2020 FCCC CLUB 10 MILE CHAMPIONSHIPS

On-line registration is open for the Club 10 mile championships to be held on the HCC216a course (follow this link for the course map https://www.plotaroute.com/route/198873 ), starting in Hartley Wintney, on 13th August 2020 at 19.00hrs.

Open to all members with no specialist equipment required other than your bike (including compulsory rear light) and determination to go as fast as you can.

Ladies, mens and veterans trophies are all up for grabs for first claim members.

Registration is simple, just complete this Google Form on-line: https://forms.gle/iwftRTKqbsyrcgdZA

Closing date for entry is 11th August 2020

FCCC Club TT Rules under Covid-19 Restrictions

  1. On-line entry only.
  2. Closing date for entry is 2 days prior to the event.
  3. Field sizes will be restricted so entry is on a first come, first served basis.
  4. A start sheet will be emailed one day prior to the event.
  5. You are asked to park and then ride up to the start area.
  6. Aim to arrive at the start area 5 minutes before your start time.
  7. Arrive “ready to ride” as there will be no facilities for safeguarding jackets, bags etc.
  8. Numbers will be available at the start area – PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN SAFETY PINS
  9. There will be no “pushing off”, you will have to do a standing start on your own.
  10. After finishing please put your number in the plastic bin provided for the purpose at the finish area and then immediately make your way home.
  11. Results will not be available at the finish but published on the club’s FaceBook page/group and website.
  12. PLEASE ADHERE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES AND MAINTAIN A  2M DISTANCE BETWEEN PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES.
  13. IF YOU ARE FEELING AT ALL UNWELL DO NOT TAKE PART IN THE EVENT.

CLUB TIME TRIALS RESTART 6TH AUGUST

The Club are pleased to announce details for the return to club TTs starting with the 20k event on the HCC257 course starting at the Star Hill layby on the A30 on 6th August.  This first event under Covid-19 restrictions is open to club members only.

This will be followed a week later by the rescheduled Club 10 Mile Championship on the HCC216a course, starting in Hartley Wintney, on 13th August.

FCCC Club TT Rules under Covid-19 Restrictions

  1. On-line entry only.
  2. Closing date for entry is 2 days prior to the event.
  3. Field sizes will be restricted so entry is on a first come, first served basis.
  4. A start sheet will be emailed one day prior to the event.
  5. You are asked to park and then ride up to the start area.
  6. Aim to arrive at the start area 5 minutes before your start time.
  7. Arrive “ready to ride” as there will be no facilities for safeguarding jackets, bags etc.
  8. Numbers will be available at the start area – PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN SAFETY PINS
  9. There will be no “pushing off”, you will have to do a standing start on your own.
  10. After finishing please put your number in the plastic bin provided for the purpose at the finish area and then immediately make your way home.
  11. Results will not be available at the finish but published on the club’s FaceBook page/group and website.
  12. PLEASE ADHERE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES AND MAINTAIN A  2M DISTANCE BETWEEN PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES.
  13. IF YOU ARE FEELING AT ALL UNWELL DO NOT TAKE PART IN THE EVENT.

Registration for the 6th August event is simple, just complete this Google Form on-line: https://forms.gle/JB3rR37USQXdLv8p8

Links to the course details can be found on the club’s latest List of Club TT Events 2020

The great outdoors

Whilst much of the cycling world is online, the off-road section of the Club is very active. It is much easier to adhere to the current government and British Cycling guidelines with small groups off-road. One thing we’ve been promising to do for a while is an epic ride somewhere. So it was that three of us met in Buxton in the Peak District at 10am, 11 July 2020.

Weather was a bit overcast as we headed up the old Roman Road to the Cat and Fiddle pub. Then the sun peeked out a bit and we were making good speed over the moors. Next part of the ride took us to Three Shires’ Head – where Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Lancashire meet. More climbing up some rocky tracks to Flash Bar – the highest village in England. We rode past an open cafe as we’d only been going an hour. Another hour later, after a very rocky descent to Hollinsclough, and a climb up Axe Edge, we stopped at the cafe. Lots of motorbikers had turned up, so social distancing was a bit tricky, but everyone was trying hard and was being very courteous.

Down the Cumberland Brook this time, and back to Three Shires’ Head which had become like a beach in Bournemouth. Quite incredible how many people had made their way to the middle of nowhere.

We took another track upwards and arrived on a minor road which took us up a very sharp climb to Macclesfield Forest. This is an absolutely fantastic hidden gem. Wonderfully wide tracks, swooping descents and superb views. A real highlight.

Probably worth mentioning at this point that David was riding an eMTB. David said that the motor just “took the edge off” the uphill efforts. As I was seeing stars through trying to keep up as we rode up a mile-long gravel track, and Stuart was audibly losing the will to live, David was whistling a tune and enjoying the view!!! Stuart and I both race cyclocross in National Championships, so it was really pleasing that David, a very muscular, former cage-fighter, was easily able to keep up and enjoy the whole ride.

Another gravelly descent and you guessed it – another climb, this time on the road to Cat and Fiddle again. Back over the Roman road, bathed in glorious sunshine. An absolutely fantastic way to spend 5 hours in the saddle. 5000ft of climbing and the same descending of course!

More epics are planned over the Summer and into the Autumn, so please do email Scott, [email protected] for details of those, and to join the monthly social rides, or any of the many smaller rides in between.

COVID-19 UPDATE 10 July 2020

Club Nights – We are still in the virtual world and if you’ve missed the last 2 excellent bike maintenance presentations by Carl White then please do and go check out the new Maintenance page in the Members’ section of the website to watch the video recordings, and keep your eyes peeled for the next one.

Off-Road Club Rides are up and running again!  The monthly club rides restarted on 28 June and this weekend there’s a big ride in the Peak District, too late to join but a taste of what you may be missing.   Check the club’s Off-Road WhatsApp group (email [email protected] if you would like to be added to this group), website forum and members Facebook group for further details of upcoming rides.   

Time Trials are Go, but only for FCCC Members! – Our TT Secretary, Donald Ashton, posted the latest update on the resumption of Club Time Trials (Type B events) on the website forum on 24 June – you can view a pdf version without having to log in to the website by clicking here.

Unfortunately, the social distancing guidance rules out the next few scheduled club TTs (due to the size/positioning of the start areas) so our first club TT will be on 6 August on the HCC257 course, and the Club’s 10 mile Championship will follow on 13 August on the HCC216a.  However, as Donald says, we will need volunteers to help with the extra burden imposed by Covid considerations so now is the time to step up and help otherwise these events cannot go ahead.  Please email [email protected] if you can help.

You can see the full list of original schedule of Club TTs here.

Detailed instructions will be posted on the Club’s media (Members Facebook, website Forum and TT WhatsApp group – email [email protected] if you would like to be added to this group) so keep a lookout and get ready to sign up on-line.

Road Racing – We are very hopeful that outdoor racing will re-commence at the beginning of August, subject to British Cycling and Government guidance.  However, if you are Zwift enabled, do not despair because we are organising members-only club races on Zwift.  Get in touch with Luke Stratford at [email protected] to join our WhatsApp group and join the fun.   We are also very pleased to announce that the Road Race Chain Gang rides are restarting, please contact Luke for details.

Road Club Rides – Unfortunately, the latest guidance from both the government and British Cycling means we are not be able to resume our traditional Sunday and Wednesday club “turn up and ride” events from the Bridge, so these remain suspended.

However, we would very much like to encourage our members to set up their own rides of up to 6 people, in accordance with current government guidelines, so if you want to lead a small ride (4 seems ideal but please only a maximum of 6) make yourself a “ride leader” and put it up on the members FaceBook group or website Forum. Look out for details coming soon about a shared online library of club routes for all members.

Circumstances and advice are constantly changing so stay in touch with our media to see the latest advice.

The Results Are In

We have the final scores from June’s Climbing Challenge, and we’re pleased to say that we climbed a total of 525,614 metres in June – that’s 65 times the height of Everest! A little way off from the 1 million metres target, but it’s the first year that we’ve tried this, and we will get there! We’ve been delighted to see so many members joining in.

This challenge has seen some extraordinary efforts. To celebrate your achievements, we have decided to use the Tour de France jersey classifications to name the best climber, most podium finishes, the best women’s climber and the best young rider for the month. The attached infographic shows the podiums for each category for each week of June too. So well done if you made the podium!

Darren Roberts takes the Polka Dot Jersey with 45,878 metres climbed in the month.

Don Blake takes the Yellow Jersey with the most podium finishes.

Laila Al Adwani takes the Green Jersey (re-purposed for this event) with the most metres climbed in the women’s category.

And the Young Rider White Jersey goes to Thomas Garner for most metres climbed for an under-25.

Well done to you all. Chapeau!

Each of these winners will receive a prize of a set of Tour De France coasters (see pictures ) from the Club.

Darren, due to his role in organising the event, has kindly donated his prize back into the Club for a competition so that someone else can win them. So it’s COMPETITION TIME!

We have left a big question mark in the ‘Kilometres Ridden’ box in the attached infographic. The Club member who guesses closest to the final amount wins a set of coasters. Please send your guess to [email protected]. Only one guess per person! If you change your mind then send another email, and your previous guess will be removed. Entries close at noon on Sunday 12 July, and results will be announced on Monday 13 July.

Well done to everyone.

Everest Achieved!

After 9 hours and 25 minutes on his turbo trainer, Darren Roberts completed his Everesting attempt on Zwift late on Saturday night. He climbed 8,852 metres (29,042 feet) on the Alpe du Zwift course (over 8 and a half ascents). Alpe du Zwift is a faithful reproduction of the real Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps. Mount Everest is 8,848 m (29,029 ft) in elevation.

He covered 216 km (134 miles) in doing this, putting out an average of 221 Watts for those 9+ hours, and using up over 7,000 calories. However, Daz is no stranger to ultra-endurance events, and he was well stocked up with supplies of calories, as you’ll see from the attached photo.

As well as this massive elevation gain counting towards the club’s June climbing challenge, Daz’s mammoth ride was part of a wider charity event on that day, the Everesting Hope Challenge, which raises money for the Hope For Justice charity and aims to help bring an end to modern slavery. You can find out more details about this, and you can still donate, at https://hopeforjustice.org/virtualhopechallenge/

It’s enough of an achievement on its own, but Daz’s ride went further into the record books by making the third best Strava time ever for 8 climbs of Alpe du Zwift!

Many congratulations to Daz on this amazing feat!

Everesting for Charity

As part of our June climbing challenge, club member Daz Roberts will be attempting a “virtual Everest” on his turbo trainer on Zwift this weekend, starting this afternoon (Sat 27 June) at around 3pm.

He’ll be on the Alpe du Zwift climb on Zwift. At some 1,035m (3,398ft) in elevation, that means he’s going to have to do approximately 8.5 climbs of Alpe du Zwift to match Everest’s 8,848m (29,029 ft).

As well as putting this climbing towards our one million metres June challenge, Darren is doing this mammoth effort as part of the Everesting Hope Challenge which takes place today to raise money for the Hope For Justice charity, which aims to help bring an end to modern slavery. You can find out more details about this and donate at https://hopeforjustice.org/virtualhopechallenge/

If you’re on Zwift then I’m sure Daz wouldn’t mind some company on some of his climbing, so feel free to join in.

Good luck Daz!

COVID-19 Update 20 June 2020

British Cycling announced on Thursday 18 June they were lifting the suspension of some sanctioned cycling activities with immediate effect (full details can be found here). We want to share with you what this, along with other current guidance, means for FCCC’s activities:

Club Nights – gatherings of more than 6 are still prohibited so club nights will continue with the existing on-line format.

Time Trials – TTs are still suspended. Cycling Time Trials current position states “Whereas it is still not considered possible nor indeed appropriate to recommence CTT events as yet, it is anticipated that on or around 04 July the current restrictions on social distancing may be relaxed further. If this proves to be the case, Type B ‘club events can be held from 06 July 2020 and Type A events from 18 July 2020” (the full CTT statement can be found here). We will advise as soon as this is definitive.

Road Racing – Although the club do not currently have any commitments to organise races, all organised racing remains currently suspended.

Off-Road Club Rides – both social distancing and group sizes can be easily managed with our existing group of off-road participants so these will now recommence. A ride protocol covering social distancing and risks such as respiratory hygiene will be shared with riders prior to the rides.

Road Club Rides – resuming group rides on public roads presents the biggest challenge for the Club:

  • The 2m social distancing rule effectively rules out riding 2-abreast on most of our local rides as it would mean one rider in the gutter and one in the centre of road, which is not safe.
  • This would result in riding almost exclusively in a single line which, in view of British Cycling’s advice “we recognise that in some environments social distancing may present practical difficulties and risks and it may be safer to ride in groups of fewer than six”, means groups of less than 6.
  • We do not have enough volunteer members to lead the number of rides that would result from restricted group sizes based on our usual level of participation.
  • Restrictions on the size of gatherings makes it impossible for club rides to all start from the Bridge at the same normal 9.30 start time.

It is for these reasons we will not be recommencing club road rides at this stage. We are however working on how we can recommence them safely, within the relevant guidelines and advice, in anticipation of further relaxation in social distancing rules.

For this to work we will need:

  • a system to allow pre-booking of spaces on club rides.
  • multiple start locations and times.
  • more members to step up and volunteer to lead rides.

NB. FYI prior to the pandemic we had been thinking about how we can reorganise club rides along these lines anyway (except for multiple start locations and times).

FINALLY, although formal club road rides are still suspended we encourage you all to continue to get out on your bikes and lead your own informal rides with friends, as a great many of you have been doing already, provided always that social distancing and government guidelines are strictly followed.

British Cycling Zwift Racing – Club Success

Despite the lack of outdoor road races that are usual for this time of year (due of course to the COVID-19 pandemic), the club’s racers have nevertheless been in action and have achieved great results for the club recently.

Over six weeks in April and May, British Cycling’s South East region organised a series of online races via Zwift. This has been a tremendous success, with dozens of clubs taking part (including several triathlon clubs as well as cycling clubs) from all across the south-east area of the country, with riders of all abilities and including both women and men.

As well as the club’s road racers and time triallers that have been taking part, several other members have used these events to dip their toes into the world of cycling competition, such is the ease of entry to Zwift racing. All you need is some sort of trainer (ideally a smart one, though there are ways of racing with a non-smart trainer too) and a computer or tablet/phone. There has been something for everyone, with circuits varying from very flat to very hilly, and everything in between.

Riders were split into various categories depending on their watts/kg figures on Zwift. These categories covered the whole ability/power range and were certainly not only for “racers”, with points being awarded in each category depending on placing. Typically there were two events per week. These were mainly road races, but also included some individual time trials and one team time trial. Points were added up for each club across all the events over those six weeks, with the final results shown below.

FCCC finished in a fine 17th place with 1135 pts, beating several other local clubs. Even more importantly, the racers generally found the competition a lot of fun and great training too. Well done to all who took part! Some might have done just one race, some might have done many, but all the results counted and those points all added up to the final total.

The next series of British Cycling SE races is kicking off tonight, and again will run over several weeks. It’s very easy to get into – if you already ride on Zwift then why not give it a go? It doesn’t matter how “good” you are, if you can finish the race you will still win points, and you never know, you might end up with a whole stack of points. You also might learn a fair bit about how far you can push yourself. Contact our road race secretary Luke Stratford to find out more, and you’ll get plenty of support and encouragement from him and his friendly team of racers.

As a postscript, in between that first series and tonight’s new one starting, last week there was a small stage race run by British Cycling South region on Zwift, over three stages. Darren Roberts took part and finished in an excellent ninth place overall in the GC (shown as tenth below due to a sorting error in the table). Congratulations Darren!

If you’d like to find out more about time trials on Zwift, then please get in touch with our TT captain Vernon Schutte for more information. Or for general membership information about the club, then contact the membership secretary Steve Hammatt.

Team Time Trial!

Team Time Trial!

On Thursday 14 May, at 7:40pm, two club teams will be racing on Zwift in the final event for the British Cycling South East inter-club Zwift competition.

This competition has been running over the past six weeks and the club has had some excellent results. It’s been helping to scratch the competitive itch that many of the club’s racers have been experiencing due to the lack of on-road events. It’s also been bringing in some first-time racers too, due to the easy of entry (just get on your turbo trainer and race!). There will be a full report in due course, including from one of those first-timers, but right now let’s concentrate now on this blue riband event, which will close off the series in style.

Many of you will know that a team time trial features often, though not always, in the Grand Tours. It involves a team of riders in close formation in a time trial-style maximum attack event, racing against the clock to try and achieve the best time compared to other teams.

This particular race is for teams of between five and eight riders. The club has one team of seven and another team of six racing. For each team, the time that will be counted is that of the fourth member over the finish line. So it’s very much a team effort. There’s no point someone going off the front for the glory, since the fourth racer is the one who’s going to stop the clock. Each team needs to do everything they can to keep a steady pace and maximise the drafting effect (i.e. sheltering from the wind – and yes, Zwift does simulate this remarkably well) by keeping all but one team member out of that wind and rotating frequently.

You can get involved and watch this race in real time in a couple of different ways. Firstly, the organisers of these events on Zwift (WTRL) have their own coverage, since these are very popular events and they have a lot of experience in running and sharing them. See https://wtrl.racing/ttt/TTT-ZCL-Broadcasts.php for links to their broadcasts on social media and popular streaming platforms.

Alternatively, if you have a Zwift account, then you can follow the race on Zwift as follows. First, start a Zwift session on Watopia (the world that will be hosting the race – this won’t work if you’re on a different world) and then open up the profile of one of the club’s team members (e.g. time trial road captain Vernon Schutte, or road race secretary Luke Stratford) and use the “Fan View” button in the Zwift Companion app to see them in real time (you can also change the camera angle via the Zwift button for this).

Good luck to both teams!