Mar 25

Jim and Richard’s Winter Training – Survival

Mike McAllister was lucky enough to get to all of 2015’s winter training sessions and so Mike thought he’d let you know how he got on and share a couple of informative (hopefully amusing) videos he took during the sessions.

I bottled out of doing the winter training last year (worries of being bashed every week was my main concern), but after a few encouraging words from Hull Thursday’s Mike Kilgour, after chance encounter at Cafe Velo, I thought I’d give them a go.

Weeks 1 to 4 Brantingham

Weeks 1 to 4 at the Brantingham Circuit certainly went pretty well even when we had near gale force winds I’d managed to stick with the group and got round unscathed. I’ve several moments of note from the Brantingham sessions:

“Group 4” riding with Rich Dean

I was surprised to see Rich in this group, as a seasoned rider I thought I was in for a painful session. The group set off and we had a newbie for company who was struggling after lap 2, though after a bit of time on the back he got into the rhythm and we got round without incident until the last lap. During the last lap Rich offered the group to go for a sprint. Rich barked “No brakes!” at the last bend, the squeal of brake pad rubber duly sounded (sorry Rich we were all a bit keen at that last bend).

Rich shot off from the bend leaving us all in his wake, I managed to get on his wheel, just. I hung on Rich’s wheel and around 50 meters from the finish line got next to him. With nothing left I was feeling pretty good to make the line with Rich, however Castelli Dan jumped us both with a few meters to go, well done Dan. Rich later informed me he’d done a 60-70 mile session before the session. I had no response to that as my 12 mile ride to the event didn’t really compare.

“Group 2” riding

This session turned out to be my favourite at Brantingham. Shaun Nicholson featured in the group (who always makes things interesting). The session started quick (around 20 mph average) and got quicker. The group kept together well coming through with uniform small gaps and easing off just enough to keep you on your toes.

It was only on the last lap I’d struggle, but I felt I had done enough work to deserve a relaxed last lap, as a couple of stronger lads in the group duked it out in a sprint. After the session the spin up Brantingham was pretty painful. I think Jim would say “Job well done”.

Weeks 5 – 9 Sproatley

A new location, new challenge but with 4 weeks of Brantingham training in my back pocket (and Sproatley being near home) I was really looking forward to a new circuit and maybe duking it out with a few new-found foes.

Whilst Thursday were decamped for winter training in Mallorca, numbers thinned out and I found myself riding with the able and sociable Hull chaingang. A great set of lads of mixed abilities who are finding their feet and not afraid of giving it a go.

The tempo of the Hull chaingang was not up to the Thursday group, but they did what was needed to keep the group together, and hung around for dropped riders, which was great. The slightly slower tempo made the last couple of laps interesting as it meant we had a bit left in the tank for some interesting finales.

Week 6 – Sproatley Last Bend Attack – Stewart’s Surprise


This video shows my trying my first attempt at using a tactic, in that I’d try attack before the last tight bend on the last lap. I had a dig just before the last bend however a rider named Stewart had his own plans and I can only say that he must have been wheel sucking us all (he he) and he left us all for dust.

Video: https://youtu.be/sCZZROfisIg

Week 7 – Sproatley Penultimate Straight Attack – Petuaria Rocket

This time I planned to wear out the group on the tough penultimate straight, Petuaria had other plans and shot off like a rocket. Leaving us all a bit embarrassed and giggling, though I did end up having a bit of race with Paddy from Hull Chain Gang, we’re not sure who pipped who, either way we had a laugh.

Video: (apologies for foul language – Age Rating 16+): http://youtu.be/MVa1ydCVAxQ

Week 8 – Sproatley Final Straight Head Wind Uphill Attack – Fizzle

On this occasion things were set up nicely for me, a very strong westerly, and now I knew the course pretty well. This week’s tactic would involve me going as hard as I could at the toughest part of the course, get past the final bend before everyone. It nearly worked but I fizzled to about 2 mph with about 100 metres to go, and the group strolled by me. Another embarrassing effort but this was the time to have a bit of fun before the 2015 East Yorks Road Race League.

I won’t put you through the video for this session as it’s probably one of the most boring videos I’ve ever made (the camera was incorrectly pointing downwards towards my front wheel).

Hope you’ve enjoyed the read and the videos.

Mike McAllister
HTRC Member