2011 was the sixtieth jubilee of the Forty Plus Cycling Club and to celebrate we held the following special events.  Non-members are were very welcome and free membership for the rest of the calendar year was offered to non-members participating in any of the rides.

Tue 5 April: Surrey & Sussex Diamond Jubilee Lunch

60 years after the meeting that initiated the club, Surrey & Sussex hosted a celebratory lunch in the Great Hall, Rowfant House, West Sussex. This was a superb location for a great and unique event, which was heartily enjoyed by all.

Thur 19 May: The Circuit of Bedford (John Combe Memorial Ride)

This year’s ride was once again blessed with fine weather and the 26 starters from 33 entrants all reappeared at the finish in fine fettle at least as far as outward signs indicated. We tried a slight route change this year, sending everyone through Lower Shelton and through the pedestrian/cyclist underpass of the new A421 bypass then back through Marston Moretaine to rejoin the old route thus avoiding the roundabouts at the new bridge on the previous route although adding a mile to the distance. The information control question required at this point proved to be magnificently ambiguous. I was asking for a public utility seen when going under the bypass to be named. The field found a wide number of other items in the vicinity meeting this specification but only two came up with the prominently placed dog waste bin, which I had noticed first. This bias leads me to wonder whether Forty Plus members are just too refined to mention anything associated with the more basic mammalian bodily functions.

My thanks are due to Roy and Janet Presland who assisted with handing out the paperwork at the start and to Veronica Brown who did the Shuttleworth Aerodrome check, Ray Stanford who usually does the latter being unwell on the day. With donations, we are able to give £166 to Hearing Dogs for Deaf people. Finishers received a certificate varying from our regular one in including mention of this being our 60th Anniversary. One or two slipped off without them and I will post them shortly.

Trevor Randall.

Sun 26 June: The Herts Hilly Hundred (Sylvia Clifford Memorial Ride)

The weather was hot and the hills were numerous and steep.  I collected £155 in entry fees, so there could have been up to 31 riders, although the “start anywhere, go either way” nature of the event meant that they were spread around the route and any no-shows couldn’t be counted.  I signed up 5 free memberships to help swell the ranks – it will be interesting to see if they renew next year. Barnet Cyclists sent a contingent and South Herts CTC had six starting from Wheathampstead, which boosted the numbers considerably.

In liaison with Bob Clifford and being reluctant to support the CTC charity, the money is going to Peak Cycle Links.  That’s a charity set up to complete a 60 mile cycle loop in the Peak District linking Tissington Trail and Monsal Trail etc – leaflet attached.  I cycled part of it a few weeks ago and am keen to see it finished – very tangible and practical as a charity to give to.

Roger Hodgson.

Thur 21 July: Mid Essex Tour

The route started and finished in Stondon Massey and included Mountnessing, Stock, South Hanningfield, Terling, Felsted and Norton Heath.

Sun 31 July: The 60th Sights of London Ride

Some 35 riders enjoyed this 30 mile circuit of the London sights, led by Bernie Curtis of the Essex ‘A’.

Thur 25 August: An Ugley Ride

50 riders, representing various sections, started Pat Ryan’s 62 mile circuit from Ugley (pronounced Oogley?) Village Hall and soon had a thorough soaking heading for the Cambridgshire mountains around Great Chishill. After a welcome tea stop at Phillimores Garden Centre, the sun came out and we passed through Barrington and other beautiful Cambridgeshire villages. But Pat couldn’t resist sending us back up the mountains with another visit to Great Chishill on the return leg of a superb route.