Sunday 30 September 2012

Club social

'artistic' photo

Many thanks to all who came along to CC Hackney's social at The Hackney Cut (HC) earlier this month. Around 50 bods, young and old, headed down to Fish Island by Hackney Wick for a review, planning talk, Q&A and the discussion session that followed. Guiseppi, Iya, Anna and Diego; staff at The HC were kept busy behind the bar and have extended their welcome to CCH and all cyclists going forward. CCH Membership card holders, remember to claim your discount on food and drink at the bar. 
We are looking to hold another event in December at the same place but next time it will be more like a party with DJ and live music - date TBC.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

CCH showing at the Worlds

Tao urging on fellow break away riders to push on up the Cauberg
The UCI road world championships were held in Limburg in the Netherlands last week with CCH being represented in the Juniors road race and time trial in the shape of Tao Geoghan Hart. Alongside him were former team-mate Alex Peters and fellow London rider Germain Burton. The GB Juniors rode a great race working together and showing up the sharp end of the race. Tao got into a breakaway but it was all brought back together for a bunch sprint in which GB rider John Dibben came fifth whilst Tao finished 21st and Alex 33rd in the same bunch. Report here.
All in all a really great showing by the GB lads and lasses - especially Lucy Garner who retained her rainbow jersey.

Video footage here  with some pretty interesting Dutch pronunciation of Tao's name going on.

Friday 21 September 2012

Except buses & cycles...

Hackney Car Free Day Saturday 22nd September more info here.

And a related article here.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Cross Season Begins

Ned displaying amazing technique.

Harry, Ned and I headed of to Herne Hill for the preseason races just to get in some practise before the real racing starts. The people from Vicous Velo had made a fantastic course that went all around the velodrome and behind on the mtb course. This race was big for me as this was my first race as a U14. Ned I think had a great race apart from his crash. Harry was unfortunate to puncture on the last lap after a good start.
On the following week we went deeper into south London with the addition of Artie and Andy. The course at Bethlem Royal Hospital, was very fast and complex. Unfortunately Artie missed his race and rode up to U14 but had a fantastic race until he crashed in the last 5m but finished the race carrying his bike across the line in true X style! I had a great race, as I didn't crash. Ned had an amazing comeback after a mechanical in the first a hundred meters. Harry and Andy enjoyed their race while being bitten to bits by insects.
On Sunday Harry and I went up to Chelmsford for the Eastern Cross League to start the season in earnest, a hard, fast technical course had been laid on. Harry went first and did great..NO crashes. I did ok but not as well as I hoped just didn't have the stamina.

Harry avoiding insects.


CCH are members of the London X League; calendar and results can be found at so if you race these you could get League points!

To be part of the Eastern Cross League you have to join as an individual; details calendar etc;


Wednesday 19 September 2012

It's Bike Racing (but not as you know it)

Come and see the cutting edge of bicycle design being pushed to the limit! Meet Mike Burrows - the worlds greatest bike designer - and see his latest machine! Watch your club chair being reduced to a quivering heap of jelly!

Hog Hill is the venue for the penultimate British Human Power Club race of the year on the 7th of October.  You won't be expected to race, but if you want to have a go contact Bikefix and they can probably lend you a bike.

Two weeks later we will be at Hillingdon for the final race of the season.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Hackney lads confirmed - GB Team UCI Junior World Championships 2012

Two Hackney lads, Tao Geoghagan Hart and Alex Peters along with fellow Londoner Germaine Burton have been selected for the GB Team to ride in the UCI Junior World Championships in Maastricht this month. 

Good luck Tao, Alex, Germaine and all of the GB Team - may the force be with you - from CC Hackney, make it a London ting :)


Junior men road race

Sunday 23rd September
09.00 - 12.10 - Road Race Junior Men (129 km) Road race course

Germain Burton
Jon Dibben
Tao Geoghegan-Hart
Chris Lawless
Alex Peters
Will Stephenson

Junior men time trial

Monday 17th September
10.00 - 12.05 - Individual Time trail, Junior Men (26,6 km) Landgraaf - Valkenburg

Jon Dibben
Tao Geoghegan-Hart

Thursday 13 September 2012


Over the summer I cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats with my dad and brother in aid of The Stroke Association.
Quick summary: 
  • 1027.3 miles.
  • 15 days.
  • Longest day of 91.9 miles.
  • Max speed of 41mph.
  • Highest average speed of 16.6mph.
  • Lowest average speed of 11.7mph.
  • Overall average speed of 13.82mph.
  • Total elevation gain 59,450ft (18,121M).
  • Number of punctures 0.
  • Number of nurofen consumed 18.
  • Number of paracetamol consumed 12.
  • Number of chain breaks 4.
  • Total raised (SO FAR!) £2223.02
If you want to know more or see the photos then please visit the blog of the trip, HERE
My full summary is HERE
If you can please donate HERE


Monday 10 September 2012

Group riding cycling etiquette

CC Hackney often receives emails asking for tips and advice about group riding so big up Bigfoot CC for the following text. Most if not all of it also applies to CC Hackney's group rides, including youth groups on Saturdays and mixed adults on Sundays.

Ride Rules and Etiquette
When you first ride in a group you may be slightly unsure as to what is going on; where you should be riding in the formation or who is in charge etc. There are a few rules to riding in a group safely and effectively. There's also some basic 'etiquette' you need to know.



Why ride in a group?

For several reasons; social, safety, sporting and fitness, and, of course, you won't get lost. By riding in a group you'll learn road skills and be able to chat to more experienced riders. Generally speaking it is the best place to learn about how to get into cycling.
Have a look at this short video for some useful advice.

Find a ride suitable for your level

Look at our “Next Rides” section which will give you help in choosing which ride is most suitable for you. When you turn up for a ride, ask other cyclists where they think you will fit in best and try that ride out. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you behind if you have mis-judged. We suggest for your first ride out with us that you pick a level you are conservatively confidently of, and then review your choice for your next ride.
Be prepared

Wear appropriate cycle clothing. You may warm up quickly but feel cold when you stop. Carry the following with you: a rain jacket, a pump, essential tools, spare tubes, food for three to four hours and plenty to drink. Also carry a mobile phone and some ID, plus money for a tea stop.
Tell someone if you have a problem

You may be feeling a bit shy about it but tell the riders around you if you have a puncture or mechanical problem, don't drift to the back of the group and off it without telling anyone. If they drop you on a hill they will wait or send a rider or two back to pace you up to the group so don't worry, they won't abandon you.

The group may ride on and then retrace so they keep warm whilst you fix your flat. If you are a slow mechanic ask for help. There will be experienced riders who can help you so don't feel afraid to ask if it will save the group time.
Send the message to the front

If you are riding at the back and a rider is dropped for whatever reason tell the riders in front of you and ask them to shout up to the front. The pace can then be adjusted to suit the problem or the group can stop.

Try to relax your upper body as much as possible. This will help prevent fatigue and also prevent you from making sudden changes in direction. Bend the arms a little and keep your head up.

Take these at your own pace – don’t worry about how slow you are going. All groups separate out on hills and re-group again at the top.

Depending on the type of group you are riding in, the main principle of group riding is to ride together. Attacking off the front is not a good idea, it will usually upset the more experienced riders and generally upset the discipline and pace of the group. If you get lost by shooting off ahead of your group, they will not try and find you. Sometimes there will be a long hill or section where there will be some hard riding allowed. Often there may be a sprint for a town sign, but remember to be sensible, this isn't a race. Take your cue from the other cyclists about when this is appropriate.
Riding formation

Where there is a lot of traffic, you should ride in single file to allow cars to pass. Please don’t cycle all over the road. Where possible we will ride two abreast, usually with the ride leader at the front and another experienced rider towards the back. Do not break the line and overtake only on hills or safe places where the road ahead is clear.
Allowing cars to pass

Following on from the point above, if you are cycling in a large group, make sure you bunch up into smaller groups (of say 4 riders) so that a car can “leap-frog” each smaller group. Car drivers can sometimes be antagonistic to cyclists so it is good practice to make things as easy as possible for them. You don’t want to wind a driver up by causing them to be stuck behind you unnecessarily. Frustrated drivers take risks and drive too close.
Chain Gangs

The benefits of riding in a group are more than just social. If you move into the faster groups you will find they may cycle in a “chain gang” – cycling close together, and taking turns to lead at the front. You cover more ground with less effort in a group, saving around 20% of your energy when cycling in the bunch. So stay close to the rider in front (6 inches) to maximize the slipstream and allow riders around you to also use it to best effect. It is a difficult skill to master but of huge benefit once you can do it. Let others know if you are new to the practice. If you are nervous about hitting the wheel in front, try riding 6 inches either side of it and don't stare at the tyre. Try to look up, this way you will relax more and see any problems before they arise.
Don't 'switch' suddenly

Hold your line and keep a steady cadence - this is for the rider who may be riding behind and needs to be confident that you won't move suddenly or wobble. The riders in front will not stop suddenly without warning so you won't have to make any sudden moves.


Please slow right down for them and give them a wide berth. It is useful to call out so they know you are a human – they don’t understand bikes.
• Call out on approach - immediately the horse identifies you as a human.
• You wait for the rider to notice you - they may need to take a stronger hold on their mount or to reassure them.
• Finally, you pass slowly and as far away as possible to minimise possible distress and give you the best chance of staying out of range if things do go wrong.


CAR BACK/CAR UP: A general warning of a car trying to pass or one coming around a corner. Please be aware and move into single file to let it pass if appropriate. Can be 'Oil up' depending on which part of the country you are in.
CAR FRONT/CAR DOWN: A warning of a car in front. Used on narrow lanes when the car might encroach on your road space. Can be “oil down”.
HEADS UP LOOK UP: If this is shouted it usually means there is a bad junction or potential hazard ahead and to pay attention yourself. This is especially important if you are in a large group and it will take a while to get around the hazard.
SINGLE OUT: When a car is behind and needs extra space to overtake, or if the group is approaching a narrow road or overtaking a line of parked cars.
ROLLING: We all know not to run red lights, but it’s equally as dangerous to stop dead when the light suddenly turns yellow when you have 80 riders going 45km/hr behind you. If it’s a fresh yellow and there are riders behind you yell ‘ROLLING’ as this lets others that you’ll be rolling through.
CLEAR: When an intersection is safe to cross call out ‘CLEAR!’ Don’t yell ‘NO!’ if you see a car as this can easily get confused for ‘GO!‘ Yell, CAR RIGHT or CAR LEFT
ON YOUR RIGHT: Call this out when you are in a fast moving group and you are passing another rider or group of riders. This alerts your group to move over to the right. Remember to always pass other riders on their right hand side.
STOPPING: Yell this out if you are stopping so others don’t cycle into the back of you and cause a crash.

here for more advice on group riding.

And many thanks to Cyclinginform and David Heatley for this:

"Group Ride Etiquette. Have you ever seen a pro team on a training ride? Side by side, shoulder to shoulder, quietly zipping along. Then, there is the club ride. You actually hear it before you see it. Slowing! Right Side! Stopping! Rolling! Hole! Then you see it. 25 riders spread out over an entire city block, three, sometimes four, wide. Weaving, swarming cars, running stop signs. Keep your group ride cool with the following four rules of thumb. 1) Never ride more than two abreast. 2) Never allow more than six inches distance between your front wheel to the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. 3) Maintain a distance, no more than 12 inches from your shoulder to the shoulder of the rider next to you. 4) It only takes one person to call things out. This should be the person at the front of the pack. Ideally, a little point of the hand is all it takes to indicate obstructions or turns. It shouldn’t take two dozen people yelling at the top of their lungs to make a ride run smoothly.
To look cool, keep the group tight, wheel to wheel and shoulder to shoulder. To look Euro-cool, only ride with other cyclist wearing the exact same kit. If this is not possible, make sure there are no more than three different kits in the pack and that there are at least three riders wearing each kit. And please, never swarm cars at stop lights or steer a large group of riders through a red light. It’s just not cool."

I'd like to add to the list:
Cyclists do well when being mindful and cautious while passing cars in traffic, parked or other wise; ride slowly through if close enough to be body checked by an unwanted door (on either side of a vehicle) flying open - it happens. Ride out and well clear of car doors, any traffic behind will understand why you're keeping your distance.
Do communicate with all other road users. Showing drivers your appreciation with a wave, after being treated with respect by motorists like those that wait, is good practice and promotes cyclists.

Keir Apperley - CC Hackney

Kai and Prosper - Fundraising for JDRF

Kai with his race face on
CCH stalwart Prosper

Kai and Prosper Fundraising for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

On the 7th June 2011  CCH junior member Kai Watts(9) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He has not let Type 1 diabetes stop him in any way at all. Three days after being diagnosed and starting on insulin injections up to 7 times a day and blood glucose tests Kai was back on his bike cycling for Cycling Club Hackney. After 6 months Kai got his insulin pump and enjoys the best of new technology. 
Prosper (Kai’s dad) has  set a challenge with Kai to complete 3,000miles  in a mixture of races, long distance rides and sponsored events during the next 12 months please sponsor them to support JDRF. JDRF is the leading organization in the UK for Type 1 diabetes - finding a cure and new technology please sponsor Kai and Prosper so to help JDRF with their work!  Please have a look at Kai & Prosper’s Just giving page....  thank you for your time.
So far Kai and Prosper have completed 734 miles between them in 12 weeks. Including regular high beech trips, London to Cambridge and Brighton to Beachy Head.  

Kai met a Sanoffi Team Type one cyclist at the east of england diabetes sports day a couple of weeks ago and apparently Team Type one are hoping to get into the Tour of Britain next year - brilliant role models for Kai.

Friday 7 September 2012

Tao for the worlds

GB have announced their long list for the World Championships in Limburg, Netherlands later this month. Tao has been longlisted for the Junior road race - as has former teammate Alex Peters - and Tao will ride in the Junior time trial. Lets wish them and all the GB team success and hope they can emulate Mark Cavendish and Lucy Garner's wins from last year.
See full team list here

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