May 2003


The only problem with all the good weather we’ve been enjoying of late is that it is hard to justify sitting indoors writing newsletters and the like.

We have piles of paper everywhere waiting for some attention and not the slightest inclination to act. But we have an audience craving information and entertainment and so here I am sat in my garret whilst the sun shines. 

Firstly, I must take the opportunity to thank all and sundry for their best wishes and kind gestures over the period of my illness and convalescence, my birthday, and the 300km Audax I saw fit to enter.

I felt at one point that I really wasn’t going to see my 40th year in. But the plane tickets to Nice were booked and my folks were looking forward to going. Following the skillful goal-setters mantra (all goals must be realistic and attainable), I promised myself that even if I had to crawl onto the plane we were going.

Alas my resolve was not so unswerving in the face of inclement winds and rain the following weekend when it was supposed to be the Birthday Run. This turned into the shortest tandem club run ever. We didn’t get beyond the front door!

But, there were compensations and we enjoyed a pleasant day with good company in our cosy kitchen. Er’indoors excelled herself by catering for ten at a moments notice, good little wifey that she is! In fact, a rather nice birthday party.

Somewhere along the way I discussed with Mark W. doing Graeme Mills’ 300km Lleyn and lakes Audax and consequently we both entered. Unfortunately, Mark developed a knackered knee (for that is the technical term) and announced his retirement from cycling for a short spell.

I meanwhile never managed to do the promised training having the joys of bricklaying to divert me.

So come the day I turned up with nil miles to my credit.

Er’indoors had made backing out or packing a total no-no by her insistence that I was going to need rescuing. The testosterone bubble burst and I rode the whole event solo eventually finishing at 2.30am having taken 17 hours. In the words of Del Boy, ‘canard’.

Any feeling of satisfaction had to wait for the feeling of total exhaustion to dissolve. But I did it and that’s what counts, or so Doreen tells me.

I’ve still got the cake, which was presented to me by Clare and Mark at the soiree, which concluded their run. It’s so wonderful I can’t bring myself to cut into it. However, I think I shall bring it to Pat and Ken’s’ celebrations to share with one and all.

Sunday 6th April 2003 - Battle of the Sexes - Guest Writer Clare Whitehouse

News had got out that Mark was unable to lead the run due to a slight strained knee and so we had a record turnout from Gwynfryn – 5 tandems, 3 solos and a Trice.

Responsibility lay heavy on my shoulders but I was sure I could prove that the Whitehouse team was not all-bad... So we coasted down through Treuddyn, bumping in to the Mold CTC section by accident then on to Nercwys and the first hill – a knee trembler if ever there was one! I thought it only fair to point out that this was THE hill and so everybody agreed to carry on.

Down to Rhydymwyn and then up a slight incline over to Cilcain.

Along and up a bit we headed towards Moel Fammau and Les took it upon himself to point out that this was not a flat run. As we PASSED a café I felt it only prudent to go ahead and warn the Bunmeister that we were about to arrive.

Mark had chosen to park as far up the car park as possible but since he had brought ample cakes and a Gaz stove we were happy to partake in repartee and tea.

Our return route was under discussion and I pointed out the alternatives and amazingly with no dissent (but plenty of descent) we agreed to stay together and go down over Bwlch Pen Barras and then CLIMB over the Shelf to Llanarmon and home. The downhill was easy although Ken and Pat managed to burn out their brake blocks on the way and then came THE hill (had I already said that?). Mark’s Dad was on hand to video red faces and straining limbs as we neared the top of the climb. Then it really was almost all downhill apart from the final up to Gwynfryn (well, it does mean ‘white hill’) and more feasting…Should leave Mark at home more often if I come back to egg rolls, cheese straws and Victoria Sandwich.

Birthday Boy Luke received a cake in honour of a special birthday and the day ended with the Whitehouse reputation for hilly rides dispelled almost completely…

The Pixie and the Romany would like to take this opportunity to thank Clare and Mark for a lovely day.


Over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of May we shall be joining in with Pat and Ken Browns celebration of fifty years of tandeming. There will be various activities at their residence including a fair bit of noshing.

Festivities commence on the Saturday afternoon, followed by a buffet, please bring a contribution, and a possible slide show.

On Sunday there will be a 20 mile (ish) run, the highlight of which shall be more comestible consumption at Kath and Mike Hobdays’.

Menai Bridge Control

We’ve probably got enough bodies to run the control for the Brian Chapman Audax on the 17th of May but it’s definitely a case of the more the merrier. If you feel the urge to bake a cake or get stuck into the catering for 100 odd cyclists between the hours of 5p.m. and 3a.m. please get in touch (01286 870653).

Imperial or Metric?

The June (7th & 8th) century weekend is still a bit in the air due to one of our athletic types having an injury. So I will contact all the usual suspects when there is more of a definite plan in place. If you don’t consider yourself a ‘suspect’ then keep in touch (01286 870653).

Camping Weekend

With this newsletter you should have some details of the venue for the camping weekend over the 4/5/6th of July. Please make your own booking with the campsite mentioning the fact that you are with the tandem club group. Any further queries then contact Mark.

Behind the Scenes

Those of you who go to York Rally this year may notice some familiar faces on the revamped tandem club display boards.

We have Chris and Mike Simpkins to thank for this. They have both been hard at work getting pictures and captions together. This is all the more amazing when you know that they themselves will not be present to witness the fruits of their labours, as they will be away at the time.

Me ‘n’ er’indoors will be there however, trying to persuade others that they really need to join the Tandem Club to achieve inner peace.


I am beginning to wonder if possible contributors to his mighty tome are not coming forward simply because they are awed by my literary genius. Perhaps I should dumb down a little or reduce the whole thing to some sort of run sheet resume.

Please write to your newsletter about anything and keep a poor deluded over 40 year old from writing interminable drivel.


This email was received by Luke and is re-produced here in full :-


I work for the Winged Fellowship Trust which is a charity that organises breaks for people with disabilities, my main role is organising holidays for people who are visually impaired. Tandem-ing is very popular with our visually impaired members though we are constantly seeking front riders to make the holidays happen. We have tandem-ed all over the UK and Europe and run up to 10 holidays a year.

If you want more information about who we are and what we do, contact Miriam Woodland the disabilities liason officer for The Tandem Club and who regularly comes on our holidays.

There are a number of holidays this year that are short of front riders and I was wondering if you could circulate this information to your members?

The holidays are -

Tandem Tour of Holland -    21 - 31 May
Tandem in Normandy -        28 June - 5 July
The Cheshire Cycleway -    16 - 21 August

If anyone is interested or wants more details please contact-

Alan Smith
Activities Supervisor
Winged Fellowship Trust
Shap Road, Kendal
Cumbria. LA9 6NZ
Tel: 01539 735080
Fax: 01539 735567

Many thanks
Alan Smith



Lady back 23"/19" frame - 700c wheels - Magura Hydraulic Brake

New saddles, tyres, front wheel, chain rings, sprockets (14-34). - £320

Colwyn Bay 01492 531325



Massive capacity and beautifully made with lots of good design features.

Unavailable in UK

Bought in haste from the US and never used.

Cost megabucks but to a good home they are £50.00 the pair.

Luke 01286 870653

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