Brentor Road Race

An update from Alice, who now lives in Devon;

E1234 | Brentor | 2nd August 2014

  • Weather: sunny, with a short burst of rain
  • Course: three sharp corners, long drag
  • Highlight: making the break!
  • Strava activity

The 7th event in the South West Women’s Racing League, the Brentor Road Race was held in the small village of Brentor, near Tavistock. The hamlet is famous for its iconic church, perched high above on the Tor.

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Badger navigates across Dartmoor

Fortunately it doesn’t take too long to get across Dartmoor from Exeter so we were soon there (and we didn’t have to get up too early!).

The men’s 3/4 race (running concurrently with the women’s) was fully subscribed with almost 80 riders. This meant the tiny village was soon full to bursting with slightly nervous, lycra-clad men. The lanes were narrow and quickly congested with parked cars by the time we arrived.

There was mass upheaval when a tractor, and then a bus, had to get through.

Lead NEG bike. Complete with sheepskin seat cover.

Lead NEG bike. Complete with sheepskin seat cover.

After a short warm-up on the turbo, I rode up the (big!) hill to the start line to attend the rider briefing. The men’s race rolled off with their cars and outriders before our race followed suit five minutes later.

3/4 mens and ladies start line

3/4 mens and ladies start line

The ladies race was 40km which worked out at five laps of the triangular circuit.

After the neutralised section finished and the lead car pulled ahead there was no major increase in speed; the group stayed close together, eyeing each other up.

Mid-way through the second lap a couple of riders put on a burst of speed, coming past the bunch swiftly. About seven of us went with this and the pace was kept high.

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The third side of the triangle featured a long drag, which lasted around 8 minutes. Even on the first lap this took some prisoners. On the second lap, with some pace being set, the race was strung out further but I managed to hang in.

Sadly, by the third lap I no longer could sustain the power and had to drop back where two other riders came up and formed a small poursuivant group.

Wiebke (who is a strong TTer) was part of this small group, and with her steady power provided much of the impetus.

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This graph shows (along the top) the profile of the course. Highlighted is the ‘long drag’, and (below) my stats for this particular section. (Click on the picture to see it full size).

By the fourth climb I had run out of steam and ended up alone for a short while before forming a good partnership with Lucy. For much of the following lap we had Wiebke and Zoe in our sights and Lucy was determined to catch them.

At some point the men’s race caught us up and came rushing by – a much smaller group now the hilly laps had whittled them down.

The rain also came, lasting barely ten minutes, but long enough to make crossing white lines when cornering something to consider.

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Coming into the final lap – the lead break has reduced in number

And then it was the last lap. Lucy got ahead of Wiebke and Zoe leaving me to survive into 10th.

Tactically I played the race well, getting into the break and holding a good position within the bunch, I credit my recent chaingangs for this improvement.

My main weakness was on the long drag hill – I could not sustain the relevant power for long enough and then recover quickly enough. I have set myself some exciting (!) turbo sessions to remedy this.

powercurve

Although today’s ride shows an all-time improvement for my 5 min power, this was still my weakness and requires work.

This race was part of the South West league, so I am now 12th in the league table.

It doesn’t look like I will finally qualify for the league, as I am not going to be able to attend the required races. (A couple of events have been cancelled leaving only three events remaining,  one of which is the far side of Cornwall on a weekday evening – I just can’t get to it!)

Position Name Club name
1 Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Scienc…
2 Josephine Gilbert VC St Raphael
3 Heidi Viles Exeter Wheelers
4 Nicola Noble
5 Jessica Duffy Kinoko Cycles Racing
6 Lucy Walker Bristol South CC
7 Wiebke Rietz 1st Chard Whls
8 Zoe Betteridge North Devon Wheelers – South F…
9 Sophie Edmondson Kinoko Cycles Racing
10 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands!
11 Alison Hooper Mid Devon CC
12 Alexandra Sheehan Merlin Cycles
13 Sarah Croucher London Phoenix CC
14 Claire Elworthy Exeter Wheelers
15 Nichola Rorke Exeter Wheelers

The London Cross League – Round 13

An update from Alice and her cyclocross antics….

Round 13 | Bethlem | 5th January 2014

  • Weather: fresh
  • Course: Very muddy! Muddy fields, muddy wood, deep mud (up to my hubs/axles!) One tree log
  • Highlight: getting confident on mud

This was the most muddy! At one point I rode through a really deep section and the mud was right up to my wheel axles. I had to get off and push.

There has been a lot of rain recently and the course was water-logged. I got a steady sighting lap in before grouping at the start line ready for the go. There were quite a few girls (and people generally) here today – perhaps a mixture of no National Trophy races mixed with New Year resolutions. As a result there were at least four riders at the start line that I predicted would be fighting for the win in the women’s race. Therefore I decided that I would focus today’s race on having fun and getting better at riding in wet conditions. It was a social start line and I had a good chat with a couple of girls whilst we waited to start. We came to the decision that we would have fun and remember to let the front wheel lead through the deep mud/rutted sections.

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Claire chasing down Anett. Photo by British Cycle Sport

Once the top men were gridded all the women were called forward with the remainder of the field behind us. The bell went and we were off. The course was straight and wide for the first few metres but then went into a 90 degree left hand turn that was already pretty muddy and slidey. I am a bit cautious of turning on mud at speed so I’ll admit I was half-hearted in my initial burst away from the line. I lost some valuable spaces but we were soon in a wooded section where the mud was deep and sandy. This type of mud really grabs at your wheels and it feels like you’ve suddenly put your brakes on hard – if you’re not ready for the sudden reduction in speed it can throw you off. A few turns and sharp dips/rises and we were back on a flat but muddy field.

Whilst a wet field is generally quite smooth and there are no sharp turns (unless the course has been designed to have zig-zags!) the surface is very loose and you can easily lose your front wheel if you don’t make your turns smoothly and with your weight balanced nicely. As the race progresses and the ground gets churned up ruts can develop which ‘catch’ your wheel and it is important to relax and let your bike go where it likes rather than trying to guide the bike yourself otherwise it is much harder.

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The seniors coming in for the win. Photo by British Cycle Sport

A few sweeping turns of the field, through a glade of trees, a short stretch of pavement and then the course entered a boggy wood section. Deep puddles and thick mud made the going tough here although, by choosing your line carefully, it was possible to retain a reasonable impetus. (One lap I made a very bad choice and got completed bogged down in a deep section of mud losing a few seconds getting it all unstuck and remounting).

There was turn followed by a short dip coming up to a tree log barrier. I have not learnt to bunny hop more that a kerb so I have to dismount for this obstacle although some of the more experienced riders were able to ride straight over it.

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How to take on a log. Photo by British Cycle Sport

A few more turns in the muddy wood led on to a prolongued field section. The top part of the field was very dug up and even in my very lowest gear it was an effort to pedal. I probably would have been quicker carrying the bike over this section.

The field then became a little easier although with the surface water/mud it was still important to find the firmest ground (normally in the middle) and maintain a steady pedaling motion to minimise losing grip. If you had any energy left after fighting the mud then this part was where you could speed up and gain back time.

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The pave section
Photo by British Cycle Sport

After a few turns and a mire of a gateway the course passed through the final field and back into woods. There was a right turn through a deep puddle and then a quick section of ‘pave’ type pathway followed by a sharp couple of turns towards the grassy (now muddy) finish line.

Although I set out from the start to have a good time I actually found myself doing quite well and although I didn’t expect to catch the leading riders I gradually took back the riders in front of me until I was running in fifth place. Midway through I was very excited to overtake Sophia Joy but then later saw her walking back to the pits so I can’t really say that I genuinely overtook her as she was obviously having a mechanical difficulty or some such. However this put me in fourth place and I’m very pleased with how I did in this race as the top three places were taken by girls who ride the National Trophy.

Badger and Tom came down to the course to watch and Badger did some sterling work at digging a very deep hole. If you listen carefully in the video you will hear Tom cheering for me🙂

Video by British Cycle Sport

Sadly the next two rounds of the league have been cancelled due to course conditions being swamped by the recent rain/too damaged by previous races to host another. So that means two weeks off until the final round in February before the Team Champs.

Pos Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5
1 Claire Beaumont Vicious Velo 50:19:00 8’14” 10:04 09:50 09:55 10:07 10:22
2 Louise Mahe Mule Bar Girls 51:47:00 10’02” 09:42 09:46 09:58 10:37 11:42
3 Anett Deli Cyclelabs 52:22:00 10’37” 10:03 09:47 10:03 10:45 11:41
4 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands 42:33:00 1 lap 11:13 10:05 10:17 10:58
5 Hannah Ormesher North Road CC 46:37:00 1 lap 10:47 11:58 12:05 11:46
6 Jane McInnes London Dynamo 47:00:00 1 lap 11:23 11:23 12:07 12:07
7 Rachel Brown Luna Chix 48:28:00 1 lap 11:45 11:24 12:15 13:03
8 Katie Burgess Oscar Bravo 49:51:00 1 lap 13:35 11:52 12:08 12:15
9 Charlotte Haywood Unattached 52:10:00 1 lap 13:06 12:18 13:11 13:34
10 Trischa McLatchie Unattached 47:07:00 2 laps 14:04 15:48 17:14
DNF Sophia Joy PMR @ Toachim 10:18 10:36

Alice at Rapha Supercross

Rapha Supercross | Alexandra Palace | 27th October 2013

 

I entered this race in the belief that I would get to race in fancy dress and do a ‘Tequila Shortcut’ to avoid the more challenging obstacles. Somehow I entered myself in the more serious race….

And I managed a good faceplant whilst retaining third in the Senior women. Sadly, in the belief that Juniors count as as Women, I thought I had come fourth and did not appear at the podium. Hopefully nobody minded…?

First Last Team Cat.
1 Tamina Oliver Team CTC Senior
2 Rachel Fenton Senior
3 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth Junior
4 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! Senior
5 Astrid Wingler Team CTC Veteran
6 Hannah Ormesher North Road CC Senior
7 Abigail Armstrong Hackney GT Veteran
8 Lisa Rowledge N/A
9 Sue McIntyre Veteran
10 Emma Towers Twickenham CC Senior
11 Maria David Dulwich Paragon CC Veteran
12 Kelly Clark
13 Alison Crutchley N/A
14 Louise Rodosthenous North Road CC N/A

6L9A0412For further CX updates from me (rather than spam the team blog with my CX endeavours) be sure to check out my blog

 

Alice has been getting cross

Round 4 – Hog Hill

Saturday 29th September At last a chance to test out my super new cross bike, lovingly built by Barna, formerly raced by Gabby Day (and also Jules). The week previous to the race I had a practice at learning to dismount/remount at speed whilst still moving and also had a tentative ride on the BMX pump track….this wasn’t quite as much practice as I would have liked before going straight into an off-road race but hey-ho its all fun. ed My start was cautious which put me behind a lot of the men (veterans, youth and women all race together) but as I gained confidence i also gained speed and slowly worked my way up the field. After surviving an entanglement with the plastic fence tape (I had a section of red and white tape trailing me for a lap or so) and a battle for position with Fran I managed to pull off third place. Here’s a video; Video by John

Pos Bib Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5
1 108 Abi Van Twisk VC Londres 59:39 8’27” 09:17 09:49 10:02 10:09 10:03 10:17
2 131 Sophia Joy PM Racing 1:00:58 9’46” 09:29 10:07 10:07 10:12 10:25 10:36
3 134 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! 51:41 1 lap 10:12 10:12 10:45 10:28 10:02
4 132 Francesca Morgan Slater Lee Valley Youth 52:11 1 lap 09:51 10:29 10:48 10:29 10:31
5 106 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth 52:12 1 lap 09:58 10:25 10:57 10:22 10:29
6 133 Abigail Armstrong Hackney GT 54:21 1 lap 10:30 10:54 10:59 11:05 10:52
7 135 Katie Burgess Oscar Bravo 1:01:07 1 lap 11:19 12:02 12:29 12:27 12:48

Round 5 – Herne Hill

Sunday 6th October The velodrome is literally just down hill from me so this was a very casual start for me as I only had to leave early enough to sign on and get a few practice laps in. The course was very loose and gravelly, better suited to an MTB than a cyclo-cross bike. Here’s a video; Video by John

Pos Bib Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8
1 132 Sophia Joy PM Racing 48:56:00 07:19 05:07 05:11 05:13 05:14 05:14 05:09 05:15 05:09
2 140 Anett Deli Cyclelabs 49:33 0’37” 07:38 05:06 05:10 05:11 05:13 05:14 05:14 05:28 05:15
3 141 Louise Mahe Sutton Cycling Club 49:39 0’43” 07:15 05:12 06:24 05:11 05:09 05:02 05:10 05:06 05:06
4 133 Melissa Brand MG Maxifuel 51:35 2’39” 08:08 05:29 05:26 05:26 05:32 05:21 05:20 05:21 05:27
5 138 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! 51:58 3’02” 08:09 05:19 05:17 05:23 05:35 05:31 05:30 05:37 05:33
6 131 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth 52:46 3’50” 08:17 05:26 05:29 05:26 05:33 05:40 05:44 05:31 05:36
7 139 Sarah Connel Brixton CC 50:31 1 lap 08:51 06:04 05:50 06:04 05:53 05:55 05:57 05:53
8 134 Lesley Wilkinson Addiscombe CC 52:56 1 lap 09:19 06:09 06:16 06:01 06:04 06:12 06:00 06:51
9 136 Niki Dukes-Kovac Brixton CC 49:28 2 laps 09:16 06:15 06:44 07:10 07:07 06:33 06:20
10 135 Sarah Weir Brixton CC 53:20 2 laps 09:33 06:38 06:58 07:21 07:24 08:09 07:14
11 137 Julia Murphy-Buske Brixton CC 15:09 08:54 06:14

Team Mum, Time Trialling Fun

Dastardly and Mutley lead Team Mum to victory.  Twice.

 

ImageThe first event was the Bicester Millenium TTT at an aerodrome.  Awesome closed-road fun.

 

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The second event was the Surrey League TTT.  This time Charlotte chose to do a proper warm up so that she had a hope of keeping up with her fiercesome teamies.

 

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Helen led strongly off the start and the team quickly settled into a determined pace.  Bex and Helen forged the path while Louise kept Charlotte in the game.

 

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Alice gets her first podium position

The last time I did a  TT was BUCS last summer(!)

With the first riders off at 6am we had to get up at 4am to cycle over to Richmond Park to take part in the London Dynamo TT. Over a 10.4 mile sporting course I was there mostly just to enjoy the peace of early morning London and have something to do whilst Tom also raced.

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On the outward leg. I’m attributing my success soley to my new Lake shoes.

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Here I am in my first ever podium finish, winning £25 in vouchers for Sigma Sport. Worth getting up for!

1 00:30:36 Bella Leach London Phoenix Lady Road
2 00:31:50 Jasmin Meier Lady Road
3 00:31:59 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands Lady Road
4 00:32:14 Claire Richardson London Dynamo Lady Road

And for those interested in comparing the times with the TT (aero) category – TT bikes, deep wheels and aero helmets allowed;

1 00:26:53 Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers Lady TT
2 00:27:26 Lauren Whitmore London Dynamo Lady TT
3 00:28:01 Sandra Blenkinsop Kingfisher Triathletes Lady TT
4 00:28:57 Tracy Corbett London Dynamo Lady TT
5 00:29:27 Sarah Brook MuleBar Sigma Sport Lady TT
6 00:30:13 Anna Korbacz London Dynamo Lady TT
7 00:30:15 Tessa Pugh London Dynamo Lady TT
8 00:31:18 Lisa Collins Chrystal Palace Triathletes Lady TT
9 00:33:04 Susanna Davies London Dynamo Lady TT

Alice at Beyond Spring

What better way to earn your Easter Egg than go out in the bitterly cold and race around a circuit somewhere in West London? Tom and I couldn’t think of anything to top this plan, so we hopped in the car and went to Hillingdon.

Neither of us had raced at Hillingdon before so we weren’t sure what to expect. We found that the course is pretty simple and the facilities excellent (along with a really good offering of cakes put on in the café!)

The weather was cold but neither too windy or wet. My race (Women’s E1234 went off at 2.15pm, staggered with the Men’s 4th cat. The first four or so laps went reasonably well for me, but then, after choosing the wrong wheel to follow, found myself off the back of the bunch and in a small chasing group.

A friendly rider from High Wycombe had also suffered the same fate as me and we spent the remainder of the race working together. We must have maintained a good pace as the main bunch didn’t get round to us until the very penultimate lap. At this point we jumped on the back of the bunch and we all finished together in the sprint (trying not to get in the way of those actually contesting for positions).

Although I fell off the back of the bunch pretty promptly I felt this race went really well for me and I am reassured I am going the right way. I can see my main weakness, apart from lacking fitness, is my confidence within the bunch and riding closer to the wheel in front. I mostly ride alone, or behind Tom who I trust, so this is a weakness I will have to work on.

We’ll be back at Hillingdon next week for Round 3 and Tom will be riding in the National Para Crit Series.

Viva Forever

This team has been based on friendship. When I formed the team two years ago I thought about the women I most respected and most loved. Luckily, they wanted to join me and ride for a cafe that was just beginning to make its mark.

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Some members of the team have popped up and have become instantly cherished. The road hasn’t always been smooth, but we have been there for each other.

 

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Positivity and self belief are things that the greatest human beings have to teach us. And on my team are some great human beings.

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On my team skill, fitness and ability became secondary to emotional support, understanding, kindness and love.

ImageOurs has not been a lonely journey and together we’ve borne the good and the not so good.

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The achievements of these women have made me immensely proud. I have adored this team and been inspired by it.

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When I’ve had to dig deep for shreds of courage, they have been there.

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Because of them I have never had to ride alone.

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I know things have to change and that we all have to grow. 

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“The wind scatters one year’s leaves on the ground, but the forest burgeons and puts out others, as the season of spring comes round.  So it is with men: one generation grows on, and another is passing away” –  Iliad VI .146

This is my thank you. Viva forever!

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Alice takes a test

At this time of year most competitive cyclists are getting stuck into their training for the coming season.

In order to be able to train to your best potential it is important to know where you are – and even more importantly – your training zones.

Whilst there are formulas that can be used to make a fair guess at your heart rate zones the best way is to undertake a fitness test.

I visited Koolstof and put myself up for a twenty minute threshold test which would allow us to figure out my stats.

Midway through the twenty minute threshold test

Midway through the twenty minute threshold test

Spin Scan

Whilst I was doing the test JJ also ran a spin scan – which meant we could look at the efficiency of my pedalling. This was the most exciting part of the session to me and I had fun trying to make different shapes by changing my pedalling style.

spinscan

A spin scan allows you to analyse the efficiency of your pedaling based on torque, the balance of power between left and right, and the balance of power between pushing and pulling on the pedal stroke.

The three main readings you can take from this are;

  1. Your overall spin scan number for both legs and your overall spin scan for each leg
    • This is the average torque you produce throughout the pedal stroke
    • If your numbers are between 60-70 you push more than you pull
    • Between 70-80 you push slightly more than you pull
    • Between 80-90 pat yourself on the back – you’re a pro
  2. Your average torque angle for each leg
    • This refers to the location in the pedal stroke where force is applied
    • Ideally your power would peak somewhere around 90-100 degrees from top dead centre
    • This means you can apply maximum force when it counts the most
  3. The power split between your left and right legs
    • This reading indicates any power imbalances and which leg is dominant
    • This can be a result of imbalances in strength or leg lengths, or an improper bike fit.

This information proves useful to confirm that a bike is properly fitted (or not), to identify imbalances in strength between legs, or to determine areas of weakness within the pedal stroke. Using this feedback you can work to maximize efficiency and force.

My SpinScan

I’m proud of my well-balanced peanut

Halfway through my fitness test my spin scan looked like this ↑ .

From looking at the peanut shape and the overall spin scan numbers you can see that I push more than I pull. I can work on this by practicing my pedalling technique and focusing on utilizing the entire pedal stroke.

The graph and table also show that I have a very good symmetry in my technique and both legs are very balanced. This indicates that I have a very good bike fit (thanks to CycleFit) which means I can utilize all of my muscles and body properly.

In summary of the spin scan: I have an excuse to buy a fixie! <- due to the fixed gear you are forced to practice good pedalling technique.

Back to the fitness test.

After the threshold test (where I quite simply rode a 20 minute time trial on the compu trainer) JJ got lots of numbers and watts and other unintelligable facts from the software. When I understand all the figures and what they mean I will write a bit more….all I can tell you is I thought I was going to be sick and my face went very red.

(I’ll write some more when I understand it a bit better)

In reality JJ will tell me what those numbers where and from there he will be able to tell me what zones I should be training in. Exciting!

A little picture Tom drew.

A little picture Tom drew.

With reference to this article by Maria Simone regarding spin scans

Dancing on the pedals….

by Jo

Phew!  What a weekend.  I’m literally still recovering.  Last Sunday’s hill climbs provided some of the best laughs I have ever had.  So where to start with our Cupcakes to Catford adventure…

Squadron leader as ever, Charlie shepherds the support crew out from Look Mum with the obligatory pink already in evidence.

I’ve never done a hill climb before, so it seemed like an obvious idea to do two in one day, wearing a pink tutu, with as many of the girls as we could muster to show our support for Charlie and raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

Tom and Alice journeyed from Exeter suitably pinked up to show their support. Thanks guys.

With Charlie and co heading out from the cafe the ‘racers’ gathered at Elmers end
and pedalled out over a direct route that would include the 1:4 hill at Downe
and a couple of match sprints between myself and Henry to warm up the legs and
raise the levels of insanity.  I discovered during the ride out that wings and a rucksack are not and ideal combo, but fortunately the tutu and leg warmers were genius additions to any winter cycling wardrobe, allowing for a free pedalling style at the hips and adding a little much needed warmth at the ankle.

Our cafe led squad arrives at Yorks.  Charlie wears stylish Rapha.  Helen wears one of the many pink items she selected from her own wardrobe.

Racers arrive at Yorks.

Louise was the first to go up Yorks Hill with an understated outfit with (shock-horror) no pink! As the morning wore on it became apparent that this omission was due to lack of intravenous caffeine and a rather long ride out from Richmond. The situation was remedied later for the BEC, so we forgive our ex-pro her seriousness.  We acknowledge that Louise is still adjusting to the different code of conduct required from her in the amateur ranks.  We know she is still developing as a Look Mum rider.

I was next to go and I think its fair to say that I kicked the fancy dress event off in style.  Exactly what that style was saying its hard to tell.

The heavens had decreed that on Sunday 14th October something remarkable would happen in the hills of Kent. Angels would come down from the skies and devilment would take place.

Elise followed me up shortly afterwards with an equally impressive and unique outfit.  Unique that is apart from the fact that upon cresting the summit she was greeted by a 5 year old who exclaimed with a big smile on her face “I’ve got that dress”! It was like one of those moments at a party where you realise there’s someone wearing the same dress who looks better than you do.  Elise was gracious and motherly in defeat.

Siobhan was fourth to go and showed that she has just the right qualities to be a member of the look mum racing team.  The pink was in evidence, the effort was tangible, and she somehow manages to display this look of focussed determination in the face of farce.

Last to go on Yorks was our pocket rocket Lydia.  Always highly competitive and determined, I must admit that we had discussed the aerodynamic effects of the tutu.  On balance (and without the assistance of wind tunnel testing) it was decided that our candidate was strong enough to wear the tutu and still go for glory. This discussion concluded with a two word phrase, the first rhyming with duck and the second very similar to tit.

Fortunately Lydia was on cracking form and posted a great time of 2mins 38.1 seconds, a time that would not be beaten by any other women.

With the first performance phase of our day complete, we were free to enjoy supporting the other riders and do our best to encourage more mischief.

Chief stalwart in this regard was Henry, a friend of Siobhans who frankly showed a
rather unusual willingness to don pink tights, vest and tutu, and er..bust his balls…up some stupidly hard climbs.

As a team, I think Look Mum were outstanding supporters, and I’m sure we reduced
the times by tangible amounts over the top of Yorks hill.  As the energy amongst the camp built towards hysteria it became apparent that wearing pink allows you to do all sorts of things that you might otherwise consider absurd.  Notice that at this stage we have been delving into Helens ‘sac ‘o pink’ and I am sporting a fetching scarf, whilst
Louise has finally been dragged kicking and screaming into a pink jersey.

As it turns out a tutu is a gift that keeps on giving.  Not only does it not impede performance, but you can easily slip it off and slip it on an unsuspecting bystander.  Here Sarah of Brixton makes the last minute performance decision to wear the tutu and still post a pretty respectable time.

Final results:

50 Lydia Boylan 2.38.1 Look Mum No Hands!
65 Maryka Sennema 2.44.9 Kingston Wheelers
88 Deborah Percival 2.55.4 34 Nomads
90 Louise Moriarty 2.57.4 Look Mum No Hands!
93 Louise Fellingham 2.58.6 London Dynamo
103 Sarah Connell 3.07.2 Brixton Cycles
109 Joanne McRae 3.16.3 Look Mum No Hands!
110 Tamar Vanderhaas 3.17.4 Brighton Mitre
113 Louise Mason 3.22.1 Medway Velo
116 Elise Sherwell 3.25.1 Look Mum No Hands!
120 Siobhan McNamara 3.36.0 Look Mum No Hands!

128 Mercedes Tallo 4.32.8 Catford CC
129 Laura Morgan 5.05.9 Rollapaluza CC

(60 Henry Martin 2.43.1)

With the excitement of the first of our twin peaks over with, we started to head across to the second climb – the Bec, up old titsey hill near Tatsfield.  Myself, Louise, Henry and Siobhan had time to head to the Crocodile café for a quick snack and coffee.  This could not have come sooner for Louise whose mood had improved slightly since she pulled on the pink jersey, but was sure to lift further with another injection of caffeine.

I was the first to go on the Bec and frankly was over the actual racing bit at this stage and rather more looking forward to more spectating.  However, I gave it what I had left from the morning (which wasn’t a lot) and naturally saved a bit for the top where the paps and crowds were out in force.

Siobhan followed me up shortly afterwards.  See what I mean? Poker face.

Rejuvenated by coffee, Louise had refocussed for the Bec, not least because there were some really decent prizes on offer!  Louise had a garmin in her sites, and combining caffeine with the power of pink posted a great time of 2.39.4

With most of us gathered by the roadside it was time for Lydia to have a go at doing
the double by taking her second victory of the day.  As we screamed and whistled we could see Lydia honey badgering her way up the climb, and to add to the excitement she was catching her minute man Roy Instrall of Morden CRC.  Moments later, the unthinkable happened….

Oh Roy…..

Last of our motley crew to come up old titsey was our cross-dressing friend Henry, who having realised that the tutu and pink tights were a fabulous way to attract some
attention, decided to sport the horns this time too to finish off the outfit.  Nice one Henry.

If you have never watched a hill climb before, I highly recommend it.  There is something special about watching people die on their arse over the top of a climb, and as a rider the crowds really draw you out at the top.  I don’t know who you are but this was my favourite race face.

As the mens record tumbled and we got towards the sharp end of the field it became apparent that Lydia had done the double.  Quite literally – Twin Peaks.  Brilliant.

Congratulations too go to Louise who gave us a flavour of what she can do on the second climb, provided she has been fed and watered appropriately.

Thanks also to Siobhan and Elise for their brilliant efforts, and especially to Siobhan who had come over from Ireland for the event.

Final result:

46 Lydia Boylan 02.33.3 Look Mum No Hands!
59 Louise Moriarty 02.39.4 Look Mum No Hands!

62 Deborah Percival 02.43.6 34 Nomads CC
68 Maryka Sennema 02.45.5 Kingston Wheelers CC
76 Bronwen Ewing 02.59.1 PM Racing
78 Louise Fellingham 02.59.5 London Dynamo
79 Siobhan McNamara 03.05.9 Look Mum No Hands!
82 Joanne McRae 03.14.1 Look Mum No Hands!

(53 Henry Martin 02.37.1)

THANKYOU

All that remains to be said is a big thanks to all the organisers of the Catford and Bec Hill climbs for putting on fantastic events and accommodating and supporting our fancy dress antics.

Thanks also to all the women who turned out either to support or compete showing that we deserve a decent prize list and can add enormous value to these already well-established events.

Thanks to Sam from Look Mum for organising breakfast for our early risers.

Thanks to Wayne Peach for designing our amazing cupcakes to Catford logo

Thanks to Linda Gray for putting the horns and tail into my costume.

Thanks to Steven Allport and Dave Hayward for allowing us to use their amazing photos.  Go to www.pengiunpeloton.cc and www.davehaywardphotos.com to see more

Thanks to all who have donated at our money giving page (see below if you would still like to donate)

And finally thanks especially to Charlie for coming out to support us in supporting her, for putting our cycling team together in the first place, and for being such an inspiration to everyone.

YOU CAN STILL DONATE

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/CupcakestoCatford