Sunday, March 26, 2006

The History of the Titchfield Cycling Association

The TCA (Titchfield Cycling Association) was founded in 1998 by two young, adventurous fellows Alun Fowler and Paul Bowman. Both chaps inhabited the same street but were often found out of their respective homes to escape their premature domestic suburban lifestyles. Fowler could usually be seen outside in all weather conditions cooking all manner of beast on his BBQ while Bowman was frequently spotted knee deep in his front garden digging yet another pointless garden feature. Friendship grew over swapping marinade techniques and listening to Fowlers eclectic music taste while appreciating a fine dram of whiskey, on many occasions long into the night.

The Founding Fathers (Left to Right: Bowman; Fowler)

In order to break up the mundane mid-week blues both conceived a plan to go cycling - but not just any old cycling - no it would be after work, whatever the weather, night cycling mixed with the consumption of real ale on route. A natural evolution followed over time which saw their original heavy-weight heaps-of-gun-metal bikes exchanged for more agile lighter framed SCOTT Expert Racing. This coupled with the purchase of retina burning lights (see links) became the trademark feature of the TCA. The rides became a regular and eagerly anticipated feature of their week and often served a multi purpose function of exercise, wildlife spotting, night orienteering, beer drinking and bloke bitching.

The early days of the TCA were marked by many an epic worthy of Shackleton or Scott’s diaries with numerous notable ‘offs’, sub-zero temperatures and cross country night routes through woods, dog ridden farms, coastal paths and MOD ranges. Many a time would Fowler and Bowman be found panicing in a Hampshire field approaching mid night with compass, mag light and map in hand. While rides have become more advanced over the passing years with the inevitable advancement in kit, GPS navigational aides and Bowman’s slightly improved sense of balance, the crucial elements of the TCA have nevertheless remained intact. That is the continuing sense of night exploration, the search for the ‘new’ route and the sense of satisfaction downing a fine ale in an unsuspecting good pub while covered in sh*t.

The Annual "Christmas Poof's Ride" 2005 (Left to Right: Jon, Al, Paul)

The diversity of the TCA knows no bounds as it includes the TCA night hike and the often necessary 'Poof’s Ride' to accommodate times of injury, time constraint or general laziness. The emphasis of the evening would swing towards the discovery and consumption of fine guest ales, typically at night although the TCA hike is also a multi daylight hour event on occasions. The membership of the TCA has also grown from strength to strength over the intervening years with a number of individuals making sporadic appearances since its foundation. However, only a select few have become associates of this unique club. Recognising the need to forever adapt the TCA is now diversifying to include an international branch of this unique club.


At 2:52 am, August 09, 2006, Blogger simon said...

ah ha! now I understand... ;o)

At 7:54 pm, September 15, 2006, Anonymous The Kona King said...

Soft southern nancies. I'll ride you into the dirt with my red uber-machine!


Post a Comment

<< Home