The magic of the cycling club dinner...

It was a great evening where cycling was the winner (cliche!!) at the Fenland Clarion dinner.

by jimmythecuckoo   November 19, 2012  

There is always a sense of anticipation and excitement in the days before the club dinner.
Even if you have won nothing in the whole season it’s too good an opportunity to meet up with mate for one last time before the winter properly bites.
Fenland Clarion Cycling Club held its dinner the weekend before last at historic local hotel “The Bell” in Stilton. Vein leaden cheese was of course on the menu as was a question and answer session with Russell Downing, our guest of honour.
Downing is a legend in UK cycling terms and he enchanted the gathered audience with tales of Giro exploits, Kermesse encounters and who was the brainiest at school out of his brother Dean and he.
It was brilliant stuff and all very British as we queued nicely for a chat and a photo with him afterwards.
The venue, the ambience, the chat & banter were all perfect and it was a triumphant evening for a club with strong local roots and some great young riders coming through scooping up some of the prizes.

dinner

Yours truly squeezes into the photo

As the drinks flowed and the chat carried on, minds started to turn to the following morning club run which would see Downing lead the club out from the hotel.
The group was over 30 strong, swelled by other local riders who had heard about the presence of British Cycling royalty.
And you know what?
It made the year riding alongside Russ for a few short yards. He was such a friendly chap who spoke positively and eloquently about the sport and its grassroots. You couldn’t fail to be inspired to try even harder to train this winter.
It almost felt like you owed it to him to try that bit harder when the frost was biting at the doorstep and you wanted to stay in bed.
Fingers crossed I stick to it....

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Not what they used to be! Once upon a time the club diner would have been the main hilight of the year; with family friends and fellow cyclists, all enjoying the jollities of friendly banter and cross toasting (is that done anylonger?) with awards and accolades given to almost every cyclist in the club, some just for improvement in cycling skills, everyone was happy; and more often than not, the guest speaker wouldn't want to leave until the very last. The club diner of yester-year, was brilliant.

Not the same these days.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
24th November 2012 - 17:14

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I think our retained a large amount of that spirit.

Members of a fledgling cycling group in the area were invited to bring them into the club and it was a brilliant evening all round.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1221 posts]
28th November 2012 - 10:21

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jimmythecuckoo wrote:
I think our retained a large amount of that spirit.

Members of a fledgling cycling group in the area were invited to bring them into the club and it was a brilliant evening all round.

Well done on getting a fledgling group to come along.
A lot of traditional cycling club culture is being lost due to the number of newcomers (Hooray that they are coming) who know nothing of the history and traditions of this great sport.
A certain weekly cycling magazine falls into the bracket of either not knowing about, or even worse, ignoring cycling traditions and history and I think that is a bad thing.

Binky

posted by davebinks [124 posts]
1st December 2012 - 10:43

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