2023 Club Awards

Presented at the New Forest Cycling Club’s 90th anniversary dinner on 13th April 2024, the following NFCC awards were presented:

Coming soon.

In true NFCC style, we also had the NFCC Alt Awards:

Ride of the year 2023
An honorable mention goes to Lucy who was nominated for ‘not letting 9+ months of a wrist injury stop her from riding, whether indoors, on a mountain bike, or now being back to her usual crazy gravel rides through weather when nobody should be outside’.
Every year one ride stands out as something special and makes club mates sit up and take notice. In 1998 that ride belonged to Catherine Pascoe who rode 353 kilometers in 12 hours to post a club record which lasted for 25 years.
In 2023 at the RTTC National TT championships that record was finally beaten by this year’s Ride of the Year winner.
In the road bike category, covering 372.45 Kilometers at a rapid pace of 31kph our winner set a new club record that, unless she decides to beat it herself, could easily stand for another quarter of a century.
Ride of the year goes to Sien Van der Plank
Lanterne Rouge
The award for 2023’s biggest fail was nearly won with the clubs shortest ride. A beautifully concise effort from Richard Ward who, in his first ever time trial, managed a full mile before puncturing within sauntering distance of the car park HQ.
It would have taken something special however to beat 2023’s team effort.
Full description would have filled a novel so I will read out the chapter headlines and you can fill in the blanks for yourselves.
Training Camp Day 3.
1. A pleasant, hilly century ride planned, sunny forecast, shorts, jerseys and light rain jackets the order of the day. High spirits.
2. An early torrential downpour, a puncture, a long ascent, temperatures descend. Group split, several lost.
3. Finding a café in a closed mountain-top town. Double pastries and coffee. Spirits rise, Cloud-line lowers, spirits fall.
4. Escape from Mount Serrat, Our Troubles begin, Matt hits a rock, A broken wheel, a puncture and a temporary fix.
5. Descent in heavy fog, pursued by heavy rain, no grip, no brakes, another flat tyre, Every man for himself, Ignoring the overturned car, hypothermia sets in.
6. Sanctuary in Girona, Matt wants to buy world’s most expensive wheel, Another cafe, Must get warm, finding the hand dryer, Fighting for the Hand dryer, breaking the hand dryer, leaving the café.
7. The final straight, Dismounting for roadworks, remounting after roadworks, Bill leads the way, Bill cycles into a trench, Group follows Bill into the trench. 5 punctures, Bill breaks a wheel. Bill gets no sympathy.
8. Moving again, another puncture. Half the group deserts, moving again, another puncture. An uphill finish.
9. Home. 168K in 11 hours. Two broken wheels, 9 punctures, a café ban, Group hypothermia.
This year’s winner of the Lantern Rouge is the NFCC training camp squad.
Greatest distance covered in a multi-day event 2023
This year’s winner qualified to qualify for this event by completing 200, 400 and 600 Kilometer events.
At 1,200 Kilometers and with over 11,000 meters of climbing to complete in 90 hours, Paris-Brest-Paris has a well-earned reputation for being one of the toughest events in the world to complete.
Despite the intense heat, chilly nights and one day a 237K headwind he made excellent progress. On the final day he was left with just 204 Kilometers to ride in 16 hours.
Our winner was however severely hampered at this point by what he described with admirable euphemism as: ‘tiredness’, ‘sore hands’ and.. ‘undercarriage’ (As I think we can imagine, whether we’d like to or not). Despite these handicaps he made it, still partially intact but exhausted with two hours to spare.
If this wasn’t glory enough, on Day one he completed 454 Kilometers to win this year’s award for ‘Greatest distance covered in 24 hours ‘.
This year’s double winner Ray Claridge
Mechanic of the Year 2023
It was nip and tuck this year for one of the clubs most sought after awards, Mechanic of the year.
A particularly honorable mention goes to Reece for so many and such varied attempts to claim the wooden torque wrench and to Bill Mayes for the magnificent act of folly that was fitting a new chain to an old cassette just prior to attempting to ride 1200KM in 90 hrs at Paris-Brest-Paris, the results were as predictable as they were, no doubt exasperating.
But ultimately, it was hard to look beyond the sheer volume of largely wheel and tyre based disasters that befell this year’s winner. 2023 really was his, Continental, Pirelli and Michelin’s year.
Despite buying a new top of the range set of Graphene infused super-tires every other day, hardly a ride went by without the familiar sound of rapid deflation, the call of ‘Flat’ and then the choral groan of the peloton as the culprit was identified.
It’s generally considered polite to let the owner of a puncture have a crack at fixing it before getting the adults involved but regular Saturday riders have learned from bitter experience to step in early and sadly, often.
Other mechanical crimes that this rider might like to have taken into consideration before sentencing include using a mudguard that had a frame but absolutely no guard (It’s the thought that counts) and getting everyone to look for the axle that he had lost in the long grass before eventually realizing that it was still attached to his wheel.
This year’s Mechanic of the year Matthew Knight
Most Miles in a Calendar year 2023
This is one of several awards that continue to suffer from inflationary pressure. A few years ago it could have been secured with just 18,000 Kilometers. In 2023 however our winner needed to ride 23,233K to beat off close competition from young pretender to the throne, Reece Dawson.
Spending 908 hrs in the saddle, he rode an average of 63K a day and climbed 199,000m. Could surely have rounded that number up!
Some say that this prize is just for those with nothing better to do than spending their pitifully empty days, cycling like caged hamsters in a wheel of nihilistic bleakness, each mile serving as a doomed distraction from facing their own mortality and the ultimately hopeless futility of the human condition.
They are of course, quite right.
This year’s best Hamster: Graham Fletcher.

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