Rutland on Facebook…

02 Dec
December 2, 2010

…for all facebook users…Rutland now has a page on facebook. So get yourself along and befriend us !!!

Rutland on facebook

Log in to Facebook and look at newly uploaded photos

Mudguards & Mudflaps

30 Nov
November 30, 2010

They’re ugly, nobody likes them, but no cyclist should be without them. I’m talking about FULL LENGTH MUDGUARDS & MUDFLAPS – the most practical, but also the least popular accessory in the history of cycling.
After so much wet weather it amazes me that so many riders are still riding bikes with uncovered wheels, why? Mudguards mean dry bum and backside and the only downside being that they ruin the look of the bike, so what! It’s madness. Carry on like this and you’ll end up with trench foot of the shorts.
Experts warn us that if anything the weather is going to get wetter in future years. Eventually you do get used to permanently feeling cold and wet, but why would you want to?
You could try the old “the frame clearances are too tight” excuse, but it’s more likely that you’re too tight to buy a new frame.
Downgrade the new groupset if you have to raise funds, swap Dura-Ace for Ultegra and put the difference towards a winter frame.
There is a younger generation of cyclists who simply will not use mudguards because the look of the bike is more important than their own comfort and none of the pros use them. I’m not unsympathetic. A top road bike should never have clearance for mudguards, but here’s the thing: I’m not talking about race bikes. If you own two or more road bikes, at least one should have mudguards. It’s a completely different beast – treat it with the contempt you think it deserves, apologise for it your shallow club mates. Be thicker skinned, but be DRY and keep those behind you DRY !

National Hill climb champs report 2010.

19 Nov
November 19, 2010

1st November: National Hill Climb Champs, Dovers Hill

national hc3

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!

Remembering Minty a year on…

04 Nov
November 4, 2010

Paul Ogle has found some photos on his phone from Mallorca last year, thought it would be nice to share them with everyone a year to the day since we lost Minty.

les Alps

26 Oct
October 26, 2010

Last month Dick Cubison and I spent a week cycling through the Vercors and the Alps.   Five trains got us from Sheffield to Valence in less than 12 hours then we spent the next 6 days cycling 700 Kms (720 for Dick as he added in another col) in an arc east, then north and finally west to Geneve.

IMG_2692We only needed three trains back in another 12 hours to Sheffield.  Going by train is a breeze.  No airline baggage attendant to trash your bike and you are with it all the time.  Because of different bike carrying rules on the different trains we packed them up on the way out.  Dick got his in an old Planet X cardboard bike box and mine dropped into a £1.99 laundry bag.  This has the advantage of being free and disposable.  On the way back we paid 28 quid to get them from Geneve to London in the train.

The weather was mostly excellent.  July and August can be just too hot in central France, even quite high in the alps.  We ended up putting a few layers on in the descents but as it was dry no problems.   Everywhere we stayed was really friendly although getting lunch was sometimes a bit difficult.   For the first three days everywhere we seemed to try first was either full or lunch was finished.

IMG_2726We rode every day although day 3 was only a half day’s ride because of rain in the morning.  As soon as it stopped we were off up Alpe D’Huez and the col Sarenne.

Over the 6 days we managed  a whole bunch of cols including the spectacular Combe Laval, The beautiful CroiIMG_2746x de Fer, the awesome Iseran and the very pretty Saises with it’s views of Mont Blanc to name but a few.

There were a few Rutland members who expressed an interest in going.  All I can say it that you missed a fantastic trip.  There are few better places to ride a bike within relatively easy reach than the Alps.  One is of course the Dolomites and I’ll now give you plenty of advance notice for the ‘Andy Tours’ trip through the Dolomites with a saddlebag in 2012.  Now that will be spectacular.

Full picture set is here

Mark at the 3 Peaks Cyclo Cross – 2010

11 Oct
October 11, 2010

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.

Nearing the top of Whernside (that’s a smile on my face!)

Nearing the top of Whernside (that’s a smile on my face!)

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.

The first part of Pen-y-ghent, photograph by Andy Jones.

The first part of Pen-y-ghent, photograph by Andy Jones.

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.

Monsal Hill Climb 2010

10 Oct
October 10, 2010

Well done to all the Rutland riders in this years Monsal hill climb. Marc Etches and Sheffrec put on a great event once again and the large crowd must have been inspiring for the riders. There was only Jamie Burgan, John Smallwood and myself at the meet for 10:00 am and we arrived just in time for the start.


First Rutland rider up the hill was our veteran Steve Ellis who rode up like a twenty year old. Steve didn’t ride into anything (has a bit of history here!!) and got 2nd place in the gurning competition.


Next up was Sarah Birkby. All that grimacing and puffing on the tea cake was obviously worth it and she floated past the point where I was stood.


I didn’t catch her time but she certainly looked quicker than the women who had gone past me earlier and much quicker than these 2 Rutland members who are now too slow to even try it. If only she didn’t have the extra weight of that helmet…


Michael Birkby was up next at number 49. Seen here with the endorphin stare wishing the finish was closer and demonstrating Einstein’s special theory of psychological relativity whereby time slows down in relation to how much your legs are hurting.


Into the top half of the field and Robert Stewart came up the hill at number 64 posting a 2 mins 12 secs.



Twenty minutes later and Richard Lindsay flew up to post a 1:52. Twenty seconds faster than Robert but still outside Steve Ellis who by now had been at the top of the Rutland leader board for almost an hour and a half.


We were now waiting for lightning Nick Latimer. He went past me so fast I could only get a slightly blurred picture of him so no picture Nick, sorry. Fresh from his victory in the previous weeks Pea Royd Lane hill climb Nick came in with a storming time of 1:38.7. putting him well up the overall classification.



Only 2 Rutland riders left. Would Danny or Tom be able to beat Nick’s time. Danny tried but only just failed, posting a time of 1:40.1.

He does however win first prize in the gurning competition and please Danny, next year, can you borrow Sarah’s helmet so you don’t mess my light meter up.


Last Rutland rider up was Tom. Pushing a fixed he flew across the finish but he also failed to topple Nick posting a 1:41.2 although he told me later he’s come up that hill quicker in the past.


A few minutes later Russell Downing crossed the line and claimed victory with a 1:20.5. If Sky haven’t re-signed him for 2011 they will now once Brailsford hears about this.

Thanks to all the Rutland riders for turning up. There were some riding up who were even bigger than me so next year…..

And well done Marc and Sheffrec for a really professional event.

Full results can be found here.

Rutland success at Birdwell Whls HC – October 2010

05 Oct
October 5, 2010


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.

Andy the pilot…

30 Sep
September 30, 2010


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…

Obituary – Derek Morris

21 Sep
September 21, 2010

Just a brief note to let you know that one of our oldest Club members Derek Morris passed away on Monday evening 13th September 2010.
Derek was 78 years and had been battling cancer for the past 4 months.
Our thoughts are with Babs, Paul, Susan, John and the rest of the family at this sad time.

Service arrangements:-

Derek had decided to donate his body to science so there won’t be a funeral as such but there will be a service to remember Derek and the life he had.
The service will be on Tuesday 28th September, 11am at Grenoside Crematorioum, S35 8RZ
Anyone wishing to join the family for a drink afterwards can do so at The Hillsborough Hotel on Langsett Road, S6 2UB