Dauphiné weekend – club rides

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    • #1523793

      Chris Dines

      As some GSA members know, I am attempting to complete the Time Trial “Super Bar” this year. Basically that involves doing a BAR (Best Amateur) qualifying 100 mile TT, the National 12 Hr TT (August). and the National 24 Hour (July). I will get round to doing a more detail piece on this.

      Endurance time trialling is a bit mental really, but I get a lot out of it – when I stay on the bike! Both Rob Grunfeld and I have now done a couple of 12 hours and also some 100’s. You have to sustain steady power output for a long time – and also cope with a lot of body stress (neck, arms – not just legs).

      One of the reasons I love these events is that they are really friendly, and also involve mixing it with the best endurance cyclists in the UK. There is a lot of respect between all those involved, whatever your age or capability.

      I am planning to do as well as I can across my three events, and there is a competition that is age adjusted.

      Yesterday, Rob and I did the Q100 that starts out of Brenzett (kent). Flat course, but always windy (particularly the Camber-Lydd stretch). My aim was to do sub 4hrs 30 Mins for the 100 miles. That means an average pace of over 22.5mph/35.5kph and no stops. I had a targeted scheduled, right nutrition stuff and the benefit of Claire marshalling on the course (with my spare bottles).

      I was running to my schedule, and at c.70 miles was looking forward to the 10 mile stretch with wind behind me. Annoyingly it wasn’t to be. Running through Camber, a driver in front of me suddenly decided they did not have room to overtake a parked car. He slammed his brakes, and so did I – though I was well back. I managed to lock my front wheel (can be an issue) and couldn’t stop myself hitting the deck. I was a bit battered (elbow mainly) and also broke a bar end shifter. I am sure a real pro would have continued – but I opted for the offer of a lift back to HQ!

      I now need to enter another 100mile event at some point – there aren’t that many!

      By the way, Rob went off mega fast, managed to lose a water bottle and had to limp home with bad cramp. Still did sub 4hr 30 though (below PB).

      Contact me or Rob if interested in doing either a 100mile, 12 hr or 24hr, The 24 hr is on 20 July on the Wirral. Support welcome 🙂

      • #1523794

        Claire Clarke

        Real bad luck Chris, hope you’re ok and heal quickly. Well done Rob, sounds like a very tough TT, not that any 100 mile TT would ever be easy!

    • #1523792


      G4 to Hartfield was sensational, (if you like hills !) eight on the way out starting with Ide Hill via Back Lane. The magnificent 4 along the ridge completed the set leaving all 5 of us with happy smiles as we sat in the warm sunshine enjoying our refreshments.We all needed substantial intake of calories , although Lee Powell (the lightest of us) ate the most, including chips ! Somehow the thought of Wytham, Balls Green and further substantial hills forced a rethink on the return journey home. We cut 5 miles off the journey by heading back to the descent of Markbeech, very fast considering the potholes. A few blips followed until we hit Ide Hill, where I suffered the most, the group waited patiently for my arrival, then onto Polhill where suddenly the double beans on toast kicked in and I could hold my head up, by not being last up the hill. An errant motorist conked out near the top forming a short queue of cars, allowing smug cyclists to ride past. 50 miles, 13.5mph 3,600 ft climbing. Don’t forget, next Sunday(weather permitting) a shorter ride enabling any fathers to enjoy their day.

    • #1523791

      Claire Clarke

      Early Sat ride: not a particularly nice morning, demonstrated by the fact that only 7 of us were there for the 8am departure. The tough guys who turned up were: Simon V, John C, Tom S, Grant R (after being shamed into it on the WhatsApp group!), Russ, Nicola (guest) and me. After the first climb up Stonehouse Lane poor Nicola was finding the hills a bit tough with a slight lack of gears compared to some in the group! So, although I was meant to be leading I suggested the 5 guys should go ahead and Nicola and I would follow at a slightly slower pace. Thanks to Simon V for taking over the leading. I can’t really comment on their ride, other than I believe poor Russ had a puncture which meant Simon C managed to catch them up after not quite making the 8am start, and then taking a few wrong turns on the route, which he was trying to put together in his head from some rough description I think I’d mentioned at some point! Nicola and I did a slightly modified route so that we ended up in Farningham which was closer to home for Nicola, and saved her the full 10mile ride back from Orpington that she’d already done to get to the ‘G’ for 8am. I still made it to Belmondos in time to join the others for coffee, and was surprised that I had actually done the standard Sat 40miles. Thanks all.

    • #1523789

      Ian Grant

      G3 ride – no specified ride leader this week so we all shared the duties. At the coffee stop we said it was good to see Claire C write up last weeks ride so I thought I’d have a go this week. Numbers were down on recent weeks with only 6 of us leaving the G – Joe, Keith, Ken, Jade, Geoffrey (a visitor) and me. Shortly into the ride Geoffrey, despite our offers to slow down, decided we were going to be too fast for him and so said he’d drop off and follow a shorter route on his own. The five of us then headed up to Ide Hill village passing some Penge CC riders and also spotting a stray G2 rider at the bottom of the hill. We kept a good pace on to Cowden and then through the pretty lanes to our stop (dodging an errant deer running up the road in front of us). Just before Lingfield we encountered a closed road due to a car having gone into a ditch (impaling itself on some railings). A kind police officer let us through. Keith wanted to ask him to take a group photo in front of the wreck but the majority thought it best not to push the officer’s goodwill too far !! The Red Rum café staff welcomed us and we proceeded to order a rather eclectic table of snacks to go with our coffees – pancakes, breakfast rolls, cheeseburger (Keith of course) and carrot cake. I think that the Epsom CC riders on the next table were impressed with the Avanti calorie count. Ken asked why the café was called Red Rum and once we told him set about googling the history of our country’s most famous steeplechaser. At this point Geoffrey (our visiting rider from earlier) came through the door, sat down with us and ordered a Full English. It turns out that he is 77-years old and normally cycles in Surrey but fancied a ride out in Kent and found Avanti on the internet. We said goodbye to him (as he was heading back in the direction of Fulham where he lives) and set off via Edenbridge and back up Ide Hill – only slowed up at one point by a couple of enormous horses (one at 18 hands – much taller than Red Rum according to our new G3 equine expert Ken !). I unfortunately missed the final climb (Star Hill) as I live in Otford but I believe the group got back safely.

      A really enjoyable ride – thanks for a great route Alan (the guys at Red Rum say hello)

      • #1523790

        Claire Clarke

        Well done G3, sounds like a good ride, and well done Ian-great report. Sorry I couldn’t join you this morning, I was up and out at 6:30am to help at the High Elms 10k race, which is put on by Orpington Road Runners, of which I am also a member. I did go out this afternoon with Simon and managed 90km trying to stay on his wheel!

    • #1523784

      Steve Rodgers

      It’s been a long journey for me this year – I’ve been on a few club rides this year but this was the first I’d made it to The G for the ride start and the first time I led a ride this year. It was good to see the other groups at the start and the ride itself was very enjoyable. It had a bit of everything – hills, rolling fast bits, lovely scenery, easy-paced chat, and some cracking cake at the newly opened Tibbles Cafe near Bewl Water. It’s the place that was a plant nursery and cafe, overlooking Bewl, tucked away on a back lane. It closed last year and I’m glad to see it open again. Perfect day for it.

      10 started – Martin, Paul, Matt, Dave, Andy, Richard, Jo, Simon, Hamish and me. We lost one at the top of Ide in a confusion over facilities and directions, but everyone else worked well together.
      110km ride with 1400m climbing at 28km/h avg.
      Thanks folks – very enjoyable!

    • #1523783

      Steve Rodgers

      Hi folks – please write up your club rides from this weekend.
      Did anyone watch the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné?

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