Christmas Party and Awards 2018

Lights and music wasn’t the only thing going on at the Walcot Christmas Party. There were drinking games, food and poetry as well. We’re nothing if not cultured.

Velo Club Walcot once again hosted its annual prize presentation shindig at Widcome Social Club on Friday night. A nice wet Sunday club run means our heads are feeling better now.

Around 60 or so members were at the Christmas Party on Friday night, with organiser Andy Polson’s excellent Beer vs. Cider Boat Race drinking game and dancing until the small hours. But not before John Lakin had introduced the annual awards in various categories to recognise and reward the outstanding members of VC Walcot in 2018.

In a brief speech before the members of the committee handed out the  engraved glass tankards, John highlighted his ten top memories of the year including the experience of riding Velothon in Wales with much success for the club – fastest women’s team and fastest individual man – plus Bike Bath of course and our open Hill Climb promotion.

Read on after the picture gallery for the award winners and John’s Top 10 highlights of 2018…

Pictures by Andy Polson, Rich Wood and Nick Rearden

2018 VC Walcot Award Winners

The ‘Spirit of Walcot’ Award – Theresa England – presented by Chair John Lakin

Theresa was the unanimous choice for this award:

• For being an all-round organiser and cheerful exemplar of ‘The Walcot Way’, with a willingness to volunteer and get things done.
• For organising some cracking rides to the coast and hosting all the riders at home (brave!).
• For regularly turning out for rides even though she lives 90 minutes away.
• For riding all the local sportives and encouraging others to have ago.
• For being hugely supportive to other riders and for always smiling and laughing in the face of mishap.
• For turning up missing a wheel and yet still managing to ride!
• For sharing trips to the Pyrenees and selling on bikes and spares to club members.
• For being a truly genuine and lovely person who also shows us all what a joy it is to ride with great company and big smiles.
• For generally embodying the ‘Walcot Way’.

Young rider of the Year – Harry Woodman – presented by Chair John Lakin

Theo Delves–Broughton got a ‘mention in despatches’ here for the great progress he has made and for his 100 mile charity ride in aid of Tyr–y-Cym at Beechen Cliff but the award went to Harry Woodman:

• For coming on massively over the past year in speed and endurance.
• For still being a true club regular so that despite his speed and ability he is always willing and ready to ride at the group’s pace and to help others.
• For beating Paula up the hills and on the flats. Leaving her only real edge over him being downing pints of cider.
• For coming back from a nasty crash a few weeks back.
• For being very cheerful despite losing his job with the closure of John’s Bikes.

Most Improved Rider of the Year – Sue Cooper – presented by Social Secretary Andy Polson

There were two nominations for this award – Ellen Matthews for the great progress she has made but Sue Cooper won the committee vote:

• For having gone from ‘bonking’ on club 1 rides to comfortably being able to handle club 2 rides in less than 6 months
• For becoming a regular weekend and midweek rider in all winds and weathers
• For attending the Odd Down skills sessions to improve her group riding skills

Team of the Year – VCW team at WTTA Hardriders Series – presented by Treasurer Mike Bedford

There were two teams nominated for this award – the womens Velothon team of Jette Baker, Kathy Bygraves, Zoe Haines and Laura Tring that won the fastest prize despite not actually realising they were in a team as such but the award went to Tavis Walker, Rob Grover, Arran Armstrong, James Coleman and John Benjamin who between them represented the club all season at the Western Time Trials Association Hardriders Series and winning the fastest team award:

• For representing the club so well in time trial events.
• For their consistent success over many events.
• For winning the prestigious Hardriders Series team category.
• Special mention for John Benjamin who lives in Bradford-on-Avon and has started his own Bradford-on-Avon Cycling Club but stuck around racing for VCW long enough for this season to make sure we won the team category.

Ride Leader of the Year – Jason Power – presented by Membership Secretary Rich Wood

Phil Wyatt got a special mention here for his legendary hilly routes, for never complaining and for never losing anyone. However, the overall award went to Jason Power:

• For consistently organising great Sunday rides
• For leading VCW groups on sportives such as the brilliant Las Vegas Institute of Sport (LVIS) ‘Barry’s…’ event.
• For organising the excellent charity treasure hunt.

Rider of the Year – Tavis Walker – presented by General Secretary Nick Rearden

There were three nominations for this award – Rob Grover for winning the Velothon Sportive in Cardiff and getting us on the BBC news, Paul Matt for his wholehearted embrace of everything cycling and who is surely a future contender for the ‘Spirit of Walcot’ award but it was Tavis Walker who carried off the prize:

• For captaining our racing team to numerous events this year including success in the WTTA Hardriders Series
• For leading and inspiring our faster members on truly epic training rides.
• For always being modest and understated to a fault, contributing to the club socially, and being a true club team player.

John Lakin’s Top 10 personal highlights of the year – in roughly chronological order

  1. Being elected to be Club Chair at the AGM in March – in a packed field of one.
  1. Arran Armstrong’s Classics tribute ride in April, of impossible climbs around Bath.
  1. Cardiff Velothon (which we now know was the last ever).  With Rob Grover winning the main event – and getting us on TV! and our women’s team winning their category.
  1. Jason Power’s Treasure Hunt – which my team actually won until the savage time penalties cut in.
  1. My Charity Ride for the Become charity here, from Durham to Edinburgh – and the very generous sponsorship you gave me (I will be back next year!)
  1. Bike Bath – in July and having so many Walcot riders out in club kit – which laid the foundation for the partnership we have now formed with the organisers.
  1. The Hill Climb, which is superbly organised by club members (and which more club members should actually ride, hint hint!)
  1. The Ring o’Bells Social in September on Ride Leadership and Ride Etiquette
  1. Felix’s skills sessions at Odd Down – in October and November as we can all learn to be better group riders.
  1. The Midweek Ride becoming a mass participation event – with up to 30 people out at any one time, including a dozen last Wednesday in truly awful weather.

Those were my highlights and I hope that some of them were yours, too. I’d welcome your comments.

And if all this makes you wonder how to join us the details are here.