RIDING UP HILLS FOR FUN

Based in Exmoor it is impossible to cycle very far without having to go up some pretty serious hills and so during the summer months, Minehead Cycling Club have held a series of training evenings to help riders climb a little bit better.

North Hill, Phil Walter
North Hill, Phil Walter

These were held on a variety of different climbs and thanks to the generosity of The National Trust, the most popular was the relatively short hill up to Dunster Castle. The much steeper and longer climbs to Selworthy Church and North Hill in Minehead also proved to be worthy challenges. Ages ranged from pre-school to well into retirement with the more experienced riders sharing their knowledge with their  less experienced colleagues, though with some of the under 16 year olds from Minehead Merlins Cycling Club showing the older riders how well they could climb.

North Hill, showing Dad how to do it

North Hill, showing Dad how to do it

Over the series Geoff Ware from Skillgate showed his ability to get up the hills consistently with best female Ros Willicombe from Minehead showing many of the male riders how it should be done.

North Hill, is that a smile or a grimace
North Hill, is that a smile or a grimace

All the riders will have the opportunity to demonstrate their new found skills and fitness at the forthcoming Tanks Direct Porlock Hill Climb held up the Toll Road on the 24th September. This is an annual race which attracts many of the top Hill Climbers in the country including Olympic & National Champions. For more information see www.porlockhillclimb.co.uk

North Hill, more usually seen with a pair of scissors, Nathan Bale enjoying the scenery.
North Hill, more usually seen with a pair of scissors, Nathan Bale enjoying the scenery.

The next event organised by Minehead Cycling Club will be a series of Circuit Races for all ages on closed roads around the rather flatter town centre as part of the Minehead Festival of Wheels on 10th September. For more information see http://mineheadcyclingclub.com/festival-of-wheels-2017   

2017 AGM MINUTES

MINEHEAD CYCLING CLUB -ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Kildare Lodge 8.00pm February 22nd 2017

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Nathan Bale, Kevin Green, Len & Pat Gurnett, Sue & David Maynard, Richard & Michelle Miles, Tony Needham, John Needham, Geoff Ware. The Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Hill Climb Race Secretary, Training Officer and 39 members were present.

2. Items Arising from Previous Minutes

The Secretary reported that a new memorial seat had been installed on the Porlock Hill Toll Road.

The proposed Cycle Path from the Toll Rd – A39 junction to Pitcombe Head on the Exford road had run into problems, as the Exmoor National Park archaeologist insists on a full survey being carried out at a cost of £20,000. The committee is of the opinion that providing this sort of funding is not our function, so Tesco have been informed that the project is not viable at present. There may be other possible means of construction which will not involve excavation; this will be looked into in the near future.

The secretary has obtained a stock of club shirts in the most popular sizes. The number that can be held is limited by the cost of stock.

3. Secretaries Report

The secretary reported that 3 social events had been held, a film night which had not been as well supported as the one in 2015, a mince pie run (which included a number of Merlins), and a Christmas dinner at the Golf Club. The secretary thanked Michelle Miles and Chris Parkin for organising the Xmas dinner.

4. Treasurers Report

The Treasurer presented the accounts. They show a current balance of £4,872, and a net income for the year of £679. This was accrued from the profits made by the 2 Audax events, The Stella Farrell GP, and the Porlock Hill Climb. Paul Butcher pointed out that since the club is now running race and hill climb events that are relatively expensive to organise, a reasonable balance is required to provide a “cushion” if losses are incurred.

It was agreed that the subs should stay at their current level.

5. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman said he was pleased to see the expansion of the club in both numbers of members, events and different activities. It was good to see new groups forming, e.g. MTB rides on Sundays, the Weds morning group and the ladies rides, also on Wednesday. Some members have also taken part in racing. The Running Club invited us once again to join their annual pre-Christmas run up Porlock Hill.

The Chairman thanked the Race Directors of the Stella Farrell GP and the Porlock Hill Climb; all the trustees and others who had been involved with the Steam Coast Trail; Paul Butcher, Wayne Reeder and the Merlins parents and the vlunteers who work with children in the schools; Richard and Michelle Miles for organising the Audax events; and to all those who help with club activities. Finally he thanked those who have helped with sponsorship, Dave Silvera and Tanks Direct for the Porlock Hill Climb (and for their help with publicity and a website etc), and Neil Arnold, Stuart Lowen and Exmoor Bike for sponsoring the Stella Farrell GP.

The Chairman told the meeting that he wished to retire, and hoped his successor would have the same support as he had enjoyed.

6. Minehead Merlins

Paul Butcher reported that the Merlins have had a very successful year.

Members have taken part in MTB and road races at all age levels, resulting in several winners and podium places. 2 members have been nominated to the SW School of Racing, others have taken part in the sessions at the Newport Velodrome. The Merlins have held open MTB events, and a cyclo-cross event in combination with the Stella Farrell GP. In all 34 weekly sessions were run.

An Awards Night was held before Christmas with about 50 me,bers and parents present.

The Coaching Development fund allows coaches to be trained, and Tanks Direct had helped with the purchase of rollers and additional financial support for rider development.

Grateful thanks to the Coaching Team of Alicia Hockin, Wayne Reeder, Greshna Dibble, Will Wake, Kevin Green and Barnaby Wright, and also to Clive Atkins and Chris Priddle for their support throughout the year.

8. Steam Coast Trail

Graham Boswell reported that the first section of the trail had been completed from Dunster Beach to the boundary of the property owned by the chalet owners at Blue Anchor.

The 2nd section is from Chapel Cleeve road to Washford. Planning Permission has been obtained, tenders for the work have been issued and the land purchase is proceeding.

The Mineral Line from Washford to Watchet is currently a public footpath, and negotiations with the landowners will be needed to establish a permissive bike path.

A grant application for funding is with EDF, and has passed the first committee stage.

There are still difficulties with the chalet owners at Blue Anchor. Steve Crossman appealed for members to use the path, despite this.

The signage on the new path will be in place by Easter when the path will be officially opened.

9. Porlock Toll Road Hill Climb 2017

Louise Crossman reported that we had had a great event last September, and we attracted national and local riders.

Louise thanked Dave Silvera and Tanks Direct for support and sponsorship, and to Mark Blaythwaite for allowing us the use of the toll road, and Scott Huish for his help with the website. She also thanked Ian Piper, Paul Butcher and all the other club members who volunteered, and also the people of Porlock, especially the Porlock Ladies.

This years event will be on the 24th September. Any club members who wish to take part, please enter a 10k time trial run under CTT auspices by Wellington Wheelers, or other clubs so that you establish a time. This gives you a far better chance of securing a ride if the event is over-subscribed, as it was last year.

10. Stella Farrel GP & Minehead Criterium

Stella Farrell GP. Paul Butcher reported that the feedback from riders taking part in last years event was very positive, many saying it was one of the best courses and best organised events that they had taken part in. British Cycling have made similar comments.

Paul thanked the race group, all those who volunteered and especially Briony Turner who was race director.

The 2017 event will be held on July 16th.

Minehead Criterium – Paul said that there is a strong possibility that we can run a Town Criterium in conjunction with The Festival of Wheels. Road closures and consultations will be handled by the Minehead Events Group lead by Graham Sizer. Neil Arnold has offered sponsorship towards the cost of barriers. There will be a full programme of races, including womens and juniors races. The race group are waiting on a risk assessment by British Cycling. This event will be held on Sunday 10th September.

11. Affiliations/Donations to other bodies:-

It was Proposed by the Secretary, seconded by Chris Parkin that we donate £100 to Roadpeace and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The motion was carried unanimously.

12. Election/Re-election of Club Officers

Bernard Mitchell having retired as Chairman, Neil Arnold was proposed by Kevin Poole, seconded by Chris Adams. He was elected unanimously.

All other officers and the committee members have agreed to serve for another year. The proposal to re-elect them was led by Bernard Mitchell, seconded by Graham Boswell. Motion carried unanimously.

Greshna Dibble and Richard Boulter had volunteered to join the committee, proposed by the Secretary, seconded by Paul Butcher. Richard has volunteered to organise the club hill climb events this summer.

The Officers and committee now are:-

President – Len Gurnett
Chairman – Neil Arnold
General Secretary – Andy King
Hill Climb Race Secretary – Louise Crossman
Treasurer – Pam Almond
Webmaster – Jeremy Summers
Training Officer and Race Group Chair – Paul Butcher
Audax Secretary – Richard Miles
Committee Members – Greshna Dibble, Sue Maynard, Michelle Miles, Richard Boulter, Paul Camp, Steve Crossman, Kevin Green, Stuart Lowen.

13. AOB

C 2 C Warm Up Ride – Paul Butcher reported that Nathan Bale is proposing to lead a warm up ride to Bridport and back the weekend before the Air Ambulance C 2 C.

Press Officer – The Chairman suggested that a club press officer could keep the club in the public eye, and might lead to recruiting more members. It was agreed to leave this to the committee for a decision.

Vote of Thanks – Paul Butcher proposed a vote of thanks to Bernie Mitchell for his hard work for several years as Chairman, which was carried with acclaim.

There was no other business and the meeting closed.

Condolences

On 13 Apr 2014 while cycling home from a ride on Sunday George ‘Nick’ Necchighiri unexpectedly died. Our condolences are extended to all the friends and relations of this popular club member.

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Italy Cycle Xperience

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