Sunday, 28 February 2010

Saturday Run from LInlithgow

Club run 287th!

9.00am on Saturday at the Sports Centre: Quite a contrast from last week's big turnout! Clarion riders sensibly stayed in bed instead of going on the club run

But just round the corner from the meeting point, new member David Mason, had braved the snow and was out for an off-road ride with his son Cameron...

The masons

Friday, 26 February 2010

Weekend club runs

The club run details can be found on our main website:

Saturday Club Runs:
1. Two different paced groups (Active and Social) start at the Linlithgow Sports centre at 9.00am.
2. Another Social Ride leaves the East Calder Sports Centre at 8.30am

Sunday Club Run: Meet at the Cross in Linlithgow for 9.00am for a Social ride.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Your club needs you!

Like any voluntary organisation, we can only put on events if we get support from all our members. Past examples like the RadTour, the 10 TT series, the hill climb and the prize giving night show that we can organise even biggish events if we get volunteers who are prepared to help out.

This year is not different and here is a short list of upcoming events for which we still need volunteers:

Bike jumble (28 February)
Tea/coffee making
Washing up/clearing up
Baking cakes for the day

RadTour (14 March)
Baking cakes/prepare other healthy and nourishing snacks

Open TT (16 May)
A co-organiser is still needed to support me in the planning on the event and be available on the day
Marshalling the Cambusbarron course
Help with the running the race HQ at Cambusbarron Hall
Preparing food/drinks

10 TT series (Thursdays 13th May to 5th August)
Pushing off
Time keeping

Please do not rely on others to come forward. We need your help, too. It is your club after all.

If you would like to help out email club President, Tobias on: bauert[AT]

Sunday run report

Sunday run regular Allan McCrimmon sent in this report:

The route i had in mind went out the window as the back roads were a little icy. There were six riders out today, Denis, Col, Eve, Lorne, Debbie and I. We opted for the two bridges route and set of at a steady 16mph.

The weather was fantastic with sunshine and blue skies, although it was a little chilly in the shade. As the sunday run is a social ride we agreed to stop for a coffee and cake at Couros. Some of us had forgotten there wallets so many thanks to Eve for paying and saving us from washing the dishes!

This was Debbie's longest ride so far and she struggled a little but the cake and tea gave her a second wind, which got her back home, well done Debbie.

Eve was looking very strong today so we rode up to Faucheldean, Ochiltree and Ricarton farm to add some pain and finish her off! Well done Eve you get stronger every week.

The average speed today, taken from denis's trusty bike computer, was 14.5 mph and distance was 45 miles, although probably nearer 70 for Col as he had cycled out from bonny bridge. Thanks to everyone who turned up today good ride everyone.

After recovering Debbie said "Great run this morning - thanks everyone for your patience and encouragement and especially for agreeing to the cafe stop, without which I may have had to pull the "puncture trick". Thanks Eve for treating everyone. After leaving the group at Winchburgh I took my time, getting home about 1ish. At the end, my computer said 57miles and 13.5mph, which beats my previous longest run (last week with the East Calder Crew) by almost 20 miles"

All our rides information here:

East Calder Saturday run

Neil Lovette send in this report from the east Calder run:

A pre-chilled group of six met at East Calder Sports Centre at 08:30 on Saturday, and after some debate on the routes which may or not be iced, headed out west through Mid Calder and along the A71 before turning south at Bellsquarry. Although temperatures were sub-zero, the morning sunshine provided a little heat. However, as we approached Pates Hill and then Auchegray beyond we disappeared into freezing fog, where temperatures fell to -6C. The roads were pretty much ice free, but the same could not be said for us riders who sported various amounts of frosted coatings.

As we approached Carnwath we broke out of the fog, and stopped at the Apple Pie cafe for some welcome hot drinks and cakes/bacon rolls. Heading east back along the Lang Whang we rode through glorious sunshine, with superb views of iced covered hills and forests. All in all we covered approximately 40 chilly miles.

All club run information here:

Saturday Run from LInlithgow

Saturday Run 20th Feb 2010

19 riders rolled up to the sports centre in Linithgow at 9.00am. The group was split into a larger active group of 13 and a smaller social group of 6 riders.

Andy in the Active group sends in this report:
A fantastic turnout today, I think 19 is a record turnout for a club run. The groups headed out together and then split into social/active groups at Bridgend. I went on the active ride for a change, with 12 others. The roads we travelled weren't too icy, apart from some white frost in places, especially through Almondell park.

Once we got up onto the Lang Wang we had a bit of a chain gang session down to the West Calder junction. It was a great workout, a bit tight on my fixed wheel but enjoyable! I had around 42 miles when I got back, including the run over in the morning from my home in Bathgate.

If we get that number of riders out on a day when our water bottles are icing up , who knows how many will be out on hotter day!

Neil Fraser, also on the Active ride said "I really enjoyed today's run - well I enjoyed it once we'd safely passed all the icy/snowy bits! It was such a great day to be out on the bike that I didn't want to go home, so I detoured by Dalmeny on my way back to Bo'ness."

The Knock 20/02/10

Social Group
Matt lead the social group and thoroughly enjoyed the ride and said "It was nice cycling without getting hot and bothered at the social pace, much easier to take in the country side on this clear but cold morning"

"We could see the Active group in the distance as we rode up the hill at Bridgend but lost sight after we stopped to regroup at the top."

"Because of all the road closures and icy lanes, we ended up picking our own route around West Lothian: Faucheldean, Broxburn (Kevin pointed out a Herbies Bikes on Greendykes Road, a shop that warrants a proper visit I think) Along the A89 and then, left, onto the back roads to Pumpherston and to Bathgate."

"At Bathgate the group split, Andy, Jim and Ewan headed home via Torphichen and Dick, Kevin, Dean and I rode over the Knock for some descent views of the Forth valley."

Ewan said "I had a really enjoyable morning out. The social group ride flew by as it was good to get time to chat to people and I didn't even notice the first hour and a bit. It'll be nice to be out one day without getting frozen toes, but if the trade off is a beautiful clear day like Saturday , then it's probably a price worth paying!"

All our club run information can be found on the main website here:

Friday, 19 February 2010

Bike Jumble

The club will hold a bike jumble on Sunday 28 February, from 10am to 2pm at Chalmers Hall, Linlithgow Bridge, Linlithgow.

Whether you'd like to sell those rusty old pedals that have been sitting in your garage for ages or your brand-new carbon TT bike. Just bring it along and see whether you can find a buyer for it.

Because it is the first ever bike jumble, we don't charge for entry or stalls this time. All we ask for is a donation toward the cost of the hall hire and a few pennies for the club kitty.

Refreshments will be available.

Open to all except commercial sellers. It is recommended you book a space beforehand, for more details email the organiser Tobias Bauer on bauert[AT]

Why not pop in for a cuppa if you are passing by

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ride with the Clarion on Sundays

A steady social ride of around 45 miles leaves the Cross in Linlithgow every Sunday at 9.00am. Groups of 4 or 5 have been riding out since the new year, with Allan McCrimmon leading the way. Why not come along on our club run around the local lanes?

To find out more about our Social rides, go to our main website here:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tom Groom Trophy winners (again)


The West Lothian Clarion have won the Tom Groom Trophy for the second year in a row. This prestigious award is given to the National Clarion's most meritorious section.

Congratulations to all our members!

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.

Congratulations to the other winners of Clarion Merit awards:

Clubman - Bill Childs - Sunderland Clarion
Clubgirl - Maggie McPhillips - Stockport Clarion
Most meritorious junior - George Smee - Fenland Clarion
Best Novice - not claimed

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Next Social: Monday 15th in Mid Calder

We meet up on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. Come along and chat about the weekend's riding, swap dvds and books and plan your next big event.

First Monday of the month
8.30pm The Four Marys on Linlithgow Hight Street

Third Monday of the month
8.30pm the Black Bull, Mid Calder

See you there!

Hello Ken

Ken Ord
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Another rider from the East Calder Crew joins up this week, Welcome to new member Ken Ord.

Ken Says: "I was a keen mountain biker during university here until I moved to London and seven years there saw me get married, buy a house and have a child but not touch a bike."

"The family moved back to Scotland and a neighbour I took Munro bagging persuaded me to start riding again. My first choice was a mountain bike, a bog standard Specialized Hardrock Pro, but I spent all the time on the road so early last year I resolved to get a real bike. A long planned cycle from Livingston to Aberdeen over the Summer now looked like a possibility."

"After much deliberation I chose a Van Nicholas Amazon prepared for me by Big Al at Wheelcraft. During the spring I got involved with the cycling effort at Sky and joined other staff on the Polkadot Challenge in the Peak District. This was my first experience at riding in a group and I liked it."

"I cycled 150 miles to Aberdeen in June over two days, heavily loaded with camping gear and taking a hilly route. An injury on the way there stopped me returning on the bike, but nevertheless I was hooked. In the autumn I met you guys for the first time on the President's Run and now meet for the East Calder social ride as often as I can."

"This year I'm joining 100 other Sky staff to do the Etape du Tour, and take part in the Etape Caledonia, the Trossachs Ton and more, perhaps even the new Etape Hibernia."

"Training programmes for us are being planned by the pro-team coaches. Sky have also asked me to be a ride administrator so I'll organise information for routes, calendars, training and such for the other riders. Lots of responsibility and I expect I'll be leading rides with the dozen Scottish staff Sky has on the programme, and perhaps members of the public on Sky Rides too.

"Recently I led a ride consisting of Sky and Clarion riders from East Calder which all the Sky participants greatly enjoyed, and it convinced me to get my WLC membership."

Get out for a social Sunday run

Allan sends in his report from Sunday's Valentines day club run. "There were three riders out today, me Denis and newbie shaun. We had already decided on the two bridges route, which we rode with a few variations compared to the normal route"

"We started by going up and over the Flints to Boness, just to warm the legs and finished the ride by popping over to Blackness, then up to the Bonsyde Hotel and then dropping back down into linlithgow at sun microsystems."

"We rode at a good pace and stayed together well, even clocking 29mph on the town's speed monitor going into cairneyhill. The weather was fantastic with hardly a breath of wind, when we crossed the forth bridge the water was millpond flat.

"A great ride thanks to Denis and Shaun, It would be great to see more Clarion members out on our Sunday morning Social ride."

Denis said "It was a really enjoyable run today. The distance was 43 miles with a 16 mph average. That last hill was a bit of a leg burner!"

All the ride details here:

Saturday 13th Club runs

Saturday ride 13th Feb

Both groups set off separately on the Dalmeney loop that Andy had posted on the forum. We decided to avoid the rough stuff at Hopetoun House and rode the whole way on the B roads.

Four riders were out on the Social run (Tobias, Michelle, Dean and Jim) and I think 11 on the Active ride (Craig, Jamie, Donald, Simon, Graham, Gary from Pedal Power, Neil, Col, Me and joined later by Stevie and Bill)

We rode steadily down to the Dalmeny Estate, via Blackness, Philpstoun, Kirkliston and Winchburgh. The group rode cohesively with slick changeovers on the front. On the hill out of the Estate Simon and Graham pressed on at the front splitting the pack but we waited and regroup at the top. Average speed to this point was 18mph.

As we chatted and refuelled, we met 2 members of a new women's cycling club based in Edinburgh, they cracked on towards the Forth Bridge and we headed to South Queensferry where Bill and Stevie joined us.

The way back to Linlithgow is predominantly up hill, we took a route to the north of Kirkliston and down to Hopetoun and then headed up the Steps, over the canal and railway bridges before stopping to to regroup at the junction with the 10TT course.

With Bill on the front we took the B8046 into the Alpes at the Three Mile Town, the pace steadily rose as we motored up past the top of Kingscavil before, those still in the group, went their separate ways.

Bill said "Stevie and I couldn't make the start but we rode today's, pre-determined route. in reverse to catch the bunch. This is an advantage to anyone that wants to hook up with the group during a ride because the routes are published in advance on the forum"

"A great ride at a reasonable pace and everyone stayed fairly well together within the group, so for an active ride I thought it worked very well."

Tobias led the Social group and said "Dean, Michelle and I met Jim near Tesco and persuaded him to join us. We followed the standard route along the B9080 to Dalmeny, through the estate and back via Dundas Castle and Philpstoun. I didn't have a computer but I think the average speed was about 14mph. Good coherent group and I was particularly impressed with Dean who hadn't been on a bike since September."

"There were fewer members out than usual on Saturday, mainly due to the school holidays" says Keir Bradie. Debbie, Ian Keir and Steve met in the sub-zero temperature at the East Calder Sports Centre at 8:30am.

Keir continues "It was agreed to stay on low main roads, due to the temperature and risk of ice. Making for Linlithgow we skirted through Livingston, navigated by Steve, on a tour of the town's bike paths appreciating avoiding the A71."

"Back on tarmac, we made for West Calder and over the back road to Bathgate. We skirted the Bathgate Alps, taking the lowland route out of Bathgate, past the Sports Centre and onto Torphichen. By now the first, almost warming, rays of sun were picking us out, the ride was most pleasant."

"The decent from Torphichen into Linlithgow was fun, as ever, a bit of over exuberant braking by Steve on his Boardman bike, saw his back wheel attempt to overtake his front, but it was collected without an off!

"Into Linlithgow and the usual teas, hot choc and cakes at the Cross. It was cold heading back outside, but the drag up to Winchburgh on the TT course started to warm us up. We saw marshals from Edinburgh Road Club clearing some warning signs after their Duathalon that morning."

"Right hand turn at Winchburgh and left round Niddry Castle, then over the A89 and into the farm roads towards Almondell, legs tired but sun in our faces."

Ian, Debbie and Steve all heading to Mid Calder & Belsquarry, I headed back along the Drumshoreland Road, I returned to Kirknewton through Almondell. A great day, gentle speed, average 13mph, 35miles for me, probably nearer 40 for the other three."

All the ride details here:

Congratulations Mike and Laura

Mike Ewart
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Congratulations to our top 30-sign sprinter, Mike and his partner Laura who had twins (Adam and Ryan) last Friday,

Mke says: "Just wanted to share my news of 2 new Clarion members to be - I am now the proud father of twins boys (Adam and Ryan) who were born early Friday morning."

"It was a bit of a suprise to myself and Laura as they were only 31 weeks so just a wee bit premature (!), and quite a roller coaster of a couple of days as the doctors and midwives tried to figure out what was going on, but it looks as though teh wee blighters were determined to get out into the world."

"Both Laura and the twins are doing away ok, but I think it will be quite a few weeks until the boys can come home so reckon I'll be a bit of a stranger to the bike for the forseeable."

"Anyway - off to bed for some well earned sleep..."

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Treasure in the attic

Treasure in the Attic 3

Two Clarion race medals from the 1930s have been discovered in a club member's attic. The medals belonged to Col Humphries's Grandfather, Willie Humphries. Col knew his grandfather liked to ride a bike on holiday, but had no idea that Willie raced in time trials.

One of the medals was won in an open event and the other in a club confined event. This probably indicates Col is following in his Grandfather's footsteps, by joining the Clarion eighty years later.

Col who stays in Falkirk, says "I'm really chuffed that my mum found these. I never really knew my Granpa because he died when I was young. He was a quiet man and didn't talk about his past, my Gran certainly never mentioned anything about his racing. I knew he enjoyed cycling but believed he just pottered about on holiday. I think the War changed him and don't know if he carried on cycling seriously afterwards."

Willie Humphries was born in 1914, and would've been 18 when he won the medals. His times are quick, especially considering 1930's bicycle technology. One medal was awarded to the first novice, for riding a 25TT in 1.13.50. The other awarded to the second fastest rider overall, for a time of 1.07.45 in a club confined 25TT.

Col says "It's nice to find a piece of family history and I would like to find out more about the medals' background, so if anyone has any more information on my Grandpa, Willie Humphries, please get in touch"

The discovery has encouraged Col to try and emulate Willie "I am now inspired to win something of my own. So watch out for me in this year's club 10TT series!"

Treasure in the Attic 2
Treasure in the Attic 1

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Fill that hole

Local councils have a duty to ensure roads are maintained, but if they don’t know about a pothole, they can’t fill it in. So if you want to get it repaired, you have to report it. CTC, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, is asking all road users to report potholes and hazards on thier website,

The CTC contact the right people for you to get the roads repaired. Anecdotally, they know that the majority of potholes reported are filled quickly

Reporting potholes can make cycling safer for everyone.

Hello West Lothian

Lewy Parkinson
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Lewy Parkinson has been out on a few club runs, stretching the other riders' legs and he joined up earlier this year.

Lewy says:

"Ever since I was a kid I've been cycling, basically to get away from my parents (only kidding mum) and see the sights and sounds of Tayside. It was only really after I left uni and was living in London did I start to ride a lot more. I bought a Marin Rocky Ridge and used this to do some off road trails and basically get as far away from London as possible on the weekend."

"When I moved back to Edinburgh I bought a Felt Q820 hardtail, a lovely bike but I mainly to used it to commute on. I moved out to Linlitghow a couple of years ago and last year I started to commute to Edinburgh in preparation for a charity challenge to cycle to Manchester in 2 days."

"The first day of the ride was my first ton but loved it even though it was raining and we had 20+ mph headwinds all the way. Ever since I've been hooked on the road. I've been out on a few weekend rides and really looking forward to the warmer (dryer) weather and more miles. I'm also determined to win a sprint for the 30 at least once!"

"I'm really looking forward to this years riding. I've entered my first couple of sportives, the Etape Caledonian and the Cairngorm 100 and hopefully I'll have time to enter the TT series all in preparation for my main goal completing the Etape du Tour in July."

"I need to lose a fair few pounds and get some distance and hills in my legs so any training tips/ routes will be gratefully received! I'm currently riding a 2009 Focus Cayo and soon a Ribble Audax I'll be using to commute on."

Welcome to the Clarion Lewy

Monday, 8 February 2010

Hello Clarionistas

Stuart Andrew
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Stuart Andrew joined up last year, this is his story:

I’ve cycled on and off for years, mainly commuting and (cowardly) mountain biking. I started road cycling this summer when we moved to Linlithgow, to fit some decent exercise round family committments. I’ve been enjoying exploring the Bathgate alps, which seem to have everything from bings to llamas. I’d definitely say I’m in the ‘slow and steady’ category.

My road bike is a Felt F75. I also have a Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike which is showing its age. A bit like its rider.

I’ve entered this year’s Etape Caledonia so I’m hoping to get as many miles in as I can before then – I’m due for a humiliation on the Mam Ratagan at the end of March. Also hoping to get out on a few more club runs, including the Radtour. And get round the hairpins on Preston Road a bit faster.

East Calder Saturday ride report

Neil Greer sends in this report about the weekend's run out of East Calder:

After all the bad weather in January the EC Social Group finally managed to gather for the 1st ride of 2010. 5 of us met up at the Sports Centre (myself plus Neil Lovett, Grant Craven, Steve ( a colleague of Grant's ) and new Clarion member Ian Robertson from Mid Calder), After some discussion we decided to join up with Ken Ord and 4 of his work colleagues who were meeting at Hermiston (5 miles East) for their 1st day's training for a team from Sky who are entered into the Etape du Tour. As none of us had done any serious riding for several weeks a "gentle leg spin" was the agreed order for the day...

Shortly after 9 we therefore set off into the mist and headed via the back lanes to Ratho and over the climb towards Wilkieston (1st Puncture for Ian...) then through Newbridge to Wynchburgh where we headed West towards Linlithgow along the TT route. Banter was good, the pace steady and the group stayed together well. Stopped after 22 miles for the "compulsory cake stop" at the Park Bistro at c 10.30.

10 hot chocolates later we decided to head back toward Bridgend then go up Kingscavil; this was the 1st time for me, so took the opportunity to get up a good head of steam on the downhill approach - only to puncture right on the bridge! Was someone trying to tell me something? We then headed West towards the Knock only for Ian to puncture for the second time after just a few miles.....Undeterred and repaired we resumed the approach to the Knock where visibility deteriorated but road surfaces - grit aside - were still safe (if you avoided the potholes, of course...).

After the descent into Bathgate we then headed towards Livingston where, despite all the roundabouts, managed to ride chain-gang style for a few miles, upping the pace. Peeled off towards Pumpherston then at Mid Calder some of the group headed home while the rest either returned to East Calder or Hermiston. All in all about 40 miles at about 14 mph; thoroughly enjoyable, but a "gentle leg spin" over those climbs - don't think so....! "

All our rides information can be found here:

Hello West Lothian Clarion

Dave Hills

Dave Hills joined up at the last Linithgow Social and has already been out on one or two club runs, here is his story:

I started cycling about about 6 years ago when my knees and ankles suggested that my amateur football days were well and truly over. My first time on a road bike was during a week in the Vercours in France which is close to Grenoble. Needless to say I got the bug and not knowing anything about the best bikes or equipment, went straight out and bought an all-black Cannondale R700, solely because it looked good. I also have a fair weather bike after I invested in a Specialzed Roubaix Pro which comes out in the warmer climes (so not very often).

My cycling claims to fame are at both ends of the spectrum. I wrote an article which was published in Cycling Weekly in January 2008 in the "Killer Climb Section", from Linlithgow to Cairnpapple, only because I was fed up reading about killer climbs in Kent that were only 100 yards long. My worst day on a bike was when I went over the handlebars on the cobbled section out-side the Four Mary's in Linlithgow. My cleats were too tight and the bike smashed into my face, resulting in 8 stitches under my eye and a broken collar bone.

Despite not being the fastest climber in the world, my conquests include Tourmalet, Port de Bales, Alpe D'huez, Galibier, Izoard, Mount Teide and the hardest of them all, Ventoux. I am what they call, a plodder. With the big 5-0 approaching next year, my targets this year are more modest but include the Etape Caledonia and the Ariegoise in June which finishes at the top of Plateau de Beille. You may also spot me at various charity events including Drumlanrig Castle and the Cat & Fiddle, that is if my wife and kids let me out !

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Next group riding skills session

Group Skills 1

Boost your confidence when riding with others on a club run, in a sportive or road race. Come along to our group riding skills session, we'll run through a variety of drills to help you ride effectively and cohesively with others

If you are interested email us.

Arthur was at the last session and said "I thought it was a really good, relaxed and informative session. I learned and practised a whole load of new skills over the hour"

Date Sunday 21st March
Time 6.30pm.
Location Mill Road Industriual Estate, Linlithgow Bridge.
Bring cycling shoes and trainers, warm clothing
Don't use your best wheels or lovely carbon fibre racer!
The location is lit but bring LED lights

Boots & Spurs

Boots & Spurs
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

The latest Boots & Spurs, the National Clarion magazine, has been published. WLC members, If it hasn't dropped through your letter box, let us know and we'll make sure you get one.

Get insured

Cyclists who are not members of another club and on their first ride out with the Clarion, are covered under the club's third party liability insurance. All other cyclists are not covered.

We strongly encourage all club members to take advantage of the Clarion's reduced cost CTC 3rd party insurance or make similar insurance arrangements, such as BCF membership.

The National Clarion as a result of affiliation to the CTC are now able to offer third party insurance (up to £10m) when riding a bicycle for a fee of £12.00 annually (between 6 and 12 months initially) or £8.00 for half a year or less.

If you wish to take advantage of this facility email us or fill out the form in the latest National Clarion magazine (Boots & Spurs)

The Clarion/CTC insurance does not cover you for racing but does cover you for all other road riding (including commuting and Audaxes)

For more information on BCF membership go to

Sunday Run 7th Feb

Sunday Run 7th Feb

Allan sent in this week's report about the Sunday's run:

"There were four clarion members out this morning, Denis, Eve Neil and I and we kept it pretty local: Philpstoun, Hopetoun Estate, Queensferry, Dalmeny Estate, Kirkliston and Whinchburgh."

"Neil had a spectacular blow out at Dalmeny which ripped the sidewall of his tyre, he was unable to continue and had to phone for the emergency services (his wife) to come and collect him. The rest of the group continued and had a good tailwind all the way back to Linlithgow. Ride time was about 2 & a half hours, not sure on milage but I think Denis will post up as he had a computer."

The Sunday run looks like it has attracted a good core of ridrers, why not get out and swell the ranks of this social ride.

All the club run information here:

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Linlithgow club run, Saturday 6th Feb

Saturday run 6th Feb

14 met up in the rain at Linlithgow Sports Centre: New member, Dave, first timer Sean, 2nd timer Neil and the usual crowd: Andy H., Bill, Stevie, Neil, Simon K. Angus, Sadiq, Graham, Jamie, Mike and Matt.

We headed out to Muiravonside at a steady pace but Dave and Sean were struggling to stay with the group, so we decided to spilt into the Social and Active rides at the Roundabout.

We then headed up to Slammanan and Longriggend, the group rode cohesively and there were good changeovers on the front, so the majority got a chance to set a steady but decent pace. A couple of riders yo-yo-ed off the back of the active group when the gradient increased.

At Longriggend we regrouped, had a quick blether then set off back towards Avonbridge. We passed Sean and Dave going the other way at Limerigg and gave the Sociable duo a wave. Bill then set a faster pace on the front and Stevie, Andy, Mike, Simon, Graham and I followed. As we approached the outskirts of Avonbridge, no one could stay with Mike 'Cavendish' as he blasted past to reach the 30 sign first. The sprint was a bit like the last stage of the 2009 TDF. Like Mark, our Mike was about 5 or 6 bike lengths out in front.

After the sprint the group split with the majority heading home towards Linlithgow via Torphichen but Andy, Graham, sadiq and I made our way to Blackridge to ride a few more miles.

A great turn out for such a grey, wet day, and it was good to meet Sean.

Dave Hills sends this Social Group report "As we gathered at Linlithgow sports centre on Saturday morning there were high hopes that the two newcomers, Dave and Sean, would be able to stick in with the Active group by hanging on at the back. The turbo sessions had been going well since the festive over indulgence and no one had dropped us yet in our garages!"

These illusions were shattered before we even had time to warm up, as the group left Linlithgow and proceeded to climb out past Muiravonside Park and on towards Avonbridge. Despite the best attempts by Matt to keep the group together, the pace was just too fast when the road started to climb any more that 2%."

"The inevitable decision was taken to split the group and it was a matter of minutes before the active group disappeared into the mist around Standyburn. Slowly we warmed up and the pace picked up as we carried on through Avonbridge, California, Shieldhill, Slamannan and Limerigg."

"On the road to Caldercruix we even passed the active group coming the other way. At Caldercruix we turned left onto the A89 towards Armadale and back to Linlithgow. All in all, about 35 miles at 16 mph."

"Sean and I concluded that if there was ever a race that combined flat stretches with downhill then we just might enter."

All our rides information can be found here:

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Jonathan joins up

Jonathan Buckley
Originally uploaded by westlothianclarion

Blackburn based Jonathan joined up in January and says "I've been riding with the Clarion on the Saturday runs since December 2007. My first love is mountain biking and I used to compete on the SCU XC series in my youth. Nowadays I tend to ride on the road more since moving to West Lothian in 2004."

"This season I intend to compete in the Scottish MTB XC series, The TT league and participate in Clarion rides through the year, I may even try a road race or two, who knows?"

Monday, 1 February 2010

New member!

Lorne Callaghan

Welcome to Lorne Callaghan who joined up last week, here is his story:

I’ve always enjoyed road cycling since being enthralled by the Greg Lemond – Lauren Fignon battle that was the 1989 Tour. However I am ashamed to say that as soon as I passed my driving test in 1992, I didn’t have anything to do with bikes for another 12 years.

I returned to cycling in 2004 when my wife Liz and I moved out to Linlithgow for the birth of my son, William. I had been playing American Football for the Edinburgh Wolves and topped the scales at 20stones, but with family commitments, I needed to find a way of losing the weight without spending hours in the gym. I bought a cheap Raleigh town bike and began commuting to work in Edinburgh, taking the train home with the bike in the evenings. As the weight fell off I began to rekindle the passion I had once had as a child and started to ride longer distances.

I entered Pedal for Scotland in 2006, after buying a Specialized Tri-Cross and completed the ride in just over three hours. Rode this again in 2007 and 2008 before deciding to set my targets a little further for 2009, when I signed up for Action Medical Research’s London to Paris trip. In preparation for this, I also entered the Trossachs Ton, completing it in 7 hours (6 hours 10mins ride time) and regularly rode variations of the Two Bridges route on weekends, followed by a busy day of looking after my daughter, Sara born March 09. London to Paris itself was a great experience and I got in with a good pace-line which saw our daily average speed increasing from 16mph on day 1 to 20mph on the final day into Paris.

I am planning a return to Paris in 2011, but this year will concentrate on the Etape Caledonia (May), the Trossachs Ton (June) and the new Cross Border 100 (September). I also hope to be competitive in the club time-trials.

In addition to the Specialized Tri-cross, I have a 2009 Specialized Allez Elite and recently splashed out on the Specialized Tri-cross Singlecross with a fixed gear for my winter commuting.