News

14 June 2018

Dear All

I’m standing in for Ian this time around.

Congratulations to Graham, whose first ride as leader sounds as if it was much appreciated by those who took part. See Tessa’s report below.

And now some bad news – commiserations to Sue (Priest) who has broken her wrist ad is therefore not able to ride for some time. Sue was to have led the next ride, but clearly she won’t now be able to. So, unless someone else can offer something at this late stage, there will be no ride on 24 June.

Don’t forget the Cycle Challenge (details below). I have some sympathy with Jim’s decision not to ride repeatedly around a cycle track – I hope the country ride goes well. The advantage of the round the world ride for me is that you can give up whenever you’re ready, and still know that you’ve contributed just a bit to something much bigger.

Don’t forget that the main point of all the rides on 1st July is to raise money for good causes, whether it’s Brighton Housing Trust or, as Angela (D) has pointed out, Friends of the Earth. So everyone who is taking part in one of the rides on 1st July needs sponsors!

Enjoy the rest of the newsletter – and don’t miss the next instalment of Ian’s Clarion history at the end.

Roger

*************************

Cycling round the world!

The circumference of the world is 40,075 km. That’s equivalent to 69,215 laps of the Preston Park velodrome.

So what?

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has issued a challenge to the cyclists of Brighton and Hove (and anywhere else). Let’s all cycle around the track until we’ve jointly done the equivalent of once round the world!

Why?

You guessed it – fund-raising, but it is for a very good cause. BHT runs First Base, a drop-in centre for rough sleepers and others with housing problems. It provides help with healthcare, training, learning and accommodation. Everyone is welcome and there are early morning sessions for rough sleepers. Last year 508 people were helped and 220 cases of homelessness prevented.

Guess what!

First Base needs funds. So, if you’d like to help, get yourself some sponsors and bring your bike to Preston Park on Sunday 1st July (not a Clarion ride day). In fact, how about a Clarion get-together at 12 noon?

The boring bit!

Click here to register (£15 fee) and print a sponsorship form or create a JustGiving page.

Other rides and charities are available

If riding round the World isn’t exciting enough for you, BHT is also raising money with two country rides on the same day (30 or 58 miles). Click here for details. Angela (D) has pointed out that you can also use these rides to raise money for Friends of the Earth as well.

Roger

 

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News

30 May 2018

Dear All

My computer crashed at the end of last week and it’s only just been fixed. I think I’ve managed to catch up with replying to emails – but if anyone still hasn’t received a reply please get in touch again.

You’ll see that I’ve left Jim’s piece on the Bath-Bristol ride in September for at least a second time.

Poor (not so) old Simon Yates- but what a performance for someone barely in his mid-20s.

Clarion History
I ended my end-of-the-newsletter piece on Clarion history with an account of how I learned that the Cycling Club was still going decades after I assumed it had died out. This has inspired Bob to tell us about his first unexpected encounter with the CCC. And here it is:

Ian

If your Clarion riders at Bourne YH were indeed en route to Skegness, you are forgiven for being hazy about the year, as Easter Meet was at Skegness in each of the years 1971, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1987 and 1991.

My intro came at Easter 1996. I took the train to Llandudno with David and Jeane Lepper, for the Co-operative Party conference.
I had my bike with me, so as to ride back to Brighton after the conference.

From Llandudno railway station I was riding to the Co-op Party conference hotel when a weather beaten mature cyclist caught me up, then greeted me with

“Eh up, lad, off to Conference?” I concurred.

“Right, follow me, it’s this way.”

We went in the back entrance of a sea front hotel, into a large room full of bikes and riders. Cries of ‘Boots’ and ‘Spurs’ resounded.

I guessed I was NOT at the Co-op Party Conference; so enquired further, liked the explanation of a cycling club linked to socialism, and signed up to membership there and then.

I was dismayed to have to go on to the Co-op Party Conference, but I did sneak round to the Clarion Meet again over the weekend.

Bob

Message from Roger – Cycling round the world!
The circumference of the world is 40,075 km. That’s equivalent to 69,215 laps of the Preston Park velodrome.
So what?

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has issued a challenge to the cyclists of Brighton and Hove (and anywhere else). Let’s all cycle around the track until we’ve jointly done the equivalent of once round the world!

Why?
You guessed it – fund-raising, but it is for a very good cause. BHT runs First Base, a drop-in centre for rough sleepers and others with housing problems. It provides help with healthcare, training, learning and accommodation. Everyone is welcome and there are early morning sessions for rough sleepers. Last year 508 people were helped and 220 cases of homelessness prevented.

Guess what!
First Base needs funds. So, if you’d like to help, get yourself some sponsors and bring your bike to Preston Park on Sunday 1st July (not a Clarion ride day). In fact, how about a Clarion get-together at 12 noon?

The boring bit!
Click here to register (£15 fee) and print a sponsorship form or create a JustGiving page.

Other rides are available

If riding round the World isn’t exciting enough for you, BHT is also raising money with two country rides on the same day (30 or 58 miles). Click here for details.

Roger

Bath-Bristol Weekend Ride: 1-2 September 2018
The weekend of 1-2 September will feature two wonderful rides. On the Saturday we will repeat the ride from Bath to Bristol that we last did in 2012, with some additional options. The Bath-Bristol cycle path was one of the first dedicated cycle paths to be created in the UK, and the route abounds with information boards about the area’s rich history. The basic ride will be about 25 miles long, but there will be longer and shorter options; as we have all day, we can take it nice and slowly (stopping to read the information boards is mandatory!)

The Sunday will feature the amazing Two Tunnels Greenway from Bath to Midford, which opened the year after our last visit. The two refurbished, dimly-lit railway tunnels on the former Somerset & Dorset line (one a mile long) create a unique experience which it is difficult to convey adequately in words. We’ll return to Bath via the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath, which we used last time. The circular ride is about 16 miles long. Being on old railway lines, both rides are largely undulation-free.

So far, six of us have signed up for the weekend, but we would welcome more.

Most of us are staying in Bath Youth Hostel, but of course there are plenty of hotels in Bath if you don’t fancy the hostel. It will be necessary to travel to Bath on the Friday in order to leave enough time for the Saturday ride. The return journey can be on Sunday or Monday. (NB the hostel is unfortunately on a hill, so if you are seriously allergic to hills you might want to look elsewhere.)

Participants book their own accommodation; if you want to stay at the hostel, you will have to book soon as it is currently undergoing a partial rebuild and has fewer beds than usual. But do contact me first (j.r.grozier@btinternet.com) as there may be spare beds in rooms that have already been booked by members of our group.

Jim.


News

15 May 2018

Dear All

Even more summer rides are now spoken for – but 10 June is still vacant.  Anyone? We’ll need a ride for description for the next newsletter, after Jim’s ride, if there is going to be one.

I realise that not everyone who reads this newsletter is interested in cycling as a sport. But our friend Peter Roscoe might never forgive me if I failed to point out that Simon Yates, currently leading the Giro D’Italia, generally regarded as the second most important 3 week race after the Tour de France, began cycling – together with his twin brother Adam – in the Bury Clarion

Latest from Julian

I rang Julian yesterday to see how he’s getting on and whether he needed anything. He says he has lots of helpers and feels he is making progress albeit quite slowly. You can contact him via arkell@arkell.info

Proposed changes to the Highway Code

The following item in the current edition of Cycleclips rang a bell – or two:

Breaking bad habits

Is there any cyclist out there who hasn’t been passed too closely by an overtaking driver? Or been cut up by a left-turning vehicle? Or been ‘doored’ by a driver or passenger not looking behind them? These common acts of bad driving are very off-putting to experienced and budding cyclists alike, and we’re asking the Government to make some simple changes to The Highway Code to tackle them. Read more from our Campaigns Officer, Keir Gallagher, in the fourth blog of a series outlining some of the key proposals we’re making in our response to the Government’s review of cycling and pedestrian safety.

To find out what Cycling Uk is proposing by way of changes in the Highway Code go to Cycleclips on the  cyclinguk.org website.

Clarion History

As you may have noticed it’s a while since I included the feature I ran for several years ‘The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and Cycling in the 1890s’ in the newsletter. There are a number of reasons for this – I’ve been very busy with other things, I’m running short of material and for reasons I won’t bore you with it’s become more complicated to collect more.

Then I read the following in Jim’s email about Boots and Spurs – ‘Also there is the rich Clarion history that we have learned about from Ian – both the history of the cycling, and also the history of the wider Clarion movement.’   Well. I’ve done quite a bit on the cycling aspect – but not a great deal – in the newsletter – on the wider Clarion movement. So, encouraged by Jim, I’ll try to make amends.   I’m going to start this time with an account of how I came across both the paper and the cycling club. This will I hope, establish my ‘credentials’ for writing about all this.  Then next time – or, if not, sometime soon – I’ll give an account of how it came about that Blatchford started The Clarion at the end of 1891.

Ian

Bath-Bristol Weekend Ride: 1-2 September 2018

The weekend of 1-2 September will feature two wonderful rides. On the Saturday we will repeat the ride from Bath to Bristol that we last did in 2012, with some additional options. The Bath-Bristol cycle path was one of the first dedicated cycle paths to be created in the UK, and the route abounds with information boards about the area’s rich history. The basic ride will be about 25 miles long, but there will be longer and shorter options; as we have all day, we can take it nice and slowly (stopping to read the information boards is mandatory!)

The Sunday will feature the amazing Two Tunnels Greenway from Bath to Midford, which opened the year after our last visit. The two refurbished, dimly-lit railway tunnels on the former Somerset & Dorset line (one a mile long) create a unique experience which it is difficult to convey adequately in words. We’ll return to Bath via the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath, which we used last time. The circular ride is about 16 miles long. Being on old railway lines, both rides are largely undulation-free. If you need further convincing, take a look at the report from 2012. (Note that the tunnel pictured there is on the Bath-Bristol route – it’s not one of the Two Tunnels that we are doing this time).

So far, six of us have signed up for the weekend, but we would welcome more.

Most of us are staying in Bath Youth Hostel, but of course there are plenty of hotels in Bath if you don’t fancy the hostel. It will be necessary to travel to Bath on the Friday in order to leave enough time for the Saturday ride. The return journey can be on Sunday or Monday. (NB the hostel is unfortunately on a hill, so if you are seriously allergic to hills you might want to look elsewhere.)

Participants book their own accommodation; if you want to stay at the hostel, you will have to book soon as it is currently undergoing a partial rebuild and has fewer beds than usual. But do contact me first as there may be spare beds in rooms that have already been booked by members of our group.

Jim.

 


News

30 April 2018

Dear All

As you’ll see from ‘Future Rides’ we are now in the happy position of having not only the next two rides covered but two more of the summer ones already spoken for. The next one we need an offer for is 10 June.

Latest from Julian – Wendy reports
Jim and I called in to see Julian yesterday [21 April] and were pleased to find him looking relaxed and well, and a delight to chat with, as ever. It was interesting although unsurprising that whichever angle and whatever room one viewed Julian from, there was a permanent backdrop of books! 

He was able to walk around his flat with the aid of a frame and has also managed a short walk to the local shops with one of his physiotherapists. As he mentioned to you previously, he has several hospital appointments lined up over the next few weeks and is looking forward to having a proper diagnosis and prognosis. In the meantime he is having physio a couple of times a week and also has a home help who does his shopping etc., so quite a busy schedule. As we know, Julian pursues many interests and consequently has a number of folk from a wide variety of local groups wanting to pay him a visit, so it seems he has his social life covered for the time being. 

Jim made himself useful by downloading an app on to one of Julian’s computers and doing some minor furniture removals, and I straightened a rug, so we felt our visit was of some practical use. 

Julian mentioned that he likes to read our ride reports, and sends his best wishes to his fellow Clarionistas.

Wendy

You can contact him via arkell@arkell.info

Cycle-friendly infrastucture
You don’t have to do much cycling around Brighton and Hove to come to the conclusion that though provision for cycling has certainly improved compared to, say, 20 years ago there is still plenty of things that need improving. For example, in the days of the council’s cycling consultation group I raised several times the potential danger of the cycle path that goes along the eastern section of Kings Esplanade – the one that passes Marroccos – which surely should either be continued off-road as it is for the bit behind the King Alfred or at least moved to the other side of the road – presently taken up by parking – to lessen the potentially dangerous junctions with two roads coming on the seafront. All in vain. The latest edition of Cycling UK’s ‘Cycleclips’ has news of a national campaign I think we should support. What do you think? Perhaps it’s something Joyce could take up as Campaigns organiser? Here’s the Cycleclips piece

Smart, safe design
One of the recommendations in our “Cycle Safety: make it simple” report, is to create consistent cycle-friendly infrastructure. At present, guidance and design for cycling infrastructure fluctuates widely and can be conflicting, unclear and often dangerous. But it’s not all doom and gloom, the Government are currently commissioning a review on Cycling Infrastructure Design and we are asking you to support our call for a practical, consistent single approach to designing it. Cycling UK’s Roger Geffen explains this more in his blog and you can support our recommendation by taking our online action today. For a full and comprehensive explanation of our six simple recommendations, check out our live chat on Facebook from earlier this week or visit our website.

Ian


News

17 April 2018

Dear All

You’ll see that I have now added the agreed ride dates for June, July and August to the ‘Future Rides’ grid. Clearly it will be necessary for anyone planning a ride to check train availability nearer the time.

Latest from Julian

I phoned Julian at the weekend to get an update.

He is making slow progress; he is to have hospital visits soon for an MRI brain scan, and probably also for his left shoulder and arm, and assessments of his stroke and neurological condition.  Only then may he be given an overall diagnosis and hopefully a prognosis.

I believe Wendy is planning to visit him later in the week. You can contact him via arkell@arkell.info

Message from Mick

Those of you who were at the AGM will know that Bob Harber gave me a book by my professional cycling namesake – Michael Barry. It is a fascinating insight into the less than glamorous life of a professional cyclist who while racing for Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team got dragged into doping. He also raced for Sky  with Brad and Cav. If you would like to read it let me know. mickrbarry@gmail.com

From Becky at Bricycles

The Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge, July 1st  Last year a number of Bricycles members helped marshal the Mayor’s Charity Bike Ride. This event is being run again this year as the “Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge” on July 1st .

Can anyone spare 2 – 3 hours (or more) to marshal? The organisers would be very grateful and so would Bricycles because this year Bricycles would receive £10 for every marshal who is a Bricycles member! Ideally, marshals would be able to independently get to the allocated marshalling point.

If you would like to marshal or if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch withChris Todd chris@css.bike Mob: 07889 302229 Otherwise you might like to ride and raise funds for homelessness! Event on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/events/813131802204809/>

 And – just to remind you again– from Jim

 Please let Jim know if you are planning to come on the ride on 29 April. The pub is very busy and would like to know approximate numbers in advance.”

Ian


News

3 April 2018

Dear All

The weather stayed reasonable for once. Excellent turnout for David’s ride. Sikka and Tessa have taken on the next ride on 15th April but have had to change the route because of a late alteration in the train availability on the day. Wendy and Jim will take on 29 April, Any offers for May? I’ve tried to check train availability but on the national rail enquiry website it says that there is no confirmation of engineering works for the May dates. So if you’re planning a ride make sure to check nearer the time.

Losing People on Rides
I feel more than a bit of a fraud writing this. Since I started to have real leg problems in the middle of last year I haven’t been able to contemplate coming out on a ride – let alone leading one. And it’s got a lot worse in the last few weeks so that sometimes I have been hardly able to walk – let alone ride the bike. I’m having physio for the problem and hope that I’ll be able to think about becoming active again later in the year.

But chatting after the AGM the other week, several people mentioned that there had been quite a few incidents on recent rides where people got left behind or lost. So it seems appropriate to rehearse again how in earlier days we managed – usually – to avoid this. Basically, we had 3 rules.

Rule One. As ride leader try to adjust the pace to the speed of the slowest rider. This isn’t always that easy in practice, so therefore something else is needed.

Rule Two Stop at every junction where the route takes a turn and wait for everyone to catch up. When there were only a handful of people on the ride it was always easy to see that everyone was there – but it became difficult with greater numbers. Hence;

Rule Three. Get someone to act as ‘back marker’ who makes sure to ride at the rear of the group. That way the leader can quickly see that everyone is still there. But this only works if the back-stop is really careful to make sure they are the last rider.

Potholes
If you’re a Cycling UK member you may have seen this from the current Cycleclips. Even though I’ve not been riding much recently I’ve certainly noticed plenty of potholes and rough bits of road around our area. But the following was new to me.
We’ve recently discovered that potholes have cost 156 local authorities £43.3 million in compensation claims alone in the last five years, with the average motorist receiving £841.26 per successful claim, and the average cyclist £10,963.15. But there’s a human cost too, particularly for cyclists, who are far more likely to be injured; time spent home from work, the emotional and physical toll of what happened, and the fear of getting back out on the road. What’s the answer? We say fix it first – before investing new roads.

Couldn’t agree more.

Ian

Message from Sean – David Eales Memorial Amsterdam Ride
The David Eales memorial annual ride is in support of a charity which was set up by his family and friends when he passed in 2015. This will be the third outing and I am seeking support from the comrades in my new hometown of Brighton&Hove. Please let me know if you intend to join me in this venture seangburke1962@gmail.com

I knew David Eales for a number of years before his untimely death in 2015 through a rare and mysterious condition. He was the heart and soul of the cycling community in West London who set up the Ealing! London Bike Hubs which promoted safe cycling and cycle maintenance classes for all. This included work with charities, deprived communities, young offenders and ex-service personnel. Which through his efforts skilled those people into new employment opportunities. This ride via London – Dover -Dunkirk – Amsterdam is a celebration in his memory and also to raise charitable funds in support of the dedicated charity set up by his wife and family, the SJS awareness foundation. Moreover the ride will be memorable and extremely enjoyable. Below are the dates and main route information from the organisers. For more details see londontoamsterdam@lcc.org.uk

The core of the ride begins at Dover on the evening of Friday, 14 September 2018. We’ll all ride from the ferry terminal at Dunkerque to a large hostel complex near the port. Arrival in Amsterdam is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, 18 September.

Those who have opted for the extended ride will leave London before dawn on Thursday, 13 September.

This means that, assuming you don’t currently work weekends, you should apply for 17-18 September off work, and also 13-14 September if you want to ride the UK segment.

Think about time off to pad for late arrival or a short stay to enjoy Amsterdam after you arrive!

Sean

And a Message from Jim

I have been looking at possible dates for our Bath/Bristol weekend. It will involve staying three nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) and there will be two rides – one from Bath to Bristol along the well-known Sustrans cycle path, and one along the “Two Tunnels” route that runs southwards from Bath, then back alongside the canal.

I will do a detailed practice ride in a few weeks, but for now the important thing is for you to book your accommodation. I’m assuming at least some of us will want to stay at Bath youth hostel, as before, and that requires booking pretty soon, as otherwise it might get booked up.

The best weekend to go for, on the basis of the availability of the youth hostel, is Friday 31st August to Monday 3rd September.
I am aware that some of you will not want to stay in the hostel, but you should be able to find a hotel in town, though I can’t guarantee that it will be cheap! For those who don’t mind hostels as such but don’t want to stay in a dormitory with strangers, there are private rooms available, with 2, 4 or 6 single beds. These private rooms are all in the main building, well away from the annexe, which, as you’ll know if you’ve stayed there before, can get noisy. So you might want to team up with someone and go for one of those. (The Google Group may be useful for making such arrangements if you are in it.) They have 3 private rooms of each size, but it’s not possible to work out from the website how many of these are already booked. You can book online at https://www.yha.org.uk/.

Travelling by train to Bath is easy – there are two direct trains per day from Brighton and Hove, and an hourly service is available by changing at Portsmouth. By travelling on Friday and Monday, we should avoid any engineering works.

If you are planning to take part in this weekend ride, please let me know (j.r.grozier@btinternet.com). It will go ahead regardless of how many people sign up, but it would still be good to know how many will be going.

Jim.


News

21 March 2018

Dear All

Well, once again we have been defeated by the weather. I’m sure that Angela and Wendy did the right thing in cancelling today’s ride and I hope they will be able to offer it again at a later date.

The weather is most peculiar at the moment. Sue and I arrived in Vienna just at the beginning of last week when there was still little lumps of frozen snow and grit all over the pavement but a couple of days later we were sitting outside a café enjoying the sunshine. I do seem to remember – I think from Simone de Beauvoir’s novel The Mandarins which I read many decades ago – that as the Second World War ended early in May 1945 it was snowing in Paris. So freak late winter weather is not unprecedented, it seems.

Let’s hope that it will keep away on 15 and 29 April. It’s possible that I or Roger have already had offers for one or both of these dates. If so, please forgive me for losing track and let me know again. If not – anyone wish to take either date on?

Julian
Julian tells me his recovery looks like taking a long while. We wish him the best possible. He can be reached via arkell@arkell.info

2018 AGM
Just to remind you that the 2018 AGM will be on this Wednesday at 31 Bristol Gate, Brighton starting at 8 p.m.

Here, once again are Mick’s directions for getting there. He adds that parking restrictions stop at 8 pm

“Bristol Gate is the road that leads up to A&E. If you carry on past A&E, bear right and we are the last house on the north side of the road. So any bus going to the RSCH will work. As for parking this is usually very difficult to impossible, although at that time of night may be OK but perhaps best to park in Manor Road and walk up the twitten between Manor Road which runs westwards on the south side of the Manor Road Gym, past the scout hut and we are the first house on the right. One car can park in our driveway. Bikes can go in the garage.”

Sad News
I have just learned of the death of Denis Pye author of Fellowship is Life. The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895-1995 which, in less than 100 pages, gives a lively and well-illustrated account of the first century of the Clarion CC.

Ian