Category Archives: Club Run

Steady sunday roll-out

What’s that? You did a big ride on Saturday and your legs are a bit sore? You’re new-ish to cycling and want a gentle introduction to group riding? Mark was taking off his jacket while riding and in the ensuing brouhaha you somehow sat on him, leaving you with niggling back issues? Fret no more, friends in Lycra. The Steady Sunday Roll-out is here.

On Sundays 18 June, 25 June, 2 July, 9 July, 23 July, and 13 Aug, Ron’s excellent club run will be complemented by lighter fare: a 35-miler with a cake stop and the aim of not getting terribly out of breath. Around 16 mph. Few hills. That sort of thing.

Meet at 9 am at Broadway, as usual, and we’ll see how we get on.

Freewheeling Challenge winner

Chris Gilligan fought off a strong field of 20+ coasters, to take back the Freewheeling challenge trophy from 2 times winner David Emms who could only manage 4th behind Rich Gildea 2nd, and Paul Demicoli 3rd.

Chris now 2 times winner himself, revealed his last minute training plan in Court Hill whilst eating “4” cakes involved a Saturday night curry, and pre-clubrun Chicken pie for breakfast!

Freewheeling challenge champion 2017 - Chris Gilligan

Mudguards !!!

It’s been a while since a reminder about this, so:

PLEASE fit a full-length rear guard before coming on a wet club-run. Even if it’s not raining, wet and/or muddy roads make it pretty unpleasant to ride behind a bare back wheel.
Have a read here – there is lots of other good tips there too:

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Autumn Newsletter

Club Badge
Club Badge

Hi All,

The nights are drawing in, the days are getting colder and for the umpteenth time this year, my commuter clothes are drying after another downpour 🙂 Yes, autumn is well and truly here and you can even buy mince pies in the local supermarkets!

To all of us at Didcot Phoenix, this time of year means the following:

  • Winter Turbo Training – Every Thursday from 19:00 at the Brightwell Jubilee Pavilion
  • Sunday Club runs now start from 09:30
  • Cyclo-Cross – Continues most weekends over the winter
  • Members need a Club Fleece to keep warm
  • Trophy and standards claims submission date approaching

Winter Training
Once again we are holding indoor turbo training sessions at the Jubilee Pavilion and my thanks goes out to Robert and Simon for hosting these evenings. Details can be found on the club website and are a great opportunity to carry form into the new season, socialise with club members and enjoy some thumping old skool music! All members are welcome, with a cost of £3 per session and you don’t even need to own a turbo trainer. If you are interested, please email to confirm your place.

Club Runs 

09:30 start time from this Sunday 25th
Depressingly the clocks go back this weekend and with darker mornings, we start the club runs from 09:30 from Broadway. Full details of our club run agenda can be viewed on the website, with this week’s destination the New Herb Kitchen.

Following on from the recent club AGM, I’m pleased to welcome two new members to the Didcot Phoenix committee, as Dan Atkins and Mark Winks are sharing the CX Secretary role for the coming season. Both are active CX racers and you can see them racing throughout the Wessex and Central league series this autumn. If you are interested in taking part in a CX race, both will be keen to provide information about this type of off-road racing! It’s great fun, pretty muddy and a fantastic way of racing away from traffic.

Email if you are interested in taking part.

Après cycle wearClub Fleece
As modelled by Simon Evans at the AGM, the club is now selling fleeces which can purchased via If you would like to buy one of these items, please contact Simon.

Trophy and Standards Claims
As we approach the end of this cycling season, we start to look forward to our annual awards evening and the final events for the year. Details of the awards evening will be posted on the website soon, but beforehand all trophy and standards claims need to be submitted by the end of November. All first claim club members qualify for time trial standards and the various trophies available. See the Trophy website for details and if you have a claim, please let club secretary Martin Stanley know by Nov 31st.

Email for all claims

Many thanks to all of you who attended the recent club AGM. The minutes of the meeting can be found on the AGM section of the website. It was a great evening, not only with new members joining the club committee, but we also welcomed back old members, filled some key positions in the club and enjoyed socialising with teas and biscuits 🙂

That wraps up this newsletter and I hope to see you all on a bike soon.

DPCC Chairman

DPCC Sunday Rides – Announcement

For those of you who weren’t at the AGM to hear this, after doing the job for over 3 years Simon McGowan will be stepping down as Sunday Rides co-organiser early in the New Year. Don’t panic – he’s not giving up riding with us! And I’m carrying on, so you’ll probably not notice any change. (This isn’t meant to imply that Simon didn’t do anything… Quite the opposite – I’m sure you’ll all agree that his contribution over the past few years has turned the DPCC Sunday Rides program into the popular and thriving success it currently is)

Nevertheless, if anybody would like to join me as a co-organiser I’d be delighted to have somebody to bounce ideas off for the rides calendar. The job is REALLY DIFFICULT – it’s HARD trying to choose which of all the local cafes are your favourites, and in which order you want to visit them. Also, sometimes you have to go and recce a new destination, and EAT CAKE and DRINK COFFEE to determine whether they are worth our custom…

In addition, three or four times a year we would sit down and update the table of destinations on the web site. For the last 3+ years this has involved me supplying the beers and Simon doing the typing. If you’re NEW to DRINKING BEER, please don’t feel that you aren’t qualified for the job. I will personally ensure that FULL TRAINING WILL BE GIVEN!

In addition, you might have to respond to the occasional e-mail messages we receive from riders looking to join us, and if you’re keen you might have to battle Vicky and/or me to be the first to submit a hilariously witty (Vicky), or poor imitation of hilariously witty (me) ride report to the DPCC Forum

You also get the chance to boss people around and make decisions when I’m not around (and also if I am…) – e.g. if I can’t manage a Sunday, or if rider numbers force us split into groups. There are loads of fully-downloadable routes in our RideWithGPS online account, so as long as you can load them on to a Garmin (other GPS devices are available), or are able to vaguely remember a course, then the decision making can be kept to a minimum if you like it that way.

So, don’t be shy* – feel free to reply to this post if you think you’ve something to offer. Or speak to me on a Sunday or email.

Cheers! Ron.

(* among other things it allows you to say you’re doing something for the Club, so that when volunteers are being sought for other tasks you don’t need to feel guilty about turning them down!)

Weekend Round-up

Newbury RC’s Open Hill climb

Richard Gildea and Chris Virgo made the short trip down the A34 on Sunday 27th to take part in our neighbouring club: Newbury RC’s Open Hill climb on Walbury Hill.

Glorious conditions saw Chris have a solid ride to finish 53rd, with Richard Gildea riding an outstanding Hill Climb time of 4min 25.40s to finish the race in 3rd Overall. Full results here.
Richard GildeaCongratulations Richard!

Cross Country MTB – Rampage XC    

The 2nd round of the popular Mountain bike Rampage races at Checkendon were also held on Sunday 27th, 3 club members were racing, with Gareth Davies best placed DPCC rider of the day finishing 4th in the 11&12 year old category. 


Rachel Pearce picked up 2nd spot in the “Sprint” category in the Warwickshire Triathlon, in the event held in Stratford upon Avon Congratulations to Rachel!

Wessex Cyclo cross          

10 club members were in action in Swindon, in the 3rd round of the Wessex League Cyclo-cross in a event hosted by the Cotswold Veldrijden club.  Senior rider Dan Atkins finished a notable 20th, made even more impressive as this was done after completing the MTB race earlier in the day at Checkendon. Full results here.  

Sportive and Audax

Many club riders took full advantage of the glorious Autumnal weather to take part in some Audaxing and sportives both Local and further afield:

Henley Hilly 100 Audax, many members  on Saturday 26th (including Dan Atkins again)  took part in the local Audax starting from Sonning Common picking there way around the leafy lanes of the Chilterns.

Ron Smith visited his homeland to take part in the closed road sportive Etape Royale, finishing with the 19th fastest time in the 100 mile non competitive epic (results here), and also placing 13th in the timed King of the Mountain climb to The Lecht ski centre. 

Simon McGowan and Clare Hofmann were riding the Etape London , a 115 mile sportive into Essex and back from the Olympic Park in London.

Etape London 2015 - Simon and Clare with finishers medals

The Reading Roubaix a local sportive with a difference, taking in cobbled and unpaved lanes and tracks inspired by the famous Paris-Roubaix. Both Frank Schroer and Peter Cowan completed the 100km event in style, finishing on the Palmer Park Velodrome in the centre of Reading.

Club run

With all the above going on, Jeremy Hewitt and Simon Evans were left in charge of running the Clubrun, they both led the hilly ride out to Henley and back stopping at Toad hall. As usual the full Club run write up can be found on our forum here.


Weekend Round up

Sunday 5th July:
8 a.m. : DPCC utilised our friends at Oxonian CC – Open 25 mile TT on the H25/17 course for our club champs. On what was a perfect float morning with not a breath of wind, Steve Mead and Clare Hofmann emerged victorious as Mens and Ladies champions – 2015. Congratulations to Both!

Thanks again to Oxonian for a super event.

9 a.m.: The ever popular Club run with ~20 members led by Ron and Simon had a great morning ride to Waterperry. For the usual great weekly write up of the club run see our internal forum section here.

11:30 a.m.: 3 plucky DPCC riders were among a strong 80 man peleton in Kirtlington for the latest round of the ORRL hosted by Cowley road Condors. A great event again in perfect conditions, although a non racing incident on the final lap did interfere with the ultimate results, but Sebastian Charlesworth rode his luck and finished in a unconfirmed top 10 place.
Congratulations to Seb and the team.
Cowley road condor road racers. 7th for seb
More photos here.

Finally Richard Harrison took a drive up to to Hull to Ride on the now famous V718 course in a City RC event. Unconfirmed results again, but I hear it may be a new club record for a 10 mile TT in a monster time of 19 minutes 6 seconds. Looking forward to validating that as a club record Richard!
Edit results now confirmed, new club record! Results here and photos of Richard here.

As usual, if you have any cycling related activity you want to share then drop me an email here.

Club run update – Sunday 17th May

On Sunday 17th May there will be two distance options for the club run that is going to the Hilltop Garden centre at Ramsden:

  • Long – 82 miles and is leaving the Broadway at 8 a.m. 
  • Regular – 50 mile option departing at the usual 9 a.m.

Both routes can be found on the club run page here. The intention is for both rides to meet at Ramsden at a similar time and ride back to Didcot together. If you would like to help lead the 50 mile route then please email.


In addtion to the above, the regular monthly Ladies ride will also be departing the Broadway at 9 a.m. and will be covering 45 miles to Waterperry, more info on that route here.