Nice to see a thriving cycling club across the pond

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Anonymous's picture

Hi to my fellow cycling enthusiasts in New York. What with the ongoing success of Lance Armstrong and my recent attendance on a cycle maintenance course, where the many technical innovations coming out of the states were discussed, its time I woke up to the fact that not all Americans drive around in gas guzzling cars scaring pedestrians to death. Besides that’s a stereotype which has no more validity then all Englishmen wear bowler hats and talk like Tony Blair or the Beatles.
I live on the east coast of England in a small seaside town called Southwold. It is great cycling country. It is criss crossed with small well-surfaced country lanes and not very hilly. The prevailing wind is south westerly which means most rides home when you are getting tired and hungry are wind assisted. Weather is pretty good as well. Summer is warm (not usually to hot) and spring and autumn (fall) pleasant. We are the driest region of the UK so little rain to worry about. Winter lasts from December to March and can be mild. The little snow we do get comes in January and February although in recent years even this has been insignificant.
I belong to a local cycle club called the Blyth Wheelers, named after the river estuary that we live around. We are not a competition cycling club. We mainly ride out over the weekends although we do have a retired members section that go out midweek, usually to one of the many country pubs that are in the area. Members have recently been cycling in Scotland, Holland, Germany, France and Italy. One of our older female members is currently touring in South America. She has also toured India and Indo China. She is a retired Schoolteacher and keeps us all in order as the club secretary. Next year we are planning two Lands End to John o Groats (one end of Britain to the other) Cycle rides. Two groups are planned one taking 3 weeks and the other two. Members of your club are more then welcome to join us. We are also planning a weeks cycling in Italy at the Riccione Cycling Hotels. it’s worth a look and once again your members are welcome to join us.
If any members would like to reply to this message then I and other club members would love to hear from you. Personally I would love as much info as possible about cycling in New York and the surrounding area as I am considering a trip over next year.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from you.
John Dawson

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
End-to-end: NYCCers been there; done that.


As it happens, several members of our club have ridden the Land's End to John O'Groats ride.

We have a number of English men in the club. They all ride on the right hand side of the road, and I haven't heard one of them yell ""Lorry!,""...not even at a club member named Lori or Lauri.


Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
Perhaps a few Englishwomen as well . . .

Certainly one, although I have been here a long time and am proud (most of the time) to be a citizen.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Hello to you in Suffolk

Greetings to John in Suffolk from one of the Englishmen that Richard Rosenthal refers to. And, as Judith points out, there are some Englishwomen in the club too.

It's a while since I've ridden in Suffolk (England, as opposed to Long Island), but enjoyed riding into a glorious sunrise on two occasions on the annual overnight, 116 miles, Dunwych Dynamo from east London, through Epping Forest, out into the depths of Essex and on into Suffolk, going through such pretty villages. Southwold is just up the road from Dunwych and home to one of my favourite breweries - Adnams. I've not had a dop of that for a couple of years. And it is close to the home of the Aldeborough Music Festival, founded by Benjamin Britten.

The Dunwych Dynamo is always held on a Saturday night in June, as close to a full moon as possible. At that time of year, you can figure on a little over six hours between sunset on the Saturday night and sunrise on the Sunday morning. And the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest. As you look north, you always see glimmers of daylight throughout the night, provided the weather is clear. Once out of London, you are on largely unlit country lanes, but with a full moon, it's not bad. But lights and spare batteries are compulsory.

When I did the ride in the early 1990s, it was well organised with rest and food stops every 25 miles or so, plus sag, mechanical and first aid support if needed. But I gather these days, riders are completely on their own, which is probably not so good for an overnight ride, otherwise I would heartily recommend it to fellow NYCC members.

I am also one of the club members that have ridden an End-to-End ride. We did it in the last five days of August in 1998, two years before I moved to New York, averaging 173 miles a day. We used road bikes with our equipment and luggage in a van, which acted as our sag wagon. We managed to persuade people to drive the van and support us for five days. And, with a small deviation, we went the same route that the record holders normally take, although the first 170 miles of it is A30 and A38 all the way to somewhere on the coast just north of Weston Supermare - not nice at all. Riding between Liverpool and Manchester was all on very busy roads too. But riding over Shap Pass was nice, as were thy the Highlands and the northeast of coast of Scotland, past Inverness and over the spectacular Cromarty Firth and past the Glenmorangie distillery. Yes, we really did ride past without stopping!

Normally, the prevailing wind direction is southwesterly but, as luck would have it, we rode into an easterly or northeasterly wind on all five days, but didn't see a drop of rain for the whole 867 miles. The day after the ride finished, the wind switched back the other way. And one week later, when strong southwesterly gales swept across the UK, two people from the army made an attempt at the Tandem record and got within minutes of it.

In case you are wondering, the End-to-End record is under 48 hours. I forget the exact statistics. Riders stop once for a 15-minutes naps and then get going again, eating and drinking in the saddle.

We, along with the riders that did it in England, are planning to recreate the experience in the last five days of August 2008, to mark the 10th anniversary of our stupidity. Hopefully, the weather won't repeat its experience as well.

Take a look around the club's site and visit the ride library and look at the ride listings, which will give you a good idea of what riding in an around New York and further afield is like.

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