Women’s Guide to Racing – Part 2
What do I enter?
So, hopefully you’ve read my first part of my guide to racing and, hopefully, it has helped unravel the category and points system that British Cycling currently use. In addition, I gave a brief synopsis of the different types of race that you can take part in as a rider. Which leads to the inevitable question, “which races should I enter?”
1) What do you want to achieve?
Well, let’s start at the beginning. First of all, you need to decide what your goals are going to be, especially if this is your first season. Goals should always be “SMART” – which stands for:
S – Specific – choose a specific goal – e.g. I want to ride a 10 mile time trial in under 30 minutes or I want to gain enough points to obtain my 3rd category licence (the latter will require a number of additional goals in order to achieve this).
M – Measurable – it is difficult to look at progress unless you pick goals that are measurable – e.g. by time or distance for a time trial, or staying with the bunch for the whole race (easier said than done, sometimes).
A – Adjustable – be flexible – if you find that your goal is easier than you thought (for example, you manage to do 28 minutes for your first 10 mile time trial when you wanted to do 30 minutes), adjust your goal to 27:30, maybe, or in the case of a road or circuit race, if there are only 15 people in the race, you might adjust your goal for the race to be in the top ten.
R – Realistic – the goals you set yourself need to be challenging but achievable – there is no point setting yourself a goal that is too difficult to achieve because you will become disillusioned, disappointed and give up but on the other hand, you don’t want goals that are too easy, as you won’t feel a sense of achievement upon reaching your target which again leads to disappointment. However, how challenging your goals are also depends on how confident you are – there is no reason why your first goals can’t be easier to help you grow your confidence, with your goals becoming more challenging as your confidence develops.
T – Time-based – have a long-term goal in mind but have short-term goals to help you reach it – there’s no point having a goal of riding a 10 mile time trial in 25 minutes in 5 years’ time, or winning a National Series Road Race by 2016, if you have no short-term goals to get you there. Having a long-term objective is good, it helps you to remember what you want out of the sport, but 5 years is a long time – it’s much better to have goals that you can see coming up in your calendar in one or two month’s time, as it keeps you focused, enthusiastic and keen.
2) I have my goals – what should I look for in a race?
Well, firstly, even if you’ve had a go at racing before, you never know what you’re going to like until you’ve done a few different types of races. At the beginning, you want to look at races that are maybe near to you, that aren’t too long and aren’t too technically demanding.
This is an important point to make – some of the newer closed circuits are narrow and have tight bends, with a lot of corners, which means that if you aren’t used to racing elbow to elbow with fellow cyclists, they can be a bit intimidating. In addition, smaller circuits can mean more corners, which can mean you end up sprinting out of every corner – and when they come every 20 metres, it gets tiring very quickly, which means that you can lose concentration if you’re not used to it. That can then lead to stupid mistakes, which can lead to pointless crashes – I have witnessed that.
Grand Prix des Dames (Blackpool) ©Chris Maher – www.ChrisMaher.co.uk
Having said that, you should also look at the category of riders that can ride in the race. For example, a race specifically open to 3rd and 4th category female riders may be slightly less physically demanding than a race open to all category women (including elites), as 3rd category riders do not as a whole tend to be as fast as elites and first category riders. That’s not to say that third category riders don’t know what they’re talking about – you may learn a lot from them, if you are a fourth category rider, and you should never write anybody off on paper.
The positive thing about circuit races is that they are usually on purpose built circuits, closed to traffic, so you don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic in the race. Having said that, as I’ve said above, some circuits can be quite narrow, and you may not be too keen at sprinting out of corners for 40 or 50 minutes. In which case, you might like to try road racing, which are held on circuits on the open roads, which also mean that they are open to oncoming traffic.
But that isn’t something to necessarily be afraid of – when you go out on your bike with your mates, you ride on the open road, right? The only thing that you need to remember is that your safety is paramount, which means that your concentration is extremely important.
For your first road race, if possible, pick a race that isn’t too long in distance. There’s a big jump between riding a race around a closed circuit for between 40 and 50 minutes and riding a 45 or 50 mile road race, which could last as long as 3 hours. The CDNW women’s road race league events have been chosen as they are a good distance between the circuit race events and the Team Series events and National Road Race Series events, with the shortest event being 32 miles and the longest about 40 miles (see later). Also, if possible, try and pick an event that is open to lower category riders, as the speed will not be as high as an event open to elites and first category riders; however, this is not always possible, but remember that any race is not only a learning curve, it is also training (remember my point about setting goals).
The final point about road races is that there will be marshals on the circuit, usually positioned at junctions and “pinch points” for traffic. A marshal’s job is to warn traffic of the race that is approaching, not to tell you which way to go – it is your job as a rider to know the course. The marshal cannot stop traffic either, however some road races have the addition of motorbike marshals, called the National Escort Group (“NEG”), who help with the control of traffic (and do a marvellous job too!)
3) So what events can I enter?
Remember that you can enter any event open to your category – so, if you are a fourth category female rider, you can enter any events with a “W4” category, which unfortunately means that you can’t enter any National Series Road Races, but again I revert you to my point about goals above. As a third category female rider (“W3”), you can enter any events with a “W3” category, and so on, and so on.
There are a number of events for 3rd and 4th category ladies only being held at the Cyclopark in Kent, under the “Winter in the Park Series”. These events are 32 miles long and you set off with the female elites, first and second category riders (possibly a few seconds after them) BUT it will be a separate race. If you’re based down South, that’s definitely one I would check out. There are events being held at the new Odd Down Circuit in Bath and there have also been a series at Preston Park in Brighton.
Further north, in the Midlands, there are quite a few circuits, including Shrewsbury Sports Village, Stourport and Tudor Grange in Solihull. Over the hill into Derbyshire and there are a number of races that are being held for women at the Darley Moor Circuit near Ashbourne.
In North Wales, there will be a variety of events at Marsh Tracks, Rhyl, which is a great circuit for developing confidence.
Over in Yorkshire, there are loads of events being held at the new York Sport circuit (yes, you’ve guessed it) in York, with a few also at Richard Dunne, Bradford and possibly some at Dishforth in North Yorkshire.
In the North West, there are races planned for Salt Ayre, Lancaster as well as Palatine, Blackpool and some evening events at Tameside, Ashton-under-Lyne.
All of these events also have races for the men, so your other half/club mates/etc can also race which makes it a fun day out. As I have mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list, just some races that caught my eye.
My choice for road races would be the Cycling Development North West (“CDNW”) Women’s Road Race League. This is a league of seven events which were piloted in the North West last year, as stepping stone events between circuit races and the longer road races that you get with National Series Road Races (such as the Cheshire Classic) and Team Series events (such as the Bedford 3 Day). The first event is on 1 March 2014, at 12:00pm at Pimbo Industrial Estate, Skelmersdale, over 32 miles. This circuit is about 2 miles long, is one way (so no oncoming traffic), has wide sweeping bends and has wide roads. A perfect circuit for your first road race, in my opinion. It is also only open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th category women riders, making it top of my list of races for first time road racers. See www.cdnw.org for further information and how to enter. In addition, British Cycling’s Yorkshire Region have also joined the #partyontheroad and have launched the first Yorkshire Women’s Road Race Series, targeted at the same level of rider for 2014. The first event is the Sheffrec CC Spring Road Race on 13 April 2014.
These events are supported by the motorbike NEG marshals, for extra protection.
If you find that you like road racing, you might like to try a stage race. Stage races can last anything from two stages (for example a circuit race followed by a road race), to a number of days – for domestic riders, the Irish Ras na mBan is probably one of the longest stage races that women can ride, with six stages over the course of five days.
A good event to try would be the stage race being promoted by David Williams of Holme Valley Wheelers on 6 & 7 June 2013 – it’s run in conjunction with a men’s two day stage race, both of which start on the Friday evening.
These events are slightly different from road races – British Cycling events usually have a closing date of 21 days, although this has reduced for some events where you can enter online – in addition you can enter “on the line” at some British Cycling events, which means that you can just turn up and enter on the day. However, with time trials, the system is slightly different – there is a good guide on the Cycling Time Trials website – http://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/Beginners/EnteringTimeTrials/tabid/635/Default.aspx You will also need to be a member of an affiliated club, which the above link should also take you to.
So, hopefully this section of my Women’s Guide to Racing has shown you that you should have an idea in mind before entering anything about what you want to achieve, which shouldn’t be too challenging to start off with. Many women have been put off by the concept that they think they aren’t good enough, when in actual fact they are fit or fast enough, but they just don’t have the confidence in themselves to take that step into the unknown. Women’s cycling is growing at the moment – you will find that there are plenty of people to provide encouragement. There are no “standards” to find out whether you are fast enough – the only way to find that out is to have a go. There are plenty of different types of races to have a go at – some people might be better suited to circuit races, whereas others might prefer to go it alone against the clock in a time trial, and other people might prefer longer road races.
I guess that there are a few things to take from this article: set realistic goals, you can enter whatever race you like (category dependent) and you may be better suited to some events than others, but if you don’t try you will never know. Have the confidence to give it a go and you never know, you might find that it’s really enjoyable!
You’ve decided on what events you are going to enter and now need to know what type of training to do. I’ll have some tips to try as well as a brief synopsis of current thinking, to help you be prepared for your race.
In the meantime, enjoy riding your bikes and stay safe!
Click below to read:
Part One – Where Do I Start?
Part Three – What training should I do?
Part Four – Practice! Practice! Practice!
Part Five – Are You Ready To Race?
Part Six – Race Day
Part Seven – Circuit Racing
A Woman’s Guide to Racing – Part 1
Where do I start?
You may or may not be aware that I am helping Cycling Development North West (“CDNW”) to promote a new women’s road race league aimed at second, third and fourth category riders, specifically for helping women to develop their racing skills in a competitive environment and providing a platform for women who are new to the sport and who would like to venture out on to the open road in a road race format.
So, with that in mind, I have decided to do a series of articles aimed at those women who may be looking to compete for the first time, to help them with what to expect, including some tips from coaches about what type of training will help, and the things that nobody will probably tell you, including what you need to do to enter a road race.
So, without further ado, here is my first instalment:
Where do I start?
The first thing any organiser will tell you is that in order to ride in a British Cycling road race, you will need to be a member of British Cycling, with at least the silver package. You will also need a racing licence. Some organisers will let you buy a day licence, however some organisers may prefer you to have a full racing licence. There is a cost implication to this, however if you decide that you are going to enter 5 races, it would probably work out cheaper to buy the full racing licence rather than having to buy one at every race. In addition, if you do well and finish in the top 10 (for example), you would be able to keep the licence points you will have earned, which then helps you move up the category system (see next paragraph). For further information on British Cycling membership, go to http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership
The Category System
All new members are automatically given fourth category status. There are five categories: 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st and elite. Once you have earned 12 licence points as a fourth category rider, you become a third category rider. Once you are a third category rider, you are eligible to enter the National Series Road Races, and a third category rider needs 40 points before achieving second category status. If you start the year as a second category rider, you only need 25 licence points to retain your second category licence; if not, you will go back to third category status. Once you are a third category rider, you will never be downgraded to fourth category again.
In order to progress to first category status, you need to obtain 200 licence points whilst riding as a second category rider. If you achieve those points and enter the season as a first category rider, you will need to gain 100 licence points to retain your status as a first category rider.
Finally, in order to achieve and retain your elite category status, you will need to gain 300 points in a season.
For further information check out http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roadst_Road-Categories_Classifications
The number of licence points you can win depends on what type of race you have entered. Most circuit races are either Band 4 or Band 5, which means points are given to the top 10 finishers, with winners of Band 4 races earning 15 points and winners of Band 5 races earning 10 points, with 1 point being given to 10th in both instances.
The CDNW women’s road race league events are Band 3, with 30 points for the winner and points going down to 15th place, with 15th earning 1 licence point. National Series Road Race events are Band 2, with 60 points going to the winner and points down to 20th place, with 20th earning 1 point.
For the breakdown of how points are given, visit http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roadst_National_Regional_Rankings_Explained
Ladies should note that women don’t appear to receive regional rankings as yet, just national rankings.
Races – the different types
You may have heard other cyclists talk about crits, testing, road races, but what does it all mean?
Well, a “crit” is short for “criterium” and is the same thing as a circuit race. The course is usually either a purpose built closed circuit or round a town centre, where the roads are closed to traffic. An example of a crit are the Tour Series events, which are all held around various town centres and are shown on ITV4. These also include the Johnson Healthtech Grand Prix events for women, which Cycling Shorts’ very own Annie Simpson won last year. Many riders start out racing on closed circuits because they don’t have to worry about traffic and there are usually lots of different races available nationwide.
Road races are exactly that – races held on the open road. The road is usually open to traffic, so you will encounter oncoming traffic. Having said that, you encounter traffic when you go out on your bike, so it isn’t anything to be worried about. Some road race organisers utilise British Cycling’s National Escort Group (“NEG”), who are motorbike marshals which help to regulate the oncoming traffic. Road races are organised by British Cycling, The League International (“TLI”) and the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists (“LVRC”).
“Testing” is another name for time trials. The majority of time trials are governed by Cycling Time Trials (“CTT”), and you don’t need a licence, however you do need to be a member of an affiliated cycling club. The CTT time trials are generally over 10, 25, 50, or 100 miles or 12 or 24 hours. For more information visit http://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/Beginners/BeginnersGeneralInfo/tabid/81/Default.aspx
Stage races are usually organised by promoters of British Cycling events and can range from two stages in one day to a number of stages over 3 weeks (such as the Tour de France). Generally, as a woman racing on a domestic level, the longest stage race you will find is probably the Bedford 3 Day, which is part of the Team Series. This event covers 5 stages, including an individual time trial, a team time trial and three road stages.
So, hopefully my first instalment has given you some insight into how the British Cycling road scene works. Tune in for my next instalment in a few days’ time.
Click below to read:
Part Two – What Do I Enter?
Part Three – What training should I do?
Part Four – Practice! Practice! Practice!
Part Five – Are You Ready To Race?
Part Six – Race Day
Part Seven – Circuit Racing
Cycling Shorts unleashes Santa’s (last minute) Little Helpers.
We’re up to our eyes in bicycle shaped packages badly wrapped and covered in sticky tape, it’s all got a bit manic, so much to get organised and so little time, so we’ve got together to give you a list of gift ideas that won’t disappoint even the fussiest cyclist in your life.
We’ve split our choices into four perfect price parcels. Let us know what you intend to give, or hope to receive.
I’m going to give you a long list of favourites, a pick n’ mix if you will.
Ideas for the kids… why not go for a Crazy Stuff Helmet, choose a crocodile, cat, eagle or numerous other critters, all for under £30.
Keep your loved ones visible on the daily ride or commute and weekend roaming with this selection of road safe stocking fillers:
Daub the kids (or your own) bikes and clothing with this brilliant Glowtec Reflective Paint, a little pot goes a long way! Besides my bikes I own a KMX Trike Kart which is very low, so for extra safety part of the frame and the wheel rims are painted with this stuff, during daylight you can’t see the paint, but at night when light hits it it’s amazingly bright and a steal at £4.99 a pot. Also try the Glowtec glow in the dark paint if you’re riding in the countryside (it needs pitch black to stand out). What about a brilliant Proviz Triviz Light, this neat little gadget will attach to clothing and bikes, it has a number or light settings and to recharge you plug the battery into your USB hub on your laptop. Genius! and a snip at £29.99. howies reflective Roadsign Backpack, now available for a limited time at £25! Why not pair it with an awesome howies T-Shirt, so many designs to choose from, all classics!
Let people know you’re coming… and with a bit of panache… this Brass Striker Bell does the trick! Personalise your bike with your own Custom Head Badge for £17.00.
For the stylist female rider in your life, why not treat her to some AnaNichoola Goat Skin Kestral Cycling Gloves (fingerless mitts) they are so buttery soft on your hands, well padded and a great value buy at £34.99 (yes I know over budget a bit, but worth every penny). Available in white or black.
For the men… these Bike Chain Cufflinks should do the trick £20.
For the serious roadie… some excellent ASSOS Chamois Cream, I swear by this stuff, it’s cooling menthol feel is great and it lasts twice as long as other brands I’ve tried, it’s a bit more expensive that some others (£13.99) but I think it’s worth the money.
Something to give you your coffee stop fix, why not send some Montezuma’s Doppio Coffee Pip Sweets, get your coffee and sugar rush on the go. If you’re feeling naughty why not try some of their award winning chocolates too! Bean Machine bars and chocolate covered coffee beans. All these goodies start at £2.39 and go up to £4.99.
If only a hot coffee fix will do; then why not go for a Keep Cup, these reusable cups help keep your coffee warm between the coffee shop and the office. They come in a range of colours and sizes and will only set you back £8.50, they fit under most coffee machines to be refilled.
Lets get a bit arty… what about one of the gorgeous prints from friends of Cycling Shorts; Bruce Doscher and Andy Arthur aka Magnificent Octopus. All for around £30, what a treat!
For the collector types why not gather your own peloton, with these great die cast cyclist figures from France, made as they always have been, each is hand painted, available for around £6 each.
Rapha Winter Socks… £15
I’ve spent countless hours in the saddle with cold and numb feet… often extending up the legs until it feels like they’re made of wood. Some toasty winter socks such as these can help make that peg leg feeling a thing of the past!
Keep those feet dry and warm in a pair of Campagnolo Thermo Txn Waterproof Overshoes, these are a real favourite of mine. Slightly over budget but what the hell!
Because you are the revolution!….What about an – RPRT T-shirt £20
It’s book time… ‘Vélo’, £21 from those fine gentlemen and ladies at www.rouleur.cc. A series of short essays by Paul Fournel, he of ‘Need for the Bike‘ fame, beautifully illustrated throughout by Jo Burt. A book the cyclist in you life will find themselves returning to time and again. I’d bundle this with ‘Need for…’ To complete the Fournel Christmas cycling package.
Has to be a book! Not an electronic version to go on the Kindle or iPad, the real thing I mean. For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, Tyler Hamilton/Daniel Coyle’s The Secret Race has to be up there, but I think David Walsh’s Seven Deadly Sins is likely to be the top seller and the one I want to read the most (along with the rest of my family!). As a stocking filler, again for anyone who hasn’t read it, it would have to be Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride. If you do have an iPad then for £2.99 Lanced: The Shaming of Lance Armstrong is all the old David Walsh articles from the Sunday Times about Armstrong and are well worth a look, especially for those shocked when Armstrong was finally caught out!
Fantastic images by two of the best photographers in the business – a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Gruber Images Cycling Calendar
This is a tough one. It’s either got to be a mix or cycling related toiletry goodies such as Hoo Ha Ride Glide for the girls, some Muc-Off Dry Shower for the commuters and some Joshua Tree Salve for the road rash we’re bound to get in the new season!
Alternatively, it’s been a topic on every cycling fanatics tongue of late, but I’ve heard some fantastic reviews on Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs.
Inside-Out Sharp Cycling Book £10
Giordana Skull Cap – Stops heat escaping through your head when you’re out in the cold.
Registration to the Cycling Development North West Road Race League
Be a part of one of the most successful road race leagues in the country, with over 19 road races, supported by the National Escort Group, next season – visit www.cdnw.org for more information.
Taster session at Manchester Velodrome
Fancy being the next Emma Trott or Sir Chris Hoy? Get yourself down to a taster session at the National Cycling Centre to have a go – check out: www.nationalcyclingcentre.com
There’s only one thing on my list for the Secret Santa category – after his immense year, what could possibly be better Christmas day viewing than a review of Wiggo’s Tour de France victory? You can get the 4 hour edition plus a commemorative water bottle for twenty quid from the Cycling Weekly website, which leaves ten pounds to spend on seven and a half litres of Alpro chocolate soya milk, maybe not scientifically the best recovery drink, but certainly the tastiest… Between them, they should see you safely through digesting the turkey.
Breaking the Chain by Willy Voets RRP £8.99
‘Rough Ride’ by Paul Kimmage RRP £8.99
Kimmage has certainly endured a rough ride both in cycling and journalism, fighting what seemed a losing battle against omerta and the powers-that-be. As cycling looks to (hopefully) be on the brink of massive change, Rough Ride serves as a reminder of a cyclist who never fulfilled his youthful potential as he was generally beaten by juiced-up riders for the entirety of his career. Very enlightening, made even more so with the addition of hindsight. Try and pick up an updated edition if possible. An absolute steal – available at well under £30. One of the best and most honest cycling books ever written.
A huge amount of chocolate! Energy for my riding… honest!!
Park Tools Pizza Cutter – £17.99 – Great for the cyclist who has everything, a small novelty item that shows thought without breaking the bank or requiring knowledge of cycling from the buyer!
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs – RRP £8.99 – A handy little book for the cyclist who fancies self-medicating their lack of willpower with extreme pain.
Marty MacDonald McCrossan:
Would have to be one of my own Wiggo Cartoon mugs or a T Shirt all the way on that one! £12.50 and £20 respectively.
Eddy Vinyl Figure £35
Hmm secret santa now thats always a hard one…I had to go over budget by a fiver on this one http://rouleur.cc/eddy-vinyl-figure
Santa’s Little Helper
Maybe something for the coffee table? What about the stylish book Merckx 525. It’s a beautiful book and any true cycling fan or cyclist would be happy to receive this.
Treat your bike to some luxury this Christmas… Brooks Leather Handlebar Tape £45.
This little curiosity caught my eye, the Lightskin LED Seat Post, contained within the stem is your rear light, not sure how great it is but it looks very stylish £43.
For the cycling mad ladies you can’t go wrong with an AnaNichoola Sun Cat Jersey (£75) and matching Sun Cat Padded Cycling Shorts (£80); both are beautifully made and the shorts have a high waist unlike other brands so you won’t find your back exposed when you lean forward on your bike. The waist is really comfy too, it doesn’t dig in. Available in Black and white (I opted for one of each colour).
Another favourite of mine and great value are the dhb Women’s Vaeon Roubaix Padded Bib Tights, great for winter, they have a zip front and they are really comfortable, only £49.99.
Quality unisex items that won’t disappoint are the TwoZero Verso Hi-Vis Cyclone Cycling Jacket, available in Black or Yellow, in a range of good sizes and well made, price £54.99. For a few pounds more for a limited time is the Visijax Signalling LED Cycling Jacket, this jacket is really well made, it has a soft feel and is extremely bright, there are reflectors all over the jacket and integrated front and rear lights with indicator lights when you lift your arms. It’s a great jacket with the lights off and you’re like a neon christmas tree when the lights are switched on, no one will miss you in this thing! Limited offer prices of £58 – £78 (depending on size) from an RRP of £149. It should also be a hit with gadget lovers in your life as Stephen Fry was spotted wearing one in his latest series ‘Gadget Man’. The other unisex item is a wonderful New Zealand Soigneur Merino Wool Retro Cycling Jersey
Monkey Bike Wheel Lights… for kids and proper big kids! Turn your spokes into a party of patterns and colour. £39.99
RPRT fluo Helmet Sterling – Keep visible, safe and sound even in the Christmas rush on the dark icy winter nights.
Nick Dey & Felix English:
Nick says: Has to be the Rapha Merino bundle especially with their current discount. Not cheap but how can you not give socks, etc, for Christmas? £90 with 15% discount.
A really bright rear light (not sure which one) or a luminous jacket (again no preference) to show someone how much you care. You can never be too safe out on the road, so anything which makes you more visible in my mind, even though in the case of the luminous jacket you can probably see it from outer space is a fantastic gift!
Channel the great Eddy Merckx on long winter rides.
Molteni Retro Long Sleeve Jersey
Everyone consider’s their bike a piece of art, so there’s no better way than to display them in the home than with a bike shelf like this wooden beauty from Urban City Bike Shelves www.urbancitybikeshelves.com
Castelli Leggera Jacket – This is one of the best rain jackets that I have ever owned (and I have owned a few).
British Cycling Membership and Race Licence
For under £100 you can have £10m liability insurance and personal accident insurance if you buy the Gold membership package, together with loads of other offers plus if you purchase the racing licence for £32 if you’re over 18, you can compete in various British Cycling events! Visit www.britishcycling.org.uk for information about the racing licence.
A nice set of pedals. E.g. Look Keo 2 Max Carbon Pedals
For the most friendly, secure and satisfyingly fantastic cleat click you could ever wish to experience, invest in some nice pedals for your bike. Money can’t buy the confidence and assurity you get from a quality pair, meaning you can keep the power down for longer without any niggling fear of pulling out of a cheaper pair. An excellent investment that will last.
For a hundred quid, you’re approaching serious territory – if it’s for someone who spends a long time on their bike, how about a gift that keeps on giving? The Brooks Swift saddle is an example of hand-crafted British finery, a piece of leather perfection that, once worn in, will be more comfortable than anything else on the market, and will last… Well, last longer than the bike you fit it to.
A voucher for a massage, really need it, on a bike every single day for hours can do anyones back in! …and preferably a hot young lady.
Foska Novelty Jerseys – £48.99 – Great jerseys worth a giggle and surprising comfortable. Comes advertising Road tax, Baked Beans, Newcastle Brown or Cornflakes amongst others.
Tacx T3075 Cycle Motion Stand
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: & Jack Holroyd:
Lezyne Super Drive – £99.99
What JTL says: Super bright and compact little unit, and very well made. Just leave it on the winter bike and never get caught out in the fading light again. Flashing commuter mode through to full power where it’s good enough for MTB night rides!
What Jack says: A 500 lumen light under £100? This baby is seriously bright. Whether commuting through London or climbing the Pennines after dark, this little sliver of CNC aluminium will really light up your life.
Camelbak All Clear
And finally, Camelbak has a cool new biotech offering that uses an ultra light long lasting battery with a UV light to clean and purify water from “iffy to safe”. Made for travel to some remote parts it’s great for the car or hiking or just to be on the safe side. Retailing for $100
Marty MacDonald McCrossan:
A nice expensive bottle of Montepulciano!
Shutt Velo Rapide Active Softshell Jacket £99.00
Affordable, well made, great design and fit… what more do you look for in a jacket?
Something Under the Tree
For this price range I’m starting with my favourite winter jacket. I really love my Le Col Ladies B3 Winter Cycling Jacket, everything about the design is perfect in my opinion. A couple of my friends have road tested my jacket and it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re tall or short, busty or less so the design works. My favourite feature is the extra long thumbhole sleeves which my friends and I all found brilliant. There has been real attention to details on this jacket, the finishing is excellent. It looks great, feels great on, fits perfectly and is really well made. Wicks well, and keeps you snuggly warm and dry. This is going to be a favourite for years but I can’t wait to see what Le Col do for the girls next season. £234 pricey but worth it, you’ll get year worth of wear out if it.
To accompany the jacket and complete the look why not try the Le Col Unisex Padded B3 Winter Tights £159.99, same as the Jacket, beautifully made and really comfortable (speaking from a female perspective).
If Santa cares to listen I’d love a set of Elite V-Arion Parabolic Inertial Rollers (£229.99 current price), during the winter months there’s nothing better than staying toasty warm and still being able to give yourself and the bike a workout.
The other item to catch my attention was a pair of ASSOS Zegho Crystal Glasses £223.99 (normally £279.99) I’ve heard good things about them but not had a chance to try them out for myself, they have good eye coverage to protect from any unidentified flying objects that may be airborne (and if you temporarily take flight) which I like, they also have great reactive lenses at the top so going in and out of shade won’t leave you temporarily totally in the dark as the bottom third of the lens will be clear… so I’m putting them on my little list… I can but hope.
Karcher Pressure Washer… around £200
I used to dread coming back from a muddy MTB ride or wet road ride in the lanes…not anymore. What used to be a lengthy and freezing cold chore is now less than a minutes work!
Thule Bike Case – Let your bike travel in style and safety, just in case you can’t wait for spring.
A GoPro HD Hero 3. These little cameras are so much fun to play with regardless of what you’re doing. I sure had a great time watching my descending videos this year!
David James, Heather, Anna & Nick Dey:
David says: I would have definitely said a Go-Pro Pro HD Camera, but the price has crept up too much, so there’s can’t be anything better than a Garmin 500 with the cadence sensor and heart rate monitor to see how your training is going, or in my case to tell me just how unfit I am!
Nick says: The Garmin Edge 500 GPS performance with heart rate and cadence. £199 (Amazon) to £229 (Wiggle) depending one where you shop. A fine little bike computer that makes for very useful analysis with Strava.com. If, like me, you get lost a lot, then the Garmin Edge 800 is the perfect bike buddy – but too pricey for this category.
Heather says – ‘A trusty favourite at Cycling Shorts Towers, this computer is small yet will still monitor your heart rate, cadence and track your trip with GPS – a brilliant buy if you are looking at building on your performance next season.’
Anna says – ‘Always popular, one of the most picked item’s on last years list, I’m picking it again. If I had the cash though I’d splash out on the Garmin Edge 800” title=”Click to buy the Garmin Edge 800″ target=”_blank”>800‘.
Anything with Yak leather must be worth the money!
Rapha Grand Tour Cycling Shoes
Rapha Hardshell Jacket £240
Mavic Aksium Wheelset
Worried about trashing your carbon deep section wheels on potholes? Then invest in a paid of Mavic Aksium wheels – superb value for money and make a great spare wheelset – have a look at the following link for more information: www.bike-treks.co.uk
Association of British Cycling Coaches
So you want to improve next season but can’t afford a coach? Why not become a coach yourself through distance learning with the Association of British Cycling Coaches? Prices start at £250 and you don’t have to qualify as a coach if you don’t want – but the content of the course will be invaluable in helping you exceed your targets – check out: www.abcc.co.uk
Tacx Galexia Roller Trainer £245
A turbo trainer. “While away the wintry hours safe in your garage or shed, away from the perils of black ice and the dark. You get the additional benefit of working off all those mince pies, and you’ll definately notice a massive difference in your riding as the training pays off. A perfect motivation booster, if all seems lost in your bid to get fit for next year.
You’ve got to like someone to spend two hundred and fifty quid on them – if you like them that much, it would be a good plan to do something to make sure they come back to you, so why not make sure they can see their way back home after a winter training ride? The Exposure Revo is a dynamo powered light that’s available for road and off road disk hubs, so there’s no need to worry about keeping your battery charged and at 800 lumens there shouldn’t be any problems seeing where you’re going.
My current tv cost me about 20 quid, it’s so old school, I’d like a big tv that I can hook a laptop up to so I can watch all the latest bmx videos!
Tacx Booster Turbo Trainer – £231.99 – A winter trainer suitable for long term use, the Booster is a solid piece of kit for moving the bike inside in bitter conditions.
Kask Vertigo Helmet – £164.99 – As worn by Wiggo and Cav, this helmet is a serious piece of kit. It’s super lightweight, increasing the comfort from the already stonking padding. Add in it’s beautiful looks and you’ve got a winner.
Cycling clothes – Nothing makes me want to ride more than a new cycling kit
This year Interbike was showing bright NEON colors for Spring for Women at least.
Who said the 1980s were over!! But for cycling gear it makes great safety sense and fashion sense too.
Pearl Izumi has cycling and Tri-athlete wear in blue, black, white with neon green accents. From $80 to $150. Giro was showing some Empire cycling shoes in everything from the traditional black with bright GIRO pink inners, naming and laces with matching soles to some really glow in the dark neon green show and traffic stoppers. Retailing for $299.
And Giro also has a line of nice open helmets in blues and silver to protect and add extra styling to the outfit. Retailing from $40 to $275.
Genesis LED Light from £195
New front light. I’d love to have the more expensive one but that’s over budget so it’s this baby.
Marty MacDonald McCrossan:
Having had Yanto in the commentary box with me a fair few times over the years I would have to go with one of his Arcus Winter Jackets methinks!
Dream gift… The sky’s the limit!
Well obviously if a budget is no option I could go on forever, but for me I’d be happy with a WSD [Women Specific Design] Trek Madone 7, being a short girl these bikes really work for me…. Oh and maybe a set of custom made V-Sprint Wheels… yes please!
Ok… I hear you, coffee does feature quite heavily on this list… but we like a good espresso here at Cycling Shorts, so we would really love a top notch machine to help us though the day.
For the cycling gent who has everything… a Dashing Tweed Reflective Stretch Tweed Cycling Jacket, this design is cutting edge even though it takes inspiration from 16th century equine armour. The underarms are open for ventilation and the classic tweed is woven with wool mixed with modern reflective fibres. It’s yours for £850!
If I was truly dreaming then a I’d like a Pro Women’s Cycling Shorts Cycling Team!… you never know… it could happen!
2013 Cyclo-cross World Championships, Louisville USA: Weekend VIP tickets, Flights & accommodation… approx £1000 (other ticket packages are available).
This is something I’d love to go to; the atmosphere at ‘cross races is incredible and I’m sure the US won’t disappoint. An awesome weekend of racing, with foghorns, chips and beer!
Fuji Altamira SL – It fits perfectly into the Thule Bike Case and takes the ride to at new level.
Four offerings here. Firstly in terms of equipment it simply has to be a custom build Serotta Ottrott SE. The frameset comes in at £6,499. It’s a journey!
But what about an experience you will never forget? My choice would be Flanders Week with Nico and his fantastic team at www.go4cycling.com. It’s as close to pro riding as many of us will ever get. Ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, and several classic routes under the watchful eye of the Lion of Flanders, Johann Museeuw; fully supported as only the pro’s know how. Follow the pro-races at several points as the Go4cycling team play ‘Belgium hopscotch’ across Flanders for the Ronde, the midweek Scheldeprijs and Paris Roubaix. Keep up with the race via a satellite feed in the ultra-comfy bus. But best of all, don the VIP pass, enter the service course and watch the teams prepare, chat to the riders, the DS’s, the mechanics and support staff. Fully embrace the the flavours, sounds, and energy of an elite Race. A week never to be forgotten. Genuinely classic.
Charity fundraising £500: why not sign up your loved one for one of the splendid Action Medical Research century rides? The ‘must ride’ UK event of 2013 is the Ride London Olympic route sportive on 4th August. Relive the glorious memories… Cav’s heartbreak, team GB’s chase, and, if you really need to, Vino’s success!
Charity fundraising £1500: ride from London to Paris with a hundred plus other like minded souls and be there when the centenary Tour de France finishes, and Cav wins, on the Champs Élysées. When: 17th to 21st July 2013.
I’m sure it would be very easy to list endless number of presents in this section, but whenever I’m in a position to spend a decent amount of money I try to give that extra bit of thought and apply Epicurus’s philosophy and say to myself “Would it really make me happy?”. So is it the latest carbon 29er hardtail MTB that first springs to mind the one that would make me really happy? After some deliberation it is a resounding, no. Just riding a bike should bring happiness, not the type of bike you are riding. So on those lines, I think if money was no object I’d love to be able to go to a remote community somewhere in the world, with a lorry full of bikes for people who may have never ridden one before. I reckon they would have so much fun the look on their faces would be worth far more than anything money can ever buy! I’m not sure everyone would want this as a present, but it certainly ticks all the boxes with me.
Twice in one stage can’t be missed. Hopefully to see Chris Froome outsprint Contador to the line.
I absolutely love love love the TDF 2010 paintings by Sarah Halliday and can imagine they’d look fantastic in every one of our ‘training rooms’. And at Price On Demand, I can imagine they’re pretty pricey!
And if art isn’t your thing – a week (or 3) cycling in the pre-alps with VeloVercors.com ;)
Condor Lotus Type 1 LC Road bike £5,200
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
For the ultimate team car, this is on the wish list – if it is good enough for Team Sky, surely it should be good enough for your team or club? Check it out at: www.jaguar.com
A Parrotti Roubaix full carbon frameset fitted with Pete Mathews custom wheel set and Campag Superrecord EPS
An Unlimited Budget?! Go hard or go home. Buy a cycling team. Or better still, several. Perhaps you could invest in women’s cycling, or sponsor an amateur team? If the sky’s the limit you would even some money left over to buy the £8,000 bike you’ve always dreamt of. How about the Cervelo P5 Time Trial bike? Buy one of those and watch your 10 mile time trial PB plummet by probably about ten minutes! Stealthy.
The clue’s in the question – if money was no object and Sky was the limit, you couldn’t get much more extravagant than purchasing a celebratory Pinarello Dogma 2 in glorious TdF yellow. You probably don’t deserve it, you probably couldn’t get anywhere near pushing it to its extraordinary limits, and you’d had to have been very, very good indeed for Santa to leave one of these under the tree – but you know you want one. And even if modesty forbade you taking it out in public, wouldn’t it look great hung on the living room wall…
My perfect gift would be for my very own indoor BMX flatland area for me to ride in, with a heater, a fridge, sound system, even a disco ball… and also a new VW Transporter for me to cruise around in to get to my venue with my bikes in the back…. and then a nightclub to put a BMX night on once a month where they only play the music I want and the dancefloor is for BMX riding!… and then maybe a chicken shop to deliver to me wherever I am (I love chicken), all kinds of chicken, jerk chicken, fried chicken, chicken curry etc; all this riding makes me hungry ya know!… Oh and a decent mountian bike so I can ride at Cannock Chase!…. and also a tandem so I can have fun jumping stuff and trying tricks with another rider…. hope that’s ok Santa… I hope I’m on your good boy list.
Brompton M3L – £870 – The Brompton is the iconic british bicycle. Small, convienient and sturdy, this thing turns heads and folds into a couple of square foot for easy carrying. It’s ideal for commuters, for regular city riders or anyone with limited storage space. A definate winner.
BIKND Inflatable Bike Case
This is THE inflatable bike case. Made in Quebec, Canada by biknd. Really cool, easy to use, innovative and so fast to get the bike ready for those short or long destination cycling trips. Priced at $599 it’s about half the price of the industry standard Sci-Con case (but takes half the time to put the bike in or out!) I was totally impressed with it. It’s #1 on my wish list.
Marty MacDonald McCrossan:
Euskatel Team Bus – To me would look great to rock up at the local 10 or Wednesday night World Championship of Criteriums and you’ll be helping to feed the families of the team as well as they have €1million shortfall to pay the wages
this month……I think I would have a jacuzzi fitted as well though!
Bianchi’s 2013 Vacansoleil-DCM Team Bike
A 55cm frame weighs a claimed 895g… yes please!
Let us know your cycling gift ideas.
All the Cycling Shorts Team wish you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and New Year!
If you don’t see anything that fits the bill, check out last years list by clicking here!