Chairman’s Newsletter – June 2019

Posted on October 5th, 2019

Hello everyone

Amazingly, it’s nearly the longest day of the year already so we are pretty much optimised for daylight cycling hours! It’s been a busy and successful season for the club and we’re seeing lots of people both new and old out on our rides. Here are a few things for you to note:

As most of you will know by now, the OVO Women’s Tour of Britain bike race is passing through our patch from Didcot in the east to Faringdon in the west on Wednesday. It will run through Wantage at around 1pm. Jon Townsin is leading a special club ride to see the race as it passes through Faringdon – see the website for details. In addition, I have had a request from Wantage Town Council for volunteers to act as marshals in the town on the day. You would need to meet up in the Market Square at 10.45 and would be on duty until roughly 2pm. I don’t want to put anyone off joining Jon’s ride, but as it happens I can’t take the full day off work so I will be joining the marshals. If anyone else is interested, please contact:

Michael Davies, Deputy Town Clerk
01235 763459

We have been having a particular push on encouraging beginners and families to get out on their bikes this year, notably through the efforts of Steph Haddrell in organising a series of school holiday rides. So far we have had one at Easter and one in May Half Term and numbers are growing. The plan is helped by running these rides on a Thursday morning so that they coincide with the now well established daytime 1* ride series. Thanks to all (especially Steph) for helping out on these rides and look out for more to come over the summer holiday. There was also a great turnout for the annual Back on Your Bike Ride in April. The next highlight in this area of activity is the Betjeman Ride on Sunday 23rd June. This forms part of the Wantage Festival programme and is an ideal chance to invite friends and family to a leisurely ride from Wantage to Uffington (both places where the Betjeman family once lived). As always, see the website for more details.

By way of contrast, the longer hours of daylight lend themselves to enabling longer rides. We had a great day out doing 75 miles last Sunday. Next on the list is the famous (and slightly bonkers) Summer Solstice Ride next Sunday, 16th June. This starts at 4.15am to enable a viewing of the sunrise from the top of the Ridgeway before an 80 mile ride to Avebury and back. Following that, we have the club (and CUK Oxfordshire) century ride on Sunday 30th June – 100 miles around the glorious local countryside. Guess what – it’s all on the website!

Many of you will know Richard, who rides with us very regularly. Although you wouldn’t think it to look at him (cyclists do tend to stay very well preserved), Richard has reached a certain significant age and is working through a series of cycling challenges. He asked me to share the following with you:

So in my 70th year I think I have earned the right to take on some crazy challenges. In the recent past I have completed similar slightly mad events such as cycling up all 3 road routes to the top of Mont Ventoux in one day (that’s over 4000metres of climbing).

My best friend’s son, Jack Gibbs, and his fiancee Jasmine decided some time ago to hold their wedding in the small village of Pessan. I enjoy cycling in France so much it was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Jack and Jasmine are both very involved with supporting those with Autism and with the charity so this was the obvious cause to support. We (I have recruited a good friend Ian Shipton to cycle with me) will take about 8 days in July to cycle the 700 miles down to Pessan. All money donated will go to the charity – we are covering all our costs for the trip. Some of you may know that I recently came off the bike and sufferred some very bruised ribs. It is not going to stop the challenge but there was a short a short break in training. Thankfully I’m now back on the bike every day. Ian and I now have our cycling jerseys so these will be out and about in the run up to the long ride as we both go through our training rides. If you would like to donate to the National Autism Society here is a link to the donation page I have set up.

I think that’s enough for now – enjoy all that daylight and I hope to see you on a ride soon.

Best regards

John Tranter
Chairman – Cycling UK Wantage
07836 238350

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