There are several clubs in the area in and around Bristol. In fact, there are several more than there used to be, when the big three were Bristol RC, The South and The Severn. Nowadays you can’t move for bike boom clubs clogging up the lanes with their exotic bongo and shiny new bioracer kit. Of course, it’s great to see so many people on bikes, always, apart from when they flout etiquette or common sense in a flagrant manner. Like taking your entire club onto the Bristol-Bath Railway Path at 12pm on a Saturday afternoon to rum amongst the dogs and children and shoppers and leisure-seekers. Yes you, Tetbury Velos. That was a stupid idea. And the ‘s’ on the end of Velo is a bit wrong. But apart from that, well done for getting on bikes and doing it in a way that no-one had ever done before, because all those other clubs are old and crusty and new clubs which aren’t clubs are so much more invigorating and better.
The Severn was formed in 1932 and they’ve been going strong ever since. I was invited to their anniversary dinner at the BAWA this weekend gone, and it was a lovely event. It’s always nice to catch up with Bridget and Ian Boon; they do the timekeeping and other bits and bobs. Ian has a family connection to the original Fred Baker and Bridget was fast enough to ride 457 miles in 24 hours and beat all the men in the North Road 24. Tom Burtenshaw seemed to win most of the prizes. The Georgi clan won a few, which is no surprise now that Etienne has been snapped up by Team Wiggins and Pfeiffer is riding for the academy.
I’m still managing to ride my bike and get some miles in. It’s good fun, but it’s also a bit dispiriting when you ride faster than you’ve ridden for a couple of years up a long, steep climb and don’t even make it into your own top 25 on strava.