Weekly News 16/05/22 to 22/05/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

It was all Deja Vu this week with another early start and another ride that ended up in Stokesley. The early start was needed to be able to get to Crathorne for the start of  the club’s 10 mile time trial, the little trip to Stokesley just sort of happened as a coffee stop was called for.

Peter, Steve and Sean got to the Golden Lion although Sean only just made it by walking up Hart lane having dropped his chain but that was soon fixed and although a bit of a niggle with his bike he decided to set off and ‘see how it goes’. And mostly it went ok but I think it’s fair to say that it’s in need of attention.

The route there was just straight through Stockton to Yarm and arriving at Crathorne just in time for the off. Steve did some Marshalling by checking lights and pushing off the TTers. Peter and Sean’s services were not required though so they had a nice sit down and a cup of coffee in the old Crathorne reading room. A building that also once served as a library. You had to pay a monthly subscription of 1 old penny to be use the building as a reading room. But it cost 2 old pennys to join the library. Guess you had to bring your own reading material if you weren’t a library member. There are no books now however so having had some refreshments the only thing to do to pass the time was to go and watch the action at the start of the TT. Steve did a very good job it has to be said.

With the last of the riders off along the A19 the Sunday ride could resume and it was decided to head towards Great Ayton via Hutton Rudby and back along the chicken run following  the same route as last week’s ride and revisiting the Costa cafe again. More Deja Vu.

Then it was back through the Boro and along the Tees road with wind assistance all the way back to town.

In total it was about 55 miles with no hills to talk about and an average speed of around 14/15 ish.

Club/Racing News

On Wednesday night, it was the 2nd Croft 10 Mile TT in the series, which seen riders set off in 30sec intervals round 5 laps of the Croft Motor Circuit.  There was a slight breeze but overall the conditions were good.  Although only 114 riders took part as the weather was forecast rain which never showed.  But this didn’t put off two Hartlepool CC riders, with great rides from Lee Morley in 9th place in 23:45 and Steve Scanlon in 35th place in 26:05.  Well done to both for flying the HCC colours on such a great event round a traffic free course.  The event was won by Matthew Brennan of Team Bottrill, aged 16 in 20:14.  The next event is 15th June.

On Sunday, Hartlepool CC Hosted the 10 Mile Open TT event from Crathorne on the A19 to the Tontine and back.  This is known to be a very fast course, but with a strong headwind going out, the riders had to push hard with the wind behind them on the return to put a good time on the board.  Two Hartlepool CC riders took part, out of a field of 42 starters.  Paul Thirling came in 5th in 22:08 and Richie Grant in 31st in 25:37.  Great rides guys and thanks for supporting the clubs 10 mile event!  The event was won by Marcel Schubert in 19:41.  The next HCC hosted event is the Mens and Womens National Championship 50 Mile Open TT on the 26th June.

Strava Club Leaderboard

This week The Thirlwind took the top spot in the leaderboard with 203.4 miles, Lee Morley was 2nd with 123.9 miles and Max.Headwind in 3rd with 113.3 miles and also the highest elevation gain with 6,089 ft of climbing.  Superb guys, well done!  We would also like to say a big well done to Peter Sanderson for just missing out on the top 3 in 4th spot with 109.9 miles.  23 riders put miles on the board this week, well done to everyone!

Weekly News 09/05/22 to 15/05/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

The weather in the morning did not bode well for today’s ride. Dull with a hint of damp in the air and a poor forecast promising rain later. But today was a bit special in terms of the club Sunday rides. The plan was to ride to Stokesley and take part in the annual Stokesley charity ride. The first event since the days of COVID and this year in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Another special thing about today’s ride was the early start, registration for the event was 9:15-9:45, so a 7:30 start was necessary in order to ride through to Stokesley in time. It was also special due to Trevor Jones joining in for the day.
So, Steve S,  Matt, Peter and Trevor met at the GL at 7:30 and despite the forecast decided to set off to Stokesley and take it from there. Bailing out in case of rain was a definite option.
The direct route to Stokesley was taken along the A689, A19 and then straight up through the Boro. Perhaps the start time was a bit early as it had just turned 9:00 as Stokesley was reached mainly due to Trevor setting a quick pace at the front.  The group were joined by Steve B who was waiting outside Stokesley town hall for the sign on.
With an hour to kill before the start of the event a visit to ye olde Costa coffee shope was necessary. The Stokesley Costa was the first to open in the country, starting business just after the town was founded by the ancient Picts as a middle class enclave in the Tees Valley. Circa 1932. But despite that the pastry offerings were still remarkably fresh. But all good things must come to an end and before long it was time to get back on the bikes.
Around 200 riders took part in the charity event and by the look of it most were on e bikes. The group start soon thinned out as they wound their way along the pleasant lanes towards Clay Bank which thinned the riders out further. Once over the bank and down the other side the route was towards the pub at Potto village, it’s called the big meat eater steak fest grill or something like that, so not a place for the vegetarian and it is a well recorded fact that vegans have been known to faint just walking past.  This was the second feed station and chocolate bars and bananas were on offer. Where’s the beef?
After this it was down and up at Hutton Rudby and then along the chicken run ( There are no chickens??!!? ) From there it was back to Stokesley to collect certificates to mark the occasion.
Trevor then led the way back with the aim of ending up at Wolviston for a debrief but as Portrack was approached the return stop off was changed to Cowpen Bewley and the Three Horse Shoes. Unfortunately nobody told Trevor who was at the front and turned off along the imaginatively named New Road towards Billingham and never seen again.
So refreshed by beer coffee and crisps Steve B headed back toward Stockton while Peter Steve S and Matt took the Greatham track back to town.
The ride in total was around 72 miles at 15/16 average and a fair few ups and downs. And despite earlier concerns the day stayed dry so all in all a great day out.

Club/Racing News

On Saturday Phil Wright competed in the Melton Olympic CC (Slowest 120 Riders)(Inc VTTA East Mids) 25 Mile TT on the A25/34.  This was a fairly undulating course near Nottingham and 61 riders took part.  Phil finishing in a great time of 1:06:59 and averaged 22.394 mph.  Well done Phil!

The event was won by William Perrett in a time of 46:13 with an average speed of 32.456 mph.

This Sunday 6 members took part in the Stokesley Charity Bike ride.  This was a 30 mile ride covering a route from and back to Stokesley Town Hall, taking in Clay Bank.  This was in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance and Steve S, Matt, Peter, Trevor, Steve B and Graeme Coates all enjoyed the event with over 200 cyclists taking part.


Strava Club Leaderboard

This week Stephen G Rhodes took the top spot in the leaderboard with 244.6 miles, Trevor Jones was 2nd with 221.7 miles and The Thirlwind 3rd with 220.7 miles.  Superb miles guys, well done!  We would also like to say a big well done to Matt Johnson for riding 147.3 miles and taking 4th spot and also to Stuart Summerside for cycling a massive 13,886 ft elevation for the week.  Well done guys!

Weekly News 02/05/22 to 08/05/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

This Sunday, some of the usual group members were either taking part in the Stockton Spoco 23 Mile TT event or sunning it up on holiday.  Therefore that left Matt Johnson and Paul Sefton as the only other usual group riders to get out for a couple of solo rides.  Matt riding a descent 33 mile on his new ‘gravel’ machine with some off roading skills required, with a route up towards Murton and back.  Well done Matt for picking up the Local Legend for the H2H Full Length Northbound (Hart to Haswell).  Paul Seftons ride took in a road route towards Houghton-le-Spring and back to Peterlee over 24 miles.  Well done to both!

Club/Racing News

This Sunday two HCC riders took part in the Stockton Wheelers SPOCO 23 Mile TT event.  This was the first HCC Club Championship event of the Season and took riders from Bishopton up towards Stainton and then left towards Sadberge and then left again through Redmarshall and back to Bishopton, just short of  2 laps.  This being a very undulating and hilly course, with good climbs towards Stainton and up to the turn at Sadberge.   The early morning fog at 3 Deg C wasn’t enough to deter the riders, and it soon warmed up and was nice and sunny prior to the start.

33 riders took part and this year the event was split between the Road Bike and Time Trial Bike categories.  Phil Wright (Time Trial bike category) and Steve Scanlon (Road bike category) put in great efforts to finish as follows, Phil in 1:16:30 and Steve in 1:10:58.   Well done to both Phil and Steve for winning the SPOCO Handicap Cup and the Edward Walker SPOCO Cup respectively!

The Road bike category was won by Rob Carter in 52.22 and the Time Trial bike category was won by Marcel Schubert in 51:03.  Stockton Wheelers picked up the Team prize with a total time of 3:00:46 with 3 counting riders.


Lee Morley has had a great start to the time trial season and on Sunday, competed in the Drighlington BC 25 Mile TT on the V232/1 course which runs from Dishforth to Knayton and back.  Lee completed the course in 59:59 with a 25.0 mph average.  Well done to Lee!

51 riders took part and the event was won by Jack Levick in 48.27


One of our fellow riders taking a well earned break this week Sean Phillips, is taking in the sunshine and beautiful views in Lake Garda in Italy.  But cycling is never far away as Sean has been following the start of the Giro d’Italia.  Enjoy your holiday Sean!

Other HCC News

Trevor Jones topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard for the 2nd week running with a massive 262.6 miles.  Richard Nichol was 2nd with 176.7 miles and Steven Rhodes in 3rd place with 170.9 miles.  Other riders to note, well done again to Paul Sefton for getting more good miles in the bank and also to Peter Sanderson for cycling a total of 68.8 miles for the week, despite being away for the weekend.  This week there were 26 riders with miles on the board.  Well done to you all!

Weekly News 25/04/22 to 01/05/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

The early Spring bank holiday weather got off to a good start, with warm sunshine and fair breezes on Friday and Saturday. So all was boding well for Sunday. But as ever with the British weather, it is changeable and Sunday morning was grey with a noticeable westerly wind blowing. There had also been a bit of the damp stuff falling overnight. So only Sean and Peter were at the Golden Lion by 8:30. Destination unknown but as Sean had to be back for his dinner at 12:00 options were limited.

So the ride was out to the Devonport in Middleton one row and back. Matt, who had been held up caught up along Catcote Road but decided to do a solo ride instead which made for a cheap round in the Devonport.

Imagine if you can have a bike ride with no bragging rites. No Strava KOMs, no big hills, no massive distance covered. Just the simple pleasure of riding a bike made better by the fact that Hartlepool is close to open countryside with relatively traffic free lanes. Well that just about sums up today’s ride. The only down side being the poor food offering at the Devonport. It was lemon drizzle scones or crisps and crisps don’t go with coffee. It’s a fact. So Lemon drizzle it was.

The way back was around the airport to Yarm and then toward Hartburn and the leafy suburbs of Stockton.
The wind was now from behind and gave an easy roll back to town.

The ride was around 45 miles which is not bragging, just a fact and it was fairly flat at an easy pace.(well easy going down hill with wind from behind)


Other HCC News

Trevor Jones topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard with 211.1 miles.  The Thirlwind was 2nd with 129.7 miles and Phil Wright in 3rd place with 109.4 miles.  Other riders to note, well done to Paul Sefton for getting back out on the bike, Peter Sanderson for having a good week and totalling 95.2 miles and Lee Morley for consistantly getting 100 miles in each week.  This week there were 20 riders with miles on the board.  Well done to you all!

Club News – March/April 2022

Time Trialling Season Commences

The Time Trialling season commenced with the CWCC Hilly event on the 244/1R course around Stokesley on the 20th March.  Phil Wright was the only HCC entrant finishing in 55th position out of 74 entries in a time of 1:11:31.  The event was won by ex World Tour Star Harry Tanfield in a new course record of 44:24 !

On the 27th March, Darlington CC held a 25 mile TT on the T254/1R Catterick course.  This is an undulating course that runs parallel to the A1.  Again Phil Wright was the only entrant from HCC, finishing 35th out of 45 entries with a time of 1:11:31.  The event was won by George Peden in 49:10.

After two weeks of inactivity due to illness, Phil Wright returned to competition in the VTTA East Midlands 10 mile TT event on the A10/14 in 27:04 and finished 46th out of 80 entries.

In other news, Gary Hunt is yet to ride an event so far this season due to illness.  Best Wishes to Gary on his recovery.

Paul Thirling rode the Darlington Club Ten and he was second on the night in 22:36.  Great ride Paul!

Phil Wright has entered the National VTTA 10 Mile TT on the U7B near Dorchester on the 30th April.  Take care on the journey Phil and best of luck.


Club Tens (Club League) TT Events

The club ten events have now been entered onto the CTT Website.  Therefore, you can now enter online or on the night.   There are now 7 events and your best 5 qualify and these start on 25th May through to 13th July.  Please note there is no event on 15th June as this clashes with the Croft Tens.  Please see the Club Events 2022 page for all the latest details.  http://hartlepool-cycleclub.org/?page_id=1321


Croft Tens

Wednesday 20th April was the first event of this years series of Croft 10 Mile TT events.  This being the 7th year of this successful series of events around the motor circuit, with 7 events this year!  Two HCC riders took part and Lee Morley finished well in 16th in 24:28 and Steve Scanlon 57th in 27:46 out of 113 riders.


Phil Wright (below) in action on the DCC 25 mile TT on the 27th March….Well done Phil!

Lee Morley in action in the first event of the Croft Tens…

Steve Scanlon in action in the Croft Tens…


Weekly News 18/04/22 to 24/04/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

Just as the sunny weather continues to show, although still a bit nippy, this week HCC had a few members down through injury/illness.  Therefore, only Sean, Matt and Steve S met up at 9am from the Golden Lion and planned a ride North.  Sean was the route planner today and he didn’t disappoint, taking in the delights of Easington Colliery, Hawthorn, South Hetton, Haswell, Ludworth, Cassop and Kelloe.  All quiet and nice rolling roads.

We then came up the 15% Watch Bank climb up towards Trimdon crossroads and Seans chain came off, but it didn’t deter him and he fought on.  Matt then split from the group to go on an off roading adventure and Sean and Steve S took the tricky A19 crossing to Elwick cafe.  Two coffees and an extra large cookies were consumed on a bench and we were greeted by the famous Show Jumper ‘Hayley’, before heading home.

The ride was 40 miles at a steady 14mph avg with 2400ft climbing and took just under 3hrs.


Other HCC News

Meirion Hughes topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard with 202.8 miles.  The Thirlwind was 2nd with 182.5 miles and Trevor Jones in 3rd place with 180 miles.  This week there were 23 riders with miles on the board.  Well done to you all!

Weekly News 11/04/22 to 17/04/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

Easter weekend had brought with it some fine weather and an extended ride was in order to make the most of it. Usually the Sunday rides have been around 40- 45 miles but this week the cafe destination was Eppleby in leafy North Yorkshire. Another difference this week was that when we set off we were still heading for the original destination. Often things can change at the last minute. But this week Steve S, Matt, Sean and Peter met at 8:30 at the Golden Lion and set off out along Catcote Road, enjoying the earlier start and lack of traffic on the Easter Sunday. We met Steve B at Hartburn shops in Stockton and then took the scenic roads to Croft and beyond.

The rise in the road from Hurworth to Croft came as a reminder that we were still in Durham (the hilliest county in England) but once we had crossed the bridge we hit the really cycle friendly lanes of North Yorks rural idyll.  It is a good job that Steve B had turned out as he knows these lanes as well as the veins on the back of his hands. Getting us all safely to the Eppleby tea rooms. A Mecca for cyclists with a queue of mamils and mamilesses half way down the road. Bloody cyclist!
Coffee and cake and microwaved sausage sandwiches were consumed on a bench on the village green. The main debate being whether brown or white bread makes the best sausage sarnie. (Really there is no debate as everyone knows it’s white.)

On the way back we caught up with a bloke on an e bike who managed to stay with us all the way through Darlington and beyond. In fact he left us when Matt had to stop for a fiddle in the hedge, at least I think that’s what he said. Peter and Sean kept going however as the rest could soon catch them up. But they didn’t as the breakaway two were now out of site. Apparently breaking rule no 1 of the group ride. Which starts with a NEVER. I can’t remember the rest.
Anyhow the breakaway was soon caught and dropped again with the group coming back together at the Wynyard Golden Gates. From there it was an easy roll back to town with a stop at the Welly in Wolviston just so we could go over the rules again.

The ride was 65/70 miles depending where you started from but this wasn’t enough for Steve B who must have got lost on his way home as he ended up doing 100 miles. For those that are interested in statistics, the average speed was social and there was as much climbing as there was descending.

Weekly News 14/03/22 to 20/03/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

The Sunday rides are subject to meticulous planning. Every detail is considered regarding the route and the destination. And this Sunday was no exception. Steve S, Steve A, Sean, Peter and Matt where at the Golden Lion for 9:00 as arranged for the starting time, all as planned. Matt who had already done a ride up to Easington and back was sat eating his second breakfast and was now keen for his second bike ride of the day.  But just as we set off Peter got a call from Steve B, who was on his way to join us. There was nothing about that in the plan, so arrangements had to be made there and then. Which meant waiting for him on the A179. Nothing about that in the plan.
What was in the plan however was the expectation of some sunny dry weather. And with the wind behind us on the way to Trimdon and beyond the plan was coming together again.
The route went up to Kirk Merrington then straight back down again towards Old Eldon and Newton Aycliffe. But now it was a headwind and very noticeable. Matt had plotted a route on his Garmin to get us through Newton Aycliffe but Steve B was well at the front and lead us in a different direction, taking in the delights of the trading estate. However the roads were not busy that way and we got back to where we were heading and the hill up over the A1 towards Great Stainton and the planned cafe stop at Brafferton.
Sean had been asking ‘are we there yet’ all the way through Aycliffe so you can imagine his disappointment when we discovered the cafe was shut!! That wasn’t in the plan. So what to do now? Find a pub and fast as Sean was in a major sulk. Unfortunately the timing was all wrong as well, it was still too early for pubs to open. But by the time we got back to Wolviston they would be so the Welly was now to be the cafe/pub stop.
So after some beer Sean’s sulk had eased and all we had to do was get back along the A689 into the gusty headwind.
Around 50 miles at a steady average
I love it when a plan comes together.


Weekly News 28/02/22 to 06/03/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

A fine bright and dry morning came as a welcome relief after the wet and windy few weeks that was February.
The chill of the early March day was equally matched by a hint of warmth in the sunshine. So although not quite shorts weather it was a pleasant morning and Sean, Peter, Matt and Steve A met at the Golden Lion all keen to enjoy the ride out. The first 9:00 start of the year which allowed for the mileage to increase a bit.
The plan was to do a loop around the airport with a cafe stop somewhere around half way. At Wolviston another Steve, Steve B joined the ride, but wasn’t too happy with the route so after a while took himself off on his own way while the rest stuck to the way they knew towards Yarm and then the road towards Middleton One row which was the cafe stop destination. Seats outside the Devonport hotel in the sun made for a pleasant stop and as the coffee was being served Steve B turned up again having got there somehow. A rare offering at the Devonport is the lemon drizzle scones (who knew?)
So fed and with double coffees downed the route back was via Sadberge and Bishopton. Into an increasing headwind which made the ride back a bit of a chore at times.
The ride was about 47 miles at a steady sociable pace and left everyone hoping that the spring weather would continue for the next few Sunday’s and beyond.


Weekly News 31/01/22 to 06/02/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

The days are getting slowly longer, and the first spring flowers are starting to push their buds up through the mud. But the weather on today’s ride served as a stark reminder that it is still just the beginning of February and winter is still alive and kicking.

Strong winds were forecast along with showers but there was still a good turn out despite this. Phil, Matt, Sean, Peter and Steve met at the Golden Lion and planned a bit of a route, although with no definite destination. The idea was to ride out into the wind so the ride back would be a bit easier.

It was dry as we set off, but half way up the hill to Dalton riding into a hooley of a head wind, the rain started. It was Lashing down and by the time we had reached Elwick crossroads everyone was suffering with cold and wet. Peter was thinking of turning back but Sean assured him that it would blow over soon, which proved to be true as it was dry again going through Dalton.

From there we took the Greatham track and then went through Billingham heading for Norton. The original plan was to go to Yarm but as we passed Blackstone lane Sean suggested we go that way instead. So we took the lane along to Thorpe Thewells and decided to have a coffee stop at Wynyard station. Just a quickee as Peter had to be home early for family duties (and to ensure he got some dinner which would otherwise be donated to the neighbours dog).

So coffee and cake consumed and the wind behind us on the way back it would be plain sailing. Then the sky got dark and darker still and the A689 was the route back to town. Unfortunately just as we turned off the the Wolviston roundabout the sleet and hailstone started. Driven at us full pelt by the gale force wind. It was like being sandblasted in the face with shards of ice. Defoliation I think it’s called and some people pay good money for it. Fortunately it stopped just as abruptly as it started but left us cold and wet again just like when we started.

So a good turn out on a rough day and nothing more than a potter round Stockton to show for it. But everyone agreed it was just good to get out.

Other HCC News

Phil Wright topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard with 139.4 miles.  The Thirlwind was 2nd with 123.8 miles and Bryan Blakelock in 3rd place with 110.2 miles.  This week there were 17 riders with miles on the board.  Well done to you all!

Don’t forget the new season has begun and Club Membership fees are now due.  Please submit your forms/fee by Jan 31st, so we can update our members lists and ensure that your are eligible for club events.