The Sharrow TT Series is back for 2018!
Course OC5/11 for six evening dates,
“ 22 May 2018 Lighting up time 21.13
‘’ 5 June “ “ 21.31
“ 19 June “ “ 21.40
“ 3 July “ “ 21.39
“ 17 July “ “ 21.27
“ 31 July “ “ 21.02
Guest riders are welcome up to a number restriction at the discretion of the organisers. Entry on the line £5.
Course: Start at ‘Foolow’ village sign south of village at north end of rough lay-by. Forward to T junction in village at Bulls Head PH. (0.26 miles). Turn left passing two lanes on right. At minor X roads just south of Great Hucklow turn left. (1.31 miles) Across Trot Lane minor X roads to B6049 (2.18 miles). Left onto B6049 CAUTION to Lane Head, jct A623 (2.67 miles). Left onto A623 to first lane on left opposite Housley House leading to Foolow (4.86 miles) Repeat circuit to finish at north end of lay-by as Start.
To mark the 130th Anniversary of the Sharrow we have had a limited edition cap made to celebrate. Made by VeloPac, the cap is made from technical fabric with a plastic insert in the peak. There caps cost £12.60 and are available from Pete. There are also socks available in 2 size options for £6 a pair.
For those of you who have not heard? To celebrate Sharrow CC 130th anniversary we will be riding out to the Peaks on Sunday 15th of October at 9am. The meet is at the bottom of Rundle Rd, Netheredge, riding to the Grouse for 12pm. Food at 12.30pm. It would be great if you could attend at least for the meet or food and refreshments. I am planing to get a group photo at the location of the original meet.
Up The Mighty Sharrow!
Our first little worry was that the boat broke down before we had even set off from Hull. We left a couple of hours late with the announcement that we would arrive nearly an hour behind schedule in Zeebrugge. There seemed nothing to do but eat as much as possible in the buffet restaurant. No-one matched Sean’s long standing record of six puddings at one sitting, but I don’t think anyone lost weight over the weekend.
Saturday morning dawned windy and chilly as promised. We left with the wind behind us and, after a few minor diversions, were soon rolling along the canal side towards Brugge, with the wind at our backs and grey clouds rushing overhead .
Our party of eleven quickly reached the outskirts of Bruge where Roger, with the lady from Google Maps whispering directions in his ear, took us round the outskirts of the city.
It was lovely to see so many people of all ages, wearing their ordinary clothes with scarcely a crash helmet in sight, using bikes as a perfectly normal way of travelling. It was wonderful to see a middle aged woman on a sit up and beg bike with flowers in her panniers overtaking us on one of the bike lanes. At one point a little old lady on her traditional bike lead the mighty, lycra clad Sharrow peleton through parts of the city. We should have made her an instant honorary member.
It was clear that after our late start and with the prospect of heading back to the port in a strong headwind we weren’t going to make it to Ghent, so after a lovely ride alongside the canal we turned into the small town of Alter for lunch. We found a busy cafe in the central square where we ate well and prepared for the return journey.
As we pushed northwards into the wind, the rain came down and we settled in for a long slog back to the boat. The rain eased and we we soon arrived at Bruges where we went into town and sat outside a cafe in the chilly sunshine. A massive number of waffles and chocolate sauce and cream were devoured before the sailing deadline forced us back on our bikes for the last leg to Zeebrugge. A fierce north wind had us trying to shelter behind each other, and our slow progress forced Pete and Graham to go ahead to stop the ship from sailing without us. I punctured a few miles from the port. Steve kindly helped me mend the puncture after which sheer panic at the thought of missing the boat forced us into battering ourselves back to the ferry.
We all made it, though Sarah’s chain gave up the ghost as she entered the terminal. Back on board there was nothing to do but shower, relax then attack the buffet as only a group of hungry cyclists can.
Thanks to Pete for organising a great weekend, thanks to Roger for his navigation and thanks to everyone for making it a great social event.
What originated as a Leek CC trip to Belgium to watch the 100th edition of the Tour of Flanders was soon to turn out to be a joint trip with the Sharrow after Steve Allott opened the invite to his new club. Not anticipating such a decent take up, the 7 Leek riders were soon doubled by 7 Sharrow- Pete C, Brett, Steve (Tex) Harrop, Steve Allott, David Goy and Diego.
The plan was to head over to France on the Friday morning Euro tunnel, ride the Tour of Flander Cycle sportive on the Saturday and watch the Tour of Flanders on the Sunday before heading back Sunday evening. Arranged at Christmas, this gave plenty in months to discuss the logistics, watching places and of course tyre widths! All of which was done with the exception of the logistics which resulted in a very last minute arrangement to actually get to Belgium!
Once there however it immediately began to unfold that this was going to be a great weekend. We rolled up to our hotel in Kortrijk ,which Steve Allott had very kindly booked for us, to find the full Team Sky entourage staying at the same hotel. To say there set up is impressive is an understatement.- coaches, riders, mechanicals, chefs, physios and various other staff. After checking in we got straight on our bikes and headed out for the 20 mile ride to the start of the next day’s sportive in Oudenaarde, stopping for lunch on the way. Shortly after signing on and collecting our numbers Brett suddenly realised to his distress that he was riding a sportive! However his displeasure was our amusement and we did the only thing good club mates can do in such a circumstance and rip him the whole weekend! Once back in Kortrijk we had a nice meal in a local Italian.
Waking the next morning to an excellent breakfast at the hotel we rode the 20 miles over to Oudenaarde where we met up with the illusive Diego (yes he does actually exist!) who had made his way over from Brussels. All 7 Sharrow riders set off in the cold but dry conditions to embark on the 140k of Flanders. One word…tough! We all expected the cobbled sections to be rough but wow…they are hard. The climbs are short and steep but even with the cobbles, with a clear run they aren’t too bad, however it’s the flats and descents that are the real killer. The best way to deal with them is to push a big gear allowing some decent resistance to keep your body solid and reduce the effect of the vibrations. Even then the effect is tiring and fatiguing and most of us felt the early onset of arthritis at the end of the day! At the finish food was calling and we headed straight to a local eatery for a celebratory beer and plentiful amounts of steak and chips. Back in Kortrijk and after a shower and a surreal incident involving the Sharrow breaking Team Sky’s coffee machine! It was time for more food at a lovely Thai.
The next day we woke to fantastic sunny weather and after breakfast we packed up the cars and headed out to the Kwaremont. This was a great place to watch this iconic 100th edition of the race as it was included 3 times this year. The atmosphere on the Kwaremont was fantastic (also helped by the 22 degree temps) with beers, food and coffee readily available. We watched the first time round from an excellent spot about 200 yards from the start of the cobbles. As we were waiting for the them to come round for the second time of asking we also saw the womens race come past (won by Lizzie Armitsted). After the second time round he walked down to the town at the bottom of the climb and watched the rest of the race from a bar at the back of a bike shop, with a quick sprint round the front to watch them pass on the road outside. For those who didn’t watch the race it was one not to miss with a solo win by Peter Sagan after an attack on the last climb of the day, the Patterburg.
After the race had finished it was a case or getting away as quick as we could to make the 7pm tunnel crossing. A brilliant weekend had by all. Roubaix next year!??
Our kit from new supplier Pro Vision is very nearly ready. A big step up in quality from our current supplier accompanied by reduced prices! Design stays pretty mech the same except we have replaced the ‘Sharrow’ text on the collar with ‘Sheffield’. The initial order includes Pro Vision’s top end silicone edge short sleeve jerseys with full zip and rear zip pocket, bib shorts and a long sleeve jersey with Lombardia fleece lining. Pre orders have been taken however we have also ordered a good stock of mixed sizes.
All items are now available. Please see Pete to purchase.
Report by Jack Ward.
The Sharrow team consisted of Jack, Pete, David, Dom, and Brett in the B group and Steve in C group. The series got off to a moderate start with Pete opening proceedings with 10th place and points on the board. Pete then went on to take a 5th place in race 3. There were no other major events of this series, well apart from Brett who was involved in what Jeremy Clarkson would call a fracas – sprinters eh what can you do?!!
Jack, Pete, Dave and Dom were competing in group B this series. It got off to a moderate start for the team with Pete taking 8th. In race two the pressure was on Jack as the only Sharrow rider and he didn’t disappoint! He managed to get into a breakaway of 2 and attacked on the final climb to win solo. Unfortunately he forgot to smile whilst celebrating becoming the saddest person ever to win a bike race! This must have angered the rest of the team who had been trying to win a race since the beginning of the season and Pete channelled that anger to win race 3, expertly assisted by David who sacrificed himself on the last lap to not only chase and catch the break but put the field under enough pressure to ensure only a small group remained in contention. Race 4 and it was back to Jack as the only Sharrow representative. The race was mixed in with the A group, with the A’s setting off 1.5 minutes behind the B’s. When the two groups combined Jack was the only B rider to get away with the breakaway consisting of all A riders. This group managed to hold the lead to the line with Jack taking 5th in the sprint and was the first B home!
Steve started in the C’s, Pete and Dom were in the B’s and Jack had been moved up into the A’s for this series. Pete – still a little upset that a 16 year old had more wins under his belt went on to win the 1st race of the series. In the 2nd race Pete again with Jack finishing 10th in the A race. In the 3rd B race, Pete had his worst place of the Stainton series… 2nd!! This unfortunately was the last race of the series as road racing was provisionally banned in the area due to the circuit being deemed “unsafe” by the powers that be (even though there had been no safety issues mentioned during the series). Oh well – maybe we should invest all our efforts into a much safer sports such as rugby or boxing!!
Overall it was a very good season for the Sharrow, taking 5 wins in a row. Pete taking the B group overall as well as winning his age category and the Stainton series, and Jack taking 9th overall in the B’s along with the best junior and the Barlow series. I have to give a special mention to Dom, Steve and David who all competed brilliantly throughout the season and to Brett who hasn’t had anymore fracas!! We will be back bigger and stronger next season to hopefully add more wins to out tally!
Keith was a much-respected and active member of the club who tragically suffered a heart
attack on Ecclesall Road South while returning from a club run to Edale on Wednesday, 18 September 2013. As a mark of respect it was decided to rename the Bridington trip in memory of Keith who attended the first reproduction of the ride historical ride to Bridlington in 2012. Back then the first objective of the club then was to ride to a cycle rally in Bridlington and to win the trophy for the club with the highest aggregate mileage travelling to the rally. Our history tells us that they were successful in this venture. Subsequent club records from 1963 show that Pete Webster set a record cycling from Sheffield to Bridlington in 3 hours and 4 minutes, which still stands today.
We are really pleased to have Keith’s son, Matt , attending this year. Fingers crossed for good weather and here’s hoping El Gringo’s Mexican restaurant is still in business!
Attending this year are;
Jack (the lad!)
With the first two stages of the 2014 Tour de France taking place in Yorkshire, many cyclists have felt a keen urge to follow the Tour routes. One newspaper estimated that ‘At least 30,000 cyclists have descended on the Dales to ride the route…’ To mark the Tour, it was proposed that the Club should cycle Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate. Roger Donnison suggested that by cycling the 120 mile Stage 1 over two days, with an overnight stop in Hawes, would ensure a more leisurely pace and include café stops. The original intention was to follow the exact route of the Tour, however, feedback about the heavy traffic, speed and dangers of cycling along the A61 and A65 persuaded Roger to investigate alternative minor roads that run roughly in the same direction. In the end, Roger devised a novel clockwise circular route starting and ending in Harrogate, which avoided the A65 around Otley and Ilkley on the leg out to the west of Harrogate, and the A6108 and A61 heading south from Masham and Ripon to Harrogate on the return journey. In addition, instead of following the Tour route from Buckden to Hawes via Aysgarth, Roger suggested an alternative shorter but higher route via Langstrothdale.
The date for the Yorkshire Dales Tour was set for 21 and 22 June 2014 and club members Mike Walters, John Collins, Roger Donnison and Matt Hayman were joined by two 6 foot 3 inch giants, Paul Bliss, who clearly follows the great Robert Miller by always remaining in the saddle when going up hills, and Peter Lathey, whose speciality is demon descending! Peter Fauset was unable to cycle due to his accident in March, but he agreed to drive the support vehicle and carry the bags, as well as joining the important social side of the trip. The group set off to the south west from Harrogate along the B6161 towards Otley, which included the first major descent near Leathley. From Newall, north of Otley, the route followed the north side of the River Wharfe along flattish minor roads. To the north of Ilkley, the route proceeded along a single track road with very few passing places and then through Nesfield to Bolton Bridge where we made our first café stop. While sitting outside enjoying our lunch, a veteran cyclist wearing an ancient Fagor cycling jersey descended on our table saying ‘Nah then, where you lads from?’ The gentleman appeared to take a fancy to Sharrow’s cycling jersey and informed us he was a masseur, whereupon he decided to practice his craft on the nearest victim who happened to be John Collins. Approaching John from behind, our man started to manipulate John’s neck and shoulders, informing John he was tense. Whilst too polite to manoeuvre himself from the masseur’s engagement, John pointed out that he had seventeen pieces of titanium in his back, neck and face. Undeterred, however, the man continued to apply further pressure, releasing his grip only when his colleague shouted to him that it was time for them to leave. He promptly said his goodbye and left John in peace but no better for the experience.
From Bolton Bridge the road followed the Tour route, the B6160 via Grassington to Kettlewell, where we stopped at the Cottage Tea Room for afternoon tea. We left Kettlewell for Buckden where we turned onto the minor road to Langstrothdale. This road starts off as a lovely meandering fairly flat minor road following the course of the River Wharfe but, as Peter Lathey commented, the big climb he dreaded mostwas Buttertubs Pass but what he was not expecting was the fearsomeFleet Moss. While groveling for his lowest gear, Peter found Matt Hayman – the youngster in our group – dancing on his pedals andstill turning his big chainring! It was a brutal climb, rising viciously on several occasions, so much so that Peter had to stop twice on the way up to get his heart rate down and to cool off by drinking plenty of water. Mike Walters observed that the nasty surprise was that the steepest bit was so close to the summit and how he and Paul Bliss had helped each other over the top. Coming at the end of a long day, Mike said the climb sorted his legs out! To his surprise, however, John, who had earlier claimed to be tiring and might get off, reached the summit ahead of both Mike and Paul. In his book 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Simon Warren notes that Fleet Moss is ‘the highest road in Yorkshire’ and ‘a beast in either direction’! As one of the very steepest roads in Britain, he has rated it 9 out of 10. So, for our group of mainly veterans, conquering Fleet Moss without pushing their bikes up the pass was an extraordinary achievement.
An exhilarating rapid steep descent brought us to our first day’s destination, Hawes, where we stopped at a cafe for a cup of tea and tea bread with Wensleydale cheese. While ordering, the cafe lady suddenly declared ‘and you’ll be needing this as well’, as she handed over seven bottles of water. Such is the kindly concern of strangers!Hawes has a lovelytimeless feel to it, with its vernacular architecture built with indigenous stone, its part cobbled main street and old fashioned shops with quaint names, such as Elijah Allen and Sons. We then checked in at the Youth Hostel. For those of us from a more mature generation, more used to staying in 3 or 4 star hotels with en-suite bathrooms, the facilities of the hostel proved to be an interesting experience! While checking in at the tiny reception area one could not help notice the products for sale, such as combs or toothpaste which came in white paper bags at 50 pence each, and next to the postcards were, shock horror, bottles of beer and wine! Of course in a youth hostel you have to share a dormitory, in our case there were four sets of double bunk beds, some small lockers and two easy chairs. Down a long corridor there was one gentlemen’s bathroom containing two WCs, three showers, a row of four wash basins, set low down for the use of children with tiny 4 inch square mirrors above. Needless to say, the bathroom heaved with tightly packed sweaty bodies after a long hot day in the saddle or rambling on the hills. The three course dinner was good and we shared three bottles of red wine at only £8.45 per bottle. In the middle of the night, Peter Fauset felt the call of nature and had to slip out into the corridor to avail himself of the facilities of the gent’s bathroom. Wearing only briefs, he emerged from the bathroom into the corridor only to face a well-dressed middle–aged lady with a floral dress and handbag. Both were startled by the embarrassing encounter, but Peter could not help wonder what on earth was this lady doing there at 3 o’clock in the morning!
As expected,the gents bathroom was busy again the following morning with all showers and WCs occupied! The Dining Room was crowded with mainly men aged between about 45 and 65, although there were two ladies present, neither of which was the mysterious lady Peter Fauset had met during the night! Interestingly, although one assumes youth hostels are primarily intended for young people of modest means, this hostel not only had a more mature clientele but also a more wealthy one, judging by the big new Jaguars, BMWs and Audis in the car park. Times have certainly changed! However, there is no denying that for around £39 for dinner, bed and breakfast per person including wine, the youth hostel was remarkable value for money. Mind you, in keeping with tradition, you did have to provide your own soap and towel, and make your own bed!
Sunday morning was glorious as we emerged from the hostel to start the return journey back to Harrogate. Mike commented that the tone of the day was set straight away with the start of the climb of Buttertubs Pass after only a couple of miles, so no warm up then! He found it a different kettle of fish to the previous day’s climb with most of the really steep climbing lower down and long open stretches towards the summit. Simon Warren describes Buttertubs ‘as brilliant to climb from either direction. The south side kicks up steep then gradually alleviates as it approaches the top…’ Warren gives it a rating of 8 out of 10. At the summit, the group posed for photographs before the steep and fast descent to Thwaite in Swaledale. The group then headed east through Swaledale to Reeth along the B6270. Shortly after Muker, Peter Fauset noted a yellow car had been following him and was moving in even closer. As Peter pulled over to allow the car to pass, he was taken aback when the driver stopped, hemming him in and, with full-on eyeball-to-eyeball contact, delivered a vitriolic attack against cyclists before storming off ahead. Clearly, stirred on by his show of cyclo-phobia he quickly caught up with the group and instead of smoothly overtaking them, deliberately drove into them, remonstrating with Matt for slowing him down. Furthermore, the hostility towards cyclists continued in Gunnerside when a woman with three dogs took it upon herself to shout ‘Single file please’!!!
Despite the ugly confrontations, our group was neither shaken nor stirred and the journey down Swaledale was most pleasant following the River Swale within a backdrop of high hills and rocky outcrops. The road is gently undulating and meanders through attractive villages, occasionally passing over old narrow bridges and for much of its length is bordered by stone walls on either side. The only disturbing feature at the time we passed through was the number of dead young rabbits, as well as hedgehogs and occasionally birds. Eventually we came to Reeth, the largest village in the dale, set around a large, sloping, triangular green. Here we adjourned to the Copper Kettle for coffee and cakes. Shortly after leaving Reeth we came to Grinton and left the B6270 to head south east along another minor road to Leyburn. Unfortunately, this road also included another steep climb, Grinton Moor, which came as a surprise to Mike who described it as a bit of a grunt of a climb, although it was not as severe as Fleet Moss and Buttertubs Pass. There was however a nice descent to Leyburn where we joined the A6108 for Masham, passing through attractive Middleham with its castle. The landscape here was more undulating and lush green with more trees and woods compared with the sparse moors and valleys we had previously been through. Being an A-road meant the road was much wider and carried more traffic. About 5 miles out of Leyburn near Jervault Abbey there was a short, sharp incline, Abbey Hill. Matt powered up the hill without changing down from his chainring and soared ahead. Roger and John managed to keep their momentum and managed to get back on Matt’s wheel, but try as he might, Peter Lathey just could not close the gap on them for the next 7 miles to Masham. On arrival at Masham, Matt, Roger and John seemed as cool as cucumbers whereas Peter was hot, sweaty and exhausted. Masham was very busy with other cyclists, motorbikers and weekend motorists, and we had difficulty finding a café that was not full.
The last leg of our tour went south from Masham following a sequence of minor country lanes to Harrogate. There was hardly any traffic and even fewer bicycles. The landscape was gently undulating, ‘a bit up and down’, as Roger put it. The area was mainly agricultural, containing some country estates, but possibly the least interesting part of our tour. After Grewelthorpe, the route passed through Kirkby Malzeard, Grantley, Sawley, Bishop Thornton and Shaw Mills. At the next place, Hampsthwaite, Roger suggested we stopped for afternoon tea at the delightful Sophie’s Coffee Shop and Delicatessen. It was a good choice as we had some excellent tea and cakes in a pleasant walled garden. It was then only a short ride to Harrogate where we completed the tour.
There was a sense of exhilaration on completing what had been a wonderful tour and a great feeling of achievement to have climbed Fleet Moss, Buttertubs Pass and Grinton Moor. Matt’s Garmin GPS computer recorded a remarkable total ascent for the two days of 1,450 metres, about 4,500 feet, of which Mike said, ‘I’m rather proud of that’. We had been lucky with the weather, the scenery was outstanding, the target of 60 miles per day was just right considering the steep climbs, there was generally little traffic on the route, we stopped at some excellent cafes, and we didn’t have any punctures! It was such a great success that John suggested a tour of this nature should become a regular feature in the Sharrow Cycling Club calendar and said he would put it to the next meeting of the club. Many thanks should go to Roger for putting forward the idea of cycling the Tour route in the first place, for booking accommodation, for devising and carrying out a recce of the route, and for remarkably trusting Peter Fauset not to crash his automatic VW Golf!
Peter Fauset, with contributions from Mike Walters and Peter Lathey, and editing by Roger Donnison. Photographs by Matt Hayman and Peter Fauset.