Plum Bikeaway 2018 – Sunday 16th September


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Plum Bikeaway 2018


Dear Friend,

Bikeaway Ventures and Pershore College are delighted to host the second ever Plum Bikeaway event on Sunday 16th September as a way of bringing  the community together to raise valuable funds for various charities and also to celebrate Pershore’s famous Plum heritage.

Cyclists have the option of 3 plum routes  – the Greengage 8 mile tour, the Yellow Egg 23 mile trip or the Purple Plum 52 miles journey around the delightful Vale of Evesham.

Registration starts at 9am with last entries being taken at 11am.  The official start of the 52 mile course will take place at 9.30 with the other routes  starting at 9.45

If you would like further information or an application form please call Amy on 01386 565564, or visit where you can download a copy.  Upon receipt of your completed application you will be sent additional event information including sponsorship forms, route maps and safety material.

Registration is possible on the day of the event, at an additional charge of £2 per cyclist.

We look forwards to see you – don’t forget to dress you and your bike in purple to get in the Plum spirit!!!.

Kind Regards

Tony Haines

Tony Haines



Wychavon District Council
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Rugby Wednesday Group 25th Anniversary

On the 2nd May the Rugby Group celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a ride to Fenny Compton and a group meal, and an acknowledgement of the role played by Avril in the establishment of the group and continuous support.

With at least 50 rides per year the Wednesday Rides have exceeded 1250 in the 25 years and more than 70 names are recorded in the runs register.


A report from Mark Jacobsen

What miserable weather, wet and windy, as 4 of us set off from Birdingbury for Lighthorne. While extending our coffee stop, the sky turned blue and sunshine greeted us! With 10 at the lunch meet we learned that Graham, Sandra and Avril set off directly for Fenny Compton but, being drenched by Barby, they turned back to change and use four wheels! I reminded Avril of my first ride with CTC Rugby: meeting at Newbold only Avril was there. The rain was certainly worse than yesterday! We rode directly to Ullesthorpe after which it was back home on squelching roads!

Joke of the Month for May

On Saturday morning, a roadie gets up early, as he has for so many Saturday morning rides, and softly slips out of the bedroom. He dresses quietly in the next room, grabs his helmet and water bottles, and goes out to pump the tyres. As the garage door opens, he’s confronted by an icy, windswept rain.

He’s ridden before in these conditions. He doesn’t like it, but when it’s Saturday morning he never misses. He ponders the dismal conditions and then retreats to the kitchen to tune a small TV to the Weather Channel. 

The forecast only sounds worse. This is one Saturday when he just can’t summon the determination. With a sigh, he slips off his shoes, quietly returns to the bedroom, undresses and slips back into bed.

There he cuddles up to his wife’s back and whispers, “The weather out there is terrible.”

To which she sleepily replies, “Can you believe my husband went riding in that crap?”

Roads & Paths Newsletter for April

This edition of the Roads & Paths blog has contributions from George Riches and Mike Thomas and covers 

  1. Volunteers needed for Kenilworth Greenway Workday
  2. Reducing the impact of HS2
  3. A46 / A428 Junction Upgrade


1. SUSTRANS Kenilworth Greenway Workday

Submitted by Mike Thomas

Sustrans would really appreciate help on their local workdays on Kenilworth Greenway.  The next workday will be Wednesday 9th May we may be making bat boxes or a bug house. We will be meeting at Coventry Road Bridge at 10.30am. Please wear suitable clothing for weather on the day and sturdy footwear. I will put together a poster to promote the workday on the greenway.  Any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sim Duhra

Greener Greenways Project Officer (Midlands & East)    Tel: 0115 8532947


2. Reducing the impact of HS2

Submitted by Mike Thomas

The founder of Sustrans, John Grimshaw, has been busy with his new organisation John Grimshaw Associates working with HS2 and its impact on cycling.

If you go onto … you will see various .pdf files with details of works which will impact on us in Solihull and Warwickshire. John’s work is twofold:

  1. Making provision where HS2 impacts directly on existing cycle routes such as Kenilworth Greenway, and Leamington – Rugby National Cycle Network Route 41.
  2. As one of the environmental mitigation works a cycle route with associated links will be provided along the whole of the new rail route. This will be far from a path along the side of the railway, but much more in terms of using existing dreams of cycle routes we have wanted for many years such as from Kenilworth to Leamington. In the .pdf files some of this is something of a wish-list, and lacks details, but I’ll contact John asking for more info as/when its available.


3. Flyover upgrade for A46 / A428 roundabout, Binley

From George Riches

This is often called the “TGI Fridays junction” on the Coventry Eastern Bypass.

Highways England are proposing to upgrade it by building a flyover for the A46. The roundabout will remain for access to and from the A428

The good news for cycling is that the path on the south side of the A428 east of the junction will be widened to a shared pedestrian/cyclist path between the roundabout and Oakdale Road. That’s marked yellow on the aerial image.

The path might encourage more residents of Binley Woods to leave their cars at home when they shop at the various stores on the Coventry side of the A46 (B&Q, Lidl, Morrisons, M&S et al)

However there’s no plan to improve the roundabout at the entrance to the B&Q car park. The route cyclists are supposed to take is shown in the image.

West bound cyclists are probably better off using the service road to access Brandon Road than try to use the recommended route.

I spoke to the Highways England representative at a public exhibition in early March and emailed Coventry Council about it on 19 March 2018.


Technical Chat for April

This Months Technical Chat comes from Kevin Rourke and covers –

  1. Upcoming Aldi Special buys
  2. Some Special Offers on Framesets
  3. Mike Burrows and Compact Framesets
  4. Quicklinks for Shimano Chains
  5. A bit of history of Bowden cable


1. Upcoming Aldi Special Buys

Aldi Specialbuys – ‘Cycling’ Sunday 29 April 2018 

Some might find the Bike Repair Stand and the Children’s Bike Trailer interesting. 

Aldi Rain Jackets (this one is described as 2.5 layer) are good value, but always seem restricted by that £19.99 upper price tag, and it’s pity they don’t produce a better quality jacket priced at something like £40.


2. Some Special Offers on Frames

Building a bike from scratch and then sourcing the rest of the components is generally going to work out quite a bit more expensive than buying a ready built bike. However, there are currently a lot of Framesets on sale with large discounts (usually frame and forks, sometimes with a Headset also).


The Genesis Tour de Fer (725) 2017 frameset is currently on sale for £283.99 instead of £399.99.



The Ridgeback Panorama Deluxe (853) 2016 frameset is currently on sale for £389.95 instead of £749.99.




The only advantage of building the bike yourself is that you can choose to specify it exactly as you wish, e.g. a particular saddle, or an 8/9 speed groupset instead of 10/11 speed, and you may be able to use some components which you already have.

But spare parts tend to be expensive, and don’t forget you are going to need a seatpost, saddle, bottom bracket, handlebars & stem, gear shifters, derailleurs, crankset & chain rings, chain, pedals, cassette, brakes & rotors, wheels, tyres, inner tubes, gear & brake cables, cable-stop adjusters, bottle racks, mudguards, reflectors, etc. 


3. Mike Burrows and Compact Framesets


The name ‘Mike Burrows’ may not mean much to many of our members, but some of us were fortunate enough to hear him give a talk on Cycle Design at the Coventry Transport Museum. He is an Innovator/Inventor and might be described as a typical ‘British eccentric’. Quote: Mike Burrows’ contribution to the design of the modern road bike cannot be overstated. 

 He came up with monoblade forks and monocoque frames around 1985, but no one was interested in making them, as they were deemed too radical. 

 Those of us with short legs never felt that comfortable on the traditional 21 inch Gents bicycle with a horizontal top tube. 

And whilst working for Giant Bicycles he developed the Giant TCR (Total Compact Road). 

 The sloping top tube design resulted in large savings for manufacturers, as they were now able to produced frames in just 3 or 4 sizes rather than up to 10. 


His other projects included Chris Boardman’s Olympic winning Lotus pursuit bike and the ‘Ratcatcher’ & ‘Windcheetah’ Recumbents. 

 Read more at 


4. Quicklinks for Shimano 9-speed Chains

Most of my cycling experience has involved using Shimano indexed gears & Shimano STI, so I would automatically buy Shimano chains.

Then I had a couple of bad experiences with their ‘special’ connecting pins, including one failure by the roadside (I managed to ‘limp’ home using a borrowed nail).
So I would simply throw away the Shimano connecting pin and join the chain using a KMC/SRAM ‘Missing Link’ type connector instead.

Then, I decided I might as well buy KMC chains which came with a ‘missing link’ connector.

However, I’ve recently seen Shimano 105/Deore LX quality chains (CN-HG73) with a ‘missing link’ type connector on sale for less than £5. The cheapest I’ve found is £3.99 + 0.39p postage.

I would suggest anyone interested does a search on eBay.
The chain which I ordered was a little more expensive, but it was post free, came in ‘English’ language packaging and was clearly labelled Shimano 105/Deore LX and CN-HG73 9 speed. 


5. A bit of history of Bowden cables

A ‘Bowden cable’ is the name given to the type of cable used to operate brakes and gears.

The invention of the Bowden cable has been popularly attributed to Sir Frank Bowden, founder and owner of the Raleigh Bicycle Company who, circa 1902, was reputed to have started replacing the rigid rods used for brakes with a flexible wound cable (initially it was only used on the rear, as the front still had a ‘plunger’ brake pressing on the tyre).

However, the mechanism was actually invented by Ernest Bowden, who was not related.



Joke of the Month for April

“Where’s your bicycle Vicar” I said, (because it was the first time I had seen him walking in 10 years!). “Don’t know, I think it might have been stolen”

“However  I will get it back on Sunday” he replied. “At my next sermon I will go through the ten commandments. When I get to ‘Thou shalt not steal’ God will sort it out, I’ve got faith”

The following week, sure enough he was riding the bike again. So I asked him if the ten commandments thing had worked as planned ?

“Well, I got as far as ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’…….THEN I suddenly remembered where I left the bike..”

Joke of the Month for March

A pedestrian steps off the curb and into the road without looking and promptly gets knocked flat by a passing cyclist.
“You were really lucky there,” says the cyclist.
“What on earth are you talking about! That really hurt!” says the pedestrian, still flat out, rubbing his head.
The cyclist replies, “Well, usually I drive a bus along here!”