Result of Club 10 mile event on 22nd June on G10/42 the A24 Holmwood course

Thanks to Peter Cooke for timing and doing the result, and to Lionel Bardon for helping at the start and finish with Colin Shales and Tony Wells out supporting. Also thanks to Dudley Samuals for putting out the signs again, that are required around the course. 

After some recent very wet days, it was a dry evening, mild with a light north easterly wind.
Not the best wind direction for this course and most riders were slower than they were in the last event there, three weeks earlier.

There was the closest finish to an event this season with Paul Haywood  just five seconds slower than Paul Deen the winner.
Cam Hale knocked just over two minutes off his previous best time to take the handicap award well clear of Peter Noble the runner up.

Good to see Emma Doods representing our ladies, having been able to get away from work this week, just five seconds down on her best time this year.


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Time Trial News

So good to see that Peter Noble managed a “Sprinters” 22 minute ride last Saturday in the Lee Valley CC event on the E2/10 course near to Cambridge, he improved his 2018 personal best by 25 seconds to 22:59.

Also on Saturday, in the Crawley Wheelers 10 mile event on the Holmwood G10/42, Paul Deen gained his best ever place in an Open Event.
The fast 20:45 was just 5 seconds off his best time for this course.

I had an email from Isaac Griffiths last week to say that his time in the original result of the Sussex CA 50 mile event was not correct.
Even so he had still done a personal best time of 2:02:53 an improvement of over two minutes on his time in last years event. Isaac was heading for a sub two hour ride, but unfortunately went well past the roundabout turn at Henfield before retracing. He pointed out that top riders were around five minutes slower than last year, which suggested a slow day.

2021 Club Events Handicap Competition:

After Tuesday’s 10 mile at Holmwood, there has been another change around of the top places with Ryan Sharp increasing his lead.

Based on total points accumulated in all club events. The best eight events to count. Winner in 2020 was Isaac Giffiths. Awarded on the basis of 10 points for 1st handicap decreasing to 1 point for 10th.

After 14 events there are a lot of riders very close to each other.
Still In the lead is Ryan Sharp with 64 points from eight events.
Second is James Langstraat with 58 points from eight events.
Third is Isaac Griffiths with 56 points from eight events.
Fourth is Paul Malloy with 55 points from seven events.
Equal fifth is Steve Grout with 53 points from eight events.
Equal fifth is Paul Deen with 53 points from eight events.
Seventh is Paul Haywood with 48 points from eight events.

The above riders are those with over 40 points.


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2021 Club Events Handicap Competition Update

After last Tuesday’s 10 mile at Holmwood and the Club 50 this Sunday, there has been a change around of the top places with Ryan Sharp still narrowly in the lead.

This weeks event was cancelled because of wet weather and a small entry. Based on total points accumulated in all club events. The best eight events to count. Winner in 2020 was Isaac Giffiths. Awarded on the basis of 10 points for 1st handicap decreasing to 1 point for 10th.

After 13 events there are a lot of riders close to each other. Still In the lead is Ryan Sharp with 54 points from seven events. Equal Second is Steve Grout with 53 points from eight events. Equal Second is Isaac Griffiths with 53 points from eight events. Fourth is James Langstraat with 51 points from seven events. Fifth is Paul Haywood with 47 points from eight events.Equal Sixth is Paul Deen with 46 points from eight events. Equal Sixth is Paul Malloy with 46 points from six events.

In other racing news. Sunday saw a super ride and a personal best 1:56:13 by Isaac Griffiths in the Sussex CA 50 mile event, he improved just over 9 minutes on the sporting Sussex course to win our Club Event well clear of Daniel Arthur.



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Janice Dawes’s Chase The Sun 200+ Mile Coast to Coast Ride

Towards the end of April I joined a friend on a ride to Shoreham with a group of ladies I’d not met before. The group was training for an event called Chase the Sun (CTS) a ride of over 200 miles from the East coast to the West coast, around midsummer’s day, which was less than two months away. The event would have to be ridden at an average of around 15mph to allow for fuelling stops and to arrive before sunset.

I’ve always liked long distance cycling and although I’d cycled regularly throughout the various lockdowns I hadn’t done a 100 mile ride since the previous summer. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the Shoreham ride, managed to keep up and clocked 108 miles. Before I knew it I had somehow signed up for a place in CTS.

A week later I was up at the crack of dawn to join a group of 7 others for a 6am very cold start from Bushy Park. The ride went to Winchester, Salisbury and then Hook where we caught the train home. That was 165 miles and 7,953ft, my longest ride ever.The ride was really useful and I’m sure we all learned a lot. For example, we were determined to get the nutrition right and knew we had to aim for around 1g of carbs an hour per kg of body weight. That would be something like a banana, an energy drink and an energy bar per hour, not something I could face every hour of the ride as it happened. It turned out that a ham sandwich and salty packet of crisps or a pastie is far preferable mid ride and a coffee and cake goes down well at any point! We also found that the group of 8 was a bit cumbersome and communication from the back to the front difficult so we split into two groups of 4 towards the end.

I carried on with my normal Wednesday and Sunday rides and then my group of 4 arranged another long ride two weeks before the event. This time we headed off to Woburn mainly using an Audax route. The rain was torrential for most of the day, it was cold and the route took us on busy main roads and even a dual carriageway, then finally through busy West London streets. It should have been a ride to forget but the four of us faced adversity with a smile and worked well together, sharing the lead and keeping a good pace. We were a team! At one point we passed through St Albans and called in at the parents of one of the ladies where we proceeded to drip over their floor and eat everything that was placed anywhere near us. We left with a newspaper down the jersey for warmth and by the time I was home it was 150 miles and 6,355ft.

For the next couple of weeks it was time to taper so I reduced my mileage and seemed to use the extra time available to check the weather forecast for 19 June several times a day (it was constantly changing). For the last few days I took carbo loading seriously (I don’t care if its no longer in fashion, I like it)!

Much planning had gone into the preparation for the event so we had a support driver (Doug) from the start to the second scheduled stop and a new support crew (Brandt and Neil) for the 3rd stop to the end, The day started with a 3.10amalarm and myself and Shona were given a lift by Doug to where our bikes and also Leila and Karen were. From there we cycled the 3 miles to the start in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey, arriving 10 minutes before the 4.40am dawn start. After a very short and slightly nervous wait we were off. Only 206 miles to go.

We headed through countryside before hitting a busy spot and lots of traffic lights around Rochester, then off into countryside again looking forward to topping up our food and drinks bottles at the first scheduled stop which was at 35 miles at a Texaco garage in Swanley. We managed to sail past that without seeing it but came to a halt shortly after when Karen’s chain came off and tightly wedged itself so we couldn’t free it. I rang Doug who, it turned out, was still in Minster as he’d had a puncture in his car. At 4.40am there aren’t many services open and he was facing a 4 hour wait for assistance. That was slightly concerning as Doug was carrying some of our food, water and battery chargers.

Luckily a knight in shining armour called Colin rode past us and then rode back to sort out the chain problem (the wheel needed to be removed to release it and we hadn’t thought of doing that). Off we rolled again on increasingly busy roads from Bromley to Penge, Streatham, Tooting and New Malden where we had our 2nd stop at Leila’s house, just off the route. Sausage sandwiches were consumed at breakneck speed, bottles refilled and 15 minutes later we were off into the traffic again. Doug was still nowhere to be seen and I was wondering how long my Garmin would last without the charger he was carrying.

The next leg started on familiar roads through Kingston, Shepperton and Chobham Common but after Camberley we were in unknown territory and the traffic filled busy roads and red traffic lights that had plagued us were left behind. The miles rolled by and I remember little of this section other than our group working well as a team to keep a good pace and make up for the stop start and crawling through traffic of the previous 50 plus miles.

The next stop (at 103 miles) was in the car park of a garden centre near Tadley where we were pleased to see Doug as well as Brandt and Neil. More sandwiches, coke and crisps were rapidly consumed, facilities used, chargers plugged in, bars and energy drinks re-stocked on the bikes and 10 or 15 minutes later we were off. We went through a check point at Bramley but otherwise miles rolled by, hills came and went and more miles rolled by. At one point I remember wondering if I could do it but then I felt better hearing a couple of other riders saying it had been a hard and hilly section so I knew it was the terrain and not me.

We had a stop for tinned iced coffee and banana cake (both felt like the best thing I’ve ever eaten or drunk) near Marlborough, more miles and some hills and then our final rapid stop which was in the car park of a Co-op where we ate anything that was left, refilled and rode off in drizzle. I had no idea whether or not we would make it in time as I’d kept on my navigation screen so didn’t know what the time or average speed was. Two of us had Garmins and two had Wahoo. The Wahoo were a bit quicker on the turns but ultimately the Garmins won out as both Wahoo froze and died before the end.

We were a bit worried knowing that the Mendips came near the end, as did Cheddar Gorge. I assumed the Mendips were a hill range like the North or South Downs so was expecting a Leith Hill equivalent and that the Cheddar Gorge would involve a big climb. In the event, the miles continued to roll by and the hills came and went but there was nothing particularly noticeable although maybe by then I was in a trance and just kept pedalling no matter what. Suddenly we were descending Cheddar Gorge which was breathtaking and I would love to do that again taking the time to really appreciate the stunning scenery. We then knew it was downhill or flat for the rest of the route.

By now it was raining hard but we didn’t really care and in any case, the wet ride to Woburn had been perfect preparation. We rolled into Burnham on Sea at 8.48pm, 45 minutes before sunset, feeling jubilant both as individuals and as a team.

Over the course of the day we’d seen many different riders, playing hare and tortoise as we stopped at different places. Some were in groups, some solo, one man was on a penny farthing and I’m still wondering how on earth he managed the stop start traffic lights and the descent of the Gorge. 943 people took part and it was a relaxed and friendly event, much in the style of an Audax.

At the end of the day it was 206 miles, 9,291ft which my Garmin said was at an average speed of 15.1mph.

Would I do it again? I feel I’ve done CTS South but the team are talking about various events for next year’s challenge so who knows what I’ll find myself doing!

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Janice’s Sunday 27th June Ride Report

Steve Grout, Matthew McConnell, Ric, Doug and myself headed off towards the hills in Kent, finding a few in Surrey first. We met at Banstead and went out towards Redhill then Nutfield with a diversion through some lanes to get to Bletchingley, Godstone and instead of descending all the way into Westerham turned left and followed the Pilgrims Way through lovely countryside with views of vineyards. We passed a new cycling cafe about 25 miles from Epsom on the junction of the Pilgrims Way and (if I recall correctly) the A233. Tempting but we decided to press on and by Sundridge we were starting to head west (and upwards) again somewhere near Toys Hill. When we spotted the sign for Four Elms it wasn’t a moment too soon and the previously untested cafe at the nursery there served good coffee and a reasonable selection of cakes.

Heading home towards Edenbridge, Haxted and up Tilburstow Hill we did a few faster sections on the flatter roads by rotating the person on the front which worked really well. We also had a first and stopped to admire the Crowhurst Yew rumoured to be 2,000 (or is it 4,000?) years old, very old anyway.

After Bletchingley we were up White Hill Lane and it wasn’t too long until we hit Markedge Lane and finally Holly Lane before we could all descend towards home. Not a fast ride as a few descents were on small gritty lanes but lovely views (not that we saw them today due to low cloud) on less familiar roads and in great company! 62.7 miles and 4,078ft elevation.

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Rapha Ambitious 220 Challenge

Mel wanted to do a long distance challenge this year having not done one in 2020 & with a new work role at Rapha she was keen to take part in the Covid era replacement of their 220 mile Manchester to London event called The Ambitious 220 which involved plotting your own 220 mile route which you could tackle over 1 or 2 days on the weekend of the 26 & 27thof June. The entry fees plus any money raised went to Ambitious about Autism a charity which Rapha founder Simon Mottram is a passionate advocate for. 

Mel had always fancied riding the “Oasts and Coasts” Audax route and with a bit of tweaking to get us to and from Ewell it worked out just over the distance of 220 miles so happy days! We did attempt the Audax route last summer when we drove out and parked at the starting point but the weather was truly appalling with wind and rain and we ended up getting down to Rye completely soaked and with the prospect of a headwind for the coastal section decided to bail out and headed back to the van across the middle of Kent without seeing any of the really nice parts of the route.

On longer rides we always like to plan a nice place for coffee and food preferably slightly over half way, after a bit of googling we found a very cool looking place called Hut 55 on Deal Beach which was 120 miles away so once we got there it would be “just” a 100 miles home

Plan was to head out at 5am and assuming no major issues we knew we should be back well before dark. So Friday night I prepped the bikes and Mel got lots of food ready to carry with us, a combination of sweet and savoury delights! 

Alarm at 4:10 was less of a struggle with it already being light. A double breakfast of ham and cheese croissants followed by a massive bowl of crispy nut cornflakes and we were good to go. A self timed pic outside the house and we hit the road slightly behind schedule at 5:07

Initially it felt warmer than the 14 degrees my watch was saying and Mel ditched her gilet in no time, then after about an hour it got very misty and noticeably cooler so the gilets went back on and stayed on for a couple of hours. 

A quick stop after 100km in Sedlescombe for another ham and cheese croissant where we were harassed by the famous family of geese

No more stops other than to refill bottles was planned until our lunch stop in Deal. The opening 70 miles is your typical Surrey / Kent rolling terrain and with a headwind and gritty roads the average pace wasn’t great. Then at Rye you hit a pancake flat 30 mile section and it was down on the bars and a big increase in average speed despite us still being in a headwind. The sun was now out, and arm warmers and gilets were ditched for the remainder of the ride, yay!

At 97 miles you finally hit the coast proper at Hythe Beach then on to Sandgate and Folkestone. The route into Folkestone goes through the beautifully landscaped Lower Leas Coastal Park which we would have loved to have a better look around but when you have 220 miles to cover you don’t have that luxury! Folkestone itself also looked nice and worth a visit proper as we headed straight through and then it was a climb out followed by the first Garmin map reading error of the day (guilty) which took us straight back down the climb…whoops. Back up the climb and down and then a lovely, unexpected section on The North Downs Way alongside the A20 towards Dover which was perfectly surfaced and with very few walkers to dodge.

Dover was quieter and less hectic than we envisaged, and the route cleverly avoided as much nasty stuff as possible. The climb up to the castle was nice followed by a partial descent and then another lovely climb up towards St Margaret’s at Cliffe. 100 miles done and it was on to the most picturesque part of the route towards our lunch stop in Deal.

Hut 55 did not disappoint, and neither had the weather which by this point was perfect. 2 flat whites 2 homemade sausage rolls and the biggest piece of carrot cake ever were destroyed on the beach plus 2 freshly made baps and a rocky road were put in Mel’s handlebar bag for later!

Next town along the coast is Sandwich which looked lovely but no time to stop and look which is a bit of a downside of these time pressed challenges. The route goes through the private golf estate of the famous St George’s links course and showing how little I follow sport now I was surprised to see the full temporary infrastructure of The Open was built and seemingly ready to go, having googled it post ride I can see it starts on July 11th.

From Sandwich the route cuts across to avoid Ramsgate Broadstairs and  Margate and hits the North Kent Coast at Minnis Bay followed by a lovely section along the Northern Sea Wall towards Reculver Towers which was made all the more lovely by us now having a full on tail wind which would push us all the way home 😊

On to Herne Bay then Whitstable on a continuous 18 mile section of coastal roads and paths, the path sections can be slow going at times in the summer during nice weather with lots of pedestrians and dogs to dodge so there was plenty of bell ringing action & the average speed can suffer. A missed turn near Whitstable  meant a short section in to the headwind which was much stronger than we realised, we had really lucked out with the weather! 

Off the coastal section and it was back on to rolling terrain all the way home. Through the Kent AONB along The Pilgrims Way and then M2 / M20 dodging until we cross over the M2 on the cycle path over The Medway with views towards Rochester.

The route home took in Meopham, Swanley and Orpington by which time I was wondering if we would ever get out of Kent, it is a bloody big county! By now we were near Addington and only about 12 miles from home & despite living around here all my life I have zero idea where I am which is quite amazing when you think about it. The route mapping app Komoot which I have been using for a couple of years now can be great but it can also be seriously annoying in urban areas as it tends to use cycle paths that no local cyclist would use in a million years, it particularly tried our 13 plus hours of cycling patience around Addington when it took us up a steep hill in to a dead end. Grrrrr

Finally on to familiar terrain and it was home at 8:45 for a celebratory drink and a Deliveroo from Pizza Express before a wave of tiredness hit me like a sledge hammer and we were in bed by 10:30 😴

Home again at 20:45 note my dirty legs

The stats: 224 miles with 11,704 feet of climbing with a moving time of 14 hours and 4 minutes for average speed of 15.9 Mph or for the metric minded 360.5Km 3567 metres of gain and 25.6 Km/h

We will definitely be back to explore the Kent coast again but next time hopefully with more time to enjoy the scenery!

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Result of Memorial Event – 15 June on the Hungry Hill circuit, GS/292A

Thanks to Peter for timing the event and producing the result. Also to Malcolm & Greg Bell for seeing the riders left at the fast corner into Ripley Lane.

The evening was mild, sunny with a light southerly wind. Fortunately the recently surface dressing on some of the lanes did not cause riders a problem.

Following the personal best 52 minute ride Sunday on the Bentley 25 mile course, Paul Haywood was the winner. Isaac Griffiths the runner up was off a minute behind Paul and chased him round the course.

Cam Hale on a new time trial bike, did a fast ride taking the Memorial Trophy for first on handicap by over a minute from his friend Ryan Sharp.


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2021 Club Events Handicap Competition

After my email last week, Cam Hale suggested it would be good to have a weekly update of the competition.

After Tuesday’s Hungry Hill event there has been a complete change around of the top six places with Ryan Sharp now taking the lead. Based on total points accumulated in all club events. The best eight events to count. Winner in 2020 was Isaac Giffiths. Awarded on the basis of 10 points for 1st handicap decreasing to 1 point for 10th. 

After eleven events there are still a lot of riders with total points that are close to each other. In the lead now is Ryan Sharp with 54 points from seven events. Second is Steve Grout with 53 points from eight events. Third is James Langstraat with 48 points from six events. Fourth is Paul Malloy with 46 points from six events. Fifth is Paul Haywood with 44 points from eight events. Sixth is Paul Deen with 42 points from seven events.

Paul Haywood is the only rider to have done all eleven events held so far out of the twenty listed.

Last weekend saw two great rides & both personal best by our fast Pauls. A lot more to come from them this year with their current form.

Saturday in the Farnham Road Club 25 mile on the H25/8 course based at Bentley, Paul Haywood’s 52:20, improved his time from 2019 on the A3 course by 24 seconds.

Sunday in the VTTA 50 mile championship on the F2/50 course near to Cambridge, Paul Deen’s 1:47:03,  knocked over just over 6 minutes fom the time he did in 2016 on the Bentley course. The official result still hasn’t been published, but with the course a few hundred yards long, Paul was very disappointed with almost certainly missing both the Club & Surrey/Sussex VTTA age records.

Paul Haywood powering to a new 25 mile PB

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Result of Club 10 mile event 8th June on G10/41 at Kingsfold using a circuit of A24 & A29

After confusion over start and finish spots for the event in April, the correct points were located for this one.

Thanks to Peter Cooke for timing and producing the result and to Tony Wells for marshalling riders out onto the A24 at Kingsfold.
Also thanks to Phil Gall for putting out the required warning signs on the course.

It was a warm evening, bright and sunny with a light south westerly wind. Not such a good turn out as our first evening event there back in April, when riders were keen to start racing again.

The winner, Paul Haywood did a fast time, well over a minute clear of Mike Stephens the runner up Paul Malloy must like this course, improving 77 seconds on his best time to take the handicap award from Phil Gall.

Good to see Reinet Maas out at the event, with her riding the course for the first time.

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Result of Club 10 mile event on 1st June on G10/42 the A24 Holmwood course

Thanks to Peter Cooke for producing the result, and to Lionel Bardon for helping at the start and finish with Colin Shales. Also to Dudley Samuals and Paul Cannon for putting out the signs required around the course. 

Finally after eight club time trial this year with chilly conditions, we had an event that was warm with a light easterly wind.
Most riders made reasonable improvements from their previous events on the course this season.

The fastest time was done by Paul Deen with Paul Haywood the runner up, followed by Isaac Griffiths, all doing near their best times on a local course.

James Langstraat took just over a minute of his personal best time to take the handicap award with Steve Grout in second place.

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