Tuesday 28 February 2012

CCH at the Hell of the Ashdown

Fashion week comes to Kent

Last Sunday 26th February Andy, Neil, Dave, Harry, Andy (Buckwell) and myself, Alan and Henry, and Tom (Smith) set off from Biggin Hill to conquer the 'cols' of Kent and Sussex by partaking in the Hell of the Ashdown a 100k early season Sportive known for its 1600 metres of hard climbs and bad weather – Andy B regaled us of his war story from a previous years event when he completed this and it was snowing, however, we were greeted by gorgeous sunshine and temperatures more akin to early summer than late winter and not a sign of snow!

With registration complete, timing chips attached and pockets stuffed with supplies we were off out into he stunning Kent countryside and straight up the first of the days climbs Cudham Test Hill with crunching gears (a theme for the day!), and we were warming up nicely as we passed through the rolling Kent countryside towards Toys Hill the highest point on the North Downs. The course was amazing, full of short sharp ascents mixed with long strength sapping efforts winding up and up amongst the ancient orchards old hop-houses, and spinning out down one fantastic technical descent after another.
The sun beating down on the first feed stop.
Taking it all in our stride (just) we ticked off each of the climbs as we headed out towards Sussex past the first feed station to the summit of Priory Road, back into Kent and up the infamous Kidds Hill otherwise known as the Wall, but to echo the words of Dave Carr and me...'was that it'? After regrouping at the summit of the Wall and passing round the jelly babies we were off again and onto another cracking ascent up to Ashdown Forest and the half way point at mile 30. After the forest we found ourselves plummeting down Black Hill for what seemed like miles before the Col de Groombridge, Bayleys Hill and Ide Hill and the last feed stop at mile 50 (Ide Hill Village) where we regrouped before the last effort. 
Refuelled with banana, gels and more jelly babies we set off again for the last twelve miles and the sting in the tail, Star Hill. We could see this long winding ascent long before we got to it and it was here that Andy, Dave and Neil pulled away not to be seen until the finish line. Andy B, Harry and I pushed on following close behind passing many a suffering rider on the way to the top and the final couple of miles back to Biggin Hill and the end. Fantastic weather, fantastic riding, great company and great organisation - thank you Catford CC and see you next year!


For Andy's map of the ride and a view of the incredible profile- no flat bits - click here.

Monday 27 February 2012

Eastern Region Track Super Club Session

Session organiser and British Cycling Eastern Region coach Rob Sharman wrote:

"I have got to say I was super proud to see the session up & running in such an efficient way...the thought of up to 60 novice riders in track centre, with upwards of 40 track hire bikes, only 4hrs of track time AND other groups in the track centre was a pretty daunting prospect...I hope that you agree the format of running a Super Club session works pretty well. It does not only share coaching resources, it helps to overcome some financial barriers towards track sessions and also provides a really sound vehicle to move bike racers physical, technical & tactical ability forwards in an appropriate & efficient way."

Thank you Rob and all for getting it together - well done - a whole lot a learnin' goin' on - terrific.

CCH's youth group gained loads from the opportunity, including how best to negotiate multiple bike possibilities with train staff, out and back. Thank you the ace cards that are youth and experience :)

Thursday 23 February 2012

Claire Tansley CCH member - Obituary

I am sorry to have to pass on the sad news that former Hackney LCC 
comrade, and friend to many, Claire Tansley, died yesterday (Wednesday) 
morning in Bart's Hospital. She was 41, and had been suffering from a 
recurrent lymphoma.

A Scot by birth and upbringing, and a teacher and environmental educator 
by profession, Claire was an active member of our local group from the 
mid-1990s until the turn of the century brought with it parenthood and 
migration across the River Lea.

Claire invested masses of time and effort into the campaign. Frequently 
the face of the group on our stall at events such as the Hackney Show, 
she encouraged many people to start or return to cycling.

She organised several of our Burns Night fundraisers -- a role for which 
her vivacity and gregarious nature as well as her national origin suited 
her well. And, if I recall correctly, she created our tradition of 
annual Bike The Bounds rides around the borough.

Perhaps Claire's most significant campaigning legacy was her role in 
nuturing cycling education in schools and the wider community when there 
was very little of it going on. She led 'Safe Routes to Schools' 
initiatives, introduced cycle training into the schools she worked at, 
and helped create one of London's first 'exercise on prescription' 
projects, called Cycleactive, here in Hackney.

She leaves behind husband Harry, son Dennis and daughter Julia.

The funeral will be next week. If people who remember Claire but don't 
have direct contact with her family would like to know about 
arrangements when I hear of them, please let me know off-list.

Trevor Parsons

Claire was also a member of CCH along with Harry and Dennis. She had hopes of coming out on our Sunday rides if her situation had improved - sadly this wasn't to be but I hope all at CCH will join me in passing on our sympathies to Harry, Dennis and Julia. I've been friends with Claire since the mid-nineties. She always loved her cycling and brought her warmth and passion to all aspects of life and cycling. She had a strong personality and badgered me many a time into reciting Robert Burns poems at the Hackney LCC Burn's night fundraisers, I'm mighty glad she did as this is where I met my partner Liz at one of those nights. I'm sure many other Hackney cyclists owe her a similar debt.
She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

Neil Irons

CC Hackney VIP guests of London UCI World Cup main sponsor Fiat

 CC Hackney's special VIP guests of Fiat enjoyed an evening to remember down at the new Eastway indoor velodrome last Thursday. It was the opening session of the London round of the UCI World Cup series and the first track competition in the building. The four day event was an opportunity to test the venue and was part of the London Prepares programme being rolled out ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
Our group shared prime finish-line seating with the great and the washed including the current London mayor and avid cycling fan Boris 'bomber' Johnson. I gather that during the break complimentary posh drink and snacks were in good supply including the Ferrero Rocher and voluvents of course.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

It's all about the Track...

Vicky Pendelton powers through as Jess Varnish peels off on their way to a new world record in the women's team sprint.

 It's been all about the track this last week as the world's best riders were in town to ride the finale of the Track World Cup at the Olympic Velodrome or the Eastway as it should be properly known. Many CCH members made their way down to the Olympic park over the course of the weekend and were treated to some very fine Track racing, not least by the British team.

CCH juniors meet the Ugandan team manager.
The new velodrome was sparkling and looked very inviting especially in the super hot atmosphere the capacity crowd produced.

Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell break another world record  in the team pursuit.
 On Friday evening we watched as the British women won two golds and broke two world records - truly inspiring stuff, I hope all our female club members were looking out for pointers.

The Ugandan team look relaxed before the race.
 The highlight of the evening though had to be watching our team mate Patrick Lawino ride in the 1Km time trial. As he stepped onto the track Patrick was introduced to the crowd as living in London and they all went wild.
Patrick Lawino, CCH and Uganda sets off in the Kilo -  watched by Keir.
Although he had a bad start Patrick rode the four laps to wild cheers all the way round and was interviewed for TV afterwards. Considering it was his first time in such a competition we thought he did very well, as did those watching on TV - a live twitter feed was shown on the big screen inside the velodrome with tweets such as "Patrick Lawino you're my new hero" and "Great to see a rider going round the velodrome in CCHackney kit"- not quite but designed by the same designer.

Patrick on TV in that great Ugandan kit.

After a hugely successful weekend Britain ran out winners topping the table with five gold, two silver and one bronze medals. For a full report see here.

Neil in a coaching session at Newport Velodrome.

Earlier last week CCH coaches Harry and Neil had an enjoyable couple of days as they undertook a British Cycling Level 2 track coaching course at the Newport Velodrome in Wales. They were treated to a fine display of Team pursuit riding by our own Tao and the other members of the Olympic Development Programme. As British Cycling keep saying it really is all about the track and hopefully this course will help CCH's  capacity to train riders on the track and at the Eastway in the near future.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Monday 13 February 2012

Mag Rev plan with CCH, Interlinkx and Cycling Uganda

Magnificent Revolution, new partners with CC Hackney, are planing together for project work in Hackney and abroad in 2012. Cycling Uganda's Stephen Okellow is currently working on rigging up 24v motor donated by Mag Rev onto CU's turbo trainer in Kampala, Uganda.

200-300w - a small but beautiful amount of power

Sunday 12 February 2012

CCH AGM minutes and report

The CCH AGM minutes are now availible online to download here.

Friday 10 February 2012

Love London, Go Dutch

Love London, Go Dutch

Last weekend's racing roundup.

Frank shows how to keep control on the first corner.

Three hardy CCH riders made it down to snowy and cold Herne Hill on Sunday 5th of February for the last round of the London Cyclo Cross League. First up was Frank in the U12’s with a good start he managed to avoid the pile up at the first corner and settled into a consistent top three place for a majority of the treacherous two laps,  only for a crash and the resulting lose of his chain to slip down to fourth – still a great result.

Mostyn finishing without a chain.

Mostyn was next up in the Youth race where again a mechanical  caused a few problems but he stuck at it and was forced to shoulder his bike for the last 500m!

Harry leading round some Vets after the Youth had kindly cleared the snow.
 For the last race of the day conditions had improved slightly with mud and slash being more of a problem that a layer of snow…. Harry managed to get round (with only a couple of tumbles!) and had a grand battle with a few other Vets. A great end to an enjoyable Cross Season roll on the next! Full results and report here.
Words Harry - Pics - Cross Crazy.
Jessie off to a flyer in her first U14 race.

Meanwhile on Saturday 4th, Me, Isaac, Jude, Justin and Bede went to Hillingdon to take part in a race, it was a freezing morning and there were over 60 riders in total and CCH did well. It was my first under 14 race, my first race of the season and really the first time I had been on a bike since November/October. I came 3rd U14 girl (even though there were only 3 or 4) and Isaac came 8th U12 boy and Bede came 9th U12 boy. Justin came 18th and Jude did very well. Also Louis and Theo from EastlondonVelo rode a brilliant race, Theo coming 6th u12 boy and Louis coming 3rd u16 boy (even though it was his first u16 race!) Everybody did very well despite the weather and we enjoyed it. Full report and more pictures here. Words Jessie - pic - Sean.

Over at Hoghill James, Ben and Tom were racing in the cat3/4 4th round of ELV's six days of winter series. Report here.

Sunday 5 February 2012

London 2012 Olympic hopeful joins CC Hackney

As result of CC Hackney's on going support for Cycling Uganda, track sprinter and London 2012 Olympic Games hopeful Patrick Lawino has joined CCH. Moreover Patrick has formed a coaching partnership with yours truly. He and I will be representing Uganda at the forthcoming London round of the UCI World Cup. Objectives for this event are to gain experience in the sprint event and clock a creditable competition time in the 1km TT. So please, any CCH members who are going along to this event do give our very own Patrick a wave and a shout - this would be much appreciated by Mr. Lawino as he takes to the boards I'm sure.
After the London World Cup we will be focusing of the Olympic qualifying event that is the UCI World Championships in Melbourne Australia. Patrick will need to do well enough against the African quota of riders who are also hoping to gain entry into the London 2012 Olympics.
Additional support for this effort is coming from Velo Club Londres who have offered track time and have donated shoes and other items of equipment to keep our man in the frame. 


Keir Apperley

Partick Lawino flanked by his escort of riders; Robert Sweeney (L) & Jac Daley

Friday 3 February 2012

CCH - big in Japan

Daichi found CC Hackney in Japan...here

Wednesday 1 February 2012

2012 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships

The Koksijde crowd of sixty plus thousand would do anything to get close to the action

A group of CCH crossriders set of very early on sunday morning - or was it saturday night? - to travel over to Belgium to watch the 2012 Cyclo-Cross World Championships. The weather was bitterly cold and foggy but the excellent organisers had electronic signs up lighting the way to the venue from the motorway. A shuttle bus took us from the car into Kosijde - where the racing was taking place. The course wound its way around a military airport normally restricted to the public. Vast sections of the course consisted of very deep loose sand on steep hills which were energy sapping to walk on never mind race around.

The team arrives
We bumped into top women's Cross rider and GB champ' Helen Wyman before the race and wished her well.
Unfortunately Helen had a bad spill on the sand after leading the race but still managed to finish strongly in 13th place. Check here for the photos of Helen's deep rims disappearing in the sand.

At the finish line before racing started

Nikki Harris from GB on her way to an excellent sixth place
The women's race was pretty closely contested with not much separating the leading six riders however the amazing Marianne Vos eventually pulled away for the win - full report here.

Desperate warming up measure were called for...

With a long wait between the races we took to dune jumping to keep warm followed by Beers and frites. By now the massive crowd was in full swinging and singing party mode as they anticpated a home victory.
The Belgium crowd were treated to a masterclass by their riders who cleaned up on their home sand.
Afterwards we met up with USA rider Jeremy Powers and were filmed with him so check out his programme Behind the Barriers here to see if we turn up on it.

Jeremy Powers tries out for CCH - Harry's being filmed by the guy at the back  for J-Pows series.
They were not to be disappointed as the Belgium team rode the course like a team time trial eventually securing the top seven places. The world championship was won deservingly by Niels Albert  who put ten seconds into his rivals each lap coming home nearly half a minute up on his team mates he must have been sat up for the lsat half a lap.

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