Tomorrow the weather looks dry with very little wind, perfect for cycling. Look forward to seeing you all outside the Rose and Crown at 10 am.
Here at Velo central I like to think we provide a valuable service to our members and the local community as a whole. However we do on occasions get some strange emails and requests for assistance. Many seem to originate in Thailand and appear to compliment us on our insightful posts and knowledge, although they are invariably poorly disguised attempts to sell Viagra. I am not aware of any link between saddle fatigue and the need for such drugs, however you may have noticed my absence from recent rides.
More significantly, I have recently received a request from a local organisation to plug their up and coming summer festival. Yes those friendly bearded chaps from the Ivinghoe Entertainments Committee have requested some assistance from me. They have failed to offer me any inducement whatsoever, and so I have naturally declined their request.
Alas they are a persistent bunch. If like me you thought that the big white tent on the lawn in June, was an over engineered scout project, then you are wrong. No, I am told this is an entertainments facility. On the Friday evening a bar is provided by our splendid friends at the Rose and Crown, and a fine multi course meal is delivered to your table. Immediately after the food, the men in the tent perform the ancient ritual of the chicken dance to an excellent live band, The Choice. The ladies wisely remain at their tables, dressed in their finest clothes, clothes that say to their menfolk “if you could dance you wouldn’t just be looking at me.
This event for some reason is known as the ball, though how quite how Beckham and his ilk could kick it I do not know.
On a Saturday evening a bar is provided by our splendid friends at the Rose and Crown. I told them to stop repeating themselves, but they went to explain that a comedy evening was to follow, and be hosted by non other than Arthur Smith. Not that one down the road from you either, the actual one.
Now I listened patiently to all of this, but again re-affirmed that I would not allow the Vinghoe Veloes website to be used in this shameless manner. But would they stop, no they continued on like a Jehovah’s witness in your living room.
Having failed to have ignited my interest they then tried to pull on my heart strings. Fools! They explained that the committee provides entertainment for the benefit of the villages and makes no profit. Now surely it’s bad enough to be a bad manager, but madness to admit it. Now I don’t do sympathy too well, but I did suggested that they look at some of our earlier posts where they would find some sound financial advice. Did this deter them? No they then went on to say that when they make a surplus they give it away to local charities that make a contribution to the village!
Anyway, to cut to the chase, they tell me that tickets go on sale 3rd March 2012, 9.30-12.30, at Ivinghoe town hall, and other venues through out the village thereafter. If you buy tickets for both nights then you get a discount on the second night. You start to see how they don’t make a profit.
I told them that I couldn’t possibly advise members of the Vinghoe Velos, and their friends, that tickets for these fantastic events would be on sale from 3rd MARCH 2012, in the town hall. We are after all a cycling club, and in that vein I shall now continue.
Here’s this weeks rides.
Reluctantly no ride this week as the Met Office suggest that the roads will be very icy tomorrow and have issued a yellow warning. Those of you with mountain bikes and nerves of steel may choose to go out any way, have fun and keep safe if you do. Hopefully normal service will resume next week.
Some of you may have noticed how over the last week or so the weather has changed. If you have not ventured out then your newspaper will have informed you of little else. Those of a Daily Mail persuasion will have welcomed the break from abusing immigrants and the campaign to hang our fellow Europeans over the colour of bananas or some other obscure regulations. The rest of us will have trudged our way through snow and ice to work and schools.
This cold weather is enjoyable for many, but we should not forget our older colleagues who will be struggling to attach their three bar electric fire to their handlebars and wondering where their going to find a long enough extension lead to plug into. Of course as the temperature drops below a predetermined level those friendly chaps at the treasury dip into their pockets and authorise a little bit more cash to help those hard pressed with their heating bills.
So what do the Vinghoe Velos do? Well unusually the title to this week’s news gives a clue. As the government introduces the additional payments we switch to the Vinghoe Velos calibration system. As temperature seems to be the hot topic of the moment allow me to demonstrate how the system will be applied.
Immediately the Met Office confirm a sub zero temperature, we swap the minus indicator to a positive. Thus a met office reading of minus five is in fact plus five, which makes the riding environment far more attractive. As the met office reading climes above zero, on Sundays only we will add in the wind warm factor by adding a one before the actual met office reading. This will only apply up to a met reading of nine degrees, as anymore would result in us literally boiling.
Anyone who lives in our area will know that the standard grading of hills shown on cycle maps from category 1-5 is insufficient, we will therefore implement a 1-10 scale with 1 being downhill, 5 walking out the house, and 10 being any route devised by Dave Howe. This calibration will have no impact on our rides but will enable you to boast to your friends, who are not in our club, that your route consisted of 90% category 5 hills.
Recalibrating time is proving to be more difficult than expected. Initially I intended to use a reverse clock. This would mean that having left the Rose and Crown at 10.00 am we would cycle for around two and half hours, and then return for a finish time of 7.30 am. This is a great advantage if you have a day packed with lots of jobs as the extra time will be invaluable. Of course if your expecting refreshment at the pub that’s going to be a problem.
Now to an entirely different matter, rules. “What rules?” I hear you ask, “I’ve never seen those written down anywhere”. Well writing them down would mean that everybody knows what they are, and frankly we can’t have such a straightforward system. No we shall continue to make them up, and only advise when they are broken. Over the last week we have seen our overtaking rule broken on at least two occasions, when members of our club were seen to pass non members on a road just outside Chesham. This is totally unacceptable, and whilst on this occasion it will allow pass unpunished, any future digressions will mean that the individuals will banned from riding from Monday to Friday. We must at all costs not allow anyone to think we are a racing club, or to give the impression that we are hell bent on achieving the fastest possible time. You know who you are and you have been warned.
Now to this weeks rides.
If the weather is particularly severe, bring your hybrid and off-roaders for an alternative route to be made up as we go along.
Howdy fellow velos,As you can see from the picture above, our hydration sponsors The Rose and Crown have mounted the famous Vinghoe Velos club shirt on full view to all customers. We would like to thank Alistair for doing us proud and for his continued support of the club.
Before we get down to our usual business of planning routes, we have a couple of public service announcements.
If you haven’t already read about this campaign then we can recommend having a look. Whilst we wouldn’t normally support a News International publication, the intent seems to be valid and there is growing support for their manifesto. Feel free to pledge your support if you like the ideas. The website is here – http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/contact/ .
As part of the Castlemead development, some money has been handed over by the developers to build a cycle & pedestrian path along Northfield Road. As many of our members are already aware, the cycle along this road (especially in the dark) can be a considerably hazardous one. The parish council are looking for input from Pitstone and Ivinghoe residents who would use this new path. You can find more details over at the Pitstone & Ivinghoe village website. Please support this initiative by giving your feedback to the parish council so that the money is put to good use.
As we go to press here at Velo Towers, it does look like there may be an inch or two of the white stuff falling from the heavens tonight. This, coupled with a forecast clear sky overnight suggests that Sunday morning maybe a trifle slippery on the roads. Of course that won’t stop us venturing out, but we would suggest that if it is icy tomorrow, you dust off the Mountain Bike or Hybrid and give her a spin instead.
Depending on how severe the weather is, we may adjust the planned route to suit the conditions – there is even talk of a possible off road ride for those who want to take advantage of the snow to go off-piste.
Be safe & warm out there.
Could be a short ride and a long hot chocolate if it is very cold tomorrow. Or maybe hills are the way to warm up? Any ideas?
See you tomorrow.