Stafford RC to ride the TDF 2014

With the Tour de France Grand Depart taking place in Yorkshire next July, here is something that may whet your appetite – how about riding (almost all of) Stage One?

Le TdF Stage 1: the plan is to ride most of the 120 mile stage from Leeds to Harrogate, beginning from an accommodation base near Ripon and join up the two ends of the stage (whilst missing out the bit in Leeds City Centre). The (slightly) modified route will be available as a file for those who have a GPS.

Le dates: Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th May 2014 (2 nights away over the early May Bank Holiday week-end). The main stage ride will be on Sunday 4th May; other rides are possible on the Saturday and Monday (eg part of TdF Stage 2 from York to Sheffield as you travel to / from the area).

Le Pace – likely to be a tempo group 15 / 16 mph average. However, there’s nothing to stop another group of faster riders doing this as a diy sportive and comparing themselves with the pros who will do the route two months later!

Le Base – National Trust Bunkhouse (basic, but comfortable) in the stunning grounds of Fountains Abbey, near Ripon. It’s about 3 miles away from the route of Stage 1 and the city centre, yet quiet enough for deer to roam right outside the front door. I’ve stayed there twice before and it’s a superb base to stay. It holds up to16 people. All beds are bunks. Take your own sleeping bag & towel. The three bedrooms are configured to hold 6,6 and 4 people. The sleeping arrangements will be organised into single sex rooms so this will affect the combination of males / females that can stay. It’s a reasonably safe area to leave bikes locked up outside the building or secured to the roof / back of your car. Use this link and then find the section on Whitefields Basecamp for more information:

Le Food: the bunkhouse is totally self-catering. It is probably best for everyone to take their own breakfasts and snacks for cycling (or plan on cafe / pub stops); evening meals can be obtained using the restaurants and / or take-aways in Ripon, 3 miles away.

Le Transport ; if you’re not planning on cycling to the start, car sharing is probably the best method.

Le Cost: the Bunkhouse is £170 per night for up to 16 people. Based on all beds being taken this works out at under £22 per person for two nights. Then add  the cost of your own food arrangements and (shared?) transport.


Email me at with your name(s), phone number and whether you can offer transport (if so, the number of extra people and /or bikes you can carry). I’ll do my best to allocate a space to the first 16 people to show an interest and add others to a reserve list (whilst taking into account the constraint of the male / female split in the bunkrooms). I have a temporary hold on the accommodation so need to have an idea of demand by Friday 13th December. If there are enough people interested, I’ll pay a deposit for the bunkhouse and ask you for a non-refundable payment for your share of the accommodation.

If all places are taken, there is always the option of booking your own B& B in the area and then joining the ride(s).

Andrew Wilde

Coaching day 10 Nov for Stafford RC

As part of Stafford RC events programme for its members we have arranged a coaching day which be led by Peter Read who is one of Britain’s top cycling coaches and senior coach with the Association of British Cycle Coaches (The ABCC) which is the governing body of cycle coaches in the UK.  Peter has been a professional coach for over 25 years and has and still is coaching some of the fastest male and female riders in the country.  He is the author to a number of training manuals one of the best known being “The Black Book”

This coaching day will be suitable for any rider who would like to better their performance whether this be on a sportive, time trial, road race or club ride.   During the day we will all get to hear first hand some of latest training methods Peter is using as well as his tried and tested methods and have the opportunity to discuss with him how this training might best suit our own needs and abilities.

The coaching day will commence with a 2hr talk/discussion where Peter will run through the latest training tools he uses and talk about training plans, recovery, nutrition and equipment.

Then in the afternoon there will be the opportunity to try out the training first hand.  Peter will lead a turbo class were you will get to try out many of the training methods discussed in the morning and you will have the opportunity to ask about bike position.

The training day will take place at the Forestry Commissions classrooms, Birches Valley Cannock Chase WS15 2UQ (used for our summer BBQ)

10:00 drinks and refreshments
10:30 to 12:30 talk / discussion
12:30 to 13:30 lunch (not provided)
13:30 to 15:30 turbo session

Cost £10 per person

Places are limited (20) due to the size of the venue so please contact me to book a place.  These will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

You will need a bike, turbo (rollers),towel, drinks for the afternoon session and of course lunch

To book a place please contact Alastair at

Come & Give it a Go Time Trials – 11th August 2013

comegiveitagoSunday 4th August & Sunday 11th August, start time 2pm Woodseaves, Stafford.

Stafford Road Club is again hosting a Come & Give It A Go Time Trials aimed at encouraging new as well more experienced riders into the sport of cycling and Time Trialing. These event have been run for 5 years now and have grown in popularity each year. The course runs between Woodseaves and Great Bridgeford and is 7.9km or 5 miles long and is slightly down hill!

Like the TTs at the Tour De France, riders will set off at 1 minute intervals with time keepers at the start and finish. But do not worry if you are not a member of a cycling club or have never ridden a time trial before, both these event are open to all and can be ridden on any style of bike (mountain, road or hybrid); these events are geared to cater for complete novices to more experienced riders.

So if you want to follow in the footsteps of Chris Froome or Laura Trott this where it all starts. Entry is on the day (£3 per rider) but as these events have in the past proved to be very popular we are taking provisional bookings from anyone who is interested in riding and this helps the organisers know how many riders to cater for.

Signing on will be from 12.30pm in the HQ which is in Great Bridgeford Village Hall. The first rider starts at 2pm but please allow up to 30 minutes to ride from the HQ to the start. The minimum age for entrants is 12 and any rider under the age of 18 must bring with them a signed parental consent form. Refreshments will be available before and after the event in the HQ.

For more information on these two events please contact Alastair on 01785 253 691  and if you would like to make a provisional booking please register by sending an email to .

Here is a Parental Consent form for any ride under the age of 18 LINK

Please pass on details of these events to your friends and use this poster to promote these events in your office and hopefully we can encourage even more people to get out on their bikes POSTER LINKK7 5W

Join In Stafford

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July mark a celebration of local sport as Stafford Borough Council and Sport Across Staffordshire launch Join In – a national campaign to provide a programme of sporting events across the UK to coincide with the 12 month anniversary of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Last summer, the UK’s first Join In was hailed as the country’s biggest celebration of local sport. The goal this year is to encourage people across the UK to come together and celebrate where it all began for all our Olympians – their local sports clubs. Over 300,000 people took part in a Join In event with over 30,000 clubs, creating over 30,000 new volunteers.

There are a number of opportunities for everyone to ‘join in’ a number of different sports in Stafford Borough on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July and Stafford Road Club are proud to linking our weekend club rides with this initiative.

Saturday features two rides that are suitable for newcomers to group riding. The first is for anyone aged 13 and over and covers 25-30 miles at an average of 13-14 mph. Every Stafford Road Club group ride has a designated Ride Leader who will ensure that guest riders are firstly made welcome, and secondly, looked after on the ride. The ride starts every Saturday morning at 9.30am from the bus shelter on the Cannock Road outside of the old Police HQ, just a few yards from the top of Radford Bank.

If a steadier ride at an average 11 mph with a café stop at half the 20-25 mile distance sounds more to your liking, then the Saturday afternoon ride could be the one for you. This ride leaves from the Kingsway pavement at the back of Stafford Rugby Club at 2 p.m. and returns to town before 5.30 p.m. This ride is more suitable if you would be happier at a more leisurely pace and can also accommodate riders under 13 if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
All guests on these rides will need to complete a Guest Rider Form to ensure they are covered on the club’s insurance policy. This can be downloaded from the SRC website, or obtained from the Ride Leader and completed at the start of the ride. Riders also need to ensure that their bikes are roadworthy, bring a drink and something to eat (and money if on a ride with a cafe stop) and wear suitable clothing for the weather.

For budding Tour de France riders and others with a competitive streak, Stafford Road Club will be running two “Come and Give It A Go” road time trial races in August this year. These events, on Sunday 4th and Sunday 11th August, are especially for novice time trial racers, or bike riders who would like to experience the thrill of racing in a time trial. Youngsters, 12 years and above, and women are especially welcome. The time trial is an event where riders are set off at one minute intervals and have to ride on their own, against the clock; and this course is especially well suited to newcomers to the event – it is mostly downhill and short, at just under 5 miles in length.
Signing-on for these events is from 12.30pm at Great Bridgeford Village Hall, with the course start at Woodseaves and running back along the Woodseaves Road towards Great Bridgeford.

So, if you enjoy riding your bike and would like to try riding in the company of a group of like-minded individuals, why not come and try one of our group rides or novice races? We have active members of all ages and an expanding group of women riders to welcome you!

More information can be found at Join In Stafford; Introductory Ride; Family Ride