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a journal - cycling, sociology, social media

Sunday, 16 September 2018

A bike shop under a bridge ... and a brewery.


The Backyard Bike Shop is somewhere that I have wanted to visit for a while but not managed to get to, so when I heard that the business had moved from its previous location in the Ouseburn Valley on the north side of the river Tyne to the south side of the river it seemed like a good opportunity to pop up for a visit. I must confess that I was a slightly puzzled why Nic Vieri  had decided to move his business from the upcoming Ouseburn area, a cultural and creative quarter to the east of Newcastle city centre to the quayside in Gateshead, which on the face of it didn't seem like an obvious location for a  bike shop - well I was totally wrong there and the reasons for moving to the new location were immediately obvious as soon as I got a first look at the location.  


A glorious July afternoon on Tyneside just taking a moment to enjoy the view of the magnificent Tyne Bridge and on the right a first glimpse of the creative container community that I had come to check out. Picture by Collab Media

Nic has moved to become part of a brand new independent container community nestled right under the iconic Tyne Bridge on the Gateshead side of the river. The community has been developed around the By The River Brew Company a micro brewery with an  adjoining tap room.  



Its just as well I was driving or I might not have even made it to the bike shop, as twenty craft beer keg lines in the tap room represent an awful lot of temptation, anyway getting a bit carried away there talking about beer time get back on track and talk bikes.


Nic Vieri owner of the Backyard Bike Shop is a proper bike guy and it was great to spend some time chatting with him about all things cycling. Nic's strategy for the shop is to specialise in repairs and high end custom builds and over time he has built up a network of reliable suppliers allowing him to source even the rarest and most unusual frames, wheels and components.


One of the Backyard Bike Shop recent creations combining classic Italian styling with up to date components. This Tommasini X-Fire is kitted out with Simano Dura-Ace on Kryserium Exiliath wheels and completed with Deda finishing kit. I am not really a fan of Italian bikes as a rule but this one I like ... a lot.


Literally underneath the Tyne Bridge, if anyone knows of a cooler location than this for a bike shop then please let me know where it is. Of course anywhere you suggest must also have a coffee shop/cocktail bar, brewery and a tap room oh, and a restaurant, did I mention the restaurant ?



Along side the bike shop is TRAKOL an eatery specialising in primitive outdoor cooking  indoors ... apparently. Didn't get a chance to sample the food unfortunately but the restaurant looked great, and serves only British produced meat cooked on British charcoal in an open kitchen.



Nic was a great host and gave me a full guided to tour of the development - including the very impressive brewery and tap room.


Just tell the guys at Backyard Bike Shop what your dream bike would look like and they will make it a reality. To make dreams come true Nic has a couple of expert mechanics on his team who both also race bikes at a high level. By coincidence I know one of them, Zeb Kyffin a real rising star of north east cycling who just happens to ride for Ribble Pro Cycling - small world is cycling.


Another recent build a Cinnelli Superstar with Campagnolo Record 12 speed, Miche SWR wheels and finished with Deda Superleggero, I really like this picture and this build.

 
The coffee shop adjoins the bike shop and is only separated by a mesh screen so you can enjoy a coffee while you watch your pride and joy being worked on. 



When the guys in the bike shop down their spanners for the day the coffee shop transforms into a really cool cocktail bar. Above a house special the Nitro Cold Brew - could easily become my new favourite drink. 


 Capturing content on the quayside and plugging the blog with help from Collab Media 



As if a brewery, tap room, bike shop, coffee shop, cocktail bar and a restaurant were not enough every weekend the vibrant Hawker Market opens for business. Right next door to the Backyard Bike Shop it's a great place to go for craft beer and a fantastic selection of street food from a range of independent traders. 


Final picture this week, a night shot of the container community under the Tyne Bridge where the Backyard Bike Shop is located. If this image doesn't make you want to pay them a visit I don't know what will. 
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Sunday, 26 August 2018

2018 That summer when we hardly ever needed to wash our bikes


I decided to take a break from writing during the summer, with a very full race season (a little too full as it turned out but more on that later) which entailed a lot of weekends away at races, along with holidays and a couple of other significant events I knew I wasn't going to be able to give the blog much attention. 


Even though I had decided on a blogging sabbatical before the temperatures began to soar it turned out to be a good decision as what a summer 2018 has been - way too nice to spend any more than the absolute minimum amount of time office bound.

So for this my first post back after my break I am starting with a quick summary of my summer of 2018, the year when we hardly ever had to wash our bikes or wear our arm warmers. More detailed posts on some of what follows will come over the next couple of months so just some snippets this week to get things in some sort of order and refresh my memory as much as anything else.

My race season Part 1:

My last blog post was on the 13th May just after I had completed the TourofTheAbberleys and what a great race it was. The day after I got back I raced a 30 mile TLI handicap at the Croft motor racing circuit, my 5th race in four days and my racing season was in full swing. I ended May having had thirteen race days in the month - this was a mistake. What I should have done (with the benefit of hindsight) was take a short break after the Abberleys, because I didn't rather than getting fitter from racing my form slipped (badly) and after some promising early season results I was finding every race a real struggle. More on this, what I have learned and how the rest of my race season went in a later post.


Above - 20th May - The TLI National Circuit Championships at Oulton Park in Cheshire I was feeling okay for this one and still had a bit of form but managed to miss the break and finish 11th which I wasn't too disappointed with in what was a quality field and a very aggressive race. Picture courtesy of  VeloUK - thanks Larry.


Above the start of the TLI Lapierre Series Round 5, The George Darlington Memorial RR promoted by Liverpool Century Road Club - big field, great circuit, perfect weather, legs felt good ... proceeded to crash on lap one of seven ! Thankfully I got a relatively soft landing in a wheat and field escaped with a cut finger and some grazes and without any major damage to the bike so it could have been a lot worse.

Pedalling out of a hole in Cala Millor 

Races every weekend along with a lot of driving began to take its toll and I realised that I was well and truly cooked, struggling just to get round races never mind get results. So having managed to dig a big hole of fatigue for myself a weeks holiday in Majorca in June came at just the right time. We had planned this break to come at the half way point in my race season with the intention of just doing enough training while I was away just to maintain fitness, but as my form had deserted me completely and I was really fatigued I was forced to have an easy few days of recovery/cafe riding. I felt a bit better by the end of the week then promptly got ill with a stomach bug when we got home which was far from ideal, Calla Millor was really nice though we enjoyed it.

First ride in Majorca and I am colour coded to the max with this killer shoe/sock combo, a Pinarello rental bike and a zebra, yep legs don't look great ... didn't feel great either.



By the end of a week of gentle cafe rides and not much else the old legs were starting to look and feel a bit better.

A bridge, a bike shop and brewery.



A summers day in the 'Toon' taking in the Tyne Bridge on my visit to the The Back Yard Bike Shop at a 'creative container community' the ByTheRiverBrewCompany in Newcastle. I was lucky enough to get a full tour of the shop and the rest of the Hillgate Quay development from the man behind BackYardBikeShop Nic Vieri.


The TheBackYardBikeShop is literally underneath the Tyne Bridge right on the quayside. If there is a cooler location than this for a bike shop anywhere, I would love to know where it is (answers on a postcard please) Nic has created something really different and the location and set up is so impressive it definitely deserves a full blog post - coming next month.

Plane Spotting

At some point in the summer I developed a bit of a thing for aeroplanes - this came totally out of the blue (pun intended) sounds a bit weird I know but it happened. I think it started with Google Earth, you know when you see something on there and think to yourself I am going to have yo go and have a look at that, so I did.


And that's how I found myself on top of a moor in North Northumberland dragging my CX bike across a bog to take pictures of a 'crashed' jet plane complete and in remarkably good condition including the engine - the things I do for Instagram.


From one extreme to the another and my plane spotting phase continued. This time with a visit to my local model flying club, where I spent a very pleasant hour chatting to the members, admiring their planes and watching them fly ... and crash, oops. I have enough aeroplane related stuff for a full blog post with loads of cool pictures along with the story of how the jet plane ended up in the bog, plus a Spitfire taking off and a plane landing at a bike race - don't miss it.

My race season part 2:

As I write this its still on-going, not many races left, but two of them are LVRC National Championship races, the criterium champs at Milton Keynes on September 8th and the Road Race Championships at Stratford on Avon on 7th of October - I will let you know how I get on.



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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Two 'Tours' - A big one in Worcestershire and that other one in Yorkshire.

The Tour of the Abberleys is the most prestigious race for veterans in the UK and a flagship event on the LVRC calendar. The Abberleys has been going for twenty years and is a three day, four stage race in Worcestershire with an opening time trial followed by three fairly tough road stages.


Above the start of stage three, it was my first time in Worcestershire and what a beautiful part of the country it is. Tough, undulating roads for bike racing though and stage four of the Abberleys is particularly difficult with two really big climbs on the finishing circuit.

I am not going to write an I did this and then this happened post on my Abberleys weekend, partly because to be honest after a distinctly average opening time trial I went on to trail in at the back of the race on all three road stages and appeared near the bottom of the results every day. But that didn't stop me from having a brilliant weekend and really enjoying the race from start to finish, of course the best May bank holiday weather for years helped a fair bit.


To take on the organisation of any bike races is a big job so to organise four races over a bank holiday weekend is a huge task, however Mike Amery and his team of over seventy helpers ensured that the whole weekend went without a hitch despite the appearance of some last minute road works. Thanks to the glorious weather Mike was able to conduct his pre-race safety briefings outside the Great Witley village hall race HQ and with invaluable help from the Midlands Bike Marshalls the racing felt really safe all weekend.


I stayed at the Premier Inn in Kidderminster for the weekend which is about twenty minutes drive from Great Witley where the Abberleys is based. I mention this only because I had not realised until recently how bike friendly the Premier Inn hotel chain is Bikeswelcome. They don't just tolerate cyclists, they actually want our business and are more than happy for you to keep your bike in your room, unlike some places I have stayed.


Above another glorious morning in Worcestershire before the start of stage three with fellow north east rider and winner of the 'Abberleys' in 2003 and 2011 Paul Stubbs. There was a great atmosphere all weekend and as with all LVRC and TLI age related events the racing was extremely competitive  but everyone remains friendly and supportive with plenty of advice and encouragement on offer.


Above Neil Baxter and John Cann of Blumilk.com completed the north east contingent in the race and both were competitive in all four stages. I met loads of people over the course of the weekend and one of the first I got to know was Craig Moody (Giant Halifax) who was really strong riding in my race but in the 'C' category. Craig and I got talking on day one and soon realised that our sons knew each other and had raced together as Juniors, its small world cycling. It was also really good to meet blog reader and fellow cycling academic Doctor Mark Corbett from Worcester University riding for Worcester St Johns CC. Mark is an authority on the relationship between cycling bio-mechanics and muscle fatigue, a really nice guy and an excellent bike rider, click on this Link DocCorbett for more on his work. Someone else I got to know and who I took some advice from that helped me during stage four was Sean Kilroy of Cambridge Vets another classy rider who went on to finish 2nd on the final day - thanks Sean.


An impressive display of trophies for the overall and category winners at the Abberleys on display in the village hall. In my category 'E' for riders over sixty we had a race within the race and I finished 7th out of the 14 who started which I was pretty happy with to be honest, although it was more to do with my dogged determination to finish all four stages when some of the other old boys didn't, rather than anything else.

While I was away enjoying my tour in Worcestershire the sun was also brilliant for the riders and spectators at the Tour de Yorkshire. I watched the highlights every night in the Premier Inn and while it doesn't really compare with the Abberleys the TdY also looked like a well organised little tour ...

www.therecoveryrideforthecafe.com

After I got home from Worcestershire I had the opportunity spend some time chatting with Tour de Yorkshire stage one winner and local hero Harry Tanfield and what an entertaining cafe stop it was. When I say 'chatting with' it would be more accurate to say 'listening intently to' as Harry was on great form and he came out with so many fascinating details and insights that I wish I had taken notes or recorded what he was saying.


Harry had us in stitches with stories of loosing his phone (during a stage), loosing a wheel after puncturing (left it in a hedge) and chasing back on for 50k after loosing contact with the peleton after his puncture while wearing the blue leaders jersey. The crash for Alex Patton in to an on-coming car while helping Harry back to the race didn't sound quite so funny, in fact it sounded horrendous.

A couple of things stood out for me from listening to Harry's often extremely detailed and sometimes hilarious account of the TdY, one is that power and knowledge of power is everything at the top level. Harry is one of those people who have that uncanny ability to accurately recall the details of a race almost moment by moment as it happened and watts were a constant theme throughout the conversation, how many he was producing at a particular time, how long he could sustain it for and what he needed to produce at some specific and crucial moments in the race, absolutely fascinating stuff.


Not only did Harry talk about his own power numbers but he is also able to accurately assess the power capabilities of other riders, this was particularly useful during the break on stage one which as we know stayed away and from which he went on to win and wear the leaders jersey. The fact that Harry was determined to be in the stage one break and made it happen illustrates this. In his own words: "It wasn't a case of floating in to a move, it was me who initiated it from the start, got it going, drove it and got us the gap". Which leads to another thing that struck me about Harry's attitude to the race and to the World Tour 'stars' that he was racing against - he was not phased to be racing against and beating the biggest names from the biggest teams in professional cycling ... not phased at all ! Well done 'H' absolutely brilliant mate.

Equally enjoyable for me was watching #theteamthatrock the girls from BoomPods/Edco/NRG competing at UCI level for the first time in the Asda Womens Tour de Yorkshire. A brilliant performance by the team and great to see another of my friends Ellen McDermott produce an outstanding ride to finish 18th on stage one. Something tells me that we will be hearing a lot more about Ellen in the future.
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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Women's Cycling: Bloomers, Boompods and Barriers.


Bloomers

I have been meaning to do a post on women's cycling for a while as there is a lot going on in the sport at the moment and I thought good place to start would be with a very quick look back at the history and significance of women's cycling, followed by a feature on a really up to date cycling team, my friends from the Boompods/Edco/NRG squad, finishing up with a quick a look at some of the barriers to the success of women's cycle racing that are yet to be resolved. 


The role of the bicycle in the history of the emancipation of women has often been overlooked by historians, but in the latter part of the 18th century the bicycle provided women with freedom that they had never experienced before, and not only the freedom to travel but the freedom from the restrictions caused by the billowing dresses and skirts which were the fashion convention of the time. Over a hundred years ago Alice Hawkins a member of the suffragette movement caused public outrage by cycling around Leicester wearing bloomers to promote women's rights. Subsequently during the fight for the vote the bicycle became a powerful symbol of the emancipation of women.



Victorian ladies enthusiastically took to cycling, even though they had to had to deal with many social, political and material challenges to their freedom of movement. Cycling in everyday dress was potentially dangerous as long skirts would get caught in the wheels. Loose fitting trousers or 'bloomers' soon appeared which allowed much greater freedom of movement, however they caused an uproar across society with some men even signing pledges not to associate with women who wore bloomers.

The right to dress as they wished has always been at the forefront of the women's rights movement and cycling was central to it. In 1881 the Society for Rational Dress was formed in London, opposing womens's restrictive clothing. Cycling was at the heart of this movement and cycling groups began to form across the country as more and more women began to wear knickerbockers and bloomers for cycling. This was regarded by some to be an affront to public decency and the image of 'the new woman' with her bicycle and her bloomers became a figure of ridicule and scorn. 

The bicycle and cycling eventually led to a change societies attitude to health, fitness and exercise and helped to prove that women were not to quote Dr William Fowle in 1826 "feeble and helpless" American suffragette Susan B Anthony later claimed that the bicycle had "done more to emancipate women that anything else in the world"


In a future post I will be looking at some of the significant figures that have contributed to women's cycling and cycle sport over the years and also some of its current stars, but for now to bring things right up to date a look at a team from the north east of England who are really making an impact on the sport Boompods/EDCO/NRG  -  'The Team that Rock'


BoomPods

A couple of weeks ago I went along to a photo shoot with some of the riders from  Boompods EDCO NRG organised by PR specialist and team founder Tony McDonagh of Manilla PR A great location had been picked for the shoot, a subway in central Middlesbrough with plenty of 'industrial' back drops to use. It was, I have to say absolutely freezing, although the conditions seemed to be more of an issue for Tony and myself than for the girls. Tony is involved with team in several areas but regards his main role as being on the sponsorship side of things. 

                                    Some of the riders: Jen Batey, Chloe Gladders, Ellen McDermott and Olivia Fawcett with Tony

The team was conceived in the autumn of 2016 based on a perception that there were lots of talented riders in the region but what was lacking was a pathway from their club participation to high level racing. Initial success came as a result of the fantastic commitment from a small group of riders in the team's 2017 debut season, helped and supported in no small part by sponsor EDCO wheels. The targets for the team were deliberately set very high in terms of the UK racing scene and as a result Boompods have rapidly become the 'go to team' in the north east where talented riders can achieve their ambitions.

                                                                                     The BoomPods/Edco/NRG squad for the TdY


This year, working with Boompods who Tony describes as "one of the most supportive sponsors a team could have" has enabled the squad to reach the ambitious levels set for them at the outset in only their second full season. It has just been announced that the team will be competing in the most prestigious event on the UK calendar the Asda Women's Tour de Yorkshire TdY which for 2018 is over two gruelling stages on the 3rd and 4th of May. Stage one is a tough 82 miles between Beverley and Doncaster and Stage two starts in Barnsley and follows an equally challenging 82 miles to the finish in Ilkley.


May is going to a be a really busy month for the team as straight after the TdY they will be competing for the first time in the televised OVO Energy Tour Series Tourseries. The team will be contesting all seven rounds of the series starting on the 10th May in Redditch right through to the final round at Wembley Park in London on the 29th May followed by the Grand Final at a location to be announced shortly.


       (above) Sarah Walker in the thick of the action on her way to 6th place at the Active Fakenham  Criterium on the 1st April.

                                       Some of the talented Boompods juniors L-R Marie Lynn, Olivia Fawcett and Anna Armstrong

                                                        A picture from the photoshoot and it's a strong look from the Boompods riders.


I know several of the girls from the Boompods squad from the north east cycling scene and because I raced with some of them at last year's Tour of Malta (my blog posts on the race here: Malta-1 and Malta-2) Hannah Farran from the team is also a good friend who I regularly train with. Above Hannah racing in awful conditions last month at the tough Oakenclough road race in Lancashire.

In the cafe last week I had chance to chat to Hannah about the team. There is a great atmosphere around the squad and one of the first questions asked her was how the team had managed to develop such a good team spirit so quickly "The team began with the ethos of 'we got this' which was originally an Instagram hashtag used by one of our sponsors, Continental Tyres, CONTI however it soon developed in to the ethos of the team. We have always played to the strengths of everyone and we like to think that one of the main reasons why we have been successful. All the riders contribute to the team in more ways that simply riding their bikes"

When I asked her about the teams racing strategy Hannah summed it up well  "The BoomPods approach is to always race aggressively and try to win but have fun doing it. Somebody recently commented that the team 'seemed to be punching above their weight'  which is probably accurate but that's because we are passionate, ambitious and most of all determined to have fun racing our bikes"


Barriers


Ellen McDermott of Boompods on the grid earlier this month preparing to race against some of the biggest names in the sport at the Ronde van Gerwen Criterium in Holland (on the front row left to right) Dutch rising star Puck Moonen of Lotto Soudal, alongside 2016 Olympic Gold medalist and multiple classics winner Anna van de Breggen of the Boels Dolmans team and on the right Dutch National Champion and winner of the 2017 La Course by Le Tour de France, Annemiek van Vleuten of Michelton Scott. 

I started this post by highlighting how cycling has empowered women and has been a site of social progress throughout it's history. But it is also clear that cycling and cycle sport specifically has also been a site where women have been socially constrained. Women's cycling is in a better position today than it ever has been but two big issues still dominate the sport: under investment and an underlying culture of discrimination within the sport. 

It was announced recently that women riders in the 2019 Tour Down Under will receive the same prize money as their male counterparts, although this is a big step forward there is still a huge pay gap in the sport. There is no minimum wage for professional female cyclists and as a result female professionals are lucky if they earn half as much as their male peers. Another issue is distance and duration of races which are limited in women's races under UCI rules with road races restricted to 130 Km and time trials to 40 Km. Also lacking is equality of coverage of women's racing, more coverage would attract more sponsors which in turn would bring more money in to the sport.

Change will come for sure, but in the meantime look out for 'THE TEAM THAT ROCK' this summer having fun racing their bikes ! 



Boompods latest!                             


A good day for the Boompods today with a one two in the Tyneside Vagabonds Spring Criterium, at the Middlesbrough Sports Village. Hannah on the top step with new signing Amy Graham second and Nikki Metcalfe of Prima Team Racing completing the podium. 





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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Learning a lesson: From the Cavern Club to the Pain Cave


Here is something I learned recently: Spending the day before a bike race on the drink in Liverpool  after abstaining from alcohol for several weeks in order to perform better in bike races is not conducive to peak performance the following day in the bike race that you have travelled to Liverpool to compete in ... well surprise, surprise (as Cilla used to say)


I haven't raced on Merseyside before but I have visited Liverpool a few times and enjoyed the city every time. When I mentioned to my wife Sue and daughter Ellie that I was racing nearby we decided to make a weekend of it so they could get in some Sunday morning retail therapy in Liverpool One while I was at the bike race - good plan. The only snag is whenever we are in the city it's become a bit of a tradition that we 'pop' in to the Cavern Club. So pop in we did, but I was absolutely adamant that I was only going to have one ... or possibly two beers, famous last words !


If you are ever in Liverpool a visit to the 'The Most Famous Club in the World' should be on your list of things to do. The Cavern with its vaulted cellars, memoribilia covered walls and intimate atmosphere has been at the heart of the Liverpool music scene for over seventy years and everyday of the week there is live music from mid-afternoon until late in the evening. One of the acts performing at the Cavern this time were the Pre-Amps a young 4-piece band from Newcastle Upon Tyne. They specialise in covers from the 50s and 60s, from The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Small Faces, their set was brilliant, a real retro experience and they had the place absolutely bouncing. I even got up and did my best Mersey Beat Dad dancing, oh it was special! (video available on request) 


After a short stop-over back at our hotel we spent the evening down at Albert Dock. A really nice meal at the impressive Gusto restaurant and inevitably a couple more drinks and by the time we hit the fresh air to stroll back I had come to the inevitable conclusion that - yes, it was going to hurt in the morning for sure.


The race was the Town Green Masters at Bickerstaffe about thirty minutes from Liverpool city centre giving me just enough time to eat my breakfast banana and drink some petrol station Costa en-route. The race was organised by Brian Rigby of St Helens CRC who along with his team had put in a lot of work preparing for the race, as it was a new circuit that had taken three years to get sanctioned. I was particularly impressed with the colour coordinated bike rack they provided me with for my Ribble Aero 883, nice touch that I thought


This was a British Cycling event with two races on the same circuit, a 40+ Masters and my race the 50+ Masters. This was the only BC organised race that I am doing this year as I have previously posted that my season will be mainly focused on age group racing organised by the TLI and LVRC where I will be competing in the 'E' Category (60+) so even before my over indulgence in the Cavern I wasn't particularly optimistic about my chances in this race (just as well) especially as the start sheet included quite few BC 2nd Cat riders.


A picture from the day by my cycling photographer friend Ellen Isherwood. I think this was on lap two and although I appear to be breathing quite hard I was still reasonably 'comfortable'. You can see more of Ellen's great cycling pictures on her Instagram gallery @ellenisherwood 

The race was six laps for a total distance of approximately forty miles. The circuit was fairly flat but with no hedges or trees so it was very exposed. The first three laps were spent with the race mostly in one long line with some huge turns done by one particular rider, John Agnew from Lune CC although he was making the race hard he didn't manage to cause a split. During the early laps my heart rate was a few percent higher than I wanted it to be but I was managing to hold a reasonable position and not in any danger of being dropped - then the attacks started. There was a bit of a lull on lap four and I moved up to about tenth to try and get maximum shelter and create a bit of 'sliding space' and it was at this point that I started to believe that I might actually survive and get round in the bunch. My confidence was misplaced though as a couple of minutes later a big attack went on the right hand side of the road and I was immediately grovelling to get on to a wheel - any wheel ! A little gap opened up which soon became a couple of bike lengths and that was it, the bunch was disappearing in to the distance. If you have ever been 'out the back' in a bike race you will know that it seems like just a few seconds after you have been dropped the bunch appear to slow down and for a brief moment you think you can regain contact - you can't and I didn't ! That was it, resigned to the last two laps solo, you can see my race data here Strava.

                                                                     Picture Credit @ellenisherwood

No need to look for your's truly in this picture as I had already been off-loaded by this point, but you can see that a few people were hurting on the exposed sections of the circuit. Although it wasn't particularly windy it still had an effect when the strong men at the front decided to put the pressure on. When I though about it later I didn't remember seeing any of these fellas in the Cavern Club the day before... funny that. 
                                             

                                                                Picture Credit @ellenisherwood

The race was decided on a sprint from a small group of six who had escaped on the final lap. The winner was Andy Bennett of Omnipex Bio Race RT with Simon Deplich of Team Chronomaster/Leisure Lakes Bikes second and Karl Smith of Bott Cycle Team third.

Another Sunday another race


                                                           Picture Credit: @ellenisherwood

Above - Today (08/04) I raced in a TLI road race race at Bashal Eaves near Clitheroe in Lancashire which was round one of the eight race Lapierre Series. So I was racing in the Ribble Valley on my Ribble Aero 883 for Team Ribble. I arrived at the race fresh after a good week of preparation, clear headed and raring to go, managed to sneak in to the top ten and picked up some series points - I even did a few turns on the front !


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