Friday, 4 December 2015

Crossing the Off Season

It's the off season. Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is.

The team has generally sat this Cyclo Cross thing out. As one rider was heard to remark - you tend to spend more time washing your bike than riding it when you do 'cross.
Happy isn't he? thanks Matt O' Connor

We are more concerned as a group at the lack of opportunities to sit in. There is no bunch. There's usually a lot of mud. And it's not very fast. You should probably have a break after a season of racing. You might pick up something from the mud etc that goes flying.Then, when you've finished, covered in the proverbial, how can you realistically jump in the car and drive home? Oh yes, just get changed in the winter open air of course.

Paul wins at the Zappi's round in November

Despite all this, Cross seems to be on a massive growth spurt. The Central Cross League is being hotly contested at all levels from youth newcomers on 16 inch wheels to Elite Roadies looking to maintain a bit of fitness through the 'off' season.

No doubt one of the key advantages is that it's safer for all ages and abilities with no public roads involved, softer landings and slower speeds generally.
Paul has thrown himself into this rather strange disc-braked world of slippy slidey lawn cycling and seems to be enjoying it. The fact that he has won a couple of rounds and podiumed pretty much every week has probably helped.

At the time of writing, he's top of the Central Cross League rankings for his age group. 2 wins, a second and 2 thirds. Blinding. If the wrong stuff hits you in the eye, literally.

Paul - you're bonkers. Now onwards to the Winter Series*

Monday, 28 September 2015

Baynesy Blasts to a win!

Three in the top ten for Team Prize at new event


Brrrr, a bit parky yesterday morning; especially with the customary low-lying mist in the Vale of Aylesbury. We really aren't particularly accustomed to the traditional Time Trial start times.

But wait - lifting the mood; turning up the heat; firing up the afterburners; Berko CC took the plunge and organised their first ever formal race.

Long Sleeve Skinsuit needed

Top Man on the day, trying not to drop it - Ian Baynes

A standard 10 mile Time Trial distance over a sporting circuit through Mentmore, Wing and Cheddington, it was so close to home it would have been rude not to. And they managed to host the HQ at the Three Horseshoes Pub which made for some highly appreciated Bacon Rolls. Then they had some high velocity music on the startline - highly innovative. Ian reckons he was pushed off in The Ramones. Is that what they call it nowadays?

Ian's request for the National Anthem left organiser Nick a little uncertain

On to the race, oh yes it was a TT so no-one attacked or sat in, but it was Dave Hope [Karpet]'s first race for us. Making the transition [so to speak] from another unmentionable discipline, he wasn't too shabby for 8th. The Jason Baran-Knight dusted down his Low Pro and snook into the top 5, but [drum roll] Ian Baynes panted his way round for the win. "It was hard," he said afterwards. 

fastest team. This could be the beginning of a beautiful...

Well he didn't but it probably felt that way. It was smiles all round at the coffee bar afterwards until he realised (a) that it looks a bit odd cycling to a cafe with a disc wheel on a TT bike and (b) that he should really shell out for team Cappucinos.

So big thanks and well done to Nick Clarke and Berko for adding another local race to the calendar, and for laying on the extras. Here's to next year...

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Baran Knight moves up

New Boy comes good for another Crit special

his training's paying off y'know
Jason Baran was flying in June. His win at the Bowl made us think the roll was just beginning. Then he went on holiday. So a few more nondescript frustrating races followed which weren't worth reporting on, no offence and all.

Now about this time of year, a certain end of season je ne sais quoi seems to hang in the air. Something along the lines of Ooooh it's nearly over, I'll maybe have that extra bottle of wine, ice cream etc [no names, no pack drill]. Not so Jason. Or Ian, who both rocked up for the BIG events Crit at Hillingdon on Saturday.

They had a plan, and they stuck to it by all accounts. Something of a first there then. Baynesy reckoned it was the hardest 5 minutes he's done all year [according to his scientific instruments].

So after batting away with one of them off the front at most points in the race, Jason clipped off the front with 5 laps to go. Joined by one other, it was eyeballs out to the finish and he took 2nd place. Good work! More specifically, congratulations on moving up to 3rd cat. We knew he'd do it, honest.

No slacking on Ian's part either, who rolled over the line with a bit of traffic in 10th. Life in the old dog yet...

Monday, 27 July 2015

Double Win in the Millennium Trophy

winner - Luke
After keeping things quite hushed last year until Christmas, it's already official that our team has some serious success in the 'season-long' North London Millennium Trophy for 2015.

Devised by Doug Eagger of the Icknield CC, the trophy is based on points for placings in eight sporting course time trials.

Luke has beaten Richard Wood of Arbis Colbert RT to the scratch win and thanks to some great supporting rides from Steve Clarke, Paul Caton and a resurgent Darren Powell, we have, for the first time, clinched the team award. Top work!

Full details are posted here