28th March

There has been a flurry of early season activity with our members participating in circuit and time trial events. Dai Long is seen here in one of the circuit races at Llandow and more action pictures taken by Chris and Kerry can be seen in the Photo Gallery. A number of members will be riding in our own open 25 mile time trial, the Bryn Griffiths Memorial event on 13th April and will be pleased to see other members marshalling the course and shouting encouragement. The following Sunday will be the Club Championship 30 mile TT, incorporated in the Bynea CC event so remember to get your entries in to the organiser ASAP. It would be good to see plenty of competition for these Club championships.

The 2014 reliability rides conclude with the hilly event or Fondo this Sunday, all riders starting at 09.30 from the Welcome Inn for a tough challenge.

The Sunday and Wednesday clubruns have been managing to avoid most of the rain but not the muck of the country lanes. The Wednesday runs, in particular, avoid main roads as much as possible, investigating a myriad of narrow lanes and interesting sites. The cafe stop is always looked forward to, of course !

Welcome to two new members. Ryan Evans and Jeff Rees. Both are past members with a strong racing tradition and keen to get involved again. Ryan was a good road man and TT rider while Jeff specialised in cyclo-cross and was a Welsh team member.

18th March

The racing season is now underway and Steve and Paul, having recently ridden his first circuit race switched his attention to his first open time trial in the Port Talbot 2-up 25 mile event on Sunday. Partnered by Steve he recorded a very creditable performance of 1-04-09 on a surprisingly windy day. Steve, on his new TT machine felt quite at home in the new aero position and the group riding practice experienced in the winter training rides meant they worked smoothly together.

Following them were Hywel and Dean on an interesting course which used the dual carriageway and the old road through the Vale of Neath, including the Rock and Fountain climb. Sticking to a traditional road position with no aerobars they recorded 1-08-14 and as can be seen in the Photo Gallery, certainly made an effort. Both teams were resplendent in their new-design kit which brought some approved comment.

The final team of Kevin and Carl rode in the old-design vests on this occasion but showed them off with distinction. Showing they still have a turn of speed they recorded 1-01-47 for 11th fastest in the field of 40 teams. Unfortunately, the poor surface on parts of the old road claimed a victim when Carl hit a pothole with about a mile to go, puncturing both tyres simultaneously, leaving Kevin to cross the line on his own.

Another rider benefitting from the winter training rides was Dai Long. Having only got into the oversubscribed Betty Pharoah road race as reserve, he stayed with the fast pace of the bunch until the last corner when he was tailed off in the surge for the line. Very pleased with his performance he commented that it was very different to his first attempt last year when, unused to the speed, he was dropped after eight miles. Well done everyone for a strong showing of our colours; you can all look forward to a promising year.

Meanwhile, the Sunday and Wednesday rides are available for anyone not racing, the mid-week ride being at a slower pace. This ride attempts to use country roads and lanes as much as possible. Numbers are growing and the group was joined recently by Wayne Howlett, making a “comeback”. Jeff Matthews has also started riding again following his operation but Dave Nelson is unfortunately having to recover from a dislocated shoulder. We look forward to your company again soon, Dave. All riders are welcome join in. Both rides leave the Welcome Inn at 9.30 am.

4th March

The Wednesday social run enjoyed a dry day last week and headed for Llantwit Major to inspect the damage caused by the recent storms. As can be seen here, the footpath in front of the wall is buried beneath tons of pebbles, rocks and broken tree trunks. There should be a bench under there somewhere ! Following tea and toast in the cafe, we rode over the railway bridge to St Athan where Chris stopped to complain about the slow pace. He said he preferred travelling at high speed and it took an effort to prevent him clambering over the fence into RAF St Athan and applying for a job flying jets. he said he could show his heavy goods vehicle licence and claims he is very computer literate so the controls would be no problem.