Dear Avanti Member,

The summer cycling season is now definitely over and the winter season is slowly but surely upon us. It is the right time of the year to dust off the turbo trainer which has been collecting dust for the last six months and to give it a go when the weather gets too cold, too wet or most likely too cold & wet at the same time.

I have done exactly that and I must say I find my "hamstering" on the turbo machine in the garden at the back of the house quite refreshing. What is there not to like? Pain, sweat, darkness and you don't move one inch. On a more serious note, we are again looking to re-start our weekly club turbo sessions. We will keep you posted on the club website.

The Cycling World Championships last week in Qatar – it was very inspiring to watch both male and female cyclists in the junior to elite categories performing at the top level in 35-40C temperatures. They are simply remarkable athletes! And finally, a cherry on the cake was to see three world champions on the podium of the elite men road race. It was quite unprecedented.

However, all of this couldn't beat my joy when I finally managed to teach my son to ride his bike! We made a good progress in the summer but then he got stuck (mentally more than physically). In the end I offered him a very juicy "carrot" and he was riding by himself within two days. We have even tried some basic interval sessions (no, not really, it was more a tempo ride).

On the training side, we had a great night training session in the Cyclopark in Gravesend! About twelve brave souls gathered on the purpose-built circuit (including several new or newish members). Lee Staples was leading the session and we practised skills, sprints, manoeuvring and a bit of team racing. It was very enjoyable to see how well we can work in a group without much talking. Everyone knew what to do. All those hours of group riding and practising came to the surface. We are hoping to have one more of those sessions before the year end. Again, we will keep you posted.

Club Kit

The Kalas shop will be open until the end of the month. We still don't have enough orders to make it into production hence the extension of the opening hours. There are also several updates.

(1) We now have a selection of new winter items from very cold to mild conditions.

(2) Winter items with all the thermal, rain and wind insulation materials tend to be more expensive than summer items. We have listened to your feedback and we are now offering (within reason) to replace purchased items that are the wrong size with the correct size.

(3) We will also have a stock of top-quality cycling stocks for a reasonable price and T-shirts (all in club colours) in time for Christmas.

If you want to order anything for the winter season, please have a look at the kit website for a delivery by the end of November. If you have any questions, please email Steve Rodgers at kit@gsavanti.co.uk. Steve has been working tirelessly on his mission to equip us all with the Avanti-branded kit.

Club Rides and Ride Leaders

There are no rides posted yet on the website but they will as we get closer to the weekend.

We would like to encourage more members (across all groups from G4 to G1, and also for Saturday rides) to come forward if they are happy to lead and to share with us their special training routes, climbs, picturesque lanes, shortcuts, detours or romantic cafes. I always find it very enjoyable to ride on "new" roads which are right there in our backyard. Don't be coy, don't be shy. If you are interested in ride leading, please email us at info@gsavanti.co.uk.

Going by Avanti numbers at the team time trial at Brands Hatch in September, it will be a great season for the club next year! We are in a great shape and we are growing! I have seen some great personal improvements this year, I have seen new friendships forming through cycling, slowly but surely we see more female members joining us and we even have a multiple Cycling Champion among us with several others churning out very impressive power numbers and inspiring the rest of us "mere mortals" to get better, faster and stronger. That's what the club riding is all about (and also cake stops in nice cafes).

Enjoy your autumn miles on the bike but stay safe on the road!

Marek