Archive for February 2008

The Old Squit – Norwich

The Old Squit Norwich 9 Feb 

A classic 200k figure of 8. Starting at Colney and heading out to Halesworth and returning to the start control at the John Innes Centre and then off to Hempton and back to the JIC.

I bought myself a brookes special saddle a couple of weeks prior to this ride and was anticipating a sore ride as I only managed to get about 80km worth of “breaking in” done.

I met Brian Mann at the start and stayed with him for the whole route. We were both given permission by the organizer to park our motorhomes in the JIC car park on the Friday night. On numerous occasions to the first control, Brian had mentioned that the Bridge Street café did a wonderful treacle tart and custard.  Having salivated 61Km to said café with only one item of the menu on my mind I dually stood at the counter with money at the ready  “can I have the treacle tart and custard please” to my horror only to hear the reply “ sorry but we don’t have that on the menu to-day”. Ended up having some sort of apple thing with yellow stuff on top that tried to resemble custard.

The return to JIC was pleasant and so was the food. Keith and Sue together with helpers did a great job of the catering. A £1 donation was all that was requested and you could eat as much as you wanted. Having looked at the empty plates in front of me I confessed to Brian how guilty I felt and dually popped another £1 in the pot.

On the return leg from Hempton at around the 170km I turned to Brian and said “ To date I’ve yet to get a puncture on an audax”. You guessed it, not 5km up the road I had to pull over as a slow puncture had appeared. I declined Brian’s offer to change the tube and muttered to myself as I took the tyre off. So new tube in off we rode. Barely 2km later “BANG” rear tube went again. “Sounded like you had the tube pinched” said Brian. This time I let the expert Brian change the tube and completed without another blow out.

As we strolled into the JIC Brian gleefully announced to all that were in ear shot “ Guess who said he’s had no punctures on an audax and has ended up having 2 to-day” as he gesticulated towards me. Laughter ensued as I hastily made my way to the controller to get my brevet card stamped. Thanks Brian.

You will also be pleased to know there was no tenderness in the buttock scrutock area from my new saddle.  

Here are the figures from Keith-

By the Friday evening, the figures stood at 46 for the 200 and 86 for the 100.

On the day it went something like this

100km.  entries – 86, DNS – 13,  Transfers from 200 -8, People who just turned up – 14, DNF – 3, Finishers 92.

200km.  entries – 46, DNS – 4, Transfers to 100 – 8, Entry on line – 2,  DNF – 5, Finishers 31.

Financially, the event is quite profitable for Norfolk CTC.  We handed over £255.12 to them as the surplus on the day. Over the 8 years that we’ve run audax events,

monies raised for promoting cycling in Norfolk have probably been over £3000.  In addition, we gave £100 as a donation to the John Innes Society for the use of

their facilities.

Foodwise, the ingredients for the food we supplied came to £121, and we received £130 from riders on the day, pretty much up to our expectations. We try to give riders good value for money, and are happy with breaking even on food. 

VC Revolution Reliability Trial

VC Revolution Reliability Trial – (54miles/87km) 3rd Feb
Invigorated by last weeks CCS RT I was all fired up for doing the new VC Revolution’s inaugural RT which, conveniently for me, was based at Wivenhoe not far from where I live. I failed to instil any enthusiasm into any fellow CCS riders so set of again into the sea of blue and white. This time I elected to be a little more discreet and donned a blue top of my own but still felt like the only rider in East Anglia not to belong to the VCR. For a first event this ride seemed very well organised. Learning from last week’s mistake, I put my name down for the “Silver” event of 54 miles inside 3 hours. I figured even I could manage an extra 6 miles in 30 minutes over last week. I wasn’t sure whether to be reassured or concerned that the person to sign on for the silver event just before me was a young schoolgirl who could barely have been one third of my age – and she wavered her pen over the gold sheet for a moment! The only other names I recognised on the silver list were Ken and Julie Baker’s from local rivals Colchester Rovers. Again I’m never sure if this is a good or bad thing but I’ve become quite used to hanging on to their wheels lately so I set off reasonably happy. I’m not great at judging young people’s ages but I’d say that the young lad who set off with us was even younger than the spirited lass. They set off with youthful enthusiasm, maybe bolstered by the super bikes they each owned, making mine look very sad.

This was a delightful ride. From the start there was a general feeling of camaraderie; that we were all in it together and would stick together as a team. This was vocally reinforced by several of the VCR riders who stated that if anyone had difficulty, a mechanical problem or even a call of nature, we would all wait and regroup as much as possible. I felt a little pride in the fine example we were setting the two youngsters who were keen to do their share of the work at the front, shaming me into doing the same. My turns, it seemed, were always on the exposed headwind sections but I felt good and was really enjoying the atmosphere. I wished I’d worn my club colours after all and waved the CCS flag a little. We still managed to employ the successful “don’t tell the strong riders the way” ploy which worked famously. A dropped bottle and a mass wee stop proved the “team” ethic was sound and we all rode what was a modification of the Tendring Hundred circuit together – and at a fine pace. As last week the speed rose during the last 5 miles and apart from ensuring the youngsters were not left alone we did fragment a bit which was exacerbated by the traffic lights on the home stretch through Elmstead Market. So again I finished a few minutes behind most of the others but was very happy with the 2hrs 47mins time I was awarded. My legs didn’t half hurt on the ride home though and I hoped those kids’ did too but “Chapeau!” to them both.

CCS Reliability Ride 2008

The club has once again made it into the press, thanks to some words put together by our own Roger Rush.

Cycle Club Sudbury – Reliability Ride – Sunday 27th January 2008 

C.C.S. organised their first event of the year in the form of a traditional Reliability Ride from the Stevenson Centre in Gt. Cornard. These rides are used to ‘kick start’ riders training schedules for the coming season and were held over two courses. The longer one at 48 miles, touched the edge of Stowmarket with the shorter version at 27 miles reaching Bildeston. The organisers were surprised at the popularity of the event as 95 riders arrived on the day, which were 30 more than the previous year. All the local clubs from East Anglia were well represented and the entry included a visiting pair of riders from the Camel Valley Club in Cornwall. C.C.S. was the largest participant with 18 riders, which was a good effort, considering the size of the club. With a minimum ride time allowed for each course, there were some fast finishing times recorded for the majority of the field as they enjoyed some rare winter sunshine around the Suffolk lanes. One visiting rider unfortunately found himself off course as he found himself about to join the A14 trunk road and had to make some hasty back tracking to rejoin the correct route. Only 7 riders did not finish the two courses and C.C.S. were congratulated by many of the riders for another well run event.
Sunday Club runs are still taking part from Sudbury Market Hill at 9.00am and new riders are always welcome to join in for a 30 – 40 mile jaunt through the quiet surrounding lanes which includes the obligatory ‘café stop’.

Sudbury Reliability Trial

Sudbury Reliability Trial – (48miles/77km) 27th Jan
The CCS RT sensibly comes pre-packed with it’s own ready made excuses. As it’s held the morning after the Club’s own awards ceremony I’ve already got a late night and a hangover to blame everything on. For my own part however (due to a carefully planned and executed strategy during the 2007 season), I didn’t have too many trophies to collect or celebrate so didn’t actually feel too bad at signing on. I was still fuzzy headed enough though, to find I was the only one amongst my regular club run buddies to, not only put my name down for the long, fast group but also to inadvertently be amongst the first 10 to do so, so found myself in a group with the likes of Wiggins, Thomas and Cavendish.

Doubting my early season preparations, I pretended to be otherwise engaged at the allotted start time and so set off on my own a few minutes after the dust had settled confident that I would soon be caught by a group of riders I might have a chance of staying with.

Sure enough before I’d even made it through the Chilton Estate I was engulfed by another fast moving bunch. It seems just about everyone except me has joined the new VC Revolution club and their new team kits must be free or something, because I was the sole speck of orange in a sea of blue and white. Hastily upping my pace accordingly, I was swept along with them and started to feel better. All too soon however an Interbike peloton swept passed and our blue and white posse quickly dissolved into red and yellow. It was soon clear that I wasn’t going to hang on to even this group for the whole 48 miles. So before the first passing of Lavenham I was on my own again through Monks Eleigh, Semer and Bildeston. By Hitchin though I heard a familiar voice behind yelling “Jump on Viv!”. This I managed to do and found myself riding with my first CCS colleagues of the day. Brian and Stuart were hanging on the back of a well organised group and the front of which Ken Baker and his pals were sitting up, wearing jolly hats, looking like they were on the back from the bread shop. Now on familiar ground I was able to hold onto this group, even doing a little bit of work and we maintained a good pace round the northern section of the route. Fortunately the strongest riders never seem to know the route as well as the rest of us, so at each junction there is just enough confusion for us to get a quick breather. From the left turn where we head back south towards Lavenham again and Sudbury, and I began to feel that I would hang on to the end.

Thus re-fortified I was alarmed when the pace suddenly shot up and by Lt. Waldingfield I was once again out the back and scrabbling for the wheels of similarly prepared riders. By the time I got back to the Cornard Community Centre (who was Stephenson anyway?) I was once again on my own. Still, by a combination of different strategies I did the 48 miles inside 2.5 hours and for my part at least, was nearly as pleased with that as I was with the tea, cake AND hot soup being distributed by the CCS crew. Thanks to Brian and all for another excellently organised event.