Cyclocross: Central League Round 1 Hillingdon 30.9.12.

Great turnout at Hillingdon today. Kay and Clare did well in the Youth/Novice race. Both looked to be going well when I turned up, although Kay was saying how relieved she was it was only a 30 minute race!

Elwyn (first race), Martin Winter, Andrew Granger, George Kirkin, James Leach, Mac and Duncan rode in the Senior/Vets race. Quite a big field, probably 100+, including some top Elite riders like Mick Bell, on hard, very bumpy course.

We did the club proud.

Race was won by Hugo Robinson XRT Elmy Cycles

Mick Bell who coached us at Luton was 8th, 3rd in Vets

Twickenham results:

Duncan Schwier 22nd overall, 5th in Vets

James Leach 49th

Martin Winter 50th, 19th Vets

Andrew Granger 55th, 21st Vets

Elwyn Powell 80th, 36th in Vets

George was feeling unwell so had to retire.

and in the Novice/Youth Race

Kay Thomson 22nd

Claire Veldmeijer 25th

Photos on Flickr:

Thanks to Stephen Campbell for the vociferous support at the top of the mound. Much appreciated, and to Kay for taking the photos.

Video here from CrossCrazy


Upcoming Road Races

Dear all 

The last few races of the season are upon us! 

I will be going to the following (late start to my racing season…): 

Sun 30th Sept: Gravesend Cyclopark 3rds (11am)

Sun 7th Oct: Gravesend Cyclopark 2/3 (11am) 

Then of course circuit champs! (Sat 13th Oct, Hillingdon) 

Followed by the 3 ottershaw series races:

Sun 14th Oct

Sun 21st Oct

Sun 28th Oct

All E/1/2/3 @ 11am 

It would be great if we could get a good showing of Twickers riders, especially at the Ottershaw races which we promote. We have many strong riders this year so it’s a good chance to prove yourself with some tough racing. 

The two Gravesend races also have 4th cat and womens only races at 9.30. 

See the Surrey League Calendar for details/entries 

Hope to see some of you there! 


Youth BMX session next Tues (weather permitting)

Next Tuesday October 2nd we’ll be cycling to the small scale BMX track in Hanworth.  If you’d like to come along please bring a mountain bike, cyclocross bike or bmx.  We’ll coach pumping, manuals, cornering & riding berms so it’ll be lots of fun!

It would be great to have a couple of parents along to help with riding safely over to Hanworth and you can join in when we get there if you like too!

Meet at the club house @5pm, ready to leave by 5:30pm.

Please bring helmets & bike lights.

If the heavens have opened & its really wet we’ll be indoors!


Jonathan riding the BMX track    BMX Circuit

Hounslow and District Wheelers 25 mile TT Drift Road

Not quite in the same league as Stephen Campbell’s results, but just for the record.

Martin Winter and I headed out to Drift Roadon Sunday for the Hounslow and District Wheelers 25m TT on the HCC001 course. Probably our last TT of the year.

Saturday had been beautiful, but intent on saving the legs we both resisted riding. The forecast was biblical, but at 8am all looked OK.

We both rolled out at about 9.00 for a warm up lap, and things started to look more interesting.

Martin was on his trusty Bianchi. No clips-ons, no deep section wheels, but with a steely determination to do it like Merckx.

I, on the other hand, was taking advantage of every piece of kit that I could borrow from Mike Joseph in an attempt to get under that elusive hour. (Much appreciated Mike).

Zipp 1080 wheels, aero helmet, skin suit, Weetabix for breakfast.

The warm up lap changed all that as I felt decidedly sketchy in the cross wind and the rain started to fall. Braking at 35mph with 140 psi in the tyres is not fun, and at the moment I am attempting something new for me…staying on the bike.

Anyway, off went the wheels, and back on went the trusty normal ones. Kept the helmet on as was becoming quite attached to it now….it was iced on.

10:08 – Off we went. Martin 6 mins ahead of me at 10:14.

First lap and a half weren’t too bad. Strong headwind up the first drag. Those of you who did the Interclub will remember it well.

But the rain kept building as did the wind. Although made for a very fast last back section of the course. Couldn’t see the speedo for water drops and misty lenses, so just concentrated on staying smooth and keeping the power on. It felt ok, and passed several riders all looking like the film Belleville Rendeyvous.

Martin had done a 1:13: 22 at the Interclub, I think. I’d done a 1:03:50, so could we improve?

On the last lap, approaching the final left hand bend I went to grip my back brake, but the fingers wouldn’t respond. Frozen solid and I overshot and had to turn back feeling really stupid in front of the dripping, shiveringMarshalls. Then a frantic last effort to get back to the finish line as fast as I could.

Still had no idea of the time, but back in the car park I saw Martin and we reckoned we’d both got PBs on that course. He had about 1:07:30 I think, so a major 6 minute improvement.

I think I did 1:03:30, so 20 secs better, and maybe worth a couple of minutes on a drier less windy day, so well chuffed.

Trevor was too cold and it was too wet to write up the results on the board, so we had a restorative coffee in the golf clubhouse before heading home.

What might have been!

No more TTs for me this year as the CX season beckons on Sunday at Hillingdon.

I’ve enjoyed doing the 5 or 6 I’ve managed this year. Well worth it, and the more you do the more interesting and addictive it becomes.

I seriously think I might go out secretly if the weather looks good and do my own private TT just to see, but maybe I’m becoming too compulsive.

Next year the hour awaits me yet again. 1:00:39 my best so far at Marlow, but I can see its possible. Shut up legs!

Allez Twickenham

Le Dunc

The New York Century – ride report by Tim Bamford

The New York Century –  Sunday 9th September

It had seemed like a good idea at the time.  Like all half-forgotten conversations having taken place months before suddenly I was confronted with the reality of going to New York to ride a bike round the city for 100 miles in the 23rd edition of the New York Century organised by Transportation Alternatives, a not for profit organisation set up to promote cycling in the city.  Air miles and an offer of a bike loan had tipped the balance so I packed my white TCC ‘foreign excursions’ jersey and was on my way.

Saturday in Manhattan was not looking good.  Early grey skies and light rain had given way to sunshine and humidity pushing the temperature into the 90s.  As I sweatily made my way back from Soho to my hotel close to Central Park (chosen for its location to the start of the ride) Andy Murray was fighting a battle of his own in the US Open semis as much with the increasingly windy conditions as with his opponent.   By early evening weather warnings appeared on the local TV stations warning of tornadoes and heavy rain in Brooklyn and other areas of the city.  It was looking worse still.

Darkness and rain fell at about the same time as I made my way to the Upper East Side to have dinner with my riding companions and family.  Carbs loaded and loan bike set up adjusted I made my way back through the rain to my hotel having been reassured that by the time we met again the weather would have broken.  Given we were due to meet in about 6 hours time, I was less than convinced.   When we met again outside the same Upper East Side apartment I had eaten dinner a few hours ago it had indeed stopped raining.  It was warm.  It was dark.  We rolled around to the start in the middle of Central Park to join several thousand other riders many of whom had also signed up for the full 100 miles.  Like the nearby zoo, a number of familiar species of rider could be observed.  Mostly male, there were herds of MAMILS flanked by more dedicated looking club riders with a sprinkling of couriers, hipsters, fashionistas (it was NY Fashion Week) and the plain bicycle curious.

On the stroke of 6am we headed out under the cover of darkness in to midtown Manhattan.  For the city that never sleeps it was doing a pretty good impression of having slipped into a coma as we moved along a deserted 11th Avenue downtown.  By the time we reached the Village the field had already begun to break up and our small group were cheered by some young locals who I assumed were on their way home from the night before rather than having bravely made the effort to line the street to cheer us on.

When crossing Brooklyn Bridge the day was beginning to break with cloud clearing and the promise of blue skies ahead.  It was looking better.  Brooklyn is a large suburban sprawl which extends way beyond the hipsters of Williamsburg.  The roads were still quiet as we rode further into Sunday morning.  A long stretch of good road before the first food stop gave us the opportunity to establish a pecking order in our little group and after a short but sustained burst of speed TCC emerged ahead of the pack (there were no hills to speak of but with what climbing their was your correspondent would have bagged the KoM jersey as well…).   There were no further challenges along the way.

Brooklyn gave way to a section along the waterfront with stunning views across the water to Staten Island (the one borough not visited by the route) and a reminder of how much water surrounds New York.  The slightly grittier and more ethnically diverse but still determinedly suburban Queens was the next section.  Bagels and coffee were taken on board for further fortification for what was now becoming an increasingly sunny and warm day.   The next section (I think in the Forest Hills area) was more bucolic with the route following trails through extensive parkland.  Large amounts of leaves, twigs and other debris on the path were evidence of the high winds from the night before and some large puddles from the rain gave the course an unexpected (and for some a plainly unwelcome) cyclo-cross aspect.

As I was on a borrowed bike I could at least comfort myself with the thought that someone else was going to have to clean it…   As the day and the ride wore on we eventually entered the Bronx. Urban and full of grit.  The contrast with the Upper East Side could not have been more marked but there was a vibrancy and energy about the area and the people living in it (most of whom seemed to be engaged in one big street party) that made it the highlight of the ride (but MAMILS are probably better off not roaming around there after dark).   The route then brought us back to the top end of Manhattan and the fringes of Harlem before finally counting down the cross-street numbers to reach the end point in what was now a light and sunny Central Park.  It was looking a lot better.

We had been in the saddle for 9 hours which is apparently par for the course with food stops and endless careful crossing of junctions which soaked up a lot of time and meant there were no prolonged stretches of steady riding.  The stop and start also made it tiring even though the average speed was quite low and the terrain could not be said to be challenging in a Sunday Hill Ride kind of way.  It also helped having an experienced guide with us who could pick up the direction signs spray painted on to the road surface (less easy to tamper with than the usual sportive signs).  There was a good atmosphere all day and the relationship between city (and drivers) and cyclist was pretty good although we did witness the odd exchange of views between driver and rider as you might expect.

That said, it was a unique and very enjoyable way to see one of the world’s great cities and I know I will soon be confronted by that half-forgotten conversation with my host as I prepared to head for the airport in which I said I would be back again next year….


TCC Girl’s Ride

Don't forget the TCC Girl's Ride is this Sunday, 23 September! We leave from Clubroom at 9.30 for a 65-miler to Marlow. Cake stop in the middle, naturally!

Newport Track sessions

I’m missing the track already & its not quite the end of the season!

Let me know if anyone’s interested in some Newport track sessions this autumn & I’ll get something booked.  We might be able to join in on another session or book the track for a few hours.  Either way it’ll be a lot of fun to ride the indoor olympic size 250m track!!

Takes around 2 hours to drive, which is similar to a drive to Herne Hill in traffic!!



Hillingdon 15th September 2012

Hillingdon 4ths

I cannot glamorise this race in any way, it was a pretty typical Hillingdon 4th race, with the bunch yo-yoing and chasing down every break, four or five riders that need to learn how to ride in a group confidently and lots of shouting. David faffed around, positioned badly and got boxed in for the sprint he was waiting for, somewhere top 15, but no big crashes ! yay !


Hillingdon E123s

Graeme “Aussie Merckx “ York, George “G” Kirkin and Bill “breakaway” Butter worth were representing in this race, which are far more tactical and often provide some entertaining racing.

Initial attacks by all manner of teams failed to stick, with Twickenham active in closing down digs. After about 40 minutes in a group of 8 managed to get away and started to build a good lead. A second group of 5 bridged to join them, and of the big teams, only sigma were not represented. The bunch then had lots of riders firing off the front on their own to bridge with sigma and TCC trying to organise a strong chase, sadly this was not to be with sigma riders dropping out due to mechanicals and the life went from the chase.

The lead grew to close to a minute before the break started attacking each other, realising that if it came down to a bunch sprint Orbea with three represented in the break and one strong sprinter would be favourites, this allowed the bunch to  claw back to about 40 seconds looking slightly more focussed, though with two to go it was clear they knew they would not catch the lead group.

From a spectators point of view, the final lap was impressive, with one off the front group, Orbea sprinter Lewis Atkins, raised his hand and with a wave called his boys to the front, they dutifully dragged it all back together and led him out for a close sprint win, great teamwork to see and racing to watch.

All TCC riders finished safely in the main group, though Graeme dropped a lap during one of the intense periods, catching back on and sticking with the bunch after that, this looks to be good form indication for the circuit champs… Will Aussie Merckx retain his Vets Crown ??? will G solo to a glorious win ?

You can follow the race pretty much blow by blow here with lots of pictures of people gritting their teeth if you like that sort of thing…

Wild West Bike Polo Tournament

5 of us met up at the club room and rode to the Westway Sports Centre for Kensington and Chelsea council’s Wild West bike polo  tournament run by the London Hard Court Bike Polo Association.
The tournament was run according to ‘Swiss Rounds’, there was one random draw and then your opposition was decided by your result in that first round.  So if you did well, you’d be drawn against another team that did well.  This continued for four rounds followed by the quarter finals, semis and final.
We split into two teams, ‘We All Play Synths’ (WAPS) which was two thirds TCC youth and one third stranger (his name was Joel and he was a true beginner) and a whole TCC team.  This was everyone’s first taste of real competition.  WAPS did well in their first round demolishing their opposition, Chelsea, 5-0.  TCC decided to reverse the order and got demolished 0-5.  In the second round, WAPS held their own against the Bikeworks team, drawing 3-3 in a hard fought match.  TCC also won, beating Chelsea by 2 goals to nil.
Things were good, both teams were finding strategies to deal with the other teams and lots of goals were being scored.  By the third round, it was clear that one or two teams were really beyond beginner level.  WAPS came up against Jean-Claude God Damn, one of those teams.  They didn’t play well and suffered a crushing defeat – their over commitment and lack of defence was punished severely.  They lost 8-0.  This was a harsh scoreline, WAPS were better than that but it underlined the strength of the JCGD team.  TCC met
the Mallet Muppets.  Hopes were high after the second round that this would be another good hard fought game and so it proved, TCC losing by only two goals to nil.  Not a bad performance and it was only over commitment that allowed the goals, otherwise the defence was good.
In the fourth round, WAPS were drawn against Mallet Muppets whilst TCC were drawn against Polo Mincers.  Mallet Muppets went down easily to WAPS who were now in the quarter finals.  TCC lost heavily to the Polo Mincers 5-0, the cohesiveness of previous rounds had gone and the other team took advantage of the fact that they were playing against schoolboys, punishing them for their every mistake.  So that was the rounds over, TCC were out, we were a true beginners team.  WAPS went on to meet Bikeworks again in the quarter finals.  With Bikeworks trying every trick in the book to psych out the younger team members, WAPS
out played them to win 3-1.  Bikeworks were clearly disappointed to be beaten by such youth.  WAPS were through to the semi finals, only to meet Jean Claude God Damn again.  This time they’d done their homework and had a strategy to deal with these ‘beginners’.  Their strategy played out well, good defensive duties, attacking whenever they could, marking the man and the ball meant the other team were forced to bring out their goalie to score.  This was a mark of respect for WAPS but in spite of their valiant efforts and being one of only 2 teams to score against JCGD, they still lost.  JCGD eventually lost in a hard fought final.  With no time for a losers final, WAPS were declared joint third with a team from Sheffield.
Best of all, WAPS rider Sasha Davies was given the award for ‘Most Valued
Male Rider of the day’ for his efforts.
After the prize giving, we had a happy ride home in the warm evening.

Results are here…

It now looks like there will be a regular trip out to the Westway sports centre for polo on a Thursday night and we could arrange a polo tryout for TCC riders if there are enough people who are interested.


Etape Cymru 2012: Ride report by Bill H

TCC was pretty well represented at this year’s Etape Cymru with at least 10 riders most of whose times are listed below. Apologies to Holly and Eleanor whose details I couldn’t find and anyone else who I have missed out.

We were blessed with pretty much perfect Welsh weather which brought out the very best of the stunning scenery. Riding on car free roads was a delight though a few of the single track roads were still pretty treacherous with plenty of loose gravel and pot holes to deal with. Noteworthy performances were Graeme’s very impressive 34th position overall and our own King of the Mountains, Andy Brewer.

Myself, I was simply flying on my brand new Carbon Fibre Boardman, so much so that I somehow conspired to repeat an 18 mile loop and didn’t even realise till I found that after 92 miles I was still a long way from the finish line. Sol was the “hard woman” of the day finishing with a very respectable time in spite of a nasty crash just before the ford (we had been warned!) requiring medical treatment for cracked ribs and a skinned elbow.

The medical advice from the ambulance man was a visit to the local hospital but instead Sol soldiered on to the finish line in true TCC fashion.

 I didn’t do the event last year (you can read about it here) but I understand that organization was much better with plenty of well stocked feed-stops and marshals along the route.
All in all a great weekend and well worth the 4 hour drive there and back.
Go Twickenham!