Nominations for the Edward Zoller Memorial Trophy and the Audrey Fyfe Memorial Award

The Edward Zoller Memorial Trophy is awarded to any member of CTC Lothians and Borders Member Group who has given of their time and skills in the service of the Group in either an official or an unofficial capacity.    The Audrey Fyfe Memorial Award is made to any member of the Club who has selflessly nurtured and encouraged novice riders in Member Group rides in either an official or unofficial capacity.

Members are invited to submit nominations for both these awards for 2018 with a view to the presentation of the awards being made at the Club’s Christmas Lunch on Saturday 8th December at the Merchant’s Golf Club.   Nominations, with a seconder, should be submitted to any member of the Committee prior to 23rd November to enable the Committee to consider them at its next Committee meeting.   Nominations should be accompanied by a testimonial stating why the proposer considers the nominee deserving of the award.

Donald Urquhart, Secretary

CTC Lothians and Borders Annual General Meeting – Thursday 18th October 2018

Members are reminded that the Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Eltham Suite of the Eric Liddle Centre, 15 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DP, on the evening of Thursday 18th October 2018.   The AGM will commence prompt at 6.30pm followed by light refreshments and an illustrated talk by Euan and Katie Paterson on their round the world cycle.   Tea, coffee and biscuits/nibbles will be provided but please bring your own beer/wine/soft drinks.   In light of a member of the Committee standing down at the AGM, the opportunity is taken to invite anyone with an interest in joining the Committee to advise the Secretary or the Chair or speak to any member of the Committee.   The Committee looks forward to seeing you all at the meeting.   The papers for the AGM are attached hereto and members are requested to bring a copy of these with them as limited copies will be available at the meeting.

Members are advised that the copy of the accounts provided by the Treasurer for the meeting are unaudited as the Treasurer and the Auditor are awaiting the most recent bank statement.


AGM 2018 – Agenda and Papers

Donald Urquhart, Secretary

Read the latest humorous parodies of CTC Lothians and Borders Ride Reports by John Palmer our cycling blogger.

Brexit-on-the-Lyne; Between a Granite and a Hard Place


Wednesday 1 August; to Peebles


Posterboy ‘May be yes, May be no’ Ben declared, at his latest photo opp at the Charwood Grill, “I am absolutely clear that we do not know where we’re going. We have no final destination and no plan of how to get there.”


“But PM” interjected John Jacob Moggy Nosewipe (to give him his full name), “we know we are going to take back control of our riding guidelines. No more petty regulations about riding in straight lines from pettifogging, unelected bureaucrats in Orchard House.” Fearing that R M was going to get into top gear, ex-Attorney General, Jude the Guid interrupted’ “Nanny here Moggy, remember regulations are here to protect us and keep us safe.”


“Enough already, the riders have spoken, we must fulfil the wishes of the majority of those who bothered to vote, and head off into God knows where. A CTC ride means a CTC ride and we want to have our cake and eat it,” we all chorused together.


Michel Barnstormer provided the first test of Brexit Secretary David ‘Red Card’ Lambie’s negotiating position when he explained to him at Loanhead, that a ‘Road Closed’ sign meant this was a red line which the EU would not let us cross. Red Card was non-plussed, “but we wanted to come this way.” The Scottish Government delegation, led by the Cabinet Secretary for Thwarting the UK Government at Every Turn, Ian Buchan, proved a little more nimble in finding a detour round this road block.


Negotiations on a Brexit deal continued to face head winds at every turn, especially across Auchencorth Moss. But with Posterboy ‘May’ breaking us up into small teams, he was able to report to Parliament, at an away day outside the public toilets in West Linton, good progress on reaching a divorce settlement. Slogans on buses would now read “Minus £350m per week for the next 5 years.”


“Is this a hard border or a technologically assisted border?” piped up Yvonne the Stowaway as we crossed from Midlothian into the Scottish Borders. Being from Northern Ireland she would have an interest in such matters. “We need some regulatory alignment of custom and practice while riding. We don’t want to breach the Good Friday Agreement established with the Picts after the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685.” Having said this she promptly disappeared.


“Oh, this is far too soft a Brexit” the hard Brexiteers among the riders complained as we tootled along the Lyne in the drizzle, enjoying the view, and the river, and nature all around us. “We’re looking forward to the Granites; hard, hard stuff, where our true CTC character of grit, determination and enjoyment of austerity will shine forth and we will prove ourselves worthy of our forefathers in Harrogate who founded the CTC 140 years ago.”


Lunch was taken in the pretty Peebleshire town of, wait for it, Peebles, where those Leavers among us still suffering from post-colonial delusions had colonised a children’s play park for our exclusive use. Visit Scotland, Or Anywhere rep, Cathy ‘Smiley’ Riley and International Secretary for Finding Somebody, AnyBody Who Might Do A Deal With Us, Senga enjoyed a working lunch discussing the prospects of a trade delegation to Japan. This working lunch appeared to continue into a working tea, but it is not clear whether it continued all afternoon.


Our negotiating position and skills were further tested as we tried to scale the granite face presented by the EU, without any idea whether we wanted a hard or soft Brexit or just wanted to jump off the cliff. Health Secretary, Rachel Ferguson, decided to strike out on her own. She wanted to find out, in the likelihood of a No Deal scenario, whether there was a pot of medicines under a rainbow somewhere. Evidence soon mounted up that this was not going to happen, so she returned to the true Brexit path of scaling granite walls in the face of all evidence that this is a hard grind and there are no sunny uplands. Once you get to the top, you have to descend.


There were however four convinced Leavers, who thought the only answer lay in racing to the top in order to reach the promised land that much sooner. They obviously thought that ‘May be’s’ latest plan was like, as the colourful phrase has it, ‘polishing a turd’ and they would rather go off and chase unicorns.


The Remainers made their dubious way up the granite wall, hoping against hope that something might turn up. Would those who always hug the left of the road gain some momentum and start throwing their weight around? Would ‘May be’ do a Duke of York and, having led us all to the top of the hill, lead us down again? Or would the Scots think, ‘enough of all this, we’re out of here?’


Given the small number who gathered at Dolly’s to have their cake and eat it, it looked like there was a majority for the option of ‘we’re out of here’. Many of them were quite wet. But those who gathered to discuss the day’s events thought away-days of this sort were a worthwhile exercise. At least one had a plan for a couple of days, even if it did need polishing.




Read the latest humorous parodies of CTC Lothians and Borders Ride Reports by John Palmer our cycling blogger.

Three punctures and a 136kmh max speed


Sunday 22 July to Hailes Castle


Ah, there’s no need to write a blog as Cathy Smiley Riley has done a comprehensive account of her own. Perhaps this should be required of all leaders. But a few observations…


We welcomed Robyn on her first ride back after a long layoff for injury. All morning we were marshalled from the front by Ezekiel – seemingly a younger, darker, moustachioed version of Sir Bill – and from the back by Marian.


There were popular culture and Tour de France themes running through the day. The soft tyre belonged to Roseanne, who it transpired should really be called Essie. She happily co-ordinated a transfusion of air into her tyre.


The next puncture had an interesting take on gender relations in terms of the carrying of bicycle tools. Wife Karen was carrying the one tool Ian claimed he needed to mend his puncture and she was miles ahead. The rest of us didn’t mind the delay as we were gorging on delicious wayside raspberries. And then poor Robyn was welcomed back to cycle touring with two punctures in quick succession.


I can’t see that anyone matched the 136 kmh recorded by Romain Bardet after his third puncture on stage nine of the Tour, but, wind-assisted, we made good time through Haddington and on to lunch at Hailes Castle. (Google can explain how he got to that speed.)


In the meantime Pooch, Yvonne the Stowaway and Irene Paterson were doing their magic disappearing and then re-appearing acts. Now you see them, now you don’t. At least Irene, having magically appeared at lunch, stayed with us throughout the afternoon, perhaps through good back-marking by Sandy.


At lunch there was a Poldark moment as a number of the women riders spotted and unfavourably compared an innocent, older man, stripped to his waist as he worked with his horses, to Aidan Turner.


As we cycled through Athelstaneford I asked one of the other riders if he had caught the name of the big man at the front. He thought for a moment and then said, “no, but Borat perhaps?” It seemed wonderfully apt, but will it stick?


Anyway, that was almost the last we saw of ‘Borat’ as not long afterwards he and Gordon overshot the turning on Bangley Hill and ended up in Tranent enjoying a much longed for liquid refreshment. We know one or two of the Wednesday riders who might have been happy to join them.


At our tea stop in Cockenzie House, some of the women present were enchanted to discover that they can have their bums measured to ensure they get the right size saddle. The group had properly gelled by this time and at Fisherrow we were sad to say goodbye to Cheryl who is returning to Canada and life under a new populist state Premiere.


Tour de Fife

Wednesday 25th July to Falkland


Massed crowds – one man and a dog – gathered expectantly at Roseburn Bridge to wave off the riders in the Tour de Fife, the annual highlight of the CTC race calendar. A helicopter (a holiday-maker playing with a video camera mounted on a drone) buzzed overhead to record every move and excitement of this famous race. And on behalf of race sponsor, Fife Tourist Board, show off the fabulous locations of Puddledub, Cardenden and Cowdenbeath.


For the benefit of newcomers, Race Controller, Sir Bill explained that 10 points are awarded for the winner of each stage, with 8 and 6 points for the second and third riders across the line. Riders also compete for a King of the Mountain jersey, with 4 points for a category three climb, 6 for a category two climb and 8 for a category one climb. The peloton would be back-marked by Brian ‘Sunny Orange’ Curtis


Team WhatsApp had had to scratch when Gordon failed doping control as the team doctor, Dame Iron Sides had been feeding him performance enhancing drugs in an effort to get him fit to compete.


Stage 1, from Roseburn to Inverkeithing included a category 3 climb, but there was a mass sprint at the top, in deference to the Race Controller, so no overall winner could be identified. The stage was won by Ewen, for Team Brompton, but as he had only joined the stage at Cramond Brig he was docked 5 points. Second and third were Posterboy for Team Athena and Cheryl (SA) for Team Safaricom.


In stage 2, from Inverkeithing to Auchtertool, Marian suffered a nasty fall trying to execute a 90 degree turn. Clearly winded and with a sore ankle, she was soon back on her bike as lead rider for Team Monday Girls. “If this had been the Tour de France you would all have been away in a few seconds,” she thanked other concerned riders.


The stage descended into further chaos as the Race Controller suffered a sudden loss of air pressure in his tyre. He sent every one off as he tried to fix it, but no one was clear whether there were now two races, an A and a B one, and who was in which race. The one category 2 climb appears to have been won by Posterboy, although he could have been pipped by Rachel of Team Perfect Pooches.


A disclaimer should be added here, as your reporter, who was unsuccessfully ghosting in Team Safaricom for his fellow countryman, Chris Froome, was not always in the best position to see who had reached the summit first or won the stage. He had recruited a local stringer, Billy-Bob Fowler to report from the front, but as he spent most of the ride giving a lot of care and attention as back-marker, he was in no better position to report.


Stage 3, from Auchtertool to Tanshall, descended into farce as, after the recommended toilet stop at the golf club, no one could find the lunch spot.  Frantic riders were asking every available passer-by for directions and eventually all gathered in the park.  As a result no stage winner points were awarded.  Teams Athena and Evergreens were weakened as Jill ‘the Planks’ McBain and ‘Sunny Orange,’ with the permission of the Race Controller, scratched from Stage 4 and took alternative routes home.  ‘Sunny Orange’ however, completed the regulation 80+ miles.


Stage 4, Tanshall to Falkland included the main climb of the day, a category 1 climb. With the field well spread out, Ewen confirmed that he had won the climb and also the stage. On the fast descent into Falkland a serious incident happened to no other than Alistair ‘Crash’ Cranston as a rear spoke broke and mangled his chain and derailleur. Luckily he was able to control his bicycle and no accident or injury ensued. He decided however to retire at Pillars of Hercules, the ride’s designated pit-stop.


Stage 5, from Falkland to Scotlandwell saw another retiral from the Evergreens, with Phyto-Phil pulling out to make his own way home with Liz ‘the Hipster’. Ewen was again breaking away from the pack, winning both the category 2 and category 3 climbs. No one in the peloton was prepared to organise to give chase; most seemed to want to behave like Basil Fotherington-Thomas (from ‘Down With Skool’), with his curly blond locks, and skip along saying, “hullo sky, hullo sunshine, hullo view.” But Ewen suffered a puncture within sight of the stage finish and finished well down in this and the following stages. Posterboy or Cheryl (SA) would have won the stage.


Stage 6, from Scotlandwell to Inverkeithing was a much more urban stage than heretofore. The category 2 climb was probably contested between Posterboy and Cheryl (SA) as was the stage win. Unfortunately Mark ‘Can’ McCann was also forced to retire, leaving only Sir Bill standing as the final member of Team Evergreens. Team Perfect Pooches, sponsored by local dog grooming salon, Perfect Pooches of Lochgelly, attracted much support with local dogs barking them on their way.


Stage 7 was meant to be from Inverkeithing to the start, but no one wanted to race any more. Some took the train, others had cars in Inverkeithing or South Queensferry. All made their weary way home as best they could, after 80 gruelling miles. Preliminary results indicate that Ewen should be awarded both the polka dot and yellow jerseys.

Read the latest humorous parodies of CTC Lothians and Borders Ride Reports by John Palmer our cycling blogger.

Cult Following

To Ashkirk, Wednesday 18 July 2018


Rumours abound that a new cult is sweeping across the Lothians and Borders. This involves excessive adulation and worship of varieties of two-wheeled, in-line means of personal transport.


Cult leader, Rev D Ross, aka The Care Giver, assisted by High Priest Sir Bill, yesterday led an evangelising and proselytising mission to the Borders. At least twenty acolytes joined them to spread the word. Among them were the cult’s poster boy and girl, Ben and Jude, plus official photographer, Sandy ‘Pic’ Paterson and it was nice to see Ian ‘Beanie’ Robertson in a group shot. A notable absentee however was wee Gordie, who was apparently in thrall to another household god, a new kitchen.



Starting at Innerleithen they followed a circular route to all the airts and pairts of Ettrickdale, including visits to Alemoor Reservoir, Tushielaw and the Gordon Arms and finally over Paddy Slacks to Traquair. Along the way they made a number of converts to the cult, who joined on them on their pilgrimage in honour of their new deity.



It does not appear that the mission had to perform the ritual known as a ‘mechanical’ used to appease and repair the object of the cult. It is also a syncretic cult, in that the members are willing to adopt the rituals of other religions, like mopping up the offerings left after a Christian funerary rite.


Members apparently spent time studying and practicing the best means of ingesting and disposing of the sacred and shamanistic fluid, lactic acid, used to create the obligatory sore muscles involved in the cult. And The Care Giver was pictured leading his flock in adopting the correct posture when offering obeisance to the two-wheeled deity.

The finale of the day’s mission was the high piece of any ritual involving a bicycle; a long, smooth, curving descent at high speed to the final resting place.


(Posted by an envious non-participant in the cult’s premier summer ritual.)