Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Racing Tales: False Teeth or not False Teeth..

It is not in my nature to be controversial but I want to know why there is no mention in any training manual or racing advice books where older riders are told to remove their dentures before riding.

Whilst the weight saving is not great, in these days of marginal gains every little counts and this could provide the aged veteran with just that little extra edge.

One other point that must be made is that when making a full effort with mouth wide open it is possible that the said teeth could shoot out and  time could be lost in a stop and search exercise.

Having said that I can recall back in the late 1970's that a rider from the Folkestone and District Wheelers who lost his teeth on the climb up from Chilham to Ashford carried on regardless and then enlisted the help of his club mates after the event to return to the scene of his loss to effect their successful recovery.

So remember my motto "If in doubt, take them out".

Sunday, 27 January 2013

London Roller Racing in 1050's: Part 1

Roller equipment for club contests was hired from Dunlop and most contests were a 660 yard sprint, where with a standing jump-start you were held for the first 220 yards and then released to ride free for the last quarter of a mile. This was the more skillful event as tiring riders tended to lose control and often came off the rollers and out of the race. The 440 yard race was a flying start. You were held for the duration of the ride, which was a pure test of speed.

My one claim to fame was that I could do this event in 15 seconds dead (average speed 60 miles per hour) never faster and rarely slower. My maths is not good enough but I am sure that there is somebody out there that could calculate how many revolutions per minute had to be maintained to record that time, all I know from memory is that at that rate it felt as though my whole body was about to explode.

Years ago there were no Roller Leagues but several of the local clubs ran contests in their club rooms in addition to the open contests that took place at local venues like cinemas and Town Halls. The open events were more or less a closed shop to us lesser mortals so we transferred our attention to the local club events that were run on a level playing field.

There were a few specialist riders that used to travel to the bigger events and usually won all the prizes. Whilst these were all amateur events with the usual non cash prizes I did see cash change hands at a couple of the bigger events.

It was an event at  Greenwich Town Hall that I realised why the same few riders were successful. Whilst the bikes were all checked to ensure that the gearing did not exceed 101 inches once the bike had a pass sticker put on the top tube, chain rings and wheels were secretly changed and by the time you got onto the stage to ride you found your opponent had a chain ring the size of a dustbin lid and travelled at twice your speed whilst pedalling slower than your own gut wrenching rate.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Teeny Tiny Track

Teeny tiny track… with some people who look like they've never been on a bike before.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Nicole Cooke's Retirement

I remember when Nicole Cooke was out on the continent battling, virtually on her own, in the very obstreperous world of professional cycling. That she survived and rose to the top is a tremendous achievement - not for the faint hearted.

It's a shame she has retired fairly early by all accounts, but completely understandable. The statement she released outlines her struggle from age 12, with the total backing of her father, to be simply included in what was then BCF races and championships.  One shocking revelation is that as she prepared to defend her title at the Olympics her wages were not being paid! All this after a few difficult years... (Always good to remember that as mere onlookers we see only a small part of the iceberg!)

It's a long well written statement that touches on many pertinent areas of the sport. She's a courageous person who has definitely paved the way for the British women out there now (and suffered personally for it). The very best of luck to her.

Read the whole thing here on her website.....

Posted by Love Yellow