WARRNAMBOOL Veterans Cycling Club has established links with the UK’s Ashbourne Cycling Club to welcome visiting cyclists on Australian training rides, with one condition.
Don’t expect to stop along the route for a cup of tea.
The two clubs recently became sister clubs to give visiting cyclists an opportunity to ride when travelling overseas and provide online links.
UK-born Warrnambool resident Barry Webster rode with the group when he visited England in 2010, and was surprised when they stopped for refreshments during a training ride.
“They stopped for a tea break near Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, in Chatsworth Park at a major road on the way to Sheffield. We stopped there and had cups of tea.
"I said ‘You’ll have to buy me a can of Coke, I can’t have a cup of tea,” Mr Webster laughed.
“That was my first time with the club and they made me an honorary member of Ashbourne Cycling Club. I did a couple of training rides with them and it was all mountains, well hills. They felt like mountains to me when I was struggling.”
Mr Webster’s cousin Anthony Howson is an Ashbourne Cycling Club member and the pair swapped club jerseys which Mr Webster wore when he returned to Warrnambool.
Warrnambool Veterans Cycling Club president Barry Warren suggested making them sister clubs.
“I’ve already been in contact with Anthony (Howson) and the idea is anyone in the (Warrnambool) club can correspond with anyone at Ashbourne,” Mr Warren said.
“Our club will welcome anyone from their club over here, and any of the guys from our club who went over to England, they could rock up and have a ride with those guys.
“We all share a common interest. Now everyone can correspond via emails and maybe some friendships will be struck up by having the one interest,” Mr Warren said.
The partnership comes at a time when the club is at its strongest, boasting 75 members last year.
Mr Warren said club numbers were pleasing and had been consistent for the past few years.
“We’ve got good club rooms out there. It’s a great club.
“Although we’re competitive (racing) on a Sunday there’s still plenty of friendships made.
“We’re just old blokes having a good time”.
New members are welcome. For more information contact Mr Warren on 0478 313 493.