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Upcoming Events

Oct
22
Sun
9:00 am Rearranged – SCC CLUB RIDE TO TH...
Rearranged – SCC CLUB RIDE TO TH...
Oct 22 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Rearranged - SCC CLUB RIDE TO THE VELO CAFE: SUNDAY OCTOBER 22nd
Re- arranged Event – date Changed Following last year’s very successful club ride to the Velo Cafe, as part of the Cycling Weekly feature on the club, the Club Committee have decided to hold a[...]
Nov
6
Mon
8:00 pm Presidents Informal Forum
Presidents Informal Forum
Nov 6 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Informal forum. A chance for members to get together and exchange views, find out the latest news and upcoming events.
Nov
17
Fri
7:00 pm Club 85th Anniversary Dinner
Club 85th Anniversary Dinner
Nov 17 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
The Club’s 85th Anniversary Dinner is held at the Ramarda Hotel. More details to follow.
Dec
4
Mon
8:00 pm Presidents Informal Forum
Presidents Informal Forum
Dec 4 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Informal forum. A chance for members to get together and exchange views, find out the latest news and upcoming events.
Dec
11
Mon
7:00 am Club AGM 19:00 Start
Club AGM 19:00 Start
Dec 11 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am
Annual Club AGM 19:00 start
Dec
26
Tue
9:30 am Boxing Day Time Trail
Boxing Day Time Trail
Dec 26 @ 9:30 am
Boxing Day Time Trail, 9:30 start time.
Jan
1
Mon
9:30 am Club Run to the Iron Men
Club Run to the Iron Men
Jan 1 @ 9:30 am
Club Run to the Iron Men. Mountain Bikes if you like 9:30 Prompt

Report on the Mons Trip

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The two Club presidents relaxing on Saturday evening

Cycling is Mons Work

As previously reported the last 8 months have seen great activity for the section of the club heading to Mons in Belgium. The city of Mons is twinned with Sefton and has been the focus of social exchanges for a few years but as budgets get stretched the links were put under some strain. During the glory years one partnership blossomed and endured the hardships, Southport Cycling Club and Mons Cycling club stayed in contact with visits to take part in rides over both our countryside. Mons holds a special place for many as it has been a key location during both the First and Second World Wars, the city has sought to commemorate and celebrate some the worst and best of those times.


By Thursday night 22 Southport riders congregated in Mons central square to plan the next day with military precision, or so we thought. With over 2000 riders expected from all over Europe the start time was from 6.30am with 4 Southport riders aiming to head off early and the rest of us after 7.30am. One rider (Pete) managed to get his clock in a muddle and got to the start line around 4.30am no doubt to the great amusement of his room mate. Three of our riders missed the start point altogether in their excitement to get underway, whilst another four missed some sign posts and ended up on a different distance than planned, leading to a cycling ASBO for “El Prez”.
The ride itself was unexpected for those of us who though Belgium as a flat farmland expanse, the ride took us over some of the highest points on the Belgium and French border with over 8000 feet of climbing required for the longer routes.

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Beers at the event finish

The distance and the gradients were no match for the fantastic organisation and dedication of the Mons cycling club who put on such a great event. The feed stops around the course were well stocked with cakes, fruit, drinks and occasional beer and it was at the Chimay feed stop that a big group of Southport riders met up. With twelve Southport riders of mixed ability it was never likely we would finish at the same time but it is always good to see a friendly face. Ten riders stuck together for the last push to finish and rolling across the finish line was euphoric for all, some riders had clocked up nearly 140 miles that day with some having ridden over a 100 miles from the ferry to get to Mons the day before. Once at the finish again our hosts demonstrated impeccable hospitality with ice cold glasses of the famous Chimay beer handed out along with sandwiches and speeches.

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The Guardhouse Monkey ( Le singe du grand’garde ) Click the image for more information

The next day it was time to forget about cycling and immerse ourselves in the culture of our hosts city of Mons. The day started with a gentle walk around the famous bell tower which sits on top of the highest point in Mons and then a walk around the Cathedral with its incredible vaulted ceilings. After a spot of lunch our hosts met us at the Mons Monkey (statue, not pub) and took us to the Mons museum. This modern museum chronicles the start of the First World War and continues through time to the end of the Second Word War. Mons was the scene of the first death of a British Soldier in WW1, the British had sent a small force to help defend the city and on the 21st August John Parr who was guarding a bridge in Mons was shot. After 3 days of heavy fighting the defence of the city eventually failed and the German army occupied the city. There have been many legends surrounding wars and these three days saw the start of the “Angel of Mons” ghostly knights on horseback firing arrows into the German ranks and forcing them back allowing wounded British soldiers to retreat. Mons is also the resting place of the last soldier to be killed in WW1, George Price who died just minutes before the armistice ceasefire. Both Price and Parr are buried in the same War cemetery which we quietly visited on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday night brought together both cycling clubs for food and drink, both club’s presidents gave speeches, duly translated by our main host Richard, and prizes given to those who had made an impression over the few days together, including an alarm clock for Pete.

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A wet ride back to the ferry. In the main square in Bruges

Sunday morning was a little dreary and as some headed to the ferry on two wheels others opted for four wheels and engines but all a little sad the experience was coming to a close. Both clubs had rekindled friendships and everyone had an enjoyable weekend with the memories of a great ride and a great city.

The event would not have been possible without the will and enthusiasm of Colin and Richard, Colin is the president of Southport Cycling Club and since retirement works almost full time to promote our club and cycling in general to our community whilst Richard in Mons has ensured that the logistics within Belgium were faultless. All the members who attended want to pass on our upper most thanks to them both for their time and energy.

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