Thursday, 21 September 2017

Le Tour de France: History, Heroes, Villains, and its place in French Culture

Friends Meeting House

Nick Nicholson first went to see the Tour in the Pyrenees in 1964 and has been an enthusiast for The World’s Greatest Cycle Race ever since.

Why is the Tour de France still so popular and how did it arrive at its present form?

The talk will aim to answer these questions, starting with the origins of the Tour in 1903, then concentrating on some iconic heroes of the 50's to the 90's.

He will explore changes in media coverage, sponsorship, international participation, and the impact of recent technology.

Nick will then consider how, despite issues such as drug scandals, the race still retains a unique place in French culture.

This talk, which is free to members, will take place at the Friends Meeting House on Thursday 5 October at 7pm.

We are limited to 30 -  contact our Social Secretary to reserve your place.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Sunday in Hull

On Sunday 27 August there were three epic events on the V718 course in Hull for middle markers, women and fast riders.

"The V" is probably the fastest 10 course around. Testers make the pilgrimage from all over the country to worship at the V's hallowed and silky smooth tarmac. If you've been very good, a quick 20 minutes or so praying to the Gods of time trialling can, if they are feeling benevolent, be answered with a shiny new PB.

Unlike other courses with mega traffic or gift hills, the V seems pretty ordinary. What makes it fast is probably that it is very sheltered and relatively flat. Apparently the super-fast days are when there is a container ship at Hull as this results in a steady stream of lorries driving along the course ferrying cargo.

The first rider was off at 10am and the last rider at 5pm so it was a whole day of fun. The weather was great, about 21C and very little wind. From the early times it was clear that it was also raining PBs!

The only Cambridge CC rider who made the trip was David McGaw, who's PB had been set in 2006 recording 19.02 on a flukey "float" day. He wasn't feeling so fresh, having ridden three track events the previous day on the Derby velodrome, but was OK after quite a bit of warming up. The race went without incident and the only question was did he just sneak in under 19 minutes. Eventually the time was confirmed 18.58!

So that's the first 18 minute "10" for a Cambridge CC rider and goes with David's other shiny new PB's this year for 25 miles (49.01) and 50 miles (1.38.30). They say "it doesn't get easier, you just go faster" and David said this ride really, really hurt!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Seven Days = Five records

Andy Grant
While the senior (i.e. older) veterans were winning titles and breaking records in the VTTA 25 championship on 27 August (see below), neo-vet David McGaw (just 40) went up to Hull for the Team Swift 10 on the ultra-rapid V718, updating his own club all-comers’ record to 18:58.

Less than a week later, on 2 September on the same course, in the Yorkshire VTTA 10, Chris Dyason (69) broke his own East Anglian age record mark in recording 21:02, while on the same day, Andy Grant (64), returning to the E2 at Newmarket for the Team VeloVelocity 25, rewrote not only his own East Anglian record of the previous week, but set a new National age record for the distance of 51:44.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Tour of Britain

Dean Sheppard will be leading a club-run to watch the start of Stage 6 of the TOB at Newmarket.

Meeting at the rising bollards on Worts' Causeway, this Touring/GT paced ride will leave at 8am this Friday 8 September for a round trip of about 40 miles.