Friday 23 May 2008

The CCH-GTR Experience @ Well St Common Festival 2008

Patrick Field and Keir Apperley formed a pedal power transport convoy to carry GTR equipment and cycles across Hackney to Well Street Common's annual fete.
By 10.45h the 200m rope, two racing cycles, a large tent (HQ), training rollers, flags, cones, wooden steaks, barrier tape, numbers, prizes, tool kit & 1st aid kit were delivered on site. The circus had arrived and soon after our ring master Trevor Parsons appeared to began the field geometry exercise that resulted in the formation of an egg shape on grass with added straights.
Patrick erected the mini big top. A slight territory concern was raised when it was thought that the Dog Show Area may be too close to the track but thankfully there turned out to be enough dog leads in between for it to be deemed safe.
With the track in place, Keir hammered in the stakes to support the red & white barrier tape safely beyond the stayers line and then marked out a thin white finish line with emulsion at the end of the home straight. Blue and yellow flexible cones marked the bends out against infringement, it was a colorful sight. The sun was bright, a breeze held the temperature and the grass was cropped and ready, the scene set for action.

12.30h We began proceedings with an all comers open time trial of 147m flying lap time trial (an all out individual race against the clock or contre la montre). It was a slow start in numbers but soon riders young and old began to appear. The competition was hotting up as numerous riders had their second and third attempts at raising the bar. There was one accident away from the track when Patrick clattered off his training rollers, luckily escaping without damage to his dignity (no contact was made with his bikes top tube).
The fastest time of the day went to local champion Ben Tanner who held his nerve fearlessly powering around to clock a winning time of 17.80s
Freya Gannon-Burns was the fastest female rider with a fine time of 19.56s
Another local talent from this seemingly hot bed of cycling was young Arnold Ballazhi who's time of 23.96s was a fine achievement for an under 12 year old on a little bike.
A minor accident happened to a female competitor who pushed it too far on the last bend and lost her front wheel, grass was lodged up her sleeve and her pride was dented but not her top tube, she limped off to light applause.
The final acts of the day were the scratch races and these were held in two classes; fixed wheel and free wheel.
Keir won the fixed race (no fix), Patrick coming in second but consoled by the knowledge that he had beaten his son Walter into third place. Joe of London Fields Cycles remained in contention but could only manage a gallant fourth. Joe has since vowed to be back for revenge...
The free wheel race was won by Dan Batchelor, beating another local hero Stephen Thompson into second place despite his best tactical intentions.
Jools Hood was 3rd, Adam Wilkinson 4th and heroic Brian Walker was left to hold a gold plated wooden spoon.
All in all it was a great day out at the races and we are looking forward to the next CCH GTR meeting at Well Street Common in Hackney soon.
Hope to see you there.

Special thanks to Caroline Gregory for supporting us and providing the prizes and also to those like Nicola Baboneau who volunteered their assistance on the day.

Navestock TT - 10.05.08

Navestock TT
On Friday 10th May Freya & Louis achieved personal best times for five miles at the TEE/Beacontree Wheelers Navestock TT with times of 15m 47s & 16m 42s respectively. Bernard recorded an impressive unofficial marker time of 16m 57s for his first ride at that distance. Keir's time for ten miles was 26m 14s.
The journey home was interesting because we made for Theydon Bois tube station and traveled back to Leyton on the central line to save about seven miles in distance. Slipping through the quiet Essex country side on the way to the departure station as the light was dwindling had a certain charm. In the station fore court there were a few requests for wheelies by some of the local teenagers, Haleem pulled a decent two footer that drew a round of applause and a few cheers but the rest of us were a little leggy for any extras.

Saturday 10 May 2008

Wednesday 7 May 2008

May 1st 2008 grasstrack racing trials (GTR1)

Here is the result of the one lap, flying time trials we held. Track distance 150m.

Name Time Category
Simon Whitlock 21.52 Fixed, open
Keir Apperley 21.84 MTB, over-40
22.73 Fixed, open
Trevor Lacey 23.08 Fixed, open
David Moreno 24.14 Family bike, over-40
Bernard Kinkufi 25.05 MTB, junior
Stuart Dennison 25.64 Fixed, over-40
Patrick Field 25.65 Fixed, generator, over-50
30.06 Lightweight, open

The annual Well Street Common Festival is to be held on Sunday 18th May and CHH's 'Grass Track Experience' is coming for the first official event of the summer. Ahead of this, last Thursday evening a group of Hackney cyclists with vision and a sense of humor convened at Well St.Common to guinea pig grass track competition and test the new 200m rope as an inner racing line.
Ten riders of various ages, two observers, one man and his dog bore witness to what may prove to be a seminal event. Well what came of it? Apart from the giggles and the panting in exchange for short but exhilarating turns on the track we gained a knowledge that racing on grass is breathtaking & funny.
From the previous days rain the ground was a bit spongy and the grass was moist, succulent and cow chew-able. The pitch safety inspection done, we tossed a coin and payed out the rope into a perfect oval shape according to measurements made by the steady hand & sextant of CCH's chair Trevor Parsons.
Racing began with a flying-lap individual time trial and then we finished with an unofficial devil. This is a massed start race where on each lap the last rider over the line is called out until the final three riders sprint to the line for glory sake...devil take the hind most.

Findings from this exercise were that the racing area will need to be cordoned off, a cycle machine check before competing obligatory, the crash helmet wearing policy needs to be made clear as do the competition rules and a wide range of cycles work fine on grass as long as the rider is willing to dig deep!
At the festival all comers will be able to join CCH at the very reasonable inaugural flat rate of £5.00
Bring your own bike & helmet, some helmets will be available to loan.
We are looking for more volunteers to help out on the day. Any flag wavers, sheriffs/marshals, horn blowers, bell ringers, rattle shakers, podium dancers and picture takers wishing to join and help will get CCH free CCH membership. Please contact: and/or leave a comment to this page.

FYI: 200m of 10mm polypropylene rope cost £45.00 from

    Cycling Club Hackney - Helmet wearing policy
    (Helmets undamaged & conforming to BS &/or the Kite mark)

Any massed start competitive race; all riders must wear a crash helmet.

Including: On the road, off road, on the track & on grass.

Any competitive time trial (individual race against the clock) all those under eighteen year old must wear a crash helmet.

Under eighteen riders joining CCH leisure rides must hand in to a CCH committee member on duty a signed consent form from their parent/guardian if they wish not to wear a crash helmet.

All Under eighteen riders on CCH cycle racing training sessions must wear a crash helmet.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Sunday 27th April - Love cycling hate racism!

Finsbury park in Fnsbury Park was the setting for the invitation 2008 Whitewebbs CC Time Trial for youths and beginners. CCH had six young riders entered, four of whom were competing for the first time. The two kilometre out & back course was along the wide road way on the outer side of the park. The riders were set off down hill towards the main gates from the start/finish line up by the tennis courts (Hornsey end). The 1st U-turn was at the bottom of the hill over by Green Lanes. Two passages of the route were required which amounted to quite a technical challenge of four short climbs, two head wind sections, three U-turns, one left hand and two right hand corners. The road surface was variable with parts being quite raw. It was something like the 2007 Grand Depart London Tour De France prologue without two million fans cheering, the fancy Gendarmerie motor cyclists and any iconic landmarks for backdrops other than Arsenal FC's Emirates stadium of course. The weather was overcast and a little windy but not cold, It showered for a while during the event.

Four of our CCH riders were 4th (13m.16s) 7th (13m.40s)10th (14m.25s) & 11th (16m.28s) For some reason Freya & Ato's times were not recorded. I'm certain Freya Gannon was the fastest female rider and Ato Qualm-Quashi was motivated and riding well. Bernard is good at cross country running also, he is sixteen years old and came seventh, 24s behind Louis Carpenter who is also sixteen but more experienced. Louis did well to finish 4th as our fasted rider on the day. Kevin Kabey came tenth and Rowena Gordon did well in her first race, she said that her legs were like jelly afterwards.

All our riders enjoyed the event and expressed an interest in training sessions and more racing. Special thanks to cycling parents Chris & Pat Gannon-Burns and Ms. Gordon for coming to help out. The time keeper could have done more but never-mind better next time.

In the afternoon I went to the 'LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM' festival in Victoria park to celebrate it's thirty year anniversary (I was at the first one) it was good fun and great to be amongst so many open and fair minded people. DJ Hype did the bizzo on the 1s&2s in the dance tent and Poly Styrene was in fine voice on the main stage!

After the party I was out on my bike for an evening training ride out around Abridge and Toot Hill.



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