Wednesday, 29 February 2012

March calendar

Club time trials are starting this month. Please note that the Spring Hilly, the Two Up Team TT and the Medium Gear 72” are all being held on Saturdays this year and at the earlier time of 08.30. You'd only be wasting time watching Saturday Kitchen or some such.

Get out and ride!

Club nights are every Tuesday at 2000h, Hitchin Rugby Club on Old Hale Way, Hitchin.

The second Tuesday (13th) is a Committee Meeting, commencing 2015h. Check to see if the Committee are "turbo-ing" as this makes for much hilarity as they conduct business whilst having cardiac seizures.

Club runs - 0900h start, Hitchin Town Square
Sun 4th - Hertford Rose Café
Sun 11th -  Royston Sports Centre
Sun 18th - Willington, Frost's GC
Sun 25th - Leighton Buzzard GC, tbc. Also coincides with the CTC Start of Summertime ride.

Time trials
Sat 10th - Spring Hilly, 6Z/10, Start: 08.30 nr. Whitwell
Sat 17th - Two Up Team TT, 1U/25 Start: 08.30 nr Southill (club 25 circuit)
Sat 24th - Medium Gear 72" 25, 1U/25, start 08.30

n.b. The clocks go FORWARD one hour over the weekend of 24/25th

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Nomads Going Beyond Cyclo Sportive - 17th June 2012

Details relating to the annual Going Beyond Cyclo Sportive are available for your reading pleasure.

Overview and entry information.

All in a fantastic cause.

Medium Gear TT info'

This just in from Frank Turner - all you single speed novices take note.

Frank: If using single speed with 700c x 23/25 wheels the following chainring/sprocket sizes are appropriate for the medium gear.

46-17 --- 71’7”
48-18 --- 70’7”
51-19 --- 71’1”

With multi-speed gears the machine must be set to prevent the selection of a ratio higher than specified. The ratio selected can be determined by using the following calculation.
Number of teeth on ring divided number of teeth on block multiplied by 26.5 (700c x 25).

Alternatively, hold the machine with one crank vertically down, mark the point immediately below the pedal, wheel the machine BACKWARDS in a straight line until the same pedal is at the bottom, mark the second point. The distance between the marks must not exceed 18 ft 10 ins (5.74 metres).

It may be possible to achieve this by adjusting the limit stop on the rear mechanism to prevent the higher ratios being selected and/or adjusting the stop on the front mechanism to prevent the large chainring being selected.

Prior to the start of the medium gear machines will be checked when signing on, this can take some time. Riders intending to enter are requested to ensure that ratios above 72 inches are locked out or a reliable indicator is attached to the gear cable run to show if high gears have been selected after the start. Arrival after 8am may mean you are out of luck!

Record breaking in February...

“Is this a new club record?” asks Nick Hickman.

Let’s face it I’m very unlikely to beat any of the existing club records. So what to do? Well the opportunity arose a few weeks back when we had all that snow.

The Sunday club run was never going to happen on the road but I, Neil JJ Fraser and a couple of non-members (Simon and Kieran) met up at the usual time and place on mountain bikes. We set off carefully down Sun Street with the traditional, naughty right-turn at the end, then headed out on the Barton Road. At the brow of the hill we made a right turn along Crow Furlong.

A record attempt had begun.

Near the Lavender Barn there was a cyclist being towed through the snow by his three dogs. Mush! Lots of sliding about and falling off on the way down to Oughton Head. On finding himself lying in a foot of snow Neil remarked that it had seemed like a comfortable place for a rest. Then on road for a bit to Pirton. Another strange person pulling a wheelie on the ice for 100yds or so at Punch’s Cross. Impressive. We decided an assault on the North Face of Telegraph Hill was in order and started up to Base Camp (pictured) at the top of Wood Lane. After pausing there for photos we pushed on through waist deep snow drifts, crossed the Barton Road and up the Icknield Way. This was actually a bit easier than expected because a few walkers had been through. Although the rider that piled on through very aggressively without so much as an “on your right” was an odd moment. The tobogganists coming down from Deacon Hill looked like they were having fun. We soon reached the summit of Telegraph Hill and pedalled onwards across Lilley Hoo, through the wood that I and my MTB friends have always known as P*ncture Wood and towards Little Offley. We stopped soon as the Wood had lived up to its name as usual. Simon gave a superb illustration of the need to thoroughly check a p*nctured tyre all the way round and not assume that removal of two obvious and large thorns was all that was required. A couple of inner tubes later we were on our way again, feeling very cold now in the fog and after the long stop.

Through Little Offley to Great Offley and down Chalk Hill rather slowly but still falling off a time or two more. Back into Hitchin with grins from ear to ear and an agreement that we “must do this again” the next time an opportunity arises. So, Neil and I achieved 14 miles in something over three hours. That’s the benchmark for slowest 2-up time trial in the snow.

We claim a new club record and will be pleased to defend it next Winter if the weather makes it possible. For the avoidance of doubt, to beat the record the snow must be deeper and the time slower!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tuesday night turbo sessions - 2012

Are you hoping for a new PB on the Club 10 this year?

Do you need some motivation to get on the turbo trainer?

On Tuesdays from 7th Feb at 8:00pm we have secured the use of a room at Hitchin Rugby Club for club nights. Andrew Stevenson, our newly qualified coach is busy working on some gruelling turbo training schedules to punish your bodies, so be warned!

There are changing facilities there, and plenty of room. The bar will also be open as it's a training night for the rugby club also, so a well earned drink might be in order afterwards. We are using The Pavillion which can be accessed from the car Park to the right as you enter the driveway.

We are hoping to make this a weekly thing, the format will be tailored to suit those who attend. Even if you don't fancy the training session, why not pop down and see what's going on, and make some suggestions. We hope to use the Club for more club activities, and the Sportive will run from there this year.

Chiltern 100 - Sunday 27 May 2012

For those who have not heard of it, coming up in May (Sunday 27th) there is a sportive called the Chiltern Hundred.

This is a 110 mile (two other distances also available 75 and 54 miles) ride around the Chilterns with some great climbs and scenery. I have reserved a team for the Nomads which guarantees us 15 places. There are no upper limits to the number of people we have in the team with further places available through general sale, subject to availability (i.e. first come first served). This is not a race and people can ride it at their own pace, with Gold, Silver and Bronze times set by the organisers for targets for the more competitive among us which means that we don't all have to ride together if people want to ride at different paces.

Details can be found on the following website:

Now that you are all itching to sign up, here is what you need to do. Go to this page: which has the link to enter.

Enter the sportive as an individual but when it asks if you are part of a team enter "HITCHIN NOMADS".

The 15 team places will be held for us until the 1st April, after that any spaces not taken will go on general sale on the 2nd. This event will not clash with the interclub series or any other HNCC event (apart from the clubrun on that Sunday), so would be great to have a few riders, plus we get a free team photo.

A message from the Editor

The mild winter continues and it seems that many members have been taking the opportunity to get in some hard miles which should hopefully translate in to some good performances during the spring and summer. I note that it’s looking a bit colder from this weekend however…February sees the World Cup cycling at the new Olympic Stadium. Talking of the Olympics, I read that the organising committee have increased the number of spectators allowed on Box Hill for the Olympic Road Race to 15,000 (from 3,400). Perhaps we’ll get a chance to see some exciting live Olympic cycling after all. It should be a great atmosphere on the hill.


Harp Hilly 100

Last weekend was the first and toughest of this year’s Chiltern Classic Series of Reliability rides. The Harp Hilly covers 100km of scenic, challenging terrain including Bison Hill, Ivinghoe Beacon and Aston Hill. Despite the windy weather there was a large turnout of riders, with all 200 places taken by 9am – any riders turning up after this time were allowed to ride the route “unofficially”. It was impressive to see and to be part of a ‘peleton’ of around 80 riders taking over Berkhamsted High Street 10 miles into the route. The pack gradually broke up (or disappeared into the distance from my perspective!) as it made its way over to Bison Hill.
By the time we left Dunstable and turned into the wind which blew incessantly along the Chilterns the field was strung out and there was little shelter on offer, making for a tough stint. Once Aston Hill was negotiated at around the half-way mark we had the wind to help us once more and the remaining miles seemed somewhat easier under a cloudless blue sky.
There is a trophy for the club who have the most riders completing the 100km route. There were 7 Nomads on the start line and all 7 completed the route, a number that was only exceeded by Milton Keynes CC and Hemel Hempstead CC. Special mention should go to James Gomm who punctured within the first couple of kilometres and who then had to ride “solo” for the remaining 98km. The series continues for the next 5 weekends.