Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Network Rail have unexpectedly started work on a railway bridge on our new Limerigg TT circuit.

We had planned to start using it this Thursday but will now revert back to the usual Bridgend-Kirkliston route.

Organiser Steven Fraser says: "In view of this development the TT event will revert to Bridgend-Kirkliston course for Week 7 (1st July) and Week 8 (8th July) and the position will be reviewed at that point".

I'll try to update the website details asap but have limited web access at the moment

Sign on at the bridgend Layby at 7.00-7.15pm
TT starts 7.30pm



Saturday, 26 June 2010

Linlithgow Velodrome

Billy And Rab from West Lothian Council marked out the pursuit track at Springfiled Primary, ready for the Bike Fun Day on 27th June between 12 and 4pm.

The straights are 25m long and the bends 50m long and the unofficial track record is 21.45 seconds!

There will be Go-Ride cycle speedway, Keirin, pursuit and team sprint races taking place, primarily for kids . But There'll also be time for members of West Lothian Clarion to come along and try a few races too. What's more it's all free!

Many thanks to West Lothian Council and the guys for doing a great job.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Last Bridgend 10TT of the series

John Michael Howison

Thursday 24th sees the last, TT this year, on the Bridgend-Kirkliston course before the series moves to a new circuit from week

The race will be a one-off 'pacing challenge' where riders estimate their time before the race and then try to match that time without the aid of any computers. The winner will be the rider closest to their estimated time. Everyone has a chance to win and gain points for the season long TT series.

It will be the last chance to get a PB on Bridgend-Kirkliston course so come along and test yourself against the clock

Bike Fun Day Sunday 27th June

Linlithgow Bike Fun Day

Julie snatches gold at Scottish track champs

West Lothian Clarion track specialist, Julie Dominguez from East Calder picked up a silver and gold medal at the Scottish Track Championships in Dundee on Saturday.

Julie came second in the 10km bunch or 'Scratch' race using sheer power to win the sprint for silver after gold medalist Fiona Duncan had jumped away to win by a lap.

Julie went one better in the Keirin race. An event made famous by Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton at the Olympics. On the gun, riders jostle for position behind a motorcycle (called a derney) and get paced to speeds in excess of 40mph. When the derney peels off the track, with about two laps to go, the race turns into a free for all, where anything can happen as the sprinters hammer round the track to the finish.

Julie dominated her competitors by hitting the front with a lap and a half to go, no one had the speed to pass her before the finish line.

Julie said "The motorbike speeds up on everylap until it peels off - I was in first place so I kept control of the pace, checking over my shoulder until a lap to go - I could see someone jump so I sprinted and flew! I won with a bike length!"

Club members were also out in force competing in time trials, road races and sportive challenge rides

Lothian Flyer Road Race
Jonathan Buckley from Blackburn continued his great form by getting 6th place in the Lothian Flyer road race, organised by Edinburgh Road Club, near Peebles on Saturday

The course consisted of three parts, a steady climb, fast downhill with some tricky turns and a final lumpy section into the prevailing wind. There were seven 10.5 km laps. At the end of the last lap riders were sent up an additional steep and narrow 500m climb to the finish line.

Jonathan said "I spent most of the race at the front trying to keep out of harms way and in position for the mountain sprints on lap 3 and 5."

During the third lap, club mates, Graham Gilhooly and Simon Kenney joined Jonathan at the front of the bunch to push the pace and break up the group.

Jonathan remained at the front to the end and said "No-one broke away until the final 500m climb, where a hectic sprint raged to the finish. The road was quite narrow and I had to ride on the grass verge to get passed some riders! I had a strong finish and managed 6th"

Simon Kenney, Graham Gilhooly, Stevie McDowall, Bill Young and Craig Marshall finished in the bunch

On Sunday club members rode the 100 mile Trossocks ton challenge ride over some of the Scotland's most demanding terrain
Denis McFadden from Linlithgow said "It was a brilliant event yesterday made all the better by the comapny and the weather and there was a really good tunout from the club which was great to see

David McTurk was pretty chuffed to find his ride a faster time than last year even though he stopped to help a rider who punctured.

David said "It was my second attempt and really enjoyed it again, especially as I knocked seven minutes off my time from last year, the sun was beating down going up Crow Road, which made the climb just that little bit more challenging.

Linda McTurk said "This was my first event and I have to say everything about it was great - especially the feed stops! It was well organised, plenty of marshals and signage. We couldn't have asked for better weather. However, going up Crow Road the sun was beating down with almost no breeze!

Also on Sunday Steven Fleming, Shaun Heard and Grant Craven rode the Edinburgh to St Andrews LEPRA charity ride, What's more they even rode back the following day! Grant said "We stayed over and cycled back, retracing route through fife, getting fried in the sun but at least I now have a true cyclists tan!"

Monday, 21 June 2010

Club 10TT champs Round 5

Last Thursday was an excellent evening for riding a TT and it shows in the times with a few PB's in round 5 of the club TT series. Jonathan Buckley even managed to knock a few seconds off the course record, which means every round of the series produced record times!
John Michael Howison's third place moves him into first place overall in the season long competition

This Thursday is the last TT on the Kirkliston course - a Pacing Challenge where computers are banned!
But the event won't go ahead unless someone volunteers to time keep. Please visit the forum to put your name down.

Round 5
J Buckley 22:17
S McCaw 22:37
J Howison 25:27
A McCrimmon 26:04
R Heyes 27:12
N Fraser 27:34
G Craven 27:42
T Beattie 28:21
D Campbell 28:42
S Andrews 30:27
B Mackie 31:49

G Foster DNF

S Fraser Time keeper
A Gallie Pushing Off

Dawn Sunday 20th June: Near Berwick Upon Tweed

First reports back from the intrepid Clarionistas who rode, through the night, to Berwick Upon Tweed, at the weekend are full of enthusiasm for nocturnal riding. Stephen, Andy, Paul, Neil, Melwin and Mark arrived at Berwick for 7.00am, three of them even attempted to carry on to Holy Island.

Vetran night rider, Melwin Antony said "The ride was brilliant. We all rode together all the way. The weather was great for cycling (But we had to wear some extra clothes on the route as temperature dropped) I personally enjoyed the ride, all group members were looking out for each other and made sure all were fine in all stages.

The hills seemed to be bigger and bigger this year. Paul was very good at navigation, I tried to help but some pitch black cycle paths puzzled me, even though I had ridden last year!

We had a great breakfast in Berwick (a big traditional one). Hope fully I'll ride again next year ...

I was back at work on next day, I had a good sleep on the night after the ride and felt rejuvenated! "

Night ride 2010 1
Night ride 2010 3
Night ride 2010 4
Night ride 2010 2

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The next 7 days...

A busy week ahead, starting with round 5 of the club's 10TT series Tonight.
Organiser Steven Fraser will lay flowers at the site where a drunk driver killed a cyclist on Saturday.
Details: Click here

On Saturday and Sunday We'll have the usual club runs from East Calder and Linlithgow
Details: Click here

Seven intrepid adventurers are riding from Linlithgow to Berwick Upon Tweed on Saturday but here's the rub, they're cycling through the night! It's not too late to sign up!
Or why not go along to the Black Bitch pub at 8pm to cheer off the riders?
Details: Click here

On the 21st it will be the third Monday of the month so the Club Social will take place in the Black Bull, Mid Calder
Details: Click here

Next week, the usual Tuesday night chain gang takes place at Whitehill Industrial Estate, starting at 7pm.
Attendance has tailed off recently so it would be good to see a good bunch out again
Details Click here and scroll to end of page.

Thursday 24th sees the last, TT this year, on the Bridgend-Kirkliston course before the series moves to a new circuit from Limerigg-Caldercruix.The race will be a one-off 'pacing challenge' where the winner will be the person to ride closest to their pre-race nominated time, without the aid of a computer.
Details: Click here

Racing news

Cameron Mason

David Mason

Four Clarion riders took part in the Scottish XC MTB champs at the weekend, with Jonathan Buckley coming away with a Bronze medal, David Mason tells all.

Where Round 3 in Aberfoyle was a Mud Fest Round 4 was a Midge Feast, the best way to avoid them was to race !
The main race route incorporated some of the World Championship course and it was a tough one especially after the overnight downpour left all the trails super slick.

There was a very rideable long climb mainly on fire road then a very quick change of scenery where the descent started with single track and straight into the first of many "caution" signboards which preceded a highly technical section. There was a long very steep rock staircase to negotiate which had some of the very experienced riders questioning their sanity, get off and run down or risk a tumble. This led onto several other sections of equal difficulty on mainly singletrack. The courses are normally red graded however a fair amount of the Fort Bill course appeared to have gone well into the black, very daunting for the younger and older riders alike.

Although frightening in places the course was very rewarding and well worth the effort. Jamie Mason (12, Juvenile Race),had a bad fall on practice day but rose to the challenge and took it all in his stride on race day to finish 15th.

David Mason (older than 12, Open Race) had a tough first lap. The view from the top of the hill on lap 1 was one of bikes and bodies all over the place and few riders escaped without a skint knee at best. Lap 2 had spread the field out some and he managed a good clean round despite bending his rear mech into his wheel and took 12th place with some bruises to take home as souvenirs.

There was a fantastic turnout for the Primary Schools Races with over 60 entrants! Cameron Mason (9, Primary 4-5 Race) had a great race over the technical skills area which incorporates singletrack, jumps with optional air, berms and boardwalk. His "favourite course". He finished in 4th with a power sprint to the line.

It was great to see so many kids competing and enjoying themselves, there were also a lot of proud parents too.

Jonathan Buckley (Masters Race) completed the Clarion Riders foursome. He competed well and took an awesome 5th place, 6 seconds behind 4th. A great result.

Jonathan said "It was a great course, really enjoyed it even if I had an over-the-handlebar incident on my practice lap! Although I finished 5th, I was awarded the bronze medal as the chaps who finished 2nd and 3rd weren't members of the SCU - dont quite know how that works but hey, I got a medal!"

There were a fair number of wipe outs and a queue of walking wounded at the 1st aid at the finish but what an event. A real gutsy effort by all. The competition is getting hotter. Get along to Perth in August and give it a go, you might enjoy yourself.

In other racing news Matthew Ball finished 30th out of 140 riders in the Scottish 25 mile Time Trial Championships in Fife. He rode the course in a time of 58.48. The well marshalled and organised event was ridden over tough course which was undulating and hilly in places.

Matthew said "The course was quite 'sporting' a few long drags, twisty roads and a particularly fast 40mph downhill. There were 8 or so junctions and a roundabout we went through 3 times. I didn't take any chances, after the roads looked quite slippery"

Next up for the club's Time Trial riders will the the Scottish 50 and 100 Time trial championships.

Long distance expert Neil Fraser rode the rather ironically titled "Only for softies" 600KM audax which started in Edinburgh at the weekend. Neil rode non stop through the night for the first time and said "I had some real dozy periods around 3 - 4am when I was struggling to keep going, the best way I've found to shake off the sleepiness is to sprint! Seriously - a few hundred yards hard sprinting for a 30 sign or whatever gives enough adrenaline to really wake you up.!"

For more details visit

Northern Rock Cyclone Report

Craig Marshall, Rob Hemesley and Steven Fleming rode the Northern Rock Cyclone on Saturday, Rob takes up the story

Steve and I arrived early at the start to ensure we got a parking space. We registered and chilled out for a while as we had elected to drop our original plan of riding the 104 mile route in favour of doing the 63 mile route instead as neither of us had been feeling too good lately. After meeting up with fellow Clarion rider Craig, we decided the three of us would start out together. This would've been a nice idea but neither me nor Steve were able to stay at Craig's pace for very long and we dropped back.

Still, boosted on by the fact that we were still breezing past the novice riders we powered on to the first feed stop were we topped up on fluids. My head was spinning with the effort so I persuaded Steve to press on with only a short rest despite his pleas for a longer stop. After this we found ourselves becoming split up on almost every climb and unable to help one another along. I would be ahead on the longer climbs, then Steve would bomb past me on the descents.

On short climbs he would power over them far faster than I could manage. He later attributed this to his mountain biking pedigree. This kind of cat and mouse behaviour was prevalent with other riders around us also. Especially remarkable was a farther and son duo. The boy was about 10 years old and was beating me and Steve up almost every climb. He was slower then us descending though and we passed each other many times.

All around the wee fella folk were wide eyed with either amazement, disbelief or utter despondency as he passed them by. Eventually, after drafting him for a while I decided to put an end to this and chose to leave the duo behind on a longer hill climb. I pulled out and gave it some big time effort to beat them over the climb and down the other side. Sure enough, they passed me again on the next hill and that was the last I saw of them.

I rode alone(ish) for a while and was wondering when the dreaded Ryal's would appear. As I started up a hill going into a bend I figured they were still some way ahead and so decided to power up this one. I rounded the bend at a good pace and then spotted the steep climb I had been dreading. Last year I had ridden up the double climb without too much pain. But, this year I knew I was way down on my fitness and I was feeling real tired after the fast start with Craig. Having overcooked the approach, I slowed right down to give my legs a rest before the proper hill climbing began.

I'd liken the Ryal's to the Kingscavil hill climb regarding effort. There's a long gradual climb first, then a very steep section which then levels out before kicking up again for a short crank twisting finale. On this occasion, I selected bottom gear and sat in for about the first half of the steep section.

As soon as I stood up, I felt both legs going in to spasm as if about to cramp up. At exactly this moment, a rider further ahead of me ground to a halt and keeled over into the grassy verge, his legs no longer able to take the pain. His two mates who were riding with him stopped, but only to laugh at him - they offered him no help back onto his feet. No doubt the official photographer will have that incident on file!

Determined not to do the same and share in his shame and embarrassment, I carefully pressed on begging me legs to keep moving. A short relief as I was able to sit in the saddle as the road levelled. Now I just had to get over the last ramp over the top. I think I managed to sit in all the way over that bit - the brain was fuzzy by now. I had to keep it in low gears and spin the legs for some time after as I was close to cramping up.

A while later Steve bombed past me and I lost sight of him doing some ridiculous speed down a long descent. I figured I wouldn't see him until the finish and plodded on more conservatively. Another farther and son duo passed me. This time the laddie was a bit older, maybe 13 or 14 years old and was staying tucked close behind his dad. The dad asked me how I was, so I told him "I'm absolutely battered". "Jump on the back", he said, "It's not far now. I'll tow you to the finish!".

Accepting his generous offer I latched onto his boy's wheel and immediately my pace was increased dramatically. Soon after, I recognised Steve's blue and white jersey ahead of us and we were closing fast. As we passed I shouted to him "Jump on board!" and he didn't hesitate. We were making good progress now and I could hear the father saying it was under ten miles to go. A small climb ahead of us, I chose to drop to the small chain ring and dropped the chain clean off!

I watched Steve and the other two disappear over the hill as I was spinning my pedals frantically wondering why I wasn't still with them. "Your chain's off!" someone shouted as they passed, stating the obvious. Shit! A quick dismount to sort the issue and I was back on and over the hill. I remember from last year the last ten or so miles being rather fast. I figured this would suit Steve and didn't expect to see him again until the finish. But, he dropped his free ride home and slowed until I caught him. We rode together the rest of the way in with Steve finding a final surge of energy as he realised it was nearly all over.

I tucked behind him wondering where he had found this sudden burst and did everything I could to hold on. We were stopped momentarily about a mile from the line as a train crossed a level crossing in front of us. Finally reaching the rugby stadium where we began the ride and still going fast we almost sped past the entrance in to the finish line.

At the last moment a marshal waved us in. Steve jammed on the brakes and went to turn left. Myself on his inside, had decided that there was no way I could slow in time to make the corner and had elected to brake more gently, pass the turn and then double back thinking Steve would do the same. This very nearly resulted in a high speed collision just yards from the finish. That could've been an embarrassment.

Taking advantage of my mistake, Steve whipped through and over the line to ensure he got there a few seconds before me. Total ride time was 4 hrs and a few seconds. Over half an hour slower than my time the previous year. Plus, it hurt far more than I remembered it doing so before!

We found Craig collecting his goodie bag and T-shirt and he told us his ride time of three hours and forty-something minutes. I guess he must have slowed a little at some point because he was going like a rocket at the start.

Click here for official pictures of me suffering

After the ride we drove to a local pub to watch the England v USA match. Steve was feeling a bit edgy as he was afraid he would burst into an involuntary cheer if USA scored against England and was worried this would result in some serious aggro from the beer drinking locals. Almost unable to contain himself, he stepped outside when the USA goal came. So we moved on at half time and went to a pub in Stamfordham where we could relax with the shandy-ass pro cycling fraternity. I think Steve was the only one drinking hard liquor, as we were surrounded this time by the candiTV / Motorpoint Marshall's Pasta team and I was driving. This was overall a more relaxing environment. But, Steve was still careful to keep silent realising he was far more than a sprint distance away from the border.

We spent Sunday following the Beaumont trophy pro' road race and rode about the race route to spectate at different points including the Ryal hills. We rode down them first as Steve has a wager with a work colleague to be the first to clock 50 mph. He didn't do it this time. Riding up them again with slightly fresher legs was ok. Seeing how fast the pro's ride up them was not. Chris Newton of Rapha Condor Sharp won after getting in a break away and winning a two man sprint to the line. They finished their 104 mile race in less time than we completed our 63 mile sportive. Enough said.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Sign up for the Night Ride

Fancy riding through the night from Linlithgow to Berwick Upon Tweed? The pace will be social with a couple of pub stops and a mid-night feast along the way. Starting at 9pm, watching the sun rise at 4.00am and then rolling accross the border at about 8.00am, ready for well deserved slap up breakfast in Berwick.

Last year we didn't see a car for seven hours and had the roads to ourselves, accompanied by assorted wild life, like frolicking foxes, the dawn chorus and the odd deer.

You can either ride back or do the sensible thing and get the train.

All the details here:

10TT course record smashed again!

Jonathan Buckley
Debbie Pollard
John Michael Howison
Allan McCrimmon

Lining up

Jonathan Buckley broke the Bridgend-Kirkliston-Bridgend course record for a second time on Thursday. His time of 22.21 is a pb and a massive 17 seconds quicker than the previous best.

Conditions on were near perfect, sunny, and dry with an East wind to blow the competitors back to the finish.

Diane Cox, Dave Ness, Debbie Pollard and Paul Hammond all rode their first time trials. Debbie began riding with the Clarion last year having not ridden with a club before. She's been getting in the miles and started training, so it was a great moment to see her taking part in her first race. Debbie said "My first ever TT, it was exhilarating but torture! I'll be back for more if I get half a chance"

Diane moved straight into first place in the women's TT points league with a fine time of 30.35, but the women's league is very competitive with only 4 points separating first and third

Matthew Ball leads the men's league by 7 points from John Michael Howison. But Allan McCrimmon, Lorne Callaghan, Jonathan Buckley and Colin Humphries follow close behind, anyone of the six are in contention for the overall victory.

Week 4 results
J Buckley 22:21 (PB)
J Howison 25:37
A McCrimmon 26:12 (PB)
C Humphries 26:35 (PB)
L Callaghan 26:58 (PB)
G Craven 28:06 (PB)
P Hammond 28:14 (PB)
S Fraser 29:32
R Hemesley 29:57
D Cox 30:35 (PB)
D Hills 31:00 (PB)
D Ness 31.16 (PB)
N Heyes 31:56
B Morrell 34:54(PB)
D Pollard 36:36 (PB)

M Ball Push off
A Richards Timekeeper

League table
M Ball 76
J Howison 70
A McCrimmon 68
L Callaghan 62
J Buckley 58
C Humphries 44
S Fraser 38
S McCaw 37
A Richards 37
G Craven 33
A Brown 31
G Foster 31
N Fraser 31
D McTurk 29
R Hemesley 21
N Heyes 19
S McDowall 17
D Hills 17
K O'Hara 16
A Morrell 15
B Young 14
D Campbell 14
P Hammond 14
B Morrell 13
D Cox 11
T Beattie 10
D Ness 9
S Andrews 9
L Gow 8
D Pollard 6
B Campbell 5

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Steve smashes club 25TT

On Sunday Steve McCaw and Matthew Ball rode the Dooley's Bikes 25 time trial near Glasgow in preparation for the Scottish 25 mile time trail championships next Sunday. Matthew finished in a time of 57.46 but congratulations go to Steve, who broke the club's 25 mile record, by nearly a minute, with a time of 56.07.

Sadiq Mir rode 15 seconds quicker than last year in the Willie Rafferty Memorial 10TT. Sadiq completed the Glasgow course in a time of 24 minutes 19 seconds.

Challenge rides
Michelle Gregory and Dave rode the 111 mile Bethany Trust Edinburgh Sportive. Michelle completed the hilly course from Bonnyrigg to the Borders in a time of 8 hours 45 minutes. Michelle said "It was a truely stunning day, both in terms of riding and the weather, the countryside was beautiful and temperature was always above 25 C

Allan McCrimmon and Neil Heyes rode the Twa Wee Coonties Audax. The ride ride starts in Dlameney and follows a circular route to Dollar, Pow Mill and back through Fife. Allan said "I was expecting this event to be quite leisurely but most riders were actually quite close in ability which kept the pace high. The event was well organised and the spread at HQ afterwards was excellent. Total mileage for me was 87 miles at avg speed 17mph"

25 out on Saturday's club run

Neil Greer cycled up with the East Calder group to Linlithgow on Saturday. The combined club run which was split into 2 groups, the faster Active and slower Social group.

Neil said "There were 25 riders in total for the 2 outings with 14 electing for the Active option and a group of 11 riders on the social ride. The run took in some fantastic new routes (for us...) around the Avonbridge area, eventually heading towards Fauldhouse/West Calder (cafe stop...) before making it home. About 45 miles at 14.5 mph for the social run, nearer 17mpg for the active group
One to be repeated!"

For all our rides information go to:

saturday run 9th July
a classy bunch
Lesley on the front
Social and Active regroup
social ride 5th June 2

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bike Fun Day Sunday 27th June

Linlithgow Bike Fun Day

Week 3 TT results

Last Thursday provided perfect time trailing conditions, warm, dry and an east wind blowing the riders back to the finish.

The first three finishers were quicker than the previous week's course record, with Matthew Ball in top spot.

Bob Morrell and Stewart Andrews rode their first ever time trial and both produced creditable times, with Stuart getting under 30 minutes. Blair Campbell began his campaign to retain the junior trophy clocking a 36 minute time.

Thanks to everyone who came out to race and to Andy and Graham for doing the marshalling duties. 16 riders took part, our biggest turn out this year and the 2nd biggest for over a year.

What the riders said:

Jonathan Buckley "Great evening for it, well done to all riders and a big thanks to the timekeeper and pusher-off"

Allan McCrimmon "Really enjoyed tonight's TT. I thought I got a pb but I was 5 seconds short. Oh well, I'll just have to try again next week"

Colin Humphries "Great night for it! Preferred the tailwind on the way back! Hopefully catch you all next week!"

If you are not in a cycling club you are welcome to come along and ride a race.

All the details on our main website:

Week 3 results
M Ball 22:38 (20) (Course record)
S McCaw 22:43 (19)
J Buckley 22:44 (18)
J Howison 25:34 (17)
A McCrimmon 26:21 (16)
A Morrell 26:54 (15)
C Humphries 27:02 (14)
N Fraser 27:20 (13)
L Callaghan 27:23 (12)
N Heyes 28:26 (11)
S Fraser 29:04 (10)
S Andrews 29:27 (9)
D Campbell 29:54 (8)
D Hills 32:07 (7)
B Morrell 35:13 (6)
B Campbell 36:04 (5)

A Brown Pushing off 17 points
G Foster Timekeeper 18 points

Points League after 3 events
M Ball 59
J Howison 51
A McCrimmon 50
L Callaghan 46
J Buckley 38
S McCaw 37
A Brown 31
G Foster 31
N Fraser 31
D McTurk 29
C Humphries 27
S Fraser 25
A Richards 19
G Craven 18
S McDowall 17
K O'Hara 16
A Morrell 15
B Young 14
D Campbell 14
N Heyes 11
T Beattie 10
R Hemesley 9
S Andrews 9
L Gow 8
D Hills 7
B Morrell 6
B Campbell 5

Monday, 7 June 2010

Club social tonight (Monday 7th)

It will be the FIRST Monday of the month so go along to the THE FOUR MARYS in Linlithogow on the 7th. Have a chat and swap DVDs books and magazines.

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

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

See you there!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Jimmy Laing 25 TT report

Steven Fraser wrote a great report about last weekend's Jimmy Laing 25 TT

was first off on what is a new course for this event. The officials tried to give me a wee confidence booster by telling me if I got back before anyone else passed me then I would briefly (for a minute or so) hold the course record. Rather than fall of the bike in fits of laughter I replied that if I get back before anyone else one of three things would have happened

(a) I would need to be tested for EPO
(b) I had taken a wrong turn
(c) I had borrowed one of Fabian's motor powered Roubaix bikes

There was a couple of sharp 90° turns and the surface was a bit damp in the first 2 or 3 miles (overhanging trees) - and would be a bit iffy if you weren't paying attention especiially if there was cars coming the other way as they were prone to cut the corners. Being early on a Sunday morning the traffic was fairly light but I wouldn't fancy riding that route later in the day as it is probably fairly busy and fast with local traffic.

There was the proverbial Kirkliston style flyover to contend with (going over the east coast line) and the final stretch from drem back in to gullane is one of those rises that doesn't look very much but seems to just drag on that bit longerthan you expect with your computer taking an age to count off the metres.

A nice course provided it is quiet - I would say that apart from the first mile (downhill) and last mile (uphill) it is comparable to doing the Kirkliston TT 2½ times in succession. What was disappointing for the organisers was that there was only 36 on the start sheet.

Four riders attack the Sea to Sky route

The club's place to place route from Blackness to the Knock and back, has been ridden another four times in recent weeks. Simon Kenney posted the fasted time this year, with Allan McCrimmon just 10 seconds behind. David McTurk and Andy Brown made it into the all time top 10 too.

Allan said "This was my second attempt so I approached it with a little more restraint, being careful not to burn out. My split times were 7mins to Champany Inn, 10mins to Kingsfield Driving Range, 24mins to top of Kingscavil Brae and 39mins to the turn at the Knock."

"Coming back was a blur, I was flat out with plenty of speed wobbles, especially down Kingscavil Brae. I ride variations of this route quite often but not at this pace, which meant I had screaming legs, breathlessness and felt sick. I'm pleased with my time though."

1. Simon Kenny 1:07:29 (2010)
2. Allan McCrimmon 01:07:39 (2010)
3. Andy Hemingway 1.08.27
4. David McTurk 1.18.01 (2010)
5. Andy Brown 1.22.06 (2010)

All time hall of fame
1. Matthew Ball 1.01.12 (2009)
2. Steve McCaw 1.02.58 (2009)
3. Simon Kenny 1:07:29 (2010)
4. Allan McCrimmon 01:07:39 (2010)
5. Andy Hemingway 1.08.27 (2010)
6. Craig Marshall 1.08.49 (2009)
7. Mike Ewart 1.09.30 (2009)
8. Bill Young 1.09.34 (2008)
9. David McTurk 1.18.01 (2010)
10. Andy Brown 1.22.06 (2010)
11. Steven Fraser 1.22.57 (2009)

The club's P2P2P test to see who can ride the fastest between Blackness-The Knock-Blackness.
Route: Blackness-Knock-Blackness

Start and Finish: Lamp post closest to Blackness Castle
Turn: Left hand junction just over brow of the Knock
Timing: Total time including stopping at junctions and for traffic.
Risks: Don't take any. On no account should any rider endanger themselves or others in the pursuit of a time. Treat the ride as a normal training ride, riders must obey the traffic laws and Highway Code at all times.

It's all going on this week!

Thursday 3rd is race night
The forecast for Thursday looks perfect for a time trial, so why not ride the 3rd event in our 10 race series?
Sign on is 7pm-7.15pm, race starts at 7.30. All the details here:

Come along, have a blether and test yourself against the clock.
Non members who are also not members of another club can take part in a taster ride.

Ride a Saturday club runs 5th June
We meet in at the East Calder Sports Centre, this week for 8.00am for a social ride with a cafe stop. In Linlithgow we split the bunch into two groups, an easier Social group and a faster Active ride. We meet at 9.00am at the Linlithgow Sports Centre

Linlithgow Sunday Run
We for a Social ride at the Cross in Linlithgow at 9.00am

All our ride details can be found here:

Monday 7th Social in Linlithgow
It's the first Monday of the month so we'll be meeting in the Four Marys in Linlithgow at 8.30pm

Photo of Andy Richards by David McTurk

All Night Border Raid

Sun Just up 2

This year we hope to build on the success of the 2009 Night time ride to Berwick upon Tweed

We are going to follow the same route, stopping off for last orders in Leith, midnight snacks near Haddington and then cycling on along car free roads to see the dawn coming up over the North Sea. It was really special seeing the sun come up after riding through the night, so come along and enjoy the adventure!

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 cheer them off!

Start: Saturday 19th June, 9pm, Black Bitch
Finish: Berwick Upon Tweed (130km)
Return: by train (first one leaves Berwick at 11.02am and costs £24) or ride back
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 read last year's report here

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Club TT series Results: Week 2

Nine riders raced in the second round of the club's TT series last Thursday. The weather cleared up and sunshine peaked through the clouds and a light tailwind pushed the riders out to the turn.

The wind picked up on the return leg and the weather closed in somewhat, the last mile was ridden into a tough headwind. Nevertheless the course record was broken for the second week in succession, this time by Matthew Ball

Andy Richards continues to knock time off his PB and said "I know we have only had 2 TTs so far but I've really enjoyed them. The start and finish points have been moved and are as safe as we can make them. There is a good atmosphere before and after the trial with a decent amount of gentle ribbing and encouragement being given out.

I really like the fact that novices like me can be in an event with seasoned riders and not get shot out the back. In fact its probably about the only time that I will be in a 'race' and be at the finish in time to see some of the faster guys come over the line"

The TT takes place on thursday's, Sign on by 7.15pm, race starts 7.30pm
If you've not tested yourself against the clock before this is a great entry into the sport. Come along and support the series. Non members who are not a member of any other club can participate in a TT 'taster' session

Week 2 Results
Points in brackets
1 M Ball 22:58 (20) New course record
2 J Howison 26:43 (19)
3 A McCrimmon 26:45 (18)
4 L Callaghan 27:25 (17)
5 K O'Hara 27:47 (16)
6 S Fraser 29:37 (15)
7 A Brown 29:48 (14)
8 G Foster 31:05 (13)
8 A Richards 31:24 )12)

Time Keeper G Craven (18)
Pusher Off D McTurk (17)

Points league after Week 2

M Ball 39
L Callaghan 34
J Howison 34
A McCrimmon 34
D McTurk 29
J Buckley 20
A Richards 19
G Craven 18
N Fraser 18
S McCaw 18
S McDowall 17
K O'Hara 16
S Fraser 15
A Brown 14
B Young 14
G Foster 13
C Humphries 13
T Beattie 10
R Hemesley 9
L Gow 8 (Leading women's league)
D Campbell 6

Many thanks to Grant and David for time keeping and pushing off

All the TT series details can be found here:

Weekend Club run reports

East Calder Crew 2

East Calder Ride 29th May

In the spirit of showing off their new club kit 5 riders met at EC this morning says Neil Greer.

With Ian R., Rob H, Calum Mc. and I making it an East Calder record of 4 club tops, Steven F. was left thinking it'll be a long time till the next kit order materialises...

With Lothian & Border Fire Brigade having had an an eventful evening (and their riders therefore not able to join us straight after a night shift) we amended the planned route slightly by heading via Pumpherstone and the Ecclesmachan road towards the TT route.

Honours were shared fairly evenly up the early climbs, but there was a feeling that the mountain goats were saving themselves for Kingscavil; so it was, with Rob taking the Polka Dot followed closely by Calum.

The run through to Fauchaldean gave the attached photo opportunity, fortunately just before the onset of the "light rain". After sheltering for a wee while and donning jackets the prospect of refreshment at Craigie Farm beckoned; however, Rob and Calum thought they would take the scenic route and completely overshot the left turn and put in an extra 2 miles (well the sign is only 8ft square....)

Re-fuelled, we set off in heavier "light rain" and made a brisk run for home; well at least it was warmish and there was hardly any wind. Scotland at its best!

Distance: 33 miles at 15mph.

Linlithgow ride 29th May
11 Riders were out on the Active ride which followed the Dalmeny loop, and very enjoyable it was too says Neil Fraser. The rain held off until the final descent into Linlithgow. Average speed about 17mph.

Linlithgow Sunday ride 30th May
Denis McFadden reports on the club's Sunday run:

A good run out today with Allan, Lorne, Eve, Dave, Neil and I doing the 2 bridges route. Did a slight variation of the normal route by taking in the Limekilns loop and then after the Forth Road Bridge heading up to Winchburgh and then taking on the Faucheldean climb. A good 46 miles with an average of 15.5mph.

All club run details can be found at our main website: