2019 Christmas Party & Awards

Florence Gower was the inaugural winner of the Women’s Hill Climb trophy, here presented by John Lakin, Chair of Velo Club Walcot

Velo Club Walcot threw its Christmas Party for members in late November, which was an ideal opportunity to present the 2019 prizes. Some categories are for being fast but mostly they’re for contribution, most notably the annual ‘Spirit of Walcot’ award.

The chosen venue was the Green Park Tavern, with the surprise innovation of a vegan menu due to new ownership of the pub. It was all delicious, even if some members took the precaution of holding a carnivorous dinner elsewhere prior to the main event.

Club Chair John Lakin thanked everyone for another great year and especially congratulated the prize winners in all categories, not all of which were entirely serious.

“The good thing about our awards” said John, “is that apart from the hill climb trophies, you don’t have to win any races to earn them. You just need to be nominated by your peers.”

“Twelve names were put forward,” he continued, “but when we looked through them it was clear that two people really stood out in terms of the sheer number of nominations and the reasons given. So we have two main winners but first we need to show our appreciation to the other ten honourable mentions.”

Velo Club Walcot Awards 2019

The Nominations

· Mike Bedford – “For being the driving force behind the Dorothy House Ride Out which raised a staggering £1,400 and gave everyone a really nice day out and some great cakes”. And for looking after our money so well as Treasurer.

· Dave Love – ”For organising the best mud flaps around, for always being very encouraging and welcoming to new members” but mainly “For doing his birthday ride on his own and in the pouring rain”.

· Keisha Michael – “For being open to trying new events – she’s done time trialling , crit racing and hill climbing over the past year – for participating whatever the weather, for always being friendly and encouraging to others”, but mainly “For being spotted doing hill reps up Bloomfield Road”.

· Steven Harding – “For real progression and improvement in Time Trials, for being a real team player, for riding for the club and loving it”, and, according to John Lakin, “For buying one of my old jerseys when it didn’t fit me any longer.”

· Jason Hinkson – “For dying and being re-born several times on a 100mile ride that Arran Armstrong led, including up Frocester hill in the Cotswolds.”

· Strachan McCormick – “For embracing the sportsriders’ passion for speed and cider in preference to the all-out hill-climb smashes of the lightweight race riders and for his impressive knowledge of our local roads and lanes for a northern lad”. But he does need to “get an alarm clock to help him get to the 9 o’clock meet on time.”

· Peter Riley – “For being one of the most improved riders since joining, going from Club 1 to Club 2 and then even for one mad moment going out with Paula and the Sportsriders, and for always being happy to be a back marker and to help out the group.”

· Edward Lang – “For stepping up to become a regular ride leader and for organising the very successful 5 days in Wales Tour” – which some of us only rode for 4 days.

· Jason Power – “For all the work he has done around ride leadership and for the huge amount of time he has put into the club for the benefit of others.”

· Martyn West – the wooden spoon award “For 101 excuses for why he can’t come out and ride with us” – presented by Paul Matthews

Spirit of Walcot 2019 Award

Received by Paul Matthews

“For his great attitude to everyone.”

“For his willingness to step up and contribute, to lead others well and to generally be an asset to the club.”

“For bringing a positive and enthusiastic spirit to everything he does.”

“For always being ready to volunteer to be a ride leader.”

“For initiating the very successful Tuesday night Castle Combe evenings.”

But mainly “For cajoling his family to produce great cakes and to provide the soundtrack for social events.”

Rider of the Year 2019 Award

Received by Helen Kuhlman

“For promoting racing and getting more women (and men) to have a go.”

“For being an inspiration in the way that she is willing to throw herself in and lead by example, whether that is road racing, crits, hill climbs, time trialling or cyclocross.”

“For being a role model for women in the club (several of whom have said that they would not have got involved in crits or have done the hill climb were it not for her).”

“For being the driving force behind getting so many of us to enter the very well-attended Castle Combe 10 mile Time Trial.”

“For coming back from a horrible accident but continuing to ride and race, and to support and encourage others.”

NEW Women’s Hill Climb Champion Trophy

Received by Florence Gower

Angus McKendrick Trophy for the Men’s Hill Climb Champion

Received by Charles Thibault