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Gravesend cyclopark - What's it like?

JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
edited January 2013 in Amateur race
Thinking about doing a few circuit races in an effort to gain some fitness, my local circuit is Hog Hill, but I suspect that I'd be dropped on the hill within 3 laps at the moment so wondering if the new cyclopark would be any kinder for someone who just wants to tag on the back of a bunch for an hour or so of racing?

Also, I noticed they do a training session on Wednesday evenings, could anyone report on what they're like please?


  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    Graham,stop being such a softy and get over hog hill.
  • greeny12greeny12 Posts: 759
    Cyclopark is pretty undulating in its own right, plus it's quite twisty even for a closed circuit. So I'm not sure you'd be that much better off than Hog Hill if you want to hang at the back of the bunch, since the 'bunch' usually disintegrates within a few laps in my experience!

    The only London circuit where I've found the bunch generally stays together is Hillingdon, but its lack of selectivity also tends to make it a crashfest, certainly in the 4th Cats anyway...
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  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    Hog Hill is probably a tougher circuit if only because of the sweeping left at the bottom of the descent (ant-clockwise). You need to take a good line through there as it immediately starts climbing and if you lose too much speed / the wheel in front, you can easily get dropped. I don't find the climb that bad - the bunch normally slows a lot so its only really tough if you are trying to attack it.

    Cyclopark is technically pretty easy once you get the hang of it. There are a couple of hairpins but its nice and wide and generally you can take them quite fast. The winds can be brutal there though and if its an aggressive race and gets split up, it can be really hard work. Also, there are a couple of hills - a very short sharp one after the first hairpin, then a long drag up the home straight.

    Both are excellent facilities - just go along, make sure you leave yourself time for a few warm up laps to get a feel for it and I'm sure you'll be fine at either.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    dave35 wrote:
    Graham,stop being such a softy and get over hog hill.

    Not being soft mate, just realistic about my current form :-(

    Btw, did you sell those vf records that you had on Ttf? Might be interested if still available...

    Greeny and bigmat, thanks for the descriptions, I have done enough racing at hog hill a couple of years ago to get bumped up to 3rd, so I've got a reasonable idea of where I need to be to do well there, and frankly I'm nowhere near at the moment! Will try out the cyclo park once the weather improves a bit.

    Any one know anything about the Wednesday sessions? Are they a decent workout, or mainly for practising race techniques?
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    I know you're not soft, vf records gone.
    Just get over hog hill and have a go-just treat it as a good training workout,there will be others blown out the back on the hill so sit in with them.
    Did you see the topic about the new Redbridge C.C? I'm going out on their clubruns from 27th jan-better than the rides i tried to get going, just using them for some fitness as i am no longer t.t'in-going to cyclocross instead.
    Hog Hill is tough so get out and use Orange Tree Hill and Rabbits Hill for somehill intervals
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    I'd say that it takes less experience to ride Hog Hill well as the circuit design is pretty forgiving of errors. Only problem with that is that you do need pretty good base fitness to make it up the hill 17 times without getting dropped.

    Cyclopark is undulating rather than hilly but has some bits that hit 10% and is very exposed so while it's not a hard circuit to ride it promotes attacks more than Hillingdon or Hog Hill.

    Im with the others though, stop worrying about it and get on with it. Do 5-6 races and you'll probably have ridden both circuits anyway.
  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    Cyclopark is a great circuit. In my opinion, if you get dropped at HH, chances are you get dropped here as well though.

    Just make sure you continue to ride though if you do get dropped rather than stopping, may as well get a proper workout from it, and also it gives you a good opportunity to test how fast you can corner etc.
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