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2017 Vet's Racing Files: Road to 2nd Catdom

ToksToks Posts: 1,143
edited September 2017 in Amateur race
LVRC: Hog Hill, 19.03.2017

Hmmm! My first gap closing effort of the season certainly got the pain receptors in my left Achilles all fired up as I gasped in chunks of cold air like one of those craggy old snapping turtles. Finally, Sshit just got real!! This was definitely not another virtual tempo ride (live from my kitchen) up the Sa Colabra with the Slipstreamer boys. Nope this was an organic cycling experience in every sense of the word: fifty odd blokes on posh bikes, riding their old hearts out and getting buffeted all other the Hog Hill Race Circuit by a brutal and gnarly wind. In such conditions I was a bit wary, first time on the new race steed (Cervelo S5). Over cautious riding at anytime probably comes at a cost. Did you say you need an extra lap practice, Sir? That will be you in dead last position on the start line then.

I reminded myself to spin a bit more coz of the Achiles niggle and hoped I didn’t have to do too many more reptilian type breathing impressions. Nevertheless there were a lot of race heads out today so I would have to bide my time for a bit in the bunch. Even those hardcore training nutters Regents Park Rouleurs had a guy in the race. It took 5 or 6 laps to get up to the front. By that time The Power Lord AKA Cyclos Uno’s Antony Wallis had already acquired a few associates (Martin Jones, Colour Tech & Tomasz Chmielewaki, Finchley) and they were all diligently getting about their business some half a lap ahead of us.

I went with a few promising moves which were either compromised by the blustery conditions or perhaps mismatch alliances. Nevertheless props must go to the fella in that stripey pink combo. God loves a good tryer and so do I 8) 3..2..1 BOOM I'm out of his slipstream and instantly away with Phil Hersey from Eagle RC. What, 20 secs @ 600 watts? Maybe? who cares! From then on things were pretty much a formality. Phil and I stayed 20-30 secs ahead of the bunch – taking turns - probably 60/40 in Phil's favour. The power lord was kind enough to say ‘Hi’ when he eventually came around to lap us with 3 to go. I surged going up the drag on the bell lap and that was enough to gap Phil. I eventually bagged 4th overall; 1st in my cat. Big thanks to another great race put on by the LVRC. Nice to finally get off that bloody Kurt Kinetic in my kitchen.I hope you all have a good safe racing season. See you when the sun comes back.
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The jury are still probably chomping their way through a pile of hideous flavored Pret sandwiches while trying to decide the most significant thing about one of the biggest and best pop songs from the 1980's. Was it about unrequited love? a stalker? or "big brother"? Wrong, wrong, wrong! .
Every racing cyclist knows that STING was actually a very successful criterium sprinter back in the early eighties and hated losing out to breakaway artists. Come on now - think about it! " every move you make, every bond you break, I'll be watching you...

Up to a point bike racing is pure psychology - more to the point Behavioural Psychology. You pretty much always repeat BEHAVIOURS that have proven to be successful from your recent past. Positive Reinforcement baby!
OK enough already - Wednesday was a beautiful evening at Hillingdon with a large turn out for the Masters Race. I think, however, the 40-49s were suffering under the glaring sun coz us senior gentleman (50+) zoomed passed them within the first few laps... from then on a non-to-silky game of playground "tag" or "it" seem to took place where our roles continually swapped until they (40+ crew, including many a strong 2nd cat and the odd Eurosport presenter) forged away. Dear Mr Chief Com in future please don't send us off when the youngsters are only 250 meters down the road! We're not that shhit!!

A couple of my fast twitch competitors verbally assured me there was now a metaphorical target on my back following the win two weeks ago. I stuck to my psychology - plenty of digs! There was very little wind on the night and Hillingdon is not exactly a selective course so as expected I was destined not to dine out in threshold-land. My anaerobic endeavors were done by the bell lap and I'd been silenced. Big up the sprinter types their "every breath I take" mantra held true on the night. With the finishing line fast approaching I surged briefly just to ensure I didn't block anyone making a late run. A few secs later from the back of the bunch I watched those gentlemen with enviable sized calves do their thing :)
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10.05.2017
Hillingdon Masters - (50-59)

On the S bend I kicked out hard and held threshold for maybe thirty seconds before we all freewheeled happily across the finish line. The chain remained unbroken but the game of swapsies at the front of the bunch continued. I slipped back to 3rd position behind Dominic Gabellini, Rapha Condor’s, wiley old sprinter. I swung to the right and lit things up once again – this time not a threshold strike but a real match burner. Off into the wind, elbows in, back flat, 53/15 and a cadence just north of 110. I got to the Hillingdon club house on my jack jones. My gear selection for the draggy bit was clumsy. I’d been over ambitious - unless it’s a downhill me and 53/12 are not great bedfellows. Spinning is winning says cycling Vlogger Durianrider! Click the FCuK down! Hmmm. As that familiar burn engulfed my thighs up the drag I caught a couple of green-clad marshals watching on from the sidelines at the top the circuit. I approached the finish line a panting wreck.

A man in a fleecy red top held up number 5. A quick glance under my arm and I pressed on continuing to tread the thin line between VO2 max and anaerobic threshold. Pleasingly, the lap number 4 board appeared quicker than I expected. In contrast, lap 3 effort was pretty desperate. I tried to improve my aerodynamics by pressing my nose almost up against the stem - fatigue and rising blood lactate started to signal the inevitable. The 2nd lap was simply horrible! Finally, the bell rang out. I wanted to look back as I crossed the finish line for the penultimate time but bottled it! One last effort up the drag this time less smooth than previous ones – and a complete fail in terms of ‘racing line’ negotiation. A young kid clapped and shouted encouragement. Mild paranoia began - perhaps the bunch were coming up fast behind me and the youngster was cheering for his Dad or something. I risked a final glance back while descending into the S bend and relaxed… nothing but a beautiful clear road. Yes! One hand up nice to finally get a win at Hillingdon after 13 years of racing.
Thanks to all the organizers of Masters Racing at Hillingdon
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THURSDAY 25th MAY - REGION 9
CICLOS UNO SUMMER SERIES (EVENT 2) Hog Hill Lower Circuit, Hainault IG6 3HP. Flat.
18.00hrs. ABCD 1hr+ 3 Laps, EFGHI 50mins + 3 Laps. Trevor Maddern, Ciclos Uno

If you weren't one of the lucky buggers that could get away from work early yesterday - that sucks! Dude ya missed a good one! Last night was an absolutely stonkingly glorious evening to be racing your bicycle.
As it says above we were off at 6pm and within a few laps it was business as usual for the number 1 spot. Yes, we all watched A.W. go and that was that . I'm still quite humbled at the speed this man can take the hairpin bend...Soon enough he had the 2 man breakaway in sight - caught them and dropped them.
Meanwhile the rest of us did our best at looking busy with lots of laudable activity but nothing quite approaching a genuine chase.
I jumped and stayed in the land of no-blokes for a number of laps - got within 20 secs of the two man break but didn't quite have enough watts to get on. Eventually the bunch caught up and I morphed from Threshold to Tempo zone and bided my time as last man before clipping off again on the bell lap. I managed 4th spot I think.
There was a rare clipping of wheels and rider down while I was recovering in the bunch (I hope the fella is Ok; anyone know how he is?) Big thanks to
Trevor, Knocker and the team. See you all soon :)

Posts

  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited May 2017
    2nd/3rd Category, Ladies Mile, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. 28th May 2017

    Nobody talks about the serenity that occurs once you’ve relinquished power at the pedals and been…. Dropped!? I’m talking about properly dropped – snot drooling, heart banging, chest heaving: not that, ‘oh I couldn’t be arsed anymore type sshit! The normalization of your physical sensations is a real blessing. Your personal world order returns – you’re finally pain free again! Middle finger to the Ignominy. Who da hell cares! The pains gone and you’ll be back to race again soon. No bad thing at 52

    Ladies mile is an SERRL race circuit I’ve never done before. A lopsided-rectangular loop out in that most hoity-toity part of Kent - Tunbridge Wellsl. It’s a feisty rolling circuit with two significant parts: a fast down hill section and a longish climb (probably 4-5%). Distance wise a lap is bang on 4 miles. The race was roughly 15 laps with an off circuit draggy climb to the finish – all in all roughly about 64 miles.

    With a peloton of close to 80 riders being in the top thirty positions from the off proved to be critical right from the neutralized zone. Anyone who has done enough road races knows Neutralised Zone should really be called ‘get-to-the-front-fast-and-fcuk em off-zone’. Being so far back meant having to cope not only with the slinky effect but also the fact guys smashing it at the front were able to recover and smash it again while us pack fodder tried to hang on to their coat tails redlining it continually up the drags. Now at 3rd cat only level its less of a problem. But this was 2/3 cats and those doing the damage were 2nd cats; and they kick harder and for longer. Excuse, excuses? Well of course! Add to the fact moving up was made harder because we warned continually about making outside our lane maneuvers even in the section strewn with pot holes.

    By laps 8/9 half of the riders including yours truly had been shaken off the back of the bunch. If you made it to the end on 4 watts per kilo you’re a better man than me. No probs I got myself into a clubrun paced three up and completed all but the last two laps. At such a gentleman’s pace it was nice to admire my former club mate Adam Cotteral cruise by in a two man breakaway and then later congratulate him at the finish line on a classy win
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    These are the best posts ever on BR (stuff from the BB excepted). Hat.

    More please.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Thanks Mathew; how are your races going?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Ciao

    Everything has come to a grinding halt due to injury that happened last week - not even allowed on a bike at the moment unfortunately.

    Quite frustrating to say the least...
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Oh Damn, sorry to hear that mate. I hope you heal fast
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Thank you! Couldn't have happened at a more inconvenient time: heading away for work for a while, so first available date to see the consultant is mid July - have been advised to stay off bicycles and rest but may do some light turbo training just to keep legs moving.

    Keep us updated on your bits: I can race vicariously through you!
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited June 2017
    Wed 31/05/17
    Full Gas Summer Series #
    Olympic Velopark
    3/4s

    A fast furious one that despite promising attacks from yours truly and others it was destined to end in a bunch kick! Unless of course you're a former pro and have the WATTS to TT off the front. I'm not sure how much props we should really give to the race winner Dr Chris Bartlett. It's a bit like bigging up Leeds UTD's Chris Woods when you hear he scored a hat trick for your mates Sunday League Football Team. Hmmmm!

    Thurs 1.06.17
    Hog Hill/Redbridge Cycle Centre
    3rds

    Nearly got away a few times - damn that'
    Hill!! Another bunch kick
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    SUNDAY 4th JUNE – REGION 9 – TOACHIM VETS/PS+CYCLEWEAR SERIES EVENT
    CICLOS UNO LEE VALLEY CRITERIUM. Lee Valley Velopark, Stratford, E203AB, Flat,10.00hrs ABCD 1hr + 3 laps, EFGHI 50mins + 3 laps.

    That adrenaline stuff is a bit overrated. Yeah - its great when it comes to providing you with a kick to get back on your bike and race after you’ve literally been sent flying. But why can’t it show up and dull the pain sensors the next morning; then at least rolling out of bed and showering wouldn’t be such a scream.

    Right, so Sunday was only my 3rd race at the VeloPark and to be honest with you I still can’t quite remember what’s coming up on that circuit. A draggy straight to the finish? Hairpin? descent?, a bridge? This makes planning an attack and pack positioning a bit of a lottery. Hillingdon, CycloPark, Hog Hill and Dunton easily dialed in. The VeloPark …hmm…Don’t get me wrong it’s a great circuit – Iove the smooth tarmac and the loops and turns. Even the unpredictable batches of headwind are tolerable. Its just where the hell am I…


    So Summer is here and LVRC MAMILS and MALILS are clearly getting much fitter – believe me the Garmin confirms in wattage and speed that the ABCD race was a lively affair. Attacks were constant throughout most of the race and after 30 minutes prompted me to start to flexing my own anaerobic muscles.
    I made a few brief alliances ahead of the bunch but sadly the Breakaway with the most potential was actually shut down from a very unusual source. The Breakaway!! Yes myself and my ‘partner’ came crashing down on top of each other. Very strange – oh well.

    The show must go on and I was back on the bike giving it the full beans a few laps later. With 20 minutes to go two guys had impressively slipped the clutches of the bunch and were well out of sight. I kept trying - as is my way - but it was not to be – everyone was well up for a rumble. The whistle for the last preen was blown and this signaled the perfect time for a four-man pursuit team to slip off the front while the pack mysteriously hung back. Blockers-R-us at the front maybe? Grrr! yours truly was too far back recovering so I think that was top 5/6 positions gone!

    By now my right hip was starting to stiffen up so once the 3 laps to go sign went up on the hour mark it was game over for me! Congrats to all the great LVRC Chaps who help put on the race. I hope the young man that crashed is OK. Thanks also to all the well wishers to
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Sweet write ups and top work that man! Hope the healing is going well on the hip.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    June 21st Olympic VeloPark
    Cat 3/4

    The back is about 80% although the right thumb is still quite sore I thought sod it - let's have ago. A pretty dull race sitting in the bunch although I did manage to get into a 2-up for 2/3 laps. There were about 60 or so riders and the speed was good (42kph) so hard work to get away on 4 watts per kilo. 3rd cat racing is a real much of a muchness. Nobody was really strong enough to get away. Well...not unless of course your an ex domestic Pro. Well done again Dr Chris Bartlett
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited June 2017
    THURSDAY 22nd JUNE - REGION 9
    CICLOS UNO SUMMER SERIES (EVENT 4) Hog Hill Lower Circuit, Hainault IG6 3HP. Flat.
    18.00hrs. ABCD 1hr+ 3 Laps, EFGHI 50mins + 3 Laps. Trevor Maddern, Ciclos Uno

    Apologies in advance - ridiculously long race report!!


    Thankfully things were cooler than the previous nights BC adventure at the VeloPark with only half the number (30) of blokes on the start line. Eagle’s Phil Hersey wasn’t in the mood to hang about and blasted away. I think 2nd lap honours went to Cyclos Uno’s, Anthony Wallis and I reckon I just nicked the 3rd lap race win from Eagles, Dave Farrow. Lovely!… so now everyone was nicely warmed up and the race could really begin. Hmmm!…but a few hard digs for most middle aged blokes will require a period of recovery unless of course you have Functional Threshold power just south of La La Land! 3…2…1 …Boom! A.W. was off - business as usual! Er…Yes – 320 Watts of normalized power up the road!

    Meanwhile back in ‘normsville” - the race for best loser was on! Eagle had four guys in the race and as you’d expect were apparently making good on their race tactics - Mssrs Heresey and Farrow thoroughly rinsing themselves whenever the opportunity presented itself while Meader and Rendora sat on occasionally having a bit of ‘fun’ at our expense. Grrrr!
    I put in a few of my customary attacks along with Paul Roberts from Ley Valley and one or two others - it was turning into quite a feisty race. Throw in two little sections of cross head wind before the hairpin and after the main sweeping bend you could tell sooner rather than latter peeps were gonna get dropped.

    After 25 minutes the Eagle boys – Heresy and Farrow and a dude in black had themselves what Italian Americans would call ‘a nice little situation’ - 20/30 sec gap. Back in the bunch. What bunch? It was literally in bits. I was recovering as last man behind two riders who were fading badly. So could only watch on disappointingly as the Eagle breakaway munched up tarmac and left us all behind

    So we were all gonna be fighting for 5th position and that was that! After a thorough expose on the dark arts of ‘blocking’ Eagle’s Tony Meader blu-tacked himself to my back wheel for the next few laps. I had no choice but to drag my weary self back up to a group of 5; then along with another pitiful soul bunny-hopped back up to the main bunch. What? The break were somehow still insight; no way! But everyone in the bunch was shattered. We just needed a mere 100 metres. Halleluyah! someone in white put in a massive big over-geared dig and we lined up like gleeful school kids behind his wheel. Poor fella - blew up! Sshit! Another dig or two and we finally shut them down, so bar the Cyclos Uno powerlord we were once again groupo compacto. Oh dear! Eagle RC what da Fcuk happened?

    I managed to switch roles with my new bestie and sat on Tony Meader when he surged away after the break was caught. As we approached the senior gents group (EFGH)I wasn’t sure which way he was gonna take us so I politely prompted “on your right”. It worked and Tony pulled right and I swung off his wheel and blatantly went left. I then smashed it up the drag! After the tricky left hand switchback I looked under my arm. What a beautiful oasis of tarmac!

    The next 20 minutes I hit TT mode while my drone-sounding set of Swissside 625’s did their thing. I went physically deeper than I can remember this year and even lapped a few; no relaxing until the 3 laps to go board went up. Even then I was able to pick up the pace a tad and caught sight of Anthony on the other side of the circuit – holding me by about 30 seconds I reckon. It was never gonna be an arms up in the air situation of course but I was more than happy to be the 1st loser
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    28.06.2017
    Olympic Velopark
    Cat 3/4


    The appeal of cycling post London 2012 is clear for everyone to see and the proliferation of new cycling clubs is a testament to that. RPR (Regents Park Rouleurs) are one of newbies and I think generally they've been good for the scene. Like myself and many others they come to worship at the Parish of St Regents on weekday mornings. There's a slight difference though -most of us are plodding at 17-20mph at 5.45am in the morning. RPR in contrast are well and truly warmed up by then and in the words of a generation of west coast rappers - they're "fcuking-sshit-up". When I've been brave enough to pace myself just behind their fastest guys a moving average of 25-27mph is not uncommon.

    So no surprise to see one of their troops off the front after a few laps yesterday. Once a Dynamo rider joined him they made an unstoppable force. I tried to fire up the old engine for a lap and a half and get across but they were too strong.

    Nevertheless it was a good race generally which I quite enjoyed. Lots of us launching attacks with singles and couples gaining a bit of real estate but never quite enough to either close down the break or set up camp in front of the bunch. One final dig before the bell lap and I thought, myself, a southdowns rider and another had it. Nope! a crash in the bunch notwithstanding we weren't gonna be duking it out for 3rd spot. All caught 30 metres before the line - DAMN! :)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    THURSDAY 29th JUNE - REGION 9
    FORD CC DUNTON SERIES (Event 5).Ford Dunton Test Track, Basildon SS15 6EE, Flat, 19.00hrs ABCD 1hour + 3 laps. EFGHI 1hour + 3 laps, Trevor Mills, 4 Trumpeter Court, Billericay, Essex.

    In the shiny world of brand new purpose built race circuits Dunton’s a bit of a dog’s dinner. A little harsh? Truth be told, it’s actually shaped like a dog’s bone and has a couple of distinct features - a gnarly little drag and track style banking at both ends. In the South East, Hog Hill, Velopark and Cyclopark are brilliant circuits and will always receive more votes when it comes to aesthetics but then again they weren’t built for testing out Ford cars in the 1970s.

    Us kids from 1970’s also like to test ourselves under certain conditions. The Raleigh Choppers have long been discarded of course and replaced with posh road bikes but to a man/woman put us on a bike and will still wanna give it some. At Dunton last Thursday evening the safe competitive racing of the LVRC once again reigned supreme. At the start the bunch of 40+ was fired up by ‘Last-lap man’ before he went into hiding for an hour. Others were also happy to put in work so the pace was fairly brisk for the first half of the race.

    Unfortunately, I’m not the best on large free flowing expansive circuits. A bit like a kid in a sweet shop I tend to gorge myself until I’ve got nothing else to give. The scatter gun approach occasionally pays off and I got myself away in a group of four featuring the ever ready Martin Elms from Rapha. We blasted clear for just a lap before being shut down.

    A few laps later I went for the full Monty solo threshold effort and bagged a preem during my 3 laps away from the bunch. The pace remained steady after that but freedom fighters were out of luck coz the script had been written so the bunch remained together till the end of the race.

    I had one final attack just before the bell and got myself a decent gap of approximately 100 meters. Approaching the drag, the gap began shrinking. I hit the drag and my physical lights began to flicker, dim and eventually blew out. CASP’s Steve Coxhall reckons he’s a lazy git but Rapha's Martin Elms claims he’s just bloody good at knowing how to win a race.

    Last-lap man left the bunch with 300 metres to go. Meanwhile my skinny little legs had one last desperate attempt at leveraging me forward. The laws of physics and biology were not to be denied. In the space of 20 seconds I went from first place to last place and and just managed to avoid being taken out by someone sprinting for 31st position. Grrrr! Last-lap man did the job! Chapeau – great race. Loved it!

    Big thanks, Trevor, Knocker Shields-Bonfanti and the birthday girl :)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Hillingdon Masters E Race
    5th July 2017

    It's pretty cool to be sat on the wheel of a VET rider as we drill it up the drag at Hillingdon and he shouts out to the slow moving younger bunch “67-year-old coming thru”! Love it. Lasts Wednesday’s edition was quite a feisty one. The 40 somethings were given a 1 minute gap in front of us the 50 somethings. Within 5 laps we’d caught them, passed them and managed to stay away from all of them bar a 3 man escape group headed up by Tony Gibb. There was definitely a no nonsense feel about the race and guys were literally smashing at the front. I decide not to start the jumping around until the last 25 minutes. Even as ss a non sprinter its important to remain fresh so you can be a little bit more discerning with your options.

    Now my last visit to the masters race at Hillingdon Barrie Bonnett won the sprint and reminded me that my card was well and truly marked. Hence I shouldn’t expect to be slipping away from the bunch and winning again especially if he were around. Hmmm! OK mate!
    In the last few laps after a number of fruitless digs I made sure to stay up front - sitting surprisingly enough on 4th wheel Barry’s Wheel! with less than 10 mins to go peeps were settling in for a sprint. Indeed, Barry even decided to reach down for a drink. At that moment I came off his wheel and aerotucked it at 30mph for a lap. Another lap at 29mph was just enough for a bike lengths win :)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    THURSDAY 6th JULY - REGION 9
    CICLOS UNO SUMMER SERIES (EVENT 5) Hog Hill Lower Circuit, Hainault IG6 3HP. Flat.
    18.00hrs. ABCD 1hr+ 3 Laps, EFGHI 50mins + 3 Laps. Trevor Maddern, Ciclos Uno,

    Buoyed from winning the masters race at Hillingdon on Wednesday the plan was to rein myself in a bit, and hide in the bunch. Ha Ha, yeah right? If you wanna control your own narrative definitley stay away from bike racing. Anyways… things were kept nice and steady in the early laps until Trevor sent our collective testosterone meters to maximum setting with a blast on his whistle. A tenner on the line next lap and a chance to make hey while the sun shines? – Hmmm

    Antony from C U needed no further invitation, Shorter Rochford’s Neil Dowie and the two CC London boys were also up for a bit of pain dishing too. Oh Bloody Hell! I had no choice, it was redline time. The final dude to join forces up front at the anaerobic party was Lea Valley’s Paul Roberts. Possibly sensing a catch was inevitable A.W. eased up and we then dropped down to club run pace for a bit. How do ya like them fcucking apples? Well for some, not too much at all. At least 5 riders including my mate Mark Goode, fresh from a gold medal ride at the Dartmoor Classic, got spat out the back in the scrap for the main mans' wheel

    Hauling your censored - whatever its size - around a race circuit at 27-28mph for a couple of laps is no joke. But if you can bang out close to 320watts for an hour there’s a good chance you’ll have the last laugh. The man with the biggest aerobic engine by the same virtue also gets to recover the quickest. So club run pace was soon disrupted as A.W. went solo for the second and final time

    In a much reduced bunch we dusted ourselves down and continued race pace sparring until another knock out blow was delivered. Chapeau to Eagles, Dave Farrow, who timed his jump well. He quickly formed a partnership with the super lively, Neil Dowie from Shorters and then a lap or two lap later I think CC London’s Ian Watson impressively rode across to them. They made a strong threesome so the rest of us left were left to duke things out for 5th spot. I slipped away in the last 2 laps but was caught with 50 meters to go by a sprinting bunch headed up by Lea Valley’s Paul Roberts. Another tough well ridden race. Thanks again to the brilliant LVRC race organising team. Cheers everyone
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    25th July 2016
    Crystal Palace
    3rd cats

    Palace is about as subtle as a punch in the face. If you're looking for a circuit that encourages a smooth even paced build up to race speed look elsewhere. Palace is politically incorrect. Like a couple of old school TV detectives Palace asks big questions while proper roughing you up at the same time. What's your fitness like? How good are your bike handling skills? How many times can you go above your threshold before your matchbox explodes? Depending on how you like to race Velopark, cyclopark, Hog Hill and good old Hillingdon will provide you with answers too but if you really wanna know the whole truth about your ability as a racer - in London - it's gotta be Palace!

    I turned up with 90 mins before the race began to ensure an EOL entry. I spoke to Chris Nicholls from Regents Park Rouleurs on the start line and despite him saying it was his first time ever at Palace I knew once he got to the front us 3rd cats would be trouble.
    Lap 1 - nervous energy resulted in a delayed clip in and by the left hairpin bend some 40 metres or so later I'm already redlining it up the mini drag back towards fast descent on the right
    Lap 2 I haven't fully recovered so 2nd time up the main drag is another heavy breathing affair.
    Lap 5 I m still near the back of the bunch ever hopeful of hanging out in those much vaunted top 15 positions. By lap 10 and I've been afforded an increasing amount of real estate as a few more back markers are shown the middle finger.

    It's harsh of course coz I know my cornering skills and fitness levels aren't too bad. Bunch negotiation skills are being severely tested, yes; but there is a real reason for that inevitable physical decline - at the back the constant braking required at the hairpin and having to then kill it oneself to get back up to race speed from close to a dead spot is an issue! Throw in a drag to cope with some 30 secs later and this old fella is bang in trouble. I'm not hating the players or the game - Thanks Chris!! -;Bike racing is merciless I would do the same and so would you!

    With roughly 4/5 laps to go I got caught out as we overtook a small group of lapped riders. I didn't quite have the watts to bridge the gap so it was game over. A few laps riding tempo at the head of other dropped riders were good for that bruised ego and managing not to get lapped before we were pulled from the circuit was also cool. In summary a very tough race - need to get upfront immediately next race. Grrrrr Nevertheless a great 30 minutes of racing. Also good to see so many women out racing! Well done to promoters, marshals, officials and riders. Loved it :)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    July 27th
    Gravesend Cyclopark
    Conditions: Rainy
    Cat 3/4

    Myself and Dorian Jawosek from Islington CC were looking for our own little marginal gains. 20 minutes before the race started we were both doing reps of the course - more specifically - that tricky 180-degree right hand loop. While everyone else stayed dry under shelter away from the rainy-soaked circuit we rode that section half a dozen times. Each time riding it faster and faster pushing both Pinarello tyre traction and rider confidence to their limits. Ironically Dorian, wiped out on that very hairpin within the first few laps of the race. I still felt quite confident and pressed down hard to maintain traction on all the significant turns and it was actually a little frustrating sat behind guys just tipy-toeing around the wet corners.

    This was one race where a look at the start list proved quite useful. 19 minute, 10-mile man, Oliver Bridgewood (ex ACC) was racing so whether he knew it or not when he went I'd be following like an old faithful lap dog.
    In fact, he had bitched about feeling cold and wet and not wanting to crash but he must of remembered he was a hard northerner coz he made it to the start line. Being just a couple of wheels back, after Dorian's crash I found myself off the front for a brief moment but the legs were not too keen so I reined myself. A few CC London riders and a Dulwich guy were proving to be able bunch engines so despite the wet we all kept chugging along quite nicely.

    Apart from the crash nothing significant happened until around the 30 minute mark when Oliver, who had been invisible up to this point made his move. He remained 50 metres in front of the bunch - holding back and occasionally looking back - also known to breakaway cyclists everywhere as a come and join me sign. For just under a lap the bunch surged towards him but were unable or unwilling to close the gap. I couldn't believe nobody tried to jump across. Once we got to the draggy bit up to the finish and from 6/7 riders back I took my chance - veered right and kicked hard. Twenty-five seconds later I was on Oliver's back wheel and we were away. We took the wet hairpin much quicker than the bunch pace and forged ahead. I was always going to be the weaker (24min-10TT on a road bike - lol) of the two but managed to give Oliver some respite on the descending and flatter bits. On the last lap I lost his wheel and he was gone. I glanced back and kept things at my own somewhat more conservative TT mode. As the finish line approached the bunch rolled up towards me but my gap was sufficient enough to maintain 2nd place. Thats 38 points now :)
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,127
    Good stuff Toks
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited September 2017
    Hillingdon: 6th September
    Masters - Over 50's

    Occasionally, you can engender a pattern of attacking with other like-minded souls that ensures the bunch inevitably has to take a collective break. So...the next attack typically secures a nice little freehold and hopefully... you're in it. After a spicy 8 laps GS Vecchi Man, John Alderman, got himself 15 seconds up the road an hung out clearly waiting for a 'speed-date'. In the bunch my sequence of hits ranging from 474-720 watts eventually did the business, and I was free to 'hook up' with John. Initially 330+ watts rotations at my preferred 40-60% ratio (cheers John) helped grow our gap to beyond 40 seconds. Hmmm! Still a further 30 minutes of 'overs and unders' to go - grrrr!! Now none of us can really sprint so on the bell lap I gave it my best coming off his wheel on the drag! Wow!! A sexy 820 watts for a few secs was enough to split us up; we almost patched things up again on the hairpin bend but a final match burning 670 watts killed the relationship for good and I rolled along untroubled to the finish line. Another win and 2nd cat secured.

    Thanks a lot if you've been bored enough to read about what some old bloke has been up to on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and the occasional Sunday morning. I've raced pretty consistently since June (twice per week) and it been great fun. Mainly highs and only a few lows: crashing is never fun and this year I've been rubbish at Road Races - always missing the bloody winning break. Grrrrrrr!

    Circuit racing is always tough for non-sprinters but that's cool. It is what it is. I've done quite a few of them (at all the main south east circuits) and to be honest they've all been fairly safe and well ridden. Although it's been nice to win a few times my most fun has actually been the two trips to Palace this year especially the penultimate night where I was glad to finish with the bunch in the 3rds - 39.5kph average speed baby - that ain't too bad ;)

    Now, I'm not sure how much racing I will do next year as a 2nd cat. At 52 years young I'm not so keen to start training more intensely, frequently or with greater duration. I still need to enjoy the racing so I reckon it will be mainly VET races next year. I know from previous visits to 2nd catdom its bloody hard work and I'll only ever be winging it. See you up the road in a break some time ;)
  • Another excellent write up - entertaining and motivating: thank you very much.

    Just a quick question though - posting at 4:41 in the morning! What madness is this????? :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Thanks Mathew, the night after an evening race I may as well not bother going to bed! I never seem to get much sleep these days :(
    After a race 4 hours if I'm lucky :/:)
  • Toks wrote:
    Palace this year especially the penultimate night where I was glad to finish with the bunch in the 3rds - 39.5mph average speed baby - that ain't too bad ;)

    39.5mph !?
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Well spotted lol
    39.5km per hour ;)
  • Toks wrote:
    Thanks Mathew, the night after an evening race I may as well not bother going to bed! I never seem to get much sleep these days :(
    After a race 4 hours if I'm lucky :/:)

    You need to try the patented MF Recovery/Post Race method of two glasses of red wine. Recovery heaven :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
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