How one Wheeler fills the gap between work and wheeling

We have our very own Stava artist who between wheeling and work manages to create some amazing doodles! In fact, this Wheeler is now a prize winner and rightly so! Having spent many days over many miles to create these amusing pieces, as a club we think it’s well deserved. This Wheeler won first place in the Strava art competition organised by the Bristol Cycle Festival for the piece called “Fowl Play”.

Well done Ant, we are proud to have you as a Wheeler but, we can’t decide if one of your doodles is a profile of Jimmy Hill, Bruce Forsyth with a flat top and sideburns or Steve Wright (in the afternoon)? Perhaps you could let us know. If you’d like to keep up to date with Ant and his doodling antics you can follow Ant on Strava.

6 Wheelers Support Local Fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Research

A big thank you needs to be expressed to the 6, Woodmancote Wheelers who volunteered to support our local Greene King pub with their fundraiser.
Namely: Symon Tomlinson, David Cook, Rachael and Dan Frost, Tony Broad and Neil Hamill.
The brewery had organised a nationwide event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research, over the weekend of 30th Sept – 2nd Oct.
Each of their chosen 80 pubs had a target of riding 360 miles, or an 80th of the Around The World total mileage; not sure about their calculations, but hey!
Locals, staff and more than one cycle club were asked to contribute by accepting a half hour time slot per person on The Apple Tree’s own exercise bike.
Wheelers contributed to the available 6 slots on Sunday 2nd October and excelled themselves by riding a total of 91km in 3 hours – that’s 56 miles!
I can tell you, averaging 18.5 mph was no easy task on an 80’s exercise bike with flat pedals, a rickety frame and limited adjustments for resistance and saddle height.
Not to mention its location in the corner of the pub in front of fruit machines and their wide screen tv, continuously streaming the footie, with little more than a desk fan to keep you cool!
Having been told by Laura, “the most anyone had ridden in 30 minute over the weekend was 17km”, the intrepid Wheelers were psyched-up, we do love a challenge!
Or should I say Dan loves one, he managed to narrowly beat that bike record as did Tony who followed him, leaving a pool of sweat to mark their efforts.
Excellent work boys!
You will be interested to learn, I have just received totals from Laura who tells me the pub actually cycled 416 miles, well over their quota for the weekend.
More impressively they have “so far raised £940.00 for Macmillan Cancer Research and the donations are still coming in!”
A special mention to Digger, Elliott and Heidi who came up to support or should I say watch the footie and have a beer whilst others suffered!
I’d like to pass on the thanks which have been extended by Laura and the Apple Tree management for all those who contributed
Well Done Wheelers!
rachael dan
 tony neil

Ride London 2016… Wheelers ride again!


Ride London is the biggest and best closed road sportive held in the UK each year. Woodmancote Wheelers have secured an entry for a team of four riders on the sportive in 2016! This is a truly great cycle sportive and is often voted in the top 10 must do events globally. The route heads through Central London on closed roads, before heading out into the Surrey hills to take on the famous Leith and Box Hill. Take a look at the Ride London website for more information.

When & Where?

Sunday 31 July, starting at the Olympic Park in East London and finishing on The Mall in front of Lizzie’s gaff.

The Detail…

Our team needs to consist of four riders and each rider must be a current British Cycling member (it’s not too late to join to qualify…).

Each rider within the team must pay their own entry fee (£58) and complete their own online entry form; all 4 riders in the team must have completed and paid for their entry by 17:00 on Friday 27 April.

I have an entry link to the registration console, which I will circulate to the members of the WWCC team to complete their entries.

This is an exceptionally well run event but please note it does require some logistical planning as you need to sign on for registration the day before at Excel and it will require team members to arrange travel down to London and accommodation the night before the event – you will need to be at the start anytime after 6.30am.

Are you interested?

If you would like to represent the club and take part in Ride London 2016, please let me know by putting a comment below or dropping me an email. If we have more than four people wishing to take a place, then a ballot will be held.

Unfortunately we did not secure a mixed team entry in our application, so I’m sorry but we cannot include any of our lady members due to strict organiser rules.

Given the timetable outlined above, you need to register your interest by Tuesday 6 April so that I have time to arrange a ballot if required, plus allowing sufficient time for the successful team members to registered their entry, including application to British Cycling membership if required. Note you need to be able to commit to the weekend as it is not possible to transfer places later.

To get a flavour of what to expect, you can also take a look at our video from last year.



Forget the Oscars…… the Suffershire Cycle Endurance ‘Knighthoods’ go to Symon Tomlinson & Jeremy Cooper!

Two worthy Woodmancote Wheelers have been awarded the title ‘Knights of Sufferlandria.’

knight shield

They spent Sunday cycling for 10 straight hours on static Wattbikes at Cheltenham’s Suffershire Indoor Cycling.

Product Description:

“There are those who know how to suffer. And there are those who do not know how to suffer.

There are those who look pain in the face and laugh. There are those who can’t look pain in the face because pain is too scared to look up from the pounding it’s getting.

Yes, there are Sufferlandrians. And then there are Knights of Sufferlandria.

To be awarded the highest honour accorded by the  Sufferlandrian Ministry of Madness, one must simply do 10 Sufferfest videos, back-to-back.”


WWCC Knights symon 2 jeremy 2 symon 1

The boys joined several others at the event, surrounded by salt pills, potions, water bottles and various forms of cycling ‘snackage.’

The intrepid duo surrendered their day of rest to put themselves through cycling torture.

Big respect to the fearless Wheelers who started at 8am and finished the event early evening after a long day in the saddle(s) – bit of seat swapping shenanigans observed when I was there.

To quote Symon following the ordeal, “I feel numb in a few places and my legs are shot to bits.”

Although his watt output dropped a little over the 10 hours Symon says he covered 172 miles – pretty impressive on a static bike!

Jeremy says he averaged 176 watts over the 10 hours and covered 264km.

Just as well they didn’t have to get down on one knee to receive their award!


WWCC Spring Classic 2016

Time to mark 17 April in your calendar…


The Woodmancote Wheelers Spring Classic!

100km route on many roads previously not ridden on club rides. In the spirit of the spring classic monuments, the WWCC classic will provide a good challenge with a real sense of achievement.

There will be a midway stop to enjoy coffee and cake, before climbing back on your bike and taking on the second half of this classic Cotswold ride.

Take a look at the route and mark the date now.



Velothon Wales 2016

The second running of Velothon Wales will take place on Sunday 22nd May 2016 and there are already a few Wheelers (Nigel, Ryan and Paul) signed up via the pre-registration.

“Combining a closed road sportive alongside a UCI sanctioned professional race, the 2016 Velothon Wales promises to deliver a truly spectacular weekend of cycling. Up to 18,000 riders will roll across the start line in the heart of Cardiff and embark on a completely closed road cycling sportive that takes in some of Wales’ most breathtaking scenery. Offering a challenging route, Velothon Wales is a superb opportunity to test your endurance and also fundraise for a worthy cause if you wish.”

Anticipating there will be more Wheelers interested in taking part in this unique event I am posting the webpage link for Velothon Wales.

The cost of the event is £65 per rider for this fully supported closed road sportive.

If you plan to sign up or have already pre-registered an entry, please post in the comments below so we have an idea of how many from the club will be represented.





Suffershire in Cheltenham

Last month 8 Woodmancote Wheelers put themselves to the test at Suffershire in Cheltenham. For those of have not heard about Suffershire, it is a studio with 10 WattBikes, two big screens and a number of Sufferfest training programmes.

Ben who manages Suffershire invited the Wheelers to have a go and complete a functional threshold power test. An FTP test essentially tells you how much power you can produce for an hour and gives you an indication of how many watts per kilogram you are capable of. Note that World Tour professionals are in the region of 6W/kg.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.02.03Our session started with much banter whilst getting the WattBikes setup, Ben helped with our positions and showed us how to connect our heart rate monitors and phones to the bikes so that we could record the results.

We were then into a 20 minute Team Sky warm-up, which as the name suggests is actually pretty tough as you increase your cadence and complete some 6-second sprints to get you ready for the actual FTP test. With a quick break for drinks and encouragement, Ben reminded us that he had a bucket should we need it during the FTP test…

Now it was time to get serious and start the FTP test. The idea is that you ride hard for 20 minutes at a power output that you can sustain, maintaining an even pace and hopefully increasing your power output towards the end.

The experience of pushing yourself beyond your usual limits is both exciting and horrible in equal measure; however sharing the experience with fellow Wheelers ensured that no-one gave up and we all finished exhausted but happy!

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.01.01After many jelly babies were consumed it was back on the bikes to see who could produce the most power in 6 seconds. At this point it all became rather competitive as the Club Captain refused to accept his loss to other Wheelers despite his legs trembling with lactate and them refusing to pedal any faster! Peak power in excess of 1300 watts were seen on the evening!


For those of us that took part the chart below gives an indication of where we stack up against other cyclists.


Ride for Ryder Leckhampton

I was out on a light spin one day and bumped into an old friend who made me aware of the charity event for Sue Ryder in July:

Ride for Ryder Leckhampton

  • Date: 12 July 2015
  • Location: Burley Fields, Church Lane, Leckhampton GL51 4XT

With a reasonable entry fee I registered with the intention of completing 2 laps of a 35 mile route, 70 in total and a nice little training ride for a 100 mile ride I have coming up in August – Ride London. Setting off on the day it was a bit drizzly and a little windy but it was forecast to brighten up later in the day although the wind wasn’t going to ease off!


Now, I was expecting to ride this route alone as a lone Wheeler or billy no mates as I like to call it, but shortly after registration I bumped into a fellow Woodmancote Wheeler, Mr Alex Claridge who’d stepped in to fill the boots of another rider in the Knight Frank team (sponsors of the event). Alex asked if I’d like to join them, I gladly accepted knowing that Alex is a seasoned rider and they would all probably drag me along nicely! The pace was fast at times and my plan kind of worked on the whole until we hit The Little Fxxxxr … it get’s me every time but I soon caught them up again as they eased up the pace a little. On to the finish and a welcome cuppa (cheers Alex) and that was the first lap done!

After a 20 min rest it was time to crack-on with the 2nd lap. Shortly after starting off again, alone this time, I caught up with a chap called Will from Stroud and asked if he was on the 2nd lap of the same ride, he was so I asked him if he’d like some company, he did and so off we went! This lap was a somewhat welcome lighter pace, there was no way I could maintain the pace of the first lap without the Knight Frank team! Along with the wind this lap was a little bit wetter with the rain than the first but it wasn’t unpleasant given the humid temperatures. I split with Will at The Little Fxxxxr but not because of the climb this time, I stopped for some refreshment at the Red Lion, a popular spot by the river Severn for all the riders today! And no I didn’t sneak in a pint, well I did but it wasn’t lager or cider, just an ice cold orange and soda which was very refreshing at the time as the blazing sun had decided to blister up shortly before we arrived there.


So I set off again and tackled The Little Fxxxxr at a reasonable pace this time …my own! I was off again to the finish! With about 5 miles to go I noticed a regular pulsing bump under my butt through my saddle, no facetious comments there please! Suspecting I might have a puncture I stopped to check the back wheel and noticed 2 bald patches with the inner tube bulging out of the tyre! Now I’m thinking I’ll just spin to finish with fingers crossed I won’t get a blow out. Two miles to go and guess what happened next >< hardly surprising really considering I had 120 psi in the back wheel! With about a mile and a half to go I changed the inner tube and pumped it to about 60 psi in the hope that would be less likely to blow before the finish, fortunately it was at the this point my old mate who told me about the event in the first place passed by and stopped to lend a helping hand. We cruised to the finish, had a cup of tea and picked up our medals, job done!


It was a great ride and not as billy no mates as I was expecting… I will definitely be doing this again next year if I can! Oh and as a bonus I managed to raise over £200 for Sue Ryder so thank you all so much for your donations.

300 in 1 Day… or should that be 1 night!

 In early June a short article was posted on the pending adventure that Cookie and myself were about to embark on in Sweden and now its time for the post ride update…

On the 11 June we headed down to Heathrow with bike boxes packed to meet our fellow team members riding for the charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer. After some challenges with officious BA check in staff and overweight baggage we eventually boarded our flight to Stockholm. We were finally on our way to ride the 50th running of the world-renowned Vätternrundan, a 300km ride around a very large lake in the heartland of Scandinavia. To make things interesting we would set off at 9:30 in the evening of the 12 June and cycle through the night, arriving back at our base in Motala around 10:30 the next morning.

Circa 25,000 riders took part with over 24,000 finishing including Cookie and myself! Rather than write a lot here about the ride and experience, I am just going to share our video story… enjoy!