Seaons greetings, reader

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming - ah the power of advertising...

It's the last weekend before we celebrate the end of the year. As cyclists we start to worry about the adverse effects of the feasting on our power-to-weight ratio. It's good to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself every now and then. Stress is a killer - so don't worry - there are plenty of turbo sessions over the next few months to whip yourself into shape. Besides - it'll be getting icy out and more weight=better grip and more stability in the icy cold winds.

This week's newsletter is a wee bit late - we all have day-jobs and aren't the professional authors that we might appear to be from our indubitable quality.

The holidays will disrupt our usual weekend ride schedule - so keep your peepers peeled on the website for more info on activities. There is talk of doing some rides on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and more. Nothing major - small outings perhaps to help burn off the excesses and allow you to indulge even more. If you're thinking of going out by yourself for a quick spin - why not ask and see if anyone else fancies joining you.

My particular favourite is to ride up Riverhill on Christmas Morning as it's one of the few times where you don't get bothered by cards bombing past. Whatever you do - enjoy!

The following weekend will be similar - with the Sunday falling on New Years Day - one or two tender heads will be around I'm sure. I think there's also a Madison CX race on at Herne Hill - which could be fun for those who are more dirty-minded.

Much fun was had at the annual festive dinner and awards ceremony on Wednesday.

Thanks to Dave Bettinson for organising. We've expanded as a club so much now that we'll probably have to look for a bigger venue for next year - a great problem to have.

In case you weren't there - trophies galore were handed out - with Rob Grunfeld winning scratch and Dave Bettinson winning the handicap (no shock there) TT trophies - much glory for 2 very hard-fought competitions. Can they keep them next year too? Get in training now and turn up at as many TTs next season as you can to do your best!

In addition to the awards for the Club Time Trial Competition, the following trophies were handed out by our chairman, Mr Dines himself:

• Outstanding Athlete – Jonathan Harris – Gold at both UCI World Masters and British Masters Championships

• Veterans’ Trophy – Dave Bettinson (age 76!) -  winning the Age Handicap TT Champs for the fourth year running.

• Outstanding Contribution – Nick Patow – for being the number one Saturday ride stalwart, web contributor, Time Triallist and Off Roader

• Good Fellowship Award – Lee Powell for dedicating many hours of specialist work, converting the club in to a Community Amateur Sports Club

• Road Race Trophy – Andrew South – and looking for more podium results next year.

• Most Improved Rider – Rob Grunfield - for stellar improvements at Time Trialling, leading to winning the Scratch Champs.

• Fondo Trophy – Ashraf Kamel – for conquering the 550 mile, off road, non stop cycling race in the Scottish Highlands.

Kit Flash

The Kalas web shop for custom kit has now closed for the month, orders have been finalised and should arrive by the end of January. The new year brings with it new kit - yay!

The Pro range from Kalas has been updated, here's a look at the new items that will be available from next month:

newproducts.kalas.co.uk

Once I have prices and more details I'll write them up on the club website kit page.

We have our swish new club T-shirt in stock now as well as a huge box of socks in a range of sizes. Click the images below for more info. I'm still working out an effective way to distribute these to the masses before Christmas - suggestions on a postcard to kit@gsavanti.co.uk - usually everyone collects from me but with so many maybe I'll do a Santa on my bike and deliver by hand. Only if you've been good this past year... 

Club Rides This Weekend

The Saturday ride has been and gone - thanks to Nick again.

Sunday we have a full complement of rides:

• G1/2 - Steve Rodgers leading a 50 miler out to Cowden with a cafe stop in Westerham.

• G3 - Steve Riley leads a 50 miler out to Dame Kelly's gaff.

• G4 - Dame Jenny leads a 40 miler out to Brooklands Garden Center cafe.

Too late to remind you I imagine - but festive accessories are encouraged!

If you've been naughty this year - watch out for Krampus, Belsnickel, Père Fouettard and Black Pete.

My particular favourite baddie is Namahage - the scary face above - a deity revered in Japan at this time of year who punishes not only kids but the wives who have been disrespectful to the man of the house. 

Steve