Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A new Clarionista!

Donald Middleton
Welcome to Donald, who joined up this week after riding a few weekend club runs. Donald says "I have been cycling since I was a teenager I try to ride every day and until recently when I changed jobs I was riding the 18 miles to work each day and on my days of i like to ride long distances up to 80 ish miles."

"I Also like to tackle the hills around the Bathgate area. My summer bike is a Cannondale synapse and my winter bike is a giant tcr 2. I have never competed in any form of racing, I am happy just to ride my bike, keeping myself fit."

"I may just be tempted to ride the time trials just to give me guage as to how I compare against the others in the club."

Come along to the Summer social!

On the last day of the Tour de France the Clarion wil be gathering at the Black Bitch in Linlithgow to watch Mark Cavendish win on the Champs Elysee.

Come along and watch the proceedings on the big screen, have a blather. a bite to eat and later on join in the performance of our club song! Bring an instrument and join the jam session!

The winner of the Tour de France sweep stake will also be announced. Remember you must enter before Thursday 2nd July.

Date: Sunday 26th July
Time: proceedings kick off at 2pm
Where: Black Bitch Pub, Linlithgow
Bring: yourself, your partner and a music instrument of your choice!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Our most popular photos on flickr

Since launching our Flickr gallery in January we have had 2500 views! I thought you might be interested to find out our top 10 most viewed photos according to the flickr stats

1. Club photo with spin class bloke
2. Most meritorious section
3. Anth does impression of Fabien Cancellara
4. RadTour feed stop (feeling hungry?)
5. Shona Young
6. Dirty club run (why on earth is this photo popular!?)
7. Big John does impression of Fabian Cancellara
8. Spring club run
9. Tobias does impression of Fabien Cancellara (We ride on the left in Scotland)
10. Our first ever Sunday run

Club run reports

Weekend racing means the club run turnout hasn't been getting into double figures recently but those who do turn up are getting the miles in and enjoying the banter

Craig sent in this Saturday run report:

Just the three out today - Steve, Angus and myself.

It was an easterly wind so we opted for the Kirkliston/South Queensferrry/Dalmeny estate run. There was a gentlemans agreement that there would be no 30 sprints so it was an easy descent down to S. Queensferry. Up through Dalmeny estate and then headed back to Kirkliston. The stakes were upped a bit here with us trying to see how quickly we could cover the last 5 km of the TT course to Bridgend.

We then headed into Linlithgow and said our cherrios to Angus. Steve and myself went up Manse Road and took the back way past the Beecraigs Restaurant and on up to the Knock. Steve doubled back home at this point and I headed down to Bathgate and took the route back up to the KWM past the Vu Cafe.

Approx 30 miles today that had a liitle bit of everything - gentle downhill, a bit of TT'ing and some climbing. A good workout.

And newbie Denis sent in this Sunday run report

Just the 4 out today (Jim, Lorne, Alan and myself) of which 3 are "new" to WLC. A fairly leisurely 30 miles via Philipston, Winchburgh, Dalmeny Estate and Kirkliston. Good fun but it was very wet!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Where is it?

Where is it?
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

One of Grant's cheese and Jam sandwiches to the first person who guesses where this photo was taken.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Club 10 TT Series: Week 8 results

Ross Dewar

TT coordinator Graham Foster sends in tonight's race report:

Another very enjoyable week in the TT series. The conditions were perhaps a teensy bit disappointing after some of the glorious midsummer evenings we've enjoyed with a cooling and blustery easterly. But bright and dry is not to be sniffed at in Scotland....

We still had 2 PB's - with Allan McCrimmon coming two in seconds ahead of my own time - and a first entry by Andy Weaving, with some serious Scandanavian mileage in his legs. Ross seems to be consistently coming in under 26 and took full points for the second week in a row.

Many thanks to Tobias and Mark for running things so well (the bottle's mine) and the other friendly faces who came out to encourage us all.

1 R Dewar 25.56
2 G Gilhooly 26.25
3 M Muir 27.35
4 C Sinclair 27.37
5 J McComisky 27.46
6 A Weaving 28.22
7 D Campbell 28.40
8 A McCrimmon 28.44
9 G Foster 28.46
10 D McTurk 29.48
11 D Hamill 29.57

League positions
M Ball 136
R Dewar 122
J McComisky 111
G Gilhooly 110
T Bauer 88
D Campbell 82
B Young 77
S Mir 71.5
G Foster 67
C Sinclair 60
M Paul 57
G Thomson 56
S McDowall 55
R Simpson 49
D Hamill 48
A Brown 47
M Muir 47
S Fraser 41
J Dominguez 40
A McCrimmon 39
M Ewing 36.5
D McTurk 33
A Hemingway 31
A Richards 29
M Ewart 28
D Schofield 19
K O'Hara 16
A Weaving 15
M Antony 12
S Waldron 11
B Campbell 8
R Duffy 7
A Robson 5

Open Season

Clarionistas have been our riding open evets over the last few weeks

On July 10th Bob rode the Fife Mid Week TT Series at Freuchie and crossed the line with a time of 26.51, almost knocking 2 minutes off his time for that course.

Last week Jules and Steve rode the Magic Ten at Stirling, which was organised by Tam at the Bike and Ski Clinic. Jukes tapped out a new personal best for herself and Steve picked up the 2nd vet's prize. Steve said "Not sure where the Magic was as it was blowing a gale on that A811. It was a battle out to the turn and then just flying back, nice course but very windy up that Wizards sleeve!"
Steve did 22-02 and was 2nd vet
Jules did 27-37 for a PB and was 3rd Lady

Last Sunday Matt rode the National 25 champs in a pb of 57.04, coming 33rd overall, also on Sunday Mark and Dave rode the Torossachs Ton which was organised by Action medical Research. David went round in 6hrs and 11 minutes and said "Just want to say a big thankyou to everyone that had a part in the organisation of the event especially Malcolm Wake who devised the route.
What a great day with fantastic weather. I think 300 participants arrived today and I hope 5 or 6 hundred enter next year.
The massage at the end was most welcome and again the staff were extremely friendly. I will definately be doing this event next year but setting myself a target time of under 6 hours."
Picture © 2009 PBPB - All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Medium gear club 10TT

3500 Miles
Originally uploaded by blackpuddinonnabike

On July 2nd, the week 9 club 10TT is going retro! There will be a race within a race so If you've got a fixed bike, come along and race on it with a medium gear of 72" and No tribars or aero helmet or other new fangled contraptions (except clipless pedals)

See the forum thread here

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

2009 Tour de France Sweep Stake announced

Last year's sweep was a lot of fun, we even had one competitor thrown out for taking drugs! Anth is organising this year's event, and here are the details:

Bonjour mes amis! La plume de ma tante etc etc etc...

You may recall a short while ago that Matt was looking for a volunteer to run the West Lothian Clarion Tour de France Sweepstake 2009 (or WLCTdFSs09 for short, catchy huh?). Well I put my name in the ring and then promptly went on holiday, but now I'm back and had better start getting organised. I've got some guidance on how it has been run previously, so the way it's going to work is like this:

Register your interest with me either here, or in person at a TT (I am going to do one again), or by email to anth@citycycling.co.uk, by Thursday 2nd July (the last Thursday before the Tour starts); On 3rd July I'll get a list from the bookies of the betting odds for the number of riders to coincide with the number of entrants;
Each entrant will be allocated one of these riders at random and from then on will be that rider;
I'll try and update a table every day with the latest placings, and put that online (I'll give you the link) with who is in yellow, or who has been sent home in disgrace for taking EPO;
The winner will be announced at the social on the last day of the Tour (26th July).

And that's really it, apart from the small matter of the cash. I think last year entry was a fiver? I'm happy to keep with that to give a good pot to divvy up. I can collect this at any time during the Tour, at a TT, or if you happen to be in Edinburgh, or even by post. The divvying will go something like this:

40% to the overall winner of the Tour;
10% as a grimpeur prize to the polka dot jersey, because everyone loves the mountain stages; and
50% to the club.

So if we get ten entrants the winner will get £20, 20 entrants would give £40 and so on.

Bonne chance tout le monde!

The 2009 Clarion Gentleman's Race

In April, on our ride to the Clarion's Easter Meet, Jez and I stayed in a smashing hotel in Torthorwald

Jez had the great idea of organising a gentleman's race down to the hotel, stay the night and come back the following day. A gentleman's race is much like a reliability trial in that it isn't really a race but you can go as quickly or as slowly as you like. The idea is to stop at cafes and take in the views form time to time.

It's about 85 miles to the hotel and the route is a corker, it includes the Devil's Beef Tub and lovely towns like Biggar and Moffat. I can work up a different route for the return leg or we could just use the same one

It'll take place on 26-27th September, riding down on the Saturday, staying over for a bit of bounderising and returning on Sunday 27th.

The Manor Hotel can accommodate 15 people but there are other places to stay locally including B&Bs and a Travelodge which I can notify you about. The hotel has a great bar and can serve 45 in the dinning area where we'd plan to meet up Saturday night.

Hotel rooms are:
1 double with single beds
2 double rooms with single beds
1 double room
1 family (double and 3 singles)

Which means we'll need to share rooms to keep the costs down

I've got the hotel on hold so we'll need to move pretty quickly first come first served for a hotel place
Please post if you want to ride and email me your confirmation, I'll need a £10 deposit.

There is also a thread on the forum

Deadline is Friday 10th July

A Big welcome to...

Say "boots" to a few more new members when you see them out and about...

Melwin Antony
Melwin Antony from Linlithgow

Jim Bird
Jim Bird from Linlithgow

Steve Waldron
Steve Waldron from Torphichen

Garry Marshall
Garry Marshall from Dollar

Steve and Jules
And second claimer, Steve McCaw from East Calder

New Member!

Ewan Norton

Welcome to Ewan Norton, a 36 year old Mountain biker from Falkirk, who found out about the club from the guys at Halfords.

Ewan says "Last year I decided to enter the 2009 Caledonia Etape. I picked up a Boardman Team Carbon through the cycle to work Scheme in January but didn't get out on it, for real, until late February, due to the poor weather (I was scared stiff of the tiny wee tyres for weeks!) and then started training for the May Etape."

"Unfortunately I badly sprained my ankle five weeks before the Etape but after a month of doing nothing, I managed to get to the start line. The race was going really well until I got held up at the top of the hill for around 50 minutes - but on the plus side, I didn't get a puncture. Managed an official time of 5hrs 10 minutes, with my bike computer saying 4hrs 8 minutes riding for the 73 miles - so was well chuffed!"

"So far this year I've done just over a thousand miles and have been out three times on the Clarion's Saturday rides. I might have won my first sprint last weekend - but it was close!"

"I may come along to the weekly 10M TT soon but am a bit nervous of it - never done anything like that before! I'm also looking for another sportive - 60 to 100 miles in the next month or two, to really see what I can do. I'm definitely getting fitter and more competent on the bike and really enjoy the group riding so far."

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Travellers return

Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Andy and Mandy sent in this wee report about their amazing 300km ride in Sweden:

We have just returned from 2 weeks cycling in Denmark and Sweden, part of our trip was to take part in the VATTERUNDUN which is a 300km cycle event around lake Vattern in Sweden starting in Motala. It is the biggest recreational cycling event in Europe with 17,000 participants. There are all sorts of cyclists doing it from full racing teams to folk on town bikes with shopping baskets and disabled participents on recumbrents using their arms.

Mandy and I used the tandem and had a riding time of 11hrs 39 mins, a 16mph average. We started at 4am and there was alot of missling rain but it cleared up. All riders were chipped for timing at various stages, the whole organisation of the event was excellent with great food stops and rider back up and support cars .

Some riders started at 8pm the previous night and then at 2min intervals throughout the night. The big pelotons that passed sometimes had up to 70 riders in them, they approached from behind with a sound like a swarm of bees, we were doing 20mph at some stages and they shot passed as if you were stopped. There were plenty of people trying to make it round too, like the father and daughter on very basic mountain bikes and some on single gear bikes like an old police bike, people just giving it their all, in, maybe, the only event they do all year but still a great achievement for them.

Our total mileage for our whole trip including this event was around 800miles for 10 days cycling, staying, mostly, in youth hostels. Hope to keep up the miles and not let it go to waste now we are home!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Volunteer for timekeeping

Next week's 10TT will be cancelled unless we get a club member to volunteer for time keeping duties. Every week we need two club members to volunteer - a pusher off and a timekeeper.
The jobs are much easier than actually riding the TT!
Mark has offered to push-off but no one has offered to time the event and we have less than a week to go. If you've ridden the event then your are expected to volunteer at least once, so that we can continue to promote the season long competition. This event will only work if we get the volunteers each week.

Each timekeeper will be awarded 18 points, and the pusheroff 17 points.

Please email the TT coordinator, Graham Foster at: treasurer@westlothianclarion.co.uk
or post on the forum's TT thread

More details about the TT here

Thursday, 18 June 2009

TT Report: Week 7

Bob Simpson
Originally uploaded by madcyclepath

It was a blusery evening with a strong south-westerly which made the return leg a tough run to Bridgend. Thunder thiged Ross Dewar stormed home in a time only 12 seconds slower than his pb last week. Matt Muir claimed a course record for a fixed wheel and was a minute faster than the last time he rode - and that's without training for a month!

Big John is back on form coming in third and Dean is back in the grove with a 42 second improvement on his previous week's time. Kevin joined up on the night and turned in a stonking 28.11 for his first ever TT. Yellow peril Bob Simpson road a fresh bike but couldn't go faster than his pb two weeks ago. Allan knocked a massive 22 seconds off his PB, in only his second TT and Grant did well to get under evens without tribars. Melwin claimed the lantern rouge in his first time trial but his riding gets stronger each week and I can see him getting under 30 minutes before the end of the season.

Many thanks to Gillian for taking the photos: http://www.flickr.com/madcyclepath

1. Ross Dewar 25.58
2. Matt Muir 27.28 (fixed course record)
3. John McComisky 27.32
4. Dean Campbell 28.10
5. Kevin O'Hara 28.11
6. Bob Simpson 28.21
7. Allan McCrimmon 29.03
8. Grant Thomson 29.28
9. Melwin Antony 34.23

Timekeeper - Matt, Pusher off - Graham

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Clarionista in Race Across America

WLC member Simon Taylor is riding the RAAM - the Race Across America which starts today in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland on 26th June. He'll be racing the 3000 miles as a relay in a team of six plus crew. The riders will be racing non stop, night and day for three hours at a time, with a 15-hour break between each shift untill they get to the East coast.

Follow their progress on their website www.caledonianchaingang.com and if you have any spare cash, why not sponsor them, they have already raised a staggering £20,000 for their nominated charities: Cancer Research, Lothian Autistic Society, Alström Syndrome UK, Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Help for Heroes.

Good luck Simon!

Here is a link to an Edinburgh Evening News story about the team's adventure

Kid's pursuit

On Saturday as part of the On Yer bike event and with a great deal of help from Ross and Kirsty, we organised a kid's pursuit race on a track, painted on the playing field, at Linlithgow Primary School.

The whole day event was organised by Helen Brown at Green flag at home and was set up as a family day to promote cycling and get kid's back on their bikes. There was a bike doctor, a bike powered scalextrix, a bike skills course and recreational rides along the canal. There were also stalls hosted by the Linlithgow Cycle Action Group, Linlithgow Climate Challenge and Revolutionary bikes.

The pursuit event followed the format of the Olympic race where riders start at either end of the track. Our track was about 110m long and for four hours we hand kids queuing up to get a shot. During the day we managed to hold 80 races with 45 kids and 23 adults getting their names on the results board.

We followed the format of Top Gear's 'Star in a reasonably priced car' with each time posted on a league table with the kid's name and age so at the end of the day we can see who was the quickest in each age group.

The kids were incredibly enthusiastic, with most coming back again and again to get a faster time, you could see they got a real kick out of the day. One girl, in particular, turned up with out a bike and blasted around 5 seconds faster than the next child and riding faster than all the adults and only half a second behind triathlete Mark Ewing!

Many thanks to Helen at the Green flag at home, Ross, Kirsty, the West Lothian parks dept and everybody else who helped on the day

See pictures here

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Clarion Mountain bikers

Clarion MTBers
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Dave Hamill took a group of riders around the lesser known parts of Beecraigs Country Park at the weekend. A beautiful evening with perfect light saw the riders take in some of the technical routes available. Beecraigs turned out to be a great location to ride especially as its right on our doorstep and we hardly saw another person while we were out riding.

Northern Rock Cyclone Report

Craig Marshall
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Craig Marshall smashed his personal best for the 62 mile Northern Rock Cyclone at the weekend and sends in this report:

I did the same event last year and it took me 4 hrs 32 mins to complete with 4.02.00 actual cycling. This year, it took me 3 hrs 32 mins to complete with 3 hrs 18 mins actual cycling time. Chopped a whopping 44 mins of my actual cycling time and 1 hour of the time to complete!

It took me just over an hour to do the first 20 miles, almost 2 hours for the middle 28 miles (the hilly part) and only 33 mins to do the last 14 miles! A really pleasing performance if I do say so myself.

If I need any proof that all the training I have done since joining the club (turbo training, chain gang, Saturday runs as well as extra miles) has made a difference then this has to be it.

New Member

Allan McCrimmon
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Allan McCrimmon from Philpstoun joined up before the TT last Thursday, he has the shortest journey to the start line so there are no excuses if he misses a week! Allan says "I cycle daily about 18 miles round trip to work and normally do a 30 to 50 mile cycle at weekend. I cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats last April so I consider myself more of a touring cyclist but I would now like to try and pick up my pace a little."

Club 10 TT Series: Week 6 results

Foz sends in his report for last week's club 10: The weather was warm, bright and still. Until tea-time. When it rained. And we rode. Cleared up beautifully last thing too, so it was only a wet couple of hours.
Despite that, 11 rode with 5 new PBs and a new member joining on the night - welcome to Allan McCrimmon and congratulations on beating me by a single second on your first night . Matt took the honours again though it looks like Stevie might well be on his case having joined the elite '24 club' in emphatic style. Ross's time also stands out in such soggy conditions. Thanks to Andy and Sadiq for running things so well. Here are the times & league positions.

Week 6 results
1 M Ball 24.26
2 S McDowall 24.47
3 R Dewar 25.46
4 T Bauer 26.51
5 C Sinclair 26.56
6 B Young 27.02
7 D Campbell 28.52
8 A Brown 29.12
9 A McCrimmon 29.25
10 G Foster 29.26
11 S Fraser 29.55

League positions
Matt Ball extends his lead at the top but Ross Dewar moves into second place overall, pushing John McComisky down into 3rd and Bill Young is starting to make his move up the rankings to fourth.
Julie Dominguez, in 15th place overall, leads the Women's competition from Denise Schofield in second place, this competition is wide open and other women in the club still have a chance of winning if they come along on a Thursday.
Entering the TT is the key to a high league placing, the more times participants enter the time trials the more chance of getting points. Were not half way through the season yet so there is still time to climb up the table.

M Ball 118
R Dewar 82
J McComisky 77
B Young 77
G Gilhooly 74
S Mir 71.5
T Bauer 70
G Foster 55
S McDowall 55
D Campbell 51
A Brown 47
G Thomson 43
C Sinclair 43
S Fraser 41
J Dominguez 40
M Paul 40
D Hamill 38
M Ewing 36.5
R Simpson 34
A Hemingway 31
A Richards 29
M Ewart 28
D McTurk 22
D Schofield 19
A McCrimmon 12
S Waldron 11
M Muir 10
B Campbell 8
R Duffy 7
A Robson 5

Club Kit Update

Endura have told us the delivery date for the kit we ordered in the Spring will be week ending 3rd July, which is slightly later than expected, sorry for the delay.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Tonight's TT

It looks like it's going to be a fast night tonight, sunny with hardly a breeze. Take a look at the TT guidelines here especially the dos and don'ts and download the risk assessment.

See you there.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Family fun bike day

As part of National Bike week, Linlithgow is having a 'family fun bike day' at Linlithgow primary school this Saturday 13th between 11am and 3pm. There will be loads to do including fun rides, a bike doctor, kids races and a bike powered scalextric. To find out more, click on 'events' on this site:

Kid's pursuit race
I'm organising a kids pursuit race around a an oval track marked on the grass. 2 kids will be starting at either end of the track like Bradley Wiggins and then racing round for two laps, each being timed by a time keeper.
The format will follow Top Gear's 'Star in a reasonably priced car' and each time will be posted on a league table with the kid's name and age so at the end of the day we can see who was the quickest in each age group.
Bring your kids down to have a go - its not often they get the opportunity to have a race in a safe environment.
All competitors must wear helmets.
The event starts at 11.am, see you there!

Summer Social

The club is going to have it's summer social on Sunday 26th July at the Black Bitch in Linlithgow. The last day of the Tour will be on the big screen downstairs and food and drinks will be upstairs.
If you want to come let me know! closing date to get tickets will be the week before - Friday 17th July
family and friends are welcome, more details soon...

Border reivers nocturnal border raid

Sun just upBorder 3
Last Saturday Five riders set off under bruising skies to begin the club's first nocturnal ride to Berwick upon Tweed. Kerstin, Tobias, Matt, Melwin and Andy had panniers packed with warm clothes and mid-night snacks to keep them going all the way to England.
The raiders were sent on their way by cheering Clarionistas at the Black Bitch pub in Linlithgow at around 10.30pm and headed off towards Kirkliston following Tobias's route.
Disaster almost struck near Crammond Bridge when Melwin gave Tobias a rear end shunt which summersaulted Herr Bauer spectacularly into a 3 foot ditch. Luckily neither of them were injured and after a few fixes to Tobias's land cruiser the group got going again.
Our next stop was a quick snifter in Leith for last orders, after which we headed into the East Lothians. The roads were deserted and apart from a few hollars from drunks on their way home, we saw very few people. The coastal road and path to Longniddry had street lights which meant we were only in full darkness for a couple of hours later on in the night. We stopped for a picknick at about 1.00am and scoffed cakes, pies, sandwiches and coffee lit by torches in the pitch black.
Between Longniddry and Haddington Tobias took us along an offroad path which criss-crossed fields and we saw baby foxes playing and other assorted night time wildlife.
Riding through deserted towns at 3.00am was a thrill, we had the streets to ourselves but every now and again we'd get a waft of fresh coffee or toast being made but mainly the air smelled fresh and clean with the daytime pollution filtered out.
Dawn finally broke at 4.00am, by which time we had reached the village of Spott south of Dunbar. For me this was the highlight of the ride, we watched the sun come up and then disappear behind low cloud over the North Sea, it was a wonderful moment.
The coastal roads had been left behind and Tobias's route now started to take in meandering lanes and climbs that seemed to gradually get steeper the closer we got to Berwick Upon Tweed.
At Cockburnspath we dropped down the the sea again and back up a long, steep and winding climb which split the group for the first time. After a quick snack at the top the rain started and we wore our waterproofs for the next couple of hours.
It was now 5.00am and I was struggling to stay awake, east of Eyemouth I almost came a cropper. I lost concentration and suddenly found myself bumping along the edge of the road as we descended a long shallow climb. It was, ehm, a wake up call but a few Proplus and a coke seemed to do the trick and I managed to make my way to Berwick without further incident.
The undulating lanes around Berwick were the best of the trip, at the top of every rise we'd catch a glimpse of the North Sea.
We finally arrived at about 9.30am, much later than expected but we hadn't been rushing, pub stops, map reading and picknicks meant we were never going to break any records on this adventure. We decided to give Lindisfarne a miss and spent the morning relaxing in a couple of cafes and sightseeing before making our way home by train.

The highlights for me were the great banter and sense of camaraderie we had all night; seeing the dawn come up south of Dunbar; not seeing a car for 6 hours; the strangeness of riding through deserted towns; night time picknicks; the beautiful country side around Berwick and the world smelling lovely and fresh at dawn!

Andy and Melwin put in a great ride, you wouldn't have thought either hadn't ridden any major distance before the start of the year. Kerstin frequently beat Tobias up the hills, although Herr Bauer did have a 3rd wheel contraption attached to the back of his bike.

Andy said "It really was something special, I am sure the overnight aspect of it had something to do with that. Cycling through the dark, all of us at some point I am sure went through some kind of 'zone'. Mine was on some of the climbs, particularly coming out of Pease bay and again out of Ayton. Matt's may have been on the gentle decent that had him momentarily nod off, Melwin's may well have been in the rain without full waterproofs, Tobias and Kerstin will have had their moments too. Perhaps like me it was whilst spinning up one of the many hills. I know for all of the 'in the zone' moments there were many moments that would wake me in an instant . Deer jumping across the road a few feet away, riding through the fords, seeing the young foxes, the sound of waves breaking against an unseen shore, lighthouses flashing in the distance, the scale of the powerstations in the middle of nowhere, the sudden rain and of course the sunrise that we accidentally had a great view of. The feeling of having acheived something that I probably won't do very often as we coasted into Berwick is some thing else that will stay with me for a long time. Above all though It's the people that took part that made it what it was and that's not something that's lost on me and I thank you all for that. I cannot forget all those that saw us off, both online and in the Black Bitch. I know you all wanted to come along too!
So here is to next time, It will never be the same but without doubt it will be just as special"

Pictures on flickr here
And we didn't do this! (thanks Dave)

Ride reports

Tuesday chain gang
John, Steve, Andy, Matt, Graham and Neil kept things ticking over nicely for 4 laps until Steve left for home. No one missed a turn and the pace was a steady 20mph, kept high by slick changeovers at the Back and front. Soon after Steve departed Graham and Matt tapped off the front and kept the pace high for a few laps, 6 completed by 7pm.
Ride details here

Saturday Ride
Malcolm sent in this report about last weekend's Saturday ride:
Fantastic turnout yesterday - I think we had 13 up at the KWM for the 8am start.
We headed down to Faucheldean where Bill tried to take the sprint by going for a long one. Mike lurked in the background and took us all out comfortably.
From there we headed into South Queensferry along the front and up the hill after the Hawes Inn, where, using my usual tactic of going when nobody's realised/bothered about the sign, I took an Ardenne style sprint halfway up the hill.
A quick loop through Dalmeny estate followed, with much discussion about its suitability for a crit circuit then we moved off towards Kirkliston. I tried to distract Bill by suggesting that we went fore a coffee at Craigie's Farm and he responded by putting the hammer down and cruising to Kirkliston. As if by magic, Mike appeared just before the 30 sign to take the spoils and I was still freewheeling when I turned off back down towards Ratho. Fairly restored my faith in cycling after my nightmare at the Skye Sportive.
Craig then picks up the story after Malcolm headed home: We cycled back to Linlithgow via Winchburgh, where I tried to sneak the 30 sign but I made the mistake of easing off then looking over my shoulder. Bill was coming up like a steam train and had the momentum to come past me at the sign. Lesson learned! We all then kept a steady pace back to Linlithgow where we stopped for 5 mins to have a chat and see who was going where. Ewan and myself headed up to the KWM and the others heading through to Falkirk or up to Standburn/Avonbridge. Another good cycle with the guys.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Where is it?

Another perfect West Lothian road but do you know where it is? The first person to post the correct answer gets a free Tunnock's Snow Ball

Friday, 5 June 2009

10 TT series Week 5

Foz send in this weeks's report:
Matt smashed through the 24 mark, Stevie MacDowall lead the select chasing bunch trying to break 25 having knocked 1.44 off his previous best. Graham Gilhooly and David Hamill also stand out for knocking big chunks out of their previous benchmarks, Denise is getting close to 30 and well done to Blair for his effort in his first ride in the club's series, which has now had 29 Club members taking part. Excellent stuff, see you there next week.

Results Week 5
1 M Ball 23.37
2 S McDowall 25.04
3 G Gilhooly 25.43
4 R Simpson 26.34
5 A Hemingway 27.04
6 B Young 27.09
7 M Paul 27.53
8 D Campbell 28.35
9 J McComisky 28.37
10 D Hamill 28.52
11 S Fraser 29.38
12 D Schofield 30.21
13 B Campbell 32.53

League placings
Men & women are now in the same league, Ladies Cup to the highest placed woman.
M Ball 98
J McComisky 77
G Gilhooly 74
B Young 62
T Bauer 53
R Dewar 47
G Foster 44
G Thomson 43
J Dominguez 40 (W)
M Paul 40
D McTurk 39
D Hamill 38
S Mir 37.5
D Campbell 37
M Ewing 36.5
S McDowall 36
R Simpson 34
A Brown 34
S Fraser 31
A Hemingway 31
M Ewart 28
C Sinclair 22
D Schofield 19
A Richards 11
S Waldron 11
M Muir 10
B Campbell 8
R Duffy 7
A Robson 5

Open event results

Grant and Sadiq have been riding open 10 TTs over the last week. Grant rode the Royal Albert race on the pancake-flat Cambusbarron course on Sunday and posted a personal best time of 26.31. On Wednesday Sadiq and Grant rode the Willie Rafferty Memorial 10TT organised by St. Christophers CC. Grant said "27.48 for me to finish second last. Sadiq did an impressive 24.24 to redeem himself after his disappointment in the Championship 10 last month on the same course. The fastest time was around 21.50 by a lad from Johnstone Wheelers, however the competition was split into categories with a prize for first and second in each. The overall winner was a 25.11 from a 70 year old rider.
St. Christopher's only have a quarter of our membership yet they put on a fantastic event with a very friendly atmosphere and to round it off, the grandchildren of Willie Rafferty were there to give out the prizes at then end, as well as his daughter, who was helping with the catering.
It was good to chat and catch up with Jimmy Harris (who was time keeping) and Sadiq at the HQ and I had a nice leisurely ride from Glasgow city centre, to and from the event, which made this one of the highlights of my cycling year so far.
This is the sort of thing our club should aspire to next year. "

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Beecraigs MTB ride update

The MTB ride will meet at 6pm on Saturday the 13th at the Balvormie Car Park (which the one by the play park). Should last 1.5 to 2 hrs.
See here for more details

Border reivers nocturnal ride route

Tobias has finalised the route to Berwick upon Tweed and then onto Holy Island for those that have the stamina. Tobias's route provides ample time for a bit of bounderising along the way and we should get to the East coast with time to see the sun rise.

The ride is leaving from the Black Bitch in Linlithgow at 9.00pm with participants collecting for a drink beforehand. If you aren't riding why not come and cheers off!

Start: Saturday 6th June, 9pm, Black Bitch
Finish: Berwick Upon Tweed (130km) and then on to Holy Island (150 km)
Return: by train (first one leaves Berwick at 11.02am and costs £24) or ride back
Holy island tides: are out 6.10am to 1.35pm
Speed: this is a social ride at about 12mph, any faster and we wont be able to bounderise properly!
Bring: Warm reflective clothing, adequate lights, food, tools, spares, hot drink, map
Route: here on bikely
If you are riding please email secretary@westlothianclarion
You can follow the ehm ride planning on the forum

Clarion 10 TT Champs

A few members are planning to ride the Clarion's 10 TT championship this year. The event takes place on Saturday July 25th near Peterborough. If you are interested, make a post so we know how many want people want to go and we can organise transport.

Closing date for entries is 14 July.
Event details here
There is a thread on the forum about the race here If you need more information.

There has been talk of stying overnight and riding another event the next day, Fenland Clarion are organisng a 25TT the following day see here for more details

Entering open events

If you want to ride events that are eligible for the the club's best all rounder trophy you'll need to take part in some open races and sportives. Take a look at the SCU calendar for local TTs and the Cyclosportive website for sportive events. 
You can download the SCU entry form for road races and TTs here
You'll find something to suit your level, Many riders in the club have been entering these event for the first time this season.
We have a thread on the forum devoted to open events so that you can organise to go with other members.

Where was Malcolm?

Where am I?
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Malcolm Wake sent in this photo, if you think you know where it is, make a post. The person with the first correct answer gets a McVities Jamaica Ginger cake all to themselves.

10 under the Ben

Denise and Dave rode this night time marathon off-road event, at the weekend, here is Daves's report:

It's a 10-hour endurance event in Fort William that can be ridden solo, in pairs, trios and quads (teams of 4 not the motorbike thingies).
I rode in a pair under the team name 'Jan Ullrich Slimming Squad' (I didn't choose the name). We completed 8 laps of the 10 mile (more like 12) course coming in 47th out of about 100 teams in our category.
Denise, on the other hand, chose to ride solo and managed an impressive 5 laps to put her 8th from 14 in the women's solos. She was a bit teary at the end of her final lap, as she was so chuffed with herself. Quite right too, I'm very proud of her.
The weather was immense for the 2nd year in a row. The atmosphere at this event is great and if you've ever considered entering an mtb event, I'd recommend this one. There's a wee video of it on the homepage of the event

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Skye Sportive report


Bill, Stevie and Malcolm rode the 100Km event in strong winds over the weekend.

Jackie, Malcolm's partner rode the 50 mile event and said "The wind was brutal and were well in excess of 20 mph, I hope never have to be out in anything like that again. Bill, Stevie and Malcolm are saying they are never doing the 100 again and there is talk of everyone doing the 50 next year."

Malcolm said "That was the most brutal on bike experience I can recall although some of it was of my own making. I spotted that my brake was rubbing at the start line and made a quick fix rather than looking for the real cause. After 10 miles of seeing my heart rate go through the roof and everyone passing me I looked down to see that the problem had sorted itself out and my brakes were now jammed on the other side. By the top of the island the locals had started to protest and some of the sheep were throwing ticks on the road....
Eventually I caught up with a local from Skye called Graham Dees, just as he turned into his drive to pick up some supplies he'd left to see him through the 2nd half of the race. Graham caught me up, turned tour guide and kept me going throughout the rest of the ride. After he told me that he was a paramedic, I though that it was probably best to stick with him. Haven't seen the results yet but I'm at least an hour slower than last year."

Edinburgh Nocturne

Category 4: West Lothian Clarion

On Saturday, the Grassmarket in Edinburgh was taken over by the Nocturne Crit series. Anth and John took park in the Folding bike race and John's mate Angus (wearing the Clarion colours) rode the 4th cat crit and finished 9th. Anth said "That was brilliant but I couldn't keep up with big John after 1 and a half of the three laps, I possibly finished in the top half. Maybe. David Millar seemed to cruise the elite race..."
John Said "We had a blast in the folding race, a few sharks had entered but the first lap was ace and I think we both placed in the top ten. I could here the Clarion supporters cheering us on around the course, many thanks!"
Mark's kids, Erin took and Declan, took part in the Rollapaluza event with Erin coming Second in the girls 250 meter race and Declan 11th in the boys 25o meter race - Congratulations! More details here
More photos here and at Anth's flickr page

A movie form the guys at washing machine post:

edinburgh nocturne, saturday, may 30th 2009 from twmp on Vimeo.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Club rides

Another big turn out for last Tuesday's chaingang, with many saying it was the best yet. Strong riding was seen from Andy and Craig,
Ross said" I had a great time, there were seven of us out and it was the most fun I've had on a Tuesday run! After the warm up lap the next four laps were taken at a good steady pace, then on the fifth lap it all started to go a bit fast! My computer had it down as one of the fastest this year, then the last lap was a warm down for most. This had to be the most organised night out yet!"

On Saturday Five turned up at the Korean War Memorial, Craig said "Amazing weather, almost perfect conditions. Neil, Andy, Peter, myself and Steve, who was having his first outing with the club, set off for the two bridges run. We headed off down to South Queensferry for the first leg of the trip. Nothing too extreme and the usual chat and banter going on before crossing the bridge. Once over the Forth, we took the left turn through Rosyth and headed out to Kincardine and had the sun shining on our backs with a gentle tailwind - it doesn't get much better than that!
There were a couple of 30 sprints with Neil taking the honours, although I think he was using his knowledge of the route to jump out and snatch them. The cheekiest move of the day had to be from Andy who sat at the back for most of the early part of the trip and then shot through to try and take a 30 sign - I think Neil still sneaked it though.
We had a quick stop before Kincardine and was passed by what looked like the peloton from the TdF but in fact was the Dunfermline CC. I think the whole club must have been out!
Headed back over the bridge following NCN 76 to Grangemouth and said our cheerios to Steve and Andy who were going back to Falkirk. Peter, Neil and myself headed for the Boness ridge and then back to Linlithgow.
For me, it was the best run of the year so far and we covered the 45 miles in 2 hrs 30 mins. If only it could be like this everyday!"