure Centre

Here is the route for the March Reliability run: Take a look
And here is the half distance route: Take a look

There will be a feedstop in the Carron Valley after the descent off Earl's Hill before the riders head back to the Carronbridge hotel. This is roughly half distance.
For the half distance riders there won't be a feed stop however you will be able to stock up at the start at the Leisure Centre on the same things that will be available to the full distance riders. Myself and Tobias haven't decided definitely what will be provided however it will include bananas, some form of energy drink and other edible treats and perhaps a hot drink. The cost of entry to cover this will be £2 to £3 however we will aim to keep it as low as possible.
As yet we have no arrangements for food at the finish however there is catering at the leisure centre where people can suit themselves if they need scran at the end. If there is demand we can enquire with the leisure centre to see if they would be amenable to doing some kind of deal on something like soup, sandwich and coffee, for example but it might be simpler for people to do their own thing as it will keep entry costs down.
We have not arranged use of leisure centre facilities yet (i.e changing and showers, etc.) however hopefully this won't be a problem.

Please note that for insurance purposes this event IS NOT an open event and is restricted to WEST LOTHIAN CLARION MEMBERS ONLY.

If you aren't signed up to the club yet then why not use this as the perfect opportunity to come along and meet everyone! Extra edible treats for anyone who joins the club on the day!
Route cards and descriptions will be provided on the day so no excuse for getting lost.
Let Grant know if you intend coming along. email Grant: tourettesthomson[AT] Or simply post a comment

Grant's description of the route:
The run will leave Linlithgow and head out to Larbert via Grangemouth and Skinflats. From Larbert it will go up Carron Valley via Denny as far as the Carronbridge Hotel where you will then turn right and head for Stirling. Before reaching Stirling you'll turn off left past North Third reservoir then head up and over Earls Hill and drop back down to Carron Valley where I will be waiting in a nice warm car. You can then get something to eat if I haven't finished it all off by the time you get there
After filling yer boots you'll head back down Carron Valley to Carronbridge Hotel then climb Tak Ma Doon the easy way and drop down the steep side into Kilsyth. From there it's an easy run along the A803 to Falkirk through Bonnybridge.
I've decided you should all work for your grub therefore the route goes up the ridiculously steep unclassified road past the Battle of Falkirk monument before going up the even sillier unclassified road up to Shieldhill from High Falkirk. From there it's a drop down to Westfield via sunny California and Avonbridge. Sling a right at the Westfield roundabout and head up into Torphichen whilst doffing a cap to the Hanger! Right again to Bathgate then the final climb of the day will take you up past Cairnpapple and past the KWM where the WLC began many moons ago! and back down Preston Road where you will then return to the start where you will either congratulate me and Tobias on such a good event or give us a boot in the cherries for making you go up all the hills. Hopefully it'll be the former.
Half distance will go the same route to Larbert but then head back along the A803 to Falkirk when the full route heads off to Denny. There will still be the steep climb out of Falkirk to the monument and then Shieldhill to negotiate for the short route however they are spared Preston Road as they return to the leisure centre via the Lanark Road after the Westfield roundabout.

More club event here

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Weekday Rides

Last week John McComisky met up with fellow West Lothian Clarion member, Craig Marshall, and went on a 48 mile jaunt around a sodden West Lothian and Central Region.
John says "Craig has been a customer at the shop I work in (Halfords) and our discussions had turned to meeting up for some Etape training. Mista Marshall will be in good form by then, I am sure, as he left me wheezing on any climbs especially the run up to the Flints in Boness.
Although the weather for the Boness-Lithgae-Avonbrige-Grangemouth-Newton-Winchburgh and Grangemouth was foul, the chat was mighty and as all good cyclists do we were able to put the world to rites. We put up with a fair amount of sleet, cow dung and fading light but even at this time of year it was a good paced ride of around 15mph.
The only thing I would mention is that Craig is possibly the clubs very own puncture demon, I managed three on the day followed by another on the way to work. It turns out that another Clarion member had a similar experience with Craig the previous, boots, Stiletto's!"
If anyone fancies a midweek ride get in contact with John at jmccomisky[at]

Another member, Ronnie Thomson, is also looking for weekday ride partners and has planned a series of rides over the next few months, go here to see the list

Monday, 2 February 2009

Sunday Ride 1st Feb

Three riders met up at the Cross last Sunday. Peter on his second club ride of the weekend and newbies Allan (A Lands End to John O'Groats super tourist) and Pete (an instructor from the Lowport Centre in Linithgow). Peter said "We did 30 miles round Dalmeny estate and got back just before the first snow showers started!"

SCU Consultation day

Matt and Tobias represented the club at the SCU's consultation day in Perth on Sunday. The SCU was asking for members to contribute ideas on how cycle sport is to progress in the future. The day was designed without an agenda so suggestions could come from the floor. We were split up into groups and went about a brainstorming different approaches. The day culminated with 4 groups presenting their ideas to a panel in a 'Dragon's Den' format. The day was a success but a bit more communication about what was involved and how much time it would take would have been useful, for instance, we didn't know it was an all day session. There were enough people present to make the format work but it was a disappointing turn out. Most clubs had not sent any representatives, even the well established ones. It was an opportunity to tackle major issues that are effecting our sport and day-to-day riding. More clubs should have been there to air their views and ideas, those clubs not present shouldn't have any complaint with the SCU if they are not prepared to stand up and be counted.

New members!

Six riders joined the club at the AGM, two of which were John McComisky and his Fiancé Jill Sneddon. A big welcome to you both!
John says "I got into cycling three years ago, and had used an old cyclocross bike on the road to get fit. My background is motorcycle racing but haven't raced motorbikes since my last race on the Isle of Man. I've had too many jobs to mention but at present work at Halfords in Falkirk. I have a Carerra Vanquish Road bike and a Gryphon Hybrid and use them both to commute. In 2008 I was a member of the ERC and competed in time trials finishing in the top twenty in the Kirky 10 series. For this year I want to get faster in TT racing and want to race in the Scottish Championships with better results.
My fiancee Jill is an occasional cyclist and also has a Carerra Vanquish Road bike. We've done a little bit of touring about locally, which she's enjoyed, Jill also does yoga with her mates to keep healthy.
I love the fact there is a club locally and will get more involved in the coming months as I think you have started a great initiative. Look forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks."
John has a cycling blog go here to visit

Honorary members

Jimmy Harris and Sadiq Mir were both made honorary members of the club last Thursday at the AGM. Jimmy lives in Condorrat and is Secretary of the West of Scotland Clarion and has been running the Clarion in Scotland since the 1960's. He also organised the Tour de Trossachs TT for many years. Jimmy used to race too, clocking up some superb Best All Rounder times and winning his club's trophy on a number of occasions (23.427mph in 1962 on a fixed!). Jimmy has been really encouraging towards our section and even donated four trophies to our club, so his honorary membership goes someway to say thank you to him.
Due to his work commitments, Sadiq had to stand down as our first president at the AGM. Sadiq started the club last year by beginning a post on calling for West Lothian roadies to get together for group rides. He's been a driving force behind the club and set the ethos of how we behave on our rides: No one gets left behind. On behalf of the club thanks for all your help Sadiq, and look forward to seeing you on the road!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Record turn out on Saturday ride

Saturday Ride 31/01A
Twelve, yes Twelve! riders turned up at the KWM on a beautiful sunny morning last Saturday. Newbie Mark (on is Spankin' new Dawes Audax) Bill, Stevie, Mike, Tobias, Andy, Tim (our most southerly member from Lancaster), Newbie Angus, Peter, Neil and Steve set off down to Bathgate. The group then took the back roads to Armadale for the first climbs of the day, then heading to Slamannan over the long Avonbridge Road climb where the pack regrouped. During the quick snack stop at Slamannan Mark and Matt had to coax a chatty local rapscallion from destroying the poppies at the war memorial. Moral obligation complete the group set off to Longriggend via the climb at the wind turbines. On the way, Andy showed great skill in warding off some ferocious dogs (that could have come straight out of a Helms cartoon!) with pin point squirts from his water bottle. Unfazed by the commotion, Mike won the Longriggend, uphill, 30 sprint, by a bike length, from Matt and Stevie. We regrouped for a photo and headed back along the rolling descent through Limerigg, finishing off with the prestigious 30 sprint at Avonbridge, won, again, by the versatile Mike from 2nd place Bill by a nose. The group headed for home along the River Avon, with riders from different sides of the Bathgate Alps splitting into two groups at Strath House. Mark said "I Enjoyed the run today! Thanks, particularly to Matt and Bill for coaching me up the hills"

Jersey Order

Bill did a great job in organising our kit choices and making sure the ordering ran smoothly after the AGM. He worked late into the night on Thursday to get the paper work ready to send of to Endura the next morning. It looks like we are going to get a substantial discount. Many thanks to Bill for all his hard work.

AGM In brief

The club had it's first AGM last Thursday, 29th,  at The Black Bitch pub in Linlithgow. Here's a quick update of what went on. Full minutes to be posted later.

1. Sadiq chaired the meeting and gave a quick run down of the club's achievements in the last year, including our last place in the Scottish TTT champs, our increasing membership and popular the club runs. Sadiq then introduced Jimmy Harris to the club and presented him with honorary membership for his support and kind donation of 4 trophies.
Sadiq then announced he was standing down as President due, mainly, to work commitments.

2. After thanking Sadiq for his great contribution in setting up the club last year and getting us moving forward it was time to elect officials:
Presedent: Bill Young
Secretary: Matthew Ball
Treasure: Graham Foster
Rides Secretary: Grant Thomson
Race Secretary: Tobias Bauer
Social Secretary: Bob Simpson.

3. The club asked for volunteers for a rides rota and TT marshal rota, members agreed to put their names forward and will do so when the forum is launched. New member John McComisky volunteered to be the forum administrator.

4. The club constitution was passed unanimously with the amendment that the club colours wil not change for 10 years.

5. Subs will be £15 for seniors, £10.50 for family and £8.50 for juniors. The club now has 39 members after 6 joined on the night, welcome to Blair Campbell, Dean Campbell, Andrew Richards, Jill Sneddon, John McComisky, and Craig Marshall. Five are women, 33 Men and one Junior.

6. Matt Talked a bit about the National Clarion and encouraged members to take part in Clarion events. The club is now affiliated to the SCU

7. Foz gave his financial statement, it looks like we're doing fine, he's in the process of sorting a bank account out. More information on the accounts once Foz explains them to me!

9. AOB: Tobias proposed that Sadiq would be made an Honarary member and this was passed unanimously.

Grant said "A big thank you to everyone who came along to the club's first AGM last night. There was a lot of good ideas coming forward and the meeting was held in a good spirit and I reckon it bodes well for the future of the club. Big thanks also to Foz, Sadiq, Bill and Matt for doing a good job of keeping such a motley crew in order for the proceedings! Keep your eyes peeled for details of our first reliabilty ride which will be held on Sunday 15th March 2009!"
Malcolm went on to say "Good meeting last night and some good decisions made (apart from keeping the shirt colours for longer than it takes to wear it out)"