Monday, 30 May 2011

Hello Iain

You'll know Iain from our Linlithgow Active rides, read on and get to know him some more

"I've Been biking in some shape or form as far back as I can remember, mostly recreational mountain biking until I moved to Kirkliston in 2006 for job as cancer specialist pharmacist at the Western Deneral hospital. Previoiusly I lived and worked in Dundee and rode with the Dundee Thistle who got me properly into road biking and where I purchased my Bianchi Alu. Joined ERC in 2007 and focused mainly on mountain biking endurance events, 10 and 24hr events.

I ran the ERC kirkly 10 for 2 years but decided to let someone else take over from now on. Started going out with the Clarion around 2009/10 and decided suits me better location wise (and the fact they have meetings in the pub!) and enjoy the banter.

Treated myself to an Opera Canova carbon end of 2010 and been smiling ever since! Total bike collection to date is Orange 02 hard tail mountain bike, Merida 1000D full suspension (short-travel), Bianchi ML7 (alu) road bike, Opera canova 2010 carbon, Giant TCR TT (self-build), MTB style tandem!, 1990 GT Dyno BMX (in need of overhaul). i think that is about it.

oh almost forgot....i have a wife and a dog!"

Friday, 27 May 2011

Week 3 TT results

Diane Cox sends in the results for  this week's TT :

On another blustery Thursday, the 3rd 10TT of the series went ahead with 16 members taking part, including our first junior of the season (who did great by the way!)

The results are as follows:
1. John Howison ... 26.11 ... 20 points
2. Brian Mclellan ... 26.31 ... 19
3. Grant Craven ... 27.12 ... 17
4. Charles McLaughlin ... 27.13 ... 16
5. Iain Elliott ... 27.32 ... 15
6. Neil Wilson ... 28.00 ... 14
7. Kevin O’Hara ... 28.09 ... 13
8. Steve Fleming ... 28.17 ... 12
9. Mandy MacColl ... 29.40 ... 11 (1st lady)
10. Michelle Gregory ... 30.42 ... 10 (2nd lady)
11. Diane Cox ... 31.22 ... 9 (3rd lady)
12. Dave Adams ... 31.25 ... 8
13. Stuart Bird ... 31.29 ... 7
14. Keri Greig ... 33.56 ... 6 (1st junior)
15. Shona Greig ... 35.16 ... 5 (4th lady)
16. Martin Greig ... 35.38 ... 4

Thanks to Angus Gallie, timekeeper, and Steven Darling, pusher off who will be awarded 18 points towards their series total.

Thanks to all who participated from Diane, Tom B and Grant.

Read Michelle's first hand account of the race here

And take a look at the photos here

Photo of the week: Night ride

This snap was taken during the first hour of our 2009 Night Ride.

It was only dark for 3 hours and a car wasn't seen between 11pm and 8.00am

If you're interested in riding this year's Night Ride, on 19th-19th June, sign up on the forum thread

Why I like hanging around in lay-bys

Club Treasurer, Michelle Gregory is a time trial newbie, but now she's hooked, here's why:

I just wanted to say how much, to my surprise, I am enjoying the club TT series. In the past I have never been interested in riding a time trial, mainly because I prefer to be riding in the hills on nice quiet roads.

Last week I rode my first TT, with the view of riding one at least once in my life and to see what sort of time I could get. So I rode over and gave it a go. While my time won’t break any records, I found that I enjoyed the discipline of pushing myself constantly for 30 minutes. As a long distance rider I am used to “pacing” myself to ensure that I can sustain the distance. So it is quite a challenge mentally to not hold back.

The atmosphere is really friendly – it is fantastic when the faster riders shout out encouragement as they go past. It is also great to be able to chat to riders at the start and finish who I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity / speed to ride with on a club run.

Anyway, I found myself drawn back last night to improve on my time. So it looks like my Thursday nights will involve hanging around road lay-bys…and if I ride over then I still get to put in a ride in the hills too. I would encourage people to give it a go because you might find it is, strangely, enjoyable.

How the series works
Our club confined time trials take place on Thursdays, Sign on 7.00-7.15pm, first person off 7.30pm

Three races have taken place with seven left in the series, plus a 2-person team time trial.

Each week 20 points will be awarded to the winner, down to 1 point for 20th place. There are three trophies awarded, one for a women's competition, one for the men's competition and another for best under 18.

TT4: 2nd June
TT5: 9th June
2-UP TT CHAMPS: 16th June

++4 week break to accommodate local and school holidays +++
Training rides are planned to replace the TT series during the break

TT6: 21st July
TT7: 28th July
TT8: 4th August
TT9: 11th August
TT10: 18th August

Full details here:

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Week 3 TT Photos

Club Runs - Sat/Sun 28th/29th May 2011

Hi All,

Well, presuming the weather isn't as horrendous as last week-end we should all be able to get out and enjoy the scheduled club runs for this weed-end, see:


These are Dalmeny Estate for LLC (Depart at 9 am) and
The Vane Farm Loop for ECSC (Depart at 8 am)

A few members who normally ride out of LLC have expressed an interest in joining up with the ECSC run across into Fife (either fully or in part...), so, it that is the case, please be at the rendez-vous point on the Sth Side of the FRB at Sth Queensferry for about 8.45 am

The forecast is showing 9C, no rain and a 14mph W, so fingers crossed....

For Sunday, meet at the Cross for 9 am, route to be decided by the riders meeting up.

So who will be out this week-end? And if you are planning to join up with the ECSC run, please reply to this thread please!

Enjoy your rides.



Tuesday, 24 May 2011

New Bathgate Alps T-shirts have arrived

The new Bathgate Alps T shirts, featuring all the names of the climbs in the Alps on the back.

To collect your shirt email club secretary, Matt Ball on

Monday, 23 May 2011

Clarion all-night ride 18th-19th June announced

Paul Hammond is organising this year's night time ride...

The club's annual night ride will take place (overnight of course) from 18-19 June. The general idea is to set off at pub closing time or thereabouts, enjoy a leisurely cycle through the night and arrive in time for a hearty breakfast.

Being midsummer it's not actually dark for very long so you get to enjoy both the sunset and the sunrise. Last year we rode to Berwick-upon-Tweed and saw the sunrise over the North Sea, the only problem was that when we got there nowhere (apart from MacDonalds) was open for breakfast.

To avoid that problem this year I propose we cycle back to Linlithgow and enjoy breakfast at some willing volunteer's house (may even be mine!).

My original plan was to take the train to Pitlochry, have dinner in a pub and then cycle back via this route:

The only problem is that there are no bike spaces left on any suitable trains. However I'm still keen to do this ride so I could take 5 or 6 bikes up in my car while their riders take the train. If more than 5 or 6 people want to do the night ride then we will take the train in to Edinburgh and enjoy a scenic ride home via the Borders.

Could you please let me know if you're interested in doing the ride so that I can decide what our best option is?

Post up on the forum here:



Race for the inaugural WLC 2up TT championship trophy, donated by Kevin O'Hara

The race will be run over the usual 10 TT course.

16th June at Bridgend,

Sign on 7.00pm-7.15pm for a 7.30 start.

Sort out your pairings and post up your team on the forum

If you have no partner but want to race post up on the forum asking for a partner.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Cowbells work!

Club Secretary, Matt Ball, was out supporting and snapping the riders at last night's club 10TT.

His cowbell ringing caught the interest of a herd of cows who came over to watch the race with him.

Matt said "I hadn't realised cows actually like the sound of cowbells. They came rushing over when I started ringing the bell. It was nice to have some company by the side of the road, if they went to a cyclo cross race they'd probably really enjoy it!

TT series week 2 results

A good turn out again at last night's TT. There was a stiff southerly breeze which made the course tough in both directions

Neil Wilson, Michelle Gregory, Gordon McKenzie rode their first ever TT and Mark Ewing, Colin Humphries, Dean Campbell and Angus Gallie rode their first race of the season.

1st - Mark Ewing 25.06 (20 points)
2nd - John Michael Howison 25.36 (19 points)
3rd - Colin Humphries 26.04 (18 points)
4th - Grant Craven 27.28 (17 points)
5th - Angus Gallie 27.49 (16 points)
6th - Iain Elliott 28.03 (15 points)
7th - Neil Wilson 28.04 (14 points)
8th - Gordon McKenzie 28.57 (13 points)
9th - Stuart Bird 29.48 (12 points)
10th - Craig Duncan 30.21 (11 points)
11th - Michelle Gregory 30.57 (1st lady) (10 points)
12th - Dean Campbell 31.48 (9 points)
13th - Debbie Pollard 32.22 (2nd lady) (8 points)

Thanks to the Tom Beattie and Allan Mccrimmon for time-keeping and pushing off, they will also be awarded points towards the championships.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

New Member!

Avril Roy joined up last week after riding the Linlithgow Saturday and Sunday club runs - welcome to the club Avril

"Just over two years ago I bought myself a second hand Giant hardtail mountain bike and started getting out along the canal. I just loved it! After a few months a friend, who was also new to cycling, suggested doing the Artemis Highland 100. We signed up for it for September 2009. It's 83 miles, 70% road 30% off road - so quite a challenge for a complete beginner. I spent the summer of 2009 training and acquiring knowledge and equipment for my new addictive hobby! This included my new Cube Access WLS hardtail, which I got two weeks before the event."

"Artemis was my first cycle challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As soon as it was over I signed up for my next challenge and cycled from Vietnam to Cambodia in February 2010. An amazing experience. My enthusiasm and love of cycling encouraged seven new team members to take part in Artemis September 2010. All of who were completely new to cycling and are still loving it!"

"In the summer of 2010 my interest in road cycling was growing and in August I got myself a LS Giant Avail and two weeks later completed the York 100. That was me hooked! I decided that 2011 would be about road cycling and signed up for the Caledonia Etape. To help with my training I came along on a few of the Sunday runs, which really helped with my confidence and ability. I had no hesitation in joining the club. This is exactly what I'm looking for to improve my cycling and everyone is really friendly."

"I completed the Etape yesterday, 15th May, - a brilliant experience! My next challenge is to complete the Cross Border 100 on 22nd May, achieving my first 100 miles in a day. If that goes well I'm hoping to take part in the Trossachs Ton on 19th June this year and am open to more challenges as the year progresses."

Snow Roads Audax report

Neil fraser got back early and sent in this report from his 300km Audax at the weekend

This audax must be some kind of milestone for WLC - Four Clarion riders in a field of 40 meant that we were 10% of the field! Pretty good going for a hard event starting and finishing up in Kirriemuir. Only one of the local clubs - Angus Bike Chain - had more riders in. Anyway, now the ride report -

The Snow Roads is a 300km event designed to take in most of the main snow-gated passes through the Eastern Cairngorms. The big name climbs are Cairn O'Mount, The Cabrach, The Lecht and Glenshee but there are a few more colls thrown in for good measure, giving 4800m of climbing over the 301km distance. shows the route, but don't believe the altitude data, it was tougher than that.

It was tough! Fourth time I've ridden this event and this one felt the hardest. A strong NorthWest wind just ratcheted up the pain on the climbs and killed the average speeds on the flats, making a long day a lot longer. Weatherwise it was much colder than I expected, with very heavy showers turning to sleet and hail on the higher ground.

I spent most of the ride with Simon and spent most of the time struggling to keep up with him. For his second ever audax (the first being last year's 3 Glens) he seemed amazingly comfortable with the audax way of doing things - ride hard for a few hours, stop in a cafe, eat loads of food, ride hard for a few hours, stop in a cafe...

A summary of my ride -
Fast run out from Kirrie to the bottom of Cairn O'Mount. Got up the climb feeling fairly fresh and enjoyed a good blast down to Banchory. Breakfast in Morrison's Supermarket Cafe. Then a flattish stage up to the next control at Oyne, a cafe with great soup and sandwiches. Immediately after this stop the rain started and the waterproofs stayed on for the rest of the day.

Stiff headwinds up to and over the Cabrach, even had to pedal going down the other side. Cafe stop in Dufftown for a toastie and cake. Bad crosswinds on the run up to Tomintoul, turning to tailwinds when we finally got to the road for the Lecht. Climb of the Lecht wasn't too bad, it's steep but the final climb is really quite short.

Quick pint in the ski station cafe before a fast descent, made scary by strong crosswinds. Two more tough climbs in torrential rain before we reached Deeside and the chip shop in Braemar. Haddock Supper provided the essential fuel for the last 70km to the finish, which turned out to be the highlight of the day. The rain stopped before Glenshee and the clouds parted, letting the moon appear for a tailwind assisted stomp along Glen Isla.

Riding at dusk is a good time to see the wildlife and Glen Isla didn't dissappoint - young deer, owls, bats, hedgehogs and rabbits all on show. From a 6am start myself and Simon finished at 10:30pm, Peter came in about an hour later and Tobias arrived at 1:30am.

Monday, 16 May 2011

TT series Race 1 results

Diane Cox send in the results for the first race in the club confined TT series which took place last Thursday:

15 racers took part in the first race of the series and the results are as follows:

1st - J Howison 26:07
2nd - G Craven 27:05
3rd - C McLaughlin 27:06
4th - C Geddes 27:51
5th - S Fleming 28:09
6th - P Hammond 28:14
7th - D Ewing 28:19
8th - I Elliott 29:05
9th - M MacColl 29:29 *1st lady
10th - R Hemesley 29:36
11th - C Duncan 30:02
12th - T Beattie 30:31
13th - D Cox 30:32 *2nd lady
14th - S Henley 31:35
15th - D Pollard 31:42 *3rd lady

Even in the very windy conditions there were a few personal bests, with Debbie knocking over 5 minutes off her time from last year. Wow! A good start to the season for those who took part.

Thanks and points go to Matt Ball - timekeeper and Stuart Bird - pusher off.

The next race is this Thursday 19th. Even if you didn't ride the first race you'll still be eligible for the overall series as a rider's top 7 placings will be used to work out the final league positions.

Alternatively, if you simply want to try a time trial then come along and give it a go! all the details here

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Fred and Bealach sportive reports

Bealach Beag
Jim Macdonald rode the Bealach Beag last Sunday, here is his report:

It seems I was the only WLC member to take part this year in the Bealach Beag, a circuit of the wonderful yet brutal Applecross peninsula from Shieldaig via the one and only Bealach na Ba. 6500 feet of ascent, the Bealach accounting for 2100 of that. The setting is great and the locals really get involved.

This is my 3rd year doing this sportive and thus I knew what to expect. Every year the weather has been different, and this time it was a south easterly wind which meant a headwind at the start and finish (unusual) and not a breath of wind in the Bealach itself. With the sun also shining, climbing up the Bealach became a sweaty effort! At least the road was closed this year so no car dodging required on the way up.

Much is said about the scale of the Bealach ascent, but for me it all comes down to the Kingscavil like straight upper corrie ramp which leads to the start of the hairpins. The 5 miles of climbing that come before that point only serve to get you there. If you get that ramp right, you make it to the top. If you get it wrong, anyone no matter how fit, may be forced to get off and walk. You turn right, and the road rises to 20% and stays like that for half a mile. Bad at any time but especially since you've climbed for so long to get there.

There seemed to be significantly more walkers on that ramp this year. The heat must have contributed to that. I had a game plan to take it really easy on the long Crow Road- esque climb up the lower valley so that I had something left for the upper ramp, and I stuck to it. I've had to put a foot down on it before and was determined that it would not happen again. It worked as I made it to the top in 51 min, 7 and a half minutes faster than I have ever managed the Bealach before.

The descent to Applecross was predictably mental, hitting speeds up to 45mph until I had a high speed wobble on a corner and eased it back after that. At least the surface was pretty good, which may not say much for our local roads.

The rest of the route is the roller coaster around the northern side of the peninsula, where the hills get worse towards the northern side, some of these also involving gradients of nearly 20%. The first few miles were sheltered, and the speed crept up. However, turning onto the northern side the wind took hold and it was a real grueller. There was hardly a wheel to catch as folk were spread out so it became a lone battle against the wind and terrain for most. Again, there were loads of casualties in this area, some folk just standing or sitting at the side of the road, not even pushing. The worst thing about the event is that they tell you the circuit is 43 miles so you're looking at the mileage on your computer to see when the end is coming. Its actually 45, and those 2 extra miles also involve hills!

My time was 3:24:00, a full 16 min faster than last year. Looking back, I can see parts where I could have easily saved time so there is still unfinished business to attract me back again.

Photo by Northsport

Fred Whitton
Simon Kenny rode the notoriously difficult lake district sportive last Sunday, here Simon takes up the story:

Sadiq Mir and I paired up for this. We had some very changeable weather with the first couple of hours in warmth and sunshine with sweat literally dripping off me, followed by around an hour or so of rain and a drop in temperature which saw me shivering with fingers numb to the extent that I couldn’t feel the brake/gear levers. The next bout of sunshine eventually thawed my hands/gloves out again, but this took an agonisingly long time.

As you would expect from the Fred Whitton, the climbs really were something else with in my opinion, the Honister and Hardknott passes taking honours for brutality. Any pictures I’d seen of Hardknott during cycling events always included lots of people getting off and walking. That's exactly what it was like on the day - it really was total carnage. However, I was very pleased to conquer Hardknott and other climbs without getting off the bike.

Sadiq likened us to the 'Little and Large' show in terms of our differing abilities on the bike and that's a fair comment. We are pretty different but on the day, it worked well.

I think in general Sadiq felt a bit fresher than me, especially during the middle 3 - 4 hours, and certainly handled the descents a lot more confidently than me. I really am a bit of a sh*t-bag when it comes to swooping down those winding hills (think I'll need new brake pads – my weedy arms were actually sore with pulling on the brakes!). However, I think I was best to stay in the confines of my ability/comfort as we did see a few battered riders (and bikes) from some over-zealous descenders, their day cut unexpectedly short.

Sadiq and I stuck together all the way round and both posted 8:18. Not a record-breaking time, but what a great day on the bike.

Hard, but really enjoyable and would definitely go back for more of the same.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Mid Calder Social on Monday on 16th May

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!


Grant Craven and Tom Beattie are the new 2011 TT series organisers. Tom Announces this year's series

The 2011 TT series starts on the 12th May. Last years fastest man, Jonathan Buckley and series winner, Allan McCrimmon have both hung up their TT bikes for this season - so who's going to be top dog of the TT's for 2011?

Whether you're racing for the series win or just for your own PB come along on Thursday evenings and support the series, and maybe earn some bragging rights into the bargain.

IMPORTANT - To run the series we require two volunteers each week, one timekeeper and one pusher off, neither job is terribly difficult and if you've not done it before, instructions will be given and there will be plenty people there to keep you right. If you're going to race in the series then you should volunteer at least once throughout the series, when you volunteer you will be awarded series point so that you don't lose out, (in fact for some of us these are our highest scoring weeks).

Click here to volunteer here: TT series forum

Please post up on the forum to volunteer for specific dates, I would like these roles to be filled at least two weeks in advance so that we can organise the handover of the TT equipment bag to the next volunteers each Thursday evening as far as possible.

The full details are here

All riders should fully familiarise themselves with the risk assessment.

The series dates are noted below, lets get the volunteer slots filled as early as possible to ensure the smooth running of our series.

Dates for the series:

A 10 race series every thursday on the following dates:
Registration is between 7.00 and 7.15. Race starts 7.30pm

TT1:12th May
TT2: 19th May
TT3: 26th May
TT4: 2nd June
TT5: 9th June

2-UP TT champs - Thursday 16th June

++3 week break to accommodate local and school holidays +++
Training rides are planned to replace the TT series during the break

TT6: 21st July
TT7: 28th July
TT8: 4th August
TT9: 11th August
TT10: 18th August

Photo of the week: Linlithgow Lollypop lady

Bathgate Alps - now with even more photos

We've added more photos to our map of the Bathgate Alps. Click on the blue place markers to read about each climb, or view the larger map.

View Bathgate Alps in a larger map

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New Member!

John Hanlin joined up in 2010, You'll have seen him on the RadTour and New Year's day ride, here is his belated introduction the club:

I am budding 'keen' cyclist who aspirations to improve/challenge myself and my fitness. Up until 4 years ago I was a 'trying' triathlete but knee issues put paid to that avenue of fitness.

I have 4 bikes , MTB , a tourer, and 2 road steeds (I just got a new Trek... if you have a spare hour I will tell you the story). I have toured NW side of Scotland and toured the Avignon region of France last year, both trips were with my partner Lynne.

New Member!

Alison Dourley joined up at the start of the year and regularly rides with the East Calder crew, more recently she was part of the welcoming party that rode with North Cheshire Clarion as they cycled to the Easter Meet:

My name is Alison and I live in Kirknewton with my family. My husband, Dave, started cycling with Neil Greer sometime ago, and I became a cycling widow!! So, since then I've been keen to get more into cycling. I have had a bike for a number of years now, but it only came out occasionally for family holidays and local cycles. I should also mention that it was a mountain bike not a road bike.
A few of my friends share the same interests as me, and over the last 3 or 4 years we have all purchased road bikes. We normally cycle local routes when time and weather permit, and enjoy the 2 bridges route during the summer months. I've done the Caledonian Etape twice and hope to do more sportive type rides in the future. This year I plan to do the social rides when I can, and cycle with the ladies groups. This summer, I'm going to cycle to my cousins' wedding back in Stornaway (where I'm from). Dave will be doing this also, although he isn't exactly keen!! There is also talk of a British Airways / Comic Relief charity cycle from Edinburgh Airport to London City Airport that I may take part in. So, I'm training at the moment and as the weather improves I'll be out a bit more.

I work away quite often and this combined with Daves' shifts and childcare can make it difficult to get out regularly, but with a bit of organisation, I should be out and about soon.

I currently ride a Specialized Dolce sport that is a year and a half old.


New Member!

Iain Elliot joined up this spring and is a regular on the club runs and recently participated in our race coaching sessions

I've always been into bikes ever since I was a kid, but only started getting seriously into it about 10 years ago. I got my first road bike, and couldn't get enough of it. Contemplated joining a club at this point, but like lots of things, it just never seemed to happen.

After a few years, I turned to mountain bikes, and the road bike was sold. A few years down the line and I got the hankering for another road bike, and here I am, and I've finally joined a club! After looking around at different clubs, I really liked the look of the club and it's ethos of helping riders achieve their own goals.

I'm thinking of giving the summer TT series a go, although looking at last years times, I don't think anyone need worry about me challenging the top times!

At the moment I've got a Specialized Tarmac Elite and still have my Specialized Rockhopper Expert for when I want to head into the hills. I've only been on one ride with the club so far, but everyone was very welcoming, and despite some treacherous conditions I thoroughly enjoyed the run, and discovered some new roads I never new existed!

Look forward to meeting you again soon. I can't make every week, but will try to come along as often as possible.

New Member!

Neil Wilson is a new member and trainee level 2 coach:

"I started MTB in the late 80s, night riding at Mabie Forest, etc. This was before the 7 Stanes project come into existence. Rock climbing and a move to Edinburgh in 1992 put a halt to cycling for about 10 years but in 2002 I caught the bug again. Glentress and other trail centres caught my imagination and off I went.

After 2 years of talking about it I decided to enter the 70 Wild Miles event in Glencoe (2009). This started my interest in road cycling. To date I have completed the 70 Wild Miles twice, several MTB Merida Mountain Marathon events (Chain Reaction as it is now known) and recently the Scottish Nokia Coast To Coast.

This year I have successfully entered the Drumlanrig Sportive (Tearfund), the Fred Whitton (GULP) and the Trossachs Ton. I am currently building a bike for the Nokia Coast To Coast in September. I hope to enter the Kirroughtree Ten, Relentless 24 and have been press ganged into the Strathpuffer.

I have 4 bikes and one in progress - a Santa Cruz Heckler, a Pace 305, a Cannondale CAAD5 and a Giant TCR2 Composite. My project is a cyclocross style bike based on my old Melin Malt 2 frame.

My favourite cycling is either MTB at Ae Forest, Innerleithen or mountain routes like the Feshie Bridge Challenge. On road I like local hilly rides around Linlithgow and beyond. I need to expand my horizons regarding road biking but plan a lot of visits to the Crow Road very soon."

New Member!

Stephen Darling joined up last month:

"I moved down from Aberdeen a couple of years ago, but with one little one and one very little one, there was not much time for cycling. However, now they’re a bit bigger (3.5 & 1.5) it’s a bit easier to get out, so I thought I’d join up to see if I could get involved in a few club runs and other activities.

My cycling history started with mountain biking as a teenager – I even had a couple of races though I wasn’t that great – but then I didn’t do that much for a few years. I got back into it, mostly on the road this time, with an end-end in ’05, and started Audaxing, with an SR series in ’07, though that was the only one of those I’ve done so far, partly due to the time they take, partly due to the fact that I couldn’t walk for 2 weeks after one of the longer rides.

In 2008 I enjoyed a year in Deeside Thistle; took part in their club TT series and had a lot of fun. I also took part in the Scottish 12hr TT, coming last in the field! But I got a new job down here and so stopped being a member. That was about the time our littlest one was born, so last couple of years I have just been pootling along with commuting and the odd longer ride. This year though I’ve been getting more miles in again.

You’ll probably see me most often on the 2005 Ribble Audax bike that I bought for the end to end, but I’m afraid I’ve occasionally been a bit trigger-happy in EbayLand, so there’s a couple of others of a certain age in the garage including a Raleigh, proudly boasting that it is an ‘All-Steel Bicycle’ that weighs only slightly less than the Forth Bridge.

Looking forward to meeting everyone, Steve."

Revealed: Our most popular photos in 2011

These are our most popular photos, by page view, in our flickr gallery. Click the title to see them.

1. Club photo with spin class bloke
Non mover
Still at number 1 for the 2nd year, our first ever group photo from 2009, with an unnamed spin class instructor. Views 340

2. Shona Young
Non mover
2009 member, Shona, models her club jersey and stays at number two for the second year. Views 289

3. Julie Dominguez
Highest new entry
Our track ace is a new entry at number 3, this photo was taken in 2009 at our TT series. Views 238

4. Neil Fraser
New entry
The club's prolific Audax rider is another new entry in our list of most popular photos. Views 208

5. 2010 club photo
Up 2 places
Our second group photo, taken in front of Linlithgow Palace in 2010, grows in popularity but still can't make top spot. Views 205

6. Tuesday night chain gang route
Down 3 places
Our 2010 training session never quite got off the ground and last year's highest new entry, the map of the location, slips 3 places. Views 200

7. July 4th 2009 club run
Down 3 places
A big turn out at our old club run start point (the Scottish Korean War Memorial). It was a fine ride that took in South Queensferry and a blast up Kingscavil. Views 181

8. Tobias Bauer
New entry
Our president returns to the top 10, this is what he looked like before he started riding Audaxes. Views 166

9. Allan McCrimmon
New entry
Last year's TT series winner and mile eating tourer moves into the top 10 for the first time. Views 157

10. Most Meritorious section
Down 5 places
This photo was taken in 2009, at Blackness Castle, to celebrate our first award as the National Clarion's most meritorious section, since then the club has been presented with the title in 2010 and 2011 too. Views 154

2010 most popular photos here:

2009 most popular photos here:

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Wanted: Volunteers for our Open 10TT

Last years Clarion Open 10 TT was a superb event. Lets make our 2011 race just as good but we need your help.
Please volunteer your time. It's your chance to don a fluorescent tabard and bellow loudly without anyone telling you to be quiet. Tobias Bauer, the organiser explains more:

Dear all

As in 2010, the West Lothian Clarion is organising an open 10-mile time trial on the Cambusbarron course near Stirling. This year’s event will be on Sunday 5 June at 8am.

As always, this is only possible with the help of club members and other volunteers and I am looking for people who are willing to take on one of the following tasks:

One commissaire
Time keepers and recorders x 3
Marshals x 4
Rider registration x 2
Kitchen and other helpers x 3
Bakers and food preparers
Last year we had to ask external officials to act a commissaire and time keepers but I feel that we now have the expertise needed to cover these posts within the club. A TT is a very good way of getting first experience as assistant road commissairs since it doesn’t require any convoys, cars, etc.

Our open events have a very good reputation and I am confident that we can repeat last year’s success.

Please let me know if you are able to help.

Thanks in advance,


Calling Clarion women - support the women's road race champs

We're asking Clarion women to enter the Women's Scottish Road Race Championships, as according to the post below on it could be canclled due to lack of interest. Read on and enter...

The Scottish Road Race Championships (men’s & women’s) are being held on 22 May 2011, in Balfron.

With less than a week to go until entries close, the women’s field is severely lacking to the point where the women’s race may have to be cancelled!

This is very disappointing, as much hard work was involved in putting on a separate race for the women. The race is open to ALL categories. It’s all well and good us women crying that we want more women only races, but if we don’t support the ones we do have then there is no chance of the calendar expanding.

So please please show your support and enter if you can.

For more details contact the club's women's coordinator Debbie Pollard: lasses[AT]

Enter on line HERE

Combined club run this weekend...

Club Captain, Neil Greer, is planning the next 12 week's of club runs but he needs your help. If you have a new route you'd like to try please let him know. Read on for Neil's plans this weekend.

Despite my good intentions ("The Road to Hell etc...." I hear you chorus!) I have still not been able to get myself organised to get the next 12 weeks club runs published.

In part, this is due to some new routes having been suggested by the East Calder riders, so, if any Linlithgow riders have some routes they also want incorporated into the schedule, now is the time to speak up! And if you do, can you please provide the Bikely/toaster link for the route. Thanks.

As for this week-end, as it is the first Sat. of the month this means Combined Club Run, so can I suggest that this should be the Two Bridges.

Saturday Two Bridges Route
Linlithgow - meet at 8.50 am for a 9 am depart; East Calder meet at 7.50 for an 8 am depart to ride over to LLC.

Meet at the Cross as usual for a 9 am depart.

Finally, can I please make a second request for data on the last 3 weeks rides from LLC. Many folk like to know how the club is progressing over the year and this is one way of giving that feedback, but it does mean I need the raw data. It doesn't need to be Poet Laureate stuff, just the bare stats of Route, Nos (split M & F), distance covered and average mph.

As I have another commitment I shall not be able to make this ride, but if any East Calder riders want to join me at 7 am I shall be going out for a 2 hour run.

Enjoy your rides!



'Nae Bother' to proper cyclists

Tobias Bauer and Neil Fraser completed another qualifying stage for their Paris-Brest-Paris 1200km Audax, this time it was a 400km 'Nae Bother to Us' slog around the West of Scotland says Neil:

Well the good luck with the weather for the qualifiers had to end at some point and it ended on Saturday at the Portmahomack 400. Not that it rained, oh no. Clouds - hardly a single one to be seen. Just a relentless and punishing East wind.

It started well. Forty riders left Portmahomack - at 6am already in full sunshine. With a tailwind from the get go the pace of the group just kept getting higher, until we were sitting at 40kmh on the flat. Great views and good chat in the bunch, with everyone relaxed and looking forward to a good day out. Loch Shinn flew past and when we reached the turn at Laxford Bridge my average speed was 31kmh.

Riders - Graeme Wyllie, Edinburgh Road Club and Alex Pattison, Angus Bike Chain

The road North from there to Durness got a bit lumpy and the Easterly wind strengthed. A bit less conversation but we carried on. Stopped in Durness for a Cream Egg and a Coffee from a wee shop then hit the infamous A838 along the North coast to Melvich. This road is like a roller-coaster, relentlessly climbing from sea-level to over 200m then immediately dropping back again. On a good day it's tough. With a strong headwind it's a world of pain. My average speed for this section was 13kmh and I was chewing the stem just to keep that going. At times I was close to just getting off and walking. A control at Strathy with good home made fish pie raised the spirits and this was quickly followed by relief as the route finally flattened out and turned South. A pint and a packet of crisps in a small hotel at Kinbrace set us up for the evening run, a gentle tailwind pushing us West into the sunset at Altnaharra before a long steady climb up to the famous Crask Inn.

At Crask they'd laid on coffee/tea/soup/baked potatos/crumble (and of course a bar!) so we had a nice long stop and didn't start on the last leg until 0030. By this time the night was pretty cold but in a six strong grupetto we pedalled gently back to the finish, getting into Portmahomack at just before 0400. Not my fastest 400 but given the route and the wind I felt okay about it.

I've done a fair few audaxes and I found this one pretty hard work. So I've got to say Chapeau! to Tobias for getting round in a comfortable time. He came in a couple of hours after me but looked an awful lot fresher than I felt. The 400 is a big step up from shorter audaxes as it involves a lot of night riding. Tobias is clearly top audaxing material as he finished this one and is still keen to do more!

There's even a great wee video of the trip featuring our President at 4 minutes...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Gateway to the Highlands Sportive times

Many thanks to the organisers Grant Craven, Michelle Gregory and Neil Fraser. We'd also like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers and riders who took park.

Comments about the event here:

100 Rod Aitchison 03:42
101 Andrew Baird 04:15
102 Graeme Barr 03:47
103 Hamish Battye 04:18
104 Stuart Bird 04:30
105 David Bisset 05:30
106 Al Black 03:14
107 Matt Blackburn 04:58
108 Richard Brown 05:02
109 Neil Boyd 04:08
110 Peter Buchan 04:42
111 Colin Buchanan
112 Steve Burton 05:05
113 David Cairns 04:04
114 Keith Cameron 05:02
115 Andy Cato
116 Rachel Chalmers 05:17
117 Ian Clarke 04:08
118 Lindsay Clarke 04:28
119 Steve Clarke 04:28
120 John Clayton
121 Andy Cook 04:08
122 Douglas Corbett 04:18
123 Diane Cox
124 Giovanni D'Alessio 04:08
125 Craig Dickie 03:41
126 Murat Dilek 05:04
127 Chris Downey 04:27
128 Craig duncan 04:57
129 Eric Easton
130 Mike Ewart ############
131 Simon Fagan 04:12
132 Kevin Ferris 04:18
133 Graeme Forbes 05:01
134 Tony Gibson
135 John goldie
136 John Gordon
137 Peter Gorrie 05:23
138 Stewart Gracie
139 Stuart Gray 04:02
140 Stuart Greeves
141 Nick Hall 03:50
142 Richard Hancock
143 Bob Harber 05:11
144 Stephen Henley 05:00
145 David Hills 05:18
146 Graeme Horne 04:11
147 Andy Horner 03:57
148 Adrian Hughes 03:54
149 Christopher Hughes 05:02
150 Gordon Jackson 03:50
151 Wilson Kane 03:49
152 Ian Kirby 04:45
153 Colin Lofthouse 04:11
154 Siang Ling Loh 05:04
155 Calum Lorimer 04:41
156 Jim MacDonald 04:34
157 Gary Macfarlane 04:11
158 Roy MacGregor 05:32
159 Bruce Mackie
160 Andy Martin 04:24
161 Alan Massey 04:12
162 Neil mcainsh
163 Mark McCabe 04:27
164 Stuart mcclymont
165 Charlie mccoll 04:27
166 Stephen mcdowall 04:06
167 Denis McFadden 04:40
168 Alan McGinlay 05:36
169 John McGivern 04:08
170 Ross Middleton 03:47
171 David Mitchell 05:18
172 Tim Moss 05:04
173 Phil Mullery 04:58
174 David Murdoch 04:44
175 Alan Murray 04:46
176 Paul nunn 03:49
177 Kevin O'Hara 04:40
178 Jamie O'Kane 04:18
179 Stewart Osborne 04:18
180 Allan Ramsay 04:21
181 Charles Rollo
182 John Royle 04:28
183 Alan Rutherford 04:42
184 John Schyma 04:44
185 Thomas Schyma 04:44
186 Gordon Scott 05:31
187 Bob Scully 05:13
188 Liz Short 05:36
189 Sarah Smith 05:18
190 Kirsty Stephen 06:01
191 Stephen Mooney 03:51
192 Willie stephen 06:01
193 Iain Stewart
194 Alistair syme 05:32
195 Ishbel Taromsari
196 Billy Todd ############
197 Craig Watson 05:00
198 Bill Young 04:06
199 Steven Fleming 04:28
200 Elaine Sandeman 06:07
201 Keith Murray ############
202 John Dickie ############
203 Andy Colman 04:11
204 James Mitchell 04:40
205 Andrew Murdoch 04:49
206 David Dalziel 03:37
207 James Batty 04:06
208 Andrew Mancmarowski 04:52
209 Trevor Hutton 04:52

Wallace Monument Easter Hillclimb

Organiser, Tom Beattie, pulled off a cracking event on Easter Saturday.

It had everything: a closed road to race on; cracking prizes; a full field including Scotland's best hill climbers and youth riders; tasty snacks in the cafe; a large crowd to cheer the riders and a loaf of Soreen for every competitor!

The one thing that didn't turn up was the sun, so the anticipated view from the top wasn't as glorious as it could have been.

Many thanks to Tom who did a superb job arriving at the start after working a night shift. West Lothian Clarion would also like to thank all the competitors and volunteers who helped make the race a special event.

40 Arthur Doyle Dooleys Cycles 2 1.45
18 Eddie Cowie Stirling Bike Club 3 1.48
28 Gordon Chisholm Perth United CC 4 1.54
24 Matthew Ball West Lothian Clarion 4 2.03
13 Mark Baugh Stirling Bike Club 3 2.07
47 Kyle Petrie Stirling Bike Club Youth A 2.07
38 Scott Johnston Team Icarus 3 2.08
6 Mark Donaldson Falkirk Bike Club 4 2.09
31 Jeremy Evans Unattached 4 2.09
26 Andrew Stewart Glasgow Ivy CC 4 2.11
16 Scott Glasgow Glasgow Nightingale CC 4 2.12
39 Andrew Colman Unattached 4 2.14
33 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC 4 2.15
34 Nick Hall Bury Clarion 3 2.15
9 Peter Cullen Stirling Bike Club 4 2.17
15 Sharon Doyle Sandy Wallace Cycles F 2.17
27 Andrew Abbess Stirling Bike Club 4 2.19
36 Craig Gilmour Falkirk Bike Club 4 2.26
12 Simon Fagan West Lothian Clarion 4 2.27
37 Stephen Darling West Lothian Clarion 4 2.28
58 Matthias Barnet Edinburgh RC Youth B 2.31
29 Ian Clarke Fenland Clarion 3 2.35
56 Rhys Donnelly Glasgow Riderz Youth B 2.37
23 Grant Craven West Lothian Clarion 4 2.40
19 Andy Horner Bury Clarion 3 2.41
5 David Mason West Lothian Clarion 4 2.42
7 David Martin Unattached 4 2.48
25 Anne Greig Perth United CC F 2.50
46 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC Youth A 2.50
53 Alistair Merry Discovery Junior cc Youth B 2.50
48 Keri Greig Unattached Youth A 2.57
22 Chris Goode Manchester & Salford Clarion 4 2.59
50 Emma Borthwick Edinburgh RC Youth B 3.00
59 Lulu Bartlett Edinburgh RC Youth B 3.00
49 Jamie Mason West Lothian Clarion Youth B 3.07
60 Cameron Mason West Lothian Clarion Youth C 3.16
30 Diane Cox West Lothian Clarion F 3.22
35 Katherine Wren Stirling Bike Club F 3.23
51 Lewis Stewart Glasgow Riderz Youth B 3.25
10 Shona Greig West Lothian Clarion F 3.33
52 Calum Johnston Team Icarus Youth B 3.46
57 Ryan Glasgow Unattached Youth B 3.55
8 Bob Duckworth Bury Clarion 3 4.04
55 CallumGreer West Lothian Clarion Youth B 4.04
67 Abby Stewart Glasgow Riderz Youth D 4.07
65 Alexander Ball West Lothian Clarion Youth D 4.10
17 Martin Greig Unattached 4 4.21
20 Debbie Pollard West Lothian Clarion F 4.22
71 Sam Chisholm West Lothian Clarion Youth E 4.22
61 Alistair Abbess SBC Wallace Warriors Youth C 4.39
45 Rhona Beattie West Lothian Clarion Youth A 4.43
68 Audrey Doyle Unattached Youth D 4.59
62 Lorna Doyle Unattached Youth C 5.00
54 Stuart Paterson Unattached Youth B 5.04
72 Finlay Gilmour West Lothian Clarion Youth E 5.09
73 Andrew Turner West Lothian Clarion YouthE 5.29
64 Ryan Ewing West Lothian Clarion Youth C 5.36
63 Morven Greer West Lothian Clarion Youth C 5.57
69 Patrick Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC Youth E 6.50
66 Catherine Abbess SBC Wallace Warriors Youth D 7.46

21 Martin Perfect London Clarion 4 DNF
32 Robert Harber National Clarion CC 4 DNF
11 Frank Anderson West Lothian Clarion 4 DNS
14 Terence McMahon Glasgow Ivy CC 4 DNS
70 Struan Beattie West Lothian Clarion youth E DNS

National Clarion Championships
West Lothian won almost every category in the National Clarion event

Team prize: West Lothian
Matthew Ball, Simon Fagan, Stephen Darling

1. Diane Cox, 2. Shona Greig, 3. Debbie Pollard

1. Matthew Ball, 2. Nick Hall (Bury) 3. Simon Fagan

Youth A Girls: Rhonna Beattie
Youth B: 1. Jamie Mason, 2. Callum Greer
Youth C Boys: 1. Cameron Mason, 2. Ryan Ewing
Youth C: Girls: Morven Greer
Youth D: Alexander Ball
Youth E: 1. Sam Chisholm, 2. Finlay Gilmour, 3. Andrew Turner

A big thnak you to those who supported the event by donating prizes, they are;

The Wheelroom, East Calder.
Leith Cycles, Edinburgh.
The Tricentre, Edinburgh.
Bicycle Repairman Edinburgh.
Herbies Bikes, Broxburn.

and of course NOrth Cheshire Clarion and Soreen

Monday, 2 May 2011

Ride our club 10 mile time trial series

Grant Craven and Tom Beattie are the new 2011 TT series organisers. Tom Announces this year's series

The 2011 TT series starts on the 12th May. Last years fastest man, Jonathan Buckley and series winner, Allan McCrimmon have both hung up their TT bikes for this season - so who's going to be top dog of the TT's for 2011?

Whether you're racing for the series win or just for your own PB come along on Thursday evenings and support the series, and maybe earn some bragging rights into the bargain.

IMPORTANT - To run the series we require two volunteers each week, one timekeeper and one pusher off, neither job is terribly difficult and if you've not done it before, instructions will be given and there will be plenty people there to keep you right. If you're going to race in the series then you should volunteer at least once throughout the series, when you volunteer you will be awarded series point so that you don't lose out, (in fact for some of us these are our highest scoring weeks).

Click here to volunteer here: TT series forum

Please post up on the forum to volunteer for specific dates, I would like these roles to be filled at least two weeks in advance so that we can organise the handover of the TT equipment bag to the next volunteers each Thursday evening as far as possible.

The full details are here

All riders should fully familiarise themselves with the risk assessment.

The series dates are noted below, lets get the volunteer slots filled as early as possible to ensure the smooth running of our series.

Dates for the series:

A 10 race series every thursday on the following dates:
Registration is between 7.00 and 7.15. Race starts 7.30pm

TT1:12th May
TT2: 19th May
TT3: 26th May
TT4: 2nd June
TT5: 9th June

2-UP TT champs - Thursday 16th June

++3 week break to accommodate local and school holidays +++
Training rides are planned to replace the TT series during the break

TT6: 21st July
TT7: 28th July
TT8: 4th August
TT9: 11th August
TT10: 18th August