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last of the summer race ramblings:2018

ToksToks Posts: 1,143
edited September 2018 in Amateur race
Cyclopark 23/08/2018

Mario Manelfi is a street fighter! Hard as nails; broke his collar bone and his back in crash two seasons ago but is still racing. He looks like he could survive in the Amazon jungle feeding off shredded pythons skins and coconut shells.

Once upon a time he was a promising 1st Cat racer (not far off domestic pro). Now hes a different physical specimen; a 80kg perhaps of pure muscle, he looks a ungainly on the bike but nevertheless effectively ambles his way through the Bunch.
Personally I’m always mesmerized by his chiseled hairless copper-colored calves ! I holla and he grunts a low-toned “hey toks” then two gear changes later he’s up front. Shortly after the bunch lines out like a stressed bungee cord. I glance up briefly as the only other black guy in the race leads us all down the slight descent.

I’m a 53 year old VET rider and it always feels good to be racing in a nice big bunch on a summers evening. Ooooo look at us sucking wheels like pros
As the pace slows upfront I ‘cheat’ a little and let a gap grow infront of me! Someone from Islington CC curses out loud - “mate close the gap”. I smile inwardly as he shoots past. I let other peeps burn matches while I chill at the back

Cliff Steels from Brixton Cycles hits the front and we all start chasing again. I’ve been constantly trading places near the back with Polly Burge, junior rider from Kent Velo - 20 mins into the race shes flagging....too many visits above your threshold will do that too ya! We say “sayonara” as Polly parks up on the drag! We’ve all been there! Damn “homeostasis” is a censored !!...Annoyingly for this young woman admirably duking it out with blokes - we all slow down soon just after she’s dropped.

Cliff can’t help himself and clocks even more time dragging the peloton forward. Will he finally make some friends? Yes!
He finds a few temporary buddies and a breakaway is formed. John from Islington CC and a couple of Gemini’s guys help Cliff gain a tentative 15 second gap. I stay mid pack still chilling - No crazy attacking from me in this race mate!

The breakaway is weak and we soon reel them back in 2 laps later. Each surge in pace comes at a of the Gemini guys is relieved from his duties and the bunch becomes another man lighter. The pace is still high as I wrestle my way up front coz it - must be time to launch an attack soon.

Bang on 47 minutes I move into the top 5 positions. Lee Messenger from Abelieo and a couple of Young’s cats in fancy black/blue skin suits attack! I glance across at someones wahoo computer - 33mph! I sprint on to the young guys wheel til he scoots to the left leaving me exposed on the very front drinking up the headwind. Yikes!! Too early.... I also swing left and a London dynamo guy and Thomas Farley from CC London hit the accelerator...I’ m breathing hard and but the effort is just manageable. I can’t attack until they ease up and I can recover... YES! (Breathe) 5...4...3...2...

On the drag up to the finish I adopt my aerotuck and smash the pedals as hard as I can. A slight twinge from my left Achilles suggests the effort was maximum one...I’ve got a gap of 50 meters. Head down across the start/finish line and the bell rings out...I take the right hairpin bend as fast as I can - a set of continental 4000s help both traction and speed, I sprint as hard as i can up the climb for the first time in the race. I glance back - nothin but clear road. Cool!!

Looking back was a mistake... censored !! my bike skits across the tarmac off course and on to the grass
No probs - I’ve saved it! All sweeping bends are taken at max speed. On the drag up to the finish I glance back again - someone is chasing me...Noooooo....censored !! He’s quick, who is that? The finish line is 300 meters away and my thighs are burning...I dig deep for the very last time.....and finally cross the line to take the win alone

Peeps on the side line seem a bit bemused. Huh?? Has that skinny old black dude who looked like he was suffering a bit just won the race?...Er yeaaaah
30 secs later Cliff Steels beams - “well done Toks”. A slight pause for breath and then.. Cheers dude ... series-19/


  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I think you need to pitch for a Channel 4 TV slot for this... would make a change from it showing dull assed trumfalumps who fall off at the very sight of a blade of grass bending in the wind nearly impaling innocents with their outrageous tri bars which are deemed so necessary for pootling along at 15 mph.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    jgsi wrote:
    I think you need to pitch for a Channel 4 TV slot for this... would make a change from it showing dull assed trumfalumps who fall off at the very sight of a blade of grass bending in the wind nearly impaling innocents with their outrageous tri bars which are deemed so necessary for pootling along at 15 mph.
    Thanks :D
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,226
    Missed these write ups. You have a great command of the written word, really brings it to life. Congrats on the win.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    LVRC: 26/08/2018 Hog Hill (Redbridge Cycle Centre - FLAT CIrcuit)

    The LVRC or League of Veteran Cyclists is definitely the place to go if you fancy trying out racing or your an ex racer. Competitive, affordable safe racing with experienced 40+ guys.

    Last Sunday was a decent turn out. I can’t remember seeing so many Cyclos Uno jerseys at Hog Hill (the flat circuit) for a long while. Conditions were fine: slight wind, overcast and rain free
    The Garmin reported a smidge under 39mph av for the first few laps so initially at least us ABCD weren’t hanging about.

    We shadow boxed are way through the first few laps until the preem. Then both A.W.’s were in full effect. Rapha Condor’s Antonius Wubben won the preem and Cyclos Unos - Antony Wallis fired up his anaerobic engine and disappeared up the drag. Someone was nice enough to shout “go Toks go” Haha...not me mate! I might be able to bang out 600 Watts for 30secs but that’s not enough bridging power once Mr A Wallis has a gap

    The dude is simply too strong. We metaphorically speaking mopped our brows and the best of the rest competition began in earnest . Like all the best London parties in the mid 1980’s Brixton was in the House...

    The party starter himself Cliff Steels (Brixton Cycles) labored continually at the front and off the front of the bunch; sadly not quite managing to win friends or influence them. As you’d expect most VETS are pretty savvy and breakaways are definitely more an art than science. Additional efforts from Aerotech, the Gemini chaps, Dave Farrow (Eagle), VC Equipe and few others (including yours truly) also drew blank checks. Hmmm....maybe it’s better just to save a few bullets for this last 15 minutes and in the immortal word of Cypress Hill. When the sheet goes down ya better be ready!

    With 5 laps to go I hit out hard on the drag and managed to secure a little bit of real estate for myself, Dave Farrow (Eagle RC) and a chap from Gemini. With just under 3 laps to go other peeps started coming across in dribs and drabs so there was the inevitable reshuffle. Cliff Steels was paying attention and with VC Equipe’s Kireen Dinesen 470 Watts dig from yours truly was enough! The three of us battled on gamely and soon had a gap of perhaps 20 secs. Cliff was dislodged with a surge on the hairpin bend and then began the process of desperately trying to shake off Kieren. Books on getting rid of a sprinter in the last mile of a race are pretty thin on the ground so I improvised . Zig zagging across the circuit and further jumps were no good. He’s a wiley old sprinter so of course he did his job. Bottom step of the podium for me this time :wink:

    Results ... eries-2-3/
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    Really enjoy these posts. Thanks!
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    BC Masters Race, Hog Hill (Redbridge Cycle Centre) 27/08/18

    I’m nervous! Hey! Common! What’s Valentino doing? Is he braking? This is the 5th time we’ve descended the Hoggerberg and he’s minding the gap rather than closing it. So now my front wheels overlapping his back one. He’s drifting too; unintentionally perhaps but nevertheless Im slowly being squeezed towards the outer edges of the circuit at close to 60kmph

    Circumnavigating Hog Hill clockwise (opposite to normal) initially feels a bit odd but i think most of us have the racing line dialed in. No tip toeing through the tulips please! Dude, get ya head down! The guard has blown the whistle and our train is leaving...Phew! ...nothing like a team mate to snap you back into action. Gemini’s, Ian Dawson cruises past both of us to take up mentoring duties and Mr Valentino Fontana, also Gemini BC, remembers this ain’t a Zwift race and jumps on his mate wheel for real...Hmmm....Me no likey!

    Getting gapped from the bunch by rider complacency will cause one to dip into those all too precious anaerobic reserves. At a less selective circuit like Hillingdon that’s not so bad but here...not good! Ten seconds later all 3 of us are back on as the bunch clocks off in anticipation of the preem Lap sprint - Riders...ready!!

    There were less than 20 heads in this August Bank Holiday BC masters race - most were second cats. Hog Hill races at the lower cat levels tends to encourage survival style racing. The Hoggernberg climb is so selective and so energy depleting that after about 20’mins of racing most 3rd and 4th cat mortals need a full lap to recover so a bunch sprint is pretty much inevitable. At the half way point of this race I certainly felt better than usual. Perhaps more race promoters should choose the Clockwise race direction.

    As is often the case, he who dares, wins the first preem; and there was no easing up for that post-preem group hug either! The preem taker Simon Cox (DIMASIO) kept those pedals turning.
    Yes we saw him rolling and personally I was HATING. I was on up front at the time hiding from the Gemini mafia. Damn I had no idea this guy would stay away for the rest of the race. Yeah- Whatever?!... coulda, woulda, shoulda,

    Newbies pay attention! All the significant stuff went down on preem laps. On 2nd one - some 20 minutes later Chris Ware from Rapha CC jumped away with a guy from Verulum. Just before the climb I left the mid-pack comfort zone and pushed down hard on the speedplays to join them. By the top of the climb I unexpectedly found myself a few bike lengths clear...Nice! I shaved the right apex text book style and swept up the short accent with gusto and bagged the preem (two bottles of beer). A lap later I was amazingly still alone puffing and panting across the start/finish line.

    The 5 laps to go board went up and I continued with my FTP test. I’m not great on short power hills in the 8-12% range but things weren’t looking too bad. I began the descent of the Hoggerberg with three laps to go my right peripheral caught sight of a chase group just cresting the parallel hill.

    By the time I’d reached that very same hill a very skinny man in a dark skinsuit was making his way across to me with some alacrity. I asked my internal guvonor for more power and was threatened with cramp. Fingers crossed surely I can hang on to 2nd spot. My final accention of the Hoggerberg’s shallower twin brother left me an uncoordinated, honking wreck.

    A lame-censored jump couldn’t get me to hold on to a pensioner on a Barclays bike let alone the back wheel of the impressive Matt Steel (Shaftesbury CC) as he caught and dropped me at the top of the climb. Another 3rd spot for me - out classed by two strong 2nd cats. Grrrr ... s-crits-3/
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited September 2018
    LVRC: C/D Race Toachim Vet/PS+Cyclewear Series. 09/09/18

    The world’s a changing place – everyone’s a winner on school sports day, miserable kids can now see a school psychologist and that clip round the ear you used to get has been re classified as a child abuse. I reckon Simon Brooks (VC St Raphael) is more ‘stick’ than “carrot’ when it comes to behaviour management techniques “Oi’ Addiscombe Go!”. Jeez, of course sir!...Gap closed Sir! the way Sir I’ve been in a two-up for the last 25 minutes and you three just bridged up to us. Flip me, how about some positive reinforcement?

    Sunday was the final race of the Toachim Vet/PS+Cyclewear Series. A cursory glance at top 3 positions noted Gianluca from Meudon Sovereign/Pedal Heaven sitting fairly comfortably at the top with Paul Bird (CC Luton) in 2nd spot and Simon Brooks in 3rd. If the right scenarios played out on the road there was the potential for change but it wasn’t to be. Actually I quite like the idea that Luton CC boys and Meudon Sovereign/Pedal Heaven fellas couldn’t be arsed and just faffed about smoking cigars and playing cards at the back of the bunch.

    I wouldn’t know of course coz I was a minute up the road playing a game of ‘overs and unders’ with Bray (Dulwich Paragon), Whellam (4T+Cyclopark), Francis (London Dynamo) and Mr Brooks
    By the way props have to go out to Patrick Hawkins and the Paragons Marshalls. At one stage this race serious looked doomed due to traffic lights and a dangerous road surface. Amazingly things got sorted out on the day and we got to race on an exciting mini road circuit. That will be one 2.8km rolling loop with an 8-10 per cent kicker 100 meters before you descend to the finish line.

    Symbolically enough , Patrick Hawkins was on the front as slipped past on a 1st lap recce cum leg stretcher. With 3 quarters of the loop completed I was soon back in the comfy of the bunch who were practically riding at club run pace for some reason. So were some legs a bit heavy having raced the Vet Criterium champs the day before? Hmmm… well there were no such issues for the man who came 2nd in that race - clearly;)

    Our race was properly kicked off by a Cat D, Glenn Whellams, (4T+ Cyclopark). He peeled away from us all on one of the slopes and I wasted no time making a b-line for his back wheel. Lap 2 - bit too early surely?
    We had a good few laps together riding mostly on that sweetspot/threshold border
    There was no way we coulda stayed away for the whole race so when Bray, Francis and Brooks caught up with us on the climb we were ready. In fact, I had seen them coming and saved a bit. Lucky too coz things got bursty! The diesel in me called for smooth and steady but the Headteacher (Simon Brooks) said “No” – go faster. Jeez…!!!
    Gavin-I’m on a purple patch-Francis (2nd in the Champs day before) looked the strongest and occasionally had me gasping when he pulled thru.
    Julian Bray is of course the gentleman breakaway racer so he kept things steadyish as did my original partner Glenn Whellams. In fact what a man, each time Glenn was on the front he never failed to point out some of the crater size cracks in the backside of the circuit.

    OK…Job done then? our gap kept growing…there was always the inevitable surge on the two most significant left hand junctions but we pretty much kept things honest and true apart from the occasional haphazard rotation.
    We crested the climb together on the bell lap and I attacked at least twice before we came around for the finish. I only managed to the shake off Glenn - after that everyone was wise to my game. My final role was to lead things into the climb. Great Race – Chapeau everyone 
  • Can you take up CX in the off-season please, just so we can get more reports?
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    LVRC: Hog Hill (16/09/18)

    Last Sunday’s pre race warm up ended in spectacular fashion - Ouch! As a consequence I found myself scrambling around on my hands and knees outside H.M.Prison Holloway. A skinny black dude, decked out in garish yellow skin suit, searching through some bushes might ordinarily have been a tipping point, but thankfully not this time. The feds car slowed down but didn’t stop . Phew…nothing to see here Serge - just another middle aged bloke doing weird shitt in Lycra ….

    “Morning officer, my rear mech hanger broke off and I was just looking for something to tie up the derailer” Hmmm...bruised hip and ego not withstanding I got back on the bike and ‘hobby-horsed’ the 2k’s back to my house. Quick bike swap and then a fifty minute sweet spot ride to Hog Hill (Redbridge Cycle Centre).

    This was the last race in the Summer Wine series; roughly 40 ABCD guys on the start line and the weather gods were kind again. Drum Roll please…for the very last time Fred “the legend ” Little wished us all a safe race.

    The unlikely figure of Adam Luck (LVCC) led us around for most of the first lap until the amorphous multicoloured vehicle we call the bunch shape shifted and Adam was replanted with the back of the bunch boys.

    After our introductory lap the pace picked up and pretty much stayed at 25mph average throughout the race - not too bad for a group of oldie-but-goodies.

    Fred signalled the first Preem but there still wasn’t much of a shake up. I edged forward to the front third of the bunch. Upfront Aero cycle swapped shifts with CC London who changed places with Rapha who stomped on the pedals for a few hundred metres before eventually passing the pacing baton to Eagle RC

    There were roughly 25 minutes to go when when the sprint for the 2nd Preem ensued. I was 4th wheel and ready to party at threshold. Once the sprinters had done their thing I jumped into TT mode and was immediately shut down by the Union.

    There seem to be a long list of guys all vying for a little bit of tarmac they could make their own - Charles Kennedy -Scott (CC Hackney); Neil Dowie (Shorter Rochford), Dave Farrow (Eagle RC), Jonathan Donald (Hangsling Racing), Os Assem (Finchley RT), Valentino Fernando (Gemini BC)
    to name but a few. But nobody had ‘Wallis Watts’ so groupo compacto it would it remain, surely?!

    Now! the Union (AKA Union-de-wheel-suckers-international) had clearly briefed its members before the race. Hence pretty much all attacks especially those from yours truly were thwarted. That’s fine. It’s all part of racing but let’s not forget there are others more than capable of transporting themselves up the road too. In fact while I was recovering from my latest attack almost a 3rd of the bunch did that very thing. WTF? 10-12 secs maybe?! How did this happen? There must have been some collusion or blocking going on. Grrrr....Gemini!!!

    No probs as long as our pace didn’t drop they would be back...Our pace dropped! But just before that the biggest and baddest motherphucker in the bunch made the best move of the race and beasted across to the break. Daaaaaamn - Chapeau Hugh Williams (Cyclos Uno).

    Now there were 8 guys in the break. The others were Finchley RT boys (Oz Assem, Dermot Keally), Val Fontano (Gemini BC) Hackney CC (Charles Kennedy Scott), Andy Buurman (Rapha), Emmeric Harault, (4T +C) and Phil Cundy (PMRB).

    I gotta be honest I thought that was it. My mate Sonia shouted out 15 secs - but we were slowing down and they were speeding up. TEARS!

    My favourite LVRC Racer this year was having none of it. Jonathan Donald from Hangsling Racing got to the front and it was game on baby! We managed to keep the break in check! More power on the front Sir! Neil Dowie (Shorter Rochford) put in some hard turns as well as yours truly - representing the mighty Addiscombe of course! Keiran Dineed (VC Equipe) also joined the ‘bring-em-back' effort and for few tough laps we rotated like a poor mans Olympic pursuit team. Boosted by their proximity to us and the fact I could see they weren't working too well I put in one final VO2 max stint and Jonathan did the rest. Boom - Groupo Compacto!!

    I coulda done with a couple of laps to recover but it wasn’t to be. On the final lap as we approached the penultimate left bend Charles (Hackney CC) jumped and rode away to take a good win. Great effort by my good friend Antonius to get 3rd - just edged out into 2nd spot by the guy with the coolest name in the bunch Valentino Fontana(Gemini BC). A fitting race to end the LVRC Hog Hill season. Come back Antony all is forgiven - that was so bloody hard. I swear after Neil Dowie fell asleep in the changing rooms ;)

    Hope you all have a great winter - see you next year. Toks Adesanya :)
    Race Video - Here
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