24th May 2013: Update courtesy of Ross

Steve is improving gradually, he is still in intensive care, but is making good progress according to the doctors.  Since my last update they have stopped his sedation and pain killers and he is now fully awake.  He is still on the ventilator (through a tracheostomy) but they have been turning it off and letting him breathe on his own for a few hours longer everyday (yesterday he did 12 hours!).  They also put a valve onto the tube in his neck last weekend which allows him to speak, it was great to hear his voice – but he’s very confused and keeps forgetting things – according to the nurses its sort of like being in a dream world because of all the drugs and it will gradually wear off as they clear out of his system, apparently no one ever remembers being in intensive care.

He’s been having daily sessions with the physios, getting him out of the bed and into a chair with arm and leg exercises etc.  They keep telling us they are very impressed with the progress on his breathing for a man of his age, and put it down to his high level of fitness!.  Hopefully at some point over the weekend they will be able to switch off the ventilator totally.   It’s now been just over 3 weeks, and as it takes approximately 6 weeks for bones to heal he’s over half way through, and hopefully has the hardest part behind him.

I’m almost ok now, my eye has healed up leaving two nice scars.  The cut on my knee is still healing, the joint is still sore but I can bend it enough to turn the pedals on the rollers which has helped to loosen it up, I am hoping by next week it will be recovered enough to resume some training, so a comeback for the end of the season might be possible, having 3 weeks off has probably taken a huge chunk off my fitness.

I am down for the National 10 tomorrow but obviously giving that a miss unfortunately. Luke is down for the Hitchin Nomads F14/25 on Saturday on the same course he did last weekend.

Courtesy of Neil Wass

There are bad days, and then there are days which make you realise the bad days weren't bad at all...

We've had some difficult stuff to deal with this last few days, stuff which puts everyday stuff nto perpsective. On the evening of May 1st, whilst out training, Steve and Ross Clarke hit a car which crossed their path whilst doing around 30mph on the Redbourn Road at the Luton Lane Junction. Both were rushed to hospital requiring immediate attention with no recollection of the actual collision.

Ross has sustained flesh wounds with no broken bones.He appears to have hit the front of the car and had a relatively 'softer' landing. Softer, that is, relative to Steve, who came to a more sudden stop into the side of the car.

Steve has now been in intensive care now for 10 days since the accident.News of the incident has been passed around by word of mouth but we were, frankly, not sure what to say or report because Steve was fighting for his life for several days.

He is now described as stable. Stable means he is beginning a long journey to recovery from potentially life changing injuries, and with, amongst other things, 10 broken ribs, a broken hip, broken leg and broken bones in his back, he has a lot to get through.

Although still on a ventilator, he has had moments of consciousness where he has recognised family members and the doctors have said that his spine appears to be intact which suggests that a full recovery should be possible.

At the moment, he's still not in a state to see visitors.Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, and Steve, one day we look forward to the thought of you reading this and laughing!

Latest Report from Sam Skuce (23-Oct):

Day 7: Monday 22-Oct
Alcaudete to Puebla de Alcocer
. 5 hours 80miles 1668mtrs climb and decending 1610mtrs.

Another tough day in the saddle, the climbing seemed never ending today we rode as a four thats Paul B Paul S Paul R and myself supporting each other. Paul R,Paul B started to get sore legs and some of the others were starting to suffer as it was a long mounatinous day. We had our ups and downs today but still all good friends and having alot of fun.

Day 6: Sunday 21-Oct
Avila to Alcaudete. 5 hours 38mins 93.21miles 1521 mtr climbing and decsents 2270mtrs

Well we had a long climb out of Avila and when we got to the top, Well the view was amazing, me and paul B had a nice 6miles of decsending together at over 50mph keeping pace with a lorry at safe
distance. half way down we stopped for a photo shot of the lake that was on our right hand side.

Day 5: Saturday 20-Oct
Penafiel to Avila 88miles over 887mtrs 4hours 59mins

Well Saturday was a rolling road and we all left together and kept a good pace and reached the hotel within 20mins of each other. It meant Paul B and my self had a good leg spinning day to help recover from the day before and ready for the mountains.

Day 4: Friday 19-Oct
Montorio to Penafiel 103 miles over 600mtrs climbing 6hrs 15min

Well it started of with a drizzle of rain or damp for 10mile or so as we headed towards Burgos. We belived it to be a ride of 80-90 mile as we try to take a short cut by going though Burgos instead of the counrty roads around would add another 15miles.

We stayed together until we got on to the open roads the other side of Burgos were we slowly split in to two groups Paul B/Paul R and my self left the other 4 down a 10 mile road at around 23 mph to a little village were we realise we gone slightly off track but we got together there and rode together to the feed at 40mile 'ish.

We had a good feed then off again thinking that another 40 miles then hotel but well, we had a few ups and downs and thinking this looks like a nice road at 60 miles were the sign for Penafiel. At this point we stopped for coffee and a pee stop for Karen that is. (girl up) then off again Paul R/Paul B and I rode the next 33 'ish miles as a 3 up, down the road which just looked like a new road with road signs telling you anything but Penafiel until we saw a sign and that was going directions, Paul R was getting colour full spanish coming out this mouth, the we got to a cross road a sign said 9KM. He went mad, well I think if I was not so focused on where we were going and leading I think I was mad too, but we had a good run in to Penafiel and it was an extra 20 miles we did.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/
showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=PaulRosenthal

Day 3: 17-Oct

Well we started out together from Santander took 4 miles to get out and find the n623. We cycle for about 20 ish miles and stop quickly for a pit stop in a petrol station. Then it was up the road 10 miles then the mountain came an 18% 6 km long. The 3 Paul's and Mark were ahead about a minute gap with me chilling at the back with Richard and Karen. But as I climb I slowly started to catch mark up then Paul small and Paul Rosenthal seconds later. I caught Paul browning up near the top of that stage and then climb together pacing each other up the climbs but the cold and wet was affecting Paul so I slowly got to the top a few yards ahead of him and round the corner was brunch. We climb 1011 Mtrs in 6 km. We both drived in to the can to warm up while it tipped it down. We got out and rode together Paul and I down the hillI. We rode most of the time as a 2 up pair over 35 miles and a further 1600 Mtrs of climbing though a nice valley of mountains. Even when we thought we were going down we were still spinning the gears and sometime just about ticking over at point. So glad I put on a 39 /28 this morning just got out of jail. Me and Paul both got to Montorio an hour ahead of the rest of the team.

Due to bad weather I could not take photos. But if done in summer I would take loads excellent views.

I will email Garmin link later.

Day 1: 16-Oct

All safely on board the ferry to Santander. We had a couple of Paul Rosenthal mates as well as Joe Plumb and Gavin Bench came along and lead us out of St Albans towards Windsor.

We had some strong head winds as we got closer to the coast and the hills got bigger and longer as we got further down. The team consists of Paul Rosenthal, Paul Small, Paul Browning, Richard Marchand and my self Samuel Skuce (aka Squeaky)

Well my job is to look after the maintenance of the bikes and insure they run well. That they are clean and ready to ride. My on bike job is to ensure we all stay together.

I did a lot of hard work in to the wind today. The others came through as and when they could or able to. Due to their ability they ride like hill climbers when the hills come and distance flat riders
when it's flat. Paul did the nav from his Garmin.

Paul and his dad have done a excellent job organiseing such a great route.

Once in Santander I will be washing all the bikes and putting my deep section race wheels on and lower gears.

You can see the garmin data below

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/234165029#.UH3GPIAG5Vs.email

85th Annual Club Dinner Dance and Awards Ceremony

At Harpenden Golf Club

Saturday 1st December 2012. 6.30pm for 7.00pm

Don’t miss this evening, it is always a sellout so book early as tickets are limited.
Why not book a table for your group

Tickets: £30.00 available from 1st October
Please pay in advance with order

Cheques to be made payable to Verulam Cycling Club

From: David Korson e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 01442 831716
Sales Farm Grove Lane, Whelpley Hill, Chesham HP5 3QQ

Report by Craig Sears-Black

The first Spirit Cycles Sportive was held on Saturday 22nd September on a very pleasant sunny day. With the options of 60 and 100 miles on offer, being new this year to road cycling, I took the easy option which actually comprised 68.5 miles (110km) starting and ending at Wing. The event attracted around 50 entrants at that distance and was low key but well signed and well organised. With 1,100 metres of climbing the route took in many of the Chilterns' regular hills and was an interesting challenge for the novice and a total time of 4hrs 26mins earned a top 10 place. The longer 100 mile route attracted very few entrants so it will be interesting to see what Spirit Cycles plan for next year