Jan 08

Record Numbers on Training Ride

Was it New Year Resolutions to get fit early, the good weather we were blessed with at the start the new year, or aspirations in this London Olympics year? Whatever, there were more riders out on Saturday to join in the training ride than I’ve ever had before – going right back to the late sixties.

With so many riders and not much time to sort out on abilities it was a bit of a scramble to get everyone started, the course at Brantingham is just over 2 miles round and there cannot be much time between groups to avoid overlap. I tried for six to eight people in each group and finished, initially, with nine groups on the road; 72 riders altogether. There were nine in group one (one punctured but was replaced after a lap), 9 in group 2, 8 in group 3, 8 in group 4, 8 in group 5, 7 in group 6, 7 in group 7, 9 in group 8, and 6 (all girls) in group 9.

The following is who signed on, plus one signature I couldn’t read, and I’ve made approximations as to which group I think the ones I knew started in.

A Vaughan, Adam Hardy(2), Alex Adams, Alex Dalton, Amanda Dean(9), Andy Carroll(3), Andy Faichney(1), Ben Ives(1), Billy Robinson(5), Charlie Carruthers(3), Cheryl Ashdown(9), Chris Brown, Chris Goodway(3), Dan Mathison, Dave Betts(5), Dave Watson(2), David Brearley(4), Dean Fulstow(2), Derek Palmer(6), Gary Fulstow(5), Gerry Lumb(6), Jacob Trotter, Jacqui Ker(9), Joe Dean, Joe Rainey, John Askew(2), John Savage(6), Karl Downes(1), Lee Coulson(3), Mark Dicconson(4), Mark Hancock, Mark Philipson(4), Mark Robinson(3), Matthew Enticknap(3), Mike Adams(8), Nathan Wilson(1), Neil Cleminshaw(1), Neil Dean(3), Nick Ashdown(8), Nick Coupland(1), Nicky Moore(9), Olivia Tomlinson(9), Patrick Mudd, Paul Campbell(4), Paul Cook, Paul Hayward(8), Paul Hickman(2), Paul Kilvington(4), Paul Noble, Paul Rymer(4), Paul Shepherd, Peter Fielding-Smith(1), Phil Dalton, Phil McCormick(3), Phil Oakes, Rich Moore(1), Richard Dean, Rob Stones(8), Simon Jack(7), Simon Pickering, Steve Coates(1), Steve Guymer(1), Terry Grainger(8), Theo Brumhead(3), Tom MacDonald(7), Tony Goundry(2), Vic Moody(8) and Victoria Wood(9).

The first three or four groups worked out fairly well but it was a lucky dip for the middle groups. The whole basis of the training is to do some work with people of similar ability to yourself and if you’ve missed the group you should be in, turn around and pick the right group up on the next lap, just as you should if you have a mechanical problem that you can fix.

Lap times were difficult to keep in sync., especially when there were merges in the middle, but we managed to salvage the following :

Grp 1

Grp 2

Grp 3

Grp 4

Grp 5

Grp 6

Grp 7

Grp 8

Grp 9

Lap 1










Lap 2










Lap 3








Lap 4





Lap 5





Lap 6




Lap 7




Lap 8





You can see from the first three groups’ times how it should work, the first lap is a slower ‘chat’ one to get everyone sorted and then the effort is a combined one with no attempts to drop anyone. Then go as hard as you can to sustain the speed of your group, don’t sprint forward to try to lose the guy who’s just come off the front when you go through, and save enough to tuck in at the back when you come off. Keep it smooth and don’t overgear.

On a velodrome or on a calm day then you would always come off the front at the same side, usually the outside with the inside rider moving forward. In windy conditions you should really come off the front in the lee of the wind, but you have to make it absolutely clear what is happening if and when you start switching sides. If you have made some good contributions to your group but have to miss a couple of turns to recover then make your signalling clear. If you have to sit at the back all the time and just hang on you are not training, so go back to another group where you can work. If your effort starts to die and a gap starts to come between you and the rider in front then wave those behind to come up, don’t split the group up.

There were a lot of new faces and it was good to see so much interest in the training sessions – I hope it can be maintained. I think most of you enjoyed it, a good workout perhaps. If anyone can’t ride and would like to come along and help it would be most welcome. Thanks to Barry Trotter and Les Barratt for marshalling the busy Ellerker cross-roads junction, to Ray Robson at the Stockport turn and Sheila in Brantingham for marshalling and making it safe. If any of you want some more advice then get in touch with either me (jim@jsampson.karoo.co.uk) or Richard (richard@running1.karoo.co.uk).

Click here to see the photos from this training session

Jim Sampson