YHA Weekend. Report from Tom Baskaya.
15 November 2013
This year’s destination was equally picturesque to last year’s but somewhat more accessible from north London. At approx 64m from Finsbury Park, and with temperatures far from freezing this time, the ride was intended to be pleasurable not attritional!
However, challenges included the wet and wind proceeding “the worst storm for 20 years” and the North and South Downs, (which as Costas rightly remarked felt more ‘up’ than ‘down’ a lot of the time). Six set out from Finsbury Park: Vince, Gray, Andrew, Ian, Costas and Richard. I jumped on just before we crossed the Thames at Blackfriars to make seven.
Gray had plotted a pleasant route through south London taking in the delights of Dulwhich Village and Crystal palace, avoiding any majorly busy roads. In no time we were winding our way through prime Kent countryside, flying down sweeping descents, dancing (ah hem) up 25% ascents, past oast houses, churches and medeaval pubs, taking in the impressive vistas, and all in good time for our lunch at The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone. The first shower of the day timed itself perfectly as we were indoors by then enjoying lunch and our inaugural pint!
The ‘chocolate box village’ scene was made complete as the hunt came past the window. In all their finery it was as if they we’re trying to out-do the well turned out riders of The FPCC!
After taking in the village’s namesake, the Chidding Stone, (see pics) we continued south with a brisk headwind and gentle rain doing little to dampen our spirits. The first real test for our legs came a few miles later as we climbed into Ashdown forest, the unfamiliar heath-like terrain made the effort worth while. A quick dismount at the sumit to enjoy the view and regroup. Next stop Alfriston to pick up breakfast supplies from a shop that felt like a portal to the 1940′s. Vince bumped into a gentleman who by coincidence knew some of the club’s older members from his racing days, so stopped for a chat.
We positioned ourselves at the front of the queue for the opening of the YH. A quick shower and change then off to the pub for dinner. We were a bit early but this was not a problem as there were six local ales to be sampled. They ranged from good to excellent IMO as did the service and the food.
Off to bed. Not the best night’s sleep despite being tired and mildly intoxicated. Never mind.
It was agreed that we would start early on Sunday as the clock change worked in our favour and we thought we might beat the worst of the incoming weather back to London.
Breakfast. The Finsbury Park breakfast team are to fry-ups what the HTC Highroad team were to lead-outs. It was a winning breakfast, fantastically well executed.
A few miles outside of Alfriston we encountered our first bit of bad weather, high winds and horizontal rain be told our proximity to the coast and the approaching storm. Thankfully it was short lived and in general we stayed dry with the wind behind us, speeding us along.
Again, the ascent into Ashdown Forest. It’s a testing climb and for some reason seemed harder this way round. Gray was soon off the front by himself. I left it a long time before realising his move should not go completely unanswered, so tried to bridge the substantial gap he’d opened up. It was a hard effort for quite a few minutes and once he’d spotted my move, sadly the gap never really came down. We regrouped at the top, all except for Vince who flew past us and dropped like a stone down the other side! Gone! It was a mile or so before we caught up with him.
There was talk of tea and cake but unfortunately before long the quaint tea rooms gave way to cafes and greasy spoons as we approached the M25 circle. One last leg burning hill that I have either forgotten the name of or tried to erase from my memory and then a view of London in the distance. With 14m to go the first and only puncture. Not bad going for two solid days riding!
We were now on the last leg of the journey, the driving got progressively and noticeably worse as we moved through the suburbs and into south London.
Feeling triumphant if a little tired we made our way through Crystal Palace, Dulwich, Camberwell, Elephant and Castle and over the river at which point I split from the group. The last 10 minutes of my journey I reflected on an enjoyable weekend spent in great company. It wasn’t until I was home that it struck me how tired I actually was. Sleep.
Thanks to Gray for the route and overall organisation, to Andy for booking the table for Saturday evening and to everyone for their company, good laughs, pulls on the front and generally mucking in. Special thanks to Vince for demonstrating that if I’m remotely as hard as he is, (unlikely), I have another 40+ years of this kind of thing to look forward to! Sorry Vince!
Same again next year?
2013 Hill Climb - 20th October
20 October 2013
Fourteen enthusiastic riders signed on for the 2013 hill climb, cocking a snoot at very heavy overnight rain that persisted until 15mins before the scheduled start time of 10:00. Our starter, Colin Baker, was still recovering from his soaking during last week’s Road Race marshal duties obliging Club Captain, Chris to step into the breach after a couple of minutes tuition. Mike English, paying his annual homage to the hill climb, adopted the pusher off role and all was set for the ‘Rumble on CumCum Hill’, defending champion, Matt in the red corner and contender, Gray in the blue corner.
All had a dry run at the hill but were hit by a headwind at the crux, just before Essendon Village, catching out those who changed up the gears too early. First man home, Andy Turnock was 30secs off his 2012 pace and Joff Verby 18secs, although Jeremy Geenwood at only 3secs in arrears showed that strong men could still prevail. As the field returned, it seemed that we were back to the reality of normal times after last year’s record breaking exploits, especially as Gray posted 3:12.4, clearly disappointed with his effort although he crossed the finish with an impressively fast sprint. What could Matt do?
3:00.6 was the answer, recording in excess of 500 watts for the duration of the hill to defend his hill climb crown; and still had the breath (and the sand) to claim sub 3 minutes according to his expensively acquired electronic gadgetry; dream on Matt.
The downhill was a bit of a challenge with wet grid covers and plenty of gravel on the sharp left hander before the finish. Gray was last to go and just made the start point in time. Where had he been? What had he been up to? Dirty tricks I suspect as he finished a clear 10 metres ahead of the pack to repeat his win of 2012. Probably had his tyres at 200psi and his bike frame filled with ballast; I’ll have to speak with Mr Cookson.
Pos Name Time
1 Matt Southerden 03:00.6
2 Gray Turnock 03:12.4
3 Jeremy Greenwood 03:21.9
4 Joff Verby 03:31.6
5 Simon Neatham 03:44.9
6 Dominic Bray 03:47.2
7 Gavin Potter 04:07.3
8 Greg Winfield 04:12.5
9 Andy Turnock 04:13.8
10 Peter Bullen 04:33.3
11 Mark Langley 04:33.4
12 Ruth Miller 04:52.3
13 Mike English 05:03.5
14 Jeremy Chase 05:47.1
1 Gray Turnock
2 Dominic Bray @ 10 mtres
3 Mark Langley @ 13 mtres
4 Jeremy Chase @ 14 mtres
5 Simon Neatham @ 15 mtres
Vince Freeley, 20th October 2013.
Newsletter - October 2013
16 October 2013
Well, it’s been ages since we’ve sent round a club newsletter so ….apologies. Particularly to the many new members who’ve joined since the last one. You won’t have ever seen one!
These should go out monthly or thereabouts and they’re to complement the immediate and ever changing info on our Facebook page and the more static stuff and resources that sit on the club’s website. Not everybody subscribes to or reads Facebook and the newsletter can cut to the important stuff without the Facebook banter (much as we love it!). If there’s anything you want to see in a newsletter, or you have any contributions, we’d love to have them.
So let’s start by welcoming those new members. In no particular order, let’s hear it for:
Seet Leng Teoh
Good luck to all of those in their quest for glory, recognition, fun or whatever their ambition with FPCC happens to be. We look forward to supporting them.
It’s Hill Climb season. The Club Hill Climb is this very Sunday (October 20th). Come and have a go! We meet around the bottom of Essendon Hill by the bus stop just before 10 am, so this effectively replaces the Potters Bar club run meet.
A quick timed burst up the hill to establish our Hill Climb Champion for 2013 is the main event. That’s followed by an informal “Downhill”. Who can perform the reverse feat over the longest distance? Will Lardiness beat Aerodynamics? Or do we have a Lardy Windcheater in our ranks? Can Ian Bibby retain his title? (just saying….).
STOP PRESS. It’s going to be a Grudge Match. Uphill Heroes Gray Turnock and Matt Southerden will be there, fresh from their magnificent one/two, separated by 0.6s, at last week’s ECCA Hill Climb.
Who’s your money on?
The Hill Climb will be followed by a Club Run. Probably the usual jaunt out to Whitwell for tea.
Here’s an event or two that I should have put on Facebook. These are the stories.
LVRC National Track Championships.
Vince and I spent a couple of days at these championships that took place at the Wales National Velodrome Newport. The pair of us signed up for every event going so it was quite a tiring two days.
This year’s field was a step up in quality from usual with the Euros and Worlds being so close so there were plenty of National and World Champions in the various fields, split into five year age bands. Chapeau then, to our very own Vince Freeley, who came away with two Silvers against the very best opposition.
Other highlights :
“Sprinting” (I use the term loosely) against the World Record Holder Dave Le Grys. He won that one .
Getting a handful of points and a placing in the Points Race.
Watching Vince ride nearly 40 laps on the front of the Scratch Race like some sort of demented Human Derny.
Watching Vince’s slapstick routine roller riding.
Le Duo Normand
Our annual trip to Normandy for the two up Time Trial on the rolling roads of Marigny has just been and gone. Another fantastic weekend of racing on closed roads in this international event. Four teams from the club, all racing in the Veterans category. We seem to manage a spill every year and after participating for the last 12 years, my turn had to come around. A slight communication malfunction on one of the changes with Neal had me visiting the tarmac. More Comedy than Drama and I was relatively unscathed but struggled to get going again. Anyway, that’s my excuse over the last few hills…
Ian and Gray, Tom and Phil were 5th and 6th. Neal and I sneaked under 1h 30m. Vince and Peter took on the younger vets and prevailed against plenty of them.
If you are prepared to search, there are photos here at Album 829441, showing the boys in various states of distress: http://www.jingoo.com/index.php?key_user=$1$TuOVonkH$A5imAeqAhoGKOJkKiqPpzA
Some winter ideas
Club Track Days at Newport Velodrome
We usually do two or three these every winter. Details for 2013/14 are up on Facebook now. Basically it’s three hours with our coaching team, John Capelin of SportsCoaching, experiencing all the thrills of riding on an indoor velodrome. We supply hired bikes and these sessions are good for both track riders after “flying hours” and riders that are totally new to the boards. Even if you’ve never ridden fixed before, John will have you racing on the banking in no time. And you will be grinning! Ask me for details.
We’ve also been thinking about arranging a two day(?) coaching thing with John Capelin that might take place over on some of his local training routes. There are lots of possibilities there. Hilly or flat rides, positional analysis, ramp tests, coaching talks….
Would people be interested? And what sort of things would you be looking for? Let me know.
We should be receiving the most recent order very soon now. As good a time as any to kick off a new one. If you are looking for club kit let me know and I’ll send you the order form and details of how to pay.
The Dieppe Raid 2014.
Early days but FPCC used to be regulars at this one. It’s a grand day out! Details here for your diary. Maybe we’ll get a few out again?
The Ghent Six Day and Koksijde World Cup Cross
The club’s outing for this is now finalised. Details of the weekend are on Facebook. If you are making your way over for either or both events, let us know and we’ll meet for a beer.
That’s all for now. We’ll make sure it’s not such a long wait for the next newsletter. And I’ll see you out, not only at the Hill Climb but on this winter’s club runs.
The FPCC newsletter is posted to our website every month or so or whenever we have enough news (or I have enough time). If you have any results or news to share please forward it - the club wants to hear from you!
Club Captain, FPCC
Don’t forget! Lots to see elsewhere on http://www.finsburyparkcc.org
Or join us on Facebook
Odam 10s Series Completed
13 August 2013
The Odam went to the wire this year as both the handicap and scratch competitions were on a knife edge with the final round to complete. Leading handicap contender, Peter Bullen, was on holiday; so too was Tom Boulton who headed the scratch list and was second in handicap. In their absence, Matt Molloy needed a seasons best ride to topple Tom for the scratch and Neal Marrin, third on handicap had an outside chance to snatch the Odam trophy.
It turned out to be the best night of the year and Neal pulverised his Odam time by 1:18 to secure 10 points for an increase in his total of 3 points as he had a 7 to discard. He jumped from 43 to 46 to head Peter by a single point.
Matt needed about 21:40 to nudge ahead of Tom’s average mph; his ride of 21:48 was a fine effort to give him 27.473mph for the season to Tom’s 27.491mph; the closest result ever.
So Peter returns from holiday wondering “what if?” and Tom comes home thinking “what a narrow escape”.
Odam Series - Rounds 4 and 5
17 June 2013
Round 4 run on Wed 29th May saw only three members report to the timekeeper; our lowest attendance for many years. Tom Boulton, 21:55, prevailed over Ian Bibby, 23:02, and Peter Bullen, 25:41. Tom also lifted maximum 10 points towards the Odam Cup.
Two weeks later, 12th June, it looked like we might have five times to report. It also looked decidedly wet and very windy causing Mr Lodge to have second, third and fourth thoughts before retiring to the comfort of the Merc. Temporary traffic lights at the finish obliged a reduction of approx. 375 yards and qualifying times are adjusted accordingly. Tom managed 21:49 (adjusted for 10 miles) and is setting a new standard in consistency. Ian, Neal and Peter completed the field.
In the Odam Cup, Peter leads with 34 pts, Ian breathing down his neck on 32 pts, Tom on 28 pts and Neal on 24.Peter will be hard pressed to hang on to his lead as Tom has only three rides to date and could make it a scratch and Odam double.
Next Odam Wednesday 26th June.