Monday, 22 December 2014

Boz - The Baker

He's a mountain biker, a converted roadie a gentleman and surprisingly a baker of talent !

At Velo, everyone brings something to the party and Boz is one of those guys.  His cake has become almost institutional on a Saturday morning ! Its been in place so long I have lost sight of when it started but the unassuming sometimes bearded, bespectacled mountain biker, persuaded roadie starting rocking up with cake to accompany the post Saturday coffee! So established has this become that he gets requests for certain members favourites!

Not content with smashing each other up local climbs such as Hanchurch as is the usual way on a club ride, this has recently developed in to a bit of a Bake off rather than Bike off with new entrants in to the post ride provisions! Boz is holding his own though and has been the mainstay of the post ride cake hit!

So the purpose of this Blog is simply to say - To Boz - Thanks you are a Top Bloke !

If you fancy a sociable ride on a Saturday Morning we always do a steady 2 hours and everyone gets round. But you might want to put the hammer down in the last mile or so if you don't want to be in a Que for the Coffee Machine - and of course Cake !!
If Boz was a  Lego Mini Figure !

Friday, 12 December 2014

Cobbles, Cafes Chain Gangs and Selfies - Velo.

Cobbles, Cafes, Chain Gangs and Selfies !

Flanders April 2014

So here we go with the first of my Guest Velo Blogs and given its the end of the year I thought I would provide my perspective on the year from a Velo member perspective!  Its  been quite a year for the club -The start of which included the launch of the very stylish new club kit and a relaunch of the membership scheme by The Management - Jeffers and the Williams Sisters!

Its been a massive success and the club has seen rapid growth! I went on the Sat ride last week and led out a 23 strong group up the Eccleshall Road despite the cold conditions ! 

But this has got me thinking - what is making us successful ? well the membership scheme is a no brainer given it pays for a service and gets you access to all the rides and member discounts in the shop. 

But thats not the sole attraction.  For me its the approach, we are not an old school elitist racing led club where non racers are made to feel second class, we are a modernist group of guys who just love riding bikes and everything that goes with it! 

Our facebook page is testament to this as it is more likely to be adorned with the latest set of action shots from inside the peleton rather that a list of Time Trial Results from the weekend etc.  You are more likely to find the latest picture in a series of members rides framed by a random farm gate or the latest cycling landscape art / selfie from Paul Hollins !

Hollins - Selfie Tastic
All of this is usually backed up by a load of Banta followed by the random suggestion of actually going for a ride some time!  

We are not anti racing at all - in fact some of the guys have got into the racing scene this year and that is likely to progress into next season. Watch this space. The Thursday night Chain gang is now pretty established and postings will recommence in Jan time to reignite the burners on those fast pace runs - and remember guys the last lap - its every man for himself ;-)

For me its been a great way of meeting people having returned to live in stone 4 years ago and at that time the only people I knew were - my parents!

Velo is a cycling based community, a developing one, in which everyone brings something to the party !

2014 started for most with the Cheshire Cat Sportive run out in pretty shocking weather !

In April 5 of us went over to ride the Tour of Flanders Sportive.  Having suggested this trip, as I rode into the first sector of Pave and the bars came up to meet my hands, my thoughts were a combination of shit this is going to hurt and the guys are going to murder me! 

Everyone got around though and we had a great laugh in particular partying on top of the Kwaremont with what seemed like the entire population of Belgium the following day was simply awesome!!  
Beers, Bikes and Belgians - The top of the Kwaremont

Another Leg Breaker was the Malvern Hills classic!! Mental amount of climbing !!

Getting my Legs broke By Andy Prince - A theme of the year ! 

The Annual Dougie Mac charity ride was a real highlight with a massive turn out from the club and we rolled out to Llangollen in a big group and hardly felt I had touched the pedals at half way - not sure Andy Prince did as he was - rather hung over ! 

Below are a few more photos that sum up my thoughts on Velo and our growing community of crazy mad cyclists ! See you on a Sat ride soon guys and have a fantastic Christmas and heres to a 2015 full of cycling !

Mow Cop - Classic Early season training - Malkin and I went on to ride 100 this day including the length to he Tissington Trail just to mix it up! Epic Day.

Epic Winter Ride out to the Peak - Classic.

Ade Cash - Shortly After Smashing it round flanders ! 2015 is going to be a great year for this guy !

Baggleys Tours are a big feature of the year - Vertical days out involving cafes! Great to see Martin this year after probably 25 years since we were in V.C. Pierre together as kids!

Paul Hollins - Fast becoming the Jens Voigt of Velo! 

Cops on Bikes - The Uber Commuters Michael Palmer and Paul Broomers ! 

The Chain Gang !

The Pros Mount the top of the Kwaremont April 2014 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

CTL Launch Walking Bus Programme

Back in the warmer months CTL won a small contract to set up a sustainable travel programme in 8 Primary schools in Stoke on Trent. At the same time we were approached by a few Primary schools to run some Pedestrian training for their students.

If your a school who is interested in setting up similar and can access some funding then why not call and see what is involved

I would like to thank the team from Cyclist Training Ltd for the ‘Stepping Up’ pedestrian training that was delivered at Burnwood Community School on 08/12/14.The tutors were friendly, professional and knowledgeable. The training was specific to our school and the problems on the roads surrounding the school and the worksheets reflected this.This training has been added to our bank of evidence which has allowed us to achieve the Gold Modeshift Stars Award and has also resulted in the school being awarded the Modeshift Stars School of the Region for the West Midlands.Many thanks to you all for such a worthwhile and essential programme.Mrs. E. Wickham, Deputy Head Teacher, Burnwood Community School, Stoke-on -Trent

The whole programme went live in December and we will be working with the schools teachers students and parents to help them establish walking buses and scooter trains. Along side this will run a series of Dr Bikes, scooter Training, Learn to ride and Bikeability Levels 1, 2 & 3.

Velo Christmas opening and Ride

Not long now till Santa turns up with his array of presents for all the good riders this year, I doubt Vino will be getting anything.

Anyway for those of you who want to buy your own present or send your significant other to buy it, heres when were open and what rides either Me (Peter) Tom or Simon will be leading over Christmas


University & College Bikes Returns

The first phase of the Education Local Sustainable Travel fund comes to an end with a christmas break so could all students and staff please ensure that Bikes and Equipment are returned to Velo for safe keeping and maintenance.

Each site has an allocated pick up time shown below. It is essential we see all bikes at this so even if you want to keep it over christmas you must bring it to the drop off to be seen by a member of Velo Staff.

All bike will then be redistributed when the colleges and universities return after the Christmas Break.

Bike Loan Returns and Calendar Launch for 2015

16/12/2014            Newcastle College          09.00 am - 12.00

16/12/2014            S-O-T College                09.00 am - 12.00

16/12/2014            S-O-T 6th Form              01.00 pm - 15.00

18/12/2014            Staffordshire University 09.00 am - 12.00

18/12/2014            Keele Universtiy            01.00 pm - 15.00

Anyone who cannot make these dates must contact Simon Mansell by e-mail

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Dirty Dozen | It's Pittsburgh & A Lot of Other Stuff | A Program by Rick...

Theres got to be Stone version

of this we could run next autumn as a sportive ?

Theres got to be Stone version

of this we could run next autumn as a sportive ?

Would you run faster Naked ? (warning Strava content)

I have started to run naked.
Well kind of and Mondays run was a revolution thanks to it.

My Garmin Forerunner watch has been playing up so its gone back to madison for some love, and so  I found myself for the first time in a long time, running performance tracking naked.

I had no way of knowing my pace, distance speed heart rate recoverys or my oscillation. So I just ran. I stopped for photos at gates i watched the clouds and the otter near the river, I ran down paths, lanes and alleyways. and it was great because what i didn't know wasn't dictating what I was I up-to.

I realised afterwards I must run looking at my wrist. Checking if I'm going fast enough or if Ive gone far enough. But with out I didn't even know how far Id gone and instead of checking I started to relax and run. And do you know what I ran further than normal. A full mile and half further and I enjoyed it.

So give it go, I know that from here on in Im pretty tempted to try running Strava naked again, but perhaps not always :-)

Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Learn 2 Ride in Stoke & Crewe

The two most popular camps of the year are back, if you want your child to learn to ride their own bike or gain a few safety skills then sign up now. These camps book up really fast and their is limited spaces available. 

How to Fix a Flat With Lance Armstrong (watch out Tom)