Across Spain the Roman Way – Paul Gillingham

Just to let you know I’m giving a long-distance cycling talk, ‘Across Spain the Roman Way‘ this Saturday at 2 pm for Globetrotters Travel Club, London, which is available online. It is based on the bike ride my son Joseph and I did across Spain last year.

If you are free and would like to tune in, go to:  and click on to the Online Meeting for this Saturday (Nov 7th). It’s available to non-members, but you will need tickets for a small donation (£1 to £5). You don’t have to join the club. See the link.

The second talk is by a well-known traveller and expert on Morocco, Alan Palmer.

It’s my first Zoom talk, so fingers crossed!

Very best wishes,


AGM – change the date!

AGM and Annual Photo Competition – change the date!


As many of you will be aware, we normally hold the club’s AGM in early November in accordance with our Constitution. This is timed to coincide with the annual returns that member clubs are obliged to file with CUK at this time of year. However, for a number of operational reasons Cycling UK has announced that it has moved its financial year-end to 31 March, and that this will be a permanent change.

CUK has informed us that it will be sending out the Annual Returns packs to member clubs at the beginning of February, and is asking to have them completed and returned before the end of April.

This change of timing will necessitate a change in the timing in the preparation of our annual accounts, and of our AGM, which we now plan to hold in May 2021. (It also means that we will need to amend the Constitution, and our accounts and returns for this year will encompass an abnormally long period, but then 2019/20 was always going to be an oddity). We will announce a date for the AGM soon, and nearer the time we will need to consider whether the meeting can take place in a physical forum or, in line with many other clubs and societies, to stage the AGM on Zoom.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns about this change of date.

All members of the Committee have agreed to stay on until the new AGM date.

Photo competition

We previously announced that our annual photo competition would have a deadline of September, to allow us to judge and announce the winner at the AGM. With this revised AGM timing, we have decided to push back the deadline for entries to April 2021. Photos this time will be judged on the most creative setting for our new club shirts!

Spond and the Rule of 6

Finally, please take some time to review the guidelines that Laurie Mutch and John Child have put together on how to use Spond – they can be found here.

Spond is proving to be a really flexible, efficient and convenient way for the club to manage and advertise rides whilst ensuring compliance with the Rule of 6. It can be readily accessed either via the creation of an online account, and/or through the Spond smartphone app. We encourage all WSCC ride groups to take a look at it to see how this tool can be used to keep our club open for business.

WSCC Rides – the Rule of 6 and “Spond”

With the reintroduction of the “Rule of 6” we have recommenced organising rides in groups of 6.

We want all WSCC groups to retain their own discretion when assessing what works best for them, and to take a pragmatic and common-sense approach to the organisation of riding activities.  Any rides we undertake in the current Covid environment need to take the following into account:

  • Most fundamentally, there must be no more than 6 on a ride.  This means that some form of pre-ride registration and booking is almost essential.  Where numbers interested in joining a WSCC ride exceed 6, provision should be made to run two or more rides in a way that takes precautions to ensure that these groups do not come into contact with one another (i.e. the rides should employ different routes and stops).
  • In keeping with the Government’s track and trace regulations, someone involved in planning any ride needs to keep an attendance and contact record (for 21 days).  This makes obvious good sense even if this is an informal ride with friends.
  • All riders should take facemasks – these will be required to go into cafés, pubs or shops anyway.
  • All riders should adhere to social distancing at all times, including when stopping on the road (it’s easy to forget this and pull up next to each other).
  • With the above in mind, those on a ride should have a plan for fixing punctures (where we often help each other) and/or sharing tools. Obviously if you need to help, put on your mask, wear gloves if you have them and use sanitiser before and after.
  • Whilst the weather is good, we should sit outside for coffee and lunch where at all possible.  Consideration should be given to how riders will deal with ill-health or an accident (consider carrying sterile gloves).
  • Riders should go solo if using a car to get to the start of a ride.
  • It remains up to each individual to decide, based on their own circumstances, whether they feel comfortable participating in group rides.

The WSCC Spond system for managing the Rule of 6

The “Spond” booking system has been taken up amazingly quickly by 50 members, and proved to be very effective.

We would now encourage the widest possible adoption of Spond to achieve this.  Spond is a software application designed specifically for sports clubs and activities.  It can be accessed either:

  • Through the creation of a user name and login on the Spond website ; and/or
  • Through a smartphone app
Spond is free, and simple to use.  It provides a seamless way to keep attendance records, share ride details and open up rides to all our members in the spirit of the club. It also substantially reduces the administrative challenges that face us all.

To deal with Wednesday’s rides, the club created a Spond account, and this has been successfully used to advertise and organise attendance on multiple G3 and G4 rides.  We have now rolled this out so that all WSCC members and ride groups have the opportunity to use Spond.  With this in mind we  have created a “WSCC” Spond account that includes 6 sub-groups, one for each of the club’s ride groups.  Members will then be able to opt to join one or more sub-groups and to receive and respond to notifications for rides in their chosen group(s).

All club members can be invited to sign in to a WSCC club page on Spond that will enable them easily to see what rides are available and how to sign up for them.  Similarly, those leading or planning rides can invite group members to attend rides (either by email or using messages on the smartphone app), and check who has signed up.  Spond easily allows the number of riders to be limited to the maximum of 6.

Please contact Laurie Mutch or John Child if you have any queries about how to join and participate in Spond.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any other member of the committee for help and advice during these challenging times or to share any concerns with us.


WSCC Rides Update 11 September 2020

With the increase in the rate of Covid infections and the new “Rule of 6” regulation being introduced by the UK Government from Monday 14 September, we have been looking at how to revise the approach to WSCC club rides. The key principles are:

  • In the short term, we propose to limit all club rides to no more than 6 participants. This will require the larger club groups to arrange multiple rides (see further below), with non-overlapping start points and stops.
  • As the rules and requirements surrounding the latest Government regulations become clearer, and Cycling UK develops its guidance, it might well become possible for us to benefit from the exceptions for organised sport and to increase ride groups to 15. If/when that occurs, we will consult with WSCC members to assess whether there is an appetite to do so.
  • It is of course up to each individual to decide, based on their own circumstances, whether they feel comfortable participating in group rides.
  • It is essential that we all adhere to good standards of hygiene and personal distancing and the wearing of face masks indoors (e.g. at coffee/lunch stops).
  • Anyone who experiences, or who is living with someone who exhibits symptoms of Covid should stay at home and not participate in club rides.
  • In order to meet track and trace requirements, we should maintain a register of all ride participants.

It will take some time for us to adapt to these new requirements, so the arrangements we are putting in place should be seen as a work in progress, subject to revision.

Our smaller ride groups should be able to work within these new restrictions using existing informal arrangements. For our larger groups (notably the Midweek Wayfarer groups) we plan to use the “Spond” smartphone app (click here) in order to advertise and administer ride attendance. Details of the new WSCC MW Spond group will be communicated to members of the google mail group shortly. Spond is used successfully by other local cycling groups including Dorking Cycling Club, and we believe it will provide the functionality we require, and be easy to use.

We will post further details in due course.

If you have any questions or comments on the above, please feel free to contact me or any other member of the committee.