Surrey League Road Racing

I don't know what's come over me, but I have booked myself a place on one of the Surrey League Race Preparation days. To take part in the Surrey League you have to attend two days' training before taking part in a 4th cat. race. I am booked on the January 20th event at Ardingly. If anyone else fancies it, it would be good to have a few clubmates there.

Details here: https://www.surreyleague.co.uk/race-preparation-training/

 

Alex

  1. WELL Done Alex, at least now for 2018 season we may justify the need for a Road Race Secretary and if you do compete in R.R's in 2018 you will have my vote for the trophy!

  2. We used to have 6 women road racing a few years back! The Thursday  Surrey league handicap races are a good starter and fun to watch as it's 4 or 5 laps and groups start at different times gradually catching each other up till the final sprint. We were always shelled out the back well before the end. Great fun tho. I would urge anyone thinking of it to do the training day at least. The handicaps are a fab way to train and take you out your comfort zone. Ask Simon Waller or Gary Dodd about it.

  3. Simon T and I have signed up for the 4th cat training session this Saturday at Ardingly. We are intending to cycle down and if anyone would like to attend, I think there are still places available. The session is from 10-2pm. Let me know if anyone wants any further details but the course can be found in the link above. 

  4.  Hi Alex and Simjon T. Best of luck, I remmember the days when as a third Cat I won a road race on the Baggington circuit in Coventry and was immediately elevated to 2nd Cat. Never made 1st Cat as most of my racing was TT under RTTC.

    Question do you have to be a BC member to take part in Surrey League or is it OK if KPRC is affilliated and one is insured say through CTC?

  5. Mike,

     

    I believe you have to be a BC member, but they go through all of that on the course, so I will find out and post here. 

  6. I’ll wear glasses next time. 

     

    Thought I would share some points from yesterday’s session. It was run by Paul of PB Coaching. He’s a pretty experienced 2nd Cat rider, mainly on the continent. We had a rectangular loop set out on the South of England Showground at Ardingly, which was only a 40 minute drive away. The loop had quite a few hazards; potholes, narrowing of the track, gravel etc although Paul and his assistant Tim had swept the course before. That said, it gave a more realistic feel to what we might encounter on the road rather than it being a completely sterile track with no real hazards.  There were 40 of us, most from clubs but also quite a few BC members. A small handful of the riders had already done some racing but most had not and there were about 10 ladies, which was really good to see.  

    We started with a quick briefing, mainly focussing on cornering; correct weight distribution, vision, braking technique etc.  With the weather so bad (it was only just above freezing and incessant, light rain) these points were particularly important and hammered home. 

    So out on the bikes for the first time we just orbited the track on our own,  getting used to the hazards and corners. Paul told us we all had to stay in the small chainring to get our legs spinning quickly and to avoid people getting carried away in the first 10 minutes. After that, it was a succession of drills to get us used to riding in larger and larger groups. Basically, the order was as follows;

    Ride in pairs, focussing on good vision and awareness through the bends.

    As above, but in fours, keeping within 1 meter of the wheel in front. (Closer if confident).

    Ride laps with your hand in your partners shoulder, they had there hands on their head, then swap on the next straight.

    This next drill was the one that was really good fun and really got you thinking about your positioning but the main focus was on communication, both verbally and by a gentle touch on the back or arm.  We lined up in 10 rows of 4, and the four riders at the back had to come through the three channels and make their way to the front.  It started off quite easily but as you can imagine, after a few minutes it got quite chaotic! It was all about calling your position and letting the rider in front knowing where you were and what your intentions were. I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

     

    after a break to warm up and another quick briefing, we were back out, but this time we were working in groups of 8. We self seeded so there was a faster group going down to a slower group (that said, none of the activities we did were carried out at speed. Tim was always at the front controlling the pace and it was very gentle. The focus for the whole day was safety and enjoyment). This time we learnt about pacelines and chaingang riding and focused on that for half an hour. 

    We had a final talk session from Paul in the clubhouse which focussed a little more on race specific tactics and some basic training principles.

    Although a fairly experienced rider, probably like a lot of us I like to ride with my mates who I know and importantly, I know how they ride. I have been sat behind Simon for so long, I can often pre-empt what he’s going to do before he does it. As a result, thankfully, we’ve never had a crash. It’s a very different kettle of fish when you are riding with people that you don’t know and I think the big takeaway from this course was that if we are all basically riding the same way with really good communication than our safety is going to be much greater. I went from being very sceptical about the riders around me (and I’m sure they felt the same about me) to trusting them within a very short space of time. How often can we say that about the people we sometimes end up riding with or encountering on the road?

     

    I really would recommend this course to any of our members. While Simon and I are hoping to do some crit racing this season, even if I wasn’t I am really glad I did it. Paul’s delivery was very good, not condescending, but knowledgable and witty and at no point were we made to feel like newbs. For the princely sum of £20, it was great value.  Simon and I have to do the course again anyway in order to race in the Surrey League, so when we have sorted a date, if there are any other KPRC members who would like to join us, then I would urge you to do so. 

     

     

     

     

  7. What advice did Paul offer about racing in a bunch in the wet with some riders on disk brakes and other with standard brakes and alloy rims and others with carbon rims.To be honest I can see that leading to quite a few incidents in the forthcoming season with 3 rd and 4th cats.

    Worth trying a few crits at Hillingdon,closed circuit and very rideable.There's also the Olympic park and Gravesend and the wonderful closed circuit at Deal (don't need brakes there,well almost).

  8. John Beer

    What advice did Paul offer about racing in a bunch in the wet with some riders on disk brakes and other with standard brakes and alloy rims and others with carbon rims.To be honest I can see that leading to quite a few incidents in the forthcoming season with 3 rd and 4th cats.

    Worth trying a few crits at Hillingdon,closed circuit and very rideable.There's also the Olympic park and Gravesend and the wonderful closed circuit at Deal (don't need brakes there,well almost).

     No advice there I’m afraid John. Will have to play that one by ear. 

    Simon and I are planning on going to our second training session at Hillingdon at the end of February. Again, the offer stands if there’s anyone who would like to join us. 

  9. Alex, Simon & JB. I would love to do some road rfacing but I am totaly unfit. I think that John's advice is sound to try other circuits.

    As for me I saw 2 surgeons a week agao and they cannot agree about me having a new left knee which I definitely need. The French guy says do it now but Prof Field has said leave it another season and see how you go. So I plan to try and do some time trials this summer and then review in November. The worst problem I have is my right ankle but that is not possible to replace and continue to cycle. My main problem is keeping fit and keeping my cardio vascular situation on form. I can take up swimming as that is non impact but frankly boring. I much prefer the open road and find turbo traing also a fag!

  10. I have booked onto this course at Hillingdon on February 25th for my second training day. I know Simon T is attending too. Would be great to get a few of us along. No previous experience necessary. There is another training day at the end of Zmarch as well, so we can get a few members along and trained up for some racing this season  

    https://www.riderhq.com/events/75880/novice-racers-training-day-40

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