Lezignan-Corbieres – Claude Daumas: "Expand the lifeblood of the Lézignan Vélo-club"

In the presence of elected officials from the City, the Intercommunality and the Department, the Randonneurs Lézignanais bicycle club held its general meeting, displaying a great local dynamic. Its co-president, Claude Daumas, looks back on the highlights of an attractive sports club.

How long have you been president of the cycling club?

I have shared the presidency for 10 years. For the past two years, it has been with Arnaud Chapelais”.

How many members does the association have?

We are 53 licensees, four more than last year, or 8% of the workforce. It should be noted that, despite the difficulties linked to the Covid, the club has continued to maintain itself and has even progressed. In two years, we had about ten more members, people who came to settle in the region or cyclists who rode alone. It’s a good point for us and the club’s age pyramid.

That’s to say ?

Our average age is 57 with younger licensees, many of whom come from the villages. In comparison, the average for our Federation is around 60 years old. On the other hand, we only have 4% of women (significantly lower than the average which is between 12 and 15%). Despite the slight aging of the club over the years, this result reveals a relative youth compared to other regional clubs.

What do you think this is due to?

Our way of practicing cycle tourism. We don’t do competitions like the Vélo sprint narbonnais, which attracts a younger audience and where we find women, but we do have a steady pace and we offer rich entertainment, as well as excursions on sunny days.

Can you detail?

From March to April we do bigger courses and more challenging circuits, which contributes to the appeal of our club. In 2022, we took eight cyclists around Corsica, with 600 km and nearly 10,000 cumulative meters of elevation gain. This year, our highlight is a stay in the Alps with three courses in Haute-Savoie and in the French-speaking regions of Switzerland (Valais and Vaud).

Claude Daumas has been president for 10 years with a co-president.
Gaelle Gueant

What are the other highlights?

The “Cave en cave” hike in autumn. Last year, it brought together 280 participants from all over the region, and even from France. We also organized the Festivalles de Lézignan hike with 132 participants on two adapted routes. An animation that we will renew this summer.

What are your year-round activities?

The basis is two outings per week, Thursday (afternoon in winter and morning in summer) and Sunday morning. On Thursdays, there are outings of around 70 km, which bring together 10 to 15 people. On Sundays, we are between 15 and 25 cyclists and we go out 52 weeks a year. Out of a workforce of 50 members, that’s half who ride every week.

“The Vélo club comes out 52 weeks a year”.

“The Vélo club comes out 52 weeks a year”.
Lezignan bike club

What are the other animations?

Coffee points in winter, which are starting to function well again after the health crisis. Each club of the territory organizes in turn a meeting from November to March to animate the low season. This year, our club has relocated the coffee point to Albas to publicize “L’Atelier Vélo Corbières”, initiated by our secretary, René Nartet, for the recycling and renovation of bicycles. We will also take part in the Héraultaise, a timed amateur cycling race of around 100 km with 1,500 meters of elevation gain. Our club regularly participates in cycling events (read below).

Tell us about your team?

I am surrounded by committed volunteers, who don’t count their time and energy. Every Saturday evening, between 6 and 7 p.m., we hold a permanence to talk about the projects and take stock of the Sunday outing. Besides, it would be good if more members participated. Unfortunately, goodwill is scarce. The office is the linchpin of the club with a great dynamic, but we would like to expand the living forces to maintain this momentum.

The renewed office: Claude Daumas and Arnaud Chapelais (co-presidents), Alain Cuellar (delegate president), Régis Sans and Pascal Fouix (vice-presidents), Jean-François Bailly (treasurer), Hervé Tixador (deputy treasurer), René Nartet (secretary), Jean-Marie Liebault (assistant secretary), Michel Mata (security delegate). Contact: www.randonneurslezignanais.blogspot.fr and facebook page.

2023 projects

Participation in a good number of hikes organized by the bike club and the Aude clubs (according to the Codep 11 and CoReg calendar): Gorges de Galamus or Côte Vermeille, the Héraultaise de Gignac (March-April); Cabaretou and Fontfroide passes or circuit in the foothills of Lodève (May), stay in Périgord (ascent weekend); Mountain biking in Argelès-Gazost in the Hautes-Pyrénnées (June 17 and 18); week in the Alps (June 17-24); the Ariègeoise in Tarascon-sur-Ariège (June 24); Mountain biking in Limoux (July 1 and 2); Rando-cyclo des Lézivales in Lézignan (August 6); weekend in Andorra (2 and 3 September); 26th walk from cellar to cellar (21 October); Coffee point (December 3 and participation in those of other clubs from November).

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