Updated: May 21
I’m afraid I’ve got no whimsical yarns to spin or dry observations to make about anything. I did however have 5 minutes to quickly share with you some of the racing highlights of 2020 – 5 mins being all that is really needed as there obviously wasn’t much racing to speak of last year anyway. But we can’t let the standards slip can we. As soon as we got the chance there were plenty of Muckles getting stuck into whatever they could - so here's the highlights.
Shaun Brannan - N&DCA 100mile TT Champion
One of the highlights has to be Shaun Brannan’s outstanding time trial performance in the VTTA National 100mile Championships, which included the Northumberland and Durham Cycling Association 100 mile championships. Shaun won the regional champs, covering the 100 miles in 03:59:53 with an average speed of 40.5 km/h which was good enough for 4th place in the national competition as well.
Matty Smith - 1st place SCCC hill climb
When the hill climb season rolled around in September it felt like record numbers of Muckles were out doing the business on the hills. MCC won the N&DCA team prize in the hill climb league again with Matty Smith, Lee Cuthbertson, and Colin Atkinson as well as taking second place with the Muckle B team of John Bowman, Peter Hawkins, and Chris Wilcock.
Colin Atkinson (obviously) won the vets hill climb league (again), consistently placing in the top 10 of every race he entered. MCC hill climber of the year though was Matty Smith who took the win in the Sunderland Clarion hill climb up Silverhills (cruelly beating his own team mate Lee Cuthbertson into 2nd) and finished 2nd overall in the league.
The highlight of the hill climb season for me though was meeting this guy at the top of prospect hill, and then discovering the kind of material he is producing and uploading to YouTube. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. I wouldn't be surprised if forensic teams end up having to analyse these videos to help them find the missing people this bloke has been kidnaping and using to make himself a suit of human skin. I’m sure he’s harmless enough though. I, for one, am a big fan!
As well as the racing, Muckles kept themselves busy with various daft cycling endeavours – one of the daftest of all was courtesy of Dean Madden who completed 100 x100 mile rides over the course of the year. A mega achievement, and you can read all about it, and perv over some sexy photos of Dean on the Band of Climbers website here -
As if 2020 wasn't weird enough - here's the moment Dean and I met Didi the devil at the Tour des Stations in Switzerland on a trip with Band of Climbers
There’s a fair amount I've probably missed out , and I've not even mentioned the 3/4 crit at Prissick that Ben Wilkinson won in March before everything kicked off. I've just had a quick look to try and find a photo of that race, but before I could, I came across this one of Ben and, 2020 best newcomer Harry having a lovely little swim together. So I'll leave you with that and lets hope that whatever 2021 throws at us, we'll be out having fun on our bikes.