Dave Peck’s first anniversary ride to Paris

Twickenham Cycling Club celebrates Dave Peck’s life on a first anniversary London to Paris Memorial Ride.

Grand Départ 09:00, Saturday, 16th June 2012.

Twickenham Cycling Club’s (TCC) fourth annual 380 mile London to Paris venture is more significant this year as they dedicate it to the man who tragically died last year, TCC’s chairman, Dave Peck.

Twenty-two Twickenham Cycling Club members will set off on Saturday 16th June for Paris on a gruelling 380 mile, capital to capital, four day ride.

For the ‘Grand Depart’ they will be flanked by other club members who will join them for the 70 mile first leg of this memorial ride to Portsmouth.

On reaching French shores, the twenty-two members, in their distinctive TCC kit, will ride from the historic medieval Breton town of St Malo to St Baudelle, in preparation for the longest and most challenging 95 mile day on Monday 18th June.

A first year anniversary tribute will be paid to Dave alongside members of the local community and Dave’s family at Germainville, the town where the tragic incident occurred, on Tuesday 19th. The TCC riders will then continue on to Paris, completing the 380 mile journey to the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Club Chairman Dave Peck, born in 1957, passed away as a result of injuries suffered from a fall whilst on the London-to-Paris ride in 2011. His death shocked the cycling community and saw messages of sympathy flooding in from saddened cycling fans across the country.

Kevin Bird, TCC London to Paris ride organiser, commented, “This ride is to celebrate and remember Dave. He loved riding and he loved his club. We want to have a fun ride out and show him our respect when we get to the spot where his tragic accident happened”.

About Twickenham Cycling Club (TCC): founded in 1893 TCC is one of London’s oldest cycling clubs. Based in west London, TCC are a cycling racing club taking part in Road, Time Trialling, Track, Audax, Off-Road, & Sportive cycling activities both locally and nationally, and for all age groups. In addition to this, they also have a well established Youth & Junior programme and a dedicated Ladies Squad.


Official Inter-club results

Team Prize Rider Numbers
Twickenham 2.37.46 17 27 67
Hounslow 2.40.20 54 19 40
Westerley 2.42.36 11 16 23
INTER-CLUB 25 20/05/12 Result
No Name Club Time H’Cap H’Cap Time
1 Martin Winter T 1.13.22
2 Penny Schwiner T 1.21.29 24 57.29
3 Mathew Collins T 1.20.26
4 Ian Chipman H DNF 22
5 Claire Veldmeijer T 1.22.46 20 1.02.46
6 Paul Barker W DNF 23
7 Duncan Adamson T 1.22.11 22 1.00.11
8 Neil Ferrelly H 1.14.36 17 57.36
9 Lisa West T 1.20.08 24 56.08
10 Mark VeldmeiJer T 1.07.22 8 59.22
11 Chris Parrott W 1.10.37 17 53.37
12 Paul Altorf T 1.11.49 10 1.01.49
13 Emma Towers T 1.14.34 14 1.00.34
14 Tom Jenson H 1.11.24 14 57.24
15 Duncan Schwiner T 1.03.44 9 54.44
16 Tim Burrows W 1.08.59 14 54.59
17 Rory Atkins T 58.29 10 48.29
18 Lydia Wright T DNS 14
19 Andrew Caldwell H 1.09.48 14 55.48
20 Michael Joseph T 1.05.04 8 57.04
21 Chris Baker T 1.07.49 10 57.49
22 Bruce McMichael H 1.12.44 14 58.44
23 Andrew Darvill T 1.09.56 10 59.56
24 Gail Birkett T 1.19.04 20 59.04
25 David French WW 1.08.50 9 59.50
26 Zoe Calder T 1.20.42 18 1.02.42
27 Alex Toghill T 1.06.59 13 53.59
28 O Chalojpla PTT 1.15.54
29 Sol Findley T 1.13.10 17 56.10
30 Dave Newman W 1.03.57 8 55.57
31 Ben Hardey T DNS 10
32 Rob Blackburn T 1.13.18 16 57.18
33 Simon Wroxley H 1.12.45 12 1.00.45
34 McCulloch Heather T 1.31.11 10 1.21.11
35 James Leach T 1.10.56
36 Paul Buckley H 1.08.40 12 56.40
37 Robert Archer T 1.10.36
38 Mo Mansoori T 1.09.55 13 56.55
39 Martin Murray T 1.24.11 10 1.14.11
40 Stuart Stow H 1.00.16 5 55.16
41 James McCarthy T 1.09.08 10 59.08
42 Brian Beausoleil T 1.14.38 16 58.38
43 Merill Readett H 1.08.24 12 56.24
44 Graeme York T 1.09.24 14 55.24
45 Jon Furniss T 1.05.51 4 1.01.51
46 Tim Childs W 1.07.22 8 59.22
47 Atish Nazir T 1.16.06 10 1.06.06
48 Christos Pagidas T 1.14.20 10 1.04.20
49 Jason Harris T 1.10.02 10 1.00.02
50 Malcombe Woolsey W 1.00.06 4 56.06
51 Mark Perrott T 1.10.38 10 1.00.38
52 Daniel McCarthy PTT
53 Natalie Creswick T 1.04.10
54 Mark Silver (Trike) H 1.14.16 25 49.16
55 Steve Home T 1.00.40 4 56.40
56 Stephen Rush T 1.07.17 10 57.17
57 Richard Burton W DNF 7
58 F Houston PTT 1.07.58
59 Robert Bell T 1.23.16 22 1.01.16
60 Rob Gilmour H 1.01.28 3 58.28
61 Mark Hasson T 1.08.51 10 58.21
62 Tom Diethe PTT 1.08.12
63 John Rose T 1.19.49 10 1.08.49
64 Tom Kirkin T 1.13.11 16 57.11
65 Liam Maybank T 58.01 2 56.01
66 John Sullivan W 1.02.23 17 55.23
67 David Seymour T 1.07.18 12 55.18
68 Brent Skinner H 1.06.16 7 59.16
69 Vince Dey W 1.10.10 13 57.10
70 Tom Bell T 1.03.57 1 1.02.57
71 Paul Innes H DNS 7
72 Mark Spindler T 1.07.02 9 58.02
73 Shane Townsend W 59.00 5 54.00
74 George Kirkin T 1.06.33 9 57.33
75 Nic Stagg H 56.51 SCR 56.51
76 Geoff Shaw H 1.13.15 15 58.15
77 David George H DNF 12

Event Report – The Fred Whitton Challenge

Warning – this might go on a bit. So either put the kettle on or feel free to delete…


Graeme York and Emma Towers will give their version of events. Here’s mine:


3 and a bit TCC riders took on the Fred Whitton Challenge on the 13th May. 3 TCC riders completed it.


For those unaware of this event, “the Fred” is a 112 mile sportive that takes in most of the major Lake District passes in its 3950m of climbing. In short, it’s a bit of a beast.


The day started pretty well. Graeme and I met up at the Coniston event village at 6.45am having gone through a couple of formalities (him signing on; me buying tubes and a multitool after having left my seatpack on the other bike at home – doh!). Emma had told us she was going for a start as close to 6am as possible and was with some slower riders so we assumed we’d see her en route. The faffing was surprisingly minimal and we got going within a few minutes of our aim time. My plan was simple – ride within myself and keep something in reserve for the Hardknott Pass that defeated me last time. I’d driven through Coniston the day before and reminded myself of the 12% Hawkshead Hill within a mile of the start. No way was I working hard this early in the day so Graeme and I stuck it in the bottom gear, span up and chatted. It was looking like a good day was on the cards – the sun was out, I was riding with a clubmate and the countryside was gorgeous. That feeling lasted all of 20 minutes until the front end started to wobble about a bit and I looked down to see that familiar and unwelcome spread of rubber on tarmac. A p******* this early? Come on. Graeme offered to wait but I had a horrible feeling this might not be the last of it and I had everything I needed so I told him to get on with his ride and maybe I’d see him en route. Just about everyone that passed me while I fixed the flat asked if I had everything I needed – it’s that sort of ride. I reminded myself of this every time I passed other riders who’d suffered the same inconvenience and repaid the compliment. They were all prepared so all good. So back on the horse and up the Kirkstone Pass. About halfway up it I got the front-end wobble again. Yep, another p*******. You’ve got to be kidding me. I pulled over and just about managed to restrain myself from throwing the bike over a dry-stone wall when a white van pulled into the layby. Now, being a London cycle commuter, I’m used to getting grief off white vans and was subconsciously tooling up for a discussion about “road tax” and red lights. So what a pleasant surprise it was when a man with an almost impenetrable Lancashire accent asked if I was OK. Yes thanks mate. Would I like a new inner tube? Yes please, I would. Would I like him and his team to replace it for me? Too right I would. Turns out I’d been visited by the p******* faeries aka the Saddleback Neutral Service vehicle, who were just extraordinarily nice, helpful people. A credit to the event. Here’s what they went through in what must have been a very long day for them (although the clip’s only 6 mins):




I was still cursing my luck but the Saddleback guys told me about a “rider-on-rider” crash 200m from the start that put at least one rider in hospital with suspected cranial fractures. That put two p*******s into perspective. This turned out to be the last of my mechanicals so with only about 20 mins or so lost it was back on the horse again and up over the Kirkstone. The descent off here is fabulous – I got up to 47mph before it all went a bit “She canna take it cap’n” and I backed off just in time to see a TCC rider walking back up the hill. Except it wasn’t Graeme or Emma. Turns out this was the “a bit”. Graeme and I had bumped into a TCC jersey-wearing rider on the start line but we didn’t recognize him. He introduced himself as Stephen and described himself as a lapsed member having moved to York 4 years ago. This is him:




Anyone know him? The results don’t list him so I guess the Kirkstone was the end of his day.


After about 30 miles the ride down the A66 to Keswick is usually some of the fastest riding of the day – downhill on wide roads. Not this time though – toady it was straight into a headwind (according to weather channel, 21mph with gusts of up to 46mph) that needed the inner ring on slight inclines. I did anyway. This headwind would be with us for the next 55 miles and so made a big difference.


It was about this point that I started to develop the neck and shoulder pain that would stay with me for the rest of the ride and would ramp up from a dull ache to get-off-the-bike-and-stretch-it-out painful throughout the day. At this point though it was manageable so I got on with the business in hand, namely the Honister Pass. I really quite like this climb. It’s steep (up to 25%) and it goes on a bit but there’s a real sense of height gained – you go from the Borrowdale valley floor to the clouds in a very short space of time. The view is spectacular as well, which helps you forget the pain. About half way up I saw a rider leaning on his bike in a layby. He had (how shall I put this?) a fairly low centre of gravity and was breathing like a mare giving birth. He was wearing abut a grand’s worth of Assos and leaning on 8 grand’s worth of R5. I felt really quite smug. For about 10 seconds. At which point I was passed at speed by an old boy with a thousand yard stare on a bottom-end Spesh Allez. That’ll learn me. And that’s the thing about cycling, isn’t it? You can chuck all the money in the world at it, but if you’re not putting the work in, it’s all for nought. It is truly not about the bike. Dammit.


The very steep descent of the Honister was taken easily as the head-on gusts were making me nervous but the Buttermere feed stop at 52 miles was a welcome opportunity to stretch out the back. I’d learned to take their advice about not overeating here seriously (the Newlands pass starts about 400m later) so filled my pockets full of sarnies and cracked on. The ascent of the Newlands was fairly uneventful (apart from the consumption of my own bodyweight in cheese sarnies at the top) but the descent was fun, fun, fun. Wide open enough so that you can see what’s coming but twisty enough to keep you on your toes. As a Honister 92 rider found to his cost as he flew past me at about 50mph straight into the path of an oncoming car – they avoided the collision but he was wobbling in the verge at speed for what felt like an eternity. But I seem to remember that little incident didn’t stop me making “neeeeooooowwww!” noises down the rest of it. It’s that kind of descent, and I have an emotional age of 12.


The Whinlatter’s always fun, and this time proved no exception. There are plenty of parking places and a caff, so the supporters line the route. The cheering and the cowbells increase in volume as you get near the summit and I know it shouldn’t make a difference to your perception of how difficult the climb is, but it does. In fact the support all the way round was tremendous – some of them were obviously friends and family of riders but a lot of them were locals out for the day or cheering from their front gardens. You can tell which are the locals – the accent is thick as soup and they smile like this L. And then straight over the top into the wind. Pedalling hard downhill when you know you should be spinning out is not fun. I knew this section would be hard. It’s basically a way to add some miles on between the Whinlatter and the Kardknott. In still conditions it’s my least favourite part of the route anyway (definite Richmond Park second-lap syndrome here); into a headwind it was miserable. At 70 miles I was passed by Rob Jebb (who posted the fastest time of the day – 5:59) hauling a group of 10 or so round. And when I say hauling, I do mean hauling. Unbelievable speed into a big wind. I had a big sulk at this point, which was only slightly put into perspective by seeing a rider on the side of the road who, head in hands, told me his dropout had broken and his day was over. I thought about suggesting he go singlespeed, but looking at his face and remembering what was to come (!), I thought better of it. I stopped to stretch out the back, spreading arms wide to relieve the pain. A Honister 92 rider (they were numerous) rode past and cheerfully told me he’d thought I was a scarecrow. That didn’t help the sulk. Neither did going up Cold Fell into the teeth of the gale. This was my personal nadir, only improved slightly by the spectacular and ominously beautiful view of Sellafield from the top of the fell overlooking the sea. The second feed stop was a welcome respite for the back and a good chance to get more sarnies on board. And possibly a clotted cream scone. And oh go on then just one more they’re not very big are they but I’ll have to have a cup of tea to go with it yes two sugars please.


And then the final stretch. I remember last time being defeated by the view of the Hardknott before I’d even set tyre on it. I wasn’t letting that happen again. As I said to one rider at this point, it’s only a piece of (expletive deleted) rock – how difficult can it be (!)?. I took it very easy here and tried not to let Irton Pike (a printer’s ink smudge on the elevation profile but after a hard century, demoralising) get to me. One last stretch of the back and a caffeine gel (which tasted like sick had been sick – never again), and there it was, the 30% sign:




Or, to paraphrase Dante, “Abandon hope all ye who pedal here”. Debate rages about how steep it actually is. The sign obviously has it at 30%. Most riders talk about the top switchback as being at 33%. I’m not sure. But what I do know is that this man:




Regretted going for the 1.4 litre diesel eco-conscious frugal option. Not for nothing do locals call it the Hard**** (for those wanting the unexpurgated version, read Chaucer or speak to Tom K). Back at the bottom, I was up over a cattle grid and straight into the first 25% section. Grind it up but try to keep some in reserve. Don’t change up in the middle 15% section. Spin. I say spin but of course I don’t mean in the Tuesday night Mac-driven 140rpm turbage sense of the word. I mean a marginal increase in cadence over glacial. About 50rpm, but feels like Rollapaluza after what’s gone before. And then here it is, the switchback I fell off last time. Get out of the saddle, heave on the bars and crank like life depended on it. I got to the top and almost fell off when someone stuck a camera right in my face. I think I’m glad that image seems to be lost in the bowels of the internet. That was it – I’d cracked the Hardknott, which was really the main thing I’d come here to do. And yet even the top 15% section wasn’t without its hazards – a rider ahead of me was zig-zagging across the road, trying to reduce the gradient and in doing so missed my front wheel by millimetres. Think Ferrari/Cav on stage 3 of this year’s Giro, but in super slo-mo (or even pause). I advised him of my presence, he suggested I reproduce elsewhere. I left him in my wake (have some of that, sweary…). At this point I looked behind to try to get a view of the beautiful Eskdale, but that would have meant getting off the bike, and there was no way I was doing that. So straight into the descent. Hairy. Awful surface, steep, off camber, back spasms. But down without incident and then into the last signature climb of the day. It was now payback time for 50 miles of headwind, and the tailwind here felt like the breath of God (trying to dissuade me from my atheism). Hard, but not Hardknott hard. The rest was a bit more up and down with just enough left in the tank for a burn-up back to Coniston. And that was it. Across the finish line and into the arms of my kids (missus not having any of it – far too sweaty. Me, obviously…). And then into the queue for the post-ride meal, which was as if I’d been asked to design the menu. Pasty, mushy peas, tea and proper caramel shortbread. Recovery shake my ar5e.


The massage tent was queued out so my kids took great delight in walking (read jumping/running) up and down my back. The screams were pitiful.


Graeme and Emma will regale you with their tales of woe and elation from the same event, but in the meantime, the internet has provided these:






Team Unintentional Irony also had a few riders out.


Here’s TUI rider #1:




Yes, that is a heavyweight rider in a Lightweight jersey.


Here’s TUI rider #2:




Yes – great joy – another heavyweight rider in a Lightweight jersey (Irony Cycles must have had a sale on XXXLs).


And I suppose after that unprovoked abuse of people who I’ve never met and I’m sure are actually lovely, I have to take this one on the chin and show you TUI rider #3:




A man called Rush riding in a manner that suggests he’s in anything but.