Club Newsletter #4

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The Club Committee would like to wish all club members a very Happy New Year!

In addition to sharing our best wishes for the year, we want to let you all know what is being planned for 2022 and to remind anyone that hasn’t already renewed their club membership, that these are now due.
All club memberships (excluding memberships purchased since September 2021) expired at the end of December and therefore, if you haven’t already, now is the time to renew. If you are uncertain of whether your membership is up for renewal, contact [insert details Sue / Adrian who will confirm].
The club finished 2021 with 327 members. This is the largest end of year number that the club has ever had! As at [insert date] 2022 club membership stands at [refresh at date of sending but today (6 Jan) stands at 85 comprising 50 renewals and 35 post Sept joiners].

A sales pitch is not required as you already know how special the club is. However, just in case, here is a short reminder!
• It’s a membership-led club with lots of fantastic people
• Numerous club ride options, distance, terrain and pace to suit
• Amazing ride leaders that take on route planning and getting the group safely around
• A fantastic start / finish location for rides (parking, covered and sheltered meeting place, available track pump and tools, fast service, great food quality and quantity and acceptance of wet and sometimes mucky cyclists)
• Social activities
• Members only website and Facebook pages and Strava group
• A social community with knowledge, skills and experience (not just related to cycling)
• Beyond the above, the committee has already started working up some great plans for 2022. As this will be the club’s tenth anniversary year, we want to make this year even more special with lots of cycling and social opportunities!

What is planned?

Club Calendar

During 2021, we launched a new website with a members’ area. Further developments are planned in line with our aim to improve planning and to reduce the club’s reliance on Facebook as the medium through which club activities are promoted and managed. One thing that we have never really cracked before is having an easily accessed calendar of club activities and other relevant (cycling related) events.
We will soon be launching a calendar that will enable members to see what is coming up months in advance and potentially plan other things around this, avoiding frustration and disappointment. Members will be able to add into the calendar information regarding events such as races, sportives / charity rides that they feel other members may wish to participate in or watch.

Accessing the calendar will require members to have log-in to the website, so if you don’t already have access [insert details, e.g. contact Phil G via …..].

Get ready for spring.
a) Spinpower Sessions
Building on the previously successful Spin sessions at Energie, the club has once again secured the services of Helen Farrow, or ‘Helga’ as she is lovingly referred to by our own Danielle!! Helen will be running a 12-week block of home-based spinpower structured training sessions via Zoom (see the announcement on the club FB page). The first session took place on Tuesday 4 Jan at 19:00 and subsequent sessions will continue in this weekly slot. You don’t have to sign up to all 12 and the cost to you is just £4.00 per session. Staying safe whilst getting sweaty, with others, what’s not to like!

b) Club Zwift Rides
For those wanting some virtual company and conversation whilst pushing through a Zwift workout, the option is there to post up a ride and get others to join you. Several of you have already done this, both recently and in previous years and once someone posts up, there’s often others keen to join in. Rides can be set to ‘no-drop’, keeping riders together irrespective of your usual club ride group. If you’d like to do this but are not sure how, contact a committee member who will connect you to someone who knows! If you’d like to volunteer to coordinate a series of ride opportunities through to the spring, that would be fantastic! Again, let a committee member know if you’d like support with this.

c) Winter Hills (mates’ rides)
When the weather and legs allow and fellow member interest is there, there will be opportunities for mates’ winter hill ‘training’ rides. Paul ‘Robbo’ Robinson has previously posted mates’ rides on a loop including the Brickworks and another lump or two, with a no-drop policy.

The Club Chair has also posted mates’ hill interval training rides, doing some repeats of some of the local Alderley Edge climbs including Artists and Birtles. Whilst terms like ‘training’ can be off-putting, these are ‘ride at your own pace’ on the climbs and the linking sections are ridden together as a no-drop group. Stronger / faster climbers climb more / go further, but everyone gets to push themselves without getting dropped or ‘completely blowing the doors off’! Also, if the weather closes in or the legs are not cooperating, Aldeli is never more than six miles away on the route.
Looking towards the spring and summer, the club has already got six dates booked in 2022 at the Tameside circuit, with excellent coaching support to maximise the benefits to members. We have booked one Saturday morning (from 10:00-12:00) in each month from March to October (excluding August). Dates are in the calendar and will be advertised closer to the time.

To avoid or remove any confusion, the circuit is a traffic-free, smooth tarmac, flat road cycling circuit with straights and both sharp and sweeping bends, allowing for great opportunities to hone numerous skills or to test riding at a faster than usual pace, or even a combination of these. The circuit is big enough for several groups to be riding at once, whilst not so big to make it easy to sit out a lap to recover and get your breath back if required. The timings may not suit everyone but with enough notice, we hope most members will be able to get to one or more session. There is no member in the club that would not benefit in some way!

Off-road riders do not despair, we will be looking to put on some coaching during the year in developing off-road riding skills too!
Explore and more.
Despite what the pandemic threw at us, 2021 did see some great ‘Explore & More’ rides taking place, including the multiple group ‘annual’ Horseshoe Pass ride and the Forest of Bowland ride. Additionally, although not a multiple group ride, there was also the monster 200-mile round trip to Llandudno for fish & chips!!

2022 will feature more of the same! Explore & More is about riding somewhere different and sometimes, but not always, further than a usual club ride. It’s about spicing it up a bit and keeping it fresh. There are only so many ways to exit and return to Alderley Edge as our Ride Leaders are only too aware, as they try to avoid repeating routes too frequently!

For 2022, we aim to do the planning earlier in the year and have provisional dates identified to enable members to both work towards and plan around these. David Ryan will once again act as coordinator, but all members can suggest and share routes / locations and take a role in the planning. Get your ideas to David and we can have the calendar filled for the year!

What type of event do you want to add?