After not spending much time on the bike this year, and missing out on lots of club fun, it was great to be fully submerged in the Widger wonderfulness that was the AGM and Christmas party on 2nd December.
With thanks to Lisa, Rachel and Isobel, we turned a sad looking village hall into a fabulous party venue, fit for over 30 Widgers to celebrate the year gone by!
Tammy’s Chairpersons speech often evokes emotions for many of the members who attend, an opportunity to reflect on the great achievements of the year that many of our members have accomplished, reminder of the friendships, support and encouragement we receive from each other, and the strong desire to go out and smash our targets again next year!!
The AGM finished with an outstanding spread of festive foods and some pretty astonishing dance moves at the Disco!
We really do have a club full of hard working, inspiring, caring women. Merry Christmas.
The annual Holsworthy Peleton Big Charity bike ride, this year was in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance, and 20 or so Widgers gathered at the HP clubhouse along with other local clubs to raise funds and to enjoy a grand day out, making a total of around 100 riders going for either the 40 mile or 62 mile circuits.
The clever organisers at the cycle club had painstakingly gone around the courses indicating the route not with signs but with small painted arrows discreetly sprayed on the road to indicate upcoming turnings, leaving no doubt about the direction for those of us without the technology on board.
With an unseasonably soggy start, after the first few miles the rain jackets were packed away and the weather for the remainder of the ride was pleasant enough. Setting off in random groups and discovering quickly that some were better able to keep up a speedier pace than us and finding our ‘level’ when Sue and Val (more B steadies) arrived at the half-way point feeding station. The route was variable with only a couple of really annoying hills with some truly shocking potholes but on the whole the going was good. (Elevation 2,800ft in 40miles and 4,900ft in 62 miles.) Passing and then being passed by other groups, stopping for drink breaks, shouting words of encouragement and greetings and within a few miles of the end being caught up by one of the ‘sweepers’ riding with us and ensuring that we all got home.
This event was so friendly with a real feeling of community and the highlight for everyone was the feeding station at Tetcott….what a spectacle. Every food available sweets, savouries, homemade and bought cakes and pies, hot drinks and energy powder for water bottles. The best part was that the leftovers were transported back to base as it was all to be tackled again on arrival back at the clubhouse!
The end reward was a tick on the register that we had returned in one piece and presented with a DAA pen and a car sticker….what a prize! I think the top prize must go to the HPCC for a thoroughly well executed occasion. For me as a first-timer, I will be keen to repeat next year.
from Maz Stratton
Advertised as a gravel ride…turned out to be more of a mountain bike ride with some road bits! Even the guy handing out the T-shirts at the end said we would have been better doing it on a mountain bike. A couple of us did the Standard route – 60k; a couple of us did the Full – 76k. There is also an Extreme – 100k – for the truly hardy/foolhardy. At about mile 5 I wanted to cry as it was much more technical than I was expecting and than I’d done for over 30 years, and certainly never done on a gravel bike with 38mm tyres. But by the first food station, after a bit of road riding, having given myself a talking to and relaxed into it a bit, I did start to enjoy it a little more. But the ‘gravel’ sections involved large tree roots, rocks, some boulders, deep ruts only a few inches wider than your tyres, steep climbs on above surfaces, steep descents on above surfaces. As Sandra says: some stunning views after some very hideous climbs! There were some amazing views and the food stops were often and very plentiful – quiches, homity pie, brownies, flapjacks. Sandra even won her age group!! And even though I came second from last in mine, by the end I did quite enjoy it!
from Julie Gitlin
My First Ever Oke CC – from Nikki D
10 Miler Summer TT Race 2023
Starting from Bridestowe to Lewdown and back.
Being a member of the widgers I set myself different challenges each year and one of those was taking part in a TT race… this event is helping me with my fitness and also my training for the CHSW ride in July
It was a great experience entering my first TT, I was not nervous at all and just felt like it was a normal widger ride but just wanted to get ahead of those behind me and hopefully keep them behind me !! … I just kept my pedals turning and got around the course as quickly as I could ..
The widgers kindly offer us subsidy for the first two races, and I hope this encourages more of you to take part as it is a wonderful experience not only for yourself but being part of the “pink” posse !!!
Wow, what an amazing and fun experience! I was slightly anxious before the trip as I am relatively new to group cycling and in the last three years had only completed rides of up to 30 miles. However, there was absolutely no need to worry as on every ride everyone was so supportive, helpful and fun which enabled me to complete long distances and feel completely comfortable. The scenery is beautiful and the road surface, in the majority of cases, allows you to actually spend time admiring the views rather than looking out for potholes all the time! The organisation of the whole trip, from the flights to the hotel to the bike hire was brilliant and helped to take away a lot of the stress and worry about travelling abroad to a new destination – an enormous thank you to Frances Perkin for all the time and effort she put in to this. The hotel is ideally located for the starting point of a variety of rides, the staff were very friendly, the food extremely tasty and with the bike hire shop onsite this also makes life a lot easier collecting, returning and if you need anything tweaking with your bike. There was also plenty of time for non-cycling activities including tennis, visiting the local area and laying by the pool.
I enjoyed all the rides that I did but my favourite was returning from Andratx across the island – 65 miles with an elevation of 2000 feet – thanks to Sandra A. for excellent leading and Sue B., Helen M and Evelyn for their encouragement and for the laughter.
The Widgers are a great group of women, and I know it sounds cheesy, but they have inspired me to get out on my bike more and to fully realise that age is just a number! Thanks to all the Mallorcan Widgers, I can put faces to names now, you made me feel very welcome, I had a great time and will definitely be up for next year!
A record number of members came on our annual trip to Mallorca this year – 47!
The hotel coped admirably with our invasion. The weather was pretty perfect too, with warm sunny days and just a bit of breeze. Everyone rode most days in groups catering for all abilities and options. Some want to beat the mountains, ride long distances over the flat farming regions, others go to the beach to swim or go sightseeing. Mallorca provides all options.
Congregating at the front of the hotel enables groups to assemble and plan their routes
Some visited the beach for swimming in the lovely blue sea.
A large group completed the cross island route from Andratx back up to Pollenca, using different routes, more or less climbing depending on their experience and requirements.
All in all, the trip provides something for everyone to enjoy.
I joined the Widgers only this time last year and I was excited to join the much talked about Mallorca trip. The trip did not disappoint in any way! We arrived at our lovely hotel, bike collection quickly followed and then out for a warm-up/sort your bike out ride. Thereafter, there were so many lovely rides to choose from and everyone was keen to make the best of the week. Short rides, long flat rides, long rides into the mountains, lots of café stops, long lunches, litres of sangria and banana splits, followed by late afternoons in the excellent spa. We ensured we looked after body and spirit! Great food in the hotel and must now stop eating so much. So many laughs, putting the world to rights and cementing friendships with this amazing bunch of Widgers. Dates for next year please!! Lynn Roddy
Finally, the weather allowed us to get out on a fabulous ride over part of Dartmoor. The Happy Mondays were all smiling!
6 active club members headed over to the Guide Hall in Tavistock for a cycling oriented First Aid Course. Thanks to our neighbouring club, Tavistock Wheelers, for organising the session with Sophie from First Training. Well done to Mandy, Fiona, Lynn, Brie, Frances, Maz and Julie for going: there’s no such thing as too many First Aiders in a cycling club.
At the start of this year, we only had a single Level 1 British Cycling accredited coach in Tams. But the club have invested in our members putting club subs towards training up more coaches. Lisa and Sue have both qualified as Level 1 Coaches with a view to supporting all our members in Fundamental Skills. Their accreditation was made possible with help from the Ignite Bursary, a fund made available to women in the South West by British Cycling. Nationwide in many sports, there is a massive distortion in the ratio of male and female coaches. We have also been joined by Rebecca at Level 1 and Rachel at Level 2. Committee member, Merwyn, is a personal trainer by trade AND a triathlon coach, so not only do we have bike specific offerings, we also have access to a multi-discipline coach. You can meet our coaches on inductions, club rides and dedicated skills sessions throughout the year.