Avanti Club Rides – the 23rd and 24th of January

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Graham Channon 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #13579

    Graham Channon

    Great team ride Sunday with both Chris M n Chris D, the hulk aka Marek, Steve B, Sefi and Patrick for early pacemaking – chatted with Sam at the start whose shorter route sadly meant he couldn’t come and play – such a shame as it’s the only time I’ll get to ride alongside him with his post-op knee him rather than playing catch-up!

    It was supposedly going to be an easy ride according Mr Dines – average speed 15 – but it felt more like the minimum speed – add the muck n gloom and it certainly felt like hard graft. Spent most of the early ride drafting behind Chris M only to later realise his mission was to finish 30 mins before the main group so I happily encouraged him onwards whilst waiting for the pack to reform after Steve’s busted freewheel split up the pack.

    Marek as usual did a great job of keeping us together in the gloom using his ‘howling banshee’ disc brakes – two short squeals for ‘slow down’, one long squeal for ‘stopping! and inconsistent squeals for ‘oops, sat nav spazed’.

    Nice to chat with a new guy Ian based in Igtham who may be joining the club.

    All got to our destination in one piece – short delay sorting Marek’s puncture – and perhaps low point of the day Star Hill – boy that’s always a feisty hump to ascend! As usual it’s the guys who get you through it and make the big miles easy – cheers chaps : )

  • #13576

    Bill Fitzgerald

    Wow, note to self, always add my updates before Marek, as I always feel inadequate typing mine after reading Marek’s LOL.
    A very cold and steady solo ride on Saturday morning after missing the Saturday group at the G.
    Headed off via Shoreham Village and on to Pilgrims Way where another solo rider seemed more at home with the icy conditions as he went past me.
    I found him laying on the ground along Pilgrims Way after any icy right turn made him realize slower was safer.
    After a couple of rear wheel slips I decided to stick to main roads, so headed across to the A25, took a left and followed that along and up Wrotham Hill then home via Swanley.
    I’m off to sign-up to a creative writing course to try and match Marek’s efforts.

    Cheers all

  • #13575

    Christopher Moss

    I’d been a little undecided about doing the Sydenham RR but after a few beers a Nepalese Curry and a late night I figured I needed to do something with Flanders only 9 weeks away and I’ve only had about 200 miles in the saddle this year. I arrived a few minutes later than everyone else and just presumed we’d be going for around 4 hours. 20 Miles in I noticed we were behind the 17mph needed to finish at 1pm. Graham then confirmed the group was riding to a 4.30 time. I then made the call be try and get back on track solo. I’d missed the company but at least I’d avoid the mud spray. The middle section helped we push the average back up to 17.4 but I found the last 5 miles tough and only crept up Star Hill to finish at 1.10pm.

  • #13574

    Sefi Dakar

    What an incredible day it turned out to be. Rocked up at the car park at 7.55am and no one but Sam turned up that I hadn’t yet met before. We decided at 8.05am that no one will be turning up so decided to head to Knockholt with Sam via Rushmore Hill for the 2nd time in two days, however it wasn’t mentioned to me till halfway up the hill he was a time trialist that came 2nd last year in something! I was already feeling’ the heat before I had even started! This heat thing was a problem all day for me as I was overheating on the climbing and barely cooling down on descending but on the other hand, I was never short of food for myself (lesson learnt from last time).

    I must say many thanks to Graham, Marek, Chris and a few others that towed me pretty much through the ride!

  • #13573

    Richard Liston

    It was indeed a pleasure to be able to join a GSA group rides again. For those of you who did not know, last summer I was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, which came as a complete shock to me and was totally out of the blue. Well, the good news is I am now clear of the dreaded C, full of post-op optimism, but now struggling to regain fitness and trim the spread around the middle from months of not being able to do much. I enjoyed the ride and thanks to all, Steve, Paula, Dave… and a warm welcome to the club to Simone and Chris. As Dave mentioned, I headed for home at the top of Ide Hill; a wise decision in hindsight: by the time I got home I was well and truly… But as Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  • #13572


    G4 to Four Elms turned out to be very enjoyable.11 riders commenced the ride with Jenny turning early as her knee continues to give her grief.Richard Liston was a joy to behold as he joined us as far as the top of Ide Hill, his first ride with the club following his recent operation.Paula continues to improve despite her dodgy knee, with Steve Warner’s help all riders were catered for, including newby Simon whom Steve towed up the hills. Other newby Chris was equally lively until Ide Hill and Polhill on our return.As we arrived at Four Elms by 11.am, not only did we receive coffee & cake in record time, but our return journey was complete before 1.00pm.
    31 miles at 13.3mph with 2500 ft(approximately) of climbing.

  • #13569

    Steven Butler

    Thanks to Simon for leading the Saturday ride and for waiting for me to pick myself out of the slush pit and for everyone’s concern… I am fine, just battered and bruised with some road rash in places, making for a few screams in the bath. – it could have been much worse.. That. Is one way for a newby to get a mention in dispatches, but I would not recommend it as a long term strategy. Bon Sante.

  • #13568

    Sam :D

    I set out alone on the 64km route, as everyone else was going just that little too slowly.
    As mentioned the weather wasn’t great, with fog and drizzle on the hills, and incredibly mucky roads.
    I joined up with 3 fast is locals for about 5 miles from the pilgrims way to Wrotham before leaving them to dive down to the mid point.
    Unfortunately the hall looked deserted, so I headed back right away thinking I could do the distance with what little food I had.

    I realised I’d perhaps overdone it a little on the way out so eased up a bit, finishing my food just after Wrotham on the return. Climbing back onto Pilgrims way I realised my legs had all but exhausted their energy supply, when one of the groups (which had gotten lost earlier so I didn’t see them) come tearing past with no chance to hop aboard.
    The rest of the ride was damage control- I cramped on the last section of Pilgrims way before Polhill and I’m not sure how I made it up Star Hill- coming into the descent at the top had me worryingly faint s the blood pressure crashed- I’m glad there wasn’t much about.

    Luckily there was still lots of cake and treats left (not to mention fruit squash & cpious amounts of sugar!) which I piled (very) high on whilst trying to feel human again!
    On the bright side I was only 2 min over my guesses finish time despite never looking at the time.
    I’d look forward to doing the full route next time rather than the shorter out and back route, and I’be learned to take emergency gels with me whilst I re-train my glycogen stores!

  • #13566

    Chris Dines

    Sydenham Reliability Ride!

    Contrary to weather forecast, it was a very damp and dark Knockholt for the start of the Sydenham RR. I’m guessing there were maybe 100 entrants across the long and short routes.

    Despite the weather, a great Avanti turnout. Sam was there doing the 64km route as he builds back up from his knee problems. On long route we had the mighty Marek (leading the way), Patrick, Johnny Edwards, new guy Ian (very strong rider), Graham, Sefi, Steve Wand, Chris Moss and myself. We were joined by a couple of KK regulars as well.

    It’s a great route – 106km and 5,100ft of climbs. We set ourselves the challenge of being back in 4hrs 30 mins including stops. Some mechanicals meant we were a few minutes slower. Sadly, Steve’s mechanical was ride finishing (rear hub went). He had to train it back from Frant.

    Great riding by all, and thanks for marshalling us Marek. I was pleased with my time – 4hrs 6mins excluding stops, which was better than I was expecting!

    Well organised event by Sydenham Wheelers – and good cakes at both half way and finish.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by  Chris Dines.
    • #13570

      Marek Sasura

      Following on the Christopher Dines Report, it was a great ride today! The route was a nice mix of rolling hills, fast and flat stretches with a smooth road surface and several climbs which came out of nowhere (Graham: “Where the hell did you come from?” reacting self-rhetorically to even more and steeper climbing after we had just done a decent climb).

      The idea of the trial was to set an arrival time at the start and to try to stick to it. There were two check points en route. The first one was just a guy by a car with a Sydenham Wheelers jersey sticking out of the window. He gave us a cute cycling-teddy-bear stamp on our checklists. The second stop came with a refreshment and we got a sitting-frog stamp this time. Happy days.

      The weather was testing and it gave us a flavour of what to expect in Flanders. I have done just over 140km/88m with an average 26kmh/16.3mph (including a home-Knockholt return ride) and 1800m/6000ft of climbing and I can feel it in different parts of the body…

      I was having a quiet self-reflection 20km before the finish line about no-one getting a puncture on these dirty winter roads when I suddenly noticed a ghost slow puncture myself. A self-reflection, no self-reflection, it was a bit mentally testing but many thanks to Golden Graham who helped me to fix it (i.e. he did it himself with me jumping around like a happy puppy).

      Everyone was riding well today, it is a shame SteveW had to abandon his trial half way through. We were all taking turns upfront and spraying dirty black water into the faces of eager followers. En route we were accompanied for quite a few miles by two other cyclists. One of them was wearing a red jersey with big white letters “CCCP”. It is Russian in the Cyrillic alphabet for the USSR. I got some serious flashbacks into my otherwise happy childhood and symbols of power. To make matters worse, the guy had a funny mudguard which was spraying dirty stuff left, right and centre. He is not going to be on my Christmas card list for sure…

      I may sound like a broken vinyl record but it was an enjoyable day out in a good company! Ian (hopefully a new member soon) is a very strong ride and a G1 material but his new brakes were even noisier at times than my disc brakes. πŸ™‚

      • #13571

        Chris Dines


        Great write up.

        The guy in the CCCP top is John Barnes – I think he’s 65/66 years old and holds the Kentish Killer course record for over 60’s – an amazing 4hrs 38minute.

        I will tell him off about his mudguard!

  • #13564

    Steve Rodgers

    Ouch – hope Steve’s ok!
    The SERRL race training day was a good session – and recommended for anyone that’s interested in improving their riding skills – not just those that need to take the sessions in order to race this year. Everyone should be able to get something out of it.
    It was enjoyable to get out on the bike again but I had to be disciplined and hold back if the going got a bit faster(still recovering) – this was ok and didn’t really interfere too much with the drills.
    Big turnout by Avanti today – which was great to see. Also good to see Chris Cook – aka The Cookie Monster – again. He just missed out on cat.3 promotion last season on the last day by 2 points after a long break in the summer due to an accident.
    Will be great to see an Avanti squad on race days πŸ™‚

  • #13563

    Simon Heaton

    Five cycling stalwarts were raring to go at the G at eight this morning, Chris, Steve, Paul, John and myself headed off in bright but bracing conditions. We made light work of Cudham Ln and were moving well when we hit Pilgrims and a low hanging freezing fog. A lot of mud and general crud on the road along there and down Clacket Lane too where Steve, having been disappointed not to get a mention for a fall last weekend produced an impressive wipeout entry when he ploughed through some compacted slush along the centre of the road which fragmented and sent him flying. He managed to land expertly (on account of his extensive martial arts training apparently) and even instinctively shielded his bike from the impact. Like a trooper he was back up and riding again in 5 mins with thankfully no real harm done to man or machine. From there we worked our way past Oxted, Lingfield, Edenbridge, Hever, over Ide Hill then the usual charge up Polhill and back to the G. Other than the fall it was a good brisk uneventful ride with no mechanical stops in gloomy heavy going conditions, sun came out the minute we pulled into the Royal Oak car park of course! 40m at >16mph, nice one all and hope that shoulder isn’t too sore tomorrow Steve.

    • #13565

      Chris Dines

      Thanks for leading the Saturday morning run Simon – and hope Steve is OK.

  • #13556

    Marek Sasura

    A few of us (SteveR, JohnnyO, JohnnyE, Patrick, Rich, Andy South, Lyle, Guy and myself) did a SERRL training at the circuit at Cyclopark (SERRL = South East Road Race League). It was a 3-hour training and we pedalled almost 45km practising various skills from cornering, riding in a big group, riding in a small group, overtaking, chasing and communicating. LeeS was one of two coaches.

    The weather was a bit windy but warm (I have high hopes for tomorrow). The training was very useful and an eye opener! It looks like endurance and power are only necessary ingredients for any racing. Bike-handling skills (e.g. taking speed through the conners or doing as little work as possible during most of a race) and tactics are deciding if one wants to achieve even a marginal success. It was a good fun ending with an elimination race and a cup of tea/coffee (of course).

    GS Avanti had by far the most participants in today’s training and I don’t want to brag but our club kit really stands out. πŸ™‚

  • #13555

    Marek Sasura

    Please post here your weekend cycling endeavours.

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