Sorry its been a long time blogettes, but what with the recent excellent weather and the easter break, more time was spent cycling than sitting at the PC reporting for the MC blog. Yes I know, and I am sorry, but I will try to get my priorities right for the next fine weather spell haha.
The easter cycle fest was launched with the WWCC bank holiday youth club run, which gives the youth riders from the wheelers a chance to have their own club run out on the public roads. As is usual with this event there were more adults than youth haha, I think the older riders like to test themselves against the youth riders and vice-versa. It was an excellent day played out in beautiful weather. Pictures from the ride can be viewed via the link below.
Saturday 24th - Shropshire Hills 50 route recce
It had been a long time coming I guess, but there was no more putting it off, and it was something that we had to perform to ourseleves. So it was with a sadistic curiosity that we rolled out of Bridgnorth High Street and onto the 50 mile course under the near baking midday sun. The B4363 is an interesting road and to be honest it is one of the only roads I know where for every uphill you are served with a downhil, nearly instantly I may add. The route then turns right onto the A4117 and the road starts to climb almost straight away through the town of Cleobury Mortimer, I like to reffer to this as the 'lower slopes' of Clee Hill as it kind of mentally prepares me for the climb of Clee Hill proper haha. As we descended the 11% ramp into Hopton Wafers Pez was off the front, but not for long, he was treated to a car overtaking him and then stopping dead to turn into the pub car park - what a way to loose all of your momentum ! Me and Ash pushed onto the climb of Clee Hill, but as we got to Doddington Ash hit the wall and pulled over to rest for a while, to be honest I think he was totally taken aback by the size of the climb - he hadn't ridden anything like it in his 14 years. I pushed on and was rewarded with awesome views and near empty roads - was this really Saturday afternoon ?. The route then takes a left to Caynham thro' Knowbury, and you are treated to a wide straight descent of some distance, I was treated to 42mph on the descent, nice after the slog up. Thro' Caynham, over the river bridge and turn right towards Ludlow, thro' The Sheet and cross the A49 with care at the roundabout, onto Sheet Road, turn left into Weeping Cross Lane, bear right onto Temeside and Bang - Pez gets a flat ! atleast the sun was out and we could put the world to rights and enjoy the beautiful view of Ludlow. In next to no time we were off again, turn right onto the B4361 and follow all the way to merge with the A49, 2nd turn on the right the B4365 would see us across the race course and upto Pedlars Rest at the junction of the B4368. The 50 mile route turns right here and you ride back down the Corvedale and back into Bridgnorth, while the 100 mile route turns left and enters far more interesting blogging territory for a later update, when some sick, twisted cyclist takes to the road, watch this space ....
Pictures from the ride can be viewed via the link below
It is with much excitement that I can announce that Comtat Cycles London are sponsoring the Shropshire Hills 100 sportive. They will also supply sample bikes that will be displayed at the start/ finish area for any prospective buyers to view and fondle, by the looks of their 'Aristo' model I could be joining the queue myself shortly :)
Couple of videos for the Comtat Aristo - choose your favorite video player youtube or vimeo
So I awoke at 6.38am - bummer I had set my alarm for 7.30am. Maybe it was excitement, or maybe it was nerves ? Only 4 hours to go and I would be having the countdown to start yet another WWCC 5K TT. If I'm honest I really like the time trial, and maybe at my age its the kind of racing that suits me best - just myself & pain against the clock. A quick look out from behind the curtains - BONUS ! clear blue sky & no wind, some would say almost perfect conditions for the test, but a ha I had another trick up my sleeve, my clip-on tri bars (there was a blood-curdling laugh, which faded away into the distance)
On arrival at ALV there was the usual hum of excitment and techno weenies chat regards who had spent the most cash last week on wind/time beating kit for their TT bikes. The weather was awesome and the temp on the track was beautiful, though we still had a tree shaded back straight to cool down on if the going got hot :). Out onto the track to warm up, and it wasn't long before I came upon fellow Mamil director Rich Smith (just winding down after his time trial, he was peed off that he hadn't beaten or got close to his PB - I kinda felt for him. Our other business partner Johnnie I was time keeping after his time trial where he produced another brilliantly fast ride - well done John, its all paying off now - winter miles, summer smiles. A couple of laps with Rich where he coached me on the art of public speaking for which I thank him - I will put it to the test at a later date. Soon enough I was at the start line, I had a plan - block mid range, big ring, half a lap out the saddle, onto the tri bars, the following 2 laps winding the gear in, change down, change down, wait for the time keepers lap count down - "1 lap to go Andy !" front of the saddle, still upper body, nice steady pedal stroke, power, power, power .......
-30 seconds on my previous best, thank you that will do nicely.
Since I have been tempted back into the dark art of testing I started to look at it with a more scientific approach, well before it was spend, spend, spend without any research, but now I have found that less cash outlay and more reading can reap the benefits of time - literally !
Read the following quality article regarding 'S' style time trial extenstions.
Kinda weird to see yourself in print on the pages of the local & national press, but I will dedicate this blog post to any press arcticles that I can scan and post (even if it is for my own enjoyment :) )
Bridgnorth Journal 8th April
Express & Star - date unknown
Cycling Weekly - Thursday April 14th 2011
Early start on Sunday morning for me, it was my 1st road race where my commissaire training was to begin - The 'Paramount CRT Stan Jones Cycles Road Race. Mike Jackson came to pick me up at 7.00am which in itself was quite comical as he went to the wrong house and knocked someone else up as I casually walked to his car and said "Morning Mike", as he was still knocking up the 'unknown' - the look on his face was a picture. We drove on up to High Ercall, and to the village hall which was the race HQ. Get a quick cup of tea and start the important tasks of going through the race licenses, the first aid car, the marshalls and any other problems the organiser may have before socialising with the riders in the 'Start Village' - nice to local faces Craig, Olly & John from the Wheelers, and fellow MC ltd director Rich Smith (Wrekin Sport) with the embrocation out warming up ready for the off. I was assistant in the chief comms car and was in charge of radio communication, timing gaps, note taking, blowing a whistle out the car window, waving a flag and many other tasks, I can understand while the race seems to be over in 5 mins ! Anyhow a good fast race on a nice flat course, average speed 25mph, loads of sun and very few incidents - cautioning riders for riding over the solid white line, a couple of flats and a broken cleat. A very interesting day, and a pleasure to see it from the 'other side' of the sport
Nice to see MC ltd friend Dave Perry out and about at various locations on the course taking pictures again, credit goes to him for the above picture, and more of his work from this event can be found on the link below ....
I have just put the finishing touches to the sportive on-line entry forms, so those people wishing to pay via cheque can breathe a sigh of relief. The updated page, complete with downloadable forms can be found via the following link ... http://www.mamilcycling.co.uk/shropshire-hills-100.html#
Early night tonight as I am starting my assistant commissaire course tomorrow morning at the Paramount / Stan Jones RR, should be interesting fellow director Rich Smith is racing
Just preparing for the evenings 5K TT at Aldersley Leisure Village (ALV), by preparing I mean eating loads of tuck & worrying about it ...
Sometime later - many hours in fact ...
So we're back from the WWCC 5K TT, here are the reports ...
Richard Smith - That's what a winter of track training with the Wolves Wheelers and a week in Majorca does for you then. PB for a 5k TT - 1 second faster than the World Games in France 2003. Cheers boys and girls....
John Ireson - Loved TT tonight so much did an extra lap. Average time 44 seconds better than last year, happy bunny time
Andy Britton - Quite a good ride considering I went on my commuting bike, with mudguards & pump on etc. Still plenty of room for improvement by the end of the season though :)
Photos - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=1847474019406&id=1017346608&aid=101680
So its Sunday, and Mothers day of course ! Fellow directors are out and about...
Rich is up at Manchester velodrome on the final day of his coaching Level 3 core unit, and John is down in Bristol with his son James, who is riding the Bristol Circuit Races (youth national circuit series. The best of luck be with them all, hopefully they will 'ahem' post an update on here later tonight ;)
The sky was dark as we set off from Wolverhampton to cycle over to Sundorne leisure village in Shrewsbury to support the local youth riders during CDWM 1. Sure enough it wasn't long before Pez & I entered a band of that fine rain - the type that soaks you, and basically it stayed with us all the way through Telford, by the time we had run onto the old A5 at the Wrekin we only had a strong head wind to contend with, but the roads were dry. Pez turned a big gear and sat on the front through the exposed parts of the road until we hung a right at Attingham Park and onto the quieter side roads. Soon enough we were passed by a guy on an souped-up electric bike complete with trailer, tbh it was the fastest electric bike I had ever encountered, and I can only suppose he waits to ambush road cyclists to steal their thunder - time for a rest, we sat in and he towed us to the Newport Road junction, where oddly enough he stopped by an electricity sub station ? 1/2 a mile or so up the road Sundorne :) It was great to see the kids racing and enjoying themselves so much - the WWCC riders did really well and should be congratulated !
Sports tracker route info below ....
The sun came out for the ride back, and wind was behind us, it was as opposite as it could have been from the mornings ride, arm & knee warmers were stuffed in back pockets and it was a welcome return to the feel of the warmth of the sun on your skin - Spring time ... happy days
Sports tracker route info below ....
What more would make Saturday complete now ? Ah I know a drive over to Telford for food & drinks at Charlotte & Daves - good job I burnt off all those calories earlier in the day ;)