Monday, 27 September 2010

2010 Kingscavil closed road hill climb

The notoriously steep Kingscavil hill will be the scene of a hill climb hosted by West Lothian Clarion and will be on a traffic free road. The road closure, funded by tourist agency VisitWestLothian, will encourage the riders and spectators and helped to make the event unique in Scotland.

Organiser Bill Young said: "I'd like to thank VisitWestLothian for generously paying for the event and West Lothian Council for agreeing to the road closure; This is the second year we've had a road closure and many participants who raced last year, commented on how it made the event special and have already signed up for this year."

This year the club is adding to the programme and including a runners hill climb and a kids GoRide (ages 6-11) hill climb to accompany the cycle race.

Matthew Ball, organiser of the Kid's race said "This is a unique opportunity for children to race on the road in a traffic free environment, we're hoping it'll encourage parents to bring their kids and let them experience racing with a big crown to cheer them on"

The club is hoping for a big turn out again, in 2009 competitors travelled from as far afield as Lancashire and the Scottish Borders. Organisers want to encourage an enthusiastic crowd, complete with bells, horns, whistles, banners and cheers to add to the bag piper who'll be playing at the top of the hill.

Bill Young said "I'd like to open the invitation to the rest of the UK, make it a weekend visit and enjoy cycling along our local lanes including the Bathgate Alps"

The running event, organised by Angus Gallie, will add to he competitive sprit - an unofficial cyclists against runners race. Gallie said "I'm a runner and a cyclist and reckon it'll be close run thing between the two events" Competitors can enter both running and cycling races or enter as a team of two (runner and cyclist)

Competitors can enter either the running and cycling event or both. There will also be a prize for the fastest team of two (runner and cyclist)

Mid Scotland Cycle Association have generously donated £50 for the best placed Mid Scotland rider and Michelle Gregory, the 2009 women's champ, is offering a bottle of champagne to the best placed woman (in addition to the event prizes)

Runner: Male & Female
Cyclist: Male & Female
Nominated Team (One Runner + One Cyclist)
Individual Duathlon (Run + Cycle)

Run entry fee is £5 for Scottish Athletics members (£7 non-members)
Cycling Event entry fee is £8, Youth £4
Individual Duathlon Entry: - £10/£12(non-SAL) - includes Run & Cycle entry fees.

The entry fee for the cycling hill climb is £8. The SCU calendar says £10 but we decided to reduce the price because we felt a tenner was a bit steep (forgive the pun) for a hill climb

All the cycling entry details are here:

Download a Scottish Cycling event entry form here (first one on list):

And send with a cheque made out to "West lothian Clarion" to:

William Young
EH48 4NL

Closing date for the Senior running and cycling races is Sunday 10th October.

The kids hill climb will use the easier climb on the north side of the valley. It will cost just £1.50 and competitors are asked to register beforehand with a maximum of 45 entries

Age categories:
6-7 (inclusive)
8-9 (inclusive)
10-11 (inclusive)

Kids races details

1. Kids Race for Youth riders (under 12) (categories E, D, C)

Still Enter on the day, but we are restricted to 45 entries, so please sign up before hand and pay on the day.

The entry fee has had to go up to £1.50 to cover the levy for members (must show British Cycling Federation (BCF) membership card)

Non BCF members will need to take out a day membership for an additional £1.50 when signing on

Alternatively if you are a member of an BCF affiliated club (eg West Lothian Clarion) you can get free bronze membership beforehand here:

Apply online at (using the Promo code: CLUB4)
Contact membership services on 0161 2742010 (using the above promo code)
Obtain a promotional leaflet from your club secretary and post this to the address below

1. Senior race including:
Youth riders (Under 16) (Categories A, B) (entry fee £1.50)
Junior Riders (under 18) (entry fee £4.00)

Competitors must enter before the closing date (October 10th)
Day membership for Juniors is £5.00, Youth £1.50 unless you take up the BCF offer as outlined above

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Run: Angus Gallie: ag011c7699[AT]
Cycle: Bill Young: bill.young[AT]
Kids: Matthew Ball: secretary[AT]

Many thanks to:
Visit West Lothian For funding the roasd closure and to Pedal Power and Rapha for donating prizes

15 out on Ladies Invitation ride

On a bright, but chilly morning 10 ladies met at East Calder Sports Centre, accompanied by 5 men. Club Captain, Neil Greer tells the story.

Alison McQuillen, Eve and Louise 1 (sorry, did not get a surname...) had travelled across from Linlithgow, as had Louise 2 (Rattray) to be joined by local riders Julie Greer, Alison Dourley, Joan Hemesley (all from Kirknewton), Fiona Walker (from East Calder) and Jan Brogan (from Ratho). Making up the ladies "team" was Catherine Heyes (daughter of Neil), thanks to the loan of a road bike from Eve. 

Joan's new bike had only been finished being assembled by Rob at 4 am (yes 4 and a half hours before we set off....) so we asked the obvious question: "Do the brakes work??" Fortunately, they did...

As for the men, in addition to myself, there was Neil Lovett, Neil Heyes and two "non Neils" in the shape of Dave Dourley and Malcolm Wake.

As we congregated for introductions it was great to see Debbie turn up with Matthew and Beth to see us all off. After a brief chat about group riding we set off via the back lanes of East Calder towards Newbridge. Our two Ratho-ites, Malcolm and Jan, set a comfortable pace, the intention being to try to keep the group together in a classic Club Run formation.

It was a credit to everyone, especially to those who had perhaps never ridden in such a large group, that the group held together well and there was a good buzz as riders exchanged information and got to know each other better.

Malcolm had to leave us shortly before the Kirkliston traffic lights - missing out on the delights of Craigie so 15 became 14. On the gentle climb approaching the farm Catherine and Neil Lovett had to stop to deal with a dropped chain, but, other than that, there were no mishaps.

Craigies presented its usual welcome and the opportunity to exchange more stories and, as a bit of a surprise, I heard several of the ladies talking about kit! And I thought that was just a male preserve....

Having been the backmarker for the outward stage Neil L. swapped to the front to lead us out via Dalmeny towards Kirkliston. After a few miles Louise 1 had a rear wheel puncture - thanks to large thorn - but the ever chivalrous Dave Dourley quickly saw it repaired and us on our way again. A few futher miles on Fiona said her goodbyes and made her way to Edinburgh

Shortly afterwards Catherine was having difficulty braking at a T junction due to her right hand cramping up. Closer observation revealed that the bars were probably set too "aggressively" so, with much thanks to Joan/Rob for having the only multi-tool with short enough allen keys, Mr Chivalry again covered himself in glory by resetting the bars...

With a warming sun countering the chill Northerly, the rest of the ride was mishap-free as we took the back roads to Wynchburgh/Broxburn and then on to the approach to Almondell Country Park. At the park exit the group split as Jan, Joan and Mr & Mrs Dourley headed home, the rest of us heading back the EC Sports Centre.

Overall stats were c 27 miles at c 11.5 mph. Thanks to everyone for making it so enjoyable - it ticked all the boxes for me.

I hope we'll see you all again.


Neil (3....)"

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Jules at the British Track Championships

Last Tuesday Julie Dominguez rode the 500mtt British Track Championships in Manchester and managed a season's best performance against Britian's best track stars.

Julie said "Had I not gone before the gun I'm certain I would have a got a pb, you start in a gate and I surged forward too early not going anywhere!"

"The field was world class, Victoria Pendleton (Olympic champ), Sarah Storey (Olympic champ) Jess Varnish, two girls from the Commonwealth Games Scottish Squad and more from British Squad."

Well done Jules - fantastic performance!

Friday, 24 September 2010


Due to lack of interest the club confined 2-up TT champs on Sunday has been cancelled

Ladies Invitation club run on Saturday

8.30am Saturday 25th September starting at East Calder Sports Centre
Click here for more details

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

2-up TT champs cancelled


The club confined 2-Up 10 time trial championships has been cancelled due to lack of interest

Friday, 17 September 2010

Mid Calder Social Monday 20th

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

2011 Committee

Thanks to everyone who came along to our second AGM of the year. It was a bigger turn out than the earlier in the year, after we changed the date to September which enables us to plan our races for 2011 and choose organisers ready for the SCU date fixing meeting

We got through a terrific amount of work, thank you for your patience and contributions.

Thank you also to those who volunteered to run events next year and also to Diane Cox who took minutes

(Click on their name to see a photo)

President: Tobias Bauer
Treasurer: Michelle Gregory
Secretary: Matthew Ball
Women's Coordinator: Debbie Pollard
Club Captain: Neil Greer
Communication Officer: Andrew Baird
Social Secretary: Stephen Henley 
Race Secretary: Grant Craven

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ladies Invitation club run announced

Debbie Pollard is planning the next Ladies Club run, open to non-members and members a like. Here she explains all the details.

To build upon the success of the ladies ride held at the end of July, I have invited those ladies who came along, or expressed an interest, to join us on a Saturday morning club ride.

Club ride captain Neil Greer has kindly offered to lead a special "extra woman friendly" ride starting from East Calder Sports Centre at 8.30 am on Saturday 25th September. The ride will be about 25 miles, to the superb cafe at Craigie Farm, nr Dalmeny, and back. The pace will be very sociable and, in keeping with club ethos, will be that of the slowest rider.

This is not a ladies only event, more of a taster for ladies to find out just what a club run is like, but hopefully with some of the "fear factor" removed.

We already have one new member (Alison McQuillan) who joined up after the previous ladies ride, and I'm hoping that this ride will encourage more women to join the club.

All levels of riders welcome
Start: 8.30 am on Saturday 25th September.
Where? East Calder Sports Centre (click here for google map)
The ride will be about 25 miles, to the superb cafe at Craigie Farm, nr Dalmeny, and back. The pace will be very sociable and, in keeping with club ethos, will be that of the slowest rider.

What to bring
Drink, snacks, spare inner tube. If you do not have quick release wheels then bring a tool for undoing your wheel in case of a puncture. Bring money for a cafe stop.

Interested in coming along?
For more details contact

Members who want to come along can post on the forum. It would be great to have plenty of experienced members on board to give advice and encouragement to prospective new members.

This is a club led ride but riders ride at their own risk.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

2010 Club Hill climb results


J Buckley.......................2min 20 sec
M Ball............................2min 22 sec
S Kenny.........................2min 56 sec
A Baird..........................3min 01 sec
S Fagan.........................3min 06 sec
A McCrimmon.................3min 07 sec
G Craven.......................3min 09 sec
C Marshall......................3min 14 sec
L Parkinson.....................3min 17 sec
D Dourlay.......................3min 22 sec
D Middleton.....................3min 27 sec
R Hemesley.....................3min 29 sec
S Bird.............................3min 40 sec
N Lovett..........................4min 04 sec
M McCabe.......................4min 14 sec


D Pollard........................4min 58 sec
A McQuillen.....................5min 23 sec


1st M McCabe
2nd T Beattie
3rd G Craven

Click here for more photos

Thursday, 9 September 2010

AGM Thursday 16th September

7.30pm AGM Thursday 16th September
Upstairs, The Black Bitch Pub

New Kids Club News blog Launched

We now have a kid's club news blog:

Over the next few months you'll find session reports, race promotion and results and general club news

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Clarion members at Laggan in the SXC Round 6

David Mason says it was another great day's racing was enjoyed by five Clarion members at Laggan in the SXC Round 6.

Saturday practice day had fine weather to try the course out. It proved to be more of a natural downhill route than cross country and had a very long continuous technical descent that left little or no room for error. After the first practice lap there were a number of competitors questioning the safety of the course and whether they would race, however after a quick change of tyres from fast rolling to mud the second lap was much more comfortable.

Job done and off to the pub for a hearty last supper before racing on Sunday !

There were however some lingering safety concerns by the organizers. Following a risk assessment on the Saturday evening, where it was assessed that some of the technical sections were inaccessible to emergency services, the course was revised. So we woke on the Sunday morning to 2 surprises - a new course and the fact that winter had arrived with a bang and it was freezing; the show must go on though.

Jamie Mason (12) was first off in the Juvenile race. The revised race was all on natural trails and the course was definitely "old school" cross country. It had not been ridden on much so you had to find your own line and there were plenty of options. Jamie coped very well with the still very tricky downhill and only had one serious unplanned dismount.

David Mason had a very good performance in the Open category, the short technical course favored him and allowed him to overtake on the more difficult sections in a very untechnical rough way. Mind you those same riders then blasted him on the uphill fire road. It was a great course if a little short.

Another solid performance by Jonathan Buckley in the Master race pulling in a great 4th place. He really enjoyed the course despite having to do 5 laps.

The Primary Schools' races were every bit as thrilling as the adults' with 50 competitors. Great to see so many kids racing and to a very high standard.

Cameron Mason had a difficult start getting gridded at the back in a group of 16 but worked his way up to a good finish.

Ryan Ewing made his SXC debut on a very long course with some of the best young mountain bikers in Scotland. He toughed it through and had a very warm welcome at the finish line from fellow competitors. Ryan's now very keen to attend the final in the series at Drumlanrig on the 19th September.

A fantastic effort by all the Clarion riders especially the younger ones.

Results were..
Jamie Mason, Juvenile, 17th
David Mason, Open, 6th
Cameron Mason, P4-5, 6th
Ryan Ewing, P6-7, 6th
Jonathan Buckley, Masters, 4th

Photo - Ryan, Jamie and cameron

Ariegoise 2010

Dave Hills tells the story of his summer riding trip in the Pyrenees

It started as many of these great ideas do over a few beers to discuss our cycling target for 2010. It had been 3 years since we had been down to the Pyrenees to tackle the 2007 Ariegoise Sportive and myself and a couple of mates decided that it was time for another visit for the 2010 event. Appropriate passes from the spouses were obtained for a week long trip to the Pyrenees to fit in some training on real mountains before the event. Cairnpapple is a great climb, but doesn't really prepare you for the high mountains.

We departed for Toulouse on Sunday 20th June, bikes suitably packed up in bike boxes and by some miracle they all survived the careful handling of the friendly baggage handlers across three airports. Having organised this years trip, I decided to ease the lads in gently on day one with a climb of the Tourmalet starting off in Lourdes and climbing from Luz Saint Sauveur. This was the side that Contador and Schleck would fight out their final battle in the 2010 Tour, only a little faster than us. Tuesday's challenge included Col D'Aspin and a little known climb called the Hourquette D'Ancizan. It's fair to say that the rest of the week involved more tapering than training.

Saturday 26th June was race day and a 5.30am rise was swiftly followed by a face stuffing exercise of monumental proportions to the point that I don't think I could face another croissant. The start was in Tarascon and we had chosen the medium route, the Mountagnole, which was (only) 117 km and involved 2600 metres of climbing. Weather was perfect in the low 20's but forecast to rise to 32c later in the day. The mass start was incredible with over 4000 participants slowly edging over the start line. Individual timing chips ensured that everyone received an accurate timing from start to finish which actually turned out to be a missed opportunity to use the slow start as an excuse for my time of over 7 hours to complete the course. The first 100k were rolling and sitting in a peleton of over 200 meant that the French countryside flashed by at an alarming rate until we arrived at the foot of the final climb in the small village of Les Cabannes. Ahead of us was only 17k of the climb to Plateau de Beille. How hard could it be ? Answer - very ! It may have been the miles in the legs but this seemed harder than the Tourmalet, Ventoux and anything else we had tackled over the years. Climbbybike website claims it's an average of 8% for 16k but the 2k plateau in the middle means the rest is even tougher, with kilometre stretches of 11+%. Two hours later I was still 1k from the top when my stomach started retching and I felt really faint. Resting up for a couple of minutes, I eventually recovered enough to limp over the line in a time of 7 hours and 3 minutes. Please don't work out the average speed !

As there is only one way up and down the climb, we had a motorcycle escort off the mountain in batches of 100 or so. Safe to say the descent was more suited to my power to weight ratio and I managed to salvage some pride against the foreign competition. I would recommend the event as a great experience but I won't be there next year as the unanimous verdict from the team was that next year's trip is to the flat lands of Holland.

Image: Top of Col D'Aspin looking down on climb from the east side.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Helpers wanted for our club events

Tom Beattie, who is organising next Saturday's Hill Climb and Freewheel champs is still looking for helpers so that the event can take place. Please sign up to help out on the hill climb thread on the forum

Neil Fraser is also asking for one more helper for his 3 Glens Audax and says "I'm short of someone for the first control. Anyone fancy sitting in a car in Milnathort for a couple of hours on the morning of Sunday 19th September, reading the papers and occasionally stamping a card?

Let Neil know if you can help out by posting on the 3 Glens Audax thread in the forum

It's all going on in September

The club has loads of events this month...

First up is the club's hill climb and freewheel championship next Saturday 11th September at 9.00am

Followed by our AGM, upstairs, at the Black Bitch Pub in Linlithgow, on Thursday 16th September, starting 7.30 sharp

On Sunday 19th September, Neil Fraser is organising our 160KM 3 Glens Explorer Audax. Entries are still open but get your form in the post this week

On Sunday 26th September we are holding our 2-up TT champs on the new Limerigg course. The event has a new trophy kindly donated by Kevin O'hara. The event will be handicapped so every team will have a chance of winning. Sign up for our last race of the year on the 2-up TT thread on the forum

We are also looking for helpers for the hill climb and Audax please take a look here:

Club social tonight (Monday 6th)

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

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

Club Hill Climb and Freewheel Champs on Saturday


Date Saturday 11th September
Start: 9am start
Entry: FREE
Entires on the day? Yes
Location: Kingscavil

Roll up roll up, just over a month before the Angels of Kingscavil dance up the climb and the Demon's of Kingscavil descend like bricks.

Start those hill/cake reps in preparation...

The freewhweel championships will be down the hill opposite Kingscavil.

There will be a social ride to a local cafe after the event.

Sign up for the race on the hill climb thread on the forum

New membership now open

As of the 1st of September this year the 2011 membership is open to new members

If you join for the first time you will get an additional 3 months free, you won't have to rejoin until January 2012

The membership fee stays the same: £15, and includes membership of the National Clarion (£6) and a £1 donation per member to the Barveheart Fund.

In addition there is a household membership at a reduced rate of £10.50 (see below)

To download a membership form please go to:

Senior membership is open to any individual aged 18 and above.

Household memberships. A household is formed by those permanently resident at the same address, with one exception, noted below.

Subject to there being a Senior member resident, the second and any subsequent member thereafter, is entitled to become a Household member. This affords a 50% reduction in section membership fee. The fees due to the National Clarion are unaffected and full voting rights are retained.

Those aged 15-17 can join as Household members only, and may only ride on club events where they are supervised at all times by a parent or guardian who is also a member. A parent and child (aged 15-17)will always be treated as being of the same household,
regardless of their place(s) of residence. Those below the age of 15 are able to join the kids section

For more information email secretary[AT]

Race results

Members have been competing up and down the country in recent weeks

Steve McCaw and Julie Dominguez did a great job representing the club at the National Clarion Track Champs in Manchester on Sunday. Jules narrowly missed qualifying for the final of the sprint and almost got away in the 5 mile race - her performance are outstanding as she was competing in mixed events

Steve was the fastest qualifier in the Pursuit and caught his man in the final - winning his second Clarion title this year!

Congratulations to both and read Steve's exciting report here

At the end of August, Steve just missed out on a medal in the Scottish Vets Pursuit at Meadowbank.

Jonathan Buckley is the first West Lothian Clarion rider to gain his 3rd Cat license by finishing 5th in the recent Billy Warnock Memorial Road Race, organised by Falkirk BC

Jonathan has also been competing in the SCU XC Mountain bike series. In round 6 at Laggan he finished 4th and says "It was a technical and muddy, short course strewn with boulders, roots and tight turns. The masters had to complete 5 laps. The field, although smaller than usual, had 2 national level riders so I was pretty satisfied with my 4th place finish (10 minutes behind the winner..... ahem!)

The Mason Family also rode the event with Dad, David finishing 6th, Jamie in 17th and Cameron 6th so well done to them!

Congratulations to Sadiq Mir who smashed his personal best for a 10 mile TT in last Wednesday's Roabie Roberston 10TT on the Westferry course.

Sadiq said "I thought the course was pan flat but there are a few rises that take it out of you. This was my first TT since late May and afterwards I was torn between either puking or passing out! I took 29 secs off my PB with a 23.16. Many thanks to hosts Glasgow Road club and all marshalls on the night."

Craig Marshall, Steven Fraser and Simon Kenny have been gaining experience in local road races. Simon finished the 2nd cat Battle of the Braes last weekend but was dropped from the bunch in a very tough event. Simon said "You live and learn – when the situation next arises where I lose the bunch, I’ll ease up and hopefully join or be joined by any other dropped riders. I’ll also make sure I keep feeding. If I’d done these two things yesterday, I reckon I’d have finished about 8 – 10 places better. Saying again, if you’re at the wrong end of the field of 59 finishers, I don’t suppose fourth from bottom or fourteenth from bottom makes a lot of difference!"

Matthew Ball finished just out of the medals in the National Clarion 25 TT champs over an undulating course in Nottingham at the end of August. Last week he took back the record from Steve McCaw for the Sea to Sky Challenge, the club's place to place record. His time of 59.58 means he is the first member to get under the hour. The route starts in Blackness and turns at the Knock and all members are encouraged to test themselves on the demanding course.

The where is it quiz part two!

Can you figure out where this photo was taken? It's on one of our club runs so you should be able to recognise the view....

Post your answer in the comments box