Wheelers hit the beach

Inaugral New Year's Day Ride is a big success

Whilst being photographed splashing around in the Thames in little more than a flowery swimming hat and pair of skimpy Speedos may be some folks’ idea of the perfect way to welcome in the New Year, cyclists tend to be a little more reserved. And less mad.

However, ‘the next best thing’ was experienced by Southend Wheelers at the club’s inaugural club run on Sunday January 1st.
With Mike and Jackie O’Kill kindly opening up their Thorpe Bay beach hut as a coffee stop, John Gretton organised a ride along Southend’s seafront before heading out to Wakering and Barling.

With hangovers and the prospect of heavy rain perhaps persuading some to stay indoors, a brave group met at the Chalkwell Shelter prior to setting off.
Despite a short, sharp shower as many prepared to leave their homes, the forecast proved to be wrong and the group was able to enjoy a rain-free ride.
That said, the roads remained wet and, with some riders not having mudguards on their bikes, some of the chaps arrived at the beach hut looking like they’d done a cyclocross event rather than a Sunday club run.

Hot bacon and fried egg rolls, plus tea and coffee, took the edge off the cold and provided sufficient fuel for another lap of the route.
Such was the buzz among the participants that it seems a new Wheelers tradition has been born, with the New Year’s Day Ride looking to become a firm – and very popular – fixture in the club’s social calendar.

The next regular club runs takes place on Sunday 8th January from Canewdon Village Hall, from 9am and 10am respectively.
Thorpe Bay Beach on a cold winter's day
Bacon frying
A great way to start the new year


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