Newsletter 129

 

 

AOAC Newsletter

Happy New Year everybody!!
 

 

Club activities
It looks like activities will not be able to continue for at least the next month and probably beyond. In the meantime we can continue to plan trips that we would like to run as restrictions end, as well as finding ways to stay active so that we can hit the ground running when we can get back to events. We aren’t currently making financial commitments but that doesn’t stop us from planning. If you have an idea, why not post it on the forum and Facebook to generate interest and start off the planning.

Hopefully it won't be too long before we can get out on group events again, even if only the small groups of last year. It wasn't all bad, one of the benefits of the smaller groups for walking was the chance to have a good chat with all the participants and the ability to converse as a group. Whatever the number, it will be good to get out and meet people again.

Some of the planning going on:
 

Summer Walk Planning 
Hopefully the new normal will be bit more normal by May. So, I am  thinking of getting the evening walk programme together. It is likely that we may still have some restrictions, so we will go for both Tuesdays and Thursday from 1st May in the anticipation that we may still be limited to six people per event. Please can you put your events directly on the webform "Propose an Event" and we can sort out any clashes as we go. I have a number of local evening and short day walks captured on the OSMaps app, so if you are short of ideas, let me know where you are thinking of and I can send a gpx file for you to upload in the OSMAND, ViewRanger or OSMaps. You may wish to try out the walk before the event. The evening walks should be about 4 miles, take up to 2 hours, normally meet at 6.45 for 7pm prompt departure unless you wish to start earlier. My day walks are 7 to 10 miles often involve a tea shop.
Keith
 
There are already some great walks on the calendar, thanks Russ, Keith and Chris, but I'm sure a lot of you will have at least one walk that you could add to the list. I, myself, have a lovely circular 2-hour walk from Chew Magna which I'm hoping to put on the calendar in summer; if we get the timing right we can have fish'n'chips at Salt & Malt in the Chew Valley Lake car grounds. I've also got a nice walk around Clifton and over the bridge, which will be lovely for a summer's evening.

Paddlesports:
We held the 2021 summer paddlesports planning meeting on 12th January (via Zoom, obvs). About 17 people made the effort to come (although even in a normal January there’s not that much to do on a Tuesday evening). As new paddlesport coordinator my first attempt at chairing the meeting was done with questionable effectiveness; literally like herding cats since AOAC paddlers seem to have a fondness for the felines and invited them along too.

But everyone stepped up, and enthusiasm for planning events later in the year was good to see. Following the rather good idea by Katie (our previous paddlesport coordinator), we basically moved most of the planned trips and course from last year (the year that shall not be named) to 2021. So we will (restrictions permitting) be running our ever popular introductory kayak courses (Discover and Explore) on 3 occasions, with later opportunities for Moving Water Safety and Rescue to allow progression to white water. If you are unsure about committing to a whole course, we will be arranging some taster days as well. Monday night sessions at Saltford return in May, and we will be looking for volunteers to help out at these. For those who have had some experience in some sort of kayak (Explore standard), we will also offer 2 introduction to sea kayaking weekends. There will be opportunities for more experienced (intromediate, intermediate and advanced) sea kayakers to get on the water, including day trips (Bristol channel or South Wales) and weekends (including bivy trips) in Dorset, Devon, West and North Wales.

Already on the calendar (and already booked up) is the postponed Sardinia trip in September. An earlier multi activity trip to Bavaria is also pencilled in for June/July. Overnight canoe and touring kayak river trips will also be on offer, and again get booked up quickly.

So we have a pretty full calendar already, and likely more trips to be added once we are able to book for longer periods away with more confidence. Big thank you to all who attended and offered to lead, coach and/or organise.

We will be having a series of presentation evenings over the next couple of months to while away the winter's evenings. Previous trips by club members (not necessarily club events) from all disciplines. 
Elinor - Paddlesports Coordinator

 

Cycling & MTBing:
As Cycle Coordinator my role is to promote Road and Mountain Biking. I’ve been doing it for some time and enjoy it only a little less than actually being out there on the bike careering through the trees or slipping through the lanes in search of the next fab view or brilliant café stop.  
 
Cycling is not hard and almost everyone can do it so it’s hard for me to expound its virtues in club..… except… we have a some great leaders who have some fabulous routes. You don’t have to worry about where you are going, how far, what’s coming up, when will you get home, what to do if you have a “technical” (a problem with the bike)....the leader has all that in hand. You just have to enjoy!
 
In the last year we have still been getting out in one form or another, but it has been much reduced. We have even been able to get new leaders in place so don’t think we aren’t doing stuff.
 
If you want to get out and are looking for help then contact me on [email protected] (yes I’m Development Officer as well) and I can point you in the right direction to find other riders and get some introductions.
 
We cover lots of different types of riding but they are all social, fun and friendly so don’t worry about your level of riding. We have a leader for all of them.
 
There is lots planned for when we can get out…. So!
 
Racing snakes ready?
Tea and cakes ready?
Cross country and trail ready?
We are going to have a fab time as soon as we are allowed.

Guy - Cycling Coordinator
 

 

Overseas Trip - Bavaria  June/July 2021
Planning has started for a 2 week multi-activity trip to Bavaria! Dates and location depend on the restrictions at the time but it’s good to make plans. Activities will include walking, climbing, white water kayaking and any other activities we have leaders for. There should be something to suit everyone and if it happens it will be a lot of fun. Below are some photos from our 2019 European multi-activity trips to give you some idea of what we get up to. Details are on the calendar!

Below is a collection of photos from the Ardeche/Alps trip in 2019 to give you an idea of the sort of things available on an overseas multi-activity trip. Suffice to say we had immense fun. Fingers crossed this Bavaria trip goes ahead...we need it :)

UK Trip - Saundersfoot - 1st May Bank Holiday
This is a weekend in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, with accommodation in static caravans. Activities on offer include coastal walks, road biking and of course anything to do with the sea (e.g. surfing / bodyboarding) with beaches nearby at Manorbier and Freshwater West.

Paddlesports Coordinator
Many thanks to Katie who has done a fabulous job as Paddlesports Coordinator for a number of years now. Katie has continued to make sure a programme of events has been in place throughout Covid, allowing us to make the most of the times when we have been able to get out on the water. And thanks to Elinor for stepping up to take on the role going forward.

 

2021 Online AGM
We are planning for our 2021 AGM to be online. It will follow a similar format to the 2020 AGM and will be run as a series of events. Below is an outline of the dates.

8th February: Deadline for resolutions by members to be submitted to the Secretary [email protected]

19th February: PowerPoint review to be sent to membership by email and to include resolutions

8th March: Online meeting to discuss issues arising from the PowerPoint review, resolutions and to ask questions of the current committee and those nominated. Deadline for nominations is during the meeting but it is preferable for nominations to be sent to the secretary prior to this. Please send nominations and seconds to [email protected]. As always, all committee posts are open to nominations, the more people who stand the better. All posts can be found here https://aoac.co.uk/content/committee-members

9th March-16th March: Online voting for committee positions and resolutions

17th March: New committee announced, and handovers start

1st April: New committee in place

Chair role
As this is Sarah's third year as Chair, she is unable to stand again. She says:

I think this is a great time for someone else to take on the role. Most things in terms of Covid-19 are now in place and while there will still be issues relating to Covid-19 I think it is also a really exciting time for the Club to try new ways of doing things and a new Chair will be pivotal in this.

What I think the Chair role involves…

  • Chairing meetings: A balance of everyone having a say but trying to finish before everyone loses the will to live
  • Insurance renewal: This only happens once a year and you can pull on expertise within the club to assist
  • Being the face of the club: It’s difficult not to be enthusiastic about the club!
  • Dealing with the unexpected: I can confidently say you never know what is going to come up, but that is part of the joy of the role!
  • Keeping things on track: Making sure more the long-term plans stay on track and you don’t get bogged down with the everyday

I won’t be standing for any committee positions, but I am very happy to support whoever takes on the role as much as they want. If you’d like to find out more or come along to a committee meeting to see what is involved, drop an email to [email protected].
Sarah
 

Pete's Experience - Navigation Courses: 
If, like me, your experience of maps started and ended with GCSE Geography you know that some churches have spires and others do not. If you took the subject to A Level, then you will be able spot the magic letters PH in even the darkest conditions. Now that the once ubiquitous road atlas appears usurped by satellite navigation and mapping apps, it has never been more essential to have the ability to understand and use a paper map. This salutary lesson was delivered on the first day of the Beginners Navigation course as I put the start location into the sat nav and headed off towards enlightenment. Thirty minutes later, I was heading down an ever-narrowing farm track that I was supposed to be negotiating at sixty miles per hour. I was lost.

I have had a compass for as long as I have been going on longer walks, if only because it was on the list of essential equipment to pack. The baseplate compass is an interesting object with hieroglyphic markings and ‘that bit that turns around’ - I could use it to work out where North was and that was enough to negotiate National Trust properties, leaving the marked paths to find space and beauty away from the crowds. It was this and a growing interest in trail running that made me think I would benefit greatly from an ability to read a map correctly and safely. Looking online, there were numerous courses, priced between £65 for a half day intro to £150 for a day and a half to get you up to the first of three levels.

Having never met a bargain I didn’t like, I was immediately sold on the Introduction to Navigation Skills that appeared on the Club calendar for twenty-five pence. Devised and organised by Nida, the content looked perfect as it was aimed at people with very little practical experience. The event was split into three parts, with increasing levels of detail.

Despite the creep of Covid, we were able to run two of the three events as a small group, taking precautions including the provision of contactless pre-wrapped sweets. My jelly babies were, however, Covid Insecure and I was unable to share them. The level of detail on an OS map is quite staggering, but how does the actual landscape look when you compare it to the map? How long does it take you to walk 100 metres and how many paces? We soon learned that some landowners are not averse to removing signs for footpaths and do their level best to deter walkers by erecting fences; having confidence in your ability to know where you are on a map is essential when confronted by a raging beetroot in tweeds.

The standard of tuition was outstanding and it wasn’t long before ‘the bit that turns around’ was explained and put to work.

On the second day, the weather was not at all pleasant and Covid tier restrictions had reduced the size of the group further. I apologise for leading the group through the squishiest of marshes at the start of the day but it did not stop us. The poor weather and restricted visibility actually reinforced the learning experience. Words cannot describe the joy and relief when following a bearing taken from a map, the intended target appeared before us like Brigadoon.

This was an absolutely fabulous event and I hope we will get the chance to offer it up again to members. Many thanks to Nida for organising an educational event that was fun and friendly.
Pete

 

Hopefully see you on an event in the future. Look out on calendar, forum and Facebook for events x

If you have any interesting news/funny stories/free videos/tales of your favourite trips/tips that may help club members, in fact, anything that might be of interest/entertaining, to brighten up the next newsletter, please let me know at [email protected] . Thank you.

Cathy x

 

Events

--- Title Location Date Activity Type

---

Committee meeting Zoom Thu, 21/01/2021 Other

New

Intermediate Sea Kayak day trip - postponed Clevedon Sat, 23/01/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Navigation - Advanced - Postponed Black Mountains (alternative venue TBC if Welsh lockdown) Sun, 31/01/2021 Other

---

The Deverills - Postponed Longbridge Deverill Sat, 06/02/2021 Walking

---

Canoe White Water trip - Postponed TBC Sat, 13/02/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Intermediate Sea Kayak day trip Clevedon Sun, 21/02/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Flat Water Loop Paddle - Saturday, 27th February TBC Sat, 27/02/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Brecon Beacons Challenge (Provisional - Subject to lifting of restrictions) Brecon Beacons Sat, 06/03/2021 Walking

---

New Members Weekend - Re-arranged Exmoor Fri, 19/03/2021 to Sun, 21/03/2021 Walking

---

Flat Water Canoeing Trip - Saturday, 27th March TBC Sat, 27/03/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Saundersfoot (Pembrokeshire) May Bank Holiday Weekend Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire Fri, 30/04/2021 to Mon, 03/05/2021 Multi-activity

New

Lords Wood, Hunstrete Plantation and Common Wood Pensford Tue, 11/05/2021 Walking

---

Stanton Prior and Priston Mill Circular Walk Stanton Prior Thu, 13/05/2021 Walking

---

Stanton Prior and Priston Mill Circular Walk Stanton Prior Thu, 13/05/2021 Walking

---

Stanton Prior and Priston Mill Circular Walk Stanton Prior Thu, 13/05/2021 Walking

---

Hawkesbury And Hawkesbury Upton Circular Walk Hawkesbury Upton Tue, 18/05/2021 Walking

---

Hawkesbury And Hawkesbury Upton Circular Walk Hawkesbury Upton Tue, 18/05/2021 Walking

New

Cotswold Evening Walk South Gloucestershire Tue, 25/05/2021 Walking

New

River Severn Evening walk South Gloucestershire Tue, 08/06/2021 Walking

---

New Members Weekend - Provisional Date Brecon Fri, 11/06/2021 to Sun, 13/06/2021 Walking

New

Bavarian Alps Multi-Activity trip - Save the date Bavaria - Austria/German border Mon, 21/06/2021 to Sun, 04/07/2021 Multi-activity

New

Cotswold Evening walk Swineford Tue, 03/08/2021 Walking

---

Sailing the Stunning Turquoise Coast - Turkey! Turkey Sat, 04/09/2021 to Sat, 11/09/2021 Sailing

---

Sardinia sea kayak adventure Sardinia, Italy Sat, 18/09/2021 to Sat, 25/09/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

North Devon Coastal Walking Weekend Boscastle Fri, 05/11/2021 to Sun, 07/11/2021 Walking

---

New Year 5 Day Multi-activity Trip and Party 2021-2022 Slapton Ley, South Devon Tue, 28/12/2021 to Sun, 02/01/2022 Multi-activity