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

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  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 7,785
    cruff wrote:
    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:

    Cheers, good info.

    Being encouraged to enter the TLI races at Oulton Park, how's that one?

    Only thing is I'd be riding my steel Fratello with an 11-32, had hoped to get a fast bike this season but apparently buying a house is more important... I usually go ok in chaingangs on it, it's just a matter of being able to cope with mad jumps in cadence.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,394
    Not sure about Oulton Park, I joined TLI a while back and am planning on doing a few races in between BC ones and TTs. Oulton Park might be a bit far for me to justify travelling to (I'm just outside Wigan) but I think it's wide, not technical and fast

    For crits, I'd ride an 11-25, but never get into the 12 or 11 anyway with a 53 on the front (if you're spinning out on 53-12 then you're, basically, Cav!) - think your main problem will be the bigger jumps between cogs with a 32, but nothing should stop you from riding with it.
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,394
    Anyone else on here doing Pimbo and Bickerstaffe in the next few weeks? I'm in the Racing Chance Foundation at Pimbo next Sunday, then the Southport CC at Bickerstaffe middle of next month. Also going to do some TLI races at both in July/August. Hopefully Bickerstaffe will be a bit more enjoyable than UCLAN/Salt Ayre which are a bit on the dull side. Pimbo, obviously, will be even duller!
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,394
    Quick update for anyone visiting

    Bickerstaffe is a decent enough road circuit, with one moody corner, the rest being either wide and fast, or decent enough to glide through. Surface isn't bad - but can be a bit gritty on the corners in the wet due to gravel run off from the fields, especially the one coming down the drag along the NE-SW side. There's a drag up the back side of the circuit (SE to NW) but it's negligible in gradient
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 4,768
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    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:

    Cheers, good info.

    Being encouraged to enter the TLI races at Oulton Park, how's that one?

    Only thing is I'd be riding my steel Fratello with an 11-32, had hoped to get a fast bike this season but apparently buying a house is more important... I usually go ok in chaingangs on it, it's just a matter of being able to cope with mad jumps in cadence.

    Not road raced at Oulton but have TT'd there. Beautiful circuit - two cheeky hills each lap - one of them probably needs the inner ring by the end of the race - but that might just be me. Great surface too. You shouldn't need to brake for any of the corners.
  • fenix wrote:
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    bobmcstuff wrote:

    Not road raced at Oulton but have TT'd there. Beautiful circuit - two cheeky hills each lap - one of them probably needs the inner ring by the end of the race - but that might just be me.

    If you attempted to shift to your small ring at Oulton, you'd wake up in the previous week's race! I'd say ave of 28mph around there most weeks.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,394
    Nateby - new RR course for me yesterday. Used to be more heavily used, but I think residents moaned a lot so it's now only once a year. Pan flat, sketchy surface in places (standard for the NW) and nowhere to really launch an attack (apart from the top of the circuit where there are a number of bends you can get out of sight on). Lots of blind bends, couple of really sketchy moments where riders went over the line and were close to oncoming cars on the other side. Course not selective enough to thin the bunch out for 3rd cats, so can't see it finishing in anything other than a bunch sprint most of the time, which - if yesterday is anything to go by, is likely to be really sketchy (long straight lead in, with lots going too early and slowing before the finish)
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • Has anyone raced at Abingdon Airfield at any point? If so, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts on the circuit and perhaps some tips on how that circuit is best ridden.
  • brit66brit66 Posts: 350
    Has anyone raced at Abingdon Airfield at any point? If so, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts on the circuit and perhaps some tips on how that circuit is best ridden.

    Yes, a few times. They have two (maybe three) different course lengths — from short (approx 1km) to longer (2km). I've raced both. Being an airfield it's pretty flat but there is a slight rise and fall still. It's also nice and wide. In no wind conditions it can be fast.

    Catering facilities are open on some events, but not for other, e.g. the ART Summer Series, there are portaloos though.

    Easy to get to and find so why not give it a go?
  • brit66brit66 Posts: 350
    ...and in answer to your question about tips on racing, as the bends are fast I tend to stay wide to keep as much speed as possible. The finish is also about 300m from the last bend and all up the slight incline, so don't go too early or you'll burn out.
  • brit66 wrote:
    Has anyone raced at Abingdon Airfield at any point? If so, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts on the circuit and perhaps some tips on how that circuit is best ridden.

    Yes, a few times. They have two (maybe three) different course lengths — from short (approx 1km) to longer (2km). I've raced both. Being an airfield it's pretty flat but there is a slight rise and fall still. It's also nice and wide. In no wind conditions it can be fast.

    Catering facilities are open on some events, but not for other, e.g. the ART Summer Series, there are portaloos though.

    Easy to get to and find so why not give it a go?

    Thanks for the response.

    I did my first race there last Saturday in rather awful conditions (20+mph winds and horizontal winds) on the short course and I ended up getting dropped fairly early on and lapped as well during the 50 minute race. I now wish that I had done a longer and more intense warm up as I was huffing and puffing far too much throughout the first 10 minutes - towards the end after having a gel I think I began to catch up with the pack a little bit. It was a tough first race but I'll certainly be doing more in the future and improving.

    You're defintely right about it being wide but the slight rise and fall was barely noticeable. Like I mentioned earlier, the wind was absolutely ferocious during the race - being an airfield makes it worse as there is no shelter from the wind at all.
  • brit66brit66 Posts: 350
    Thanks for the response.

    I did my first race there last Saturday in rather awful conditions (20+mph winds and horizontal winds) on the short course and I ended up getting dropped fairly early on and lapped as well during the 50 minute race. I now wish that I had done a longer and more intense warm up as I was huffing and puffing far too much throughout the first 10 minutes - towards the end after having a gel I think I began to catch up with the pack a little bit. It was a tough first race but I'll certainly be doing more in the future and improving.

    You're defintely right about it being wide but the slight rise and fall was barely noticeable. Like I mentioned earlier, the wind was absolutely ferocious during the race - being an airfield makes it worse as there is no shelter from the wind at all.

    Yeah, those first few laps are hard to get your breathing under control sometimes, so a good warm-up is vital, especially if it's cold.

    Don't worry about being dropped, it happens to most at some point. I got dropped on this circuit after a crash.
  • brit66 wrote:
    Thanks for the response.

    I did my first race there last Saturday in rather awful conditions (20+mph winds and horizontal winds) on the short course and I ended up getting dropped fairly early on and lapped as well during the 50 minute race. I now wish that I had done a longer and more intense warm up as I was huffing and puffing far too much throughout the first 10 minutes - towards the end after having a gel I think I began to catch up with the pack a little bit. It was a tough first race but I'll certainly be doing more in the future and improving.

    You're defintely right about it being wide but the slight rise and fall was barely noticeable. Like I mentioned earlier, the wind was absolutely ferocious during the race - being an airfield makes it worse as there is no shelter from the wind at all.

    Yeah, those first few laps are hard to get your breathing under control sometimes, so a good warm-up is vital, especially if it's cold.

    Don't worry about being dropped, it happens to most at some point. I got dropped on this circuit after a crash.

    I guess crashing is another thing that is likely to happen at some point during the years. I wasn't too worried about being dropped in that race as I knew that it was my first time and I hadn't slept well the night before, but next time I want to stay with the pack throughout the race. How long would you recommend that I should be warming up for before the start?
  • brit66brit66 Posts: 350
    I guess crashing is another thing that is likely to happen at some point during the years. I wasn't too worried about being dropped in that race as I knew that it was my first time and I hadn't slept well the night before, but next time I want to stay with the pack throughout the race. How long would you recommend that I should be warming up for before the start?


    I'd spend a good 20-30 minutes cycling around before the race, gradually getting physically warm, but also getting your heart rate up to where it knows it's going to be doing some work shortly. Try to finish with a few sprints but nothing too taxing that will take it out of your legs (you'll need them!). Try to complete your warm-up as close to the start of the race as possible, but don't miss the start :)
  • brit66 wrote:
    I guess crashing is another thing that is likely to happen at some point during the years. I wasn't too worried about being dropped in that race as I knew that it was my first time and I hadn't slept well the night before, but next time I want to stay with the pack throughout the race. How long would you recommend that I should be warming up for before the start?


    I'd spend a good 20-30 minutes cycling around before the race, gradually getting physically warm, but also getting your heart rate up to where it knows it's going to be doing some work shortly. Try to finish with a few sprints but nothing too taxing that will take it out of your legs (you'll need them!). Try to complete your warm-up as close to the start of the race as possible, but don't miss the start :)

    Thanks again - I wasn't too sure what I was doing in the hour or so before the start last week but I'll definitely prepare properly next time. Also, while I'm here, have you ridden ever on the Odd Down circuit? I might do another one there in a few months.
  • brit66brit66 Posts: 350
    Also, while I'm here, have you ridden ever on the Odd Down circuit? I might do another one there in a few months.

    No, never done that one. It's a bit far for me tbh, so I tend to stay eastwards: Abingdon, Milton Keynes and Hillingdon. Looks like a decent circuit though.
  • davetexdavetex Posts: 20
    Anyone here raced at henstridge?
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