Sunday, 21st April.
Maybe it was the mid-week txt threat of ‘more flesh on show
than of late’ or the lack of day-before txt to remind about the Club Ride, but
today’s turnout was limited to the hard-core few (seven or so); undaunted by
the BBC’s non-committal weather forecast for that morning. It started out dry, but by the time Aberporth
was reached socks were soggy and glasses fogged. 20 minutes further on and the rain had
stopped and Spring was attempting a re-appearance; however, the sogginess in
the socks had reached the spirits and after an hour and half, the decision was
taken to abandon the ride and head home to watch L-B-L. And wash those bikes that only normally see
Sunday, 7th April.
The first Sundaix ride of the summer coincided with one of the
greatest Classic race days and came one week after the club trip to
Flanders, so spirits were high and the enthusiasm clearly infectious as
the already double figure Finch Square gathering were joined by the
Aberporth Massive. The impressive peleton plotted a route via
Cilgerran and Boncath to Crymych (no rain), on to Eglwyswrw and thence
to Moylegrove for cake ‘n’ slurps. Collecting more
riders on the way (Morning, Neal), the group formed a primary school
2x2 formation with the Heggsmonster being Teacher (having by now
stopped bleeding over his bike...) and leading the way, chased down by
teaching assistant, Young Tommy K. LL Cool J was back, as was
Glyn and Nic N, the latter astride resplendent celeste blue (nice
Bianchi, sir). Dai S provided the science lecture for the few
hours of up, down, up, down (repeat to fade) and the sight of the
Moylegrove Garden Centre would have been more welcome had it not been
located after the necessary slog via the zig zags on the 25% gradient
from the village. With thick-cut marmalade quaffed and caffeine
levels upped, the Emlyn Express departed for Croft and home whilst the
Cardi Bach dropped into St.Dogs and onto the Metropolis. All home
in time for the Roubaix spectacle on the tellybox. Perfick.
Sunday, 24th March. Oh. My. God. Six layers - count ‘em - and still Spring’s icy
tentacles found their way through to form icy testi... Well, you get the
picture – there were no girls out today.
But that said, even with rufty tufty types snow-MTBing in North Wales and
a range of ‘I can’t make it’ responses to the Club Ride Clarion Call (text
message), the morning still saw a near double-digit turn out – hard core
mentalists for whom nothing less than 40 miles in Arctic conditions would
do. So that’s what we did, although a
wise move may have been to drop from the Trelech-Maudlands road earlier as
progress along this stretch into the face of the gnawing easterly was painful
at best. It was a blessed relief to
finally grab some warmth (and cake) in Newcastle Emlyn, before the last push
home to Cardigan. And a push home it
turned out to be, with the aforementioned wind serving as a helping hand on the
nine mile time-trial. Great
to meet Phil
today, freshly emerged from his bunker and Young Tommy K, still
student days (there’s time yet), came out to conduct big-ring
challenges throughout the morning. Evan rode with his
faithful companion, Captain
Morgan (or was it Navy’s?) for most of the route and it was nice to see
Dai wake from his hibernation, although it would seem from his pace today, the
dark days of Winter have not been wasted - clearly some training going on
somewhere. Bulgaria’s nomination for furthest-travelled cyclist to join Velo Teifi
also reappeared, clearly not put off by his inaugural ride week before last –
we must learn some key Bulgarian phrases for the next ride, you know “It’s your
round, Charlie”, “Just the one slice, thanks Charlie”, or even, “How do VTCC go
about riding with you back in the Motherland?”.
I feel a planning exercise coming on.
All in all, frozen extremities, snot suspensions and Spring's refusal
to play fair did not deter from a reasonable slog around the hills.
It is days like today that will make the warm days of summer seem all the
more special... he typed, optimistically.
Sunday, 17th March. A VTCC flashmob ride for St.Paddy’s day saw a half a dozen
or so gather in Boncath for a quick 40 mile canter around Trelech’s nether-regions. Almost spring-like, but Brechfa’s forestry
reminded us winter was only a few miles away.
After Wales’ tremendous performance the night before, the first few
miles had a whiff of lager-beer about them, as the previous evening’s
exuberance oozed its way through the pores.
Advanced warning: the Heggsmonster has his road bike back, resplendent
in Italian azurre; he’s back up to
speed – you have been warned.
Sunday, 10th March. With LL Cool J, Evan the Flat and numerous others being dutiful
offspring or ensuring their little ones grow up to be dutiful offspring, it was
a reduced crowd of 10 or so that watched the lone rider dressed in black riding the
white Specialized pass by the gathered VTCC ensemble in Finch Square without
even a nod of acknowledgement or a howdy-doody.
Charming**. Road-rudeness aside, we
again wondered if Velo Teifi’s powers of attraction are gaining a life of their
own; we know we invite riders from all over to join, but trekking from Bulgaria
does seem excessive. Not that we weren’t
glad to welcome Charlie to the blue and gold fold. That is, we think his name is Charlie; even
though his command of English is light years ahead of our grasp of Bulgarian,
the lines of communication mainly comprised of hand gestures and grunting on
our part. Suffice to say, there’s
clearly pedigree in them Bulgarian quads, Charlie (seemingly) happy to join in
the group effort to Llangrannog via the gruesome coastal climbs. At least, we
hope he wasn’t just taking a breather in Finch Square and then felt threatened
enough to join the twittering morons that had surrounded him... And talking of threatening, our chum from
Newport showed a new, darker side today.
It was with a sense of shock that we witnessed the bully boy begin to
persecute Jav-lar. (Well, not quite Jav-lar – it was a Doppelganger that rode
with us today – Grumpy Jav). Why the
bully chose to pick on Grumpy Jav, we don’t know; some form of sweets/playground
incident, we think. Firstly, Gripper
Mather demonstrated his method of territory marking (it’s still dripping and
oozing from Grumpy Jav’s spokes), this was followed by a blatant exclusion from
the gang at the coffee stop (“talk to my back, Pipsqueak”); the finale was
hiding Grumpy Jav’s cappuccino from him (“nope, haven’t seen a thing,” smirked
Gripper). Perhaps, revenge was a dish
best served furtively though, as just after the climb out of Llangrannog,
Gripper realised his front tire had developed a bulge, a defect, a worry-bead
for the high speed 10 mile pursuit to Cardigan.
It was at this point that Grumpy Jav disappeared and Jav-lar took his place
in the fast-moving pursuit line; the tail wind from Brynhoffnant certainly
flattering to deceive as the pace barely dropped below 27-30mph. All in all, a good, if chilly ride today;
some claims of weekly mileage now touching 150miles which bodes well for the
forthcoming events and outings of the VTCC Massive.
** Update 16th March. It has been brought to
the News Team's attention that said 'mysterious rider' did, in fact,
wave at the VTCC crew; the myopic mob have all been dispatched to
Specsavers and accusations of rudeness are unreservedly withdrawn.
Better shout 'hello' next time; the VTCC peleton is not getting
any younger and eyesight is generally the first thing to start failing.
Sunday, 3rd March. Today a VTCC Flashmob assembled at Llechryd Bridge for an
impromptu outing. The assembled mass
patiently waited for His Tardiness himself - Carl having underestimated his
morning warm-up route by 15mins; as punishment, Maggs snaffled half of his
breakfast banana and then set off at speed for Newport. Maggs’ somewhat dubious claim of needing a head
start for the hills was exposed for the underhanded advantage-gaining ploy it
was, as Maggs “Bahamontes” Morris whizzed away leaving the group trailing in
her wake, taking over 20 minutes to catch her.
With the Eagle of Tresaith hauled in, the group made haste to the
Tourist Township but not before Evan’s rear let go again. No double-entendres needed this week though,
AndrooL having found a way to expedite Evan’s hole-plugging efforts at the
roadside. We won’t go into detail, but
if the tumbling tinkle trail had reached Evan’s location ‘downstream’, he would
have spent the rest of the day riding on his own. Or being followed by a pack
of hounds. Post-coffee break, the group
were entertained by Mrs Weston Snr, who duly set-about John with deft kicks and
punches for disguising himself in the crowd and hiding from her attentions (the
disguise comprising mainly of removed glasses).
With John suitably admonished by Mum and the group suitably entertained
by the spectacle of an 80-something year old demonstrating more personality and
vigour than, frankly, an octogenarian has any right to, the group departed for
the sprint back to Cardigan. Again,
Bahamontes took flight, the main group finding her in the depths of Glanrhyd
after a bit of Ioan-led search, convinced she’d plunged in Moylegrove by
mistake. Not so, and thus the Eagle
joined in the 40mph+ sprint back to town.
All this after three hours of mudplugging yesterday – never trust anyone
in pink who claim they need “a few minutes head start”; Giro riders be warned.
Sunday, 24th February.
And we're back. Today’s ride write up is brought to you by the word “Double”...
Today there were double-figure applications
to join AndrooL in the elite ranks of HMoC*.
A few ventured out earlier than the published meet time and, frankly,
they paid a price for that if they hadn’t doubled up on the glove-per-hand
‘Kin freezing it was.
With the masses assembled for 1030hrs, Finch
Square resembled a holding pen for thoroughbred race horses on a cold Aintree
morning - breath clouds, stamping feet and some sweaty necks was the spectacle;
the lack of protruding teeth, flappy lips and dung piles meant the VTCC equine
impression fell short enough for cyclists to be recognisable in the
condensing air vortexes.
The ride itself set off to
Bridell, Eglwswrw, Crymych, Hermon and on to Glogue, the descent into which saw
the temperature drop further – a portent of doom?
A forewarning of evil?
Llechryd John - a.k.a. Ll ‘Cooled’ J –
thought so as fear gripped him and he threw himself into the scenery.
Or was it a gradient/lack of traction combo?
escaping Glogue’s icy clutches, Team HMoC chattered their way to Boncath
(chattered as in ‘teeth’ not as in ‘witty banter’), where the NCE massive
veered towards home, the Blaenffos crew took their leave too, leaving the Cardi’s
to huddle into a tight, warmth-seeking pack for the run back to the Metropolis.
Apart from Ll Cooled J’s hedge excursion,
there was only one other mishap as Evan’s rear let go of its retained air.
Once we’d established the hissing was, in
fact, coming from his tyre, the group sprang into action, forming a perfect
half-circle around Evan so that his approach to fixing punctures might be criticised
from every angle.
Fortunately for Evan,
the Heggs Monster is clearly in receipt of a better upbringing than the rest of
the group and Mr Manners set about Evan’s rim with gusto...
*Hard Man of Cycling
Sunday, 13th January.
A thing of beauty, elegance and
grace; the VTCC 10-man (and woman) group that rode in 5x2 harmony from
Cardigan to Eglwyswrw to Boncath, cutting a Velo Teifi-coloured dash
through North Pembrokeshire with most turning out in full kit courtesy
of Mr Claus, in some instances. Even Santa likes this club.
The group moved at pace once Liz and Janice realised the lead pair
could be driven like sled dogs; with this energy-efficient approach to
the ride, it was no surprise that the climbs from Bridell to Eglwyswrw
and Boncath to Bwlch y Groes saw our ladies maintain contact all the
way to the top – very impressive. Less impressive was the
discovery of a five year old energy bar strapped to a top tube with
electrical tape; Dr R was suitably admonished. The Club Ride
Rules have now been amended to ensure appropriate conduct, behaviours
and style are maintained at all time – jeez, this isn’t
Towy Riders y’know. This minor misdemeanour aside
[Minor? Serious enough to up-issue the Ride Rules – Ed],
credit and respect is due to the double-digit turnout today because it
was chuffin’ freezing at meeting time of 1030hrs and not much
warmer at 1330hrs when the group returned to Cardigan; tough guys (and
gals) these Velo Teifians. Neal’s attempt to thwart the
onset of brainfreeze utilised some form of Kermit the Frog hat under
his helmet; he maintained it was a vintage thermal cycling cap; all the
group could see was a lurid green covering with giant bulging eyeballs
atop his bonce, however. It was with a sigh of relief that the
group observed the Heggs Monster’s slick-shod mountain bike steed
today – took at least 10mph of his cruising speed, allowing the
rest of the group to breath normally for a change. Heggs’
usual mount is with Brian Rourke (look him up, kids) for fettling and
its return is eagerly anticipated. By Alan. The rest of the
group are happy for the rest. Evan’s early-morning
enthusiasm had worn off by the time the NCE windmills were reached, but
this wasn’t a problem as he tucked in and led the sweeping 30mph+
descent back into the mighty Emlyn where several minutes were taken to
chip off the nose-icles and frozen snot-rockets.
Brrrr. Winter. Gotta love it.
Sunday, 30th December.
something happened. The VTCC News Room knows this because his
phone rang too many times to ignore. But beyond this teasing hint
of cycling goings-on, information is sparce. The same Dirty Dozen
out again with their dirty little secrets?
Sunday, 23rd December.
happened. It involved at least a dozen people. But that's
it - no further information has been made available to the VTCC News
Room. Secretive bunch, them 12.
Sunday, 9th December.
Quote of the day: “You can tell who the drinkers are in
this club...”, a casual remark by the increasingly witty
ex-local, Ajax Evans, as he observed the complete lack of ladeez
present on this morning’s club run. Probably a good thing
as any more on the ride would have necessitated road-widening in
certain parts, such were the numbers out this morning for the
post-Christmas Dinner Turkey Burp ride. Great to see Fast Wayne
out today; less good was watching him set off to walk the three miles
back to Cardigan after snapping his handlebars (too much upper body
strength that boy. A beast.). Dai’s kind offer of
lending The Beast his van to get home may have resulted in missing
vehicle controls (notably the steering wheel) as The Beast manhandled
the truck home, but this detail remains to be confirmed at this
time. The remaining dozen or so set off to Newport in a cloudy
haze of turkey-gravy gas with red wine sodden brain cells sending
conflicting messages about putting effort in to respective leg
muscles . Several hours later, having sweated out most of
the night before’s excesses, we returned home safe in the
knowledge it would be at least another year before the ride would be
accompanied by the sweet scent of a large bird from the genus
Meleagris. And gravy.
Sunday, 11th November.
Once again, we’re not going to speak of double figure
turnouts (even though it happened), we’ll just focus on the ride details.
And these comprised a run via Mwnt to
Aberporth, onto Tresaith, Penbryn and down to our favourite suburb of
Birmingham for coffee, cakes and digger-spotting (other forms of plant were
The rules of Club Rides
were broadly adhered to, although the run back from Brynhoffnant did see The
Heggs Monster charge off, taunting those determined to keep the group together
to the bitter end. Ah well, it was beginning to rain and people did want to get
home – so off we sped chasing Heggs’ rear wheel and a veritable pace was
maintained to Gogerddan, with only a little handlebar chewing.
Thereafter it was a blur.
Mainly due to the sh*te weather that set
about our spirits, glasses, mechanicals and any remaining dry spots we thought
we might preserve till home time.
Sunday, 11th November.
Right, we’re getting bored of quoting ‘double figure
turnouts’ each Sunday, so for this week we’re not going to mention that there was
another double figure turnout, ok?
diversion from the numbers is good as there is much to record from today’s ride.
Firstly, the weathermen lied.
There were some horrendous downpours around
today and the Aberporth Quintet seemed to have ridden through most of them
before joining the main throng in Finch Square.
Led in (by some margin) by Mike ‘the Beast’, his quadruplet of moist
straggledom squelched along behind in various moods of enthusiasm.
It’s fair to say Howard looked the most
fed-up; but very snug in a borrowed rain jacket.
The assembled crew were treated to a veritable
charm offensive from Mine Hosts of the Lamb Inn as, firstly, they attempted to
part the cyclist sea with the bumper of their Transit Sharabang, happily
nudging the Jav-lar some two or three feet in an attempt to make Jav feel more
like a pro-cyclist a la Brad or Shane Sutton, it seems.
Once challenged (quite justifiably), the fine
figures of manhood that comprised the Sharabang pilot and his co-moron accused
the cyclist gathering of ‘parking’ on a public highway and, thus, three tonnes
of vehicle (just one tonne if we discount the Blobby Boys) was quite within its
rights to attempt murder.
There was no
point arguing as clearly reasoned communication was not Shirley Crabtree’s
So to the ride.
The Aberporth Five decided their near
drowning was enough excitement for one morning and headed for home whilst the peloton
set off for Cilgerran, Abercych, Boncath, Eglws.. Eglswss... that place, Croft
and down to Poppit for the finest and most exquisite lemon meringue pie, it is
possible, that has ever been made.
Inn / Poppit Cafe... compare and contrast.
Great to see Glyn out and welcome to Blaenwaun Tom; with Colin escorting
the group at the beginning the first few miles were soon despatched.
Andrew and Jav-lar ducked out early; rumours
of Jav nipping back to town for a quiet pint at the Lamb have not been confirmed.
The most surprising thing of the
The main group skilfully avoiding
the worst of any rain showers; oh yes, step forward you righteous souls!
The only hint of moisture appeared on the
run-in to Boncath, but a quick acceleration soon saw blue skies return as the
group gave chase to a lonesome triathlete on the A487.
It could only happen on a Velo Teifi club
Sunday, 4th November.
part II. Another double-digit turnout on a damp but promising
morning; organised by the proletariat (I didn’t call them Plebs,
M’lud) nonetheless – does this signal an end in sight for
the dictatorial Davies-regime of coercion and beating to get people
riding their bikes? A start of a democracy in the West Wales
cycling fraternity? “Anything to stop the interminable txt
msgs,” was the morning chant. Great to see Eleri and Maggs,
bolstering the ladeez count by 100% and helping to form a frankly
intimidating girlie peloton within the main group. They can be
quite intimidating, you know. Young Matt promises to be part of
the future for VTCC; he manfully handled the climbs today and
positively beasted the run back to Cardigan, passing the seniors all
the way to Llechryd like he was on a 10-mile time trial effort.
Neal’s bike continues to emit all sorts of noises not dissimilar
to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; in fact, at one point we were
convinced some form of cocoa-tinged baked product was going to pop out
of the frame for all to marvel over. However, joined again by
Alan “70’s downtube shifters work just fine, thank
you”, the Beast of Brongest, Neal and the Willy Wonka Frameset
set the pace for most of the morning. Good to see Dr Brian out;
resplendent in Ninja-balaclava, power-gels always to hand
(frame). After fixing his snapped chain (thank you, Llechryd Jon,
for the chain splitter and for being the only properly equipped cyclist
out today) Evan swore it was running smoother than before as the
group streaked a long loop to NCE for coffee and sickly pastries.
Burp. Only one sour point of note today... Liz. Those mud
guards. Really? You wouldn’t fit mud flaps to a
Ferrari. I rest my case (but not my deep prejudice against
mudguards on racing bikes). May this autumnal enthusiasm become
the new driving force for VTCC. How very exciting it is.
Sunday, 28th October.
Where to start? Double figure turn out on a
damp and dismal October day - what has become of this club?
Even Mrs Chairman turned up!
So, a well-paced ride to Newport via St. Dogmaels
was the collective decision (democracy rocks).
Janice and Liz set the pace, Neal’s Merckx-era velocipede squeaked its
way along, closely followed by newcomer Alan displaying a fine pair or
down-tube mounted shifters so that Neal wouldn’t feel too lonely in his retro
world (even sported a club jersey v2.0 to complete the historical perspective).
Snot-rocket award of the day went to Mrs
Chairman (filthy marathon runner’s habit), as did Lead Out of the Day award, as
the aforementioned mucus maestro stormed the Newport flats leading the group at
22+mph (not bad for her second ride of the year).
However, her 30+mph passing of Mr Chairman on a downhill in torrential rain hinted at a previously-hidden but now released
fearlessness; Mr Chairman left muttering something about grit in the eye, or
something... Great to see Dai W out and also first timer ‘Llechryd John’
joining in the fun.
I could go on, but
suffice to say, such was the enthusiasm for muck, grit and grime today that
another ride has been arranged for next Sunday.
Sunday, 9th September.
At last, an awayday not
spoiled by the weather monster.
the strong headwind, it was necessary for Team VTCC to form a working line of
through and off’s to make progress down to
Pendine; remarkably efficient it was too meaning a timely arrival at the
coffee stop after a mere 70 minutes or so.
Clearly helped by the Jav-lar’s approach to ‘through and clearing off’, resulting
in the rest of us beasting ourselves to get back in his wheel just time to
resume a stint at the front.
the training effect,” was the thought.
Think of the vomit effect more like.
The route back took in Red Roses, Tavernspite, Whitland and then some
wilds of Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire that eventually emerged in Llanglydwen.
The now-welcome tailwind was countered
somewhat by the ‘undulating’ nature of the return route, eventually spitting us
out in Llanfyrnach and then onto Crymych where, most remarkably of all, it wasn’t
In fact, a dry 50 miles was the
order of the day; perhaps an Indian summer of cycling lies ahead...
Sunday, 26th August.
of the Summer Whine? After several weekends of
mud-plugging, it was nice to get back on to the blacktop again.
And today we were joined by our erstwhile chum and now Newport-based
(“you knows it”) Big D, which was nice; hearing him
grunting and squeaking up the climbs was something we’d all been
missing. But why he was dressed as a riding advertisement for
some 70’s scouring powder, we weren’t sure.
Hmmm, allegiances seem to be shifting but nice that he keeps VTCC
membership too – a mark of respect. Anyways, cracking Bank
Holiday Sunday weather saw a route from NCE via some obscure
Lindsay-led back lanes/climbs/crawls to Ffostrasol and on to our
favourite Brummie suburb for espressos and Baywatch. Some 50
miles on the clock at home time. With the disappointment of
numerous cancelled rides due to weather, we wondered if today was an
apparition, a blip in the scheme of scummy Sundays? Only time
Sunday, 29th July.
yesterday morning's good turnout but lacklustre efforts (all too
excited about the upcoming Oly Road Road) this morning saw
suitable amends being made.
Cardigan-Cilgerran-Boncath-Abercych-Trelech-NCE and Cenarth for
coffee and obscenely overloaded cream scones! As we crammed
our faces, the semi-pro Carmarthen racing outfit TRCC tracked
by, but fortunately he didn't see our lapse into less-than-suitable
dietary habits. A finishing flourish saw the group covering
between 40 and 60 miles (depending on starting point), which reflected
both a fine weather day and guilt-complexes regarding dairy product
consumption.. Bring on August, but with less double cream, please.
Sunday, 22nd July.
to the avid followers of this page - we've been remiss in
our updates this summer. Suffice to say, today was scorchio,
the ride some 50 miles
or so ending in Poppit Cafe (our new fave). Top marks to Rob J
for digging deep today; that is to say, putting up with Robin all
morning; the riding was easy.
Sunday, 20th May.
of a day today saw VTCC welcome newbie Rob to the fold. It also
saw Fast Wayne arrive riding a “Molly” child’s bike
– pink, little basket but no stabilisers. Some form of bet
apparently, but not so much of a bet that would see him ride
‘Little Molly’ on the chosen route around the minor roads
of Trelech and Cwm Morgan, around the windmills and then a 47mph dash
down to Drefach for coffee at the Woollen Mill (courtesy of Rob –
we’re liking him more and more). And that’s a
mill for woollen goods, not a mill made of wool. Just to be clear.
Sunday, 13th May.
Lovely route today from
Carmarthen to Llandeilo, off to Glynaman, Brynaman, Amanegg, Amanchips... over
the Black Mountains to Llangadog and back to Carmarthen; some 60 or so
The route out was at pace with
everyone feeling fit and fresh, but the return journey revealed the truth
behind our perceived early-morning strength as the headwind hit us in Llangadog
and tried to prevent us making it back to the cars.
Suffice to say, VTCC prevailed and we were in
the cars by 1245 and home in time for the Giro.
We will return to this area soon, as the potential routes in and around
Llandeilo-Ammanford-Cross Hands are numerous and Co-Chairman Lindsay has offered
to navigate, he having intimate knowledge of the area; his short-wearing,
tree-climbing, girl-chasing formative years were spent in this locale.
Over to you then, good sir...
Sunday, 15th April.
Sound recordings from today would include:
“Arghhhh” (Jav-lar, aka Sylvain Chavenal, has hit the front and is accelerating. Again.)
“Phew” (BigH, aka Bernie Eisal, has hit the front and we’re tucked in nicely behind.)
“Gnash Growl Grrrr” (RogerG is attacking again. And again.)
“Crunch Ping” (Bernie Eisal’s chain has snapped)
“Uhhhhhh” (the last five miles at pace are hurting)
“Whoooooshh” (a working line maintaining almost 30mph for three miles!)
“Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow” (hailstones hitting cheeks)
With a coffee and Belgian waffle stop taken at Whitesands today, the
route saw somewhere between 50 and 60 miles (depending on where you
started from) covered in mostly fair weather (bullet-like hailstorm
notwithstanding). Cracking roads coupled with a great group ride
(once Jav-lar was convinced to wait for the rest of us) made for rapid
progress with minimal ‘nastiness’; apart from, that is,
Jav-lar’s delay in offering tissue wipes for oily fingers –
only making them apparent once road-side mechanics had spend five
minutes wiping fingers in grassy banks in a vain attempt to avoid
soiling shiny new white bar tape. How we laughed.
Sunday, 6th April.
Easter brought out the good eggs from Crymych today - great to
see Janice, Max and the gang; not so nice however, was their chosen
route around the tough climbs of St.Dogs and a proper wiggly route
via Boncath back to Blaenffos. We tried to look cool and composed
for the assembled ladeez, inside, however, we were screaming as this
was BigD's third day of excessive mileage and catching-up with the West
Wales crew; tired legs all around. Go back to South Wales, damn
you. But seriously, it was quite nice to see the ol' feller
again! I suppose.
Sunday, 25th March. Stonking. The only word to describe today’s ride. An assault on the 76 mile Preseli Angel route,
less a few miles to allow for lives, families and general non-cycling
activities on a Sunday, was the order of the morning. A
0930hrs start in Parrog, only slightly delayed due to tardy co-Chairman, saw the first
club gathering in British Summer Time for 2012.
Accompanied by beautiful weather, some flashes of flesh, beads of sweat and
a 55 mile ride with 6000 feet of climbing (according to the technically gifted
amongst us today), the goodly sized group maintained a good pace all morning,
returning to Newport for munchies at lunchtime. May all future rides be as delightful as today’s.
Sunday, 11th March.
Spring has sprung.
The fine weather saw the club ride numbers swell
well into double figures today, boosted by the presence of Team Aberporth who
were being led (at pace) by Bubba Jones, whilst the others recovered from Six
Clinging to Jones’
wheel, the group sprinted along the Teifi Valley until such time that the A[berporth]-Team
decided homes and family commitments were calling, at which point the group
split into two with the remainder lurching off into the countryside and
emerging at Poppit for coffee ‘n’ buns; and to screw Wayne back together
Nice to see the return of Mr
Digby – welcome back, fella.
Sunday, 26th February.
What a grand day out,
The Parrog at 0930hrs saw the
first guinea pigs for the Preseli Angel 40 mile route emerge from their
hutches, twitching whiskers and raring to go.
Joined by both the Fishguard and Newport Massives, the group set out
wondering what the giant yellow orb in the sky might be; it’s been a
With a few members still
suffering from the previous night’s Forster celebrations, the early climbs were
a cacophony of Guinness-burps, Prosecco-parps and general near-vomit
It is clear that the 40 mile
route is going to test some folk with steady climbs in the early stages leading
to the suffer-fest crawl up to Bwlch y Gwnt which today, we shared with our
chums from Tenby Aces.
The descent is a
50mph masterpiece however, but the last loop around Nevern is just plain
Back to Newport for tea and cake
it was then and evidence of the barter system that runs the township, as locals
negotiated for cake in the absence of any actual hard currency.
Captured comments about the new Preseli Angel
“Great route, but some
heavy-feeling roads will catch you unawares in places,” AL.
“I’d forgotten about that
main climb – ouch,” TK.
“It’s hard to ride a De
Rosa without looking a n*b,” RG.
“...and a loop around
Nevern? Eek!” AM.
“If that car hadn’t been
there I’d have topped 52mph,” Various.
“He’s a lovely bloke,
Carl. Can do no wrong,” Carl’s mum.
Sunday, 19th February.
Great turn out today for
a run from NCE to Poppit via Cilgerran, Eglws..., Eglwsw... that place and back
Interesting points to note: Dai
clearly needs the help of his wife when dressing of a morning; Young Tommy K
does have off days; the Newport Massive are getting stronger; a tail-wind from
Cardigan to NCE can take 5 minutes off your best time and Poppit Cafe is a
great meeting place for the non-riders and other halves (hello everyone that
came out today).
Things are looking up.
Sunday, 22nd January.
“Arrange it and they will
come” to para-phrase some film about corn and baseball.
And so it was this morning as club members from
all points of the compass, emerging from their winter-slumber, converged on NCE.
A slightly longer route than intended (thank you Andrew L) saw a canter
to Llandysul, back lanes to Capel Dewi, Talgarreg and Plwmp, before diving down
to Solihull Minor for coffee and cake.
One man vs. horse incident to report; no-one hurt, but a little bit of
rubber left on the road and a little bit of the [bike] rider left in his shorts.
Suffice to say it was touch and go whether
Horse-limbo was going to be order of the day, but with some shouting, minor
hysterics and a dive down the gutter-line, disaster was averted.
60 miles covered today – that’ll do nicely,
ta very big.
The Aberporth massive was reduced
to one today it seems, cutting a lonely figure he was too – has there been a
falling-out we wondered?
Sunday, 15th January.
heavy legs from Saturday's training efforts, today was a slog for some.
First of the Coffee Runs saw us dashing for Llangrannog (oh yeah
- that's really conducive to resting tired legs... moan, moan, moan)
against what felt like a multi-directional headwind. We all
arrived safely and the 'you take the high road, I'll take the low road'
approach seemed to work OK with a relatively good-quality 40 miles or
so completed. One near-death experience to report as
Mr-Beardy-Pipe-Smoking-Probably-Myopic-Fiat-Driving-Tw*t attempted to
turn accross the path of Johnny Hoogerland at the Tesco's junction in
Cardigan; suffice to say his error in judgement was pointed out to
Sunday, 8th January.
“...Just the two of us;
We can make it if we try;
Just the two of us.
Just the two of us;
Building castles in the sky.
Just the two of us,
You and I...”
And so it was this
morning as Smiffy and I cracked off a couple of hours in the absence of anyone
else. Bit damp to start, but soon brightened up, as promised by Derek the
Weather. As is now common place, we saw the
exclusive Aberporth Cycling Club going their own way; as usual, the opposite
way to Velo Teifi.
Tuesday, 27th December.
technically a Sunday, I know [not actually a sunday - Ed], but the
holiday enthusiasm was evident today. The festive season had
clearly laid a heavy guilt trip on club members as this morning’s
ride saw not
one, not two but three groups on the road; each group being
based on a complicated formula of turkey consumption divided by a
differential, integrated by the cubed root of the mince pie consumptive
Suffice to say, we were all “burpin’
With most members opting to ride to NCE (as
opposed to driving there and parking around the corner, then sprinting two
hundred yards to generate an impression of perceived effort in getting to the
meeting point), the chosen route to our favourite suburb of Birmingham was met
with a few groans and, yes, a slight whiff of gravy.
Two groups managed to get to Llangrannog
safely where we were met with not a hint of Black Country accents; how
With espressos and cake
quaffed, Team VT made one of the slowest ascents from Lesser Solihull, heading
to respective homes for more leftovers, no doubt.
Burpin’ turkey, folks.
Sunday, 18th December.
Getting up on a grey,
blustery December morning is hard enough sometimes; getting up to go and ride a
bicycle for ‘fun’ even more so.
the mix the previous night out with Cardigan Running Club and the essential viewing
of the excellent Hammer film “The Gorgon” when you get in at 1 a.m.
and this morning’s reveille was particularly
“Oooh, it’s hard,” I
muttered to no-one in particular at silly o’clock when I awoke.
“Not now dear, it’s too
early,” replied my semi-Sleeping Beauty.
Obviously, I was
referring to the challenge outlined at the start of this blurb, but it was good
to know that no other options for morning entertainment were available to me.
So off I trotted for a pre-ride ride before
the 0930hrs meet.
Slimy roads, road salt,
drippy noses and snot-rockets were to be the order of the day.
Wrapped up like Nanook, with Ninja-like eye
slits, Davies-san was quite perky today, blathering on about how only riding
once a month was transforming his riding...
He was left to his own devices and the Club Ride duly set about the
roads from Cardigan to Bridell to Eglws... Eglwsw... That Place to Crymych to
Crosswell to Brynberian and on to Newport for espressos and nose wipes.
Returning via Nevern and Croft to Cardigan,
it wasn’t too bad a ride considering.
rain, no ice, no snow but windy.
worth getting up for.
Sunday, 30th October.
Lazy Davies struggled
His self-imposed ‘month of rest’
(read: lethargy and cake) had left him bereft of any ability to propel his
bicycle with any form of forward motion.
Hills were definitely out of the equation today. As it was for Smiffy
who, having returned from a sojourn with Cav and his missus (yes, that Cav and
yes, really) in the gloriously opulent surroundings of Dubai, agreed that hot
days of Cav-spotting had taken their toll and a flat route was the order of the
Cleary sympathetic to the plaintive
cries, the group set out from Cenarth and up the first hill then down to
Then up the next hill to
Carreg Wen before looping back to Abercych to meet up with the [late arriving]
Yo-ster and onto the suffer-fest that is the climb from the Fox &
It was then a continuing tale of
down dale and o’er hill before Lazy D capitulated at Boncath and made a break
Fortunately, Jav-lar provided
the lead-out thus ensuring that Pitiful D didn’t just fall into a ditch and
sleep a bit.
An inauspicious start to
winter riding then, with Dozey D promising to do better next time.
There was one highlight however: Janey K’s
unplanned dismount with 360 loop, double back flip and forward roll, performed
just outside the Cenarth Post Office in front of at least 50 aghast onlookers.
Nobody actually saw this, but we believe that’s
exactly what happened.
Sunday, 11th September. Climachx.
Mmmm, gnarly. Completely worth an
hour and a bit drive. Setting off at 0700ish
from various starting points, the VTCC knobblies rendezvoused bright and breezy
in a very quiet Machynlleth town centre before descending on Ceinws City and
the Climachx’s starting area. Pulling on
appropriate gear and readying themselves for a few hours of trail bashing, tyre
slashing, rock hopping, drop-off leaping, board running, berm burning and mud
splashing, the crew were taken with young Tommy K’s Pulp Fiction-inspired
Banksy-artwork t-shirt. Pulp what? Came the youngster's honest reply. Oh dear,
the tone was set for the day. “...Say
'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you m*********r, say
what one more Goddamn time!” (Jules, 1994).
Slightly taken aback by the joint onslaught, Tommy K led the way up the
first climb looking a bit bemused.
Having climbed this before, we asked Tommy how long the first climb
would take... our response? “That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there
in ten...” (The Wolf, 1994). Eh? Nevermind,
Tom, just keep going. The first puncture struck after 15 mins, “...Man, you best back off, I'm gittin' a little
p*ssed here...” (Jules, 1994) quoted the victim. Tom didn’t flinch. Nearing the top of the climb the team were
going well, stopping for brief respite before the first bit of fun, someone
asked if everyone was OK..., “...Yeah, we
cool. Two things. Don't tell nobody about this. This shit is between me, you,
and Mr. Soon-To-Be-Living-The-Rest-of-His-Short-Ass-Life-In-Agonizing-Pain
Rapist here. It ain't nobody else's business....”
(Marsellus, 1994). Tom’s grin was strained; confused
even. Shortly after, Carl’s first puncture
hit. Damnit, what now, the plaintive
enquired “...What now? Let me tell you what now. I'm a call a coupla hard,
pipe-hittin' n*ggers, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers
and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you
by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass..” (Marsellus, 1994). We were on a roll now, in every sense of the
word. Eventually, the group reached the
summit and the start of the last (and claimed longest in Wales) single track
descent to the cars. Big H picked up and
then fixed his puncture and the great descent began. Outstanding, natural-featured, single track
thrash down – fantastic, and upon arrival back at the cars the call went out – “let’s
do it again!”. Damn the spirited youth
amongst us. The second drop down the
final descent was as good as the first, except for Carl who had his second puncture
and, out of quotes, he just got on and fixed it. A great day was rounded off in Mach with a
spot of lunch with the Senior citizens (all of them, it seemed) of the town – “ooh,
they do a lovely roast here, they do. My
George loves coming here on a Sunday... Is that your motorcycle?” Uh oh....
“...It's a chopper,
Whose chopper is this?
Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead...”
(Butch and Fabienne, 1994)
Sunday 4th September.
the summer really passed us by without any witty write-ups of Sunday
Shananigans? Well, the trend continues then... This morning
saw a goodly
sized group clearly clinging to the last bastions of summer; even
removed the bubblewrap from the De Rosa and ventured out (it did take
hours to get to Cenarth though – “avoiding damp
The morning also saw the ladies turning out
to show off their summer training effects – the boys knew they were in trouble
when the mention of ‘Paintball Hill’ barely raised an eyebrow amongst the VT
The route included the
aforementioned hill as a legwarmer, a run across the top ridge up to the
windmills and the decision was taken to dive down to Felindre for some wool at
the tea mill, sorry, tea at the woollen mill.
And what a gosh-darn zippy descent it is from ‘5 roads’ down to said
50+ mph and a little ‘uneven’,
diving into damp tree-covered dodginess – extremely entertaining.
It was even more entertaining for those whose
saddle-packs decided to work loose and fling themselves into the rear wheel at said
How Dr. L stayed upright
is anyone’s guess (although he’ll make some trite comment about bike handling
ability, experience and fearlessness), suffice to say as Tommy K and Cynan were
gaining speed wondering why the Colnago-mounted hero was apparently ‘offloading
unwanted kit’, our ashen-faced, sphincter-flapping, Beaker-impersonating chum
was desperately trying not to earn his “Planet Hoogerland” t-shirt by landing
in a nearby field, wrapped in barbed wire.
He managed it.
Expensive wheel repairs to follow however,
So tea and munchies were taken
in t’mill (special vernacular for Robin) and the ride home began – a dangerous
ride home with the mesmerising effect of Dr.L’s wobbly rear wheel threatening
to put followers into a trance-like state.
Did I mention ‘expensive repairs’?
Sunday 29th May.
A select group today enjoyed a re-run of a
previously curtailed ride that took in Cardigan – Pen y Bryn – Cilgerran –
Boncath – Mordor – Eglws.. Eglwswr... that place – Croft and down to Poppit to
our new favourite cafe.
weather but still with the gosh-darn blustery wind saw the peleton echelon-ing
everywhere and the run through Mordor (Crymych) saw the less hardy don the
shower jackets (hello Carl).
dampness behind us, the group sped away from Sauron’s all-seeing eye and back
to the relative warmth and safety of the seaside for espressos and fizzy pop.
Special hello to Cheltenham Owen who joined
us today; hope to see more of him over the coming months.
No special mention to Young Tommy K who, once
again, inflicted pain on most climbs.
Sunday 27th March.
OK, so not an 'official' club ride, but
a ride with club members, nonetheless. The chronological
competency of Dr L was immediately called into question when it turned
out he had forgotton to put his clocks forward - or was it back..??
Anyway, once assembled, we left Llechryd bridge with visiting
rider Andy T and headed towards Cenarth to intercept the aforementioned
latecomer, before heading towards Abercych, Carreg Wen, Newchapel and
Boncath. We then followed the sportive route towards Crosswell
and on to Newport. Andrew S collected his first puncture in two
years on the dodgy descent just past the Crosswell junction (the road
really has gone to pot, down there), but quickly sorted before coffee
and cakes in one of the finest and friendliest cafes in the area.
Home via Pantgwyn and Croft. Good weather, light winds and
spring is definitely on the way. Hope Andy enjoyed the ride,
Sunday, 20th March.
Double figures! That's more
like it. Organiser Al had laid on a mapped out, detailed, printed
route for all to follow (how organised is this man?) which saw the
VT peleton climb to Boncath, positively pace to Newchapel, descend
likeVincenzo Nibali to Abercych and generally scorch a looping route
back to Aberteifi. Led, in most part, by the London-Paris Ladies
all of whom, it was noted, seemed to be riding shiny new carbon steeds.
Blimey them girls can move now; very impressive. And
slightly intimidating. Anyway, my inferiority complex aside, tea,
coffee and not insubstantial portions of cheesecakey/apple pie shaped
things with lashings of cream were consumed at Priory Cafe; clearly the
team were carbo-loading for the route(s) home. Young Tom seems to
be finding form again after the beating received on the Daffodil Ride
at the hands [legs] of Andrew L and Carl (both Carl and Andrew have now
exaggerated this Pyrrhic victory out of all proportion, by the way);
have the aforementioned forty-somethings peaked too early? Is a
Korowski Kicking on its way? As I type, I can feel the pain to be
inflicted... Oh dear.
Sunday, 7th March. Great weather, lovely views and social
jibber jabber. What
more do you need for a Sunday club ride? (Some more members). Seven
riders in total- apologies
from Cynan still in bed with a self inflicted sore head, Dai who had to
cut some trees and Carl who had to support
his beloved who was participating in her first Llanelli Half Marathon.
Rumour has it that the Aberporth massive were out on their own
As we set off Dr
Lindsay noticed a “fit looking lady” (all that medical
training being put to good use) cycling in the opposite direction and
kindly invited her to join us. Said lady replied
“you’d be to slow for me”. Really? (er possibly?) we
thought as she sped off down the road.
Michelle L was ride leader for the day and what
excellent route she had planned. 21 miles
with a stop off at Tavern Sinc for Tea/Coffee and cakes. Unfortunately
that’s where the plan went wrong - it was closed.
Michelle’s excuse was that we were too fast getting there. A nice young maiden who worked at the Tavern
arrived. Dr L tried his powers of persuasion and even bribery to get
her to open early. He even offered to pay for his coffee. Sorry Dr L, your powers of persuasion seem to be
lost here. We decided to have some photos instead. The Chairman’s
bike was banned as it might cause embarrassment.
As we set off again Teresa
commented on how much easier the hills were now that her seat was
correctly set up. All those spinning classes with Janice are now paying
A few miles on and we came to a bit of a climb.
newest member of the group (Paul D) decided to attack. Smelling blood,
young Tom (with his new steed) put the foot down and was gone. Dr L
followed and that was that attack over.
The ride ended with a nice downhill section back
Crymch and to the Pub which was open for Tea and complaints from the
ladies about there being no cake. Ride report brought to you
courtesy of Chairman Al.
- ride pics from Sunday 7th will be on the VT Facebook page, until I
can work out how to post them here. It can be done - I just don't
know how yet....)
Sunday, 9th January.
A chilly start in Cenarth, but a pretty good turnout considering
both the unearthly hour (9am) and the temperature. Around nine of us
made our way towards Cardigan, then towards Gwbert (past a suspiciously
quiet ex-chairman's house) and on towards Llangranog via Aberporth,
Tresaith and Penbryn. An early entry for crash of the year saw
one of the Fishguard crew taking a dive on one of the hairpins on the
way down to Llangrannog - if only someone had remembered to bring the
cameras, as advertised. No permanent damage done though, although
the poor fella did have to ride back to Fishguard in 39/14 - piece of
cake (which incidentally, is what we all ate in the cafe at
Llangrannog). Anyway, a good ride - the sun was out, the roads
were quiet and the hills were just as steep and unforgiving as they
usually are - what more could you ask for..?
Sunday, 31st October.
not kidding you...
the Godfather of Soul was with us today.
“Ow... Can I take it to the
Well, a slightly more pasty-faced namesake
perhaps, with a proper ability to scale local hills it seems.
Mr Brown's tyre tracks, the assembled group tackled the hilly
Cardigan – St.Dogs – Monnington - Ceibwr
- Newport – Crosswell – Boncath route today,
with peppermint tea and egg banjos taken in the friendliest cafe in
they even welcome dogs, so there was no need to tether Cynan outside.
Sunday, 24th October.
Emlyn to meet the VT crew, the Teifi Valley fog enveloped me causing an
interesting droplet formation on my sunnies as I juddered and skitted
Cou corner. A strange sense of forboding washed over me. No
longer using conventional means of navigation and bend negotiation,
you know - some overrated sense such as eyesight, I employed The Force
ensure my safe passage... there was at least 5 inches between the
and my right elbow, what was all the fuss about?
this near-death experience behind me, I
wondered what other excitement the day might bring or what other
horrors were lurking in the oppressing Fog?
arrival at the meeting point, all negative thoughts were dispelled and
spirits were raised at the sheer number
of slightly chilled looking bikies, lurking in the mist, waiting for
of general well-being were further elevated when the perfumed
nature of the
immediate environs of said bikies was discovered; either the boys had,
at long last,
discovered Lifebuoy, or there were ladies in our mist... [geddit?].
barely able to contain our excitement
that a breakaway faction from VT Ladies Inc. had ordained to join us,
set off with the intent of climbing to altitude like some form of gold
airliner and breaking free of our murky, oppressive and somewhat
Not before Mags had
closely inspected the
road surface, however.
But she gave that tarmac a jolly good close-up looking at.
With the highway passed as fit for purpose,
the now-trailing Mags Support Team set off in pursuit of the Peloton
fairly whizzing up hill and down dale, led, it seems, by a decidedly
We prayed they’d
off to enable the male egos to recover and our little chests to
Clear of the mist, the group enjoyed stunning
views of the Teifi Valley as it showed off its cotton wool filling for
as the eye could see.
A canter along the
ridgeline from Newcastle Emlyn to the windmills, down to Rhos and over
road to follow Roman Road, we dropped like speeding bullets into
began a search for tea ‘n’ munchies.
Nothing, nada, dim byd.
NCE it was then.
At this point the ride
took a dark turn, well, a right turn in Pentrecwrt at any rate...
Behind us, Mr Hesitant, following in [too]
close formation in one of Ellesmere
Port’s finest, decided to attempt a somewhat ill-judged
As the Astra
spluttered forward, Team VT
(already positioned to turn right) turned right.
Hesitant became Mr Decisive and
Decisive nee Hesitant became Mr Excited
and decided to inform the group of his recent persona change.
He had not reckoned with Dr Jekyll and, more pertinently, Mr
Irked at the chameleon-like car
Hyde joined battle.
Truly, a beast had
been unleashed and Mr Hyde set about the driver with gusto.
Summoning inner-reserves of vitriol and bile
not seen in these parts since Belzebub was banished from whence he
our champion chewed up Mr Gibbering (another quick change, it seems)
spat out his masticated gizzards and giblets.
Not satisfied with the verbal onslaught alone, our hero employed
special version of a two-handed salute to Mr Gobsmacked who was by now
changing moods quicker
than a schizophrenic on acid.
point that our gallant knight in blue and gold lycra/armour raised his
arms, fingers contorted into claws, and balanced himself on one leg,
the Fighting Crow position, we decided enough was enough and,
having gotten Dr Jekyll to return to us, we headed off for some cake.
Something strange happened today.
Not just the predominance of female form on
the ride, but a creeping malevolence that seemingly manifested through
form of normally mild mannered Dr Jekyll.
Was there something in the Fog that morning that had affected
Was this a John
Carpenter-film homage too
Who knows readers, who knows...
Sunday, 25th July. Allan
M - what an organiser, what a guy; there were even printed route maps
handed out this morning by the uber-efficient Al. And so it was
that the Greatest Organiser the club has ever seen, led us on a
challenging (but well organised) ride out to Lampeter and back.
Beautifully done, Al. En route, we had the pleasure of
hearing Simon LeM's pasionate views about the parentage of a certain
two time Tour de France winner who, according to Simon, was going to
win TdF#3 by luck and conniving rather than skill and grace... These
latino types do get excited about etiquette, chivalrous deeds and the
like; I thought that was the domain of fine English fellows.
Anyway, back to the superbly arranged Tour de Llanbedr Pont
Steffan, well, I'm unable to say much more as a couple of us turned
back early and didn't witness what was probably the most ahhhmazzzingly
organised tea 'n' scoffs
followed by a superbly crafted route home. Good job Al. So,
till next time. I wonder who might organise the next club ride?
What fine fellow with proven pedigree could step up and lead from
the front. Again. Did I mention what a good job Al M did
today...? Oh, a minor shout out to the Aberporth Two preferring
their own little morning together rather than join Big Al's
Amahhhhhzing Extravaganza... the good riding was with Big Al today
boys... Al M. What....a....guy.
Sunday, 27th June. The
Elan Valley... mmm, mmm, what a day! With almost everyone making it for
the 0900 start (where's the Chairman, oh, here he comes...) the ride
from Devil's Bridge via Cwmystwyth and the Elan Lakes and back to
Devil's Bridge for beer and coffee-chasers (!) was more than worth the
hour's drive north. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and there was
something for everyone; great roads, light traffic, a fantastic climb
from Rhayader (an Alp-like beast!) and almost good company. Good
to see Eddie back up and fighting (although the High Five from our
little chum from Milwaukee nearly re-broke his shoulder) and a superb
effort to mention from Dai S on the Alpine climb - positively beasted
it, he did. Even the Chairman's timings for the ride were nearly
accurate (about 3 hours ish, er, maybe, 2 & 3/4, or 3 & half...
and so on. It was actually just over three hours, in case you
were wondering). Once Jav-lar had worked out there was no
signing-on necessary, he was off and away, closely pursued by the Duvet
Brothers who had either gotten themselves very organised for the
earlier start, or did indeed synchronise waking habits by virtue of
maintaining close proximity through the night... There was a lot
of talk about "my Fabian" and general German-Swiss double entendres for
the first hour or so, I must say. To quote one of our
not-so-politically-correct members today: "Great roads, great scenery
and a great ride - long live the Awaydays. To then come home and
watch England get thrashed was just right. What I'd call a
perfect day!" I, of course, couldn't possibly comment.
Sunday, 20th June. Lovely
weather again for the ladies’
roundabout trip to Newport for tea. Bridell hill was conquered by all,
was off to Brynberian and a date with destiny... A
huge [I’ve told you a million
exaggerating girls – Ed] double decker lorry full of sheep,
tried to run the
whole group down [allegedly –
Ed] on a particularly nasty hairpin in
Brynberian. The girls were all forced to
leap off their bikes and dive for the grass verge as the
errant truck’s rear
wheels tried to negotiate the bend and the girls as one.
Grassy, muddied but undeterred, the hard
cases of Velo Teifi remounted and set off for Pentre Ifan only to
continue the appointment
with Mr Destiny in the form of a terrier [some sort of dog apparently – Ed] at
Crosswell in search of some flesh. Unfortunately
for our furry friend, he hadn’t reckoned on the
Barbara Woodhouse of the
peleton, Sheila, who neatly dispatched the mutt with a loud shout. [I believe
the girls meant that they sent the
dog packing as opposed to ‘popping a cap in its a**e’
– Ed]. Newport was
finally reached after yet more truck shenanigans and a
delightful sounding lavender
and coffee cake went down a treat. By
the time home was reached a tally of 40 miles had been
completed. Buns of steel them girls.
Sunday, 30th May. With
the Chairman hiding under the duvet, rueing another lost year it was
down to the ever-dependable Club Sec to lead the way on a splendid 35
miler aorund the windmills and back. Glorious weather indeed.
Sunday, 23rd May. Ladies
our fairer members: "... Wow!
A hot day or what? Sun screen was applied [steady
boys - Ed]
off this morning on the pre-advertised route, with
a detour to a beautiful hidden church near Monington. A
total of 24 miles being covered today with a tea stop
at Bro Meigan [Natch - Ed]..." End Quote.
Sunday, 16th May. Foul
and loathsome. And wet. At least it was at the 0900 meet
time. This did not deter our most intrepid twosome - Colin and
Dylan who, it is rumoured, disappeared into the murk, Colin
squealing tyres and Dylan stuggling to keep his wheel... Apparently.
Sunday, 9th May. Ladeez
Day.... Quote "...a
lovely day for the ladies
ride; 6 today including our new American chum. Detoured down
to Mwnt for photo shoot [I can't wait for those saucy shots - Ed] -
shots which may be used for Howies web page; how bloomin' exciting
is that?!!. Tea
was taken in
Cenarth however the cafe frequented is not to be recommended
- too slow and the picnic garden is full of doggie do-do's..."
Saturday, 24th April. I
know it's a Saturday - blame the girls; it was a Ladeez Ride. A
report from the Feminine Frontline reads: "...six
ladies turned up; with a change of days.we lost four [see,
they've even confused themselves - Ed].
M and M, of course, and Lynn G, Maggs plus a welcome new
American now living in the United Slates of Cilgerran
- Kim. A potential new member also called
Lin gave us a go.... a tour to Crymych for tea at Baguette
shop... Lovely ride spoiled by the sighting of some smelly VT boys
- Lee and Joel..."
Sunday, 18th April. Reports
from the Front: "...all in shorts,
can you ask? 15 today, Colin had an early mechanical
and a double blow out for
young Daniel after a nasty pothole, just before paintball hill and tea!
tubes donated by Gareth and myself got him on his way again to meet up
the rest who, by now, were enjoying their bevvies....The
Aberporth lot decided to keep to themselves again but, as
Sunday, 4th April.
back on. Four base layers. And winter gloves.
British Summer Time my a**e. But the chilly start did not
dissuade the dozen or so members from turning up and attacking the
loop of the Preseli Angel. There were new bikes on show,
suspected food poisoning and a will to 'hurry up' in order to get home
for beer, cheesey munchies and the Tour of Flanders. On an aside, it
seems the Aberporth Crew continue to plough their own furrow; sneaking
around the back lanes in the vain hope they're not spotted... Dudes, we
have eyes and ears everywhere. There is no hiding. We know
where you live numbers 18, 34 and 26... (Sinister? Velo
Teifi? You have been warned...)
Sunday, 21st March.
overshoes. Only two base layers. And lightweight gloves.
Blimey, has spring sprung? Today saw us take the team of 18
or so on a speedy trip to that local suburb of Birmingham, Llangrannog.
Glorious day and we found possibly
the best tarmac in Ceredigion - the one mile drag out of Llangrannog.
A hint of damp was in the air on the homeward leg; we trust the
Fishguard Posse got home in a fairly dry state?
Sunday, 7th March.
That's what our Sunday rides are. Massive. I'm losing
count now (only having 10 and a bit digits), but the roads were chocker
with the best looking cycling kit in Wales worn by some of most
attractive people in the UK. Newport for tea 'n' munchies, in
spring conditions. And whilst the VT Massive were checking
out Pembrokeshire, a small breakaway faction (gentlemen of an Aberporth
persuasion) were molesting Aberaeron; independant sods that they are.
Not to worry, they would only have spoiled it for the Beautiful
Sunday, 21st February.
moly! 17, 18,
19, 20... This is getting boring now.
with a start from Aberporth and hints of snowfall in the night, people
put off and an intrepid peloton enjoyed the lustrous brown hues laid
Mother Nature and the local farming community on every road we seemed
We managed to lose Club Sec on the
way with a mechanical, but chivalry is not dead in VTCC and Roger duly
The rest of the group
buggered off, naturally.
But it was an
emotional reunion in the Newcastle Emlyn cafe after a grand tour taking
windmills and hills around Newcastle Emlyn.
Big shout out to the Fishguard Massive that were out today,
return of the New Quay Posse was good to see.
We’re getting quite cosmopolitan in our membership now;
soon we’ll have
people from Llangolman, Cwmduad, Llanglydwen and Poppit – our
club borders know
Sunday, 7th February. Holy
moly! 17, 18, 19, 20... I lost count. Hmm... this sounds
familiar. The number who turned out was even more remarkable
given that a handful or reprobates present last time out were missing
this time out. So this week it was a special hello to the J-girls
embarking on their training for their London to Paris sojourn
(hopefully the weather and visibility will be better en France
than it was today) and also to new faces Eddie and Dan; if the weather
hadn't been so pants this morning you would have seen lovely views of
the Preselis and Cych Valley today. Honest. There were a
few punctures to report and rumours of ex-Club Sec celebrating a
brithday...? Is this true?
Sunday, 24th January. Holy
moly! 17, 18, 19, 20... I lost count. What a turn out!
An interesting morning spent negotiating the new road features
created over the recent wintry spell; south to Newport via the Gwaun
Valley and back via the coast road to Cardigan. There was talk of
new bikes, new training regimes, entering races, attacking sportives,
mountain bike events, oh my life! How long can this New Year
exuberance last, I wonder? There was, of course, at least one
hangover in the group. And a strange odour of fried chicken.
Was it a good night, Howard?