Sunday 28 February 2010

When in Rome...petanque?

Clem, Alex, Sean & Tao take time out for a game of boules in the court yard of their Gite Ferme des amis - on y va!

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Monday 22 February 2010

Half Term Training Camp To Andres, Pas de Calais in northern France

Between 15th Feb and 19th Feb - 4 Young Riders; Clem Berril, Alex Peters, Sean Glendinning and Tao Geoghegan Hart and 2 Coaches - Keir Apperly and Joseph Albert crossed the channel in search of good roads and good weather! We stayed in Gite La Ferme De Amis - A renovated Farm House in the small village of Andres. We rode hard, ate well and had a good time exploring the surrounding countryside. Here is an extract from my diary on the second last day -

Today – Thursday was a great ride, I always really enjoy being on my bike full stop, but this was a very good day – in the words of The Captain - Clem 'Epic'. We started off on the flat roads toward Calais and Dunkerque, but they where by no means easy – the wind was our real enemy this morning. It was blowing ferociously – like it has all week. We battled through the wind and saw the sea, a kind Belgian offered to take a picture of us - with promises to email it as soon as he could! We then headed back home, at this point Sean started to have a hard time keeping up, this was good because we ended up saving some much needed energy for that evening. We also worked hard as a team to keep him protected from the wind but still keep the speed up. After a hard 60km, we where back home. We decided after the previous days lunch that we would keep it light in order to make the most of the afternoon ride. I had some very nice French baguette and cheese. In the afternoon we headed out to the hills further inland, I was really surprised earlier on in the week how much variance in terrain this part of France had on offer. The hills where all good, tougher than we would find in the Essex lanes. I had good legs this week – and battled with time Keir, Alex and Clem to reach the summit first. At one point Keir and I went well clear of the rest and worked together to increase our lead. Recently I have been practising my sprint finishes – Alex and I where putting this to test sprinting to as many road signs as possible, then raising our arms in a victory salute. On one occasion Keir raced me at full gallop to a sign – we fought for a good 200m and I just pipped him to the imaginary line. Its really great to have a coach riding with you rather than shouting out a car window! On a final note – on poor unlucky Keir's 2nd puncture of the day, getting very late into the early evening – a old local fishmonger came out of his shop, and took an interest in our 'Velo's'. Alex and I started to try to chat with him, and he was very enthusiastic about helping us with directions and telling us about local climbs. When he realised we where English he started to list all of the 60's, 70's and 80's British & Irish Cyclists - Sean Kelly, Stephan Roche, Sean Yates, Tom Simpson, Mark Cavendish & Bradley Wiggins... We had a good laugh with him about us striving to ride the Tour De France in the future! We can always break the language barrier with good old cycling chat! Im just off to help Clem cook some Tomato Sauce for Dinner... A very good trip, I would love to come back here!

Many thanks to Curtis Taylor and his 2009 Alpine cycling team from Hackney Homes for raising funds to make this trips like these happen!

Sunday 7 February 2010

CCH & British Cycling produce an eventful pictures

Saturday 6th February, 1 Olympus Square Nightingale Estate London E5 
The Indoor youth cycle racing event went ahead last Saturday, a healthy turnout of youngsters competed in the races set-up by CCH in partnership with British Cycling's Go-Ride coach Bill Wright.
During the proceedings a management group from Hackney Homes, who sponsor the venue, arrived to present the club with a substantial travel award that was raised by Curtis Taylor and some of his colleagues. Last summer they cycled across the Alps on a fund raising effort that was brought home on this day - many thanks from CCH to Curtis & his crew.
Everyone was a winner because prizes from London Fields Cycles, British Cycling and Bikefix were supplied to make sure all went home with a memento. Notable performances came from our new club member Femi Valentine and Bella Dmochowska, a full results sheet will be available soon. After the racing there was time for Clem Berill, one of CCH's 'A' riders, to lay down some benchmark tests on the data recording Watt Bikes.
The event would not have worked so well had it not been for all the adult volunteers and parents who were on hand to make sure everything went according to plan and without a hitch - well done for that.

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