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Jun 18 2013 04:24 PM | Guy_Watson in Miscellaneous & Fun
When I started i-Team, 'Big John' was one of the first to get the idea of a cycling club with a focus on quality coaching. The British Cycling Coaching Program was in it's infancy and at that time was arguably some way behind the Association of British Cycling Coaches, with whom John had been a Senior Coach with for over 20 years. It was John who first encouraged me to go on one of the early British Cycling Level 2 courses and become a club coach.
Back then, after seeing his son Rob Hayles become one of the best track cyclists this country has ever seen, John was becoming increasingly frustrated with the demise of fixed wheel-track cycling locally and the lack of opportunities for youth cycling in Portsmouth. Disheartened at the lack of interest, he was considering closing up shop at the Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing, which he had been running at Pompey Track since the 70's.
Then, one rainy Friday night back in Novemeber 2002, after we'd had no takers for the evening coaching sessions, we popped back to John's house to console ourselves over the lack of interest, by opening a few bottles of vino. By the end of the evening, 2 things had happened:
1 - I had decided to that the only way forward was to start again from scratch and see what could be done with a new club and a fresh approach.
2- John had recounted many stories from his days as a professional wrestler and I would never see him in the same light again!
John has always been really supportive from my early racing days with Portsmouth Cycling Club and until recently was helping me every Friday with P.S.o.C.R. and i-Team events.
I owe him a lot and this article is a little token of my thanks to him. Most people know Big John as Rob Hayles' Dad but beneath the surface and you'll find a killer! - John 'Killer' Kowalski to be precise.
The following article appeared in The Portsmouth Evening News a few years back - the story and pictures are John's and are displayed here as 'fair use' under U.K. copyright law.
Mar 18 2013 11:09 AM | Guy_Watson in Info & Tips
Enthusiastic Youths & Juniors can sometimes arrive at their first race, nervous, excited, eager to compete - only to be told that their bike falls foul of the regulations, 'because the gearing is not compliant with the rules.' This can be confusing and frustrating, especially if a brand new bike was purchased in good faith and the shop said that the bike was 'race-ready.'
Far from being over-zealous kill-joys, race oficials must follow the regulations set by international and national cycling organisations, which limit the top gear for all youth and junior racers participating in road and track races. Gear restrictions teach good pedaling techniques that will be essential later in life, help prevent injury, encourage good race tactics and level the playing field when children are developing at different rates.
Jan 28 2013 06:57 PM | Guy_Watson in Info & Tips
Cycling as part of an organised group, (known as a 'peloton') has many advantages for both the individual riders and other road users:
Inexperienced riders in a peloton can be danger to themselves and to others - so to stay safe, they need to get 'up to speed' not just with the pace of the more experienced rides - but also with the level of skill needed.
Dec 24 2010 10:42 AM | Guy_Watson in Miscellaneous & Fun
It was the summer of 1986 and I was at work in the Royal Naval Aircraft Yard, Fleetlands, chatting to a fellow apprentice about the quality of the nickel plate that I had just inducted on to my 'Brain Rourke' 753. John knew a bit about cycling and trained with a bike when preparing for his amateur boxing fights. He shook his head saying, "You should never 'plate 753…" I was pretending to listen to him but as I watched the electrolyte drip from my gleaming creation, I was thinking about planning a summer ride across Europe...
Dec 24 2010 12:39 PM | Guy_Watson in Info & Tips
...and neither does anyone else!
i-Team is a pro-bicycle organisation - but in no way are we anti-motorist. 99.9% of our members drive a car (or are driven by parents etc.) when they are not riding the bike for leisure or commuting. i-Team.cc wants to present cycling in a positive image and we respect all other road users who show us respect, whether we are cycling or in a car.
Dec 24 2010 10:58 AM | Guy_Watson in Info & Tips
None of us can know it all - fellow club members will become a wealth of information on topics like where to ride, how to train - or maybe even how to enter your first race. Often, cyclists that have been riding the same roads for years can benefit from a groups knowledge of traffic conditions, prevailing wind - and even what route is easiest on the eye.
If you are thinking of joining a cycling club, you could first check out the local cycling clubs in your area, compare what they offer and what they can deliver - and if you don't find one that suits your needs, you know where we are 24/7
Dec 27 2010 12:15 PM | Guy_Watson in Membership & Joining
Rob Hayles- World Champion & Olympic Medal Winning Professional Bike Rider -
"Since 2004, I have been the President of i-Team. This team has been set up by one of my oldest friends in cycling, Guy Watson. Guy was a member of my first ever cycling club, Portsmouth CC, way back in the late 80's and he helps me today with the Team KLR Elite Team. I like original ideas and i-Team is a unique concept, that works for a hell of a lot of cyclists."
Apr 20 2008 07:15 AM | Guy_Watson in Racing
In 2008, i-Team member and my good friend Richard Gorman was the sponsorship director for the CSC professional team.
Imagine how excited I was when I got a call from him, asking if would I like to do a bit of driving for him and spend a bit bit of time hanging out with CSC at Paris Roubaix?
Er, let me think about it Rich... (0.1 secs later) - OK, thought about it...YEP!
Sep 11 2012 12:18 PM | Guy_Watson in Events
On Saturday 24th September 2011, i-Team sponsors, InTandem Systems, promoted the 3rd edition of their sponsored bike ride around the Isle of Wight.
This was not a big sportive or formal ride solely for serious cyclists - just a very well organised fun event for a good cause and the riders were mostly made up of InTandem staff and their family and friends - plus a large contingent of i-Team members of course!
Aug 05 2012 10:34 AM | Guy_Watson in Events
PORTSDOWN TIME TRIAL LEAGUE EVENT 6 - PROMOTED BY i-Team.cc
Date: Sunday 5th August 2012
COURSE P817 - Soberton - Hambledon - Soberton
HQ: Soberton Village Hall Course in brief:
Event held under CTT Rules - Stay Safe - Observe Highway Code - Enjoy Your Ride - Wear A Helmet
Jul 10 2012 08:40 PM | Andy_Jones in Events
Jon Cooke is pretty much a newcomer to cycling but has set himself a real challenge to raise £100,000 for charity by riding around Great Britain in 32 days!
The event has been organised to raise money for the Estate Agency Foundation charity, which has already raised over £60,000 to help combat the causes of homelessness in the UK. as well as helping those who are already suffering. The EAF donates the money it raises to existing charities nationwide who help real people like 'Stuart,' medically discharged from the Army and told he isn't a priority for a council house, or 'Nicola,' raised in Local Authority Care but with nowhere to go once she reached the age of 16, or 'Sheila,' who was discharged from hospital suffering from mental illness with no care package or support system in place.
i-Team is supporting this great cause by helping to promote awareness of Jon's challenge and hopefully keeping him out of the wind a bit on some of the stages!
Jun 13 2012 09:07 PM | Fraser_Ellison in Overseas Sportives
The Tour TransAlp is a 7-day stage race for amateur cyclists run by Tour, the largest cycling magazine in Germany and is their main event of the year. It attracts a field of approx. 750 2-person teams and runs from Germany to Italy. The exact route varies every year but on the menu for 2012 was 800 km with approx. 18,000 meters of climbing over 17 Alpine and Dolomite passes from Mittenwald in Germany to Arco at Lake Garda in Italy, with teams from 27 countries taking part.
Jun 12 2012 08:19 AM | Phillip_Chandler in Miscellaneous & Fun
Convivial cycling amongst like-minded enthusiasts at it's best!
Roger and his friends take their cycling down a gear; while they take in the sights of rural france, drink some wine at Chez 'Cahatalot' - and do a bit of cycling.
Jun 10 2012 03:28 PM | Guy_Watson in i-Team Website Guides & Help
Please take the time to read this article and then spare a few minutes a week to contribute to your club online and your reward will be an increased sence of belonging to something meaningful, help you build online friendships and ensure that you get the maximum value from being an i-Team member.
Dec 27 2010 10:48 AM | Guy_Watson in Events
Portsmouth City Council and British Cycling have asked i-Team.cc to promote a race for Youth A and B riders, as part of a supporting events program that will lead up to the evening's televised professional race. This will provide a fantastic opportunity for local youth club cyclists on their Half Term break, to race on some of the same roads that the professionals will be using.
Nov 02 2010 08:19 PM | Guy_Watson in Racing
I'm not a great swimmer so the 3.8km swim is all about holding maximum speed for minimum energy expenditure. It is best to swim in a group whilst still holding a decent line and without being jostled too much. I was swimming with a couple of female pros for a while but somehow lost focus for the last 20mins (lack of training) and went backwards.
Dec 27 2010 11:51 AM | Guy_Watson in Racing
The course was a difficult one, with three ascents of the demanding 'Blue Mountain Road' climb on a 25km loop and 5 ascents of the 'Wallaceville' climb on a 17km loop. Total 160km. It was predicted that major splits would occur on the Blue Mountains climb. At 2.7km the road rose to just under 300m and with an average gradient of 8.1% the climb required a rider of my ability to be at max every time we went up, this in order to just stay with the group.
Dec 27 2010 11:59 AM | Guy_Watson in Racing
Dave in a break with Sean Yates & Tony Gibb with Ben blocking the bunch. Dave worked himself over a bit - going for every point instead of working with the break a bit more and he had to drop off the break. He had some points but he had to wait for the bunch.
Jun 22 2010 08:32 PM | Steve_Smith in Overseas Sportives
The road went up steadily just before Jonkoping and I soon felt the effects of not drinking enough in the build up and then working quite hard early on. I had absolutely no power in my legs, earlier I had said that I may push on if I was feeling good so didnt think it right to give them a shout as I dropped out of the back of the group.
Dec 27 2010 12:08 PM | Guy_Watson in Info & Tips
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Try to remember to take small drinks often. Until you get in the habit, every time you see another rider take a drink, reach for your bottle. Some riders like water, others prefer sports drinks such as Gatorade. A benefit of sports drinks is the carbohydrates and potassium they contain. Read the label and choose one which contains sucrose or dextrose. Drinks which contain high fructose corn syrup are harder to digest and can cause some riders stomach distress.
* Hold a bottle to the side of your head when you offer it up to your mouth - that way you will continue to be able to see where you are going!