Dear Member, 

I have been living in the UK for over 15 years now but I can't remember such a long period of the freezing weather. What makes the local weather even more challenging is the humidity which has been stuck between 90-100% so it feels like a freezing sauna! Cycling is quite a challenge too in this weather. By now I know intimately every single detail of the door in the hallway of my house because I have been staring at it through a waterfall of sweat several times a week for the last few months. I have found out two things: 1) the door needs a lick of paint (ideally evenly spread this time) and 2) winter training on indoor turbo trainers must look nuts to outsiders (my wife mercilessly claims it doesn't but I know the truth).

Turbo Sessions

All jokes aside, when the weather turns cold and rainy or when you can't hit the road during the week, turbo training is the only way to keep it up. Lee Staples has been doing a great job of running Thursday Turbo Sessions in the Halstead Village Hall which are free and available to all members. There was even a session with a yoga coach for post-cycling stretching exercises. Any questions regarding our club turbo sessions, you can email Lee at coach@gsavanti.co.uk.

Club Committee

On 16th January we had the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where some committee members were re-elected for another year and some new members were elected. The website has been now updated and you can see the names and photographs of the club committee members here. For any questions you may have, you can email us at admin@gsvanati.co.uk and your email will go to the right person.

Club Kit Shop

Our club kit shop will open again on 1st February and we offer a wide range of top-quality items provided by a Czech company Kalas. Now even British Cycling will be using their products for another for years!

On the technical side, Kalas listens to our suggestions and they respond to our feedback. As an example, we provided them with the feedback that the material used for the winter Rainmem jacket gets wet and heavy in the rain (even though it doesn't compromise on thermal insulation). Kalas did an extensive research and testing, and they have now replaced the original material with a new water-proof material.

We still have a stock of casual Avanti T-shirts and socks for very good prices. Please, order them on the website where Graham Shannon has done a great job and has added some nice & flashy banners.

Any questions regarding the club kit, you can email me at kit@gsavanti.co.uk.

GS Avanti and Cycles UK

The highlight of this Newsletter is an announcement that we have now paired up with the biggest cycling store in the Orpington area, Cycles UK. They are based on the High Street (by the Memorial) and the full address is Cycles UK, 299-301 High Street, Orpington, BR6 7TJ.

Members of our club will be now able to collect their new club kit at their convenience seven days a week directly in the store. The store offers a wide range of services from bicycles (all levels), accessories, spare parts, online orders, clothing, bike fitting & servicing in a very friendly environment run by cyclists for cyclists of all levels. The store manager is Alex.To top it up, Cycles UK now offers a 50% discount on servicing charges in February. Please, look at our website for more information.

We need to make a few logistic changes before we are able to distribute the new club kit via the store but it will not take very long. We will inform you as soon as everything is in place.

Weekend Club Rides

This weekend we have again regular Saturday and Sunday club rides. On Saturday, a mixed-ability group will set off from the Green at 8am for a usual 40-mile loop. On Sunday, G1/2 will take part in a fellow cycling club's sportive "Sydenham CC Reliability Trial" which starts in the Knockholt village. G3 will  go up and down and around via Four Elms. G4 will be heading to Hadlow. Please register your intention to ride on the website. It helps us with planning and organising.

Have a nice weekend, enjoy a well-deserved rest (either active or passive) after another long week and hopefully see some of you on Sunday!

Marek