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.

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