There’s a lot been happening over the summer, and a lot coming up. Here’s a quick summary.
Suzannes’s Cycling Challenge-the eight hardest sportives in the UK
Many of you will be aware that Vagabond Suzie Harrison is riding the UK’s eight hardest sportive routes this summer. This is for the Alzheimer’s Society because Suzie’s late mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 2012.
For the record, the rides are:
Bealach Mor (89 miles, 7,000 feet)
Forest of Bowland (100 miles, 8,074 feet)
Tour of the Peaks (115 mile, 10,000 feet)
Sussex Gran Fondo (122 miles, 4,963 feet)
Fred Witton (122 miles, 12,467 feet)
The Welsh Monster (186 miles, 21,325 feet)
Struggle on the Moors (110 mile, 10,239 feet)
Scarborough Sportive (120 miles 11,000 feet)
As I write these words, Suzie has just one to go, the Scarborough Sportive, which she has planned for this coming Thursday, 23 August. If you would like to join her, contact Suzie via the Forum or her FB page. For the record, Susie enjoyed her first trip to Wales so much that she decided to go back a second time because she ran out of daylight first time. She made sure wasn’t going to happen a second time by setting off at 03.15!
Suzie has almost reached the fundraising target that she set herself. You can donate using Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/suzanne-harrison4 where you will find more information.
The club is hosting a round of this coming season’s CXNE (Cyclo Cross North East) at Thorneyford Farm on Sunday on Sunday 23 September. This is part of a series of events which is held throughout the north over the autumn and early winter. If you are unfamiliar with CX, it has been described as ‘fast, frantic, spectator friendly and damn good fun. Cyclo-cross – or cross, cyclo-x and CX – is a sport that takes modified road bikes off road in races that typically last for 60 minutes and includes obstacles where you need to dismount and run with the bike over your shoulder.’
For those club members unfamiliar with Go-Ride, it is British Cycling's development programme for young people. The programme provides a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to cycling and to improve bike handling skills. Young people will be able to try the various cycle sport disciplines with the Vagabond’s Go Ride Team.
We have a wide variety of ages and capabilities at our coaching sessions. We currently coach 6-12 year old children, but we would also like to be in a position to coach the older riders. Our British Cycling qualified coaches, to either Level 1 or Level 2, coach a number of skills which riders can use in various cycling disciplines e.g. road racing, cyclocross, mountain biking and club rides.
Our current coaching team do a great job in developing the riders, enjoying the interaction with the riders and being rewarded with the satisfaction of seeing how they progress due to their efforts. But the coaches’ work patterns affect their availability and can leave us struggling to cope, given the popularity of the sessions. Additional coaches would help us provide more cover for all sessions and develop our coaching capabilities in all areas. Prospective coaches would take the Level 1 course with funding coming from both the club and British Cycling. All we ask is that qualified coaches participate in an agreed number of sessions per year. Our coaches come from all walks of life. Some have children at the sessions, some don’t. Check out the British Cycling website for more detailed information on what Coaching is all about and how you can get involved.
You can contact the go ride team via the form on the website: https://www.tynevags.org.uk/index.php/the-club/go-ride
Don’s 24 hours
At the other end of the spectrum to CX’s one hour of pain, is the 24 hours of pain that I would expect comes from riding a 24 hour time trial! That’s what Don Speight did over the weekend of 21/22 July. This was the National 24 Hour Championship held in Shropshire.
Don reported after the event: ‘It’s a tough ride. If anyone told me that before the event, I’d managed to shut it out of my mind. It didn’t go to plan. Going well at 8 hours. Struggled in the dark, despite the brilliant lights that Roger lent me. Started to pick up again once it got light, thoroughly enjoying the country lane sections at daybreak. With five hours to go I was confident of breaking 415 miles and was going well. Then with around four hours to go I punctured hitting a horrendous pot hole on the road back to the Wrexham finishing circuit. Thankfully two kind souls stopped and lent me the spare wheel they had for the rider they were supporting. This I think typifies the spirit of the event. Back on the road it was going to be touch and go. By the finishing circuit I was having to spend quite a bit of time off the bike recovering, before tackling the next lap. With an hour to go, I knew I could get close to Quentin’s club record of just under 413 miles. Initially I thought I’d missed it, but having checked my Garmin figures and adding up the various sections I think the provisional result is correct. We’ll have to wait for the official result, but I think I’ve just got it.
‘Massive respect for Quentin’s mark. I am sure we had far better conditions this weekend. And I know Roger is well capable of riding further, but has been unlucky on two occasions. I owe a huge amount to Roger for his advice and guidance, which has steered me clear of some serious pitfalls.
‘The whole event is brilliant. It must be so difficult to organise and yet Mersey Roads seems to manage whilst maintaining a very competent yet relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
‘My support were great, putting me through the highs and lows over the 24 hours. I need a little time to rest and reflect to decide whether I might do it again, but it’s certainly a possibility.
‘Once again, many thanks for your support’
For the records, Don’s official result was 414.16 miles, a new club record.
100 Mile Time Trial (N&DCA Championship)