Tuesday, 27 March 2012

April Calendar 2012

Racing season is now upon us, hurrah for the clocks going forward. Here are the highlights of the April 2012 calendar.

Rugby Club training sessions cease at the end of March, i.e. before the evening time trials start.

The Briercliffe 10s restart on 3 April 2012. Please note that the first two events start at the earlier time of 18.30.

The Interclub 10 is on the 21 April and we need as many people riding this event as possible to get the club off to a good start this season. The new course F15/10 is at Brogborough.
You can register to ride via http://www.book-to-ride.com/BRCC/Register/enter_spoco.php or please contact Neil JJ Fraser or James Gomm directly.

Sun 1 Apr - Clubrun to Wimpole Hall: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3025430
Tues 3 Apr - Briercliffe 10 - 1830h

Sun 8 Apr - Clubrun to Reed, Silver Ball: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2570348  
Tues 11 Apr - Briercliffe 10 - 1830h

Sun 15 Apr - Clubrun to Whitwell, Emily's: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3251350
Tues 17 Apr - Briercliffe 10 - 1900h
Sat 21 Apr - Interclub 10 (Icknield RC), F15/10, first rider off 14.00h

Sun 22 Apr - Clubrun to Welwyn, Sports Centre: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2961521
Tues 24 Apr - Briercliffe 10 - 1900h

Sun 28 Apr - Clubrun St Neots via Waresley: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3430766

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Medium Gear 72" Postponed

Unfortunately due to the thick fog this morning (<100m visibility) we had to postpone the Medium Gear 25. It will now be held on Tuesday 15th May at 19:00 during the first evening David Gudgin 25 (the normal 25TT will also still be taking place for those not wanting to ride Medium Gear). Calendar updated here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Medium Gear 25 (72") - 24th March 2012

This Saturday's event is the Medium Gear 72" so time to dust down those single speed machines or get busy with a screwdriver. 

Frank will be there with his tape measure to verify gearing, so no trying to sneak a couple of extra inches! First rider off at 8:30am so please arrive by 8:15 am on the start line between Southill and Ireland (Route here). Entry on the line, £2 HNCC members, £3 non-members.

Notes from 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. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Wiggle No Excuses Sportive Report - 18/03/2012

Sunday 18th March 2012 saw the Wiggle "No Excuses" Sportive come around and six Nomads rising early to take on the challenge of one of the UK's most popular Sportives.

Nicky Ollier and Tim Wallis taking on the non-trivial "Standard" 45 mile route and Simon Doyle, James Gomm, James Spence and Andrew Stevenson tackling the "Epic" 80 mile route.

The tone of the day was nicely set in the event car park as we all had a quiet chuckle at the two chaps who decided to ride the SPORTIVE on their time trial bikes; complete with 100mm deep section rims and aero helmets! All the gear, no idea.

There were tens of people fighting punctures on the route too - fortunately (or because of good riding and kit selection?) the Nomads were unafflicted - some may say that is a subjective opinion.

If anything a sportive is worth riding for the amount of carbon laced eye candy on display, with bikes ranging from rusty garden shed ornanments and tandems to a £12k Team Sky Pinarello Dogma complete with Di2.

Having negotiated the collection of bike numbers, timing chips and a free cups of tea, we were ushered to the starting gate in a group of  around 20 riders. We were given a concise safety talk (stop at junctions, don't take up the whole road, try not to run anyone over etc) and then unleashed on the roads of Cambridgeshire.

The weather conditions were far from ideal, with an air temperature of  about 5 degress centigrade and rain in the air. There was quite a bit of standing water in some parts of the courses, however this did nothing to dampen the spirits as the "epic" crew settled into a good rhythm in the first of the three legs.

For the first stretch (from the start to the first feeding station roughly 25 miles in) the tempo was only briefly disrupted once - by the sound of James G's pump hitting the ground on a fast descent. This was followed by a raft of mumbled swearing and the squelching of brake pads on rims. Once reunited with said object the group worked well together, eating up the miles to the first feeding station. 

A point to note for the organising committee for the up and coming Nomads' Sportive on 17th June (Details), lessons were learnt:
  • A 7ft white flag is not conspicuous enough for the great unwashed to indicate the turning for the feed station is
  • Home made flapjack = great
  • Jelly beans = very good
  • Neon Orange Maxi fuel drink = not so good - the drink was a brighter Orange than Simon's Euskatel bike
  • Maxifuel gels (well at least the "Citrus" flavour) = truly awful 
  • The Finish line is where it says "Finish" and not "Disabled Car Park" (some fool missed the line and added a few minutes to his time by being a divot)

The Nomads stretching out the bunch on a climb on leg 2.

Doyle, Gomm, Stevenson, Spence and random half-wheelers

Doyle and Gomm

 The second 30 mile stint was the hardest and combined the majority of the climbs of which there was 2,400ft of elevation to tackle. It also saw the team face the worst of the rain and a headwind. The group put the effort in, spitting out many downhill domestiques on carbon fibre superbikes (£3k plus) during the long drags into the wind.

At the next fuel stop the the lessons from the first fuel stop were applied and after a quick natural break we embarked on the final leg. Old men's bladders and all that...

The hammer was well and truly put down as Mr Doyle suggested that we "made the most of the tailwind" with the first 10 miles being eaten up in no time. A few steeper hills were thrown into the mix as we approached Grafham Water. The legs began to ache (more) at this stage.

Eventually we hit the A1 bridge before upping the pace for the final mile home. We finished as a group and achieved a gold time, averaging just under 18 mph (once you factor out the rest stops of around 20 minutes in total).

Andrew Stevenson - just say no.
The ultimate recovery food of sausage rolls was consumed by all (I'm fairly certain that's what the pro's use) as a reward for finishing. The offer of a free use of the jet wash was declined in preference to a few more minutes of sausage rolls and staring in to space and reflection on the endeavours of the day.

Andrew Stevenson has been given a forfeit for wearing fur line Croc shoes as Apres-Sportive. If you see him wearing said items again, please inform a committee member.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

2up team time trial - results and report (17/03/2012)

The second race of the Nomads' calendar took place on a grey and damp St Patrick's Day but 17 riders graced the Bedforshire roads with their presence. With a shift to Saturday racing James Gomm's strategy of enticing club members and our friends from Stevenage, Welwyn and Team Salesengine seems to be paying early dividends.

A range of pairings saw Neil Fraser and Simon Alibon nick the verdict by 13 seconds with a very tidy ride.

Neil Fraser 1:02:56 Stevenage CC
Simon Alibon 1:02:56 SCC

Simon Doyle 1:03:09 Hitchin Nomads CC
Andrew Herbert 1:03:09 HNCC

James Spence 1:11:55 HNCC
James Gomm 1:11:55 HNCC

Clive Collins 1:15:49 HNCC
Nigel Wilson 1:15:49 HNCC

Jon Traynor 1:17:19 HNCC
Nick Senechal 1:17:19 HNCC

Nick Hickman 1:25:18 HNCC
Simon Pascoe 1:25:18 - unattached

Tim Wallis DNF HNCC
Charlie Pugh DNF Tri Sports

Steve Robinson DNF Team Sales Engine
Paul King DNF Team Sales Engine

Ryan Witchell (Solo - PTT) 1:05:10 Welwyn Wheelers

Thanks to Frank Turner and Nicky Ollier for timekeeping and Mark Young for snapping the photos.

The end to a rainy but eventful time trial.

Flickr photostream courtesy of Mark Young.

Friday, 16 March 2012

CTC - membership benefits

One of the benefits of being a member of the Hitchin Nomads is the discount we have obtained with CTC for you should you want to join. Ordinarily membership of CTC is £30 per person, per year. Nomads can get the same great benefits at a 50% reduction. That's £15.

As a club we also get some additional benefits such as liability cover (see the image on the left).

Additional benefits are listed on the CTC website should you wish to join:  CTC benefits.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Interclub 30 and 2-up time trial

The date for the Interclub 30 has now been confirmed as Saturday 19th May 2012, so please add it to you diaries. Also don't forget that it is the 2-up time trial this Saturday with the first rider off at 08:30 (so try and arrive by 08:15 at the latest). 
A map and description of the 25 course can be found at the following link for those who are unfamiliar with it:

We are still looking for volunteers to assist in the timekeeping this season, so anyone who is interested in helping should come down to either this event or the Medium Gear the following Saturday (24th March 2012) and Frank Turner will show you the ropes (remember without timekeepers we would be unable to put on the Time Trials and we're not expecting people to do all the events, just a few to help spread the responsibility). 


Monday, 12 March 2012

Club kit - March 2012

Andrew Stevenson is doing a kit order from Inverse on or around the end of March 2012.

The order form is available for download: Hitchin Nomads Kit - order form.

As is the sizing guide: Hitchin Nomads Kit - sizing guide.

Orders to Andrew asap please.

n.b. the links to the documents point to www.paulsbikes.net domain. The clothing is ordered directly from Inverse but Paul is kindly helping us out with some domain space. Support your local bike shop!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Spring Hilly - results and report (10/03/2012)

The Nomads racing season kicked off with seven riders competing around the sporting Whitwell-Codicote-St Paul's Walden circuit. In daffodil inducing, weather riders set themselves up for the first test against the clock in the club's 2012 time trial calendar.

The two lap, 18 mile course offers a range of technical and physical challenges, not least the the climb in to St Paul's Walden and the series of sharp ascents to the east of Whitwell.

After the first lap Simon Doyle and James Gomm were battling for top spot with Doyle managing to make the descents count in his favour. Simon eventually caught Gomm on the second lap straight heading northwards to Hitchin.

Gomm took eight minutes out of his 2011 time and Doyle, in his first ride around this course, shaved 18 seconds off last year's winning time. (Ed - who writes this stuff?)

James Spence suffered a puncture on the first lap turn from the Codicote road towards St Paul's. Dave Rossall also hit technical difficulties, having been afflicted by a damaged spoke.

Tim Wallis rode consistently to record a sub-hour ride on fixed gear but was beaten for third spot by Nick Senechal who went under the hour mark to record a "short 58". Dave Summerell was fifth.

The Knebworth Cyclosaur
Quote of the day
Quote of the day fell to James Gomm who made reference to the Knebworth Park fibre-glass dinosaurs which overlook the course.

"If you get to the dinosaurs and don't feel like losing the will to live, you simply aren't trying hard enough."

Simon Doyle – 51:09
James Gomm – 52:44
Nick Senechal – 58:07
Tim Wallis – 59:21 (fixed gear)
David Summerell – 1:01:11
David Rossall – 1:09:04 (mechanical)
James Spence – DNF (puncture)

Top L-R, Senechal, Wallis, Doyle. Bottom L-R, Rossall, Gomm, Summerell.

 Pictures courtesy of Clive Collins.

Thanks to Frank Turner for timekeeping and Nicky Ollier for officiating. Without them there would have been no event.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Spring Hilly - 10th March 2012

Don't forget it's the Spring Hilly tomorrow (10th March 2012), first rider off at 8:30am. Two laps of the course, circa 18 miles.
Entry on the line, £2 HNCC members, £3 non-members. See you at the start line near Codicote.