Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hogmanay club runs

Club Captain Neil Greer tells us about Saturday's Hogmanay club runs. We now have a three ride format at Linlithgow: 12mph, 15mph and 18mph+ groups, make sure you get the ride you want by choosing an appropriate group. If there aren't enough to fill three groups we'll run two.

Read our ride guidelines here:
and technigue here:

Hi All,

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and, no doubt, you have consumed too much and exercised too little, so what better way to burn off some of the excess than getting out on either of the last Club Runs for 2011!

Just a reminder that the routes are:

Linlithgow Leisure Centre Start
Route: Braehead
Start: 9.00 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

East Calder Sports Centre Start
Route: Biggar
Start: 8.30 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

The forecast is looking fairly reasonable with 10C, light rain and a 16mph SW (gusting to 30mph).

So, hopefully, this bodes well for a good turnout and will set everyone up for a good NY celebration too!

Whatever you do, ride safely and enjoy yourselves!


PS - I forgot to make the award for the most seasonally adorned rider on the Christmas Eve ride to Craigies, so, on the "better late than never" basis, Stephen Darling gets my vote for his 2 ft tinsel dreadlocks!”

So who’s up for this run? We have house guests, but I am hoping that I can persuade my cousin to join us on the Biggar run…



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a happy new year

Boxing Day Gut Buster Classic

Our annual Boxing Day Gut Buster Classic starts at 10.30 from the Cross in Linlithgow and returns to the Four Marys after a short 20-25 mile social ride says Social Secretary Stephen Henley.

The route will be decided on the day.

If you don't fancy the ride then the Four Marys opens at 11am so you can join us for a drink around 12.30pm.

In the last couple of years the snow has meant that the ride didn't really happen although a few of us did cycle to the pub.

Anyone interested in taking part this year?



Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Eve ride

Our club captain, Neil Greer provides the details for our special Christmas eve Saturday ride:

Having spent most of last week-end in a red suit handing out presents to loads of eager kids, and nearly falling over on the ice many times in the bargain, I am relieved to see that it looks like the weather will be far kinder for the Christmas Eve Club Runs.

So, Craigies have been forewarned to expect a large influx of hungry Clarion riders ready to demolish their mountain of mince pies!

The drill will be that LLC riders will meet at 9 am and travel via the Dalmeny Estate route and EC riders will meet at 8.30 am and do some of the Balerno hills before wending their way to the welcoming site that is Craigies Farm. Let's aim for about 10.30 am...

And, on a festive note, I'm prepared to buy a turkey roll / Christmas pud for the most Seasonally adorned rider and bike! No appeal - my decision will be final...

See you there,


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Festive pedaling

We have two club runs over the Christmas weekend and a turbo session at Philpstoun on Thursday this week.

1. Hangar of Anger
7.30 Philpstoun village Hall
The last of the year's weekly turbo session
Come along and have a mince pie afterwards

2. Christmas Eve Ride
The club will be riding from East Calder and Linlithgow for a mince pie at Craigie's Farm Cafe.
Start times will be 8.30 from East Calder Sports Centre and 9.00am from Linlithgow Leisure Centre
Keep a look out on the forum for details

3. Gut Buster Classic
Boxing Day
We've never actually managed a proper club run on Boxing Day, its always been snowed off!
It'll be a short 30 miler with drinks afterwards.
Keep a look out on the forum for details

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Club Captain Neil Greer announces the details fo our new club run format

As you are aware, the club committee has met recently to consider changes to the format of club runs. Inputs have been distilled from both the meeting held in September plus numerous other individual contributions from members. Given the breadth of membership now this has not been an easy task and inevitably there have had to be some compromises.

The committee recognised the difficulty of trying to please all of the people all of the time.

They accepted that all club members should recognise their personal responsibility to choose the run most appropriate to their ability or desire and to make personal decisions about when to peel off or to drop back to another group.

Equally, the committee was firm in recognising the importance of development rides and the need for the club runs structure to be flexible enough to accommodate the club’s core aim of encouraging people to reach ‘the next level’.

Accordingly, the committee now proposes that the following structure should be put in place, starting on the 10th December

NB There are no changes to the standard start times.

• All riders are responsible for ensuring their bikes are roadworthy and, in the Winter, fitted with mudguards.
• All riders are responsible for familiarising themselves with the published route in advance of the ride.
• Riders should not underestimate the level of fitness required for each of the ride speeds.
• All riders should adhere to the published average speed for each group
• Depending on the terrain and weather conditions, the speeds may vary slightly so individual groups are responsible for agreeing amongst themselves how to ride on the day.
• Riders participating for the first time in a run should introduce themselves as such and be welcomed by the group.

• All members are asked to participate in a club run coaching session so that the club's group riding technique can be communicated to the membership. (The next session will be 10th December)

• The club will now offer four rides on a Saturday. Three will leave from the Linlithgow Leisure Centre (LLC) and one from the East Calder Sports Centre (ECSC)

On a Sunday the club offers one club run starting from Linlithgow


• Start Point: Linlithgow Leisure Centre
• Average speed: 12mph over mixed terrain
• Cafe stop: Yes
• What kind of rider are you? 
You are riding regularly and have built up enough fitness to complete 30 miles in 2.5 hours over mixed terrain. 
If you are keen to develop your cycling ability, gain fitness and pick up the skills necessary for riding in a group then these social rides would be an ideal and welcoming place to start. 
• These rides are not suitable to those new to cycling or occasional leisure cyclists. No one will get abandoned but riders can get dropped on climbs, if this happens the group will wait and regroup.
• If you find the pace too high please SPEAK UP so the speed can be slowed or the route altered to get you home safely
• Please do not underestimate the fitness required to ride in a a group at 12mph.

• Start Point: Linlithgow Leisure Centre & East Calder Sports Centre
• Average speed: 15mph over mixed terrain
• Cafe stop: East Calder start: Yes   Linlithgow start: No
• What kind of rider are you? 
You are riding regularly and can complete 30 miles in two hours.
You have built up a good base of fitness and want a traditional club run in a consistent cohesive group with an opportunity chat to your club mates.
• You may be participating in or are planning to enter open events like Sportives, Audaxes and time trials or just want to keep up a good level of fitness.
• You may also be a fitter rider who wants a less strenuous work out.
• The club run is ideal for developing your core fitness and is an opportunity to refine your group riding skills.
• There are frequent changeovers on the front but the ride is not a race and the two riders on the front should not be overtaken.
• The group will aim to accommodate a reasonable range of abilities, but those significantly slower than the general pace of the group should be prepared to navigate their own way home

• Start Point: Linlithgow Leisure Centre
• Average Speed 18mph but faster on a flatter route. As the ride progresses the group may split into two enabling faster riders to make progress
• Cafe stop: No
• What kind of rider are you?
You are racing or riding faster sportives or simply want a hard training session where your abilities will be stretched.
The pace is kept up over climbs and larger groups will rotate in a chain (through and off).
Riders may need to navigate their own way home if they can't keep up. 

• Start Point: Linlithgow Leisure Centre
• Average speed: 12mph over mixed terrain
• Cafe stop: Maybe!
• What kind of rider are you? 
You are probably fairly new to road cycling, but you are riding quite regularly and have built up enough fitness to complete 30 miles in 2.5 hours over mixed terrain. 
You may not have ridden in a group before, but are keen to understand and learn about what this involves

On the first Saturday of the month there will now be this additional development ride leaving Linlithgow.
This ride will be for members who wish to progress onto our Club Runs.

It is a good opportunity for riders to improve their fitness and skills in preparation for moving onto the Club Run proper.

• Start Point: Linlithgow - The Cross 9 am
• The ride on a Sunday will follow the 'CLUB RUN' format described above
• It will leave promptly from the Cross in Linlithgow at 9.00am

The committee looks forward too seeing this new format adopted by all members, but recognises that it may be necessary to review it again some time in the future.

Enjoy your riding!


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011

Clarion rides this weekend

Club Captain Neil Greer reminds us of the club runs this weeekend

Before setting off on a club run please read our ride guidelines:

And information on how to ride in a group:

Just a reminder that this Saturday's Club runs have been planned with the Santa Cyclo Cross in mind as well, so that riders can drop in on the CX event and see how their fellow members are doing....and, no doubt, grab a mince pie in the bargain too!

The routes are:

Saturday December 3rd
Linlithgow Sports Centre 9.00 am
Dalmeny Estate Route:
Ride Leader(s): TBA

East Calder Sports Centre 8.30 am
Avonbridge Loop:
Ride Leader(s): TBA

The forecast is showing Mostly Clear, 5C (but feels like 1C !!) and an 18 mph W - I guess Winter has actually arrived now guys....

For Sunday, meet at The Cross in Linlithgow for 9 am, route decided upon on the day.

Enjoy your ridin', but take care, some forecasters have started mentioning the dreaded "frost" and "ice" words...”

I won’t be able to make it myself as I have my umpteenth cold of this year!

The good news is I must be building up a helluva immunity for next year…



Friday, 25 November 2011

This weekend's club runs

Last weekend loads of members tweeted about their Sunday runs, this weekend why not head over to the Cross in Linlithgow for 9.00am and ride with your club mates?

Before setting off on a club run please read our ride guidelines:

And information on how to ride in a group:

Club Captain Neil Greer sends in the details for this weekeknd's rides:

The forecast is currently showing: Clear, 11C, but with a very strong SW of 28 mph, gusting to 53 mph.
This is, IMO, verging on the very dangerous, so all riders should watch the latest forecasts closely and be prepared to abandon riding if there is no improvement in these conditions.

Crosswinds can be particularly hazardous at these wind speeds and the last thing we need is a group pile up.

There will always be another day to get out with your fellow riders and those turbos would no doubt welcome another session too!

Please, let's all take sensible, informed decisions this week-end.

I am as keen as the next person to get out this w/e, but trust you agree with my take on the weather…

If there is a vast improvement, I shall be out, but not if it stays as forecast….

A reminder that, as per the new schedule posted up this week, the suggested rides for this Saturday are as follows:

Linlithgow Leisure Centre
9.00 am
Route: Forth Climpy

Ride Leader(s): TBA

East Calder Leisure Centre
8.30 am
Route: Biggar - The new Apple Pie Bakery!
Ride Leader(s): TBA

For Sunday, meet at the Cross at 9 am - route decided on the day.
The sunday runs are gaining popularity so why not pop along for a social ride

The Hangar of Anger is back!

21 members entered the all new Hangar of Anger for our Thursday night turbo/roller night. Mark Ewing lead the structured session which produced about an hour's worth of sweat

There was a good atmosphere in Philpstoun village hall, with riders arriving for 7.30, setting up their bikes and warming up ready to start at 8pm.

Mark took us through a programme of drills including single leg pedalling and short intervals, finishing off with a warm down and stretching. At times the noise was uncannily like a squadron of Lancaster Bombers

Lewy and Graeme brought along cake so afterwards there was a chance to blether over a coffee before heading off into the rain.

Debbie said "It was miles better than any spin class I've been to, all planned out to fit with the music - Mark obviously put a lot of thought into it."

There were a variety of levels, from newbies to seasoned club riders benefiting from Mark's session and of course no one was left behind!

The next session will be on Thursday December 1st. It'll cost 50p with the first 25 members securing a place in the squadron by emailing Matt Ball at

What to bring:
Clean bike
Cycling kit and shoes - absolutely no topless riding!
Post ride snack
Hand towel
HRM/Power Meter - but if you haven't got one don't worry
Money for hire of hall
Piece of carpet or a beach towel to sit under bike or cloth to clean your sweat off floor
Please carry your bike into the main hall

If you are feeling at all unwell or have a cold please do not attend

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Club rides this weekend

Club Captain Neil Greer reveals this week end's club rides

Hi All,

Herewith post just put on the forum:

"The club committe met last night to discuss how we propose to improve the format of club runs and there will be an announcement shortly, so my new list has been further delayed….

However, can I suggest that for this Sat the runs should be:


9.00 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

East Calder
8.30 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

The forecast looks favourable with Medium Cloud, 10C and a 10 mph S - pdg for Mid November!

For Sunday, meet at the Cross at 9 am - route decided on the day.
The sunday runs are gaining popularity so why not pop along for a social ride

Next week, I promise I shall have the full schedule for the next 3 months - let's hope it doesn't mean heading for the ski slopes like last year....

Enjoy you rides.


So, who wants to boost Craigies revenues this w/e?


Monday, 14 November 2011

News from the National Clarion

National Secretary Ian Clarke send the following news from Clarion HQ


As the season closes for most of us, hardy cyclo-crossers keep going, there's still one more Clarion race championship and that is next weekend:

National Clarion CX Champs
Clarion Cyclo-cross championships will be decided in the Nottingham Clarion event on the 19th of November.

Details can be found here
and here

Racing starts at 12pm for U10s right through to seniors etc. at 2.15pm. This is the last Clarion Championships of the year. Please forward this email to any clubmates who ride cyclo-cross.

It's time to spread the word to your section clubmates and claim your awards for the season. Titles such as Clubman, Clubwoman, most meritorious section, best novice, most meritorious junior are awards that many sections fail to claim and we are sure there are many worthy contenders out there.

On top of this you can claim for club records see here for current records and then send your claim to racing secretary: 
Francis Grafton 29 Cyril Road, West Bridgford, NOTTINGHAM NG2 5JW.

Also don't forget the time trial champions claims (BAR) and the road points claim which is awarded on the number of BCF point recorded. We include a copy extract of the rules for awards so that you can check if you could have won something or want to claim something.

Easter Meet 2012 - Buxton
Details will soon be announced with details of events, rides, races and venue/hotel. 

Expect a hot one organised by Stockport Clarion. For details please contact Duncan McLaren on, but give him chance to send out details first.

Set in the beautiful spa town of Buxton we last went there in 1965. Plenty for all the family, easy rides along the Tissington and Manifold trails, or gruelling rides over the toughest climbs in the area.

National Treasurer needed
Following Peter Roscoe's standing down last year, a successor never came forward. This has left the role with Peter who has kindly keep things ticking over.

We desperately need a National Treasurer and appeal to you all to step forward and help out the Clarion in this critical role. Peter will give a complete handover to the new officer. Please email me directly if you are interested.



Friday, 11 November 2011

The mudguard season is here

If you are on a Clarion club run during the Winter please fit mudguards. You don't want your lovely white kit ending up like this! So make your fellow rider happy and fit a pair of mudguards.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Club runs this weekend

Hi All,

I am delaying publishing the new list of club runs until the mgt c'tee has met to discuss some new ideas about same.

So, in the meantime, can I suggest that for this w/e the runs should be:

Lang Wang
9.00 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

East Calder
Avonbridge Loop
8.30 am
Ride Leader(s): TBA

For Sunday, meet at the Cross at 9 am, route decided on the day.

Can I also add that we are now officially into Winter riding season so that means 2 things for us:

1. Can all riders please use bikes fitted with some sort of mudguards please; nothing is worse, at this time of year, than getting a face full of WL toothpaste from the rider in front!

2. Although the ride departure time will not change for LLC, for EC the time changes to 8.30 am.

Forecast looks reasonable with possibility of light showers, 12C and a 11 mph S.

Let's all enjoy our riding and, for all those who did the Group Riding Skills session last Sat, let's try to put it into practice and spread the word!



So, who will be out the w/e?

BTW, FIFA have now said we can wear a poppy too!

Neil Greer
Club Runs Captain
West Lothian Clarion

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Champions night 2012


Champions night 2012, a set on Flickr.
The club had its 4th and best champions evening at a packed Linlithgow Golf Club.

The food was delicious and the atmosphere loud and convivial

Stephen Henley was an excellent master of ceremony, President Tom Beattie provided an superb quiz and the kids did a great job with the Raffle

Steve McCaw was given the final honour of the night – Club Member of the Year.

Steve has been an outstanding racer this year and a superb ambassador for the club and cyclesport. Breaking national indoor and outdoor track records including setting a new outdoor hour record. At the Clarion track champs he broke 5 national records and then went on to dominate the track championships. He has advised club members on how to get into racing through his advice on the forums and has also volunteered as a helper on the club 10TT series.

Full list of Award winners
1. Debbie Pollard Sea to Sky record breaker
2. Matthew Ball Sea to Sky record breaker
3. Mandy Macall Club 10 TT women's course record
3. Steve McCaw Club 25TT men's course record
4. Lynne Gow Club 25TT women's course record
5. Alex Ball most improved boy
4. Leah Grant most improved girl
5. Ryan Ewing kids club rider of the year
6. Sadiq Mir Tour of the Trossachs trophy winner
7. Brian Mclellan TT series winner (Iain Elliott 2nd, Grant Craven 3rd)
8 Michelle Gregory TT series winner (Debbie Pollard 2nd, Mandy Macall 3rd)
9. Matthew Ball men's hill hlimb champ
10. Diane Mackie women's hill climb champ
11. Chris Downey club freewheel champ
12. Steve McCaw: men's 25 TT champ
13. Lynne Gow women's 25TT champ
14. Brian McLellan and John Michael Howison - 2-up TT champ
15. Sadiq Mir BAR champion
16. Steve McCaw club member of the year

A big thank you to our Social Secretary Stephen Henley for organising such a brilliant evening

Group riding skills coaching session

A fully booked coaching session with 20 riders took place on Saturday morning at Oracle on Blackness road Linlithgow

The riders participated in drills covering, cornering, side by side riding, following a wheel, small group and finally big group riding.

Communication signals and etiquette (like not attacking off the front) were also covered

Thanks to everyone who came along and to Oracle for allowing us to use their car park




Thursday, 3 November 2011

Eliminate bad habits, including ones you don't know you have!

To welcome in the social season and new members, the club has organised a group riding skills session this Saturday 5th November.

Meet: 9.00am Leisure Centre, Linlithgow

From there we will ride over to Oracle on Blackness Road to make use of their traffic free car park

Purpose of session
The session will be useful to any member who wants to feel more confident in a group or develop their skills
The session will cover:

1. keeping a wheel
2. riding side by side
3. communication in a group
4. change overs on the front
5. singling out
6. cornering
7. braking effectively

The session will also cover group etiquette and safety

There will be some fun spot prizes!

Riders both experienced and beginner will get an opportunity to develop their skills

We have space for 20 riders in this first session but will plan further sessions over the coming weeks.

It is recommended that everyone in the club attends a session so that you are aware of what is expected on a club run - even experienced riders will learn new skills!

The coaching session will finish at 10.30, after which riders can test their skills on a proper club run - A ride to Craigies Farm

email secretary Matthew Ball on to book a place

Places are limited to the first 20 members who respond by email, with a reserve of 3

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Kids club Dirt Crit


01 Dirt Crit, a set on Flickr.

Photos from the Club's Dirt Crit at Kinneil House, the last round of our five race series