After the recent spell of fantastically hot weather in the UK, the weekend, for the North West at least, was a wash out. Some of the braver members of the club got an early ride in on Saturday, missing the worst of the weather. The rest (and yours truly included) wimped out in case we melted.
Many will have used the free time to watch the Tour De France closing stages and marvel at the cycling talent seen on our TV screens competing in the biggest and arguably toughest race in the world.
What a lot of people won’t have been aware of is that a group of women, called the Internationelles, completed the entire 3,400 kms tour route one day ahead of the race to promote equality in sport. They wanted to, and indeed did, show the world that women deserve such multi stage grand tours and deserve equality in race coverage and prize money.
One of those brilliantly talented cyclists was Helen Bridgman, honorary NWV member and married to Will who flies the NWV flag down south in that there London.
Will was lucky enough to be able to go out to France to support his wife and the rest of the ladies for their last few days in the Alps and triumphant ride into Paris.
On behalf of the North Wirral Velo (and many, many others I’m sure) we would like to say a massive WELL DONE!! A tremendous achievement for a very worthy cause.
It was on this day two years ago when a dozen or so people met above a pub in West Kirby. They were there in response to a few posts on various social media platforms about the crazy idea of reforming the North Wirral Velo. I have to confess that it was a nervous first step. I had no idea at that time if there was any real enthusiasm for such an idea.
Well, after a slowish start, and managing to get through the winter of 2017/2018 (when a lot of prospective members may be less visible) the idea and the club started to grow. Now, two years on, it makes me very proud to see the numbers up around the 50 members mark.
We have a big cross section of abilities and back grounds and I’m proud to say we have gotten people new to cycling involved in their first cycling club and also introduced quite a few to the racing side of the sport.
During this year, we have had 11 members compete in times trials, road races,criteriums, duathlons and triathlons, five of those had never raced before joining the NWV. But this is only the beginning. The club is still growing at a rate of knots, 4 new members in as many weeks just gone by.
We have regular meetings, club runs, social events and the annual club dinner and prize presentation. These events are what bonds us as a club and makes its members more than just a group of cyclist who happen to ride together.
I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the club so far, it has far exceeded my expectation when I first started on this road two years ago. Long may it continue!
The North Wirral Velo turned out on mass for the recent Sigma Sports West Coast Classic, in the lanes of Lancashire.
Fourteen from the club made the trip to the start in Preston for a very well organised event. The course was a scenic 97 miles through the Lancashire countryside taking in a couple of tough climbs in the first half of the event.
With only one puncture to deal with (even though it took 4 punctures worth of time to fix) and a couple of feed stops the ride time was a very respectable 5 and half hours. Official times where in the region of 6 hours 42 minutes which was good enough for the Silver award.
Overall it was a great day and the NWV train devoured all in it’s wake, despite missing two of the clubs key rouleurs (one through injury, one through beer)
The next big day out at an organised event for the NWV is the Tour De Mon in Angelsey on Sunday 18th August, although there will be a lot of miles put in by the guys before then!
The NWV meet every Sunday at 8am at the Glegg Arms and every Tuesday at 7pm at the Red Cat. If you are looking for a friendly group to ride with, then please come along and join us!
Following on from last week’s post about the traumatic bollard related incident involving one of members, tributes have been pouring in from around the cycling world.
The Wirral section of the VCUK cycling club made a stop at “Mike’s Bollard” as it’s now formally known to show their support for such a good cause.
Other members of the cycling community simply left anonymous tributes on social media, some with flowers
The NWV had it’s usual Sunday club run last week, and even though Mike is well on the road to recovery, he was not well enough to participate. So the club paid it’s own tribute. It was an emotional moment, some of the lads moved to tears when they thought of how close Mike was to losing a boll**k on the bollard.
The biggest suprise came from the Grand Depart in this years Tour De France. At the start of the opening stage the great Eddy Merckx appeared out of the roof of the lead car to start the race and produced a replica of Mike’s Bollard to stick on the roof in a show of solidarity.
Hopefully Mike will be out again next week and be back to steering AROUND bollards and other stationary objects.
There was a great turn out for last Sundays NWV club run into North Wales. The group set off for a spin over a few local climbs including the “easy” side of Penbarras and the long steady climb of the Nant-y-Garth out of Rhuthin.
After a stop at the Fisheries for a spot of lunch it was back home via the well used Burton Marsh Greenway to the Wirral.
Unfortunately one of our Mikes had forgotten about the set of bollards in the middle of the path, despite having passed by them at least 3,500 times.
Whilst trying to get a shot for NWV cycling photographer of the year, Mike had a complete breakdown in common sense and decided to ride headlong into the bollard. If you have ever wondered what the answer to the age old question of “what happens when an unmovable object meets an unstoppable force?” well, now we know. The answer is Mike lands on the deck in a pool of his own blood worrying about how his bike is.
Good news is that the club did have another three Mikes out that day, so we could afford to lose one without much disruption. Other good news is that Mike is ok and after a check up at A&E is allowed back into the mental asylum from which he had escaped from for the day.
The local council have commissioned a plaque for this bollard that will commemorate the level of stupidity that occured on this day.
So if any of our readers are thinking of riding along the Burton Marsh Greenway, stop and take a selfie with the plaque and remember to use the hashtag #mikethebollard and post it to our social media channels on @nwvcc
North West solicitor Hillyer McKeown completed a 33 mile charity ride at the weekend in questionable conditions. Amongst their riders was the North Wirral Velo’s own Matthew O’Brien.
The ride was in aid of Jamie’s SDR Journey.
Jamie is 4 years old from Liverpool. He suffered 2 significant bleeds on his brain after being born at 30 weeks and was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As a result, Jamie suffers from extreme muscle tightness in his legs and cannot stand or walk unaided.
Jamie is a good candidate for a life changing operation called SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) which would greatly reduce this tightness, but this is not currently funded by the NHS. This procedure would immeasurably improve Jamie’s quality of life and may even allow him to stand on his own two feet in future. He would also need at least two years of intensive physiotherapy afterwards to maximise the benefits.
In spite of the health problems Jamie has suffered from, he has rarely complained about what life has dealt him and he has endured all his treatment like a trooper. We are now in the perfect window for the SDR operation.
Any donation would be greatly appreciated and would help Jamie fulfil the potential we know he has. You can donate from the link below
The weather wasn’t the only mixed bag last weekend, the members of the North Wirral Velo were doing a variety of cycling activities too.
Current club TT champ, super quick Robin Hennessy was chasing his sub 20 minute 10 mile dream with another great effort in the St Asaph event. It was a tougher day than he hoped weather wise so his 21.09 was a very respectable time. We are confident that it’s only a matter of time, (see what I did there) before Rob joins the sub 20 club…
Meanwhile, in a massive room in Manchester, one of the club’s other educators was trying his hand on the boards for the first time.
No, not performing arts but riding on the velodrome. Clearly struggling with the basics, Anthony Denby, pictured below wondering if he has his gearing correct for such an incline. He does love a climb though…
And in Wales, a big turn out on the Sunday club run, saw the lads stop to pose with a blue tree and a ride around the hills to Loggerheads.
If you fancy joining us on a ride, please contact us through our social media pages or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also come along to one of our monthly club meetings in Pensby.
A day of top class bike racing has hosted in the centre of Birkenhead on Tuesday 21st May as the OVO Energy Tour Series took place around the town centre.
The day was made up of various races covering all categories of riders from the young right up to the pro level, with former world and Olympic champion Ed Clancy in the main event.
However, the pro race was only a filler for the main event, the Brother Corporate Relay Grand Prix. This featured corporate based teams of 5 from the region. Each rider was to complete one lap then dismount to tag the next rider intheir team. The final lap was to be completed by a pro rider randomly assigned to each team. Beyond’s pro was Charlotte Berry from Team Velo Performance.
Beyond Corporate Limited, a legal firm based in Manchester entered a team featuring the NWV’s very own Scott “haven’t been on the hooks since 1993” O’Brien in his return to racing after a 26 year lay off. Some commented that despite the time gap from his last race, “he hadn’t lost it”. However, this comment was qualified by “but he has found about 12 kilos”.
A last minute change to the Beyond team meant that Beyond gaffer Jim Truscott was unable to race and so Peter Sagan look a like Chris Redhead was recruited to bolster the team.
The guys look resplendent in the NWV colours and both did sterling work on their laps as did the rest of the Beyond Corporate squad to secure a magnificent second place.
The winners were the Vittoria squad, a well drilled team of current and recently former nation champions and elite triathletes. Basically ringers. So, as many said, Beyond Corporate were in face the moral victors.
More importantly, everyone involved had a great time and enjoyed the day. A big well done to the organisers and Wirral Borough Council for putting on such a fantastic event.
Evergreen Pete Clarke recently represented Great Britain in the 2019 World Sprint Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.
A duathlon, for those not familiar with the event, is a three part race consisting of a 10 km bike ride (with no bike), a 30 km bike ride, then a final 5km bike ride (again with no bike).
Pete’s final position was 30th out of 64 in his age category, even though he didn’t run at all for 3 weeks due to Piriformis syndrome he has suffered with since November. Pete managed a consistent 7.40 minute pace for both runs and pulled back a lot of time on the bike were he impressively finished 3rd fastest in 53 minutes 12 seconds. It was a hilly course with 800ft of climbing so the club rides into Wales payed off!
Pete reflected, “The whole event was so great and competing in my category against the world’s best was memorable. Got a few stories to tell of the friendly banter with the other nation’s competitors! I would like to thank the club in helping me over my injury on the club rides in letting me do the routes I was comfortable with.”
A big well done to Pete, as always a great ambassador for the club, but also a great ambassador the sport and GB! Long may your cycling and cycling without a bike, continue!
A busy weekend for the Velo as the club was well represented in may parts of the country.
North and East… The Tour of the Pennines
An intrepid band of some of the clubs hardest grimpeurs and rouleurs went to the North East to fly the NWV flag in the Tour of the Pennines Sportive. While some made a trip of it and went the day before, some were more hardcore travelling up at v. early o’clock to get to the start in Northumberland.
The lads got around the challenging 78 mile route with the nearly 7000ft of climbing and were rewarded with medals. Some even got a rub down and a few beers
An enjoyable day out for the boys at a well organised event.
South and East…. Herne Hill Velodrome
Meanwhile at the other end of the country, our very own track maestro Will Bridgman was showing the southerners a thing or two on the…er.. “concrete boards” of the legendary Herne Hill velodrome.
Not that he needed to, but Will again proved why he is the most angelic member of the NWV by winning the Devil Take the Hindmost event. A fantastic result, well done Will, keep the flag flying!
Northish and Westish… Basically back nearer to home
Despite the number on “international duty”, we still managed a club run at the weekend. Venturing to the dizzy heights of the MTB centre at Llandegla.
The club now has regular weekend and Tuesday night rides. If you would like to join us, please email the club email@example.com or contact us via our plethora of social media channels.