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Dec 03

HTRC Road Race Training Ride #9

The ninth HTRC training ride took place on Saturday 30th November under overcast skies, which didn’t seem to know whether to rain or shine.

Check out the photos on our Flickr account

 

We had 6 riders turn out which included myself, Rich Guymer, Andrew Carroll, Matthew Johnson, George Leighton and Mike McAllister.IMG_20131130_105825

 

As I mentioned in my last report, I was keen on having a ride out to North Frodingham as its one of the few places we hadn’t gone to yet and to come back through Bracken and Etton.

So we headed off under cloudy skies along the newly paved cycle path up to Beverley, past the Minster and up to Weel alongside the River Hull. It was about here that a few more drops decided to come down and I was beginning to regret not packing my raincoat, as it looked from the clouds as if the rain was going to stay for a while.

After Weel and coming through Tickton, we ended up on the rather busy A1035 that runs through Beverley and Leven. I’m always wary of this road as its quite narrow yet busy, so it was a case of single file riding with Andy on the front. I think this is one of Andy’s favourite roads, as I’ve been down there before with him and he always goes at a fair lick. Cruising along at around 22 mph though wasn’t quite fast enough for Mike McAllister, as he cruised to the front looking like he had an engine located somewhere in his bike (maybe he has for all I know). We had to tell him to ease off as we were starting to head above 25mph, which is fine in summer months but when you’re feeling not so strong due to winter indulgences, it’s not too pleasant trying to keep that pace.

The fast pace however helped us get past the main road pretty quickly, yet once we’d virtually finished on the road we saw that the council had recently built a cycle path alongside the road. I needn’t have worried.

On the approach to Leven Mike’s saddle bag started to come loose and started to dangle perilously close to his back wheel. Not sure how much longer it would have stayed there but Mike got off and remedied the situation.

On through Leven and Bransburton, we then headed off towards North Frodingham in what was starting to feel like a stiff headwind. The wind perhaps contributed to the clouds moving away from us and allowing the welcome sight of the sun to appear. After Frodingham we ended up at Wansford which was roughly the halfway point of the ride. George was beginning to panic he wouldn’t make it back in time for work before we set off, but we’d made good inroads and where well ahead of schedule. So much so we had time for a quick refuel stop and discuss all things cycling.

Once we got going again I thought we should work on our group riding skills using our through and off approach. The technique this week was as good as I’ve seen it. To give you an idea of how well we were going we seemed to be just centimetres from each others wheel yet completely in control other than going at a slower speed than the pros, I genuinely don’t think there was too much difference in technique between us and the guys on the pro circuit. There was no rash movements and when oncoming cars appeared everyone simultaneously moved into single file with no prompting. I was making no effort yet we were going around 22/23 mph.

We carried on like this for a few miles past Skerne and up to Hutton Cranswick, where Andy decided he was going to fine tune his sprinting legs against George. Not sure who won from afar, and I’ll only get into bother by saying who did win, so I’ll let them decide that one.

After Hutton Cranswick we headed down Burnbutts Lane (a name I’m sure Andy will appreciate) and onto one of the roughest sections of road in the East Riding, the road to Bracken Farm. I used to love that road with it’s potholes, bumps and grass in the middle, it was as close to feeling a part of the cobbled classics as you can round here. However when we got there, to mine and the rest of the groups amazement, the road had been resurfaced completely. We were a tad rebellious too, as the road was closed, but we snuck under the barriers and proceeded anyway, keen to see what was on offer, perhaps having the accolade as been the first group of cyclists to ride on the new surface. The road was perfect but I was nevertheless a tad disappointed to see the bits of grass and bumps in the road no longer in existence.

After a sprint, this time between me and Matthew, to the junction of the B1248 we headed further south via Etton and Cherry Burton. At Walkington Andy somehow managed to take some shots whilst riding. Not sure how he does this, as I can’t really take my hands off the bars for more than a few seconds. It most take some skill to not only take your hands off the bars but also work your phone on the go and then focus to take a picture.

It was also around here where George was starting to complain of fatigue. Poor guy we thought. However we needn’t have bothered with sympathy, as on the run up too Bentley junction he shot past us, using his Gianni Bugno style of riding. Andy using his Evgeni Berzin* style (We got carried away here thinking we were in 1994 for some reason) started to fade with the elastic stretching and then snapping for all to come past him. Fortunately we were nearly home so his turmoil was short lived.

All in all it was a cracking day which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 48 miles in the end at our usual average of about 17mph.

For my rider of the day I can’t really choose, so I’d have to give the award to all that turned up, as they proved themselves and deserve all the plaudits.

Next week we’ve left the route making in the capable hands of George Leighton so we’ll have to see on Saturday where he wants us to go.

 

Mark Walker
HTRC Road Race Secretary