West Lothian Clarion

Club Name:

West Lothian Clarion

Where are you based?

West Lothian. Club activities start from Linlithgow, Bathgate, East Calder (near Livingston) and Beecraigs Country Park

Cycling Disciplines:

Road cycling, time trials, cyclocross, mountain biking and (more recently) virtual cycling (Zwift).

Some members also take part in track cycling, BMX, gravel rides and audax adventures!

What is your club ethos?

A club for everyone where new and experienced cyclists are supported to move up to the next level, or just encouraged to have fun on the bike.

WLC cycling club is also currently involved in supporting the West Lothian Cycle Circuit project which will be a great asset to the local community and all cyclists in the area.

We are part of the National Clarion which is a strong community network of cyclists throughout the UK

What is the best thing about your club?

It is a large, active club with lots of enthusiastic people of all ages. There are many opportunities to try new disciplines, improve skills and to enjoy riding your bike with like-minded people.

What club rides do you run?

Saturdays (weekly):

  • 8.30am club ride from East Calder Sports centre – 45-70 miles with café stop
  • 9am active club ride from Linlithgow Sports centre – 35-50 miles
  • 9am Cruise Ride – roughly every fortnight –20-30 miles
  • 9am Virtual Club rides on Zwift – 1 hour (Frequency / time may change)

Saturdays (monthly):

  • 9am combined club ride from Bathgate sports centre – 1 or 2 groups

Thursdays (May to August):

  • 10-mile time trial (road or time trial bikes)

Club-confined (members only) competitions:

  • Santa Cyclocross fun race in December
  • 10-mile, 25 mile, 2-up 10 mile time trials.
  • Hill Climb competition
  • Self-timed challenges on popular routes
  • Mountain bike race.

Do you wait for dropped riders / mechanicals on some or all of your rides?

Almost always, yes.

It is probably best to start with a road skills coaching session or ‘Cruise ride’ if you are new to road cycling.

The East Calder ride is recommended for new or returning to club riders – this ride includes a stop for coffee or lunch.

There are often options to do a shorter route than advertised, especially if wanting to start with a group but turn back earlier. I (Nicola) did this when breastfeeding and needing to get home within a few hours!

What is the minimum standard you would expect from new club riders? 

For the ‘Club rides’ from Linlithgow and East Calder, you should ideally know the planned route (available on Facebook or the club website). You should be able to fix a puncture and have the kit to do this. Bring enough snacks and drink for your ride and appropriate layers.

For the ‘Cruise rides’ and coaching sessions, you should let the ride leader know at the start what help you might need. You could come on a road, hybrid, touring or cyclocross bike. These rides are designed to be welcoming for beginners so you don’t need to bring anything specific but it’s a good idea to equip yourself with what you might need when out on your own.

Expected speed or ability:

  • Linlithgow active club ride – 16-17 mph
  • East Calder club ride – 15 mph
  • Bathgate monthly Club ride – 15 mph – may be faster or slower depending on groups
  • Cruise ride (usually from Linlithgow) – roughly 12-14 mph – at speed of slowest rider
  • Womens 100km ride roughly 12-14 mph – at speed of slowest rider
  • Coaching rides – any – at speed of slowest rider.
  • Virtual club ride – 1.5-2.5watts/kg but virtual ‘rubber banding’ keeps everyone together!
  • Road TTs – every rider at their own speed – go as fast as you can but keep safe!

*Remember, once you can ride in a group efficiently, it adds about 1-2mph to your average solo speed without any additional effort!*

What do you expect riders to bring on club runs?

Phone, puncture repair kit (e.g. spare inner tube, pump, tyre levers). Money if a café stop is planned. Appropriate layers for the weather. Mudguards in winter.

Are bikes other than road bikes acceptable on any rides?

Road bikes are best for the Linlithgow and East Calder club rides.

Cruise ride and coaching sessions – any type of bike can be used.

Aspects of cycling the club is involved in:

Social runs

Coached sessions for adults (e.g. cyclocross)

Coached sessions for children

Organising races

Competing in races

Designated ‘race squad’ – this is a plan for 2021 for both youth and adult

Taking part in Sportives 

Organising Sportives 

Do you run club social events?

Yes. Tour de France spectating (on TV!) over lunch after combined club run in July.

Club dinner and awards night in October.

Number of members (roughly):

159 

Current percentage of female members:

21%

Do you have a women’s development officer?

Nicola Hogan (club women’s coordinator, committee member)

Email: lasses@westlothianclarion.co.uk

Club projects to support and encourage women.

  • Our club president, Diane Clayton-Chisholm, is enthusiastic about encouraging more women to be involved in the club and in cycling in general.
  • We specifically have a women’s co-ordinator role on the committee (Nicola Hogan) and currently our race and events organiser, Maya Hidajat, is another female committee member.
  • We have recently been appointed one of the Scottish Cycling Development Clubs which means we will be able to access SC training and support specific to the needs of our club. Part of our aim for getting this support is to make the club more relevant and accessible to women.
  • We host a Rapha women’s 100km road ride every year.
  • Our cruise rides are open to anyone but are particularly popular with women.
  • Some of our members lead Breeze rides which we promote and support.

Do you also have a children’s / youth section / Go Ride club?

Yes. Our youth section is big and busy with a coaching and racing all year round for kids aged 6 – 15 years. Older youth members can choose to train as coaches.

Our new development and race squad aims to keep older teenagers in the club as well as providing opportunity to support adults who wish to race.

Do you offer opportunities for members to train as coaches, ride leaders, etc?

Yes. Many parents of youth members have trained as coaches, through the club.

Recently several experienced youth riders have also become coaches.

Some of our female members are coaches outside of the club including in women’s mountain biking at national level.

Other Information:

The club is closely involved in supporting the building of a new purpose-built cycle circuit in central Scotland. This is the West Lothian Cycle Circuit at Linlithgow Sports centre. It will provide a fantastic base for all sorts of cycling activities including learning to ride a bike, drop-in sessions, family rides, race-coaching and skills classes. This will be a great opportunity for women and families to get into cycling and improve confidence and ability.

Website / social media / etc:

Website: www.westlothianclarion.co.uk

Forum: www.tapatalk.com/groups/westlothianclarion/index.php

Facebook: www.facebook.com/westlothianclarion

Women’s Facebook group “wlc lasses”: www.facebook.com/groups/564207763691082

Instagram: www.instagram.com/westlothianclarion

Twitter: twitter.com/wlclarion

Strava: www.strava.com/clubs/west-lothian-clarion-6750

We are also part of the National Clarion Cycling Club clarioncc.org

Joining Information:

£20 per year for adult individual, £30 per year for 2 adult members in same household.

Other options for youth membership – see website www.westlothianclarion.co.uk/youth

Contact details:

lasses@westlothianclarion.co.uk

or

membership@westlothianclarion.co.uk

Via facebook – request to join group “wlc lasses”

Women’s co-ordinator Nicola Joy Hogan – lasses@westlothianclarion.co.uk

Information last updated:

August 2020

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