It’s time for the snow bike conversion…read the full article on Brikeradar.
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…for all facebook users…Rutland now has a page on facebook. So get yourself along and befriend us !!!
Log in to Facebook and look at newly uploaded photos
1st November: National Hill Climb Champs, Dovers Hill
For the first time I decided to enter a national championships as after a month of
hill climbs I seemed to be going ok and I was intrigued to see how I could do.
Unfortunately, unlike previous years, the hill being used for the national was a long
way from the Peak District, so there was no chance of me riding it beforehand. I
knew it was about 1200 metres though, with an average gradient of about 10%, which
I thought would take me about 4.30. I was a little worried that as I didn’t know the
hill I’d get my pacing wrong, but was determined to err on the side of killing myself
rather than not going hard enough. So, I went out hard and held on for 32nd in a time
of 4.25. I was happy, but my halfway split was 20th fastest which showed that I’d
died a little at the top, and perhaps I could have been a few seconds faster if I’d paced
myself a little better. A few seconds equates to quite a few places, so I’m hopeful that
a top 25 position might be possible when the national comes back to the Peak District
in 2011. It would be good to see Rutland put out a team in a ‘home’ event that puts
sprinting up Cressbrook every week to good use!
Rutland’s own Mark Jacobi recently completed the three peaks cyclo race in North Yorkshire. Here is his full account of the day.
What possessed me to start planning to ride the 3 Peaks I’m not entirely sure, it has been 25 years since I have ridden Cyclo-cross and I didn’t have a X bike!, but as I wasn’t racing this year for the first time in a while it occurred to me that this was the ideal year to train and fide this Cyclo-cross ‘Monument’.
The final decision was made when I sent a speculative email round to a few riders that I know ride X asking for advice and if anyone had a bike. Danny was the first to reply with the words ‘ After I rode it…I considered giving up riding a bike all together’, not quite the encouragement I was looking for, but better still he had a bike for the job and plenty of advice for the training.
So with a reasonable amount of preparation I was on the start-line with close to 600 others. I had heard endless stories of how difficult the first peak was and how after that the rest becomes a blur. I took the first peak Ingleborough steady and felt fine going over the top. The descent was fast and boggy but mostly rideable.
The 2nd peak Whernside gets gradually harder as you climb (walk!!) but there are fantastic views below of Ribblehead viaduct and the rest of Ribblesdale below. The photo below was taken two thirds of the way up.
The descent was rocky and highly technical and I erred on the side of caution rather than risk punctures or more serious tumbles. The trail emerges at the viaduct, and you briefly have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning location before hitting the road down to Horton in Ribblesdale where the last climb of Pen-y-Ghent begins. The trail here skirts the mountain for what seems an eternity, slowly climbing upwards but never getting any closer until for the final time you shoulder the bike and begin another 20 minutes up a sections of steep rocky trail.
The final descent follows the same path you ascend on making for a difficult and uncomfortable drop. At some point during this my hands unused to gripping the breaks so hard for so long cramped. I ended having to pick a soft looking area of peat bog to bail out on and then lay there until I got feeling back in my fingers. I did the final part of the descent with the brakes locked o because had I released them I was pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to pull them on again.
From there it is just a few minutes road ride to the finish. My time was 4 hours 21 minutes, and I immediately started working out in my mind just how much time I could take off that with a bit more experience before the realisation that my plan had been just to complete the 3 peaks and enjoy the experience. It really is a fantastic event, genuinely hard but with some preparation achievable.
Most importantly, no need to ever do it again.
Despite the torrential rain that covered Sheffield on Sunday 3rd October, Nick Latimer and Gavin Evans turned out in the Birdwell Wheelers Hill Climb, up Pea Royd Lane in Stocksbridge. Rutland dominated, with Nick winning and Gav coming 3rd. Also seen in the pic Ashley Proctor of Sheff Rec took second and the Junior prize.
Pilot is of course what you call the person who sits on the front of a bike with more than one seat on it.
Next Friday (8th October) I’ll be ‘piloting’ either a tandem or a trandem (see attached picture) to enable Dave and Val Radford to do their sponsored bike ride to raise money for guide dogs for the blind.
They need a pilot as they are both blind. They are raising money for this charity as they have both used guide dogs for almost their entire life
We will be riding about 36 miles on a looping route between Hornsea where they live and Beverley, home to the Yorkshire branch of Guide Dogs.
I used to pilot their trandem when they lived in Sheffield but they moved to the East coast a few years ago and Val has also had cancer. She now feels sufficiently recovered from the chemo to attempt this ride. The 18 mile practice ride last Sunday was challenging as I’d forgotten how hard it is to steer the damn thing.
So if you think that a 68 year old, blind cancer survivor riding a bike for 36 miles to raise money for guide dogs is worth a few quid of your money..then donate some cash at the following address… http://www.justgiving.com/tandemtobeverley
At the start of September, two Rutland members, Michael Birkby and Rob Stewart tackled one of the biggest sportives in the country, the Bealach Mor. Here is their story…
Saturday 4th September saw the 4th running of the Bealach Mor sportive which starts and finishes in Kinlochewe at the head of Glen Torridon and runs around the Applecross peninsula. I’ve ridden a lot of these sportive-timetrial-race-charity ride type things in the UK over the last 5 years and become pretty fussy as there are lots of lame ones. But I have to say that this one really is the most spectacular, consistently presenting stunning scenery, amazing winding roads and one bloody big hill right in the middle. Its a lot easier than the likes of Fred Whitton, Etape du Dales and some of the more recent additions to the sportive calendar with a little over 2700m of climbing (claimed 3000m on the website) over just under 90 miles. But the route really is amazing and the Bealach na ba pass, at 626m, is not only the UK’s highest pass but arguably the best with a spectacular setting up a glacial corrie, between tall craggy cliffs. Following a gentle warm up from sea level it has a few steep bits, but never more than probably 1 in 6 which lead into several Alpine style hairpins before a rewarding summit view over to Skye and the Cuillin (on clear days at least). The road over the pass is closed to cars for the event so its possible to give it some on the quality, winding descent, taking care to avoid those who’ve got carried away and crashed on some of the tight bends!
There are no restrictions on mass starts so those who like to make a sort of race of it can make the most of some bunch riding, although there was the usual assortment of randoms who really can’t ride in groups. The 9:00am starters set off to the sound of bag pipes, distracting them from the morning midges around their legs. There were plenty of friendly supporters and marshals on the road sides and fairly frequent food and drink stops, all of which I neglected to stop at, perhaps the main reason I cracked with 15 miles to go and was dropped from my group!
As with many other of these events its not cheap to enter (about £40) and as its not a race, no prizes. Having ridden the narrow Bealach na ba pass twice in the last year, riding over with 500 odd others made me thankful it was closed to traffic, somewhat justifying the price. In the end I managed 4:49:16, with Rob (Pogtani) Stewart coming in at 5:16:01. The quickest time, a much more impressive 4:22:27! The main downside to the event for us was the 9 hour drive up from Sheffield in the van but also being forced to wear demeaning reflective bibs (see photo)! Apart from that, if you’ve never ridden up there before its a bloody good event.
Imagine my and I’m sure your surprise as you thumbed through Cycling Weekly this week and were greeted by the glorious blue white and gold colours of Rutland !!
John Smallwood and Andy Ralph were snapped whilst riding in the Sheffield 100 sportive earlier in the year. What the report didn’t mention was Andy and John’s My Ride comments.
Possibly they figured that they weren’t fit for public consumption but I am pleased to report that I have managed to get hold of their post event reports and can share them with you now.
My Ride : John Smallwood (24) : Rutland CC: “It was a great event and I’ve had a great day…them sportivists aren’t that fast for a hardened teacaker such as myself so we’ve done a lot over taking today! I must say I was very disappointed that they didn’t have any Stella at the feed stations…”
My Ride : Andy Ralph (22) : Rutland CC : “That f*****g wind…I almost got blown from my b*****d bike….and as for them Sountherners…they are worse bike handlers than f*****g Sheff Rec.”
Blimey Andy, I’m not surprised they didn’t print that !!!
The final round of the 2010 NMRRL was run off last week in appalling conditions. It quite literally wee’d it down for the whole event. But luckily for the Rutland, we produced some pretty good swimmers !!!
Jamie had already sealed his victory in the overall with what can only be described as a truly emphatic series win. Right from week one he has proved to be the strongest rider in the race and a more deserved winner you couldn’t find.
However the competition for the podium places came right down to the wire with Dan Storey from SheffRec, who has enjoyed a very successful racing season this year, Jordon Skinner from Dinnington and our very own Marc Mallender all with a few points of each other. Any one of them could have made second place overall with the result in the final round.
It was clear from the start of the race that it was going to be a tactical affair with all the riders still in with a shout marking each other closely. A a few failed attempts to get away, the race winning move formed. In the move were Jamie, Marc, Dan Storey and Steve Ellis. The odds were looking good.
In the end though, try as he might, Marc was unable to shake off the very strong, Dan Storey, who just pipped Marc in the sprint to take the second place overall. Marc well and truly beat young Jordan though to secure and excellent third place overall !!!
To top off a great night for the Rutland, sensing that the other riders were watching each other, Steve Ellis clipped away from the breakaway to secure an excellent and very deserved final round win! Sources of mine who watching from the finish said that Steve’s great victory was somewhat let down by a very disappointing victory salute…so just for you Steve here is a picture of one to practice over the off season !!!
So massive congratulations go out to Steve, Jamie and Marc who have the done club proud. I’m sure everyone who road the series this year would agree that the new format has been a real breath of fresh air to the road race league and reaffirmed it’s position as a must do weekly series. So get your entry forms ready for 2011 and let’s see if we can get three riders in the top three overall next year !!!
If you are rich and famous enough the prime car seat for a cycling fan is possibly the
commissaire’s car in the Tour de France. The downside of course is that you could end up
sharing a car with Tom Cruise or President Sarkozy. The latter is affectionately known
as ‘Sarko’ in France as I found out on the Col Mont Cenis last year.
Much better, especially as I only had to share the car with the Wu Tan Clan and the
Bad Plus, is lead car in Tumby’s Road Race. With the race split this year into two
concurrent races the sole Rutland representatives in race 2 were Darren Otter, Gary
Horsefield (would he be Gary Chevalchamp in France?) and Richard Gouldbourn. The
rear view mirrors are not the best screens to watch a race on but judging by some of the
commentary on ITV4 my mirrors must be better than Sherwen’s and Liggett’s monitors.
Things didn’t get off to a great start. One third of the way round the second lap I came
across Gary fiddling with his bike. He had clearly had a problem within the first 2
miles. He jumped back on his bike and re-joined the race as I passed him and radioed
his number through to the commissar. Maybe he thought he could argue that it was just
a long criterium and after some discussions with the motorbike outriders he carried on in
Four laps later and I saw Richard sitting on the grass near the finish line so by now
things were looking less rosy for the chances of a home victory. All hopes were
now resting on Darren but reports from John Hadfield were that Darren was flying.
The second race was lively right from the start. As soon as I’d turned the first corner
and left the neutralised sections the attacks started. First 2 then 4 riders got a break and I
could see the whole bunch lined out whenever we got on a straight.
All the early attacks came to nothing, including one that looked like Darren, jumping
away on his own with the whole bunch chasing him back. Numerous attacks continued,
all neutralised until a group of four got away with about 5 laps to go. These 4 were
working well, I could see them chaining in the mirrors but looking round on the corners I
could see there were no Rutland riders in it. Their lead stretched out over the next 2 laps
and with three and a half laps to go and the bunch out of sight I thought that this was the
race winning move.
With just over 3 laps to go I was relieved to see the headlamps of the second motorbike
on the back straight and as the leaders climbed the hill before the finish the bunch were
Two and a half laps to go and it was gruppo compatto. Driving through Harworth was
getting a bit hairy by now. The roads were getting busier and I’d already been stuck
behind some half asleep driver who couldn’t make his mind up whether to turn into
the co-op or not and who almost took the break out after they passed me on the inside.
So, I was well in front coming through the village and couldn’t see much of what was
happening behind me. As I approached the bottom corner I could see 3 riders making a
very determined break and as they started the climb up to the conveyor I could see that
one of them was Rutland’s Darren, low down on the bars and with that slow roll of the
shoulders that I usually only see from the very back of the Tuesday chaingang. They
totally hammered it up the incline and I could see they were opening a gap. By now there
were tired legs in the bunch and the chase was looking determined but disorganised and
ineffectual. Up the hill towards the bell and they had about 40 tick tocks of my hazard
Coming through Harworth for the last time I could see a green bus ahead and as I
approached it pulled out in front of two other cars. Merde, now down to about fifteen
miles an hour and the break approaching fast. With hazards and orange roof light
flashing I got to a few feet of the bumper in front hoping that the drivers would see the
sign saying ‘Cycle Race Approaching’ and not be Top Gear fans. One car pulled off into
the co-op, only a very slow bus and a car to go.
The marshals controlling the roundabout helped the bus get through and away but the
car was going nowhere so I swung across to the right and saw 3 riders flash through
on my inside. Car out of the way and I roared off after the break (if it’s possible to do
much roaring in my 8 year old Skoda) winding down the window to give them a shout of
encouragement. By now I was really enjoying this, best seat in the house for the whole
race and with 5 miles to go we have a serious chance of winning. But who are these
other guys and can either of them sprint. It’s a 2,3,4 race so there must be some pretty
handy riders in it. How will Darren’s 40+ year old fast twitch muscles fare at the top of
the hill for the last time?
Along the back straight and one of the other riders tries an attack on a short incline.
Nothing doing and there is only one chaser miles back with the bunch even further
behind so they can take it a bit easy before the finish. Up the hill for the last time and I
put plenty of road between mysef and the riders so had no idea if anyone had attacked on
the climb. Through the finish line and I can see Ray parked up in the middle of the road
100 yards beyond the finish ensuring a safe sprint for the line. But where the hell am I
supposed to go. Spotted a little road to the right, swung the car round, dumped it in the
middle of the road, nipped back onto the main road just in time to see Darren winning
race 2 for the Rutland by two bike lengths.
Tumby would be well pleased to see a Rutland rider once again winning a race held in his
honour and a Rutland victory makes a very fine memorial.
What happened in race 1, no idea ask Marc and Danny
Thanks to Steve and Louise for a great day out and a fantastic race.