Course / Venue guides and reviews - what to expect, where

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  • 12-3212-32 Posts: 4
    Could anyone who has raced there take 5 minutes to do a guide forth Cyclopark out in Kent?
  • I haven't raced the Cyclopark, but I rode a lap of the road circuit on my wife's MTB last weekend (don't ask). Course has some rolling climbs and a great downhill after the Start/Finish. Surface is very good, but it's sat on top of a hill so was fairly windy when I was there. The track is wide but most of the corners are hairpins so lot's of sprinting out of them.
  • Gravesend Cyclopark

    New purpose built facility in the south-east with changing rooms, a cafe and everything you need really, even enough bogs to accommodate all the pre-race nerves.
    The circuit can be run clockwise or anti and has many cut-throughs to shorten the circuit.
    In low light the circuit is run anticlockwise on a floodlit 1km or so section of the track, starting in front of the club house leading almost immediately into a right hand u-turn that is pretty tight. You can still get 3-4 abreast here. This is followed with a fast downhill chicane that leads into the second u-turn. This is faster than the first and doesn't need brakes! followed with a long straight with a slight and mostly unnoticeable left hand kink, this final straight is slightly uphill but is still very fast.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/219836513
    The larger circuit runs into the lower part of the complex and has a more technical section with a few 180degree bends and a final fast right-hand bend leading to the final straight. You have to climb a steepish section to get back onto the shorter circuit, finishing back in front of the clubhouse..
    The surface is real nice and grippy however as its still reasonably new with ongoing work sometime mud etc can get thrown onto the track and the edges are pretty rough. The biggest variable however is the weather. I haven't raced in all conditions but if it's windy you WILL notice, running right by the A2 it's very open and can be a right censored in parts.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/217133499
    There's often a motorbike doing some leading and everyone gets a transponder to get an accurate time, at £15 to race it's a good job you get an accurate time! (plus I think you have to affiliate to SERRL- £20)
  • ellerslierdellerslierd Posts: 266
    edited June 2013
    EDIT: Races now moved to Odd Down (see below)

    3833036.png

    Only a few races (in May) each year, but the Victoria Park circuit in Bath is a good one. The first part of the lap is a sweeping downhill bend, into quite a steep left hander where the course narrows. A short (40-50m) flat dash to a >180 degree hairpin around the monument is followed by an all out sprint out of the corner as the bunch stretches out to get back up to speed for another downhill section. This leads into a drag uphill for the rest of the lap that is always in the big ring, but continues to false flat all the way up to the line. The races are very short, but the bunch is normally significantly reduced by the end, even in 3/4 races. Positioning is key from the start, if you are on the back you are going to be yo-yoed every time the bunch stretches out in the hairpin, and forced to catch back on during the climb (I have much experience of this) until you are shelled. On the other hand, its actually not that hard at the front because the technical nature of the course means the average speeds are quite low.

    Nice to have a race located right near the city centre, which means there are often plenty of people around to watch too. It is also a beautiful course: https://vimeo.com/42344216
  • edninoednino Posts: 684
    Pross wrote:
    Llandow (15 miles west of Cardiff

    A small motor racing circuit about 0.9m in length. The course is an oval with one 'proper' chicane that can be bypassed and another chicane that generally gets ridden straight if the bunch is strung out. The course gets run either way - clockwise gives a fairly long straight with a slight uphill finish whilst anti-clockwise the finish is quite close to the final bend and usually the first one into the bend wins (I think they usually bypass the chicane on the final lap when running that way but could be wrong!). The course is exposed and there is almost always a nasty wind.

    Maindy

    A 460m concrete velodrome that has some 'road races' run on it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdJeupnlH-I

    Thats how i go round Llandow :lol:
    thats typical weather btw :cry:
  • cojonescojones Posts: 131
    I'm riding in the Birmingham CC Circuit Races at the end of the month and the address is Birmingham Business Park
    Solihull Parkway, Birmingham, B37 7YN. Looking on Google maps there doesn't appear to be a cycle circuit there, so can anyone tell me what the actual circuit is like? Is it on-road around the business park?!
  • samg123samg123 Posts: 275
    cojones wrote:
    I'm riding in the Birmingham CC Circuit Races at the end of the month and the address is Birmingham Business Park
    Solihull Parkway, Birmingham, B37 7YN. Looking on Google maps there doesn't appear to be a cycle circuit there, so can anyone tell me what the actual circuit is like? Is it on-road around the business park?!
    "The race at Birmingham is around an industrial estate circuit of just over a mile. It's a flat course which while often windy as it's quite open- it's a fast course and usually ends up in a bunch sprint."
    http://2ndcatin2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012 ... ce-of.html
  • samg123samg123 Posts: 275
    Odd Down, Bath
    odddown.png

    First race yesterday, so thought I'd put up a little review.
    It's a lovely course- as it's new the surface is impeccable and it's slightly wider than it looks in the photos.
    It was run anti-clockwise, with a smooth corner from the start to the first hairpin. The hairpins are actually quite wide and can be taken at a fair speed, helped by the fact that they're cambered. There's a bit of a drag up to the finish line, which favoured slightly later sprints. It was a pretty quiet night yesterday, but I'd guess there could be some decisive crosswinds with a Southerly breeze. This is very much a crit circuit, with all that entails.
  • Dunton, Essex

    Not sure how to embed a pic, so here's a link that should show it on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps?q=Dunton,+E ... ngdom&z=15

    The track is a vehicle test track at the Ford Technical Centre near Basildon. At the East end of the track there is a hill, i'd guess the track rises about 15-20 metres or so. There's no need to get out of the big ring, but it does slow the bunch down. The rest is flat. There are a couple of odd features -
    1) the straight section has no central reservation, it's just an open expanse of tarmac/concrete.
    2) the corners are all banked - so that vehicles can be driven round at high speed. Bicycles don't get anywhere near car speeds, so on the left hand bends you have to lean 'the wrong way' to keep the bike upright...

    The surface is OK, but not great, there are a couple of lips to the concrete which you smash over every lap.

    There is a regular Go-Race series on the track and some LVRC events I think.

    Technically this is about as undemanding as it can get.
    Put me back on my bike...

    t' blog: http://meandthemountain.wordpress.com/
  • Cookie91Cookie91 Posts: 97
    Anyone got any info on Eelmore Circuit?
  • protoproto Posts: 1,474
    Surrey League circuit at Seale. Anyone ridden it?

    Rectangularish (sp!) course, 4 left hand junctions. Google maps suggest it's fairly flat. Is it?

    Cheers
  • Jtomes1993Jtomes1993 Posts: 73
    Dishforth

    3.5 mile circuit around three runways at an RAF base. Very wide, wider than the M1 in places, and very exposed so if the wind gets up you need to stay towards the front but out of trouble. Great circuit if you're new to racing, not much in the way of tight corners and plenty of time between the last corner and the finish to move up. Tends to feel like a headwind all the way around. A couple of large potholes but it's so wide that you need not worry.

    York Sport Cycle Circuit

    1km long circuit built specifically for cycling with 3 significant corners, including one hairpin bend. Twisty and sheltered enough for the wind not to be as big a factor, although prepare for an attacking race as there's plenty of opportunities to have a dig. Tarmac is immaculate as it's a new circuit and I was genuinely surprised at how much I could lean in going around the hairpin. From the exit of that corner to the finish is approximately 400m so to be in with a chance of a win you need to be out of that corner in 4th or 5th place and be ready to lead yourself out if necessary. There's a 90 degree bend about 70m from the finish line so keep your wits about you if you're sprinting, I know one lad who missed the bend and went straight into the fence.

    Have fun :D
  • Description of Dishforth above is good, though when I raced there, the wind was so strong that it did actually feel like a tailwind for a good section, albeit at the cost of a very strong headwind for another section.

    The biggest hazard is cones marking the route, considered necessary as there are a lot of roads that could be used for the circuit that aren't in play. In my race, the guy alongside me clipped a cone, which caused some serious agricultural language behind as it bounced around. No crash, fortunately.
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Hog Hill - only bit I would add is to be aware of rain run off and associated crud on the circuit post rain. The surrounding ground is pretty boggy and particularly in the lower section the run off goes across corners making for some interesting turns.
    http://www.ledomestiquetours.co.uk

    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
  • Hi, I was just having a nosey and thought this is a great thread so thought I would add a review.

    Richard Dunn Sports Centre - Bradford, West Yorkshire.

    Not been to the circuit for a few years but used to ride there regularly as a youth. This was always one of my favourite courses as it had everything you needed for racing and training. Up hills, Down hills and a good mix of corners. Looking on Google maps it looks like the circuit has undergone some great improvements. The road surface is now nice and smooth and it has been extended and modified so that you no longer have to ride through the staff parking (this used to cause some real problems with high rate staff late for work). Now the circuit passes around the back of the car park keeping riders nice and safe. Anyway enough of the history, here's a little review

    The lap starts about halfway up the back straight, this is a real uphill drag and is usually into a head wind. Into the first 90deg left hander and the road gradually drops away to eventually gradually climb to a new section of the circuit into a left hand hairpin. Now I've not ridden this bit but from memory of the topography it might climb gradually into a long right hander. Another straight on the new section leads you into another flowing right hander. Back onto the original circuit now and straight into a sweeping left hander that gradually drops away to create a fast off camber corner lining you up for the fasted part of the circuit a slight left hander into a fast left hander which flicks you out back onto the start and finish straight and its uphill again.

    If anybody has ridden the new circuit here i'd like to know how it rides now?

    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
    Cheers,

    Phil

    Sintesi 707
  • Guys, any feedback on racing at University Of Central Lancashire, Psa Tom Benson Way, Preston, Lancs, PR2 1SG please? Son wants to do an evening race there whilst we are on holiday in the lakes and I can't find any info on the course. Also they seem to set the Cat 3s and 4s off one minute after the E/1/2s - presumably the faster 3s join up with the E/1/2 peleton at some point? How the hell do the comms know what is going on?

    Thanks,

    p.s. somebody also commented negatively about Darley Moor, but never said WHY they hated it. Again any details appreciated...
  • charvildavecharvildave Posts: 14
    /\ bump for preston and darley moor, but also any info on fowlmead country park in kent please?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 722
    Bump for the new Velopark too.
  • Brief update on Darley Moor - went there last week.

    Ex airfield converted into motorbike race track sometimes used for cycle road races. Roughly triangular layout with a couple of chicanes on the straights and an exaggerated hairpin bend half way round. Track nice and wide and with a good surface. Pretty flat as you would expect for an airfield although a bit of a rise coming up from the last corner to the finish line.

    On the down side location is very exposed to bad weather and the chicanes are probably pretty hazardous if a big field is riding.
  • FOWLMEAD and/or WOODBRIDGE

    Anybody have any experience/thoughts on either Fowlmead in Kent or Woodbridge in Suffolk as Cat 3 venues please? Son likely to ride one of them next weekend, but we don't know anything about them...

    Thanks,
  • ManOfKentManOfKent Posts: 392
    Fowlmead - I've never been there but some of my clubmates ride both TTs and the occasional road race there. From what I hear it's dead flat and can be windy, with mostly sweeping bends. Built on the site of a former colliery, it's not just a cycle circuit, there are family-friendly activities in the country park. It's also about a million miles from anywhere, unless you happen to live in Deal or Sandwich.

    Cyclopark at Gravesend - I've ridden the loop near the main building, not the whole circuit which is about 1.6 miles long I think. I've heard it described as a circuit for strong men because the undulations tend to break up the groups. Races can be run either clockwise or anticlockwise. In each direction there's a climb of some sort: clockwise a long drag to the finishing line, anticlockwise a sharp rise (maybe 10% although short) at the back of the circuit. The western end of the circuit has a series of tight bends, the eastern a hairpin with a downhill approach and uphill exit, quite close to the finish if running anticlockwise. The surface is smooth, wide, purpose-built and offers decent grip. The facilities are good and it's only about 10 minutes from the M25. Parking costs £1, I believe.

    Hope this helps (and is accurate).
  • ManOfKent wrote:
    Fowlmead - I've never been there but some of my clubmates ride both TTs and the occasional road race there. From what I hear it's dead flat and can be windy, with mostly sweeping bends. Built on the site of a former colliery, it's not just a cycle circuit, there are family-friendly activities in the country park. It's also about a million miles from anywhere, unless you happen to live in Deal or Sandwich.

    Correct about the location. Even takes an age to get there on the train which is a shame as it is a great resource.

    It is not dead flat as it has a slight drag up to the finish line. What does make it hard is the wind and that normally dictates how the lap is ridden and restricts breakaways in the lower level races. It is a course that can be ridden without needing to touch the brakes so is quick for average speed.
    Fair-weather commuter
    Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 in Black - WOW :)
    Giant Defy 2 - FCN 4(summer) / 5(winter) - Great bike
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  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    Preston

    A mile long circuit around the football and cricket pitches at Preston Uni's sports arena. Pan flat apart from a bridge over a footpath, the tightest corner is just over 90 degrees to the right. Races go anti clockwise, picture should appear below, and the finish line is just halfway down the straight closest to the athletics track - this is a race to the last corner! Two bottlenecks on the circuit, one of which is on the long back straight and can be pretty sketchy. Seen a few crashes and a lot of taking to the grass there

    url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj0-62go6fLAhUD8RQKHWnYDH4QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.therollerskidirectory.org.uk%2Froutes%2Fr095.htm&psig=AFQjCNGE6YZbnY-VVgUd0Mu2J-75HiQddA&ust=1457189263153306

    Steve Burke Cycle Hub, Nelson

    1km track in East Lancashire, close to the M65, another pan flat one but much better designed than Preston. Finish straight is the one after the big hairpin that you can pedal around which usually makes for a nice and safe sprint, it's about 250-300m long so plenty of time to make up for lost ground

    url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjvnZG3pKfLAhXMOhQKHZK7BWcQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclesportpendle.org.uk%2F&bvm=bv.115339255,d.d24&psig=AFQjCNFUZzadRFnQAGMuDNIdkQqr5G1NJQ&ust=1457189575727321
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,188
    Velopark is a flat circuit with a couple of undulations, which don’t really sap the legs. Both turns that can cause pedal strike are at opposite ends of the circuit.

    It pans out that the start finish area is near the control tower, it then drops and rises over a bridge section that has expansion joints so you’ll get a couple of bumps. Then there is a hairpin, that on the exit a lot of cat 4 riders pedal strike on the last lap as they fight to stay on. This then leads in to a right turn then a left that rises then falls to the right, and a bottleneck area, where the reverse side of the pit straight narrows slightly, then a right turn up the steepest part of the course this then crests the top section and drops slightly left and has a tiny pinch point as you are pushed right side of the track, then you drop straight on for about 60m then an uphill pedalstrike hazard going left and dropping onto the pit straight where you complete a lap.
  • I've just started road racing but can't seem to find any Cat 4 only races. Im based on Merseyside - can any help?? Will to travel 30-50miles.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,667
    I've just started road racing but can't seem to find any Cat 4 only races. Im based on Merseyside - can any help?? Will to travel 30-50miles.

    There won't be many at this end of the season now. You probably also need to be prepared to travel a bit further than 50 miles if necessary. Presumably you are looking on the BC calendar?

    Also, you've posted in an existing discussion topic - you will probably get more answers if you put up a new thread on this forum.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,030
    I've just started road racing but can't seem to find any Cat 4 only races. Im based on Merseyside - can any help?? Will to travel 30-50miles.

    The TLI calendar in 2017 might be of interest to you.
    The NW region is very well supplied with races.
    However, to get entries you best be a member of an organising club... eg Liverpool Century.. St Helens .. Birkenhead to name a few... although you could get in being an independent but no guarantee.
    TLI is age related as regards splitting up the races according to age groups - not to BC categories - may or may not be a deal breaker to you.
    http://www.tlicycling.org.uk/
    My own club in Cheshire has put on ... 5 or 6 races this season on its own.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 7,717
    Would have thought the Tameside circuit races might work - I'm considering giving those a go next season (they're done for the year now, think it's a Tuesday evening league but don't quote me on that), they do a 4s only and a 3/4s weekly. One of my clubmates rides in the 3/4s there every couple of weeks and doesn't seem to have any issues getting a ride. Apparently the 4s can be a bit crashy but the 3/4s is usually OK.

    My club (Chorlton Velo) doesn't run races really so I guess I'll struggle to get on the proper road races... I also ride with Harry Middleton during the week and they put on one or two races a year (but they seem to be Pimbo circuit races, which looks like an even duller course than Tameside).
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Would have thought the Tameside circuit races might work - I'm considering giving those a go next season (they're done for the year now, think it's a Tuesday evening league but don't quote me on that), they do a 4s only and a 3/4s weekly. One of my clubmates rides in the 3/4s there every couple of weeks and doesn't seem to have any issues getting a ride. Apparently the 4s can be a bit crashy but the 3/4s is usually OK.

    My club (Chorlton Velo) doesn't run races really so I guess I'll struggle to get on the proper road races... I also ride with Harry Middleton during the week and they put on one or two races a year (but they seem to be Pimbo circuit races, which looks like an even duller course than Tameside).
    Tameside is a Tuesday evening league, but it really doesn't suit me (being an old git, the constant jumps out of the hairpin on each lap are an absolute ruiner) but I don't think it's 'crashy'. Certainly potential for it if someone comes into the hairpin a bit hot, but the surface is decent and there's a bit of banking that helps keep you upright if you take it a bit wide. It's exposed though, so wind makes it a bit of a selecter

    Grimbo is ideal for me, cos there's nothing technical on it - there's a winter chainy there that I do well on and only one corner that seems like it would be remotely problematic in a race (second last, coming from the fastish downhill straight)

    You might want to give Salt Ayre in Lancaster a go. Done a couple there and seems to be a decent circuit, in good condition (though lots of trees, so I'm guessing an autumn crit might be a bit sketchy...)

    Doing UCLAN tomorrow for the first time - has the nickname of The Death Arena... so that'll be 'fun' :shock:
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    UCLAN - nice and wide, fast, some technical bits but nothing too taxing. Surface e was good, but I can see where it might get a bit grippy through the corners. Lucky enough to not see much chop - some sketchiness but overall pretty solid for a 3/4. There are a couple of little bridges to go over where it narrows a bit, but no real places to launch an attack unless you fancy doing it coming out of the S bend on the back of the circuit

    Bit p1ssed off with myself really. Sat in and watched for any attacks that looked they might go, jumped on the only one that did but took the bunch with me, got conned into leading out on the last lap then caught behind back markers and two lads jumped me and I got swamped going round the top bend. Ah well, live and learn
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
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