An Essential Spare

In the latest Audax UK magazine ‘Arrivée’ there is an article by Neil Goldsmith about his experiences as principal mechanic at the remote Eskdalemuir control assisting the 1500 riders on the 2017 London-Edinburgh-London ride. Here is an excerpt from it.

“We had one rider who had broken his gear hanger. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him. All carbon, aluminium and many titanium frames have replaceable gear hangers. A gear hanger is a sacrificial part designed to break to save the frame. There are around 200 variations of gear hanger and bike shops buy them in to order. It is a roadside repair to change a gear hanger if you have one with you, and impossible without a hanger which fits. Gear hangers are easily sourced online. I regard them as an essential spare to carry along with spare tubes.”

They are very small and light and can get you home.

2018 dinner

The annual dinner in 2018 will take place on Saturday 3rd March, with the venue again being the Princess Royal at Runfold, who looked after us well earlier this year, and provided very good food.  You may wish to make a note of the date now.  I will post further details, including the menu, and how to book, in the New Year.

Cycling the Lee Valley (Olympic) Velodrome

We have an opportunity to make a block WSCTC booking for a track session at the Lee Valley (Olympic) Velodrome in Stratford.  This would involve an 80 minute exclusive session for 16 riders, to include bike/helmet hire, instruction on velodrome cycling, and the chance for each rider to do an individual timed lap and see their name up in lights on the scoreboard.  Anyone who has had the chance to cycle at the Velodrome before will know that it is a great experience.

I have made a provisional reservation with the Velodrome for a session at 6pm on Friday 2 February, but need to get back to them to confirm this very shortly. This would allow us to get to the venue without too much involvement in the rush hour crush, and to finish early enough to enjoy some much-needed refreshment after the session.

The cost would be £53 per person.  Payment will be required in early January, but for now I just need a firm commitment from enough willing participants.  It could even be a good idea for a Christmas present if someone close to you is struggling for inspiration!  (If for any reason I miss out on the 2 Feb slot, it should be possible to re-schedule for an alternative time).

Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to commit to this by email to, or a text or WhatsApp message to me at 07711 873924.  If I receive enough positive responses for the 2 February date, I should be able to get the booking confirmed straight away.  There are only 16 spaces, so please respond quickly to avoid disappointment!

Thanks, Derek

West Surrey member publishes cycle-touring book

While the Sunday All-Day Intermediates were enjoying elevenses at Pilgrim Cycles at West Humble who should walk in but long-standing member Clive Williamson.

I expect that very few reading this will remember him, for he is now 86 and says that he no longer keeps up with club rides.  To jog your memories you could look at the first two photographs on this archive page.  He lives in Walton and rode with the Weybridge Wheelers until that club’s demise, and now he is a member of Little Ron’s club, the Hounslow and District Wheelers.

Only a couple of months ago he published a book describing a selection of his many world-wide cycle tours.  ‘Life Cycle’ is a substantial, well-produced paperback describing 18 tours widely scattered across the northern hemisphere, and is well illustrated with photographs and maps.  Many of the tours were solo, or with a single companion, enabling/requiring Clive to interact closely with the natives and cultures of the countries visited.  Another was a small group tour to Gorbachev’s Russia in 1990, with Clive in charge of the UK arrangements.  And a year later Clive organised a return visit of their Russian friends and led their tour of south-west England.  There are also accounts of a few CTC Tours to Asian destinations.

Clive writes well, and his accounts are as much about the people as about their lands.  A good read!  Recommended!  Make sure it goes on the Christmas present list of your nearest and dearest, or simply present yourself with it, like I did.

The paperback is available from Amazon or Waterstones at a very reasonable £10.99, and Amazon also sell a Kindle version at £5.99 but Clive says that has a problem with the display of the maps (electronic) which needs to be fixed.