It Is Called The Wenvoe Wheelers
I expect the keen eyed residents of Wenvoe have spotted a growing number of cyclists in the village these last few summers. That is not such a surprise when we have a cycle route passing through the village but we also have our own cycling club, right here in Wenvoe. It was quite a surprise to me to find that somehow, a cycling club had appeared, quite literally on my doorstep. What might be a surprise to most Wenvoe residents though, is that the club has members from all over Cardiff, Barry, Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan. We also have a few actual Wenvoe residents in our membership too.
I think you probably want to know why it is called the Wenvoe Wheelers, why and how did it start here. Well obviously it started after a few pints in the pub! What was needed was a social cycling club, open to all comers, those with plenty of cycling experience and those with none at all. Wenvoe seemed like a great place to base such a club with easy access to the Vale for lots of rides and accessible from Cardiff, Barry and Penarth.
Well, that was three years ago, and by the time you read this we will have had our third anniversary, with coffee and cake at our Sponsor’s HQ (Pedalcover) on our social ride on 6th April. We have come quite a long way in three years, it seems to me. We started off as a group simply co-ordinating our rides on Facebook and we still run our activities on Facebook. However, membership is managed through British Cycling and we encourage everyone to become members as you will then have insurance as well as access to a lot of helpful information, courses and events. I and 9 others have just done our Level 1 Ride Leader Qualification with British Cycling which allows us to lead rides of around 30 miles or so for anyone who joins one of our intro rides or Saturday Social rides. Need I add that all rides include a cake and coffee stop? No, I didn’t think so.
We have just come through a winter of Watt bike sessions on a Monday night at Ufit gym and turbo sessions in Wenvoe Village Hall on Thursdays. Who knew that turbo with a group could be such fun or that it was possible to sweat that much on a Watt bike? By the time you read this our members will have had a club trip to Mallorca, and ridden in several cycling events called ‘sportives’. We have a cycle trip to Gloucester over two days planned for the summer – including the Gospel pass, which to be frank, I am a little worried about as it is ridiculously steep.
We have our very own cycling event organised for Sunday 30th June which we are very excited about and want to make sure it goes off without a hitch as far as possible. We hope to have around 200 riders setting off from Station Road West from 7 am and returning from 12 noon, ish – depending on how quick the racing snakes are. We will have registration in the Community Centre and bag drops there, together with use of the toilets in the Village Hall before the riders set off. We will also have a bike repair tent from a local charity (Spokes in
Penarth) and a coffee wagon (we hope).
The 80 mile route will take the riders up through the valleys and up over the Bwlch mountain then down towards Cowbridge for refuelling before coming back to Wenvoe. There is also a 40 mile route which is perfectly do-able for anyone even if you don’t have a road bike. We have got masses of Welsh cakes at our feed stops and bananas and water as well.
We would love to see Wenvoe village support this event, which, in the absence of the Velothon this year we have rather cheekily called, the Valeothon! Fingers crossed it will go off alright on the day as it is quite a big event for us.
We are also in with a shout of being Welsh Cycling club of the year, though we won’t find out until later this year whether we have won, so we will keep you posted about that.
Many of our rides start from Wenvoe, usually at the Wenvoe Arms with Jen and Digby kindly allowing us to use their car park to set off from and of course you will often find us enjoying a post-ride beer especially on a sunny day.
Everyone is welcome to join us. Please come along for one of our intro rides on the first Saturday of each month, see if you like it. You will need a road bike or at least a bike that is comfortable on a road, not a mountain bike which are really hard work on the road. It’s a great way to keep fit and get out and about to see the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan. I really had no idea there were so many pretty lanes and villages right on my doorstep. I also had no idea how lovely it is to be cycling along and chatting with people as you do. It really is a great way to de-stress and see the countryside. If you are interested, you can find us on Facebook by searching for Wenvoe Wheelers or alternatively searching the internet for Wenvoe Wheelers which will take you to our club on British Cycling.