Friday 28 October 2011

Paris - Brest -Paris report

Patrick with his five jerseys from the Paris Brest

Patrick Field completed his fifth Paris-Brest in August. Paris-Brest - also known as PBP - is the oldest bike ride still in the calendar, it runs from the French Capital to the Breton coast, and back. When it started in 1891 PBP was a race. The first victory - for Charles Terront, riding for Michelin - boosted public acceptance of the pneumatic tyre and helped launch the modern World. Today PBP is a touring event run every four years. Riders have 90 hours to cover 1230 km, that’s 770 miles in three and three-quarter days. Near the front it's a very long, gruelling road race - the first riders finish in under two days - but for most of the 5,000 starters it's more a test of efficiency and road-craft.

Patrick being chased down by the other 4999 riders in the peleton.

Patrick says:- "The Paris-Brest is the most fun I've ever had on a bike.Towns and villages along the way are in festive mood with decorated old bikes hanging from trees and pop-up front-garden coffee stalls. People stay up all night just to watch you pass and cheer you on. Half the riders come from outside France so it's also a big, international party.2011 was my easiest ride so far. I wasn't worried about a personal-best and was always safely ahead of the elimination time. Experience helped me make good decisions - like when to ride and when to sleep - and I was in my comfort-zone almost all the way round. I aim to qualify again in 2015 and am confident I can extend my record." 

It's a good thing there isn't an elimination time on getting the report in though Patrick
- still - slowly slowly catchy monkey....

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Rapha Super Cross

Frank and supporters

CCH turned out in numbers for the finale of the Rapha Super Cross series at Alexandra Palace last Sunday 23rd of October. A beautiful autumn day combined with a demanding course and spectacular venue bode well for a great day of racing.

Artie crossing the finishing line.
In the first race of the day - the Under 10s -  Artie rode to a storming third place - a crash being the only thing that stopped him finishing higher.

Logan on his way to third

Frank and Logan were up next in the Under 12s with Logan gaining another podium place for CCH finishing third.

Andy taking a leap
Next up were Andy Harry and Neil in the seniors and veterans race with Bart riding at the same time in the juniors. The organisers really put the riders to the sword with the course rising up all the way to the palace- however just when you thought you had reached the top of the hill you had to dismount and carry your bike up a large flight of stairs. I'd love to say this got easier with each lap... it didn't.

Bart pushing on
Harry steps over the hurdles

Neil's horse impersonation

Following this was the elite race and the crowds had swelled to cheer them on - Paul Oldham the current National Champion won the race with Hope Technology being the winning team in the series. The large crowd included Hackney's two current National Champions - our own Keir Apperley arrived fresh from a 2nd place in the SERRL winter league - see previous post - and Norman Bright the current wearer of the over 70s jersey - see here for more info.

Norman and Keir - over 120 years worth of cycling expertise.

CCH were even represented in the Barista stakes with Rhys sorting out the java on the Rapha Mobile club stall.

Ned gunning it on the home straight.

Ned went well in the final race of the day that saw the Under16s/under 14s ride at the same time as novice adults. This event was a great crowd pleaser as the organisers had thrown in a rather nifty shortcut for those adults brave enough to take it. The Tequila shortcut cut out a 100m section of the course with a rather dodgy hairpin bend on an adverse camber. However in order to take the shortcut riders had to drink a shot of tequila. The fact that a set of hurdles awaited the riders just ahead made for a very entertaining finale, especially for those riders that had opted for the shortcut more than once.

Artie gets his prize for third place U10s.

Logan with cash in hand for third in U12s.
Full results to follow.
Finally not to be outdone in the excitement stakes the Sunday morning club ride almost had a similar incident to this dude - when Derek was nearly taken out by a leaping deer.

Monday 24 October 2011

CCH visit Gravesend Cyclopark 23.10.11

Charlie Scott and I visited Gravesend and the newly opened Cyclopark. We were there to participate in the first of the SERRL Winter series races. The weather was too kind for the time of year and we felt fortunate to be racing in shirts and shorts come late October. This said there was a fair old easterly breeze blowing in from the English Channel.
At the start line about seventy riders lined up for the one and half our challenge around the full circuit, two thirds of which were 3/4 cat riders. Charlie took off with them while I waited for a minute to proceed with my group of 1/2 cats. After a few laps of the course (great to ride btw) two riders clipped off in pursuit of the 3/4 bunch, I followed two more up the road and caught the chasers, chasing. In the end a gang of four stabilized to maintain a reasonable lead, working well to eventually catch up with the 3/4s. The ensuing race within a race lead to a confusing bun fight of a sprint where it was hard to tell what happened. Apparently I arrived in second place according to the sensor chips we were issued with. Charlie finished well but just out of the top ten.
Great course, good race shame about the mix-up at the end. I'm looking forward to heading back there next year, doubtful about doing any more winter stuff, Charlie and Andy O'Reagan may go for some more. It's half hour by car, an hour by train - well worth the trip I'd say. Pictures

Keir Apperley

Thursday 13 October 2011

Tao accepted onto the Olympic Development Programme

Tao on the boards at Manchester

CCH rider Tao Geoghan-Hart has seen all his hard efforts of this year come to fruition with a place on British Cycling's Olympic Development Programme. This is  a big deal for Tao and great for the club.
Tao said  - 'To be selected for the Olympic Development Programme is a real honor, and although it is just the start of the next phase of my cycling; racing at a Junior level, it is going to be fun as well as tremendously hard. Past riders on the programme have gone on to do massive things and I really hope to follow in their footsteps, but for now its up and down Lea Bridge Road everyday! I am really looking forward to riding for and representing the ODP and CC Hackney next year.'

Well done Tao and we look forward to hearing all about the ODP, meanwhile don't spend all your time on the Lea Bridge Road - use the downtime to get on with the A levels :-)

Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?

Tea at Grantchester

The women's ride to Cambridge set off last rainy Sunday morning with the rest of the early risers. We split from the main group at High Beech, led by Anna with a very large scale map torn from a small motoring atlas and the hazy memories of last years ride. The adventurers were three women's ride regulars Anna, Liz  and Isobel, and three eager recruits, Prosper, Bede and Ned.

The weather improved as we rode north, the temperature being ideal for a pleasant ride. Our route took us around Harlow and onto Much Hadham through Stocking Pelham up to Barley, then more or less straight north to Cambridge. Our ride into Cambridge took us via Grantchester where we stopped for a very welcome lunch at the Green Man, by this time Prosper was ready to eat a whole goat!

We then took the scenic route to the station for the train back to Finsbury Park. 
It was a great ride, thanks to everyone for coming and especially to Anna for being a great leader.

We look forward to planning more rides further afield to vary our Sunday outings and to make the Cambridge ride a club fixture. - Liz

Blog Title from Rupert Brookes - The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Tuesday 11 October 2011

A dude takes a hit from the side

A unique event captured on film in the African Savannah

Stay free, stay safe :)

Thursday 6 October 2011

Clubmark status is awarded to CC Hackney

Monday 3rd October at I Olympus Square London E5 CC Hackney held a social event in order to officially receive their Clubmark certificate. Guest of honor Maurice Burton, seen above with a cold drink in hand, holds forth during question time. And yes our man did once beat the great Eddy Merckx in a professional track race.
Maurice was welcomed with other guests including his son Germaine, Mark Hardie of Access Sport and Peter Catermole from British Cycling & Velo Club Londres. 

Club coach Harry Moore is presented with the Clubmark certificate from Maurice Burton.

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