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Guildford Cycle Challenge

Posted by: Gordon Ayshford in SportsGeneral on

Witley supplied travelling marshals for this enjoyable cycling event .

Four intrepid Witley members were relieved that the torrential rain of the preceding week held off for the 2nd Annual GUILDFORD CYCLE CHALLENGE run by the Charlotteville Cycling Club on Sunday 7th September 2008. Despite canvassing a large number of members, as the other members of last year's crew were unavailable through prior commitments, the organiser of the Witley marshalling crew, Gordon Ayshford, had only received positive commitment from Laurie Richards, Jim Young and Alec Jay. A reflection of the overcrowded calendars of the committed few in the Witley Club? Meeting at the start / finish station set up in the Artington park-and-ride car park at 7.30am, all set out together for a quick lap of the short "Bike for all" Route of 28 miles.

The entry of over 500 cyclists were divided into 3 routes - the Easy-going "Bike for All", the more challenging 56 mile "Challenge" route and the 82.5 mile "Epic" route for the hard nuts! With more than 2,300 metres of climbing, this route is a test even of the fittest cyclists! After the initial pre-ride of the short route Jim (1200 Bandit) and Alec (in his BSA outfit) patrolled this route for an uneventful day ( though Jim did comment if he had realised the condition of the going, he would have used his enduro bike!). Laurie (550 Kawasaki Zephyr) and Gordon (1200 Bandit) split off to follow the Challenge route until the Epic separated from the Challenge and Gordon took this on as Laurie followed the Epic track towards Box Hill.

The bad weather had caused debris and sand / mud to be washed across the road in many places, causing some hazardous going - none of which was responsible for Gordon falling off his Bandit - he just stalled it during an off-camber full-lock turn and a slow-mo descent to the tarmac ensued. Many cycle riders suffered more dramatic incidents and punctures due to the conditions, and the spare inner tubes we were carrying were life-savers to a few. Laurie and Gordon came across one faller with a few areas of missing skin following his high-speed contact with the tarmac and justified their existence by making sure he was OK, phoning through to control to ensure the paramedics were present at he next check-point and seeing him safely on his way- to meet up with him at the next check and point him in the direction of the paramedics. A rewarding day, meeting many new friendly faces and supporting an event that has raised more than £2000 for the local charity CHASE.

I expect the Charlotteville club will run this again in 2009. Can Witley provide a fuller coverage of the routes with more outriders next year perhaps?

Photos of the event can be found at http://sportivephoto.thirdlight.com/a.tlx?e=ff14 .

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008

Posted by: Alison Lock in ExtremeEnduro on

Hello Everyone
A quick update from here in Sibiu, Romania.
Our team Rob, Lol, Peter and Arnaud all arrived safetly late Monday night, and have made themseleves at home in the courtyard of the guest house, they have there own private park ferme!
Dave, Ian and myself arrived Tuesday afternoon, after leaving Dover saturday morning we rode through cloudy wheather to Luxembourg for an overnight stay. The next day heading to Salzburg for our treat visit to Hitlers Eagles nest, this brought rain, lots! We arrived just outside of Berchtsgarden early evening and checked into a guesthouse soaking wet. It was great we managed to get everything dry overnight, the next morning setting off for our ascent up to "Hitlers Holiday re-treat"! It was a little dissapointing as basically has been converted into a restaurant, but the views were amazing. Anyway back on the road by midday to head for Budapest, Hungary. We arrived at about 6pm found the Ibis we stayed in last year. Next morning back on the road for the last part to Sibiu. Saftetly through the Hungarian/ Romanian border we hit the horrible road into Arad and the fog! We had also completely forgotton just how bad the road to Sibiu was, with all three of us going through the "numb bum" pain barrier several times!! We arrived in Sibiu at about 4.30/5.00pm.
We've a had a few days relaxing, looking for rice puddings in supermarkets, the boys have been out trail riding and tomorrow, Friday, is signing on and scrutineering. Saturday is the big day "PROLOGUE"! which has a few more exciting challenges this year. We are hoping to get some pictures downloaded so watch this space.....
The computer in our guesthouse isn't run by steam this year!

4 Girls in a Boat

Posted by: Barry Brockman in General on

Towards the end of last year Julie Batt asked me if I would be up for a week on a narrow boat, not giving it much thought I said yes. As we approached the New Year it became certain that we were going. The motley crew would be Jo Ayshford, Julie Batt, Alison Lock, myself and for one night Jackie Benham. At the AGM I was greeted by Jo saying only 52 more sleeps! I then realized it was realality and what had I let myself in for!!

The 26th of May was the date for our trip. So on the Thursday before we met at the club to watch a DVD supplied by the boat company. This caused much laughter and I don’t think we learnt a lot! We then decided who was going to bring what. First on our list was the important stuff like drink (the alcoholic type that is). Then came a bit of food and a few other bits and pieces.

The weather for April and May had been fairly good, but not on the day our trip was to start. We were due to board our boat the Guildford Emperor at 2.30pm and we met just before this with our bags, food etc. Narrow boats are just that, narrow. Our boat had all mod cons, if a bit dated, but we were soon settled in. After a brief tuition which involved a bit of punting, always tie the front of the boat at a lock especially when by a weir! We were on our way, wind in our hair and rain in our face. Jo was designated as the captain, Alison and Julie were on lock duty and I was Jo’s assistant. 62 feet long and you can’t see the front what had we let ourselves in for?

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