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MAJORCA March 21st 2019

Summer is not over if you start thinking about next year. Majorca in March has warmer weather and smooth quiet roads and a lot of cyclists. 14 already booked flights so far. We get back 2 days before Brexit so could be your last chance! 16 booked so far!

Our details are pasted below so you can make your own online booking for flights, hotel and bike.

Early booking may get you flights, hotel, bike hire and transfers for under £600
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Volunteers needed to pilot a tandem

This is one of our occasional calls for volunteers to pilot a tandem owned and maintained by Bob Bristow. For those who might not know him Bob is visually handicapped and we have over the years maintained a rota of volunteer pilots so Bob can participate regularly in club runs or other rides on mutually convenient dates.
Of late the rota has all but ceased to exist as people have become unavailable but Bob is keen as ever to get out on the bike. Anyone who thinks they might be interested in piloting for Bob please contact him on 01189582056 and he will gladly discuss a suitable date for a trial ride. No previous experience is necessary. Bob has cycled with a long list of different pilots and is well able to offer advice on the role.

Reading to Düsseldorf Ride Report

It’s been a struggle to write this ride report.  Normally I can knock these out swiftly after the ride, but something prevented me from doing so this time.  Perhaps it’s the enormity of the kindness we encountered or the truly amazing experience of being hosted at the Tour de France that’s left me grasping for the right words.

However, in the quiet period between Christmas and New Year I’ve given it another shot.  Read on for the tale of a Good Ride Done Well.

The seeds for this ride started some time ago; you could say that there would be little reason to do this if it wasn’t for the events of 70 years ago.  What would make anyone think that Düsseldorf would be a good destination to head for?

Have you noticed one of these when coming into Reading?

Or, perhaps less likely, seen this tucked away near the site of the former Civic

offices in Reading?

This group of cartwheeling boys was erected to mark the 30th anniversary of the friendship link between Reading and Düsseldorf.  In 1947 the Mayor of Reading, Pheobe Cusden visited Düsseldorf in response to a call for help from the Royal Berkshire Regiment who were stationed there.  She invited six children to Reading to stay and further exchanges followed.  Since then many groups have made visits to each place creating further ties with the twinning becoming official for Reading in 1975.

More recently Robert Dimmock (chair of the Reading Düsseldorf Association) gave a talk at the Reading CTC club AGM in October 2016.  It was the lightbulb moment for nascent tour leader Jeanette Jeans.  She decided to organise a tour from Reading to Düsseldorf.  Having seen how easy it was to get 17 people to Paris the year before this would be straightforward wouldn’t it?  Then some bright spark suggested the ride should arrive in Düsseldorf for the first day of the Tour de France.  Finding accommodation in a city which was expecting 200,000 extra people wouldn’t be hard would it?

These questions caused Jeannette to have the first of several kittens.

There was some help offered.  I reviewed the route which was inspired by EuroVelo 5, the Rhine route.  I’m glad I did as there were some frankly suspiciously straight bits which went directly across fields.  I also elected myself cultural attaché; this absurd title came with two tasks.  First to contact Robert to make the Association aware of our plans.  The second was to arrange a meet-up with a cycling club in Düsseldorf with the hope of joining them for the first day of Le Tour.

Robert was completely supportive and alerted his counterparts in Düsseldorf that we would be coming.  And there is a cycling club in Düsseldorf called, rather surprisingly, Cycling Club Düsseldorf.  I contacted one of their members, Chris Durham, a Brit who had, in his earlier days, ridden with West Surrey CTC.

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