Happy 6th birthday Malmesbury Cycling Club! Such a momentous occasion couldn't pass without a special birthday blog bulletin.
And of course the blog wouldn't be the blog without a piece of music to get us on our way.
I recently heard an interesting bit of trivia linking Cricklade and Elvis Presley. The connection is made through George Poulton, who was born in Cricklade in 1828. At the age of seven his parents emigrated to Lansingburgh, New York.
George Poulton grew up to become a celebrated musician and in 1861, he composed Aura Lee, one of the most popular tunes of the 19th Century, which became a very famous Civil War song.
It must have had a lasting legacy because in 1956, Elvis changed the lyrics and Love Me Tender was born.
I thought we'd stay with rock and roll, but instead of Elvis, I'd play something by Eddie Cochran who tragically died in 1960 when the speeding taxi he was travelling in left the road at the bottom of Rowden Hill in Chippenham.
Eddie's belongings were removed to Chippenham Police Station for safe-keeping, which is where Police Cadet David Harman taught himself to play guitar using Cochran's Gretsch. He later went on to become known as Dave Dee, as in Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mitch and Titch.
With or without your blue suede shoes, you can listen to Eddie Cochran's C'mon Everybody here.
Photograph courtesy of Steve M
Most will be up to speed with this topic through various emails, but for those that aren't, it's definitely worth another mention.
The hugely popular and extremely successful Christmas Eve ride and visit to Steve and Helen's home for refreshments, raised a fantastic £160 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The committee felt that words alone were not enough to express our gratitude. Tim H subsequently presented the flowers to Helen, which as you can see, not only looked very elegant, they also came in MCC colours.
Photograph courtesy of Howard
On 16th January 2018, Howard and Steve M proudly handed the cheque over to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Well done to all concerned!
Photograph courtesy of Caroline
Further afield, there was a good showing of members at this year's Winter Windrush Warm-Up 100km Audax on Sunday 28th January 2018.
Pictured at Ride HQ; the Bradstone Sports Pavilion at Ashton Keynes, are Bryan, Caroline, Howard, John and Steve M. Also taking part were Mike G and Tommy.
The MCC flag was also flown at the annual Chippenham Flapjack 100km Audax on Sunday 11th February 2018, with John, Peter C, Phil and Tommy all riding.
Long winter excursions are always challenging, so a great effort by everyone.
The counter at the Pitstop Café
Our Ride Secretary, Peter C has put together another cracking set of rides for March, with a couple of new cafes thrown in for good measure. Without wishing to steal his thunder, and of course not forgetting Howard's Leisure Group, here's where the Social and Sporting Groups will be stopping:
3rd March - Pitstop Café, Stanton.
10th March - AV8, Cotswold Airport, Kemble.
17th March - Folly Row Café, Kington St Michael.
24th March - Wickwar Coffee Shop.
31st March - Warmley Waiting Room.
The outing to the Warmley Waiting Room will be the monthly joint Social and Sporting Group ride, and so starts at 9.30am.
Breaking records can sometimes be a tough business. Whilst 2017's record-breaking 28 members couldn't be beaten on Saturday for our 6th birthday ride and party, 24 members was still an impressive turnout, particularly given the near-freezing temperature.
Numbers did look to be well-down judging by those who mustered in a chilly Cross Hayes, but arriving at The Angel, Sherston we were pleased to discover that a fair few had come by four wheels and not two.
It was good to see Alice following her recent recovery from pneumonia and Maureen after her back surgery. Absent, but I'm sure very much with us in spirit, was Tim H, another victim of pneumonia. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Photograph courtesy of Sian
With the club picking up the tab for our special birthday cake and everyone's hot drinks, wallets and purses stayed firmly in our pockets.
Our thanks go to Howard for making all of the arrangements with The Angel.
With the party games over and the goody bags handed out, it was time to go home, but not before some of us enjoyed a ride out to Littleton Drew and back via Stanton St Quintin and Seagry.
Attendees: Alice, Bryan, Caroline, Chris P, Clive, Dave, Des D, Howard, James M, Ken, Lyndon, Malc, Maureen, Motor-Mike, Pete B, Peter C, Phil, Sian, Simon A, Steve M, Sue Akers, Sue Alexander, me Tim W and Tommy.