Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Ace of base... layers

Photo: - Davey Jones
On the 1st October David McGaw rode the Lea Valley CC 25 - here is his race report: -

Although the weather was pretty nice on the Saturday when I rode the Norwich ABC "10" (finished 2nd, Cambridge CC won the team prize), it turned rubbish that evening. On Sunday when I got up at 6am it was cold and there was dampness in the air. This would be my last race of the season so I wanted to make it a good one. At least I didn't need to scrape ice off my car, unlike a couple of years ago.
You know how Eskimo's have 100 different words for snow? Well Scottish people have about 100 different words for rain. Driving towards the race HQ in Saffron Walden it was dreich. The forecast was for a small amount of rain and it started spitting to begin with, then it was more like mizzle for a while before moving on to drizzle. I was desperately trying not to use my windcreeen wipers to convince myself that it wasn't raining.
I was kind of hoping the race would be cancelled so I could go back to my warm bed, but as I drove to the start I could see soggy competitors trundling along the course. The water had soaked through the tarmac, it was pooling on the surface and forming into little streams. Riding through this on a TT bike is like standing in the shower fully clothed whilst someone throws muddy water in your face.
I parked at the HQ and picked up my number. Although the weather was terrible I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. First thing was to sort out my base layers. I have picked up quite a few over the years and and selected one of medium thickness as although conditions were wet it was relatively warm. I also have thermal baselayer shorts which I made myself. Next I rubbed my exposed skin (hands and legs) with vaseline to create a thin barrier so that water runs straight off. As energy gels don't agree with me I've recently been making my own from maple syrup and anything else I fancy (like vast amounts of caffeine). Mmm, tastes like chocolate. Don't mind the congealed lumpy bits!
I decided to warm up.... by sitting in my car with the heater on full blast. Eventually though I got soaked as I rode slowly to the start. As I waited for the off I chatted with another rider. We were trying to list all the reasons why racing in the rain is awesome: - low risk of sunburn; free bike wash and rain means low pressure which means less air to push through which is faster. Also my personal favourite that someone told me - I'm sure it's nonsense but I'm trying to put it out there as fact; that the rain fills in the little holes in the tarmac which makes roads smoother.
The course is the E1/25 (Ugley/Pampisford) which is very sporting (aka slow); it includes 11 roundabouts and 4 zebra crossings. The wind was a southerly which meant a tailwind out but the return leg would be an uphill headwind. I tried to pace it with a negative split, doing the return leg at a higher power than the outward leg. My power started badly then sort of tailed off towards the middle and the least said about the end the better. I crossed the line a sodden, dribbling wreck in 54.52. Just as I got back to my car it stopped raining, which was nice. I was pretty disappointed with my time however it was still good enough to win by 1 minute 26.
So that's the end of the season for me. Although I only managed to do 12 open events I still managed 4 wins and 11 podiums, which is not too bad.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Annual Social & Prize Giving

Our Annual Social and Prize Giving will be held at the University Centre on Saturday 11th November 6:30 for 7pm.

Please come along and meet your fellow club members for a chat and an enjoyable, relaxing evening.

£30 includes a sit-down buffet style two course meal with a glass of wine. We also have a professional magician to entertain us during the evening.

There will be a pay bar open from 6.30pm for an hour or so. We will also be holding an auction of our remaining Endura kit.

Contact our Social Secretary to book your place.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Border Raid in the Welsh Marches

Chris, Andy & Colin Photo: - Kimroy
Cambridge CC’s Veteran Time Trial team signed off their 2017 championship-hunting campaign in characteristic fashion with an emphatic team win in the VTTA National 30 championship on 17th September.

Monsoon weather had greeted them on the long haul out to the Welsh Marches the previous afternoon, but, mercifully, dawn brought a watery sun and light northerly winds over Monmouthshire.

The picturesque R30/7 course based on the A40 at Raglan offers spectacular views of the castle for anyone not fully attending to the task of getting between Monmouth and Abergavenny as quickly as possible, as well as a five-mile stretch of sinuous and slippery country lane to enliven the dual-carriageway monotony.

However, our team were not in tourist mode. Andy Grant’s fourth-placed 1.04.48 was enough to break the East Anglian record for 64-year olds, but missed the individual bronze medal by 17 seconds. He led home Chris Dyason (69) in 10th spot with Colin Lizieri (62) in 15th.

This is the team’s third championship win of the season.  Whilst Andy and Chris have been permanent fixtures, Colin represented a third shuffling of the pack, Ken Platts and Andre Dyason both featuring earlier in the year.  Andy and Chris also featured in the winning East Anglian Group team, alongside Gavin Hinxman (49), of DRAG2ZERO, who was second fastest to 41-year-old James Rix, author of the only sub-60 minute ride of the day and catching Andy for four minutes en route to his 59:22.