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.
Summer has almost started and the club has had another busy couple of weeks that started with the Bank Holiday Mystery Tour to the Barn At Turville Heath with fantastic food and a scenic (if hilly) route. Many thanks to Paul our ride coordinator for organising.
Next up was an evening with Mark Beaumont who holds the record for cycling round the world, completing his 18,000 mile (29,000 km) route on 18 September 2017, having taken less than 79 days. Mark was presented with a club jersey by Chris, Graham, Michael, Sarah, Janice and Rob.
Our local neighbouring club Pedal of Honour had their annual charity ride for three local charities: The Hospice of St Francis, Helen & Douglas House and Rennie Grove. Club members Heidi and Briony had a great day enjoying refreshment stops organised by The Alford Arms, Frithsden.
Of note was Velo Birmingham, a 101 mile (162 km) closed road sportive that Michael, Mike, Tommy, Tom and others took part in. Particular mention goes to Simon (our kit officer) who completed the course 4 hrs 19 min averaging over 23 mph (37 kmh) and leading the peloton for the first 30 miles!
Meanwhile, at The Fred Whitton Sportive was Ian, Ben and Leon who covered 118 miles (190 km) with 11, 646 ft (3,550 mtrs) elevation and maximum gradients of near 30% This is one of the must-do sportives for riders.
It’s been a busy weekend for the club with riders taking part in the DENS Hemel Hillbuster, Mallorca 312 and the chairman completing the London Marathon.
The Hemel Hillbuster was a 60 or 100km route around the Chilterns and was a great success with 600 cyclists raising £25,000 for people who are facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion in Dacorum.
Club riders also enjoyed sunnier climes in Mallorca for the 312 closed road sportive. A fantastic event with a 312km route and 5000 meters climbing. The gang had a great time.
Our chairman Mike took to two legs completing the London Marathon. An awesome achievement and one that Mike isn’t going to try again!
The club are delighted to announce that our Reliability Ride has raised £817.13 for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) the event charity partner.
The cheque was handed over to one of the helicopter crews comprising of critical care paramedics and a senior doctor. The helicopters are capable of dealing with major trauma incidents, can travel at speeds up to 160mph and land in an area the size of two tennis courts. TVAA also have emergency response vehicles equipped with the latest advanced medical equipment.
On the 10th March Brian McCarthy tackled one of the iconic cycle rides; The Cape Argus in Cape Town, South Africa. Following is Brian’s story of the event…
“Anyone who has ever wanted to go, or return, to South Africa on holiday, could do worse that combine it with an internationally-recognised “bucket list” event, the famous “Cape Argus”.
Held on the second Sunday every March, the event started in 1977 and now attracts 35,000 entrants, including around 4,000 from all over the world. So what’s the big deal?
Well, world-class scenery around the stunning Cape Peninsula, fully closed roads, a fairly challenging ride, fantastic support from the road side, and the pleasure of riding a superbly organised event with riders of all stripes, a two-day cycle expo and a beautiful city turned over to cycling and cyclists for the weekend!
Cape Town is a 11 hour direct flight from London (a little longer to fly via Johannesburg and connect, but with a time difference of only 2 hours in March, there’s no jet-lag).
It’s a long way to go for a bike ride only, so for afters (or before), I recommend a stay in nearby Franschhoek for truly stunning mountain scenery, awesome cycling, world class wine estates and a vibrant restaurant scene. For those with more than a week to spend, it’s only a 3 hour flight direct to the Kruger National Park or nearby private game reserves for a memorable southern African bush safari experience.
But back to the Cape Argus! It’s “only” 109km (68 miles) of undulating tarmac, starting in Cape Town City Centre and with total climbing of around 1,200m, including 3 x Cat. 4 and 4 x Cat. 5 climbs. Eminently suitable for riders of all abilities.
Elite athletes start off as the sun rises, the rest of the field set off in groups at 1 minute intervals according to your seeding and group start time, from a very slickly organised starting area, where the atmosphere is fantastic.
Not very long after the start the first climb (Edinburgh Drive) can come as a bit of a surprise to legs which are barely warmed up, but the reward is the opportunity to get into one of the many mini-pelotons that form on the long drop down through Constantia and really fly with only moderate effort.
The second of the event’s four significant climbs (Smitswinkel) is a leg-sapping drag up and then over Cape Point itself, followed by a long run down the west coast of the peninsula back towards Cape Town. Then comes the jewel in the crown – the climb up Chapman’s Peak Drive at 75km/47 miles in, with breathtaking views down to the coast way down below the road.
One more challenge lies ahead before a fast run down into Cape Town and the Greenpoint Stadium finish, and that’s Suikerbossie (“Sugarbush”). If it sounds sweet, it ain’t – its most participants’ least favourite section of the ride. The climb is only 2.8km/1.75 miles long – but with a constant gradient of almost 5 degrees, and coming at around the 95km/59 mile mark, it’s a bit of a b*****d, to be honest. Definitely needs gritted teeth, although the roadside support is electric.
After that it’s all over bar the shouting, with a fast downhill section through Llandudno (yes, the other one!) and then a flat and twisty spin through the famous coastal suburbs Camps Bay and Clifton, with the finish line almost in sight….
March is a great time to be in Cape Town – it’s not too hot (expect to ride in 25-28C temperatures), but it can be windy. The “Cape Doctor” (infamous southeaster wind) blew hard throughout the 2019 event just past, which made it a lot tougher, but usually it’s not too much of a factor – just an additional element to be reckoned with.
In 2018, Neil Ruthven, Peter Hewitt and I flew the flag for BCC in near perfect conditions, and in 2019 I was the lone BCC rider who completed the somewhat more testing event.
It would be really great if we could get other BCC members to get out to Cape Town for 8 March 2020! Anyone thinking about doing so is very welcome to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be delighted to share my knowledge of the event, travel to and in and around Cape Town and South Africa, and general trip planning tips.”
As the weather starts to improve more club cyclists are enjoying our Saturday morning ride and we have a new club record with 230 members.
The club caters for most levels of cyclists and as long as you can maintain an average speed of 19 kmh (12 mph) and have a road bike then head over to our membership pages for details of how to join.
The clubs Saturday morning ride now starts from our new HQ at Berkhamsted Cricket Club HP4 1HE
Along with the different speed group Saturday morning rides we have introduced a training focused ride for members that want to improve or re-gain performance in preparation for Sportives or events later in the year. These rides have been designed by our Performance Officer (also a triathlon coach) in conjunction with our Ride Coordinator.
For faster riders and club racers the early (7:00am) Saturday ride has recently included riders from other clubs. Notably Alice Lethbridge the Cycling Time Trial Women Best British All-Rounder along with other national level racers. The early ride is a great way for like minded riders to team up/chain-gang around the Chilterns challenging terrain.
The club have lots of events planned for 2019 with social events, sportives (local and further afield) and hosting a road race (with picnic) along with a time trial and hill climb later in the year.
Riders have already put in a phenomenal amount of km’s this year. From 1st Jan 2019 to 31st March the riders have (stats from Strava) …
• Ridden 141,878 km’s
• Climbed 1,347,053 meters
• In 5,702 hours
That’s over 152 times up Everest and almost 5 times around the world!
*Update* Verulam Cycling Club have won the Berkhamsted Cycling Club Spring Classic Trophy with Leighton Buzzard Triathlon Club in second place.
Chapeau to all riders in very windy riding conditions and to the Committee (especially Paul Molyneux) and Musette Cafe for organising a memorable event.
Photos of the day can be viewed and downloaded (free) from Flickr…
The event takes place on Sunday 10th March 2019, sign on opens from 8:00, first riders are off at 8:30.
The event provides a choice of two routes through the stunning Chiltern countryside. Our objective when creating these routes was simple: not the longest, not the hardest, not the hilliest: just the best the area has to offer – a great day out 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. **Please note that due to roadworks on Stocks Lane the start of the ride now includes Toms Hill and both routes are slightly shorter with less climbing.
The shorter route is 65km/40 miles with 512 metres/1683 feet of climbing https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28988175
The longer route is 106km/66 miles with 979 metres/3208 feet of climbing https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28973426
How to Enter
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 event will be timed via chip timing, provided on the day.
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?
Event HQ and Buffet
The event HQ is Musette Café in Aldbury, Herts. A recent addition in the village of Aldbury Musette has quickly become a destination for cyclists and walkers due to their fantastic coffee, amazing cakes and frequent events. We’re grateful for their support.
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.
Musette can be found at:
Musette Café, Church Farm, Station Road, Aldbury ,HP23 5RS https://www.musette.cafe/
We’re pleased that Thames Valley Air Ambulance is our charity partner for this event. Recently 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 club were proud to host a talk by Guinness World Record holder Leigh Timmis.
Leigh has recently broken the Guinness World record for the fastest cycle across Europe by an astonishing eight days.
Leigh, who had previously spent seven years on a mammoth 44,000-mile cycle across the globe, left the most western tip of Europe – Cabo da Roca in Portugal – on 10th September 2018, intent on breaking the existing record of 24 days.
On 5th October he arrived at the most Eastern tip in Ufa, Russia, close to the border of Kazakhstan, having completed the 3,956-mile (6330km) ride in an extraordinary 16 days, 10 hours and 45 minutes.
Leigh’s talk was engaging and inspirational sharing stories of overcoming adversary along with consuming 15,000 calories a day during the ride.
A brilliant evening, and thanks to Heidi and the Committee for organising.
*Update* BCC have won the Harp Hilly 100 shield for the 5th consecutive year in a row with 58 riders completing the ride.
Verulam Cycling Club were our nearest competitors with 21 riders finishing.
The HH100 Shield was presented to Berkhamsted Town Mayor Sue Beardshaw for display in the Town Hall. Please see the photos below.
Ride report from club Chairman Mike Plowman…
The annual Harp Hilly Hundred ‘call to arms’ came from the BCC Committee. Initial club entry numbers looked promising and we knew there was a good chance that BCC could retain the shield. That said, rumours were rife that Verulam CC were keen to reclaim the trophy for their cabinet! We could not afford complacency especially at this time of the year with the constant threat of winter coughs, sneezes and other diseases, that, and any injuries or strains, could spell disaster.
The morning of Sunday 20th January rolled around. As predicted, there had been a number of club riders that had dropped out due to illness, injury and last minute commitments but our ride coordinator had liaised with the HHH organiser and managed to re-allocate some spots.
The weather on the run-up to the ride had been very cold and there was no guarantee that the event would take place as planned.
As it turned out Sunday morning was very cold with temperatures at -2 during the night before and the mercury didn’t rise above + 4 for the ride itself. 60 well wrapped up club members lined up for the start with lots of talk of black ice, finishing and getting back to the start HQ for warmth, coffee & cakes.
A special mention to ex-chair Michael Gower who made the journey up from Kent to ride with the club.
Soon everyone was underway, feeling the cold but soon warming up with the hills of the Chilterns. There was the distinct possibility of punctures and one or two members had this misfortune but everyone rode in groups so help and support was at hand.
Club racer Simon Pearce whistled solo round the course in 3 hr 16 min at an average 19.5 mph with a slow puncture! Simon is well on his way to superhero status!
Everyone had a great (albeit cold) ride and the club have now received official confirmation that we have retained the Harp Hilly Hundred Shield. 58 riders completed with our nearest rivals, Verulam CC, having 21. Congratulations to all riders and supporters. Truly a great BCC achievement to win the trophy 5 years in a row!
Big thanks to the HH100 organisers and Trevor Hill who captured a superb day out on camera.
On Sunday 27th January a band of intrepid BCC’ers braved the wind, and the rain, and the wind and the hail, and the wind, and the cold, and the wind, and the mud and very occasionally some pleasant sunshine to compete in the final round of this year’s Central Cyclocross League (CCXL).
Taking part were Robin Lord, in his first CX race of the year, Niamh and Mervyn Dempsey, Janice Bell, who was taking part in her very first ever CX race, Jonny Gray and yours truly (Jez Kidd). The racers were ably supported by a host of BCC ‘spectatheletes’: IT guy, photographer and all round club supporter Trevor Hill, Men’s Captain Rob Morton, Neil and Charlie Barnes (who was dressed as a Chicken), Tommy and Marie Wong and Baby Ben.
This year’s CCXL has brought us a little bit of everything, and so it was with today’s race, which brought us four seasons in one day, with a double helping of mud. The course wound its way around the Hillingdon road circuit, a familiar venue to any crit racers, but today put to a slightly different purpose. The course started on tarmac before diving onto the grass and a series of tight turns and small rises for a truncated first lap, which brought the race quickly back to the start line and a now extended course which included two short steep drops, with two equally short steep climbs. The race took in off camber sections (resulting in an off camber club secretary on more than one occasion), the obligatory hurdles and tight tracks through trees and bushes. While it didn’t feature as much climbing as some of the previous rounds it more than made up for it with lots of the aforementioned mud which meant plenty of going sideways and running with the bike, with the small number of gravel and paved sections never being quite long enough to get your breath back.
All in all a fantastic race and brilliant fun to be part of.
Provisional Results based on CCXL timing system:
Robin Lord 38th
Niamh Dempsey 17th
Janice Bell 20th
Mervyn Dempsey 10th
Jonny Gray 18th
Jez Kidd 22nd
I’ve really enjoyed my first season of CX and I’d urge everyone to give it a go, I’m even thinking of training next time 😉
BCC Fastest Pedal-Powered Channel Crossing Thursday 4th October 2018. They have broken the record with 6hrs 39mins confirmed by Guinness World Records.
Chris Smith Honorary Treasurer of Berkhamsted Cycling Club video presentation on 14th July 2020 to Berkhamsted Rotary Club of Michael and Graham’s Pedal Powered Channel Crossing Guinness World Record on 4th October 2018.
Michael Gower Zoom video talk 4th June 2020 on the adventure with BCC members.
Interview with French TV (French 3)
Radio interview with Nick Coffer (BBC 3 Counties Radio)