Thank you… and Season’s Greetings

To our members..

As the picture clearly demonstrates we all may have a different interpretation on what we see in front of us or how we perceive the world, well may I take this opportunity to thank each and every member who has given something to the Club in 2023.

Whether that is standing by the side of the road marshalling one of our Club TT’s or helping by leading some of our weekly rides we appreciate each and every minute those of you have given for others to enjoy their cycling.

There is a lot that goes on silently behind the scenes that is taken for granted such as the treasury function, the production and auditing of our accounts, coordinating the Zwift Racing league, operating the TT events and driving out checking the routes the night before to make sure they are safe to ride, the Club Nights, organising our other social events, ordering the club kit for everyone, maintaining our social media pages, monitoring our WhatsApp groups, hiring venues, clearing up after others at Club Nights (including laying on refreshments), dealing with new membership requests and looking to offer new riders a ride or two to try out, back office administration, coordinating membership renewals, maintaining our website, being on the Committee, liaising with the local authorities for use of venues or dealing with our club affiliations and putting on training just to name those that immediately spring to mind.

I’m sure I’m missing some important items but nevertheless may I thank those of you for volunteering and helping keep FCCC on the roads and trails.

May I wish you a healthy and happy festive season. My thoughts are with those of you who have lost loved ones this year and those who are dealing with sick friends and family at this time. 🙏

Just like the picture, our cycling club is made up of many things that you simply don’t see even though they are right in front of you.

Festive regards,

Paul Hosemann (chair)

Time Trialling at FCCC in 2024

As many of you already know, but for those of you who don’t, Sean Powers has recently joined the Committee and stepped up to assume responsibilities for Time Trialling at FCCC in 2024 et seq.

It is an area where I have received many questions during my time in the chair. While many members already participate we know more would like to but they don’t know how to go about it, do they need a TT bike to participate and whether there are other special requirements to do so.

These are all good questions.

To encourage more of our members to participate next year we wish to dispel the myth and mysteries surrounding this important area of cycling. Whether it is simply to have fun, improve your fitness or use it as part of your training regime TT’s are a great way to participate. It’s a great little community of cyclists which we wish to open to more of you.

I attach a link to the existing area on our website (below) which you can read to learn a little more.

As part of the AGM Twenty’24 (on Friday 23 February 2024) Sean and I intend running a short session with a Q&A for you to come to discuss TT’s at FCCC. I’m hoping Vernon will help too but I haven’t asked him yet! 🙂 Please come along.

Kind regards, Paul Hosemann (chair).

NOTE: The picture shows some of our participants at the end of a Thursday Night Club TT chatting about their PB’s and comparing notes about the route etc.. I know when I did my first TT (pictured) I spent the first 7 miles of an 11 mile course trying desperately not to be caught! Btw – I’m the geezer in the orange in the middle of the picture with a green MTB helmet proving you don’t need a fancy TT bike or equipment to have a go! 🤣

Club Trophies

For those who actively compete each year for one of the many FCCC Club Trophies it will come as no surprise that we are approaching the end of the year for which you will soon be putting your names forward for an award.

The awards are presented at the Club Night of the Year (CNOTY) each year. A tradition which has been running for decades. Personal engravings are worked on at the start of each year – in some cases being added to trophies dating back almost a century.

For a contingent within the Club, it is often true that some of our members do not even know these trophies exist or where to go to find out about them. (FYI – they are currently contained as a list at the back of our Club Rules & Regulations).

Paul Burcombe has just released the tickets for CNOTY’24 (on Saturday 31st March 2024) as the start of our annual preparations.

To make it easier for you all, and to encourage more of you to challenge for a trophy in 2024 et seq., we will shortly be sending out a new spreadsheet for you to use to see what trophies and awards are available to compete for in the hope that more are awarded for the year ahead – so they are hopefully not just gathering dust on the shelf.

Please look out for the announcements and the spreadsheet in the coming weeks.

Kind regards,

Paul Hosemann (Chair)

Please hold the date ~ Club Night of the Year 2024

Saturday March 30th 2024

As the autumn leaves start to brown and fall from the trees and as we all reflect on another year of cycling that will soon be behind us it will shortly be time to celebrate our achievements on and/or off road.

A time to meet and greet one another and take pride in our shared riding at FCCC.

Whether it was your first ride in years, the purchase of a new bike at one of our club nights or your participation in some of our weekly rides, one of our Club TT’s or a sportive around the country we are inviting you all once again to the FCCC Club Night of the Year.

In 2023 we had a marvellous turnout so we are hoping to beat that for 2024. Partners and spouses are most welcome. Those that came this year can validate that it’s more than just a gathering of club cyclists!

100 tickets will go on sale very soon.

Saturday March 30th 2024 – 7pm to 11pm is the date we have secured the hall for CNOTY’24.

Yes – we know – it is the Easter Weekend so maybe we’ll throw in one or two Easter Egg Prizes for you to take home for yourselves or your families!

Please come and help make it another great Club Night!

More details will be sent in the coming weeks.

Thank you,

Paul Hosemann and Paul Burcombe

Thank you to Keith Griffiths 👍

A BiG thankyou to Keith Griffiths for coming to tell his story at our Club Night and to the 25 of you who turned up to listen as well as to Andria, my wife, for the food (hot and cold) and looking after our guests.

The best line of the night was when Keith said ‘If you can do 200 kms you can do 600 kms. You only have to think of it as three x 200 km rides’.

Breaking it all down into bite size chunks.

For a chap that does so little training the distances he rides and his method of planning his rides (subject to the weather forecast) combined with his preference to ride at night was inspiring, charming and enlightening.

Willing to sleep in bus stops or on people’s lawns or in open doorways or garages left deliberately open with mattresses on the ground shows the lengths these Audax riders go just to sneak a 10 or 30 minute Power Nap 😴..

Audax in Latin means ‘audacious, courageous… spirited… foolhardy… presumptuous and rash’.

These are the ways we will now consider Keith forever!

Thank you, Keith, for being a great final guest for me to close out the series of “FCCC’s An Audience with…”

Many people have said how much they enjoyed your story!

Kind regards,

Paul Hosemann (Chair)

Thank you… plus a few other pictures from the night.

Further Changes on the Committee

Dear Members 

I am grateful to Neil Lister for offering to assume the role of Road Secretary. 

The Committee voted on his appointment at our meeting on Monday 25 September, in which we discussed a few areas within FCCC where we would like to make a few changes. 

It is clear many of us would like to see a greater consistency of attendance at road rides and ride leading, so Neil has kindly offered to help the Club with this being his primary focus. 

I’m hopeful several of you who already help lead rides for FCCC will continue to work with and help Neil in his new role going forward.

Neil has been a ride leader, riding mainly in the mid-pace group, so he is relatively well known within this area of the Club

I am confident his affable personality, dry sense of humour, plus his desire to get involved will be a useful contribution and addition to the Club. 

Please join me in welcoming Neil to the Committee. 

May I also take this opportunity to thank Gareth Davies for his contributions to the Committee and the Club during 2023, who is stepping down at this time. His work on gathering small portfolios of our weekly ride photos back in the spring being one item I would wish to particularly highlight. No doubt his passion for photography will be something we’ll see more of over time if his schedule permits.

Paul Hosemann (Chair)

Paris-Brest-Paris – 1200km – Keith rides again!

Club member Keith Griffiths is no stranger to long-distance bike rides, but even though he’s done PBP before, a 1200km bike ride is a challenge for anyone. Even more so since he’ll only get the odd hour of sleep here and there on the way, but no overnight stays (because there isn’t time!).

Keith is riding the Paris-Brest-Paris 2023 audax, starting this coming Sunday 20 August. It’s only held every four years, and has rigorous qualification requirements, so even getting to the start line is an achievement in itself.

Paris-Brest-Paris is a randonnee and not a race, but even so there is a time limit of 90 hours to complete the ride.

You can follow Keith’s progress through the randonnee control points via the official website . Keith is rider number i026.

Keith will be talking about his audax experiences at the upcoming Club Night on Friday 29 September, and no doubt he’ll be recounting some stories from PBP. Make sure you come along to hear all about it.

Good luck Keith!

Changes on the Committee

Announcing a change in FCCC’s team formation.

I would like to formally thank Danielle Millar for the year she has given to me and FCCC on the Club Committee as the General Secretary.

She is going to take a sabbatical with an intention of helping us again in some shape or form in 2024.

Many of you will know Danielle from her weekly spins at the Club Time Trials, her attendance at Club Nights or her participation in the annual Hill Climbing Challenge.

I will miss her dedication, patience, calming influence and behind the scenes support. Thank you, Danielle xx

As part of this change, Danielle and I are very grateful to announce that Hannah Lucas has agreed to take on the role to provide me/FCCC with a seamless change that allows Danielle to step down gracefully.

Many of those regularly riding in mid-pace will have met Hannah since she joined the Club this summer. She carries a welcome abundance of enthusiasm for cycling!

Please join me in thanking Danielle for her work at FCCC and to welcoming Hannah into the role.

Paul Hosemann ( Chair)

An Audience with… Keith Griffiths ~ on Friday 29th September 2023

It has been an absolute pleasure to host the series of an “Audience with …” for the FCCC Club Nights during this past twelve months or so.

Guests ranging from the formidable End to End in under 48 hours (Dick Poole), to our South African Cape Epic and UCI E-world Champion Cyclists (Shawn Mitchley and Aaron Borrill, respectively), to the former UK National Champion guest (Richard Prebble) and to the most latterly Meet Team GB (Kendra and Jez Hall, Eliot Digby-Jones, Ruth Jones and Morag McDowall).

Each time we meet these guests we are greeted by humble people with huge achievements in cycling with fascinating stories to tell.

This person is no exception. He told me he doesn’t get out of bed for anything less than 200 kilometers. He’s not joking.

With rides like ‘Paris-Brest-Paris’ or ‘London-Edinburgh-London’ these distances speak openly for themselves. He competes in what we know as ‘Audaxes’.

It is an ultra-sport like not too many others.

In privately preparing for meeting him, I’ve come to learn that Audax means “courageous, spirited, foolhardy, presumptuous and rash’.

Well, we can find out if that is true when we meet our next guest who has kindly agreed to give up his time to come talk with me at the Club Night on Friday 29 September 2023 at our usual venue.

Paul Hosemann (Chair)