Berkhamsted Cycling Club flying high following donation
Berkhamsted Cycling Club (BCC) have donated £1,000 to Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) from the proceeds of their annual Berkhamsted Spring Classic Reliability Ride.
The ride, which took place on Sunday, March 8 2020, before lockdown, involved more than 100 riders completing circuits of either 60 km or 100 km in length. Money from the entry fee was donated to the Air Ambulance this month.
BCC Chairman Mike Plowman said: “One of our members, Trevor Hill, had a nasty crash last year and was rescued by Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Since then it’s been a cause that has been particularly close to our hearts and we were really proud to be able to give them this donation.”
Katie Eyton, community fundraising manager at TVAA, said: “This is a truly amazing amount of money and we are humbled by the overwhelming support we are receiving from our community who have so generously donated during this unprecedented time. The spring and summer months are an important and busy time for our charity, so it won’t come as a surprise that we have been impacted by the cancellation and postponement of many fundraising events due to the Coronavirus pandemic – we are just so grateful that this event was able to take place and a huge thank you to Trevor and the members of the BCC for your ongoing support, we could not do what we do without you.”
BCC’s reliability ride marked the second time this event was run. Reliability rides are a British cycling tradition, the earliest dating back more than a century when cyclists would complete a long loop in early January without external support, as a way of proving the durability of themselves and their machines. Berkhamsted’s relatively new event is part of the “Chiltern Classic Reliability Series” of events, which take place each year.
It was the last major BCC event before the club went into its own form of lockdown, cancelling its group rides with members cycling alone or cycling indoors.
Many club members have taken to indoor cycling using Zwift to ‘virtually’ meetup with other riders ensuring that the Covoid-19 social distancing Government recommendations are adhered to. This is a great way to chat or message other club riders whilst maintaining fitness and getting in 1 hour’s exercise a day.
Berkhamsted Cycling Club have Zwift group meetup’s on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. If you would like to join in follow ‘Trevor Hill BCC’ on Zwift.
James completed the Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km Audax ride in 85hrs 10mins 32secs. A phenomenal achievement for this ride that’s held every 4 years. Entry can only be gained by completing the Super Randonneur series of 200km, 300km, 400km & 600km Audax rides in 2019.
Chapeau from all at the club.
James held an online Zoom talk about his experience which includes details about the history of the event, his qualifying, training, nutrition and trusty bike as well as the ride itself. A fascinating insight to the highs and lows of long distance cycling. Click below to watch the video.
5 days 11 hours 38 minutes is how long it took Nick Clarke to complete the grueling Atlas Mountain Race in February 2020 across the unforgiving Moroccan landscape.
The unsupported fixed route race from Marrakesh to Sidi Rabat is a distance of 1150 km with 20,000 mtrs of climbing in the Atlas Mountains and 3 checkpoints along the way. The clock doesn’t stop until the end.
Nick was racing for Arctic-Aircon Racing Team, one of the longest running UK sponsored/supported race teams with 23 years in British Cycling. Nick is also a founding member of Berkhamsted Cycling Club.
He started the event in full-on race mode and was in the top 20 for most of the race. Nick had to overcome one or two setback’s along the way including a crash, loosing his water bottles, 5 snapped wheel spokes, failure of his bike luggage and saddle sores. However his legs held out fine.
Single-mindedness and determination saw Nick finish in a highly creditable 33rd position.
200 riders started the race and 123 finished with Pro-Continental rider Christen Mayer one of the non-finishers due to saddle sores.
Nick has vowed to return next year or take on another long distance race.
The AMR2020 organisers are broadcasting a video story of the race from Wednesday 20th May 2020 on YouTube.
Verulam Cycling Club have won the Berkhamsted Cycling Club Spring Classic Trophy for the 2nd year in a row. Leighton Buzzard Triathlon Club were in second place. Chapeau to all the riders and to the Committee (especially Paul Molyneux) and Musette Cafe for organising a memorable event. See you all again next year!
Photos of the day can be viewed and downloaded (free) from Flickr by clicking on the picture below.
When? The event took place on Sunday 8th March 2020, sign on opens from 8:00, first riders are off at 9:00.
What’s a reliability Ride? Reliability rides are self supported organised rides of a pre-planned course. Riders are expected to navigate the route themselves and to complete the course without external assistance, other than from other riders.
The Routes The event provides a choice of two routes through the stunning Chiltern countryside. Our objective was simple: create a route covering the best the area has to offer – a great day out on the bike. The longer route takes in a beautiful loop through the Vale of Aylesbury, past the historic Waddesdon Manor and then back via a challenging climb up Aston Hill. The shorter loop shares its outward leg with the longer route before splitting off at 35km and avoiding Aston Hill.
**IMPORTANT ROUTE CHANGE**
Due to emergency drainage repairs on the road to Wing both the Long and Short routes have changed. The updated Ride with GPS routes are below.
At the end of the event there’ll be a free buffet and bottomless tea. Musette will be open as usual selling their excellent coffee and cakes.
Event Timing The event will be timed via chip timing, provided on the day.
Interclub Competition The event will include a competition for the unique, handmade Berkhamsted Spring Classic Trophy. Each rider who completes the long route scores one point, each rider completing the shorter route gets half a point, the club with the most points will hold the trophy for a year, until the next event, when the trophy will return to be awarded again. BCC are excluded from the competition as the hosting club. Will your club be the winners?
Charity Partner We’re pleased that Thames Valley Air Ambulance is our charity partner for this event. A member of our club had an accident while out on a ride, TVAA were on hand to take him to hospital and he’s now on the road to recovery, we and many other people who’ve been helped by TVAA in their hour of need are hugely grateful for the service the TVAA provides. The TVAA receives no funding from the NHS therefore we’re proud to announce that all profits from this event with be donated to the TVAA. More information about the TVAA can be found here.
Things to know and remember The event will not be signed, you can download directions from the entry page, paper route maps will be available on the day.
There will be no support on the road therefore riders should ensure that their bike is in good working order and carry sufficient spares and supplies as necessary.
Third party insurance is provided by British Cycling as part of the cost of entry. Riders are reminded that they ride at their own risk.
All participating riders are required to wear helmets.
Riders should obey the rules of the road and ride with due consideration for other road users. Any riders observed not doing so will be ejected from the event.
Parking is available at the event HQ but is limited. If you’re unable to park at the HQ you can park of at Tring Station c.1km from the event HQ, charges may apply.
Please be considerate of residents who live close to the event HQ when arriving in the morning.
The storms have kept a lot of the club off the road but a few hardy souls have braved the weather for our Saturday morning club rides.
Some of the club have taken to two legs competing in the Berkhamsted Half Marathon and Fun Run organised by the Rotary Club.
The Chiltern Classics Reliability Ride series has seen club members out on the roads keeping in shape for the spring and summer months.
Berkhamsted CC won the Verulam CC Reliability Ride Inter-club trophy! This is won on a points system based on the club with the most riders to finish the event (excluding the host club). Chapeau to all the members that took part on a very windy day.
Musette hosted a great evening talk with Matt Stephens and local legend Anna Henderson (racing for Pro Team Sunweb along with team GB). The cafe have got a full calendar of events lined up this year. Check their website for details.
The club have won the Harp Hilly 100 shield for the 6th consecutive year.
38 BCC riders completed the shortened 60 km route beating Verulam Cycling Club with 18 riders. Due to cold conditions with ice on country lanes the organisers wisely decided to shorten the 100 km route. Mike (our Chairman) said ‘Well done to all who took part on a rather chilly day. I think I may have something in my eye or am I having another proud BCC Chairman moment?’
The Harp Hilly Hundred is in it’s 66th year, organised by Harp Road Club, Apsley, has been run in January every year since 1954.
BCC was formed 6 years ago and have dominated the Harp Hilly Hundred shield in recent years but still have a long way to go to equal local rivals Verulam CC, who have scooped the prize on 23 occasions.
Winter has arrived but club members have still been enjoying the odd glimpse of sun on our rolling Chiltern countryside.
Mountain bike rides have replaced a couple of our Saturday morning club rides as the roads have been too icy.
Our chairman Mike raced in a charity event at the Olympic velodrome in Lee Valley Velo Park where he managed to recruit a couple of new members (namely Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy)!
The clubs Annual General Meeting was held on 15th November and was a great success with formalities speedily dispatched with followed by banter, beer (and wine) and fab food organised by Heidi our event coordinator. AGM slides and minutes can be viewed by club members by clicking here (you need to login).
The Wednesday evening winter turbo sessions managed by our coach Duncan have started in earnest at the Berko Cricket club. If you would like to join in click here to send an email.
Berkhamsted Cycling Club and Hult Ashridge Executive Education presents Ride With the Pro’s.
The rides were on Sunday 10th November from Hult Ashridge College, Berkhamsted, Herthfordshire with 5 different length routes for varied abilities with an off-road family fun ride. All the riders had a great morning on the undulating course with coffee and sandwiches at the start and coffee and cake at the end!
Hugh Carthy and Sebastian Langerveld of EF Education First World Tour Cycling team, Anna Henderson, Jenny Powell and Jo Simley of National Race Team Brother UK – Tifosi powered by OnForm rode with the groups.
We would like to say a huge Thank You to all the riders that have raised £700.00 for local charities.
For pictures of the day click on the Flickr link below. Free to download full size images.
Another busy few weeks for club members with riders finding winter sun in some far-flung places along with our weekly club rides around Berko.
Some of the ventures included… Majorca, Paris, Croatia, Côte d’Azur and the Italian Riviera, The Alps north-west of Avignon, France, Monpellier and Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy.
Our Chairman Mike competed in Ironman Lanzarote and has also collected the ‘London Classics’ by completing the three big 2019 events in London: The Marathon, Ride London and Swim the Serpentine. Chapeau!
Phil Liggett entertained us with stories of cycling, Africa and Save the Rhino.
The clubs ‘Ride with the Pros’ event at Ashridge College is on Sunday 10th November and we are expecting Education First racer Hugh Carthy (along with other EF riders) and Anna Henderson to be riding. Click here for details and online entry.
Local lass Anna Henderson (racer for Team OnForm) competed in the UCI Worlds in Yorkshire where GB finished 3rd in the Mixed Team Time Trial event. The first time this event has been included in the worlds. Anna was also in the road race and finished as the highest place GB rider.
The local Gazette ran a photo special on our 2019 Time Trial. Well done racers, time keepers, helpers and organisers Click here for online news.
So a gloomy September morning dawned on the day of the BCC TT around Mentmore, one of the clubs well used ride routes, heavy drizzle and standing water was set to greet the 62 brave souls signed up for the annual 10 mile dash, honours and bragging rights at stake.
Just as the cohort of hardy BCC volunteers started to arrive along with the riders the weather brightened, and we could swear blue sky was appearing. A number of riders cited ‘illness’ or an aversion to water so the field finally whittled itself down to around 45 riders departing with guinea pig, endurance junkie and chairman Mike Plowman starting off the affair, with the rest of the field chasing his yellow peril TT bike, a small ray of dwindling brightness up Mentmore Hill in the grey.
Apart from small spill by Simon Pearce by the duck pond who still managed a very creditable 5th overall despite the bumps and road rash the race was uneventful and duly won overall by Nick Clarke in a time of 22:08 at an average of 27 mph or 43.4 kph. For the women Sam Fawcett came home in a time of 25:13, an average of 23.8 mph or 38.3 kph and an 11th overall. (Provisional results).
Winners of the best 3 riders home in a team went to old friends Ashmei Musette Men and Lovelo Squadra Donne Women.
Very positive feedback from all and the HQ at Tracy’s Café put on some fine refreshments. Huge thanks to all the volunteers, marshals and timekeepers.
BCC members have been around the globe over the summer with riders in Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Italy and our home territory – The Chilterns.
Talking about ‘around the globe’, from 1st Jan to 15th Sept 2019 club members have cycled 516,280kms. That’s over 17 times around the world. Chapeau! These are a few of the activities that members have been up to…
Heather and James competed in the Vitruvian middle distance triathlon and after 2km swim, 52mile bike and a half marathon Heather finished 3rd in her age group and was 8th lady overall. A brilliant result! Heather was spurred on by James who managed to chase her down at 15 miles on the bike after her 10min head start and James smashed 4hrs 30mins!
While the pro-teams were fighting it out at La Vuelta a España, BCC had it’s Vuelta ride with plenty of tapas supplied by Musette Café on a fabulous late summer day.
Nick Clarke (BCC second claim member) and Jonathan Schubert racing for Arctic Aircon rode the Duo Normand 50km 2-up time trial in Marigny, Normandy. They finished in a time of 1hr 9mins 47secs placing them – 3rd Senior category, 4th of all the non-UCI registered professional teams and 17th fastest on the day for professional and non-professional.
James completed the Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km Audax ride in 85hrs 10mins 32secs. A phenomenal achievement for this ride that’s held every 4 years. Entry can only be gained by completing long distance Audax rides prior to the event. Chapeau from all at the club.
The first round of this seasons Central Cyclo-Cross League (CCXL) kicked of in sunny Milton Keynes with Jez and Stephen racing in the seniors and Tim (Lovelo kit) in the vet 40 age cat. All are racing for BCC and had a great time with Jez happy to have completed the race and Tim finishing mid-field. Stephen put in a strong ride but a puncture sidelined him from a finish. Credit to Keith Perry for the fantastic photos.
Well done to Team Ride 45 (with BCC members) who completed the 12 hour time trial at Brands Hatch and came 1st in their category.
James also raced at Brands Hatch in the Revolve 24 6 hour challenge and completed 100 miles in 5hrs 16mins averaging 19+mph.
Recreating times-gone-by BCC held it’s Eroica style ride taking in some of the rolling Chilterns and ending at Mussette Café. A great time had by all with old steel bikes, finesse gear changing, woolen shorts and toe straps!
We are delighted that local lass Anna Henderson has been selected to represent GB at the Cycling World Championships in Yorkshire and the club wish her the best of luck. Anna started racing in 2015 with our local bike shop Lovelo Cycle Works and is currently the under 23 GB National Champ.
A few words from Paul Gardner our Performance Officer, race organiser and owner of Lovetri Swimwerkx
Whilst the rest of the world watched a certain global bike race culminating in a Paris finish, here in Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted Cycling Club were running their own bike race around the Mentmore Countryside. Unlike the Tour de France, their race welcomes women too, men’s in the morning and women’s in the afternoon. After a dreary wet 6 am start for around 40 volunteers gravel brushing, catering and signing the entire route the races commenced with a 50 strong men’s field attacking a 12 lap 80 km loop meandering around Mentmore, starting and finishing on the picturesque Green.
The rolling course, comprising a sharp short hill and a fast descent soon allowed a breakaway of two riders, subsequently caught soon afterwards. 7 riders dropped out or were lapped, as the course made short work of tyres. Maintaining speeds of over 40 kph and kept safe by motorcycle escorts and official cars the riders battled high wind and rain to fight it out in a mass sprint for the finish with first 3 places going to Robert Attreed of Thames Velo, Rodolpho Neils Gervasio, Overseas Rider and local man Joe Nixon of Ashmei Musette Race Team based in Aldbury. Berkhamsted Cycle Club member James Timmis made a little piece of local history by making the top 10 with a hugely creditable 9th in his first race. Berkhamsted Mayor Garrick Stevens was there to make the podium presentations
The afternoon saw an improvement in the weather, with the rain stopping. The women’s race, featuring around 35 women, had a blistering start with newly promoted top rider Fran Cutts pacing hard around the course, subsequently winning the prizes for the two fastest laps. The women splintered into two main groups, with most of the race being fiercely contested by the 20 strong main group, and featuring local rider Rebecca Fawcett of Berkhamsted Lovello Squadra Donne who was never far from the front coming in 14th at the finish. The three women’s winners were Kerry Middleton of Team LDN, Francesca Hall of DAP Cycling Club and Lucy Lee, University of Bath Cycling Club.
Mike Plowman, Chair of Berkhamsted Cycling club commented ‘It was a great fun day for all, with the hard work of the club’s volunteers reflected in the close safe racing we had during the day, truly putting the Berkhamsted Road Race firmly on the UK racing scene’ Paul Gardner, Race Director, commented, We’ve had great feedback from the riders on our safe well organised race, with most saying they’ll be back again next year’
Another enjoyable couple of weeks for the club with success far and wide…
Dacorum Sports Awards 2019 – Female Community Coach of the year: Verna Burgess!
This award recognised the outstanding contribution of a female coach at community-level who provides high quality coaching in a voluntary capacity. Many people have discovered new sports thanks to Verna who leads and manages cycle rides and swims almost every day of the week. She runs beginners 0-5k courses for free as a result of her passion for encouraging people to try something new.
Verna is also a member of BCC 🙂
Ian, Ben, Mary, Dave, Lyle, Colin, Andy, Chris, Mike, Stiaan and Elias completed L’Etape UK Chiltern 100.
Nick Clarke racing for Artic-Aircon RT (BCC second claim) came 3rd in the Mersey Roads 24 hour Time Trial covering an incredible 528 miles. This makes Nick the 5th fastest 24hr CTT rider of all time.
James T also competed in the Mersey Roads 24 hour but had to abandon after 100 miles due to injury. There’s always next year!
James P raced at Milton Keynes bowl criterium finishing in the bunch.
Miles and Andy found the legendary Grand Goulet in Vercors, France. This is the famous “hanging road” and a fantastic route to ride on.
The first 6 months of 2019 has seen the club put in a phenomenal amount of riding.
Stats from Strava are:
365,193 km’s ridden or 12.5 times around the world.
2,658,347 meters climbed or 413.5 times up Everest.
Some of the clubs recent adventures…
Enjoying post Saturday morning club ride refreshments at the HQ.
Ian and team won the Snowdonia 7 Super vets age category in Llanberis, Wales.
Nick Clarke (BCC 2nd claim member) came 5th in the National 100 mile Time Trial. (That’s a Camelbak water carrier in case you were wondering).
Rob, Neil, Matthew, Christian, Carl, David and Janice at the Maratona ride in the Dolomotes. 136km’s with 4,330 meters climbing.
The clubs Isle of Wight Trip was a huge success with Mike, Briony, Margot, Michael, Paul, Michael, Lyle and Antony.
Julian participating in the Coast to Coast In a Day ride.
Sam, Janice, Sarah and Margot at the Bicester Millennium 4-up Team Time Trial.
Richard racing at Milton Keynes Bowl criterium.
Heather racing Ironman in Nice, France.
And last but not least, Berkhamsted Cricket Club (our HQ) is world famous as a screen saver on Windows 10. Well spotted Graham!
Despite the patchy weather, the club is still smashing out the miles / km’s…
Stiaan, Mike, Simon, Rob, Janice and Ben were in Wales for the Dragon Ride Sportive taking in either the 160 km, 225 km or 300 km routes in very wet conditions.
In slightly better weather conditions Dave, Karen, Richard and Amanda had a great day at The Tour de Vale Sportive on a route closer to the Chilterns.
Not to be outdone by recent club excursions to Mallorca; Chris, Colin and David took on their very own BCC312 enjoying brilliant weather and epic rides to Sal Colabra, Cap Formentor and various climbs around Port de Pollença.
James and Heather got away from cycling for a bit and competed in the Jurassic Coast run. James finished 2nd in the 58 km ultra run and Heather 1st in the 25 km run!
The Saturday morning club ride has had good attendance with riders enjoying coffee / tea and cake at the clubhouse.
The inclement weather has meant that on the odd occasion the early starters reverted back to the old ‘club house’ 😉
The club have again been riding locally and further afield. A picture tells a 1000 words so…
The UCI Cambridge closed road Grand Fondo, Race and Chrono (Time Trial) had 14 riders and racers from the club.
Paul, Simon (was doing very well in the race but crashed, put his bike back together, ignored any injuries, joined the Fondo and put in a good time… chapeau), Nick (qualified in the chrono to represent GB at age group), James, Mike, Andy, Skip, Richard, Ben, Stiaan, Tim, Rob, Ben N and Keith.
All-in-all a great weekend of hard riding in windy and hot conditions. Full size photos are available to purchase here from Sportograf.
Jonathan competed in his first duathlon at the Hawridge Sprint and was very happy with an overall time of 1hr 15mins.
Des was in Switzerland for Ironman Europe competing for SISU Racing the clubs very own triathlon and winter turbo coaching partner.
Simon won the Hercules Festival Standard Distance Duathlon with a 10km run in 43min 4secs / 40km bike in 1hr 15mins 3 secs / 5km run in 24mins 25 secs.
Crit racing at Milton Keynes Bowl is fully into gear where Jack was 6th and Richard 8th in the category 4 race.
Margot and Briony spent a week at the Vercors Massif in France where between them they rode over 9,000 kms and climbed over 15,000 meters!
James, Alice and Simon competed in the Lovelo 50 mile time trial where they all put in very respectable times.
Last but not least… The club are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Dacorum Sports Community Club of the Year award. The winner will be announced at Dacorum Sports Awards on Thursday 18th July. It is great that others are recognising and appreciating our values, goals, contribution to our sport and the community. What makes a great club is the members. I want to thank everyone for making this club into the fantastic club it is!
The club have well and truly rolled into 2019 with members participating in the weekly club ride, sportive events further afield and races in our local leagues.
Of particular note is the new Berkhamsted Cycling Club sign at the clubs HQ in partnership with Berkhamsted Cricket Club.
Other events (in no particular order)…
The superbly well organised Ride Chartridge Sportive saw 34 club members enjoying the Chilterns and the company of other like minded riders.
Not to be outdone by the recent Mallorca 312 event; Mike (current Chairman), Michael (previous Chairman), Paul and Richard completed their very own in Mallorca 313. Enjoying the scenery and climbs around Puerto Pollensa and Sa Calobra. Paul and Richards’s other halves also appreciated a week away but had to put up with the post ride banter during re-hydrates and refueling!
Julian raced at the Eton Dorney Triathlon Sprint distance and Herts Olympic distance Triathlon in preparation for an upcoming Ironman Race.
Simon raced in the Hemel Hempstaed Cycling Club (HHCC) 10 mile time trial with a very respectable 19th place in a time of 25mins 12secs despite taking a wrong turn and adding almost another mile. He would have been in the top 10 otherwise. Simon is preparing for the Cambridge closed road time trial and hopes to qualify for the UCI finals race.
Second claim member Nick (Arctic Tacx 1st claim) has been training hard over the winter and has seen fantastic gains in time trialing with a 3rd place at the Hitchin Nomads 25 mile, 1st at the HHCC 10 mile and 4th at Hounslow 100 mile with a time of 3hrs 39mins 50secs and averaging 44kmh (27.4mph).
James also raced at the Hitchin TT placing 15th in 58min 16secs with an average of 42kmh (26mph).
Rob has been racing at Milton Keynes Bowl and Richard at Hillingdon criterium circuits. Both easing back into the 2019 series of events.
Lee raced at the West London Combine 25 mile TT with a provisional time of 1hr 2 secs at over 38kmh (24mph)
Stephen raced at the local Bovingdon Bomber criterium hosted by HHCC. A great circuit and an easy ride from Berkhamsted.