Stonehouse Wheelers

THE professional grand touring season has now come to its end for many of interested cyclists in this country, the Tour of Spain though providing a thrilling spectacle measuring up strongly against the Italian and French tours.

It was interesting to note the change of scenery in Spain compared to France for in parts the country looked quite bare but changed to lusher views as it went on.

This is probably known by many British people who holiday there but it made interesting contrasts on the TV screen.

The scenes were perhaps enhanced on the last few stages when the most difficult riders had encountered on many tours were met, indeed the climbs looked almost impossible and agony was expressed in many riders faces.

Of course Froome kept us guessing again but came through in the end to be the first to achieve this double victory.

Is another cyclist to be Knighted and so honoured? (He also took a bronze in world time trial events)

Different in the British tour with plenty of greenery and more reasonable climbs and also to see Gerant Thomas regaining some form.

As one stage finished in Cheltenham many local cyclists who follow these events were watching on the promenade but it had to rain most of the day and watching this spectacle emphasised how far the average cyclist is distanced from these professionals.

In fact the only common factor between them seemed to be all were soaking through.

Perhaps the same conditions were met on a similar type of day on the annual run with the Wheelers to the Whiteway annual fête.

The attendance of members was reduced as indeed was the attendance at the fête.

Whilst the ride is no way like the tour riders some empathy was experienced with them it being a very wet day.

Plenty of gazebos and cover had been erected and refreshments had to be taken under them.

The ice cream stall appeared to be doubling up on normal portions probably to move stock, in fact only the dogs doing their usual act of competing for best at obedience and licking faces etc seemed to have no problem, also the Shetland ponies and alpaca's.

Lucky all the rides provided by the club do not end on this rather negative note (well a good book stall under cover was some recompense).

Amongst the recent rides also was a visit to Purton and tea at the Church, always appreciated and a ride to Miserden Garden centre a new destination likewise.

A good number of riders took part in the Wotton-under-Edge ride, the town hall as usual providing teas with even the need to add extra seating to accommodate riders and the other callers it is so popular.

Whilst the usual interest on the Malmesbury run, usually enjoyable, was marred by weather unfortunately a soaking was endured on the way home.

At least this mixture of good and bad weather puts choosing the clothing to be worn at test in particular the rain wear.

Not all rides are on the harder side quite a few catering for the rider who wishes to take things a bit steadier.

Many rides are aptly suited to relatively new riders wishing to explore local scenery or indeed improve their fitness or just someone taking up cycling again after a break due to various reasons.

Rides are led by an experienced cyclist and as a friendly club of course plenty of help and advice is freely available from members, most cyclists always have plenty to say.

New members are very welcome.

Some rides that will be coming up are on Sunday afternoons over the next few months will be the popular visit to Kemble airfield, a mystery ride to who knows where, well the leader does ,and the popular Berkeley Castle visit.

Every Wednesday afternoons an easy paced run starting from The Globe at Stonehouse 1.15pm usually in the river and canal direction offers an alternative to the Sunday ride.

Mention should be given to the fact that the club Annual General Meeting took place just recently when whilst attendance was a bit low those present had ample opportunity to question the upper echelons of the club and look back and forward to another year.

The chairman stood down this time after giving many loyal years of leadership, so it will be interesting to see the changes that will be made with the steward ship of the club.

Further details about the Stonehouse Wheelers can be obtained from our website at on Twitter:@SWheelers and