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.

Annual Club Presentation Night 2022

The annual club presentation night will be held at the Causeway, Hartlepool on Thursday 24th February at 7pm. There will be a buffet and drinks vouchers will be provided.

Can you please let Phil Wright know if you will be attending at jagryk@aol.com or by Tel 07702244922

Please see the following page showing the 2021 Results

Also just a kind reminder to pay your annual membership fees on the night if you haven’t already done so. Thank you.

Weekly News 24/01/22 to 30/01/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

The kernel for this Sunday’s ride was formed by Sean’s militaristic fetish. He was keen to go to Seaham to see the sea, no not the sea, the statue of Tommy, a piece of sculpture that serves as a reminder of the hardships endured by the ordinary people when the power brokers go to war. I wondered if there was a term to describe this type of military art but when I researched it for this write up, (I am thorough) all that came up as a description of all things military was the word martial. So could it be martial art? I always thought that was people kicking each other, or big blokes in nappies pushing each other about. Anyway turns out it’s not martial art, it is simply military art. A term first used by a bloke called John Smythe in the late 1500s, so that must have been around quarter to four.

But it was half past nine when Peter made his way to the Golden Lion and he knew that he had to be safely back home by quarter to four because storm Corrie was on its way. But the day had certainly started well, bright and cold with little wind. This had certainly brought the crowds out as there was a proper gaggle waiting for the off. Today there was Sean, Steve, Matt, Peter, Phil and Tony.

Not only was Sean keen to see Tommy, he was also keen to go via Easington and up the hill there. So that’s the way we went. Up and down the various deans on the way to Seaham. Phil turned off at Hawthorn never to be seen again while the rest plowed on to the cafe stop.

Peter and Sean arrived in Seaham first a long way ahead of the others and after some debate, (mainly Sean telling Peter which cafe we would stop at) decided to go down to the harbour. Still no sign of the rest. So back up onto the front to see them coming along. It wasn’t until we got to the cafe that the reason for their delay became apparent.

Steve had lost half of his front wheel in a bizarre twig incident. Matt seemed to be blaming himself for this misfortune but sometimes accidents will just happen. Most people would be in a bit of a flap about this,but Steve is a cool customer and it didn’t put him off his bacon sarnie.  Peter suggested that Steve should get the train home as it looked like the wheel could buckle beyond its elastic limit and collapse at any moment. But Steve would have non of it.  So we set off on the shortest route home and stuck together. Mainly so we could witness Steve’s accident as his wheel failed in front of him.

Fortunately however we all made it back without further incident, and no doubt we will have a good laugh about this in years to come. Well not much else happens on these rides.
So all in all a good turn out, good company, and proof if its where needed that nobody gets left behind, not even Steve.


Other HCC News

The Thirlwind topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard with 139.6 miles.  Phil Wright was 2nd with 125.4 miles and Vanessa Cox in 3rd place with 115.2 miles.  This week there were 20 riders put 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.

Weekly News 17/01/22 to 23/01/22

HCC Sunday Social Cafe Ride

I don’t know what the collective noun is for a group of cyclists. Peleton perhaps, but that doesn’t count really because it’s French and is best used to describe a large group. Does five people count as a large group? Not in terms of Gov.uk guidance on avoiding spread of the lurgy it doesn’t. But for a HCC Sunday ride it is quite big. Everything is relative I suppose. Anyway it’s not a peleton because that’s French so what would best describe a small group of cyclists. Without swearing that is. Well I thought Gaggle would do it. I’m sure there will be some species that has already claimed gaggle, hens perhaps or stoats ? Well tough, cos from now on it is also being used to describe not very large groups of cyclists.

Today’s ride as usual set off from the Golden Lion and as Peter rode along Dunstan Road for the meet up, he noticed quite a gaggle of cyclists waiting for the 9:30 start. Out today we’re Sean, Peter, Steve and two new lads that turned the small group into a proper gaggle, Matt and another Steve. (Two Steve’s, this could get confusing).

It had been decided to head for the Aviator but instead of going through County Durham (the hilliest county in the country) we had decided to take the low road and keep it flat. So we headed for Wolviston along the A689 and then through Wynyard, rejoining the A689 for a short while with Matt now pushing the pace at the front. We turned off at Butterwick and then into Fishburn. Then it all went wrong. No one had approached the Aviator from this angle before and we had to rely on a passing jogger to help us out with directions. Well, thanks mate is all I would say, cos obviously he sent us the wrong way. But we did get a tour of the NetPark industrial estate, which made up for missing out on the Aviator.

Having visited No 4 in Sedgefield last week, this week we headed for Hardwick Park cafe. Coffee and cakes were consumed along with bacon sandwiches and the seat inside was much appreciated.

The return ride was back past the racetrack and along familiar lanes to Wolviston. Sean then diverted us towards the Tees Road and by now fortunately the wind was on our backs and it was an easy roll back through Seaton.  A great ride by all!


Other HCC News

Alan Lang topped this weeks HCC Strava Leaderboard with 126.6 miles.  The Thirlwind was 2nd with 117.3 miles and Bryan Blakelock in 3rd place with 110.7 miles.  Another wet, cold week which seen 18 riders put miles on the board.  Well done to 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.