Dear Avanti Member,

Things are hotting up! The weather has been warm and dry which is good for cycling but also for sporting a fancy new kit, especially the chic Avanti kit. It is always great to see so many Avanti members in club jerseys at the Green on any given morning. I was riding with the club the other day in a neat formation and the whole group was in Avanti jerseys. We were passing through a small village when we had to slow down due to an oncoming traffic, and I overheard a nearby standing couple saying something to each other along the lines "look at these guys, they look very professional". It made me smile but also proud at the same time. It doesn't get any better when it comes to social riding with a club (a good ride on the bike combined with a good fun with good overall looks). Saying this, I still haven't dared to put on my new Avanti skinsuit, I am just not sure if the cycling world is ready for a sea lion on a TT bike...

Things are also hotting up because the Olympic Games are in a full swing and it is great to watch various sports which we normally never get to see on TV (e.g. 3-metre spring board synchronised diving). Olympic cycling has been great so far and it is getting better with the start of track disciplines. I was personally very happy to see Fabian "Spartacus" Cancellara winning the Men's Time Trial in his retirement year at the age of 35 (he is the No2 cycling hero for me right after Peter Sagan, no bias there) but I was even more impressed by Kristin Armstrong (no link to Lance Armstrong) winning the Women's Time Trial at the age of 43, holding a day job with a family! It just shows that in cycling one can keep improving and getting better even at the age when many other endurance sports or sports in general are just a non-starter.

The club summer season is coming to a climax with things hotting up in the Interclub Time Trial Competition where we are still in the lead (a strong performance from Avantis yesterday at the Polhill TT with many PBs). We still have three individual time trials on coming Saturdays (Isle of Grain, a hilly Gracious Lane and a fast Tonbridge) and the closer of the season is the 4-up Team Time Trial at Brands Hatch! Anyone can participate (you just need a bike and to wear an Avanti jersey) and everyone earns at least one point in the interclub competition for taking part. Johnnie Edwards has keeping and updating the Time Trial pages in an excellent order for us. For more information, please click here and if you want to participate in the 4-up team time trial, please click here.

We have a very popular local sportive, the Circuit of Kent, coming up in early September (130km = 80m) and there are still five places funded by the club available. Please express your interest here or contact Patrick Norman. It is a great circuit taking lanes and roads that we don’t go to very often with the Carter's Hill right at the end as a special added bonus, and good food & refreshment en route as well as at the finish. We will ride as a single group or as two groups subject to the number of members involved.

On Monday at 8pm we hold a club social event at Queen's Head on the High Street in Orpington between Poppy's and the Green. There will be drinks and a buffet put on by the club. In particular it would be great to meet new members! We will be discussing new plans for the club including the Open Day on 18th September.

The Kalas shop with the club kit is still open for one more day (closing tonight) unless we get less than five items on order when the shop will remain open. However, we have arm warmers, caps, socks and gloves in stock available for sale to our members. I have already waxed lyrical about our kit at the start of this Newsletter so enough said. Please contact Steve Rodgers for any questions regarding the club kit (jerseys, shorts, skinsuits, gillets, etc).

A big number of members will be taking part in the Big Dog on Saturday but we will still have a Saturday ride meeting at the Green for an 8am departure (a usual 40-45 mile trip of mix abilities ending in Belmondo's for a coffee/tea and a naughty slice of a cake).

Russ (freshly back from his holiday endeavours in Germany) will be leading G1/G2 contingent on one of his favourite routes. Please keep an eye on the website for the details of Russ's secret Kentish adventure on the bike. We will meet at the Green for a 9am departure. We will ride as a single group or two groups subject to numbers and available leaders.

G3 will be heading to Tulley's Farm. It is one of my favourite routes with a great coffee shop. It is a fairly flat course and your ride leader will be DaveB (60 miles, 15-16mph average speed). The meeting point is the Green for a 9.15am departure.

G4 will be going to East Peckham with a stop in the Brookside Garden Centre. Your ride leader will be Jenny (40 miles, 13-14mph average speed). The meeting point is the Green for a 9.15am departure.

Have a great weekend, hopefully see many of you on Monday at the all-club social and enjoy the summer while it lasts!