Monday, 28 September 2009

Ulapool Sportive

Two Clarionistas took part in this highland sportive at the weekend.

Bob Simpson used the event to complete his entry into the club's BAR competition. Bob rode the event in just over 10 hours, he said "The route covered 130 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing up and down the hardest roads I've ever ridden, by the end, all my body was hurting. Never again!"

Andy Hemingway also rode and said "For the first 40 miles I was bizarrely in the lead – no reflection of cycling ability here, it’s just that I was about the first to leave at 7.00am."

"Then at Scourie I saw the Granite City cycle club coming behind me like a train. Pretty serious guys these with a support car handing out drinks. They gave me a bottle though, so they must be OK! I managed to stick with them for around 40 miles then lost them on an uphill. Then it was a gruelling 50 miles into the wind back from Lairg."

"Beautiful course and really well organised and marshalled. And it stayed dry"

Stevie crashes on Dukes pass

Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Stevie McDowall is recovering after a bad crash during the Ride of the Falling Leaves on Sunday. He came off at speed while descending the Dukes Pass and hit the Armco. The marshals were quick to the scene and did a great job attending to his wounds. After a trip to the Stirling infirmary he went over to Livingston today and it appears his leg isn't as badly damaged as first thought, needing stitches and not the skin graft originally planned.
Get well soon Stevie!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Hill climb latest

closed road
Thanks to West Lothian Council and Visit West Lothian for paying, we've got the road closed! Many thanks to Tobias for pushing things along behind the scenes. Its not often you get the chance to race without having to worry about cars, even if it is only 0.9km, so come on get your entries in.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Early season hilly club TT

Bill has figured out a great 17 mile circuit for an early season (probably March) hilly TT around Slammanan.

See link here

But new work commitments mean he hasn't got the time available to organise the event, so we are looking for someone to take over organising the race.

Originally it was planned as an open event but there is too much to do to get that off the ground in time but it would be ideal as a club event to kick off the season

Its a fair bit of work, but not as much as an open event. If we get a couple of people interested then the job can be shared. The work would involve a risk assessment, informing the council and then putting the volunteer team together for the day as per the risk assessment.

You would get the support of the committee so you wouldn't be left high and dry to sort it out yourself.

On the plus side you'll be able to wear a high visibility vest, use a clip board and order people around on the day! Seriously though it can pretty rewarding to get an event like this off the ground.

If you are interested email me at

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Kingscavil Open Hill Climb details


We are hoping for a great atmosphere at our first ever event and have booked a bag piper to play at the top of the hill.

West Lothian Council have agreed to close the road and Visit West Lothian have generously offered to pay for the closure, many thanks. Its not often you get the chance to race without having to worry about cars, even if it is only 0.9km, so come on get your entries in.

If you want to stay over in our fabulous county there is a list of accommodation here

Download SCU entry form here
Sunday 11.10.2009
Entry Fee: £5.00
First person off: 9.00am
Closing date for entries: extended to Tuesday 6th October
Cheques Payable To: West Lothian Clarion
Entries on the day: No
Location: Philpstoun Community Centre, Main Street, Philpstoun
Location Map of HQ: (Google Map)
Hill Climb course: (Bikely Map)
Promoted By: West Lothian Clarion CC

Race Organiser:
Mr William Young
EH48 4NL

Postal entries ONLY. No EoL. Event sign on HQ open from 7am on morning of event. Hill Climb course is a 15 min ride away, please allow time to get to the start.
Don't forget to enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you want a start sheet through in post.

Bike route surveyors wanted

West Lothian council is planning to produce cycling maps of all the major towns in the County and is looking for volunteer help with surveying the towns for the data to go on the town maps. Surveying needs to be completed if at all possible by the end of October, in the hope the maps can be produced this financial year.

To identify suitable (safe, direct and continuous) cycle routes that connect main trip origins (usually housing areas) and destinations (schools, supermarkets, doctor's surgeries, town centres, etc.). These routes can be existing dedicated cycling facilities such as cycle lanes and cycle tracks, or quiet roads.

The survey aims to identify routes, which are attractive for all types of cyclists but are particularly suitable for less experienced and less confident ones (ideally the routes should be useable by families, novice cyclists and older schoolchildren).

The towns to be surveyed are:

Livingston (update of Harvey's Livingston for cyclists map); and
Linlithgow (surveying already completed)

Linlithgow was surveyed by about 3 people who divided the town up between them.

Maps and coloured pens will be provided by the council so you can mark on relevant information

If you can volunteer to survey a town, or part of a town, please let
me know and I'll pass on your name and email address to the Council
Cycle Officer (Our very own Mr Tobias Bauer):

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

New Member!

Welcome to Neil Greer who joined up after tagging along on one of our Saturday runs, If you live out in the East Calder direction you might be interested in the group rides Neil and a few of his buddies organise, Have a look at the forum for more details

Neil says "At 56 I have been a life long cyclist, with the main emphasis being on touring, both on the continent and UK. A few years ago - probably inspired by a certain Mr Armstrong - I decided to get myself a dedicated road bike and have been exploring the highways and byways of West Lothian ever since, mainly in the company of an ever increasing group of like-minded locally based individuals. I am also fortunate that my wife, Julie, is also dead keen on cycling too - even more so since she acquired a Bianchi and brought her personal collection up to 4 too! And, naturally, our 2 kids are being suitably indoctrinated as well....

Currently, my bike stable consists of a 1991 Dawes Super Galaxy Tourer, a 1993 Al Carter (who's he?) Mountain bike (pre-suspension, of course!), a 2006 Giant SCR2 Triple and, my most recent acquisition, a 2009 (2008 model though) Specialized Roubaix Comp compact. As a family we have 11 bikes all together....

Apart from a general love of exploring the outdoors, my main reasons for riding these days are recreational and maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. In my view, you have to go a long way to beat the experience of doing 50-80 miles in the company of similarly minded friends who are also looking forward to the cake stops! I have participated in all 3 Etape Caledonias and would be keen to do more sportive type rides.

Aspirationally, my aims for the forthcoming year would be to stay injury free (am currently recovering from a back injury....), to be able to a regular 6-7 hours on the bike eack week, to ride more routes and to become a better climber, though at 80+ kilos that will always be a challenge!

On the few occasions we have met fellow riders from WLC we have much enjoyed the blather and fully support what you are trying to achieve. West Lothian needs a club like this - well done!"

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Marshals wanted for our first open event

Bill, who is organising our open hill climb on the 11th October is looking for 7 volunteers to help make this event a success:

2 People required at race HQ Philpstoun Community Centre for signing on ( Bob will also be there for catering duties )
1 Time keeper to support Jimmy Harris on the day
1 Pusher off at the start
1 Assistant to time keeper at the top of the hill to record times
1 Marshall at the main Linlithgow road junction to stop traffic and warn them about the event and persuade them not to use the Kingscavil road in a diplomatic fashion if at all possible, also this person will direct the competitiors towards the start
1 Marshall at the top of the hill junction to stop traffic and warn them about the event and persuade them not to use the Kingscavil road in a diplomatic fashion if at all possible, also this person will direct the competitiors towards the finish via Bridgend

Once we have the marshals sorted out it would be great to get entries from riders in the club...

Pedal for Scotland report

A few Clarionistas rode from Glasgow to Edinburgh on saturday with 8000 other riders!

Andy not only completed the ride but rode to the start and back form the finish, knocking up his first century in the process, "I started off with the intention of puting in a bit of effort and going for a 'time' but within a few hundred yards of the start I sensed that if I had done I would have missed out on so much, so I pretty much cruised along taking it all in.

It was especially nice to meet the clarionistas including Tom and his daughter who I had a good blether with. I spent a a bit of time at every feed stop sitting/standing about just watching everyone enjoy their day, which given the weather and the sense of being part of something a bit special, was just that, a bit special!

Any way including stops I was just under 4 hrs for the Glasgow / Edinburgh Part. And somewhere between 7 and 7 and a half hrs for my 103 mile round trip which was quite surprising considering how leisurely the day had been!"

On the way back I was meeting people still on their way to Edinburgh untill I got to Linlithgow, in between I passed two or three people on BMXs, a few people towing tag alongs and trailers, some with kids in and some with dogs in, and believe it or not some mad man pedaling a rickshaw, at least it was empty! There were more than a few youngsters on the ride some of which could not have been more than 10 or 11 ... Amazing!

I have to say a huge WELL DONE to all the folk that took part especially those that have probably only got on their bikes to do this event. It must have been a huge struggle to finish but finish they did. I will be doing this event and some others in future and will be doing it slower and will offer support and encouragement to everyone that I meet"

Steven said "Great weather for a good route. left around 9am from Glasgow and passed Andy, Tom & daughter at Drumpellier. Arrived at Newhaven in 2hr 49 min. Scoffed my free cereal bar and bottle of water - had a 15 min rest then turned round and cycled reverse (and passed Andy near Silverknowes as he was heading in ) route to Kingscavil and then back over to Bo'ness 72miles in total with an average of 16.5mph"

Jamie and his mate Ronnie had a blast and raised over £1300 in the process. Jamie says "We really enjoyed ourselves. The weather obviously made a huge difference to the overall experience, but excluding that, it was just great fun! We arrived at the Linlithgow loo stop in exactly 2hours and completed the full route in an astonishing (for us) 3h 35m!
Another plus was seeing Tom and his daughter and Andy early in the ride. Tom has told me he really enjoyed it."

This Sunday's club run

Andy and Mandy will be on their tandem or a steady, easy going, ride around the two bridges on Sunday, stopping off at a cafe on the way. Why not join them for the ride.
Meet at the Cross in Linlithgow for 9.00-9.15am.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Fife 50 TT report

Bob Simpson, John McComisky and second claimer Steve McCaw (riding for Bicycle Works) rode the Fife 50 TT at the weekend. Steve says "John broke his TT bike the day before the race and had to borrow a road bike with no tri bars, so he put in a huge effort. Bob didn't say much in the HQ afterwards... I think he was hurting a lot! It's a nice course, not flat by any means, the conditions were good, a very calm day but cold at the start - I could see my breath - and there was mist in the low lying fields as we warmed up!"

"I rode ok and within myself for 44 miles then just blew up totally without warning and had to roll in to the finish as best I could, I was in some state after the line, not good...though it's my second longest ride of the year so about what I deserved. Did I mention how much I hurt?"

1. Joe Wilson - SWC - 1:53:31
5. Steve McCaw - Bicycleworks - 1:59:23
33. Robert Simpson - West Lothain Clarion - 2:23:52
36. John McComisky - West Lothian Clarion - 2:25:32

September 12th Saturday ride

Club captian Andy Weaving sends in this report on Saturday's run, with the photo taken by Graham

There was 12 riders out, Lewey (New rider), Graham, Bill,Stevie, Mark, Malcolm, David, Donald, Jamie, Gary (Pedal Power) and a guy from Broxburn apologies can't remember his name.

We went a completely new route today just over 40miles, out to Westfield, Blackridge, Harthill, Forth, Braehead, Woolfords, Addiewell, Blackburn and home. We kept mostly to backroads, it was quite varied terrain with plenty of hills, the group held well together with a fairly brisk pace. There were plenty of 30 sprints the majority taken by Gary from pedal power. Needless to say the weather was fantastic and everyone seemed to have a good run and workout.

Cumberland Challenge Report

Pete Buchan sends in this report of the Cumberland Challenge he rode on 6th September:

I Did this sportive in club colours at the weekend with 4 workmates. I'd highly recommend it to club members who are a bit tired of the Etape hassle/expense and looking for a bit more support than you get on an Audax:

An easy 1.5 hr drive down the M6 to the start at Brampton just outside Carlisle. HQ at the local school with parking, showers, canteen open for breakfast and a post race beer. Full "dibber" timing system with an open 8-9am start window so clubs can organise a group start to suit themsleves.

Excellent but tough 105 mile route up to 2000ft at Hartside then a "hell of the north" cobbled ascent thro Alston , back to base for lunch then over the moors to cross the border briefly in the afternoon.

Excellent signage , marshalling and general lack of traffic on the route meant "open roads" was a non-issue. All the food/water stops were included in the £25 price and there was quality scran & drinks for everyone. Our times ranged from a blistering 6:20 by Sun's Armstrong equivalent Stephen Grant to 8:20 by my group of 3 more "social cyclists". Getting going on the bike again after the summer hols so see you out there soon I'm sure.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Helpers wanted for new local race

Falkirk bike club have put a lot of effort into getting a new style of road race organised.

Race organiser Derek Simpson from Falkirk BC says" The Team Race is a new venture for the club covering 54 miles with each team consisting of six riders counting their first 4 finishers. The race covers 9 laps of a 6 mile circuit bewtween Shieldhill and Slamannan."

Derek is looking for volunteer helpers, mainly marshals for this promising new venture and reckons that marshalling will be more interesting and exciting than usual as with 9 laps on a hilly course and the prospect of frequent breakaways there will be plenty of action.

If you can help out you'll need to be at the HQ by 10.00am. Contact Derek on 07963768384

Raced HQ is
Hall Glen Sports Centre,
Islands Crescent,
Hall Glen,
FK1 2PF.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Club Best All Rounder (BAR) Competition

This is our most prestigeous trophy, presented to the person with the highest accumulated average speed over, open, 10 mile, 25 mile, 50 mile time trails and a sportive over 100 Km.

Tobias, the race secretary, wants you to send him your best times so that he can start sorting out the BAR results.
Tobias says "Now that the cycling season comes to an end, please can all riders who are competing for the BAR post their times to me at"

For each event please submit the date it took place, which event it was, the distance, the location, and your time.

More details here:

Monday, 7 September 2009

Christmas Social and prize giving

Bob the Social secretary has organised this year's knees up and it follows the same format as last year when almost all the club managed to turn up.

This year's informal party will feature a raffle, buffet, annual trophy presentations and Scotland'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

Member's Gallery

The club has over 70 members now, so it might get difficult to remember whose who. We have a gallery section on Flicker so you can remind yourself who beat you to the 30 sign or handed you a much needed snack on a club run.

Go and have a look at the, ehm, best looking club in West Lothian here

Ross is next year's TT series coordinator

Many thanks to this year's 10 TT series champion, Ross Dewar, for volunteering to take over from Graham Foster and organsie next year's events. Graham set up the series this year and did a brilliant job in getting over 40 riders to take part in the series, many taking part in a time trial for the first time.

Ross want's to get even more people taking part more regularly next year and some changes to the format are planned. In the mean time it would be great if we could canvas members to find out what changes might inspire you to ride more often, or find out what prevented you from taking part this year. Post your comments on ths blog entry or on the TT forum thread here

National Clarion News

The latest email newsletter has been sent out by National Secretary, Ian Clarke. If you haven't received one and would like to be on the mailing list, email and title it "please send me e-call".
This month's topics are: Clarion Champs Results, cheap maps, reminder for the new jersey order, Italian Clarion, Dean Downing goes to Fenland Clarion and the Nottingham Clarion GooseFair 25 on October 3rd.

The deadline for ordering the new National Clarion jersey from Endura (you can order a variety of kit not just the jersey) is now 10th September. All the details here

The plans for the Clarion's 2010 Eastbourne Easter Meet are coming together, book your time off work for the trip down next April. Find out more details here

Through its affiliation to the CTC, the National Clarion can offer third party insurance (up to £10m) when riding a bicycle, for a fee of £12.00 annually (this is the 2009 fee, it might have changed slightly for 2010). No one is infallible - and there are times when someone on a clubrun accidentally brings a clubmate down. Most times there is not much damage but there could be. This insurance does not cover racing (BCF insurance offer that through their silver membership)
If you wish to take advantage of this facility please email Peter Roscoe, the National Clarion Treasurer, on

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Andy's Monday hill circuit

Andy Weaving is looking for riders to accompany him on a regular Monday evening circuit in the Bathgate Alpes

Andy says "The ride will be a relaxed good hilly workout and a blether, maybe refreshments at the end. Probably finish up around 8:30pm to 8:40pm. I will be there tomorrow so anybody wants to join me they are more than welcome"

Meet 7.15pm-7.30pm between the Star and Garter and Platform 3 pubs in Linlithgow

All the details on the forum here

Membership offer

The Club's 2010 membership is open, so If you join up now, you'll get an extra 4 months for free and your membership will run right through until December 2010.

Welcome to a few new members who have already taken up the offer:

Colin Humphries
Colin Humphries

Colin Says "I heard about the club through Robin from the Bike & Ski Clinic and have been posting on the forum for a few months now and it seems you guys are all pretty friendly which has made my decision to join easier.

I have two road bikes. The usual one that gets wet and one that doesn't! I've been training by myself for around a year and a half and commute as much as possible, at the moment I am doing over 100 miles per week, including 40-50 miles either on a Saturday or Sunday.

I enjoy doing out and back 10 and 20 mile TT's around my local back roads, currently doing around 20-21.5mph avg.

Joining the club would help me get fitter, faster and better at riding in a group. I like the idea of the weekly TT and also the club runs will give me a chance to experience hiding behind someone and letting them do all the work! Maybe next season I would consider taking part in some races (as long it is a dry day!)"

Steve McDonald decided to join up after coming along to a few club runs.

Jamie O'Kane took part in his first hill climb today after riding out with the club at the weekends and on tuesdays.

He says "I'm Married, no kids and run a Printing Ink Company in Livingston. I'd like to learn how to descend without scaring myself to death! Get as close to my previous fitness and enjoy my cycling to its fullest, plus, maybe take part in a TT.

I believe the Clarion has a lively 'social section' and would love to join in! and as I said to a number of members, I've found everyone so friendly and helpful.

I own a GT Arrowhead Mtb, c 2000, Trek 1400 modified, Aug 2001 and a Giant TCR (t-Mobile) June 2004.

Hill Climb & Freewheel Champs results

A strong field turned out for the club's inaugural championship up Kingscavil this morning. There was a great atmosphere on West Lothian's finest hillside, with the event well attended by marshals and supporters giving each of the 15 competitors a big cheer over the brow of the hill. Many thanks to all those who took part, the marshals, Andy, Jim, Tobias, Joe and to Bill's meticulous planning and to the families who came out to watch.

Graham Gillooly flew up the climb to set a new club course record and win the event with an outstanding 2.29. Denise Schofield won the women's event, dancing up the hill to cross the line with 4.16. Kerstin Bonau was only 30 seconds behind Denise but rode a bike which is almost too heavy to lift, it even had a kick-stand - chapeau!

There were other notable rides from, top local runner, Angus Gallie, putting in an all-out-blast to come in second; a creditable third for Matt Muir without any training and a sub 3 minute ride by Andy Hemingway with a back wheel so buckled it could've collapse any second.

Mandy Weaving thought she was out for a nice gentle ride this morning but was somehow persuaded to take part by her husband Andy. Mandy won the lantern rouge, but she did ride up the hardest hill in the Bathgate Alpes with a bike fitted with a saddle bag and mudguards!

Tom Beatie is the club's freewheel champion, winning with a stunning display of Sean Yates like descending, pipping Angus who who was second in both events and TT champ Ross Dewar to third.

After the morning's excitement a group rode down to Craigie's Farm near Dalmeny and stuffed our selves with cake and coffee as a reward for the lung busting efforts.

Thanks to Gillian for taking the great photos

West Lothian Clarion Hill Climb Champs
1. Graham Gillooly 2.29
2. Angus Gallie 2.53
3. Matt Muir 2.54
4. Andy Hemingway 2.58
5. Allan McCrimmon 3.01
6. Mark Paul 3.16
7 Ross Dewar 3.23
8 Jamie O'Kane 3.24
9 Grant Thomson 3.43
10 Dean Campbell 3.58
11 Graham Foster 4.03
12 Tom Beattie 4.16
12 Denise Schofield 4.16 (Women's Champion)
14 Kerstin Bonau 4.42
15 Mandy Weaving 8.01

West Lothian Clarion Freewheel Champs
1. Tom Beattie
2. Angus Gallie
3. Ross Dewar
4. Allan McCrimmon
5. Graham Foster
6. Denise Schofield
7. Mark Paul
8. Matt Muir
9. Andy Hemingway
10. Andy Weaving
11. Grant Thomson
12. Jamie O'Kane
13. Kerstin Bonau

Lots more being posted on the hill climb forum thread here

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Kingscavil Hill climb and Freewheel Competition

Sunday 6th September
Meet to sign on 9.00am adjacent to Kingscavil Church an unnamed road off the B9080

Google map of sign on location here


The event is a timed 0.9km hill climb which takes place on a narrow road and is open to traffic so care should be taken when making your way to the start and during the event. Once all competitors have completed the climb there will be a free wheel competition from the top of the hill opposite Kingscavil looking north (not Kingscavil)

Read terms and conditions of event

1. Sign on at dedicated marshals/starters vehicle and receive allocated competitors number
2. Make your way to the bottom of the climb
3. Wait at starting point but do not block the road
4. When asked to start move into allocated position on left hand side of the road and await starters instructions
5. Once given count down commence climb and stay on the left hand side of the road at all times, DO NOT WEAVE FROM SIDE TO SIDE ACROSS THE ROAD
6. Once you have completed the climb make sure you stay clear of the event finish line and park your bike in a safe place. Do not block the road

1. Once all competitors have completed the Hill climb the downhill free wheel competition will commence. Cranks will be tied to chainstay to prevent pedaling.
2. When instructed by the Marshall/Timekeeper please proceed to the start line of the free wheel competition at the top of the climb closest to KIngscavil church, not Kingscavil Hill
3. Once given instruction to leave the dedicated starting line you must keep to the left hand side of the road during the descent
4. When your bike comes to a stand still after the descent, Mark where you stopped with the chalk provided and initial it.
5. Once you have made the mark please move to the side of the road out of the way of other competitors and collect in the layby after the bridge
6. Do not ride back up the hill towards fellow competitors as this could prove dangerous given the narrow width of the road.

2-up TT results

The last club 10 TT was run as a 2-up on Thursday. The change of format went down well with those racing and although it rained conditions were good with just a slight head-wind on the return leg. McComomisky's and Sinclair's team time trail training has turned them into a well oiled unit and put in one of the best performances of the year, pipping riders who are faster than them on paper. Mark Ewing, one half of the winning team even rode the event with mudguards.

Many thanks to Arthur, MIke and Andy for doing the marshalling and time keeping duties.

1st M Ball and M Ewing 25.02
2nd J McComisky and C Sinclair 25.47
3rd B Young and S MacDowall 25.50
4th A Gallie and A Hemmingway 26.58
5th A mcCrimmon and D Campbell 28.16
6th G Gillooly and S Fraser 28.31

Angus said"Another wee 'de ja vu' experience for me this year, riding a two up.My old club thru' in the west used to run a hilly open one early season. It was one of my favourite events (got a second place twice with different partners!).
I think big Andy 'enjoyed' his first experience of it. He rode well and was kind enough not to drop me! We both appreciated big John's comment about the 'Belgian toothpaste' experience on a wet night.
The cycle of pain came flooding back to me.

P - Panic. He's going thru like a train, I'm gonna get drapped .
R - Recover. This is actually ok sitting here, I'll maybe leave it just a wee bit longer.
A - Anticipate. Guilt feelings,I'd better get thru.
I.S.E. - Intense,Sustained Effort. Aaaaargh!