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Lost Designs & Ideas of the 1980's

I really got into my cycling in the 1980's - back then bikes were pretty much the same and you had binary choices when it came to equipment e.g.: Steel or Aluminium Reynolds or Columbus Campagnolo or Campagnolo But even though it would be many years before manufacturing processes developed to make carbon fibre comercially available - that didn't stop some pioneers from trying to come up with something different when seeking marginal gaines. Some ideas were borerline genius / crazy and some were weird - but out of the ashes of failure come the roses of success as the saying goes - so here's a few things that I remember from the good old days: Bottechia Mountain TT Bike: This was specifically built for a Giro Mountain TT stage with 24" rear wheel to save weight and for better accelleration PMP 'L' Shaped Cranks plus oval chainrings The cranks were meant to help eliminate loss of momentum at 'Top Dead Centre' and the chainrings were shaped to spread power over a wider angle of delivery - you don't see cranks like this anymore but the chainring shape looks familiar Cinelli BiValent Hubs The beauty of these was that the cassette / freewheel & chain remained in the frame when the wheel dropped out - and front and rear wheels were interchangeable. At the time they were slower to change than normal QR wheels, so never caught on - but with modern materials / disc wheels - this could have been a glimpse of the future? Cinelli Spinaci Bars So good, they were banned by the UCI for saftey - so now pros adopt the same position with far more risk! Silk Tyres: As well as being lighter than cotton, silk tyres were a lot more supple, could take higher pressures and so rolled like nothing else before or since Intergrating bars into forks: I'll add more stuff as I think of it!    

Guy_Watson

Guy_Watson

 

Now that I am old...

I have been a member of I-team for a few years now but I have been off the bike for many years due to a double slip disc. I have tried to restart my cycling life but have been a sideline supporter, race volunteer and a cycling advocate for my organisation, rather than actually being able to enjoy the sport I love. Now as I fast approach my 50th Birthday I am have made the decision to do something for me. I have already planned to sign up for the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive (100k) in May 2016 and  a local off-road Sportive in March 2016 (just 15 miles). I have gym appointment on Wednesday evening (14-10) to kickstart it all off. You never know I might lead the I-team Strava board for awhile for some of the northern dales climbs e.g Cote de Blubberhouses and Cote de Buttertubs! 

Barbara_Becker

Barbara_Becker

 

Living For Success - Cycling In The Eyes Of A Youth (Part 3)

The Last Southern Omnium has been: I started off badly in 10th for the 1km pursuit, this tells me I definitely need to work on my standing starts. I then made my way up slowly through the races into 9th but I would still need at least 6th place overall. The last race was underway (points race) and I grabbed some points on the first and second sets. Then me, Charlie and Matt Cox broke away for the remainder of the race stealing all of the points. Overall for that race I came second and beat Charlie in the final sprint. Overall for the Omnium I just managed to get 6th place, thankfully for that last race!
 
The next race on the list was Reading track league, it wasn't very good as TJ wasn't there. However, I took part in the final 20k elite race at the end, it was a points race. I managed to grab 1st place points in the first two sets, then a break formed and I ended up in a three man chase group, where we worked together for the rest of the race. Towards the end I started getting cold and in one of the sprints my leg completely cramped up and I couldn't move it, it was agony and I'd never had a cramp before, I had to carry on with the rest of the race however with this cramp and just managed to deal with the pain, but next time I'll wear more warm clothes before, during and after races. Overall I got 6th place and 1st for u16.
 
After this was an Eelmore road series race where me and TJ sat in the bunch and TJ placing 3rd overall with me placing 9th. Was a good race but next time I'm not going to sprint from the bottom corner.
 
Lastly, was the first Winchester park and ride race of the year, run by vc venta. It started out as a very wet day with dark, grey skies and heavy rain. However, I really wanted to get a good result and wouldn't let weather get in my way. I went for one hour ride before the race to get warmed up and ready. I then signed on and was ready to race. The ground was still very wet and slippery but the race still started off fast. We got up to speed as a group and maintained a fairly high pace, I saw Charlie go for an attack where we both had a good 10m, we saw the opportunity and the gap increased and increased. Soon we were half a lap ahead. We kept at a good pace and knew we had it in the bag. However, I knew Charlie was a much better sprinter than me, so I tried my hardest to get him off my wheel. Nothing worked and I'd admitted defeat, placing me second with £3 prize money!
 
Overall a good few weeks and plenty of bagged points!
 
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Stats of the Week:[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Height: 188cm[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Weight: 68kg[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Diet: A generally good diet, around 3000-4000 calories a day, I enjoy eating sweets and carbohydrates like cakes and buns..[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Training: standard week =[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Monday: Roller spinning and 2 minute 20 second effort on turbo[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Tuesday: 2 hour 40 mile group ride (avg 20–22mph)[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Wednesday: 2 minute attack paced efforts[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Thursday: 1 hour I-team chaingang[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Friday: one 2km effort (turbo) or i-team training[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Saturday: race or 2-3 hour recovery ride[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Sunday: rest day or roller spinning or race[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Race results:[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Castle Combe youth: 8[/font][/font][/color][sup]th[/sup]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Castle combe youth: 5[/font][/font][/color][sup]th[/sup]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Thruxton youth: 4[/font][/font][/color][sup]th[/sup]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Castle Combe youth: 7[/font][/font][/color][sup]th[/sup]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Thruxton 3[/font][/font][/color][sup]rd[/sup][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica] Cat: 24[/font][/font][/color][sup]th[/sup][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica] ish[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·   [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]      [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Scratch race: 1st[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]20km elite scratch: 3rd[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=symbol]·         [/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica]South Regional Omnium: 4th[/font][/color]
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Eelmore 3[sup]rd[/sup] cat road series race: 9[sup]th[/sup]
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Winchester park and ride youth race: 2[sup]nd[/sup]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Distance times:[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]200m sprint (rolling start): 12.9 seconds[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]500m sprint TT (standing start): 37 seconds[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]1km Pursuit (standing start): 1 minute 15 seconds[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]2km Pursuit (standing start): 2 minutes 30 seconds[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]10mile time trial (flat): 23 minutes[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]10mile time trial (undulating hills): 25 minutes 20 seconds[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Physical Stats:[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Max power: 1100watts[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Threshold power: 300 watts[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Power-weight ratio (functional threshold) : 4.6 watts per kilogram[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Resting heart rate: 60bpm[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Max heart rate (tested): 210 bpm[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]Threshold heart rate: 180 bpm[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=symbol]·         [/font][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]VO2 Max (est): 65ml/kg/min[/font][/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=helvetica][font=helvetica]What’s new?[/font][/font][/color]
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Skinsuit
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Race Gloves
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Focus Water Bottles
[font=symbol]·         [/font]Black Summer Racing Socks
[font=symbol]·         [/font]New Headset For Bike
[font=symbol]·         [/font]New Bottom Bracket For Bike
[font=symbol]·         [/font]New Cleats
And 3 puntures, 2 on road and 1 track tub puncture (sorry Guy  :mellow: )
 
 

Harvey_McNaughton

Harvey_McNaughton

 

Living For Success - Cycling In The Eyes Of A Youth (Part 2)

Three Omniums down and overall I'm holding 4th place in the south, really enjoyed the racing and the atmosphere on the track. Well done TJ for a podium at Bournemouth aswell - some good racing! Sadly, there has been no major Road races since my last post but a lot of Track: managed a win on the first race of Reading Track league and a couple of 2nd places, along with a 3rd in the Men's Elite race! Since the final Omnium, however, I have been trying to recover with a sore throat and Illness, probably due to overdoing it! Stats of the Week: Height: 188cm Weight: 68kg Diet: A generally good diet, around 3000-4000 calories a day, I enjoy eating sweets and carbohydrates like cakes and buns.. Training: standard week = · Monday: one 2 minute 20 second effort on the turbo (avg 110-120rpm) · Tuesday: 2 hour 40 mile group ride (avg 20–22mph) · Wednesday: one 2 minute 20 second effort on the turbo (avg 110-120rpm) · Thursday: 1 hour I-team chaingang · Friday: one 2km effort (turbo) or i-team training · Saturday: race or 2-3 hour recovery ride · Sunday: Revision Race results: · Castle Combe youth: 8th · Castle combe youth: 5th · Thruxton youth: 4th · Castle Combe youth: 7th · Thruxton 3rd Cat: 24th ish · Scratch race: 1st · 20km elite scratch: 3rd · South Regional Omnium: 4th Distance times: · 200m sprint (rolling start): 12.9 seconds · 500m sprint TT (standing start): 37 seconds · 1km Pursuit (standing start): 1 minute 15 seconds · 2km Pursuit (standing start): TBC · 10mile time trial (flat): 23 minutes · 10mile time trial (undulating hills): 25 minutes 20 seconds Physical Stats: · Max power: 1100watts · Threshold power: 300 watts · Power-weight ratio (functional threshold) : 4.6 watts per kilogram · Resting heart rate: 60bpm · Max heart rate (tested): 210 bpm · Threshold heart rate: 180 bpm · VO2 Max (est): 65ml/kg/min What’s new? · New metal waterbottle holders

Harvey_McNaughton

Harvey_McNaughton

 

Living For Success - Cycling In The Eyes Of A Youth

This year I'm Determined to Win the National Pursuit! I have aims to make it to 2nd Cat by Junior and to Podium in Scarborough National circuit race! It’s the start of the new race year, already the temperature has risen, and the first few races have gone underway. I started off in January and February by racing the Luggershall winter series, this helped me get some easy points to start the year! I had some good races, one where I achieved a reasonable 2nd place and another where I took 5th. A few Castle Combe races have been done too, with leading out TJ we managed to get a super 2nd place, in addition to this I brought home a couple of 5th places and a 7th as well. The last race on Castle Combe was very good, having every single one of our i-team members, sitting near the front of the bunch, during the whole race! Every single one of the RDS sessions have been so good to us, we all have been turning up to them, learning new skills which have been useful in the races and will be of good use for the rest of this youth year and of the following junior years! Lastly, the team sprint at Lee Valley on the 31st March was a great success (although I did have a bit of a spill and a black eye in the morning), we had a super night and was definitely a good experience for the three of us who went. Well done to TJ and Will! Stats of the Week: Height: 188cm Weight: 68kg Diet: A generally good diet, around 3000-4000 calories a day, I enjoy eating sweets and carbohydrates like cakes and buns, especially loving the cinnamon buns from Tesco at the moment Training: standard week = · Monday: one 2 minute 20 second effort on the turbo (avg 110-120rpm) · Tuesday: 2 hour 40 mile group ride (avg 20–22mph) · Wednesday: one 2 minute 20 second effort on the turbo (avg 110-120rpm) · Thursday: 1 hour I-team chaingang · Friday: one 2km effort (turbo) or i-team training · Saturday: race or 2-3 hour recovery ride · Sunday: Revision Race results: · Castle Combe youth: 8th · Castle combe youth: 5th · Thruxton youth: 4th · Castle Combe youth: 7th · Thruxton 3rd Cat: 24th ish · Scratch race: 1st · 20km elite scratch: 3rd Distance times: · 200m sprint (rolling start): 12.9 seconds · 500m sprint TT (standing start): 37 seconds · 1km Pursuit (standing start): 1 minute 15 seconds · 2km Pursuit (standing start): TBC · 10mile time trial (flat): 23 minutes · 10mile time trial (undulating hills): 25 minutes 20 seconds Physical Stats: · Max power: 1100watts · Threshold power: 300 watts · Power-weight ratio (functional threshold) : 4.6 watts per kilogram · Resting heart rate: 60bpm · Max heart rate (tested): 210 bpm · Threshold heart rate: 180 bpm · VO2 Max (est): 65ml/kg/min What’s new? · New spoke on my old wheel · New Cav S-Works shoe · New V-Sprint 85mm track wheels

Harvey_McNaughton

Harvey_McNaughton

 

2014 - A Year To Be Thankful

Another year draws to an end, so it's time to look back and see how my year on and off the bike unfolded. Following a pretty momentous 2013 for me, I had an idea that perhaps this year might have some difficulty in matching all the previous year's highlights. I didn't set any specific aims, but knew that I wanted to have a go at a few more road races and probably do a multi-day road race event. As I was now in the over 50s veterans group, I planned to target the Dunsfold Vets series and hope for a few podium spots or maybe even a win in my age category. Accumulating the 25 points needed to keep my 2nd Cat race licence was something that I wasn't going to think about until I had got a few races under my belt. None of us could have reckoned on the two shocking events that were to cast such long dark shadows over the year though. After a winter when we all wondered if it would ever stop raining and riding through so many roads that were ankle deep in water for weeks on end, it was a relief to finally get out and do some riding in good conditions with all the usual suspects during February, including a great club ride around the Isle of Wight at the end of the month. After following Sam's training programme since the beginning of the year, I was feeling pretty fit and ready to start racing going into March. My first race of the year was a 2/3 road race on the Dunsfold road circuit, which went well and I was happy with a comfortable bunch finish after a big break had got away. There were plenty of races at Mountbatten coming up and I planned to use one or two of these as a means to check if I was at the required fitness level to enable me to compete and not just get 'spat out'. After racing at Dunsfold on the Saturday, I decided to give the Mountbatten race on Sunday 9th a miss though and went out for a ride with Helen on the tandem. Later that evening, news of a dreadful crash at Mountbatten started to filter through as there were a number of people from our club present either racing or helping. There had been a number of casualties, including our own young Luke Stace, but the worst injuries had been sustained by Richard Philips-Schofield, who was riding with the Hantspol team. Sadly, Richard died of his injuries two days afterwards. This tragic event sent shock waves throughout the local and national cycling community; everyone that races accepts there are risks, but this was something that nobody had ever really considered possible, right on our own doorstep. Helen told me that she did not want me to race at Mountbatten any more and that she thought I should seriously think about stopping racing altogether as it just seemed to be too dangerous. With the closure of Mountbatten, and no other races planned, I now had a few weeks to consider what I wanted to do. It was on a club ride at the end of March, when for some daft reason I just kept on riding afterwards and thinking about life in general that I had a moment of clarity that told me I should carry on racing. I also recorded my longest ever ride of 209km whilst I was mulling it all over One of the Strava comments put up on my ride afterwards made me smile - it was from Howard asking me if I had forgotten where I lived? Early April saw a large contingent of the club travel over to Belgium for the Tour of Flanders Sportive. This was a memorable weekend both socially and for an epic ride over the cobbles. The memory of seeing so many riders literally falling off and scrabbling around all over the place will stick in my mind for a long time Somehow, I managed to pick my way through the carnage and a few of us had a fantastic smash up for the last open road stretch into the finish. Watching the pro riders in the main event the following day was a real privilege. At the end of April, we embarked on our annual memorial ride, which saw a welcome change of route taking in the isle of Wight and the New Forest for a very long hard day in the saddle with over 200k ridden and a very sore bottom by the time I rolled back onto my driveway. The early May holiday weekend was crunch time for me - could I manage 3 consecutive days of road racing? There was only one way to to find out! Matt, Clint and Dave Mitchell were also asking themselves the same question. Day 1 was the relatively flat but fast Dunsfold road circuit that I was familiar with and I was happy to finish comfortably in the bunch. Day 2 was on the Bletchingley circuit, which I had not previously ridden and it was brutal I rolled in around 20 minutes down with a number of other guys who had found the course (and the pace) just too much to cope with - Matt had a fantastic ride and top ten finish though. Day 3 was on another new circuit for me near Edenbridge in Kent. My legs fell off on the last lap and I finished a few minutes down on the main bunch, but it was great to see all the guys who had ridden over to support and cheer us on. So although I was never realistically going to feature amongst the contenders, I was pretty happy to have completed the event. After spending a week recovering from the exertions, I had a good start to the Vets race series at Dunsfold and managed a third place in my first outing, just half a bike length behind the winner of the over 50s category. I also noticed that the way these events were being scored by BC seemed somewhat over generous, so those 25 points might be well within reach; it was a race win that I wanted though! A trip to Gran Canaria with Helen and some old friends of ours was just the ticket later in May and I was able to get some very nice rides in, together with plenty of sunshine. One of the rides (Valley of the Tears or VOTT route) was memorable as a stunningly beautiful one, whilst also being brutally hard. I was also in a spot of trouble when I got back some 3 hours later than I had originally said! Thoroughly recommend Gran Canaria as a cycling holiday venue though. June saw the races coming thick and fast, with another third place at Dunsfold and a good bunch finish in the National Masters Road Race Championships held up in Buckinghamshire. I also suffered my first ever DQ along with 7 other riders at the National Masters Circuit Championships at Hillingdon after a pretty farcical race with two separate age category races being run together, which resulted in total chaos. I was a bit annoyed after finishing in the top ten, but knew there was no point arguing with the Chief Comm afterwards. In July, a few of us went over to Bourg to have another go at The Marmotte, prior to joining the rest of the club up at Lake Annecy. The weather up until the day was pretty awful, but on the day we got lucky with some lovely sunshine and perfect conditions. It was great to ride round with Paul, Clint and Dan for pretty much the whole of this fantastic day on the bike. Sadly, and although we didn't find out until the following day, this was also the very day that Howard was to be tragically taken from us back at home. After driving up to Annecy on the Sunday and meeting everyone else at the rather nice house there, news of Howard's accident had come through. Although it wasn't yet clear that he had been fatally injured we all feared the worst, whilst desperately hoping for the best as we awaited further updates over the next day or so. We heard of Howard's death during an afternoon ride up the Col du Tamie and there were a few tears shed as we stood quietly together at the side of the road and subsequently back at the house. The rest of the week was understandably a rather muted affair as everyone tried to comprehend what had happened; the weather did its best to join in with some unusually cold, wet and gloomy conditions too. I think we all made the most of what we had though and the poor weather did mean we had an excuse to sit drinking beer whilst watching Nibali ride the cobbles like a master and effectively crush his nearest Tour rivals in the process. After returning from France, I headed over to Alberta in Canada for the wedding of my nephew. Although I only had a few days there, I took the opportunity to hire a (very ordinary) Felt bike - which cost me a fortune - to sample some of the roads around the area north of Edmonton where my brother lives. I think I can safely say that it was probably the dullest and most uninspiring place that I have ever ridden, with straight, flat and often busy roads that go on forever with nothing to see except oil wells for hundreds of miles It certainly made me appreciate the beauty of what we have right on our doorstep here in Hampshire when I went out for the first time after returning and I have tried to capture this with a few pictures uploaded into the album. August saw a chance to re-visit Ride London and although the route had to be shortened due to the biblical downpour we endured, this did not dampen my enthusiasm for having a monster tear up with Sam in the company of the great Marianne Vos. It was an honour to have my legs well and truly shredded by such a great rider yet clearly a lovely and most un-assuming athlete who was happy to chat away in the bunch when she wasn't smashing it on the front! Definitely my highlight of the year and I was astonished to see the time of 3hrs 35mins for the 86 miles covered against my name afterwards. On the Monday after, we all said our final goodbyes to Howard. Although it was a desperately sad occasion, I also found it to be an uplifting experience to see so many friends, relatives and sporting acquaintances there, all of whom had nothing but love and great stories of Howard to share. He is much missed, but we are all surely very lucky to have known him. Our club sponsored race at Alfold went well as usual and I was happy with a solid bunch finish behind Sam and Matt. Thanks again for plenty of support on the day from many of our club members and well done to Guy for persevering with the barbecue despite the worst of the rain coming down on his sausages! By now, I had accumulated 30 race points, so had more than enough to retain my 2nd Cat licence for next year, although I was definitely feeling like I was starting to run out of gas in the tank. I also didn't get so much satisfaction out of the points this year as I felt that they were won somewhat cheaply compared to the brutal road race events that I was not really top ten material in. I had also not managed to improve on my two third place finishes, so the top spot would have to wait for another year My final competitive event of the year was the 4 up team time trial, where together with Paul, Gerry and Dave we formed the 200 year up club Although we rode a much faster time than last year, so did everyone else, so we were some way off taking the veterans crown. Have to say that the SDV vets were awesome on the day though and I was utterly exhausted at the finish - my season's race legs had definitely just come off! Following a holiday in Greece, with a few nice rides thrown in, I spent October just doing a few rides here and there and generally trying to re-charge. Unfortunately, this did mean that I failed to get any 100k rides in for the first month since we all started this particular caper. However, November's traditional ride over to Alfriston more than made up for this lapse as we had a fantastic group turnout for our annual remembrance weekend trip. The turnout in Ditchling at 11am on the Sunday was exemplary and very poignant and we turned the last 20 miles into quite some smash up in the pouring rain once again! December saw us heading over to a new venue for the annual mince pie ride and what a venue it was - if Carlsberg made man caves, then they would surely be like the one we found nestled at the bottom of Jon Belfield's garden! Thanks to Jon and Wendy for making everyone so welcome. There was just enough time in the year left to fit our club Christmas dinner evening in the following weekend, which saw a great turnout of around 30 in the Italian enjoying the food, wine and (sort of) entertainment So that's pretty much it really. I'm not usually one for too much soul searching or introspection, but sometimes there are events that naturally lead one to question all sorts of things about life and this has certainly been the case for me this year. Tragic and unfathomable events such as these just reinforce my belief that we should be grateful for everything we have, treasure our families and friendships and enjoy life to the full for as long as we are able to. My daughter Fiona bought me the picture at the top for Christmas and it really does seem to sum things up perfectly for me. Most of all though, be happy - just like Howard always was. Happy New Year everyone. Andy

Andy_Redding

Andy_Redding

 

Winter Training Camp, Cervelo And Parkrun, December News.

Winter Training Camp Firstly I would like to share a shot of my "winter training camp", It's a place where I spend a fair bit of time at the moment. Not as warm as some and the altitude is somewhat fabricated but...... Training is going well but I'd like to get out a little more!! Cervelo On Twitter!! A couple of weeks ago I was buying some decals from a site and was offered to do a review of my bike on another site owned by the same company so I thought why not. I added the review as well as the shots I'd done of my Cervelo and thought no more of it. That is until a couple of days ago when blow me down I recognised a shot on a post placed on the official Cervelo Twitter page!!!. So now my bike is famous and featured on Cervelo . lol Southampton Parkrun Shoot Finally This entry, Something not strictly about cycling but maybe of interest to triathletes and any who may do a spot of running or film making. I couldn't make it to the iteam ride last weekend as I had been invited to Southampton Parkrun by Ordnance Survey. Their running club was hosting and marshalling the event and had asked if I would take some photos. I attended primarily with the intention of getting shots of as many runners in the short 5k distance as possible and had 2 GoPro's clamped to a pole do just that. One shooting stills and another shooting video just in case. I also had my main camera After the event I spent a few hours editing the shots and getting them uploaded to my flickr account and then shared over to the Southampton Parkrun flickr pool. There were 944 of them but I wanted every runner to at least be able to have one or two shots of themselves. In all 503 runners finished!!!, this is a pretty normal amount for Southampton apparently, as it's one of the bigger parkruns in the UK. After sorting out the shots I turned my attention to the video footage to see if there was anything I could use as a short viral video for them. The video was a bit limited due to my not being able to get round much of the course in the 20-30 mins that it would take most of the runners to finish it, and I was primarily focussing on photos and so was methodically shooting runners rather than thinking about film and so was in static locations most of the time. But after looking at the footage I thought there was maybe enough to throw something together and so set about processing and editing the vid and then compiling something in premiere. OS and Parkrun are very happy with the results and are using it to promote their events and Parkrun UK are now interested in one for the national site. All in all a very interesting and entertaining event, a great atmosphere even though it was frosty and one I would recommend to any tri runners to check out for a bit of additional training. <iframe src=//player.vimeo.com/video/113977020" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=" ">Southampton Parkrun - 6th December 2014</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user30257732">Cloudbase Aerial Art</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Rus_Turner

Rus_Turner

 

Coaching Again

I first started my 1-2-1 coaching company 'PowerCoach' in 2004 when I hated my job and was looking for a 2nd income - I soon found out that I loved coaching but even by charging £100+ per month per rider didn't give me a useful hourly rate - not the way I wanted to coach a rider anyway. Even if you know the rider, it still takes about 10 hours to set up coaching for a rider in the first month, including meetings, designing the plan, completing the forms and records etc. So apart from coaching a few friends, I mothballed PowerCoach in 2007. I went out with a bang though and spent all of my profits setting up Team KLR and sponsoring Rob Hayles! - great fun! Also as a sideline, I was a reseller for Ergomo power meters (potentially a great product but company went bust after not having enough money to develop properly.) Coaching with power was in it's infancy in the UK back then and despite knowing how power could be applied in training - there weren't that many cyclists out there with power meters, so selling a rider a power meter and coaching them how to use it seemed like a good business model. Of course cyclists being cyclists, it turned out to be quite a hard sell - they were only really interested in buying the gadget at the lowest cost, giving me a just one-off minimal mark up and about £8k stock on my credit card! I'm not sure how times have changed? Have the number of power meters grown hand in hand with the number of riders being coached? In theory, there should be a big shortage of coaches to support all of this interest in training for performance? I'm back into coaching mainly just for fun now. I am currently coaching 1x Elite senior, 1x 1st senior, 1x 2nd senior, 1x Junior and 1x Youth - so a good spread there. I'm not looking to make a lot of money (I am pretty lucky that I get enough from the day job now.) I just enjoy working with ambitious riders - what interests me more than how good they are is their atitiude and the way that they aproach their sport. Get the right combination of rider and coach together and it's a great thing to be a part of. I'm half way through my Level 3 coaching qualification now and I have rediscovered my coaching mojo. One of the things that I have been tasked with was to submit a document on my Coaching Philosophy - some candidates submitted a single side of A4 but as I don't do things by halves, here's my 10 page effort - thought I'd share it with you - hope you enjoy https://www.facebook.com/powercoachcycling

Guy_Watson

Guy_Watson

 

Costa Blanca Trip 2

well i am back in spain this week been out everyday this week yesterday was a great day and a hard day did the hondon ride which is used in the veltra espana tour it a tough climb alright from albaceta to he top its 11kms long with some serious steep bits in after about 4-5kms its starts to ramp up it goes 13 percent drops to 10 per cent then near the top with the crash barries it has 2 13 per cent sections brutal is one way of loooking at it . today was easy ride this afternoon diong the lake ride via terrmendo this is a decent climb from the bottom the local clubs are very helpfull here there is always a group to ride with today i saw 2 groups this afternoon on a thursday both groups had about 30 riders. in them did it split on the climbs just fragmented but the costa blanca is great cyling place always someone out at weekends its heaving with cyclists i have had had a great week here on my second trip to spain i have already booked next months just look on a sunday here loads of big groups well i just thought i would post up a blog i dont think anyone will read it or post as normall long ride friday cheers rob cheers rob c

Rob_Capel

Rob_Capel

 

Portugal Trip - I-Team Algarve Section, 19-20 Feb

Yesterday (Weds 19th) was spent sight-seeing round Lagos, probably the nicest town on the Algarve coast. Today Dave and I rode up to the summit of the first cat 3 KOM, near Marmelete on the road to Monchique. Three in the breakaway, rapidly being caught by the Peloton, which was being driven hard by Tinkoff. Cav struggling back in the cars, not looking happy

Chris_Powell

Chris_Powell

 

Portugal Trip - Friday 7 Feb To Monday 17 Feb

I had a couple more great rides around Torre Del Mar (near Malaga), up into the hills behind the coast where there are beautiful mountain roads and scenery. The Muro de Almachar climb went up to 620m and had the names of several pros painted on the road, so I guess it must have been used in the Vuelta at some time. After 5 days of great weather in Torre Del Mar, we went to Seville for three days of sightseeing around the city, which has the largest cathedral in Europe (and it is truly massive). We then finally made it to Portugal and visited a number of places along the Algarve coast: Olhao, Faro, Albufeira, and Silves. On Saturday 15th we came to Lagos and met up with Dave Shaw who is staying at the same site. Went for a great ride with Dave on Sunday which took in most of the SW tip of Portugal. Well I say ride it was more of a mountain time trial really, Dave never just cruises! Wall to wall sunshine and with temp up to 17C it was shorts for the first time this year. Monday was spent touring round the local and very beautiful Lagos area with Pat, me on my mountain bike and she on her E-bike.

Chris_Powell

Chris_Powell

 

Portugal Trip - Fri 31 Jan To Sun 2 Feb

We changed our departure date to Sunday 2 Feb and then on Thursday 30 Jan received a text to say that the sailing had been cancelled due to bad weather! We were offered a sailing on Friday night 31 Jan and grabbed it. It was a rather bouncy crossing especially rounding Ushant into the Bay of Biscay. But then it calmed down a bit and we had quite a relaxing cruise across the Bay, finishing up in Santander on Saturday evening. We blasted south on the motorway for a couple of hours encountering temperatures down to -2C in the Cerredo mountains. We spent the night in a free Aire de Campingcar in the village of Carrion de Los Condes. Our plan has been to head into Northern Portugal and gradually work our way down South to the Algarve. But it seems as though some nasty weather is going to hit Northwest Europe from Monday. Hail and snow in Northern Spain, and a week of rain forecast for Northern Portugal. So we changed our plans completely and decided to head South as fast as possible. Tonight (Sun 2 Feb) we are in Carceres, Spain, hopefully far enough South to avoid the worst weather. We are planning to explore the town tomorrow and then head further South to Seville on Tuesday.

Chris_Powell

Chris_Powell

 

2013/2104

hi all 2013 was an intresting year for me miles wise was just under 7000 miles started of with some decent base miles over the winter months done some good sportives dragon i ride is always a good one of mine but time for some new sportives this year big thanks got to andy and sam sayner for the hungerford support after i got lost to guy for waiting for me and andy redding for the lifts its a great club to be a part of long my it continue also did the southern sportive in very bad weather thanks to graham for the support lat year was a transision period for me with parents moving to spain having a permant job always helps of to spain in the morning for some new roads and climbs cant wait i trip to annecy that will be fun i now have 1000 pounds for a new bike anyadvice folks on what to get have 3-4 holidays planned for this year its giong to be very good for me plenty of miles for me next week . would just like to say a massive thankyou to all the people that have helped me last year you know who you are we are a great club and thats a credit to guys hard work looking forward to 2014 cheers rob c

Rob_Capel

Rob_Capel

 

Portugal Trip - Jan / Feb 2014

We're off in the van to do a tour of Portugal for 5 weeks and hopefully I'll fit in a bit of cycling in slightly warmer weather. I thought I'd have a go at blogging the trip. We are catching the ferry down to Santander on 24 Jan. From there the loose plan is to visit a few places on the West coast such as Porto, Aveiro, Cascais and Lisbon, and then finally make it down to the Algarve for a couple of weeks. The Volta ao Algarve runs from 19-23 February, so will try to catch a couple of the stages. Then it will be back to the UK on the 27 Feb.

Chris_Powell

Chris_Powell

 

2013 - A Pretty Good Year!

Thought I would have another go at condensing my year into one of these blogs and have really enjoyed looking back over so many personal highlights during what turned into a pretty good year for me - both on and off the bike. From February onwards and with a lot of help from Sam, I did try and stick to a more focussed weekly training schedule, rather than just doing lots of miles/hours of riding. Going into March though, after what seemed like a never ending winter of many hours spent churning away indoors on the turbo or the rowing machine, I was not at all clear as to what level my fitness was with my race season due to start. My first outing was a Surrey League road race on the Dunsfold road circuit and I was in trouble with severe leg pain from the off as my long standing chronic compartment syndrome came back with a vengeance. I get this problem from time to time and can usually ride through it, but sometimes the pain just gets unbearable and I have to stop, or as was the case this time, unclip the offending leg and pedal one-legged! I managed to drag myself over the finish line at the back of the bunch for a painful and unhappy drive back home - not the start I was hoping for. Thankfully though, this was to be the last time I would suffer so badly with this problem for another 6 months. After getting my legs back together again, I set about following Sam's training plan as closely as I could and started to get some decent results down at Mountbatten. Sam told me to try and be more aggressive and force some moves during these often rather negative races and this seemed to pay off as I started to get into breaks and finish in the points fairly regularly. In April, a good squad of us went up to the MOD test track at Chertsey, which is one of my favourite circuits and I was hopeful of getting a good result. Sadly, the race was marred by a number of bad crashes, which resulted in both Dave Shaw and Dave Mitchell having to go to hospital with various broken bones. Happily, they both made full recoveries after a few weeks rest and were both soon back to their respective best. The end of April saw us make the annual club trip over to Gloucester for the MBMR, for which there was a great turn out and some excellent support provided by Guy et al from Jon Belfield's van. My day did not start particularly well though, as I nearly had a heart attack when Rob Capel's tyre blew up in my car during the drive up. The lack of any sort of reaction from Rob at the time was both astonishing and (afterwards) hilarious! The ride itself was a tough one for me and I ran out of legs for the last few miles back into Hungerford - should have had another pint at lunch time! My other memory of that ride was Andy Sayner looking like he could have ridden another 100 miles as he seemed to get stronger and stronger whilst the rest of us were wilting. This was easily the longest ride of the year for me, but I do look forward to a new route for 2014 - especially after Paul pointed out we were basically riding between two places infamous as mass murder sites! Another April highlight for me was my first LVRC road race, which was on a great road circuit near Alton. Clint and I both enjoyed this very well run event and seeing some really fit guys racing well into their 50s and 60s - shows that we are never too old for this malarkey! Moving into May and after getting third overall in the five race 3/4 Cat Mountbatten series, I started doing some of the Surrey League Vets series races at the Dunsfold Aerodrome. These are always hard races with plenty of good riders around who enjoy ripping the legs off other riders and I was pleased to be able to hang in some breaks with a few of these guys, gathering a few top ten finishes to add to the points tally. For the first time, my mind did start to contemplate the possibility of accumulating the 40 points needed for 2nd Cat....... The big highlight in May was undoubtedly the trip to Bala in Wales with Kent, Paul and Clint. This is an awesome place to ride a bike and all those who said they were going but dropped out really did miss out on a great trip. Kent is organising a return trip this year, so you really do need to be there! After a very nice holiday trip to the US and a welcome re-charging of the batteries, the racing continued thick and fast with the build up to what would be my first ever multi-day stage race at the end of June. Sam was also racing in what was now a 1,2,3 Cat event; Matt, Dave Mitchell and Howard Radcliffe were also entered into what turned out to be a superb event run by Poole Wheelers. The first day was very hard indeed with a hill climb TT in the morning and a very lumpy road race in the afternoon, which was raced at an incredible pace that I eventually had to give in to and roll in with a number of other bunch rejects. The following day, I was both pleased and surprised that my legs seemed to be ok and I posted what for me was a reasonable time in the flat TT. Matt and Sam also posted good times and we were looking forward to the afternoon road race which was on a huge 20 mile circuit, complete with fully marshalled roads, traffic lights we were allowed to cross on red and junctions all covered in favour of the race. My aim was simply to try and hang on to the end in such a high quality field and I was pretty chuffed to manage it, although I almost turned myself inside out a couple of times chasing back on! Matt had a great finish to win the bunch sprint, whilst Sam had been up the road in the break for the whole race. Although I was never going to trouble the leader board in this, I did feel a real sense of achievement in finishing whilst plenty of others floundered. After another LVRC race, it was time to head off to France and after 800 miles at the wheel in a day, it was a relief to find the lovely woodland campsite near Mont Ventoux where Paul and Wendy were already camped; Dave and Gill Shaw were also parked alongside in their mobile palace - with a welcome cuppa on hand! After tough but beautiful rides up Ventoux on successive days (in baking heat), we had the pleasure and privilege of watching Chris Froome destroy the field and effectively win the Tour from right where we were sitting in front of Chalet Reynard. We then headed up to Bourg to hook up with all the others for a fantastic week of fun and riding in the Alps, which culminated in watching the tour ride up Alpe d'Huez. What a fantastic week that was! I really did think that the buzz from this week could not be topped, but the Ride London 100 in August did just that. A fantastic day on the bike with a great bunch from the club smashing it up on empty roads in perfect weather. The adrenaline rush as we hammered up The Mall in front of thousands of cheering onlookers was truly incredible! Fingers are crossed for another entry this year. After an excellent club barbecue at Hundred Acres, the rest of August was a blur of racing - the Winchester Street Crit and our club road race at Alfold were great events to be involved in and I got to the end of the month just needing four more points to get the 40 needed, so the question was: did I really want them? So, and borrowing the inimitable words of Uncle Dave, I thought about it for about a second or so and made my mind up - of course I wanted them! With a holiday coming up and the feeling that my batteries were starting to fail a bit, I knew that the race at Mountbatten on the 11th September would be my last outing of the season. So it was now or never and with some good team help from Jon Healey, I finished 5th to grab the last few points that I needed. After returning from holiday, it was time to back things off a bit and just enjoy some social riding such as the annual trip to the Isle of Wight and some great Sunday tear ups with the usual suspects! Then in November, we all headed off for our Remembrance Weekend trip to Alfriston, which was memorable for so many reasons. Once again, it was brilliantly organised by Paul with great road support provided by Wendy and Sam - courtesy of Steve's van. Conditions for the ride over were appalling, but everyone just got on with it and the open fire in the pub when we got there was bliss! The ride back was a lovely contrast in weather and made for some magical autumn scenery. At the end of November, I turned 50 and the day was better than I could have ever hoped for, with a great morning club ride in lovely weather, followed by a fantastic party in the evening with all my family there and lots of club members too - not forgetting some very noisy fireworks of course! Our annual trip over to Roger's for the Mince Pie Ride saw our largest ever group club ride and this was a great event to be part of as we could all see young Alex making good progress after his dreadful injury in the summer. It is uplifting to see so many people come together in support of Alex and we all hope that 2014 sees him continue to make great strides in his recovery. So all in all, it's been an epic year for me; it remains to be seen how things go with the racing next year as a 2nd Cat, but I will be giving it everything I have got. It's been a pleasure riding and socialising with all of you and I hope 2014 brings all of us another great year together - both on and off our bikes.

Andy_Redding

Andy_Redding

 

Evolution Of I-Team: Stage 2 Of 3

Hi guys, I've always said up to now that i-Team has been a project ongoing for me - but finally I have a vision of the finished article that I'd like to share with you... Prologue: When I started the club in 2003, I had no idea whether it would be a success or not and it's been fascinating for me to see how the club has developed, from 1-10 riders, up to nearly 300 at one point to the solid 150 or so that we have today. The first 10 years has been very rewarding - but the amount of time taken to run everything has definitely taken its toll on my cycling and family life, especially as the day job has become more demanding, with a lot of overseas travel. There have been some Lows but thankfully these have been outweighed by the Highs for me - but the most positive thing is seeing how a core group of members has come to the fore to help organise events and activities for other members. So over the last 2 years, I've been tweaking things and have started to roll out a plan to evolve i-Team.cc into something that will be able to continue long after I'm gone ( - not that I'm planning on going anywhere in the next 50 years ) RACE : RIDE : RECREATION Stage One: i-Team is not a racing team (although over the years, we have outperformed many teams that claim to be ) and alongside the youth and racing members, we have the important core group of, shall we say 'middle aged' members (I'll include myself here,) who I think define what we are as a club - a group of do-ers, who don't just talk about cycling - they get out there in all weathers and are up for a challenge! We could probably tick along with this group forming the majority of the club until we all get to old to ride and the club would eventually start to decline as a lot of clubs have done... So, I started out in November 2011 with stage 1 of my master plan, when I asked some parents of young members to help me officially integrate Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing into i-Team. P.S.o.C.R. was something I had been runing with before I started i-Team and so has always been an integral part of the club (at least in my mind) and I think we gained a lot of credibility as a club from the way our young riders aquitted themselves in races. The challenge was to stay ahead of the curve, as some other clubs slowly started to get the concept why youth development was so important for the future of their clubs and the sport in general. The priority for Stage One has been to get i-Team to ClubMark status. So far this has taken around 1000 hours of volunteer time from myself, Jon Belfield, Steve & Emma Cooper, Richard & Cathy Cromie, Carla Butcher, Andrew & Claudine Hutchinson, Steve & Tom Saunders, Sam & Andy Sayner, John Clark, Peter Moore, Paul Gatenby - all of whom I am all extremely grateful to. We are 99% there now and I can't wait until we can make the announcement that we have made this important landmark. So Stage One was about laying the foundations for the long term future of the club by putting something in place that will continue to give us a steady flow of young members (remember, they don't stay young for long ) so that the average age of the club doesn't increase over time. Because of the requirements for ClubMark Status, club insurances and coach & volunteer qualifications, British Cycling will be always be the main organisation that the club affiliates to and aims to support - I came up with this diagram that I think sums this up nicely: Stage Two: I want the club to give more support to the core group of members mentioned earlier, by asking them to help me form an i-Team Events Division, which will sit alongside the P.S.o.C.R. Division, with me coordinating the 2 divisions for the next year or so at least as a sort of CEO. The things I want the Events Division / Group / Committee (I'll always struggle with that last word ) to acheive: • Co-ordination of club rides & events • Implement best practise on club rides • Individual, ride leader and event organiser insurances • Dedicated Bank Account for paying deposits for accommodation etc • Social events - could be a real tie in with the PSoCR committee here for a joint end of year presentation / club bash • Promotion of Surrey League RR I've already run this idea past a few members earlier this year and had a positive response. I was hoping to get this off the ground by now but I've learned the hard way not to spread myself to thin and so I've had to put this on hold while I get P.S.o.C.R. sorted - but I want this to be up and running sometime in January 2014. Regarding insurances, we have British Cycling Club insurance through our B.C. affiliation - but I have some concerns that our ordinary club rides seem to be a bit of a grey area when it comes to insurance and liability. So I have affiliated the club to C.T.C. as well as B.C. as I think C.T.C. offers more definitive advice when it comes to club runs, camping trips etc. So I think the B.C. + C.T.C. approach should best cover all eventualities. One thing the Events Group will need to do is help me ensure that some Best Practises are followed. It's been a while since I've been a regular on club rides, mainly due to the time it takes to do the back of house club admin - and in any event, we now have mulitiple rides and I couldn't be everywhere at once. So an events group would be the eyes and ears of what happens out on the road and give feedback and take any action needed to maintain and improve saftey. Stage Three: Stage Three is about streamlining all of the other bit's I do with running the club, such as: • Managing club subscriptions to B.C / C.T.C. / C.T.T. / Surrey League • Administration of memberships and subscriptions • Liaising with sponsors • Website development and maintenance • Forum administration • Clothing design, orders, deliveries I'm currently working on a few things at the moment that will make a real difference: Administration of memberships and subscriptions:
At the moment, this is done on a spreadsheet and I have to manually add details and manage payments from several sources. I have already started to migrate to an online club management tool provided by British Cycling. All members (whether B.C. individual members or not) will get notifications of expired club subs via an email from B.C. and they will be able to pay their club fees via the B.C. website. What will save me a lot of time is that New members will be asked to join B.C., set up a minimum of Silver membership, complete all of their next of kin details for me before I can activate their i-Team membership - nearly all of the data input will be done for me Clothing design, orders, deliveries:
Currently looking to move to a system where members order and receive deliveries direct from the manufacturer. I've tried out Champion System for a National Champion skinsuit for Joe Truman and they are favourite at the moment, but our existing supplier may also be able to do something similar. By the end of stage Three I should be here solely to do a bit of admin and act in a consultancy role with an overview of the club. Stage Four? Looking a few years into the future... could see a move to integrating the Event's & PSoCR groups into one and someone stepping in to my place if they want to, or if something (heaven forbid) were to happen to me.

Guy_Watson

Guy_Watson

 

Back On The Bike.....

Having ridden and raced at a high standard back in my teens/early twenties, I circumed to the virtues of beer and women..... This lead me down a difficult path and ultimately caused an enforced period of leave from my two wheeled commrades!!! Football, festivals and other alcohol fuelled activities filled my time and emptied my wallet from this point on. FWD 20 odd years and a challenge of completing a sprint triathlon, May 2012, was a temptation too far and the competitive gears began to turn again, all beit a little slower than they used to. This was the catalyst that got me back on the bike. The two triathlons that I did were good fun but this only lead me towards bettering myself on the bike again. August 2012 and I entered the Jurassic Classic in Exmouth...100km that tested my return but gave me hope that with a little more time and the loss of excess weight I could gain some kind of baseline fitness. Having completed the 60 miles in Exmouth the competitive spirit surged and I scoured the sportive calendar for a more challenging ride. The Etape Cymru fitted that bill....92 miles in the hilly terrain of north wales. Training completed this was done in a reasonable 6hr 20mins. It was at this point my mind turned to completing the ton... 100 miles on a bike!!! I hadnt even contemplated this since my racing days. Back to the caledar and the Exmoor Beast jumped out..... This was brutal...rain coming down in stair rods, hail, winds and bitter cold. Even the cattle up on the high moors looked fed up. At one point I considered climbing into the support van, with no feeling in my hands and the numbness creeping up my arms, it was looking bleak. Thankfully a climb was next to negotiate and this enabled blood flow and feeling to return. A winter riding with a local group facilitated more base miles and the plans began for this year. May 2013... The fred Whitton Challenge....mythical by name, mythical by nature. More rain than Ive ever seen before, like being water boarded on a bike, rain that only the lake district can provide. If I thought the Exmoor Beast was tough, this was torture. One after another they came, short but extremely steep climbs, and they conquered me. Severe cramp on the 30% section at 100 miles meant I had to to do the walk of shame. Going back next year (ballot depending)...unfinished business!!! June... The Dragon Ride... Complete opposite to the Fred. Lovely sunshine, long shallow (average 10%)climbs into the Welsh Mountains and decents that seemed to go on for ever. This was a pleasure to ride, a day that makes you realise why you do the miles and put the time in on the bike. August... Ride London.... Another perfect day. Warm, sunshine, closed roads and pan flat compared to ther rides I'd completed. Target time was approx 5hr 30mins, so to come home in 4:40 was incredible. This was a fast course and the strong tail wind for the last 30 mile was a dream as you headed up the Mall. Iconic!!! September.... This was to be my return to the Etape Cymru but my trusty VW campervan had other ideas and the trip had to be aborted. October.... As I type this I have completed my training for the Exmoor Beast (20th)and am basking in the knowledge that one more big effort will complete a good first full year back on the bike. The next problem is..... to race or not to race???

Glyn_Rossant

Glyn_Rossant

 

Fred Whitton 2013

Having had to cancel my entry last year due to work commitments the FW was my main plan for this year. Coming from just south of the Lake District I am somewhat familiar with the area and planned this year to do it with Adrian a friend of mine who is from the Lakes. I felt somewhat unprepared with just the Hell of Ashdown under my belt this year (and that felt pretty tough at the time) plus a few Cowplain rides but took comfort in the fact that Adrian was in a similar situation albeit with a few rides in the Lakes to familiarise his legs. We set off with the plan of riding round more or less together and just seeing how it went but trying to resist the temptation of following any wheels that came past to protect ourselves from later in the ride. With 1700 riders entered I was expecting check-in carnage so opted for registering the day before and was introduced to a level of efficiency I have not yet experienced in a Sportive including photo ID checks and personally applied ’dibbers’. With a cut-off at 60 miles of 12.30pm and rain predicted to properly set in around that time we opted for an early start and were off very smoothly with no queues at 6.20am. The first few climbs of the day indicated the way of the rest of the ride with me pulling a gap out on the climbs and Adrian closing it rapidly on the descents . The weather for the first few hours was cool and slighty drizzly and we made good time to Keswick with having covered the first 2 passes of Kirkstone and Matterdale assisted by our inability to resist temptation and contour Ulswater with some fast moving riders. I rode a few miles with a couple of whippets who mentioned they were aiming for 7 hours so I realised that I would be best not to try to hang on for too long but it was good while it lasted. With a brief stop at Keswick we pushed on to Honister and the first brutally steep pitch of the day at 25% where my misgivings about my gearing choice became reality as I fought my way up on a 36/28. I had actually bought a triple chainset last year in order to give myself half a chance to get round but never got round to fitting it and ended up getting a new CX bike so decided to take a chance on it with standard gearing. I was under no illusion that this minor success would mean I would get up the big climbs after 95 miles but my legs were feeling good at this point. The first feed station came at Buttermere (42 miles) with a fantastic layout of 'real’ food (no gels here... ) including my personal favourites of tuna sandwiches and millionaires slice but then straight into Newlands before the first checkpoint at the foot of Whinlatter. True to the weather forecast the wind started to pick up and the rain set in properly on the descent from Whinlatter. I had (incorrectly) pictured Cold Fell as 'undulating’ and yet it proved to be the hardest section of the day with rain, wind, fog and many false flats and as I got colder and wetter I was forced to push on and leave Adrian in order to try and stay warm (I failed ). I was amazed at the number of people who even in this weather were out shouting encouragement. The many riders in shorts must have seriously regretted their clothing choice and as I arrived at the feed station I was greeted by a surreal scene of a car park full of abandonned bikes and a village hall full of foil blanketed cyclists attempting to handle hot drinks with shaky hands. Many had the look of wanting to abandon but without the means of getting home and so were forced to prepare for the hardest climbs still to come. At this point we were met by Adrian's wife and were able to get some dry clothes which I struggled to manipulate with frozen hands so it was some time before we readied ourselves to leave. It was an opportune moment to fit a spare back wheel for Adrian as he had broken a spoke (clearly putting some power down and nothing to do with the weight.... ). Even with dry shoes and overshoes plus thermal, fleece and two waterproofs along with winter gloves it took half an hour of riding to regain some warmth and stop shivering. It was a sheltered run in to Hardknott, the big climb of the day and still feeling good I felt capable of at least attempting to ride it all although approaching the foot it was possible to see many people walking already. Feeling more of a fight than a climb the gradient tipped from 25% to 30% and I struggled to turn the pedals around at all. I thought at one point I would manage to do it without stopping but was forced to catch my breath just before the final and steepest section but was pleased (even as a MTBer who doesn't mind walking ) to get to the top having ridden it all - not something I had expected when I set out in the morning. As I paused there on the outside of a hairpin I had the alarming experience of watching a car descending the inside of the bend on 3 wheels through the sheer steepness as it crept down at walking speed. It must have been even worse for the rider just behind me who had this coming towards him . The descent was sketchy negotiating the steep hairpins in the wind and rain with potholes and gravel and marshals posted to explicitely slow riders down.....but exciting with it . The final pass of Wrynose would normally feel a tough climb but was mentally in the bag after Hardknott and the descent into the Langdale valley was awesome as the road straightened out we could properly let our brakes off and the view opened up ahead. Throughout the day we lost count of the times we saw the technical support vehicles from Saddleback (the main sponsor) fixing bikes by the side of the road. The lakeland roads are tough and take their toll on bikes as well as riders. With the first rider in just under 6 hours I am amazed how that sort of pace can be maintained over those roads and hills. Probably because we were not chasing a time (and I luxuriated with some long and plentiful stops ) I managed for the first time to properly eat and drink and can vouch for the Nuun tablets that I found recommended on the I-team pages (Steve Smith was it?) as I suffered no cramping at all. This was a fantastic but tough event that fully lived up to my expectations and I cannot wait to do it again. I might even have the bravery to follow a few wheels next time....

Gavin_Hartley

Gavin_Hartley

 

I Just Don’T Know What To Do With Myself!

Read the title a la Dusty Springfield. For the youngsters,stick it in you tube to be enlightened!!! Anyway, 2013, I am a bit aimless from a cycling point of view. The last two years I did the Etape so my cycling was mapped out with that in mind and plenty of rides/sportives lined up. This year I have nothing, owing to a holiday most of my spare cash has to be put in the pot for that. So that puts the mokka’s on the more interesting rides further afield. I also find it hard to part with cash for the ones on my doorstep as I can do the routes anytime! I have signed up for the Isle of Wight Randonee http://www.cycleisland.co.uk/ and this http://www.spinupinabrewery.com/ as it looks a bit different from stuff I have done. Otherwise nothing. It is my Daughters last year at Uni in Bristol so am thinking of riding there again. Undecided at the moment. Owing to the weather and overtime my Rowlands Castle attendances have been zero this year. I justify the bad weather excuse as I commute in all weathers, so the rides for pleasure need to be dry (No rain). The one positive thing from the riding point of view is that my commute is about to get longer. I currently work in Cosham, so to there from Cowplain daily. The office is being moved to just off Guildhall Square the last week in February. So, a few more miles daily and in the summer easy to extend. Warmed up before whichever route up Portsdown I decide to take. So any ideas for free rides gratefully received!

Ashley_Webb

Ashley_Webb

 

A Self Sufficient Cycle Ride Through France And Spain With A 'detour' To Ibiza!

Ok, here it is, my latest wacky idea! I’m looking for some like-minded folk to join me on a trip through England, France and Spain, including a ‘detour’ to Ibiza! This trip is not about, get as fast as you can from point A to point B but more about enjoying the people we meet and the journey that we create. I’m posting this blog just to get an idea what people think (probably tell me that I’m crazy, I know!) I know that for a lot of people, taking the time off from work/studies would be difficult. If you are however able to come on part of the journey, or meet me on a leg of the journey that would be fine. The rough plan is to leave the UK around the 20th July and return around 31st August (42 days). The main route plan is: Catching the ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre.
Cycling to my parent’s house near Cosne-sur-Loire for a couple of rest days.
Cycling from Cosne to Barcelona (more detailed route to follow!)
Catching the ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza.
Spending around 7 days in Ibiza.
Catch the ferry back to Barcelona.
Cycle from Barcelona to Bilbao.
Catching the ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth.
The total cycling distance will be around 2000kms. I imagine the average distance per day would be around 80-100kms. The plan would be to as self sufficient as possible, so would need to carry tents/camping gear etc. If you think this trip is something you may consider, let me know and I can post up more details… Here’s a ‘taste’ of a similar trip a good friend of mine completed (make sure you check the videos out!): http://africaexpedit....uk/p/blog.html Ciao Harry P.S Oh, and if that didn't sound crazy enough, I'll be riding a 1950's Humber with a Sturmey Archer 3 Speed gear box!

Harry_Forrest

Harry_Forrest

 

Taking A Quick Look Back...

Brief history... I got back on a bike three years ago after many years away from two wheels. The aim was to get a bit fitter, save some petrol cash and lose some excess weight! I purchased a Guess RB1 road bike, weighing in at 10kg, and set to getting back into the spirit of things In that first year, 2010, I covered a total of 770 miles and managed to commute to work and back 41 times. I was pretty pleased with that at the time. More of the same followed in 2011 but I managed to up my total milage to 1006 miles and commuted 56 times. Was much happier with that, especially breaking four figures for the total milage. After that I set my targets for 2012 at 1200/60. It didn't take long to realise I was going beat those figures hands down and just carryied on as long as I was able. The end result was a total of 3038 miles and 96 commutes! Was very pleased to surpass 3k distance and only missed out on getting the commutes to three figures thanks to bad weather and other pressures on my time. 2012 also saw me take part in my first sportive, the GSD Giant through the South Downs early in September covering 104 miles in a little over 6.5 hours. Was pretty pleased with that, and will admit that a fair chunk of my total milage went into training and building up the endurance. I also purchased a smart phone back in May and got hooked up on Strava - http://strava.com/athletes/mook - which also helped provide a much increased level of encouragement, and was indeed where I found about this club July also saw me purchase my second bike, a self built machine consisting of a carbon frame direct from China mated to the latest Shimano Ultegra 6700 groupset, CSN Ultraleggera 50mm rim carbon/alloy rims and a few other odds and ends. This one comes in at 8.6kg and the difference in performance over the old bike is very noticable. This is now my summer bike, and the old one is the winter tramp. So what does 2013 hold? Having survived the Mayen apocalypse I suspect things will only get better. For one I'll pull my finger out and get on some of the club rides! In terms of my targets I'm thinking I should be able to achieve 3500 miles and 100 commutes - the fact I done my first commute this evening is by far the quickest start to a year I've achieved, so that bodes well. I've also made some friends via Strava and have been invited to join them on the Paris-Roubaix Challenge - riding the 170km course over the famous cobbles of north east France the day before the pros. That would be quite some challenge for me and I've not yet decided one way or the other. Perhaps I should just believe in myself and go for it, how hard can it be... just another day in Hell In terms of my initial objectives, despite knocking on the door of 40 I've comfortably lost over a stone in weight, feel as fit as I did when I was 25 and have probably saved around £600 in petrol. Job done I reckon

Graham_Kay

Graham_Kay

 

2012 Summary

I think I did most of my review of the year a few months ago, after my neck issue, but I thought I'd write a quick update. After visiting the neck specialist again, the prolapsed disk has shrunk enough to stop pressing on the nerve and my neck pain has mostly gone. The nerve impingement over the summer resulted in a loss of muscle mass in my left tricep and pectoral muscles, so I've spent some time over the autumn and early winter trying to get some strength back into those muscles. The strength has been improving recently, but there is still some way to go in terms of building up the muscle mass, but at least I can lift some reasonably respectable weights again. In terms of riding, I'm now able to ride for around 3 hours, with the Mince Pie Ride before Christmas the longest ride for probably 6 months. So now its time to start to train again, to lose weight and to gain power. I've got a way to go on both fronts, but I like a good challenge. The Christmas flu is just about gone, so time to get cracking. Looking forward to 2013.

Howard_Radcliffe

Howard_Radcliffe

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