2020, I got fit, raced twice (did ok), then the world fell apart. The END! Roll on 2021.
2021 is going to be a pretty big year for me as I turn 40 in April. I know you all thought my grey beard was premature, but I really am that old!
Having got myself fit and with my race specific goals shifted to 2021 I started thinking of a cycling related challenge to mark my 40th year and was drawn to the Yorkshire Beast (Again). I have looked at this previously but have been put off by people’s reactions to riding 200 miles in 1 day with 16,000 ft of climbing, over 100 times up West Kirby hill! No more being put off though, 2021 is the year and I am signed up for the 19th June. Please see link below for more info.
Obviously, this is going to take some planning and hard work to complete as you must complete the ride in 16 hours or be captured by the ‘BEAST’, a fancily painted van! To help me with this and my Cat 2 racing ‘dreams’ I have enlisted the services of Scott Maclean at Kinetic365 to plan my training and keep me focussed. Scott will also stop me from reading about training when I am not training so I do not completely neglect me family and grinding myself into an angry, fatigued mess like I turned myself into in 2019.
One advantage of making this crazy decision is that I will have to get (unfortunately not another bike but I will have to get my carbon frame fixed after finding a very untimely crack in it), some more quality gear from Blake Pond and team at Nopinz, look how happy it made me last time.
On a more sombre note I also want to use the ride to raise awareness (Possibly some money too!) for charities supporting MS & Dementia. My wife Rebekah and I have both had family members effected by these conditions and both are truly devastating.
My plan is to document my journey to the Beast as well as the day itself so hopefully it will not be too bumpy a ride and supply some good stories/pictures along the way.
Last Sunday saw the NW Velo ride out in 3 groups, tailored to different abilities and distances.
The A group of big hitters went out into Wales to smash the climbs and generally hurt each other.
Group B also ventured into Wales and had a scenic ride up the Horseshoe Pass from Llangollen. A tough ride, but kept together at a generally sensible pace.
The C group took a more sensibly flatter route out through the Cheshire lanes to Tarpoley with a coffee stop at the Old Fire Station cafe.
During the week, the evening rides were similar, Tuesday was the social spin, a steady 25 miles around the lanes ending up at the @thethatchraby for a welcome pint and a natter in the outside courtyard. Fantastic service as ever!
Also on Tuesday 4 of our members entered the BNECC evening 5 mile TT on the Clatterbridge Road. All turned in excellent times: Mike Stanley 12:22 Mark Donaghy 12:57 Andy Chung 12:55 Robin Hennessy 11:17
Well done to the TT lads, we hope to see a few more trying it next week!
Thursday was the “chaingang” ride, with a great workout for those looking to improve fitness and hone bunch riding skills. A bit of tractor drafting went on but generally it was a well drilled squad flying around an 8 mile circuit averaging mid 20’s mph.
If you are interested in joining us on any of these rides, then please get in touch!
It’s been the strangest of times around the globe. Life has been all but on hold for the last 3 months or so. But, gladly, it seems we are starting to see a glimmer of normality return to day to day life.
Pubs and restaurants reopened last weekend and British Cycling has already lifted its sanction on club rides (as long as it’s done in accordance with the Government guidelines on social distancing etc).
From cycling’s point of view, the pandemic has had a positive influence both from Government support for the sport but also the number of people taking it up as a form of commute, exercise or pastime. (why should it have taken a global health crisis to sort that?)
The club has been receiving a high volume of enquiries and the membership level is now the highest it has been since 2000 (and possibly longer). We have started some small group rides and have had lots or interest for people wanting to join these.
Currently we have 3 organised rides per week and split them into groups of 6 riders (we can’t wait until we can all ride together once more!). For further details please contact the club via our social media channels or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual North Wirral Velo club dinner and prize presentation is taking place this year on Saturday 16th November at the Nelson Hotel, Grove Road , Wallasey.
After the success of last years event, tickets are selling fast, especially as the night includes the much anticipated premiere of the 2019 NWV Movie. It’s a evening of celebrating the clubs achievements over the year and to recognise the club champions for 2019.
What a lot of people won’t realise is the significance of the venue. The Nelson served many of the original NWV members back in the 1950’s and 60’s. There is even a story that the idea of forming the club was originally conceived by an indirect descendant of John Kemp Starley, the British inventor of the “safety bicycle” in the 1870’s. A design that bicycles have been based on ever since.
During a particularly rowdy, alcohol and drugs fuelled evening, a couple of chaps who had ridden on their bikes to the Nelson decided to meet on the next Sunday, 8am sharp outside a small shack at the end of what’s now the Chester High Road. That small shack ended up being the Glegg Arms and the NWV still meet there every Sunday to this day. From that initial ride to sure those founding fathers hangovers, the rides grew in popularity so they decided to start a cycling club.
Initially the club was to be named the Bicycle Club of the Northern Part of the Wirral. However, someone pointed out that it would be hard and costly to fit all those words on the jerseys. After much debate and beer, the name North Wirral Velo was finally agreed and the club was born. Incidentally, the club colours of green and yellow were chosen from the pallor of some of the members from those early morning Sunday rides.
Tickets for the club dinner are £20 and available by emailing email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
At the end of August, NWV member Steve Woods was riding near Preston when he stopped beside an HGV at a set of traffic lights. What happened next was truly horrific. The lorry turned left and crushed both of Steve’s legs under its wheels as it turned the corner.
Steve, from Wallasey, who is self employed, is in Preston hospital following an emergency operation to save his shattered leg. Despite the trauma and immense pain and suffering, Steve has kept a cheery outlook and managed to keep a smile on his face.
His son Rory has set up a GoFundMe page to try ro help his parents out whilst his dad is off work and not earning. Donations have flooded in from fellow cyclists and kind hearted friends and strangers.
If you’d like to donate (and we hope you can spare a few quids for him and his family) then please go to his GoFundMe page here
We wish Steve a very speedy recovery and hope its not too long until he’s back in the saddle.
This weekend is going to be a busy one for NWV as our resident ‘man’ Richard Chambers is heading off to Tenby to become an Iron Man. Although a relatively new (and most competitive) member of the club Rich has already had a big impact and his dedication to his training is both impressive and inspirational. Good luck Rich, we all wish you the very best of luck! Follow the link below for his fundraising page.
Today was a pretty memorable day for NWV with 4 people entered into the Liverpool Phoenix 10. Club ‘Dad’ Michael Hurworth has inspired a new wave of Testers to hit the road and today Andrew ‘It definitely is a TT bike’ Woodside, Lee ‘Wire showing through tyres is ok, right?’ Holmes and Pete ‘Doesn’t like roundabouts’ Clarke took the plunge with him.
All four of them threw themselves into it and loved the experience.
Lee was first off for us and smashed the road bike category by finishing 2nd. Just over 25 mins was a superb ride on the ‘roadie’. Lee looked super strong and shows climbing all those mountains is great training! I can see another Canyon being added to the stable!
Next up was Pete and surprisingly he was the first finisher of the whole day! Unfortunately for Pete his 17 min course record wouldn’t stand for long as some confusion on a roundabout meant he had missed a few miles off the course. A predicted time of 25 mins shows he was going well and I must admit it was very funny to witness (Sorry Pete).
Andy then came on flying down the start on his 999th and newest ‘definitely a TT’ bike. After seeing him ride off strongly into the distance it was somewhat of a surprise his minute and 2 minute man beat him to the halfway point. Just as the crowd where deciding whether to go and investigate a possible puncture he appeared and was going well, finishing strongly with a 26:32 official time. When the press caught up with him he sheepishly admitted to a detour along the M58! Robin, i really am not making this up!
Last up was Mike on his new TT machine. Looking more and more the TT expert every time I see him he put in a solid ride to finish just over 27 mins in the strong headwinds. Knowing Mike he is going to dial that position in over the winter and that time is coming down in chunks next season.
With the OB1 magic mystery tour for probable syrup covered waffles on Sunday (this statement is unverifed at the time of print) it is a great weekend for the NWV.
Latest reports of Mike Hornsby dancing on tables in Hoylake to celebrate the spotlight moving from him and his bollard to Pete/Andy and their roundabouts are again unconfirmed.
A large contingent of the club were in action at the annual Tour De Mon sportive on Anglesey at the weekend. A strong showing of 14 riders (despite 2 DNS’s) turned up early on Sunday morning for the 106 miles Mawr event, with winds gusting up to 40 mph for the whole day.
Despite an overly enthusiastic pace set early on, the club stayed together (mainly) for the whole ride. However, we lost two riders at Beaumaris who were suffering, one from illness, one from a back injury. Fortunately a team car was on hand to pick them up and get them back to base.
A superbly organised event by Aim High Events on a very scenic course circumnavigating the entire island of Anglesey. The sun shone for the whole day (despite the horrific weather forecasts earlier in the week) which made it all the more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Below are a few pics from the event, thanks to Andy Chung for his contribution as club’s action photographer.
Mike “The Bollard” Hornsby made his comeback ride on the club’s Tuesday night ride. He had been off the bike for 4 weeks after a collision with a particularly aggressive bollard on the Burton Marsh Greenway (BMG).
To mark the occasion, and as a special treat for him, the ride took to the BMG so the club could remember the “fell-offen” with a minutes silence at the memorial bollard.
In a moving speech, Mike thanked the club and his long suffering partner Paula for their support though a very painful episode in his cycling career. Despite the shock of meeting his nemesis face to face again, Mike held his composure and spoke with confidence about the future, and his hopes for being able to ride passed this and all other bollards without being drawn in to photograph them at speed before ploughing head long into them. He also thanked Cheshire County Council for erecting the plaque in his honour.
The sombre mood was further lifted by the usual stop at the “Thatch” on the way back for a round bought by Mike himself. He really is a team player.
Chapeau Mike, and hope the bruising clears up soon (but not the swelling) and you can launch your Speedos modelling career.
Ps Send us your selfie with the memorial bollard on the BMG to be entered into our competition, “Who’s the biggest bollard on the road”. First prize will get two tickets to the NWV annual club dinner and prize presentation in November. Remember to use the #mikethebollard hashtag and follow @nwvcc to qualify.
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.