As I write this editorial the sun is shining and I feel I really should be outside while the good weather lasts. I know that many of you have been out and about in all sorts of weather. Let's hope that we are in for a really good summer and lots of enjoyable miles on the road together.
It has been a sad quarter with the loss of Arthur Hames, Maureen Heggs and Tony Mellor. These are some of the people which have made our DA what it is today. All are remembered on the pages of this magazine. My personal
condolences to their families and friends.
This copy is a little thinner than of late but I hope you will enjoy it all the same. Eileen Johnson is still appealing for someone to take over from her as her last distribution is the September edition.
I was thrilled to receive the Hames Award at the DA Prize Presentation. It was lovely to see Joyce and her son Alan again after many years. My grandchildren Hannah and Adam came for the first time to a Long Alley skittles event and both had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. They had been practicing on their Wii but said that it was a lot harder.
Once again a big thank you to Penny Clay for her beautiful cover.
I've had an interesting week in Ulster and Ireland. Penny and I decided to go to the CTC annual dinner in Belfast in April. Apart from the attraction of the event being held in the parliament buildings in Stormont, we have friends in Belfast and there are many beautiful areas of countryside to explore. So we decided to spend a week touring (by car I'm afraid to confess).
We checked into our B&B in Belfast on the Friday night in the company of Chris Juden and his family and, on Saturday night, we shared a taxi to the dinner. The parliament buildings are very impressive and the security very tight. The function passed off very successfully. After the dinner, various trophies and awards were presented by Paul Priestly, the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Regional Development, no less. I collected an award on behalf of InTandem. The award wasfor runner up Volunteer Group of the Year. So I took home a large silver trophy, a framed certificate and a inscribed medallion.
During the week's touring in Ulster we enjoyed the north coast, the Giant's Causeway, the Rope Bridge, and Bushmills Distillery. We also travelled down to Dublin to catch up with our son, west to Galway and back to Belfast and Stranraer. It was a very successful holiday clouded only by the threatened fuel shortage, which didn't materialise. I'm afraid our carbon footprint took a knocking but the car won't be going far in the foreseeable future. I can recommend Belfast for a holiday. Lots to see and do.
Back to events nearer home. The now annual skittles/prize presentation at the Wheatsheaf, Thurcaston seemed to be well received. Joyce Hames kindly agreed to be the guest of honour and recounted many stories of past times. It was attended by a number of members who don't now cycle but who like to keep in touch and have a Chat about old times.
Unfortunately, the response to the invitation to visit Domont near Paris has been poor. Last year, a party of French cyclists came over to their twinned town of Shepshed. The visit was very successful and some of us in the DA helped with the organisation of the rides and gave general advice. The Shepshed Twinning Association would like to reciprocate and arrange for some local cyclists to travel to Domont. The date being looked at is Sat/Sun 13th/14th Sept. If anyone would like further details, please let me know.
With the prospect of a new town being built east of Leicester and also areas identified west as far as Burton-on-Trent, what will the impact be, aprart from the obvious , the loss of quiet routes etc.? However it is possible that newcomers may enjoy cycling and would look to the CTC. No doubt much discussion will take place before anything happens.
County events during this winter, have proved popular, a splendid Award evening at Thurcaston, an enjoyable long day at the David Sulley rides, followed by the 30 mile ride and freewheel competition which was rather pleasing as CTC Charnwood took the first three places. Enough boasting, a big thank you form me to our organisers of these events, however a busy period is on its way.
Four one day events, plus one probable and the weekend of Beaumanor Hall, all of which my family and I have every intention of helping at. My family's favourite is Beaumanor Hall with it's stunning beauty, and its wll laid out grounds.
Holidays will soon take priority, this year my family and I will be enjoying two breaks, one is to be taken at Cromer, Norfolk. The second is in late summer and is a coach and rail tour centred on Beauly, near Inverness.
I hope all our members enjoy their holidays and the weather is kind.
The better weather we so eagerly anticipated was very slow in materializing. The Section did however enjoy three reasonable rides in January - Alex's ride to The Scaddows, Ticknall, and Brenda's ride around Martinshaw Woods. There was also Howard's ride to Alrewas, when we visited the Chapel at the National Arboretum which was most interesting, when Keith pointed out various features, ie: the window strategically placed to reflect light on to the alter on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of each year. Also the story behind the small wooden carvings.
Snow was forecast for the first Sunday in February when it was bitterly cold, so a ramble was arranged to visit the Dimmingdale Woods to see the snowdrops, which was supported by eight members.
Richard Shanks defected from the Generals on the 17th February to lead an interesting ride out to The Bubble at Stenson Lock, then up and over the moor on the cycle trail leading to Chellaston and Marsh Flats. We were made very welcome at the White Hart Inn for lunch at Aston-on-Trent before returning via the Sustran trail to Staunton.
Pearl has also led some interesting rides, ie: to Tutbury, Burbage Common and Ridge Lane, where we met up with the Generals to sample the beer at the Working Men's Club.
Thanks to Lyn everyone enjoyed the Easter Tour, when we stayed at Anita's Campsite at Mollington, near Banbury. Twenty attended and despite the arctic conditions of sleet and snow, managed to enjoy the rides and evening meals. Martin in his 'General Knowledge' article will no doubt tell you more about the rides. A few of us timorous mortals took to our feet and enjoyed a couple of rambles. The first was led by Margaret from the campsite to Cropredy where we joined the Avon canal for a walk right to the centre of Banbury (about six miles), and the second led by Bob Gadsby to Farnborough Hall when we visited the National Herb Centre at Warmington for refreshments. On Monday we took a van ride to Charlecote Manor near Wellesbourne. This National Trust property was well worth the visit. Teresa, Heather and Sadie enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt whilst Mary, Howard and I toured the Manor. Needless to say, we sponsored the excellent restaurant.
Another excellent ride was Howard's Way. It was a lovely sunny morning when Howard led six of us out from Lount along the Melbourne Road to Worthington and the Sustran Trail. The wild primroses and violets were much in evidence as we rode towards Swarkestone, taking a left turn onto the Trent/Mersey Canal, then following the towpath to Swarkestone and riding along the A5132 through Barron-upon-Trent to Twyford, then taking the small lanes to Stenson Marina. On leaving there, we turned left and followed Stenson Lane to join Route 66 up to Hillcross, turning left along Moorway Lane, where we joined the marked cycle route along Templewell Close to join the lovely quiet Bakeacre Lane to Findern. Here we visited the Wheel Inn for an alfresco lunch on the patio, in brilliant sunshine. The intention was to take the small lane to Willington for the return journey but this was found to be closed so a detour was made along the main road to Repton. The main party took the route to Ashby via The Shrubs to visit Mary Margoschis at the Cottage Hospital, whilst the remainder took the usual route through Ticknall to Newbold.
Mary is now home complete with a new knee, which it is hoped proves to be a strong cycling one, although there is a slight doubt in our minds after a length of surgical wire was found on her floor!
Two of our lady stalwarts braved the elements for the 30k meander and freewheel, but were forced to retire after puncturing with the end practically in sight.
During a conversation with Ann and John Dickinson, it was made known that the YHA will be planting an orchard in the grounds of the new youth hostel at Conkers and they were asking for donations and sponsorship from various people. It occurred to me that perhaps the section will now be able to achieve its ambition of planting a tree in memory of Dick Thompson!
We have incorporated various camping weekends and interesting rides in the summer runs list, so please come along.
Loughborough Intermediate Section runs February to April 2008
The Vale of Belvoir was a draw in February, with two rides in that direction. On a bright sunny February day (something of a rarity in this period) we rode to Wymondham Windmill before looping down through the Vale for lunch in Long Clawson. Two weeks later we crossed the Vale for a lunch stop in Orston.
March started with typical windy days - a particularly strong wind battered us on Route 6 to Staunton Harold, where access was initially blocked by a fallen tree. Roger than took a circuitous and hilly route round to lunch in Ingleby - even
using some tracks near Repton. We returned through Calke Park, before going on via Whitwick and across Charnwood Forest to end a tough ride that wore everybody out.
The following week we were at Wymondham Windmill again before reaching lunch in Whissendine. The pub owners seemed concerned that they hadn't provided us with suitable food (only full Sunday lunches were available) and promised to provide a suitable cyclists baguette in future - let's hope they keep their word.
A week later we were back at Wymondham Windmill, although not by design. The plan was a car-assisted ride into Lincolnshire from Waltham - but storm-force wind and heavy rain wiped this out. It was surprising anyone turned up in Waltham, but six had, so we adjourned to the Windmill, where the owners opened up early for us to shelter and get warm (for a couple of hours, many cups of tea and plenty of breakfast). By 1200 conditions had eased enough to risk a ride. Despite twice being turned back by floods (and riding through the third lot) we had an enjoyable ride to Little Bytham, where the pub had changed hands and now provides plenty of food). Returning, we risked an unofficial crossing of the A1 into Exton Park and through Cottesmore back to Wymondham.
The weather succeeded in wiping out our planned Easter weekend in Norfolk - too much snow - but we'll be going there at the end of May instead. Last-minute improvisations continued when we rode to Hallaton - neither pub were interested in our custom any more, but the Bewick Arms café were as welcoming as always - with the sun shining we were able to sit on the terrace. The lower slopes of the track over to Goadby were wet and soggy, but the alternative route off the top towards Tugby has now been improved and was dry and stable, leading to a route home through Tilton.
There were more snow flurries the following week, making the tracks through Garendon, Grace Dieu and around Coalville particularly attractive on a ride to Ravenstone and Lullington..
Almost all of the group's regular riders turned out on April 13th, when Rob ducked the showers to take us to Landyke Lane, then Waltham, Wymondham and Sewstern to a new and friendly lunch destination in Greetham.. We returned to Little Dalby, but found the café closed, so pushed on for home.
Dave led our next car-assisted ride, starting in Sudbury, on to Marchington and through woodlands to Stowe by Charley for a tea stop at the Amerton Garden Centre. The ride then went through Milwich for lunch in Hollington, followed by the Churnet Valley before returning to Sudbury via Ellstone and Marston Montgomery.
For the last run in April, Larry led a group to Wymondham Windmill and on to Little Bytham for lunch. Other riders preferred to go to the Owston area to watch the Melton Cicle Classic international road race, and they discovered that the Little Dalby tea room (Larry's intended afternoon stop and popular with cyclists each summer) was permanently closed,. The weather forecast had predicted rain, but this held off until the evening, giving us better rides than expected.
The Generals have continued to explore the local countryside, returning to some of our old haunts - Ridge Lane, Boylestone, Horsley Woodhouse etc. We achieved 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Freewheel competition. Let's have a few more riders next time, please, we nearly had to make Alan do the run in his camper-van to make up the numbers.
At Easter we joined with the Easy Riders for a rather wet and snowy weekend's cycling based on a campsite in Mollington. The generals managed three rides, as follows:
22.3.08 To Buckingham.
This was a very windy day, with fine hail blasting our faces. As we sat in the pub at lunchtime there was very heavy hail, so we sat a bit longer. We had to stop on the way home when blizzard conditions prevented us from seeing the road, but nevertheless we had a very enjoyable ride. In the evening we joined the Easy Riders for a meal in Cropready
23.03.08 Easter Sunday.
We awoke to a White Easter. The snow only lasted long enough for a few photographs' and had melted by time we set off. West through Edge Hill Country Park, then along Edge Hill, down to Shipston on Stour for coffee, then through Long Compton to visit the Rollright Stones. On the way there, Keith T. had a problem with his wheel rubbing on the
mudguard, but after a couple of stops he finally managed to get the bike to roll right. We lunched at Hook Norton, in the pub that sold the full range of Hook Norton brewery ales, then back to Mollington. About 45 miles, but felt like more.
Lynnless, through Burton Dassett hills where we stopped for the view, then through Bishops Itchington hoping to find tea at Bishops Bowl Lakes water sport centre, but that does not seem to exist now, with the lakes lurking behind large "private" signs. We considered sneaking in the back way at Warwick Services, M40, but found we weren't that
desperate for tea, so continued on past Charlecote Park to Hampton Lucy for lunch, then back via Pillerton Hersey and Kineton, past the site of the battle of Edge Hill 1642, and back via Farnborough park to Mollington.
Our thanks go to Lynn for finding and booking the accommodation, and planning some of the rides. I understand that she is already researching next year's Easter Tour, so we look forward to that.
We have a full programme of rides planned for the summer, and we would welcome anyone to join us in those.
The Easy Riders theme for the 2008 photo competition is "Gates, Arches and Doorways". If you could send your entries to Alan before 31st December it would be much appreciated.
Nine of our section set out from the bus station for June's ride to Sileby via Watermead Park. After dodging the dog walkers it was then on to Wanlip, then Cossington to Meadow View Farm where we sat in a smoke filled room for morning coffee and also where Alan was awaiting our arrival and Jim returned home. It was then on to Quorn for lunch after which June and Pete also left the group. For the return journey we retraced our route through Sileby where Alan went home. We travelled on to Rothley and Anstey with a head wind all the way home. I am sure that June and Pete must have felt the wind the worst of all of us as they had just returned from two weeks in Jamaica.
Dave Holman had trouble with his bike on Alan's ride to Goadby Marwood just outside Frisby-on-the-Wreake where the pawls in the freewheel failed to engage in the rear block, so Dave had a long walk home, though he did eventually arrive back in Enderby.
I (Rose Holman) had a tumble on my bike just outside Kilby on Dave Smith's ride to Market Harborough. The rear wheel was buckled and the tyre blew out, so I was off my bike for four weeks so that the bruises could heal!!
As the weather was cold, wet and windy for Pete's ride to Swithland Woods on March 16th, June, Pete, Dave H and I voted for a shorter run to Cosby café where we sat in the cold and dark due to a power cut. After lunch I returned home while the remaining three carried on to Bean Bags for soup and a bread roll, after which Dave returned home, June and Pete took the road to Wistow and then home.
If any of the sections happen to be in the Rugby area, there is a very good café at the Village Farm Nurseries in Barby with a G scale Model Railway in operation during the winter months. The food is good and reasonably priced.
Dear Editor, Eric and Janet Neal's letter in the last edition commented on the apparent lack of articles describing local rides in our magazine. It was something I hadn't noticed. Possibly it was because I was constantly reading such articles, not in printed form, but on the various websites used for communication today.
I often submit a report of a ride to our South Leicestershire Yahoo Group website; it can then be delivered immediately to the email inboxes of others in the group. I also enjoy reading reports of rides of the Northants CTC, even though I don't ride with them. Our own D.A. Yahoo Group can be used for reports of D.A. events. The significance of using electronic publishing is that folk get to hear the information quickly, rather than months down the line in printed form.
I do nevertheless take Eric's point, so I've submitted to our editor a report of my ride with the Kettering Section back in April. Maybe others could follow suit?
The first week of February arrived with wind and rain. Our first Sunday run of the month was cut short due to the bad weather forecast. Neil, Jayne, Shane, Peter and I rode to Sutton Cheney Wharf for coffee where we met Gill and Bernard. The plan was to ride on to the Coalville Arms at Lullington for lunch. But no one fancied an 80 mile ride in the rain in February so we headed closer to home and had lunch the Pig in Muck at Claybrooke.
The following weekend the weather was a complete contrast. I rode a 200k audax from Cardiff to Malmesbury in weather that was almost like summer rather than spring and it held for the club run on Sunday. The weather brought everyone out. There were eleven of us for coffee at the Wetherspoons pub in Market Harborough, still doing a good deal on coffee and muffin on Sundays. Ten of us rode on via the hill up to East Farndon and Sibbertoft to the Wharf Inn at Welford for lunch. Gill Lord was full of cold and unable to ride but couldn't resist calling Bernard on his mobile to check up on who was out for the day.
A couple of weeks later and Gill Lord fully recovered from her cold joined the usual suspects plus Shane, Shaun, Dave, Peter and PKW for a ride via Honey Hill to coffee at Guilsborough where we were joined by Ivan and Ben. From here we split into three groups, those who said they were going straight home - and did, those who said they were going home - and went for lunch at the Black Horse at Walcote and the ones who had planned on staying out for the day who had lunch in Naseby.
Early March brought better weather than usual for the David Sulley Memorial rides. There was a good turnout as usual. I struggled having ridden an audax in very windy conditions on the Saturday.
The good weather held for another Sunday ride but over Easter I had planned to ride an Easter Arrow of just over 400k from Ullesthorpe to York via St Neots with three other riders. We started off in what felt like perfect weather as we bowled along to St Neots at an average of just under 20mph. Then we turned north and headed across the fens straight into the headwind that had helped our progress on the first stage. The next 6 hours were what some call character forming. Riding alongside the sixteen foot drain with no shelter from the wind and gusts that veered from all directions sending you either into the middle of the road or completely off it was not enjoyable and felt dangerous. As the light went it got progressively colder. Eventually at an evening
checkpoint the team looked at each other and Dave Bartlett stated "I ride my bike for fun - and this isn't fun2. At that point we abandoned the ride. Dave rode home to Leicester, Mike and I rode on to a Travelodge arriving in heavy snow and Paul our fourth team member called for his support team (parents) to pick him up.
In early April the Hinckley CRC evening time trials started again. Neil Dixon came to have a go and beat me by two minutes at his first attempt and has improved his times since.
I mentioned that Jayne and I were going to try some early season riding in the Algarve this year instead of Spain. We returned last weekend having had a lovely week riding in the sun. Each morning needed a couple of miles riding to get clear of the busier roads around the resorts on the coast but once inland on the country roads it was quiet with lovely rolling countryside with a few sharp hills to get the heart and lungs working. The fields were a riot of wild flowers with yellow and purple being the predominant colours. I probably took in as many calories in beer, wine and good food as I burnt off during the day but the good company of our riding companions made it worthwhile.
Our minds are now focussed on where to tour in the summer.
This years meander rides on the 20th April proved to be a local event with out any visitors from out side the area. This may have been due to the weather forecast and the predicted wet morning which proved to be correct for once.
A total of 12 riders braved the morning, starting from Thornton Reservoir car park entrance. 10 riders completed the 30 mile and 2 only for the 30 Km routes. It was noticeable that all riders were Vets and made up from the Charnwood and Leicester Easy Rider Sections.
Unfortunately there was a delay between the rides and freewheel but as this was in the Bricklayers Arms no serious complaints were made. The enforced pub stop seemed to help the Charnwood Section as they managed the first three places in the Freewheel Event!
10 riders took part in the Freewheel, the eventual winner being Rowland Smith followed by Martin Bulmer and Joe Butler, all of Charnwood Section.
Arthur Hames 1919-2008 Alan and I would like to thank our many old friends for the lovely sympathy cards we received on the passing of our much-loved husband and father, Arthur. Also it was much appreciated seeing so many of you at his funeral on the 29th February.
Having been brought up myself by very keen club cyclists, it was not surprising that I should follow in their footsteps - or should I say 'carbon footprints'. After the end of World War 2 when I was 18, my dad suggested I join this great club of ours. That was when I met Arthur - secretary of the old 'Inters' section. What great times we had in those old days!
Since Arthur died, Alan and I have been reading some biographical notes that Arthur had been jotting down quite recently, and we thought you may be interested to read this snippet where he describes the start of his passion for cycling way back in the 1930's:
When I was about 17 my friend's parents bought him a bicycle, and he began to get interested in cycling. This set me off, but I couldn't ride a bike or afford to buy one. As it happened, a chap at work told me he had an old machine that he didn't want. When I collected it and walked it home, I could see that it would need a great deal of work to make it usable and safe.
After a wobbly start around the local streets, I managed to get the hang of controlling it. After one of my excursions, I was riding back to Mornington Street when the back tyre blew out. Back home I managed to patch it up, but in the end a new tyre and tube had to be obtained.
My first excursion was on the Humberstone Road, past the horse trough and the Shaftesbury Cinema and a short distance along Overton Road. I remember being quite out of breath, and feeling relieved and excited that I had not fallen off. Anyway, I got back home safely. After that my trips got longer, and I was enjoying my new freedom. There were fewer cars on the road then of course. One evening I thought I would do a spin up the Newark Road (now the A46). All went well until I got beyond Syston and nearly to the 'Gate Hangs Well' Inn, when there was a tinkling sound from my front wheel, which had started to jam. I dismounted and looked at the wheel with horror. The ball bearings had come out on my front hub and scattered everywhere. Somehow, one of the cones must have worked loose. Unfortunately just one ball had stayed in, causing the wheel to misalign so that the tyre rubbed the forks. I had no tools with me, so there was nothing for me to do but walk home. It was now gone 7.30 pm and by the time I staggered in, it was 10.30 pm and Dad was not amused to say the least.
It was pretty evident that if I wanted to take up cycling seriously, I would have to get a better machine. Eventually, after much heart searching, I went along to George Evans' shop on Humberstone Road, near Spa Place, and bought a machine on hire purchase. I think it was 5/- down and 2/6d every week until I paid off the £7.12. 6 needed. The bicycle had raised handlebars, a Sturmey three speed gear, cable brakes, gear case, saddlebag, pump, steel mudguards and was finished in shiny black enamel. Very handsome it looked too. Well, that took all my pocket money for a long time, but it opened up a whole new world for me'..
Arthur Hames who died in February 2008 I first met Arthur in 1950, he was secretary of the Intermediate section and I was the youngest member aged 14.
My first run with the club was on March 1st 1950 and we rode to Nether Broughton for lunch and on to Nanpantan for tea. Most pubs in those days did teas for around 2/6p ( just over 12p).
Arthur took me on my first weekend away to Worcester on July 1st 1950. We had elevenses at Wellesbourne, lunch at Evesham, then on to a bed and breakfast in Worcester at a cost of 6/6p (just over 32p) for an overnight stay. Next day we went to Berrow Green, Droitwich and Alcester, then back home.
Arthur also went away with my mother and father touring Brittany, and they told me he was always very smartly dressed in a white coat and had very highly polished shoes every day.
I have very happy memories of Arthur which I will always keep with me.
MAUREEN HEGGS by Nigel Heggs Maureen was a kind and caring person whom loved life; thrived in meeting
people; enjoyed music; and was extremely loyal to her friends.
Maureen resided in the Leicester area for all of her formative years and was the eldest of 3 children. She went to Mellor Street junior school and then to Rushey Mead senior school and stayed friends with several of the girls she went to school with. She also started her love affair with music taking private piano lessons from a lady who lived up the street.
Upon leaving school, Maureen worked at Wolsey hosiery factory where she was employed for 14 years, only leaving when the factory closed down. She then went to work at another hosiery factory but this only lasted a month before the factory went bankrupt and Maureen was then without a job or being paid!
Soon afterwards Maureen commenced working with Leicester Council Social Services at Glen Frith hospital as a carer working with disabled children. Maureen appeared to have an infinity with the children and really enjoyed her work. In 1971, whilst working at the hospital she married Brian (deceased) and had 17 wonderful years of marriage with him before he passed away.
In late 1988, Maureen met June (stepdaughter) who upon recognising Maureen's warmth and personality quickly introduced Maureen to her dad (Dennis); they were married on 1 April 1989.
By this time, Maureen had ceased work as a carer but in keeping with her nature wanted to find ways of filling her days whilst still assisting and helping people. She began volunteering at the 'LOROS' Charity shop in Hinckley (provides specialised palliative care for terminally ill patients and their families along with a wide range of vital supporting services) once a week and helping with their 'meals on wheels' on Wednesdays. She worked with LOROS for six years before deciding to 'retire' from work.
Whilst at LOROS, Maureen met Audrey, they soon became close friends and went to flower arranging classes and it soon became apparent that she had a talent in flower arrangement. They also discovered a common love of travel and started going on annual coach trips to Europe.
In 2002 Maureen was diagnosed as suffering from dementia and after periods in hospital was admitted to Grey Ferrers Nursing & Residential home where she has spent the remainder of her days.
As previously intimated, all people who have met with Maureen describe her as a warm and friendly person and of whom they will have pleasant memories.
Dennis remembers the 'encouragement' it took to get Maureen to ride on his tandem, but though not a 'natural' cyclist, she soon learned the benefits of being on a bike, namely travelling so slowly that she could speak to pedestrians as she rode by. On one occasion she even managed to stop a cricket match as she engaged in conversation with a couple of the players. When not on the bike, she was often seen at cycling events getting refreshments ready for the cyclists as they reached the checkpoint, where they would be greeted with a warm smile as well as warm food.
Maureen always took care of her appearance and had a great love of shopping for clothes. It was fortunate that Dennis had little love in shopping and had plenty of double wardrobes which had been lying empty, perhaps awaiting the arrival of Maureen at their new home.
Maureen also enjoyed going to the theatre and especially musicals, Ann (step daughter-in-law) remembers going with Maureen and Dennis to see Calamity Jane and though thoroughly enjoying the play; they were reduced to tears by the prop horses and weird looking legs. All future musicals would be measured against Calamity Jane and the quality of the props. Ann also remembered Maureen's love of singing and how she could burst into song at any given moment, this included singing Good King Wenceslas whilst washing dishes during the month of June.
Maureen enjoyed many trips to Scotland and especially to Edinburgh where Nigel (stepson) and his family resided. She loved the sound of the pipes (bagpipes) and no matter where and oblivious to her surrounds (in the middle of Princes Street - main shopping thoroughfare or at Linlithgow Palace - Mary Queens of Scots residence) would burst into a Highland Fling at the first sound of the pipes. Her dog 'Sixpence' a Highland terrier though did not appear to enjoy the experience so much, especially being dragged through the hilly streets of Edinburgh.
Tony Mellor Tony Mellor died in February at his home in Beeston Regis aged 69. He was a CTC life member, and had lived in Kibworth before retiring to Norfolk. He worked for the AA, and his knowledge of routes was unsurpassed. That greatly contributed to the success of the CTC Birthday Rides organised by our DA in 1986. He also held the post of DA Treasurer for a period. Despite his CTC interests, Tony was also passionate about birds (his reason for moving to North Norfolk), canals and railways. But as he had failed to make a will or appoint executors, his collection of antiquarian cycling books and memorabilia was sold off and his estate wound up by the local coroner, the assets reverting to the State as Tony had no surviving relatives.
The first Sunday in March heralded the first of the DA Challenge Rides for 2008 based on Morrisons at Lutterworth, and in memory of David Sulley, a great force in the local CTC section over twenty years ago. We clashed with Mothers Day this year which necessitated a few riders reducing their usual mileages, nevertheless twenty nine stalwarts were on the road by 9. 30 am for the 100 km, 70 km and 50 km challenges.
Enjoying the best weather for years and aided by a very strong north-westerly wind the riders flew into south-eastern Leicestershire taking in the villages of Walton, Gumley Park, Foxton, Medbourne, The Langtons, Stockerston, Belton and Launde Abbey, returning through Tilton, Kibworth, Saddington and Gilmorton home. All riders returned safely and successfully after battling homeward into the extremely strong wind.
Visitors from Essex, Derby, Kidderminster, Coventry and two from London. Our local regulars were again in evidence thank goodness, along with three ladies, Gillian Stocks, Jane Davis and Gill Lord. Nice to see Peter Witting, Neil Dixon, David Gair, Ben Waddington, Ian Spence, Alan Hartshorne, Jim Gerrard, Tony Davis and Bernard Bailey, plus a few fresh faces which is always pleasing.
For the less adventurous we had a twenty miles circular ride available with a refreshment stop at Ullesthorpe Garden Centre. The organiser was pleased to see new faces, Norman Castle and Tony Booth, also "The Evergreens" Pauline and Dennis Mawby. While the icing on the cake was Robert Sulley with son David, out for part of the ride.
It was really nice to see Doreen Sulley at the start of the event, Chatting about old times and with a nice selection of photographs to pore over. It brought back happy memories of Davis Sulley, especially with his grandson, David, enjoying the event.
Congratulations to everyone who took part. Sincere thanks to Jean and Keith Lakin, David Grimshaw and Vic Baines for support on the day!
I was ready for anything the weather could throw at me. On the Saturday there had been heavy showers with hailstones, and more was promised for Sunday. I prepared my touring bike, with full cape and sou'wester, and the packed lunch required by the Kettering Section now that it was April. Were they really planning a picnic?
I planned a route to meet them at coffee at the garden centre at Whilton Locks. I calculated that they wouldn't arrive before 11; I could set off half an hour later than if I were to join my usual Section at the start of their ride to Staunton Harold, which was an added attraction.
The touring bike felt very sluggish compared to the Giant TCR I had ridden with the Thursday Club only 3 days earlier. With a helpful wind the TCR would roll along at 15mph, but the tourer was really only content at 10mph, reluctantly rising to nearly 12mph if pushed! But the lower gears dealt with the climb up to Gumley, and the brakes with the steep descent of the Laughton Hills to cross the canal bridge. Then it was another steep uphill to Sibbertoft.
I passed a caravan club taking part in a manoeuvring test at the old airfield at Sulby, with vans being reversed at speed into artificial gateways, then away again as fast as possible to the next test. After Welford there was more climbing at Honey Hill to reach Cold Ashby.
The weather stayed fine as I rode through West Haddon and Long Buckby to reach the A5 at Long Buckby Wharf. Then it was a short stretch of main road to reach Whilton Locks. I knew from past experience that this stretch of the A5 can be good for short cuts on a Sunday morning, with little traffic and a fast surface.
Already in the Garden Centre café were Dave King, who I knew from the Thursday Club, and Little John. We kept an eye out for the others descending the road from the Bringtons, but it was over half an hour later that we spotted them led by Max Scott.
At least one of our group of seven had to dash outside to cover the saddle of their parked bike as the heavens opened. The rain was the excuse for an extended natter, including comments on the good value at the café.
Finally we retrieved our bikes as the rain temporarily ceased, with 3 returning home, and 4 riding the short distance to Ashby St. Ledgers. I had never visited The Olde Coach House Inn, but knew it had a reputation of being upmarket and popular; so I was looking forward to having a drink after our sandwiches.
The pub car park was empty, and the pub closed. Just as well we had our own food. A local explained that we were just 2 days too early; on Tuesday it would be reopening after a £50,000 refit. So off we went to seat ourselves in the shelter of the church porch, on Max's recommendation, while we ate our lunch as the rain restarted. Unusually the church was unlocked, and we noted the Catesby family connection with the village. It was Robert Catesby who was considered the main Gunpowder Plot conspirator.
Once again we all set off as the rain ceased, making our way via Crick and Yelvertoft, to join my outward route through Welford for tea in the village hall at Sibbertoft,. Despite it being early April, we had to wait for a table to become free - a comment on Mrs. Burton's excellent value-for-money cakes and tea. We then split to go our separate ways home, just hoping to avoid the worst of the April showers.
The Vintage Bibshorts Oxymoron
The new range of CTC kit from Impsport seems to be very popular. I know this because at the time of writing, such has been the demand, that I've been waiting nearly a month for the retro-styled Vintage jersey. But if it is as good as the jerseys our Section sourced from Impsport a year or two back, it will be worth the wait. The kit is not cheap, but should help publicise the CTC with the smart, and the retro, design. But surely the vintage-design shorts should at least be in baggy wool!
Satellite navigation - again
I've been guilty in the past of mentioning new kit that I haven't actually tried. So here goes once more! Many riders are nowadays using satnav kit. That seems especially true for Audax members who ride in areas away from their local territory. Their Yahoo Group has regular discussions of the various models of Garmin kit, and comparisons with competitors. If you don't have one, it can seem daunting. There are too many cons at present to tempt me.
There is a new kid on the block that might just overcome my reservations. It's produced by a firm under the Satmap brand. It proved to be the best on the Gadget Show to navigate the reporter on foot back to base. It was well reviewed in the Guardian technology supplement in April. It also seemed to be relatively free of adverse comments on the Audax Chatroom.
The Satmap is designed in Britain, and is based around Ordnance Survey maps. That is it's strong point but unfortunately makes it expensive. A 50,000:1 Central England map costs £50; but how many Landrangers does that represent? They could cost twice that.
The Satmap active 10 is reported to be rugged and easy to use, but costs around £300. At present I'll use my old fashioned skills for navigating; but if I were starting out again I might well be holding back on buying hard copies of the Landrangers, and spending my money on software versions to take with me on rides.
Skittles Evening and Prize Presentation - March 29th
Once again organised by our erstwhile secretary Ray Clay, the evening was enjoyed by all who came to the event at the Wheatsheaf, Thurcaston. Joyce Hames was our Guest of Honour. She gave us an insight into former CTC stalwarts who are no longer with us but whose names appear on our "Heritage Trophies". One of these stalwarts of course, was her husband Arthur who died of cancer a few weeks previously and who made the carrying case for the "Hames Award". This is a needlework picture of the countryside produced by Joyce and presented to our DA during the centenary year of 1997.
This award is presented annually to a lady member for services to the DA and Joyce was delighted that following a secret ballot of the committee, Ivy Allen was declared the recipient this time. As you know Ivy took on the editors job of Cycle Chat and also did a vast amount of work for the Triennial Veterans Rides we hosted last year.
It came as no surprise that Ray Clay was awarded "The Seager Trophy" as Clubperson of the year again - Ray is our second longest serving county CTC secretary and he does so much more for the CTC and cycling than just that post.
After a re-count it was announced that Rose Holman and Nancy Henson were joint winners of the Ladies BAR trophy - judged over 52 Sundays including county CTC events.
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