I’ve been sitting in front of this laptop for hours now! but some new changes for the club website are finally here. First of all you’ll notice a new banner at the top, I’ve also subtly changed the colour scheme from a generic red to the well known club red.
If you visit the site from your mobile phone you’ll also notice the website now works perfectly on mobile, any needless zooming, pinching and scrolling is no more, but if you like that kind of thing, the option is still there for you revert to desktop.
I’ve deleted a few redundant pages and working on some new content to make things that little bit nicer for you to look at. one such feature is when we order club kit, it’ll be done via a proper ‘online shop’ you’ll be to order multiple items and checkout just as you would on any other site. At the moment you’ll probably just see a pop-up message saying orders are closed. I am also working on a Blaydon ‘phonebook’ style directory so if you need to find any decent cafes we reccomend, any cycle shops or need a repair you need to go no further than your club. you’ll be to leave reviews using your social media accounts to give feedback on the shops and services, I guess what I am trying to do it Blaydon CC meets the ‘yellow pages vs trip advisor’.
A few pages may be renamed or re-ordered just to make them look that little bit tidier, it’s a long overdue spring clean that I hope gives a better impression of the club.
First of all a massive thanks from me for the sea of Blaydon CC tops on display, those who made a special effort to ‘divert’ their rides via the Quayside to come and show the world what we do. A second huge thanks to the lads who helped man the information stall today, we spoke to some great local business and people, if you’re not with us yet, we look forward to welcoming you.
We all enjoyed our day in the sun speaking to people (They seen us coming, the planners put us opposite Greggs!).
To me I think the way riding has become pretty much a second/third job for me it’s so hard to forget why you got on two wheels to start with. Today when I did my lap of the course It was at a very steady (I would almost go as far as saying slow) pace for me, when I ride to work I want to get there as soon as possible, when I ride with others I sometimes want to go faster, further and higher… A little pleasurable weave over the 7km course seeing hundreds if not thousands of others taking part reminded me why I like cycling, everyone was happy, smiles all around, young and old, all shapes, all sizes on all manners of bikes. It was simply people out in the sun enjoying being outside.
If you’re new to us check our rides option at the top of the page for a run down of what we offer, as we expand (pushing 100 members now!) we’re hoping to be able to branch out, one such option is a personal interest of ‘Audax’ riding which I’m trying to introduce to a few who want a challenge! We’ve so much in the pipeline and so many ideas and we do it simply because we love cycling. We all have full time jobs as well as the club, and it keeps us busy but, seeing people out like they were today, is it worth all the emails, texts, keeping this website up to date, explaining for the 100th time what time we meet on a Sunday, in short, yes. It’s fantastic to be a part of something that’s constantly growing, constantly developing and it gives me a sense of pride when someone turns round to me and says ‘XX months ago I was this, jumped on the bike, now I am…’
If you have any further thoughts on your day at the sky ride please leave a comment below:
There’s so much going on within the club so it’s time for a little web blog just to keep you up to speed, there’s no real ‘subject’ here but it’s an update and just a little few things I’ve seen over the past few weeks.
First of all come see us at the Newcastle Gateshead Sky Ride we’ll have a pitch in the middle of the market place, also there will be some local retailers, local clubs and usually Northumbria Police are there offering bike marking and crime reduction advice on cycling (and shed) security. Please come down and say hello to us, pop your jersey on and ride around the Quayside flying the Blaydon flag. If anyone asks you about the club let them know and ask them to pop by our stall. We’d love to see BCC colours flying high this year, If you can spare a few minutes stop by and chat to people coming to see us, we’re still a new club so people will want to know what we’re all about!
On the subject of club colours and as a matter of personal opinion, Please remember when you are in club colours, be you riding to work or on a club ride you’re an ambassador for the club, you’re ‘flying the flag’ so please do remember how you conduct yourself out and about, We want our members to be the ones who are friendly, courteous, and above all stick to the rules of the road because lets not forget they apply to everyone on wheels, cyclists already have a certain branding through excessive media articles and we’re all tarred with the same brush to many, let’s try and prove them wrong!
Here at BCC we offer many different kinds of rides with the hope of in the future offering more as we grow, here’s a little reminder of what we do at the moment:
Club rides occur every second week, in the ‘spare’ week riders attend development rides, ad-hoc rides or simply have the weekend off! Club rides generally leave 9am from La Taverna and are 50-60 miles long. They can include anything right from a flat fast route, right up to challenging climbs and descents. Gnerally we have two to three groups riding out (size of group being one factor, ability the other) there’s usually a faster group of 16mph+, a middle group of around 14-15mph group and a group depending on the ride itself riding 12-14mph. We decide how to group the rides on the day when we have the numbers and to ensure people are not riding alone.
Easy Wheelers & Development:
Development Rides began In early 2014 we trialled a what was then called ‘Beginners Ride’ what this entailed was a short route that didn’t have have any major climbs and kept to roads that were generally deemed suitable for riders of all abilities. After a couple of rides these became known also as Development Group Rides, you may have heard rides referred to as both at some point during their time.
Usually we aim for around 30-40 miles for the development ride and ride it in a loop so you’ll always come back to where you started. In these rides someone with a Blaydon Jersey will mark the front and the back of the rides.
We always aim to fit in a coffee stop after the rides for the shorter ones and mid-ride on the longer rides, Start Locations for the Beginners Rides vary so please check our events on the website and social media before you come along. We change it from time to time due to things such as the route planned, and things out of our control such as events, or road closures.
All riders must wear a helmet on these rides and you should bring along a bottle or two of water for the ride as well as any little snacks if you feel you may need them (such as cereal bars, flapjack etc). Full details are on the events and we always give a pre-ride briefing before we roll out.
‘Easy Wheelers’ rides are our beginners rides, they offer people who have never really been out on a bke a chance to ride with others and gain confidence, they are perfect for those who are very new to cycling or just coming back, courses will be around 10 miles at a very steady pace to suit everyone, they are a strict no drop ride, any questions you have on cycling we will do our best to help you, and progress you onto longer rides.
As a club we ride local and national sportives such as the Virgin Money Cyclone and the Haydon Hundred. We’ll post BCC specific events for this and arrange transport and similar things with each other closer to the time.
We have a newly formed (2015) race team, the team will compete in CAT4 races and Time Trials. The team is nicknamed the ‘Blaydon Racers‘ for more information keep an eye on our page or if you are interested drop us a message and we’ll see what we can do for you. Racing is a additional part of the club offered as we expand and compliments our other rides and activities.
Not everyone works 9-5, and we appreciate members have spare time and days of, subscribed members have access to a ‘Blaydon Chat’ area which allows for us to arrange outings with each other, these rides vary so much it’s up to whoever is setting them up to decide the pace and length, they can be road rides, Mountain Bike rides, long, short, fast or slow. We sometimes also practice training loops of an evening. All information can be found within the members chat page.
There’s never been a better time to come and try the club, we’re fast approaching the 90-100 members bracket and now the weather is warming up club activity is stepping up, we’ve the club rides, easy wheelers and development rides every other week as well as trips away, sportives and many other events tackled as a club.
Once you join you can enter our members area where individual members plan their own rides through the week, this includes speed loops, hill training loops, race training as well as more social / steady paced rides.
Visit our site at bit.ly/Blaydon
Or bit.ly/joinBCC to join us
Check our events tab in Facebook for our latest event schedule. Non members are more than welcome to join us for a few rides to see what the club is like, no fuss no hassle it’s as easy as just letting us know via a post on the event page that you can make it
We hope to see some new faces in the coming weeks, the return of some riders we seen last year and the regular faces.
Please share this with your friends or with someone who may be interested
Please be aware that out facebook events box to the right hand side of the website has failed, this is due to a 3rd party error with some code that’s used on the website. We’ll try to fix this asap in the meantime all events can be found at bit.ly/blaydonevents
As most of you know we held a club meeting on Monday the 23rd Februrary at Blaydon Rugby Club. Here is a summary of what went on and anything that came of it.
Membership – (updated to time of writing) Currently we stand at 76 members. With 8 expired, 2 of which have moved away from the area and we expect another of those to re-join soon. That puts up 10-15 up from our peak membership for the whole of 2014 with the vast majority returning.
Club Accounts Kevin gave a brief description and run down of money in and money out. Most money that went in has went out, a few minor expenses such as stationary and plug-ins for the website have been used. We’re keeping funds until we can find something ultimately in the best interests of the club. Our biggest outgoings were club kit. Asides affiliation costs most membership funds remain in the bank. Anyone who wishes to check out accounts is more than welcome to with some notice so we can get you what you want to see.
Race Team Paul gave us a quick run down of the clubs new Time Trial and Race Team, it’s new, we’ve done a few Croft sessions, and it’s a work in progress. To race you must have a SILVER British Cycling Membership and a race license. (cost is in the area of £70 to race). We are also affiliated with CTT enabling us as a club to take part in certain TT events. Anyone wishing to join the race team please join our race Facebook group, talk to one of the Blaydon Racers or contact our new race lead, Ben.
Affiliations it was pointed out who we are affiliated with. The two main ones are British Cycling and CTT (Cycling Time Trials)
Sponsorship it was suggested we should seek sponsors. The room agreed that the moment we are self sufficient, we may not immediately seek a ‘Jersey Sponsor’ but if we run events we may explore than avenue.
Website and Social Media it was generally agreed that out website and social media output was adequate.
Club Trips Ayr and Spain this year, a strong interest in club trips in the future. They’re to be inclusive so we won’t designate trips as a ‘fast lads holiday’ or suchlike. We need to work on being inclusive to all both on this as well as in club rides.
Club Runs – minor alterations to club runs may take place, we will take advantage of a slightly earlier start (8-830 for fondo rides) and club rides will gradually become 8:45 for 9. Development rides may also be altered in due course depending on route and location.
We also want to encourage all on club rides and remove any perceived stigma that it is a ‘fast’ ride. Club rides are at the heart of the club, they must be inclusive yet remain at a standard that will satisfy the majority. It was agreed that people will take turns in helping out and we’ll try to adopt an approach where we can keep people happy this as we mentioned relies on numbers and the reputation of these rides picking up. This will be a continual work in progress, it may mean staggered start times slightly (a few minutes head start for some) or a more neutral ride start so no-one flies off at the start. Again a work in progress and we’ll trial a few ideas, any additional suggestions are more than welcome.
Development / Easy Wheelers – Iain was appointed as our Development lead. We discussed assigning new members to the club a mentor for rides so they will have someone to ride with and get to know. This as well as we need a pool of volunteers for both rides so Ride Leaders are not always committed to the Easy Wheelers or Development rides and can pursue their personal goals more. All of these will be lead out and developed by the new ride lead.
We are also going to look into a basic maintenance course and a session to educate riders on pre-ride checks, and keeping their bike in good working order following mechanical problems on rides.
Club Kit – Suggestions were made to get a gillet for spring and autumn, enquiries to be made on this. Caps are another possibility and we’ll do our best to get caps ordered if possible in the near future. Again enquries to be made.
Ride standards – when we have new members especially, and on all club rides (additional to Development Rides) a pre-ride briefing, any known hazards (e.g. A ‘surface dressed’ road) , a head count, information on where we are stopping.
Additionally on development rides an explanation of the various hand signals and calls such as hazard reporting, stopping, and changes of direction.
Other Business – Mountain bike rides, (down the tracks and to parkhead station etc etc) I am happy to lead these, again I may need some help. so that is in the works. They are likely to coincide with development ride weeks so club weeks are kept clear.
Parking at our meeting point of La Taverna/Michelangelo was discussed. Due to a new car park layout the parking has been slightly reduced. Both premises are very busy at weekends and we wish to minimize cars in the car park. The management have been VERY good to us since the club started. We want to encourage riding to rides. for some this is not possible. Parking is suggested at Ryton Rugby Club, Newburn Riverside or just off Newburn Bridge road (king Oswald Drive) and for you to ride along. We strongly encourage either of the above options so we can maintain a good working relationship with La Taverna and continue to meet there.
It’s come to the clubs attention again that there’s a rise in cycle thefts and burglaries within the clubs catchment area or we’ve heard of cycle security and advice in the wider news and online cycling community.
We’ve blogged before about cycle security but there’s never a wrong time to help out and give advice.
If you’ve any further questions and want to know more, ask us as a club, comment below on this article or you can contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team for crime prevention advice.
Keep a record of the serial number (usually found on the bottom bracket under your crank)
Write down a description of the bike and any accessories and take a photo.
Register your bike online with immobilise or another local system if there’s one available
Keep your bike locked at all times when you’re not with it, even if you’re just popping in the shop for a bottle of water or a loaf of bread is enough time for the opportunist thief. Even a minimal security “cafe lock” is better than nothing. If you’re leaving it for any length of time (such as at work) buy a “sold secure” (rated from
Bronze through to gold) lock, and lock your bike through the frame and wheels to an object that can’t be moved or broken (take care not to block any exits or paths though)
You should also remove any accessories such as GPS computers, lights or panniers as they’re easy targets for the opportunistic thief.
When your locked up in public consider your surroundings, look for somewhere with high footfall, lights and ideally CCTV.
Get your bike marked, you can etch certain frames with your details or buy specialist DNA/Smartwater kits or UV chemical etching kits, these pair your bike with a unique ID number on a national database.
At home and in the shed:
If your bike is in the house keep them away from main entrances and out of sight, if they’re in the main hallway keep your door locked as it only takes seconds for someone to walk in and take your bike.
If your bike is in the house keep it out of sight if possible , if it’s on display in the front window it’s being advertised.
If you have something to lock it to in the house consider
Doing that as an extra measure.
If you keep your bike in a shed or garage bolt the bikes to the ground with a ground anchor and heavy chain (like a motorbike chain), again the more you pay generally
The better the lock, look for the sold secure or Thatcham (motor vehicle standard) approved locks.
If you can’t do this (wood floor for example) chain your bike to other objects such as a lawnmower or other garden equipment if anything else this makes moving the bike annoying as well As noisy.
If you’ve a garden shed consider using anti-theft bolts and hinges on the door to make it harder to open with tools, if using a padlock to lock the door again look for secure rated Locks.
Consider fitting a shed alarm, these can either work with a motion sensor, with a cable when it’s cut or as a contact alarm which goes off if a door is opened, there’s so many different types of alarms, look in your local DIY shop for a selection, alarms start at under £10 so they’re a cheap addition. Finally just as you would your house double check you’ve locked up before you leave.
Technology is a wonderful thing, we’ve got our phones, cameras and the Internet but to the organised criminal it’s as good as a glossy catalogue. A big advance in mobile and cycling technology is GPS, it’ll show you where you took a photo, where you have been and where you need to go. But to a thief it’s showing them what you have and where. You’ll put your rides on strava, post an Instagram photo and then say you’re away for the weekend, all pinned down to within a few feet of your location.
On ride tracking services, set a privacy zone around your house or office (this usually blanks out surrounding streets) if your service doesn’t offer privacy simply start your ride at the end of the street or just down the road at varying locations.
On photo sites such as Instagram where they give the option of geotagging of images (pictures with GPS data attached) be mindful of where you tag images, especially at or around your home.
On social media such as Twitter be mindful of what posts you tag with your location, be mindful of who your audience is and be mindful of advertising the fact you are not around.
With the right combination of photos, maps and information organised cycle thieves are targeting expensive cyclists. Take the simple steps above to help reduce the risk.
Another tactic recently employed by potential thieves is to create bogus profiles and befriend local cyclists, they’ll message you for cycling advice hoping you’ll add them (sometimes saying things like ‘they’re new to the area’) or they’ll simply friend request you, typically their profiles don’t have a lot of information on and have stock cycling images in open albums, or they’ll try the classic young attractive cyclist pictures to lure you in!
We’re not saying everyone new to the area or who adds you is a potential thief but do consider who you’re adding, consider mutual friends, their location and the look of their profile, if in doubt leave them out.