The power of BikeRadar's online community of riders has created West Lothian Clarion, a new Scottish cycling club, after cyclist Sadiq Mir started a thread in 2007.
"The BikeRadar thread grew and a few of us started riding together on a Saturday," said Matthew Ball, club secretary (and no relation to Rock Racing president Michael Ball). "After a few months we were regularly getting six or seven riders out every week for 40-mile rides. We were having a laugh and had a good banter on the club runs plus we made sure no one got left behind, even after sneaky 30 sign sprints!
"We decided to establish ourselves as a club in November 2007 so we could start racing and entering sportives together," he added. "We became a section of the National Clarion, calling ourselves the West Lothian Clarion. It was the most economical way to get affiliated to the relevant governing bodies and we were given a load of ideas and advice on how to run a club by them."
West Lothian Clarion club members entered track, time trial, sportive and road races for the first time. The club also took part in the Scottish team time trial, and despite finishing last, made some good memories and bonded together.
According to Ball, the thread now has 54 pages and the club's 22 (and rising) members regularly use it to plan rides and have a chat, getting 15-20 riders out every weekend on its Saturday and Sunday runs.
"Next year we are affiliating to the SCU, running a weekly club 10 and repeating some of the success of last year like the TDF sweepstake and the place to place record," Ball added. "We've also voted on a club jersey. Jimmy Harris, secretary of the dormant West of Scotland Clarion, got in contact with us and very generously decided to donate his club's trophies to our new club. We've now got four trophies for next year. We used one to present to the best placed finished in the Tour de Trossachs TT at the beginning of October."
For more information, visit West Lothian's BikeRadar thread here.