Two in a week

Susan Semple did an excellent ride in the Mercia 30 mile Time Trial knocking 2 and a half minutes off her previous pb and has set 2 new club records (women’s record & women’s vets record) with a time of 1:11:48 with an average speed of 25mph. 

 This is the 3rd year on a trot that Susan has set new records at this distance so let’s hope she can continue her record rides this time next year.

Cycle to work Day

cycle to work day

 

Cycle to Work Day is coming and British Cycling is asking everyone to pledge their support and go by bike on 12 September. Even if you’re a regular cyclist you may well be a commuting novice so we’ve got some sage advice on how to arrive at work looking (and smelling) fit for purpose
 

3 course records and 2 Club Records set tonight

It was a superb night tonight in the last of our club 5 mile Time Trials with some super fast times been set by a few.

First riders off were Matt and Martin Moore on their tandem and they stormed home in 9:11 with an average speed of 32.66mph, despite a few minor hold up from traffic which were not moving fast enough!  New club and course record.

 

Then Scott Westwood (Walsall RC) powered home and took 5 seconds off the course record which he set in August last year finishing in 9:20 with an average speed of 32.14mph.

 

Then a few minutes later Susan Semple flew past the finish knocking 2 seconds off the club and course records which she set earlier this year finishing in 10:43 with an average speed of 27.99mph.

 

Well done Matt, Martin, Susan and Scott.  Superb rides and excellent performances so late in the season

 

FULL LIST OF RESULTS 4 Sept K7/5

Come & Give it a Go Rides 2013

The second Come & Give it a Go Time Trial took place last Sunday under much better racing conditions and 35 riders took part recording some very impressive times.

Of the 35 riders participating, several were new to the sport of cycling and many took part on a conventional road bike opposed to some of the specialist time trialers who had aero bikes, skinsuits and helmets.

Many of the riders who took part in the first of these events saw an improvement of approximately 45 seconds on their own time due to the warm dry conditions and favourable tail wind along much of the course.  But all the riders demonstrated what potential they each have and the high level of stamina and fitness needed to compete in a time trial event.

Congratulations to Julie Edwards  who won the women’s novice competition, Dan Ward who won the men’s novice competition and to Callum Breeze who won the juniors competition.  All three had never ridden a TT before but produced excellent times and showed what potential they all have as a ‘Tester’.

In the overall competiton we had two exceptional rides on the day.  The first by Stafford RC rider Martin Moor who finished in 9:09 and the star of the day Dan Bigham  who finished in 8:38 with an average speed of  33+mph.

Chris Lees sports photographer rode this week but luckily his assistant was out on the course to capture pictures of all the riders taking part.

Stafford RC Riders take London by storm

Yesterday was the inaugural London 100 cycling event which saw 20,000 cyclists descend on London and Surrey. A team of four represented Stafford Road Club — Gav, Ade, Si and Rob — in what can only be described as truly epic event, 100 miles of totally closed roads, a cyclists dream.

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The start was early as the alarm clocks went off at 4:40 in the hotel. We needed to be at the start line for 06:00 with a start time of 06:58! The event started at the Olympic village in the shadows of the stadium and velodrome. On arrival there were cyclist as far as the eye could see in every direction, thousands upon thousands. We queued up in our allocated loading area and right on time we set off.

The actual start line was 2 miles away on one of the busiest roads in London, the three lane A12, good job it was closed as we went in the wrong direction! All the riders had transponders so times could be measured from the sensor across the road at the start and finish. The plan was to start steady as 100 miles is a long way and we wanted to complete the event in 5 hours. Well things didn’t quite go to plan!

We headed out through Canary Wharf using what would normally be some of the busiest roads in the country. The opportunity was just to good to miss, no traffic, red traffic lights that you just ignored, going the wrong way around traffic islands so we upped the pace considerably! We were only a mile from the start doing 25mph+ through Canary Wharf! So much for a steady start! We then went through one of the highlights of the whole route “Lime-house Tunnel”, a 1 mile tunnel under Canary Wharf where cyclists are normally banded from. We used both sides of the carriage way and were now hitting 30mph!

The pace stayed the same for the first 40 mile past the Tower of London, down the embankment, past Trafalgar Sq, through Pall Mall, Kensington, Richmand Park and Kingston out of London towards Surrey. The four of us got organised with some through and off and when we looked behind we discover we had a train of about 30 others hitching on for the ride!

We finally came across Leith Hill. The was the hardest climb of the event at around 2 miles with some sections at 14%. With the narrow roads it did prove challenging with riders of all abilities climbing at the same time. Now at the highest point of the course the views across Surrey were wonderful but not as good as the decent with no traffic to worry about. Box hill came next with its nice smooth Tarmac following the Olympics. This climb was steady and not to bad so back to central London we headed.

By now it was mid morning and the spectators were out and as we passed through some town centres the atmosphere was electric with cheers, shouting in support and air horns going off! This gave every one a welcome boost. Each time we hit a town centre the shouting meant the pace picked up. In the last 20 miles we were all suffering, I have cramp in both thigh’s and both calf’s, Ade and Si also both suffering with cramp and Ade broke a spoke. Still the crowds spurring on meant we could shut out most of the pain. Gav had gone past the point of pain and couldn’t feel his legs!

Finally the dash to the line past the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and onto the mall towards Buckingham palace. Gave and myself got into a train with another team who pulled us all the way to the line. The crowds around Westminster were 10 deep and you couldn’t hear yourself think with all the shouting. I managed a very quick glimpse at Big Ben before it was head down again travelling around 30mph!!

We all crossed the line safely and Gav just beet me to it. My time was 4hr 41s for 100 miles at 21.3mph average! Never thought we get around that fast! It was full gas all the way around and enjoyed every second.

The event had hundreds of marshals at every junction and on traffic islands with flags and whistles. Loads of signs warning of approaching bends and road furniture. Miles and miles of traffic barriers with Police and first aiders everywhere. It was as close to a real stage of a grand tour that I will ever experience. The organiser should be very proud of what they achieved.

The highlight for me has to be riding through Kingston town centre on the way back into London with fellow SRC riders behind me in a train to a massive crowd cheering us on going full speed.

Finally we all headed down to the Thames to get on one of the clippers the organisers had arranged to take riders up the Thames back to the docklands area.

Rob

Olympic Gold for Stafford RC riders

An Account of Sue and Dave Smith’s achievements at the Vets Olympics.

We arrived in Turin on Wednesday last week and camped out at the track — Velodromo P.Francone — which is just north of Turin Airport. It is an outdoor 400 metre concrete track that has been used for World Cup events and all sorts of championships over the past few years, but has suffered a bit and is now very bumpy, although the surface itself feels fast. It is the same length as Newcastle Track, but a similar contour to Wolverhampton, if that makes sense. Very technical to ride with the uneven surface.

Friday 2nd August was the opening day of the World Masters Games and we were racing at the velodrome in the 500 metre time trials.  The WMG is run by the International Masters Games Association, takes place every 4 years, and includes a wide range of sports from football and hockey, to Judo and bowls! And, of course, cycling – track, road race, criterium, road time trial and mountain bike. Last time the championships were in Sydney, this year Turin, and in 2017 they will be in Aukland. Cycle racing is organised in 5 year age bands from 30 upwards and this year there looks to be around 500 cyclists taking part from all over the world.

Many of the events are based in Valentino Park in the heart of the city, but the track being used  is 20km to the north.  The Games started well for us. Although racing in 30+ degrees C (in the shade), we knew it would be hot and had prepared accordingly. The 500m TT involved waiting in the middle of the track, with no shade, while your competitors each had their attempt to set the fastest time. A cold T-shirt soaked in water and draped over your head works a treat for keeping cool!

My event came first. We knew that an outdoor track is always slower than a fast indoor one, but despite that, I rode 3 tenths of a second quicker than at the National Masters earlier this year and won the event by a comfortable margin, with an American in 2nd and an Aussie 3rd.

Sue was up soon after and also rode faster than she did at the Nationals to take Gold. A superb result – two World Masters Games titles in one day!

Thankfully, Saturday 3rd August wasn’t quite as hot as the previous day, as I was riding the Sprint competition and Sue the Pursuit. It’s one thing warming up and then racing for just over half a minute, but another thing entirely racing a qualifying 200m time trial, then rounds and semis and finals that are best of three heats. Starting at 8am on my warm up, I would have to ride up to 7 times in the day and finish around 7pm if all went to plan. In the 2000 metre Pursuit, Sue would have to ride a qualifying race, with only the top 4 going through to ride off for Gold/Silver or Bronze/nothing – and then if all went to plan, ride again in the afternoon for the medals.

The best thing about the heat is that once you have warmed up, it’s very easy to stay there; you just need to be careful to keep hydrated properly and not overheat. Quite the opposite from most outdoor events in the UK!  In the Sprint, I qualified fastest in my age group in 12.4s, a time which would have qualified me 2nd in each of the younger age groups! It’s difficult to describe how it feels to ride a Sprint competition, you get confidence from qualifying well, but it increases the pressure to deliver. Matched against an opponent, when tactics come into play, it is all too easy to lose against a rider who was slower in the qualifying (believe me – I’ve done it!).

The semi-finals were really to my taste though – matched against a single rider over two laps of the track, with the best rider over three heats going through to the final. My opponent was an Australian who was the slowest of the semi-finalists and I beat him 2-0 and reasonably comfortably, saving some energy in the 2nd and deciding heat. The Russian I was to meet in the final was only 4/10s slower than me in the 200m qualifier, and looked to be much more tricky to ride against.

After a short delay for medal ceremonies and Sue’s pursuit final, I was on again and very focused. I was drawn position 2, higher up the track for the held start, and allowed the Russian to take the lead. I was sure he would keep it slow and try to get me in front so he could use his impressive jump from slow speed (like he did in the semi-finals). As the 2nd lap started, I was still tracking him from behind and kicked off the sprint just when he didn’t expect it – right at the steepest part of the 1st bend. I must have dropped him for at least 30 metres, and although I eased up going into the final bends, when I saw he had not given up, I gave another burst to extend even further and put him right on the back foot for the 2nd heat!

In heat 2, I was obliged to take the lower position 1 at the start and to take the lead. My plan was either to get him to the front, or if that failed, to increase the speed progressively to nullify the sharpness of his jump. It was plan B – after cat and mouse for a lap, I started to raise the speed and we were doing about 25mph in the back straight when he made his attempt to jump past me and get in front before the last bends. But I was ready for it and held him next to me as we entered the corner, then accelerated away down the straight for the win – 2-0 again for much relief and my 2nd championship win.

During all this, Sue was having her own battles in the Pursuit. The times being recorded were slow by indoor standards – I think the intense heat that so suited us for the shortest events were taking a toll in an event which although sounds short (2000m) is probably the hardest and most intense event on the track. She qualified 3rd fastest of all the women (all ages) in the morning, but all the top riders were only a few seconds apart – it would all be about who could recover best for the medal rides in the afternoon. Sue was in the worst position – the 3rd and 4th qualifiers ride off for the bronze medal or nothing. If you qualify in the top 2, at least you are guaranteed a medal.

Sue was drawn against an American who set off at a blistering pace from the start and was quickly 20 metres up. I was “walking the line” for Sue, showing her how far she was up or down as she came past the start/finish each lap. In the finals it’s not about times – it’s a race against the rider on the opposite side of the track. I was hoping that Sue would up the pace (she was looking comfortable) and /or that the American would crack. At half distance the gap was still 15m, but then the American started to show signs that she was suffering. Sue was upping the pace and only 5m in arrears as the last lap started. With half a lap to go Sue was in control, 10m in front and surging for the line. What a win! 20m ahead and a thoroughly well deserved Bronze medal. One of the most exciting races of the day, and many thanks due to Carolien Van Herrickhuyzen of the Netherlands for helping her out while I was “otherwise engaged”.

Well, apologies for that rather long version of events. The short version is as follows:

Had a good time at the track, three World Masters Championships and a bronze between us.

Now to get ready for the road time trial tomorrow. And it’s still chuffing hot!

Dave

Stafford Cycling Festival 9/10 August 2013

On 9th and 10th of August the Staffordshire Cycling Festival comes to town.

It was just a bike race, now it’s grown into something bigger where you not only get to watch, you get the chance to ride too! 7 events, 2 days. Watch, ride or both, you choose!

On the Friday night its the Stafford GP town centre race (helpers needed) and then sportives to ride too.

Here is the website for more details: http://www.staffordgp.co.uk

Come & Give it a Go Time Trials – 11th August 2013

comegiveitagoSunday 4th August & Sunday 11th August, start time 2pm Woodseaves, Stafford.

Stafford Road Club is again hosting a Come & Give It A Go Time Trials aimed at encouraging new as well more experienced riders into the sport of cycling and Time Trialing. These event have been run for 5 years now and have grown in popularity each year. The course runs between Woodseaves and Great Bridgeford and is 7.9km or 5 miles long and is slightly down hill!

Like the TTs at the Tour De France, riders will set off at 1 minute intervals with time keepers at the start and finish. But do not worry if you are not a member of a cycling club or have never ridden a time trial before, both these event are open to all and can be ridden on any style of bike (mountain, road or hybrid); these events are geared to cater for complete novices to more experienced riders.

So if you want to follow in the footsteps of Chris Froome or Laura Trott this where it all starts. Entry is on the day (£3 per rider) but as these events have in the past proved to be very popular we are taking provisional bookings from anyone who is interested in riding and this helps the organisers know how many riders to cater for.

Signing on will be from 12.30pm in the HQ which is in Great Bridgeford Village Hall. The first rider starts at 2pm but please allow up to 30 minutes to ride from the HQ to the start. The minimum age for entrants is 12 and any rider under the age of 18 must bring with them a signed parental consent form. Refreshments will be available before and after the event in the HQ.

For more information on these two events please contact Alastair on 01785 253 691  and if you would like to make a provisional booking please register by sending an email to roadracing@staffordrc.org .

Here is a Parental Consent form for any ride under the age of 18 LINK

Please pass on details of these events to your friends and use this poster to promote these events in your office and hopefully we can encourage even more people to get out on their bikes POSTER LINKK7 5W

Join In Stafford

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July mark a celebration of local sport as Stafford Borough Council and Sport Across Staffordshire launch Join In – a national campaign to provide a programme of sporting events across the UK to coincide with the 12 month anniversary of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Last summer, the UK’s first Join In was hailed as the country’s biggest celebration of local sport. The goal this year is to encourage people across the UK to come together and celebrate where it all began for all our Olympians – their local sports clubs. Over 300,000 people took part in a Join In event with over 30,000 clubs, creating over 30,000 new volunteers.

There are a number of opportunities for everyone to ‘join in’ a number of different sports in Stafford Borough on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July and Stafford Road Club are proud to linking our weekend club rides with this initiative.

Saturday features two rides that are suitable for newcomers to group riding. The first is for anyone aged 13 and over and covers 25-30 miles at an average of 13-14 mph. Every Stafford Road Club group ride has a designated Ride Leader who will ensure that guest riders are firstly made welcome, and secondly, looked after on the ride. The ride starts every Saturday morning at 9.30am from the bus shelter on the Cannock Road outside of the old Police HQ, just a few yards from the top of Radford Bank.

If a steadier ride at an average 11 mph with a café stop at half the 20-25 mile distance sounds more to your liking, then the Saturday afternoon ride could be the one for you. This ride leaves from the Kingsway pavement at the back of Stafford Rugby Club at 2 p.m. and returns to town before 5.30 p.m. This ride is more suitable if you would be happier at a more leisurely pace and can also accommodate riders under 13 if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
All guests on these rides will need to complete a Guest Rider Form to ensure they are covered on the club’s insurance policy. This can be downloaded from the SRC website, or obtained from the Ride Leader and completed at the start of the ride. Riders also need to ensure that their bikes are roadworthy, bring a drink and something to eat (and money if on a ride with a cafe stop) and wear suitable clothing for the weather.

For budding Tour de France riders and others with a competitive streak, Stafford Road Club will be running two “Come and Give It A Go” road time trial races in August this year. These events, on Sunday 4th and Sunday 11th August, are especially for novice time trial racers, or bike riders who would like to experience the thrill of racing in a time trial. Youngsters, 12 years and above, and women are especially welcome. The time trial is an event where riders are set off at one minute intervals and have to ride on their own, against the clock; and this course is especially well suited to newcomers to the event – it is mostly downhill and short, at just under 5 miles in length.
Signing-on for these events is from 12.30pm at Great Bridgeford Village Hall, with the course start at Woodseaves and running back along the Woodseaves Road towards Great Bridgeford.

So, if you enjoy riding your bike and would like to try riding in the company of a group of like-minded individuals, why not come and try one of our group rides or novice races? We have active members of all ages and an expanding group of women riders to welcome you!

More information can be found at Join In Stafford; Introductory Ride; Family Ride

SRC Time Trialists on the Road

An early start and travelling problems on the M6 failed to deter seven SRC riders from getting to the K33/25 open time trial on the roads between Alcester and Evesham last Sunday.

Temperatures when the event started at 8am were at the 16 degrees Celsius mark and rose quickly throughout, but the wind was light and despite the conditions not being conducive to super-fast times, a number of our riders achieved personal bests for the distance or course.

Apologies to the men for not getting any photos of them — I was too busy doing mechanic duties!