The VeloClub41 Diaries (Unexpurgated Edition)
Our Club’s Covert Covid Cycling Capers
“I love the smell of Covid in the Autumn wind” mused Zorro Dimeloe, formerly known as Sparky. “This new face-mask must be leaking, although it does make me look like Antonio Banderas…”
In his fevered and fertile imagination, the parts of sensuous partner Californian valley-girl Catherine Zeta-Jones were taken by (different) valley-boy Ewe-Turn Davies, accompanied by Irish-Brazilian (make of that what you will) Matt O’Grosso aka Brompton Boy, as he rode off on his trusty steed, accompanied by a faint hum from somewhere beneath him. (Further insult redacted)
Yes, the biker boys have been punishing their pedals and pounding their pelvic floors throughout the summer and autumn, despite the best efforts of Coran O’Virus to confine us to the couch.
Sadly, our 199 mile, 9940ft. of climb Coasts and Castles ride scheduled for early summer was not to be, as we were really, really looking forward to an overdose of the above. Yet we have, most weeks, put at least forty or so imperial miles behind us and our legs are anatomical wonders. Our other bits are more anatomical mysteries.
Strangely, I digress…
Post-lockdown, Peter & Roger did get to ride the Tissington Triangle without loss of composure, belongings or anything else, although traction was sometimes in short supply, resulting in Peter tap-dancing some of the steepest bit of Sodding Hill (of Blessed Memory).
So we’re still going and would welcome anyone to join us, subject to government regulations, if they suddenly get an irresistible urge to peddle that does not indicate a medical condition.
So if your world is on the wonk, and you’re afraid that you might conk,
Grab your bike and friends you like, it won’t be hard!
©Brompton Boy 2020
With a little bit of luck you’ll not get struck by a truck You’ll lose your blues…………… and a pound or two of lard!
SoloVeloClub41 Report – May 2020
When I saw that the Prime Minister had sent me a letter about what I should do for the public good in this time of crisis, I promptly went out and bought a couple of gallons of V+ and a prayer mat. Sadly I blew the entire budget and couldn’t afford the matches. Then I re-read the letter and realised that what he wanted was self-isolation, not immolation, a mistake anyone could make, I felt foolish but that is to be expected when one is a vulnerable adult.
Glorious Leader Sparky Dimeloe, Club Chairman David D and your humble scribe should shortly have been cycling the scenic route from Newcastle to Edinburgh, “Coast & Castles” and would have usually have been girding our loins and stretching our sinews in anticipation. ‘Tis not to be.
However, with Sparky in enforced total solitary, I have been forcing myself to do a bit of solitary cycling. It isn’t the same without the banter, brew and sticky bun availability, but I have braved some chilly, sunny and damp days to keep my foot in. All within the guidelines, of course….
But, surprise, surprise, I have met, whilst out and about awheel, both Chairman DD and Ewebend Davies taking the air on occasion and we have exchanged abuse, banter and encouragement from a suitable safe distance. It’s not all bad, just don’t inhale any of those nasty, spikey coloured balls you see on the newsreels when they breathe out.
Yours, as ever, holding the fort, waving the flag and stirring the tea,
6 December 2019
The Arctic Warfare Cadre of Veloclub has been at it again! As the mercury dropped towards two degrees, Our Glorious Leader led us out for a brisk twenty-seven miler in search of tea and cake, exercising his new electrical bicycling machine. Our favourite top up stop is at Chapman’s Nursery (no relation) in Rosliston. Luckily the amps, volts and watt-not that partly power our hero were barely diminished by the journey. We didn’t need any ‘current’ cake!
We were particularly gratified on this trip by the many roadside notices advertising our latest business venture, specialised protective undergarments for the discerning, older, cycling ex-Tabler, branded “Skid-Risk”. Look out for us on Dragons’ Den.
Yours in Fellowship and extra layers,
18 November 2019
A wonderful report of an intrepid jouney by our Velo Club. Click this link to read..
4 April 2019
Now that Spring is here…
Just to let you know that the tattered remnants of the Veloclub are still active, with Desperate Davies, Brompton Boy and of course the EMF Brothers, Dave & Sparky, (who are always “on a charge!”) putting a good few miles under themselves in the interests of fitness, fortitude, fun and flannel.
For what, I hear you ask, faintly? Well when the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, sometime in June, some of us will be going “The Way of the Roses”. To fade, wilt and die is not an appealing prospect but it is also the name of yet another way to journey from one shining sea to another, on foot or by bicycle.
Beginning in Morecambe, we will spend a leisurely four days crossing the Pennines to Bridlington, for the rock. Sparky suggested I write “leisurely” but it’s nearly 170 miles and we climb a total of 9308.3 feet, very approximately…
Great Gods and little platypi, we have delusions of adequacy! Have you seen those hills around Grassington!!!
Anyway, preparations are already in hand; Brompton is cleaning his chain, yet again, if he’s to be cycling so close to Heaven. He’s already tightened the nuts on his saddle. The team have decided to go back to good old ‘agent orange’ to remove excessive leg hair, after the unfortunate problems suffered by one of our number last year, buying unguent from a dubious internet source which left him with wonderfully streamlined legs and the ability to self-identify as a bearded lady.
Then into training. Train, train, train. I really must remember to pack a timetable.
For those of 41 Club who merely wish for a poddle whilst pedalling, please feel free to join us for craic, coffee and cake. Most Wednesday and Friday mornings if it isn’t too cold/hot/wet/dry/something .
©Brompton Boy 2018
2 December 2018
December has arrived…
The Arctic Warfare Cadre of the Club, formed largely of the sun-bleached veterans of the recent Faro Giro Rallé di Fiasco, have been on exercise in recent weeks despite being in the cold grip of a winter saddle. A trip to the Salt Box at Hatton and another to the glory that is the Kingfisher at Fradley put sixty of your English miles under our pounding pedals in a single week. Only the laws on blasphemy and innate good taste prevent me from explaining how cold it seemed. “Roll on the Spring”, says Brompton.
©Brompton Boy 2018
12 November 2018
You’re never over the hill in 41 Club (although you soon will be in VeloClub41!!!)
Recently we have been incredibly active, sometimes on bicycles, and our Glorious Leader ‘Sparky’ is seen pointing to Soding Hill, near the eponymous village in the Peaky Bits. His exhaustations (sic) to “get on your mount and head on up” owes less to his passion for Marian Morrison as it does to the tasty pasties gently cooling and dripping juices in his saddle bag.
It may come as a surprise (and frequently it does) after ahard day in the saddle, to those who flunked O-level geography, just how manySoding Hills there are in our benighted country. They seem to be Soding everywhere. This one, unusually,has a downside, located just after the top. A steep serpentine descent, tyretreads clogged with moist sheepsh, mobile sheepcanes and with many cattle gridson bends to add a certain frisson ends with either a narrow gated bridge or arunning ford…
The International CycloRalléSenilis to be held shortly in Portugal over a 30km course is well supported by VeloClub41 and we look forward to seeing several new recruits as soon as the casts come off and the hire company can get its saddles back.
Onwards Mes Braves, you have nothing to lose but your chains and the odd hearing aid!
©Brompton Boy 2018
or vice versa
Veloclub41’s Tour of Norfolk, with apologies to the Sunday times Travel Section:
WHERE AM I (AGAIN)
Tuesday, July 17th 2018. With my two cycling fiends, Ade Perry and Peter Lycra and their navigationally challenged cycling sat-navs (no names, no pack-drill, let’s just call them mingars) I travelled to Diss, fabled market town twinned with Appointment and home of the Ability Scooter. Terry Lycra was sadly not with us as his presence was urgently required to assist in the disposal of the Portuguese wine lake. Diss orientated by the strangely warm weather I spent fifteen minutes wildly searching for my lost wallet which turned out, even more strangely, to be where I put it. Putting diss behind us we cycled off for a late pie and pop lunch before beginning our climb into the Norfolk Central Massif.
East Angular is of course well known for being totally flat, except for quite a lot of it which is known to cyclists technically as “uppy-downy”. Largely the former. Anyway, we sweltered our way to Dereham in a warm, pollen-laden breeze, following the route known as the Pedders Way. No possible joke there. Mingar One and Mingar Two made their debuts, arguing for much of the time, contradicting the plausible written guide and map before sulking unhelpfully. The obvious answer was closely to follow Regional Cycle Route 30, clearly signed for psychics not cyclists.
Our overnight stop was the George hotel, a delightful establishment selling Woodforde’s Wherry on draught. Comfortable room and restaurant. Steak and chips for me, please. And pretty please, can I have an egg on it?
Given our early start picking Ade up from the station, traffic-riven journey from Lichfield and the missing wallet, a quick 50 miles or so in the high twenties Celsius led us to an early bed, Wherry Wherry tired.
Bikes OK. Riders OK. 53 Miles. Hot.
Wednesday, July 18th. After the “full English” we set off a little late, the bikes being in secure storage until we could persuade the chef to stop cooking and let us get them out. Peter’s “Old Sparky” was fully charged as were Ade and I. Then as the day warmed rapidly we followed Cycle Route 1 (mostly – Mingar in charge) to Fakenham for a leisurely coffee at a pavement café before climbing the foothills of the North Norfolk Alps through saintly Walsingham and down to the Quay at Wells-next-the-Sea. Lunch on the sea wall and away. As we cycled, Peter’s Old Sparky began to sound like an acoustic Duane Eddy riff as a wayward spoke twanged annoyingly. It was tied down and on we went along the coast to Cromer where we had an ice cream and tried to look inconspicuous amongst the throng of hot and happy holiday makers in shorts and t-shirts. We saw a lot of flip-flops and some were wearing sandals too. The last few miles to Overstrand were quite a struggle in the heat but we made it to the White Horse in time for more Wherry before ablutions and dinner. A steak? Yes, please, with an egg if possible? Bless! A really hot day and what seemed like a lot more than 50 easy miles with what seemed like quite short stops left little time for the advertised sight-seeing. However the company was good, we were united in our hatred of sodding sat-navs and the hotel was excellent. The bikes had their own carpeted room.
Bikes OK. Riders OK. Saddle awareness 30%. 51 Miles. Really Hot.
Thursday, July 19th. “A day when you’re spoilt for choice…” according to the itinerary! Laugh or cry? Lots of activities and only 60-odd miles of toil and sweat. It was hot when we started and getting hotter as we pedalled our way along the coast. Then Duane started up a second time and another spoke on Sparky had given up the ghost. The back wheel had taken on a distinct wobble. We looked for an easy rendezvous point for help in the maze of narrow lanes where we were and lighted upon the Happisburgh Light, easily seen but as far away from Diss and our breakdown service as was possible on the route. With the distinct possibility that Peter’s back wheel might collapse at an inopportune moment it was arranged that a suitable taxi would collect Pete and his bike and convey him to our next overnight stop in Lowestoft. Pete could then spend the day in low dives and deckchairs whilst Ade and I battled on…
So it was that we continued, skirting the northern Broads (not to be confused with upskirting, Your Honour), lunching at the 1940s themed Poppyfield Café before crossing the wilds of Great Yarmouth. Cars, dual carriageways, crowds, markets, all a shock after our rural travels of late. On the way in, Ade’s front tyre began to throw out green slime rather like a scene from Ghost Busters. Thus far, after the earlier holdup we had been making few navigational errors and good time and thought we might make it to Lowestoft in time for an ice cream. However, the puncture sealant was not quite living up to its name. Half a dozen times the tyre was re-inflated, going down progressively more quickly each time. Heavily breathing sighs of relief at getting to the edge of Yarmouth, we had to stop and fit a new inner tube. Then on to the Victoria Hotel, an Edwardian masterpiece. As we rolled up to it, Peter leapt from his comfy seat on the prom and promised us a beer, denying that alcohol had passed his lips since we parted!
The hotel was again excellent, delightful staff, cold beer and joy of joys – it was steak night! With an egg!!
Bikes: One destroyed, one probable and one OK. Riders: One unhappy (but cool), one sticky fingered, one thirsty.
Saddle awareness 100%. 61 miles. Possibly hottest yet.
Friday 20th July. Make that awareness 110%. Hot again as Peter’s bike was taken for possible attention and a loaned replacement electric bicycle provided. Gingerly lowering ourselves onto the saddle, we headed inland up the valley of the River Waveney past Beccles and into Bungay for a coffee stop in the shade. This being our shortest and forecast hottest day, I had elected to ride with fewer layers of protective clothing. This proved to be a mistake and I stopped to use a technique I learnt in Tescos. I double bagged the goods. I was rewarded by being photographed. Peter was impressed by his new steed, revelling in easily pedalling coolly to the top of some considerable hills in such heat. It is fair to say that Ade and myself were less impressed! After a pleasant pub lunch at Needham we excelled ourselves by sticking to the route and arriving back in Diss not in disarray.
Bikes OK. Riders somewhat sore. Saddle awareness: definitely. 43 miles. Hot – oh yes.
So, a quick shower and change into civilian clothing for the journey home. Peter’s bike was returned for a warranty repair by the manufacturer, Ade was dropped off at his home in Redditch and the two Lycra Lads returned to the bosoms of their families.
More hills than you’d think.
Temperatures hovering towards 30 degrees in new money.
Thanks to Peter for organising the trip and both Peter and Ade for the company and fun.
1 How many eggs did Roger Lycra eat in total?
2 Which book has Bungay in its title?
A foaming pint for the first correct answer!
Veloclub41 at Large 6th June 2018
Well not actually at Large but out and about in preparation for “Our Great Adventure 2018” when we will be tackling the great ascents of the Norfolk Alps in July.
Since this will involve many hours in the saddle as we progress the best part of two hundred miles, it has been deemed necessary to harden not only our hearts but our parts. Today, therefore, Our Glorious Leader and myself took advantage of the splendid weather to traverse the Tissington and High Peak Trails.
Here is a photo of Our Leader surveying the site of the proposed Veloclub National Rally and practicing his salute.
Veloclub41 – March 2018 Report
“ Never peddle into the wind, my son” I think I remember my father saying to me.
Oh, the memory of those words and the warm feeling in my toes before I realized my socks were wet as well.
Everything came flooding back to me as the Arctic Welfare Cadre of our Veloclub braved the recent climatic events to bring ourselves back to peak physical condition for the challenges to come.
With various companions laid low by life’s tribulations it fell to Dynamo Dimeloe and Hell-bent Hartley (a.k.a. Brompton Boy) to put fifty gruelling miles into the week before the Beast from the East arrived and another thirty this morning. We are preparing ourselves for the Boudicca Challenge in July. After fitting scythes to our front forks and woad dispensers in our bottle racks we will attempt to cycle two hundred miles through the foothills of Norfolk to, and from, Diss over four glorious days. There will be fun, there will be fellowship and, by the time we reach Cromer – crabs!
An Emil* who rode into Diss
Stopped at a pub for a porter.
His physique was so striking
(the result of his biking)
That he married the Landlady’s Neighbour.
*An Elderly Man In Lycra. I am informed middle-aged is no longer appropriate.
Just a reminder that we welcome anyone on Wednesday and Friday mornings to join us for tea/cake/tea-cake and a mooch around the lanes. Contact Principal Peddler Pete or Road-rash Roger for details.
Veloclub41 is alive and well! – January 2018
You know how loath I am to go into print. I would far rather spend my time watching cycle clips on UTube. Or if I’m depressed, on down-tube. I tire easily and these days being creative with words is like having to break blocks on Dartmoor. Or being on the rack with tears shed. It is so easy to drop a double clanger.
Recently, some cranks have been peddling stories that our Glorious Veloclub41 is no more. Being at the hub of things I have been saddled with the job of spokes-person and I write this to put you in the frame. As chain letters are frowned upon, I have resorted to the internet. You may pump me for further information if you wish. (MPs and celebrities please disregard the last)
We still go out most Wednesday and/or Friday mornings, the Fates permitting, starting at 10.00 from Ashmole Close. Fridays are more gentle… Please feel free to contact any of the Lycra lads for a little light encouragement.
You do not need to be in a high income bracket, indeed the bottom bracket is favoured by most. Rumour has it that one of our members is oiling his walnut-framed, solid-tyred boneshaker with light emitting wicks for a foray in the near future. Ruth says he is still looking for his Reg Harris leather helmet to complete the ensemble. Oops, game given away.
Those of you who may be worried that Peter Lycra will recede into the distance on ‘Old Sparky’ as you try to keep up will be relieved to learn that some of his bits have been sent off on an all-expenses paid trip to California to have their bumps felt. He will be doing all his own pedalling until their return.
We will shortly be planning our Next Great Adventure Tour for 2018, possibly the Giro Fradlia or Tour de Branston, a sign that our optimism is boundless, if ill-considered.
So I will sign off, hiding behind my nom-de-plume “Roger Lycra”. My best handle, bar none.
Old Egyptian Proverb:
“If you love Osiris, you’ll like Ra”