l’édition Française e.1

When considering a cycling holiday, one of the first destinations many will think of is France. The rolling mountains, the colour littered fields, the warm sunny weather and all the fresh carbs you can dream of from the local patisserie.

So, I guess it’s no surprise that I spent a week en France this summer dans ma velo!

The Vercors, a region not familar to most, is a range of mountains in the Rhone-Alps, otherwise known as the Prealps; a 1.5 hour drive from Lyon or half an hour from Valence (Eurostar/TGV drop off). The scenery is simply stunning. Sheer rock faces suddenly appear on the horizon, displaying thousands’ of years of history, as the surrounding farmlands provide green tranquility. And, the roads through and around the Vercors are not only well kept (no sneaky pot holes) but quiet too. And by quiet, I mean you’ll see only 1 or 2 cars on a 4 hour ride!

Within riding distance are the beautiful and historic towns and view points of Pont en Royans, who’s houses hug the cliff-side; St Nazaire en Royans which is over shadowed by its aqueduct and fresh water lake; and Europe’s largest gorge, the Combe Laval; which, when cycling through can only be described as a scene from a James Bond car chase.

I stayed with Velo Vercors, a small but specialised cycling holidays company run by Roger Dunne – an ex GB pro cyclist, and his wife Teresa. Velo Vercors cater for everyone, that is, families that may get out on their bikes a couple of times a year but want to explore the French countryside, through to training camps for cycling clubs (sounds familiar!). And, with a broad range of abilities they also provide a range of suggested/mapped rides from 10-20km routes to spend the day at the lake; to a climb (and descent) up Alpe d’Huez, only 1.5 hours drive away. Arranging bike hire prior to your arrival, travelling there couldn’t be easier.

Their typically ‘French’ property, in the heart of St Jean Royans, one of the larger towns in the region, boasts self-catering gites (rural cottages) for a weekly break or B&B accommodation with independent front door access for shorter stays. All surrounded by fantastic gardens, a ‘summer lounge’ and of course, over-looked by the stunning mountainside. Plus, there’s an open-air pool a 2 minute walk up the road for the well needed rest days, and a masseuse on call to ease out the tight legs after a hard day’s climbing.

Roger, cycling clearly in his blood, is available as a cycle guide or domestique, which makes riding in a new area a breeze – there’s no worrying about taking the wrong turn, plus with his experience, he provides great advice and tips on the climbs and descents. God knows how he keeps going though – Alpe d’Huez twice and Mont Venteux in the space of 1.5 weeks? He must have a motor hidden somewhere!

All in all, a week at Velo Vercors may be absolutely shattering, but is definitely a holiday worth taking!

– Local area ride I took: http://runkeeper.com/user/hayleydavies/activity/100305127
– Tour of the Vercors including Pont en Royans, Col de Carrie and Combe Laval: http://runkeeper.com/user/hayleydavies/activity/100676919

Hayley Davies

Hayley Davies

Writer

Riding since Feb 2011 Hayley is a 30 year old female who loves adventures. If she’s not on one of her many bikes or in the water on a bodyboard/surfboard, then Hayley is probably out looking for something new to keep the adrenaline pumping!
Website: www.hjdonline.co.uk

Cyclodam

We’d like to introduce you to the Cyclodam Cycling Club, based in the beautiful city of Amsterdam and run by the lovely Hayley Davies and Monica Haydock.

Cyclodam provide all you need from a cycling club; catering for beginners to the uber experienced rider, all ages, men, women, boys and girls. They will show you how to use a bike for exercise, for sport and for getting you home safely from work. It’s a great social way to make new like-minded friends from all walks of life.

They break their club into three logical areas that make it extremely friendly and accessible, no need to feel out of your depth.

They also run a number of social events including weekly weekend rides, and workshops on all things cycle related like nutrition and bike maintenance and fun trips to visit some of the worlds top cycling races, this year they are going to the final stage of the Tour de France, so if you’re in Paris for the finish keep an eye out for the Cyclodam guys and girls!

The three levels are:
Love Cycling: Beginner or out-of-practice cyclist, you either don’t know how to ride a bike, or believe you’ve forgotten how (you’ve heard the cliché!). Join them to re-explore the art of riding a bike from the Dutch Highway Code, basic maintenance and how to balance your shopping while cycling!

Intro to Cycling as Exercise: Whether you’ve grown up watching the Tour de France and see yourself as the next pro or just realize the benefits of cycling, Cyclodam will help you get to grips with using 2 wheels as more than a form of transportation.

Cycling & Triathlon Club (CTC): For the enthusiastic cyclist, Cyclodam’s road and triathlon group, ride, train and compete together regularly. Why not join them out on the road? All levels of expertise welcome. It’s a mix of girls, boys, nationalities, ages and experiences. Training as often as work and personal commitments allow they meet regularly to better their swim, run and cycling skills. You can also find many of them at national and international competitions. New to road cycling or triathlons? Don’t worry – they welcome and encourage all new members, beginner or expert!

 
What Cyclodam say:
What can you expect from Cyclodam CTC?
As a member of Cyclodam CTC, expect to push your personal goals and achievements further. We work hard to make sure all individual training goals are met as a club. At the beginning of the swim, run or cycle session, we identify what each athlete aims to achieve and work together as a team to meet these.

Aside from training, you can also expect a range of benefits as a member from our main sponsor Giant, and the opportunity to wear team kit (we’ll be taking orders twice yearly). And of course, having fun at our superb socials!

How can you become a member?
Becoming a member is easy. We charge 25 Euros per year for each member. This is to cover our costs and to make sure we can keep the club running and provide you with the best offers from local companies. If you wish to join, please send an email to [email protected]

For more information please visit the website: www.Cyclodam.com
or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cyclodam

 


 
 

Just One Click is all it Takes

You have heard me mention the lovely folk at Wheels for Wellbeing before in a blog last year. The charity helps people with and without disabilities into cycling, hand cycling and other non-traditional cycling activities. Because of the serious hard work the team and volunteers have put in it’s been shortlisted for the National Lottery top 10 funded sports projects.

We want to try and help them win so we are asking our readers to take one moment of their time and click to vote for WfW. Your vote could win them a £2000 cheque and an appearance on British National TV. You don’t need me to tell you just how useful that sort of money and exposure is for a charity in these hard time. So please take a minute to click and vote, don’t forget to tell your friends to vote to!

 

For more information on Wheels for Wellbeing please visit their website: www.wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk

 

To Vote please visit: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/wheels-wellbeing

 

 

 

 

Herne Hill Velodrome welcomes disabled cyclists with open arms

 South London’s iconic track cycling venue experienced a first last Friday: trike cyclists, handcyclists, side-by-side tandem cyclists, enjoying the thrill of cycling at the Velodrome!

This was made possible by British Cycling’s re-surfacing of the banked track, last August, which included the addition of a 3.6m wide, flat strip, enabling others than 2 wheeler race-cyclists to ride at Herne Hill.

Most cyclists attending were discovering the Velodrome for the very first time. The event was organised by charity Wheels for Wellbeing, the charity works to remove all barriers to cycling for anyone who thinks they can’t (or can no longer) cycle. Isabelle Clement (Manager of Wheels for Wellbeing) said, “this was a trial session, to gauge the response of our regular participants. I’ve been confident our riders would love cycling on the track but the approaches to it are not perfect for access yet. We had a lot of volunteers on hand to help mitigate this aspect. For the long term, we will work with the Velodrome to ensure that disabled access is built into their future plans”.

Overall, people were very positive on the day though the distance from the nearest bus stop was an issue for some. Iman Saab (pictured), a former wheelchair racer commented, “I love cycling here! This is a proper workout; I really feel my muscles are doing some real work! This place is a wonderful site. I didn’t know it was here”. John Turnbull, a long standing member of Anerley CC recently needed to re-learn to cycle with Wheels for Wellbeing’s support, following an attack of shingles (which had left his legs paralysed initially). He was thrilled to be back at Herne Hill: “As a young cyclist I watched racing at Herne Hill in the 1950’s. It was quite exciting riding on the newly surfaced track. Nice smooth surface, enthusiastic helpers, from my point of view it’s perfect. I couldn’t wish for anything better”.

Wheels for Wellbeing has been working with the Velodrome over the last 18 months to ensure that, as investment starts flowing to renovate the site, disabled, younger and older cyclists are factored into all the infrastructure changes. Charmian Hornsby, a Herne Hill Velodrome Trust Board member who volunteered to help on Friday said, “It is wonderful to see how much difference the new flat track extension makes; the Trust is very keen to see new people cycle at the track. Wheels for Wellbeing’s participants are very welcome here”.
Wheels for Wellbeing’s Friday sessions generally run at the All Weather Pitch, above the Lido, in Brockwell Park. These will restart this week but the WfW team will continue to work with the Herne Hill Velodrome to turn this one off Velodrome session into a regular feature.

To find out more about Wheel for Wellbeing’s cycling sessions or any of its work, go to www.wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk, or find them on Facebook and Twitter (@wfwnews).
To support and donate to the charity please click here: www.justgiving.com/wheelsforwellbeing
 

About Wheels for Wellbeing

Wheels for Wellbeing is a charity which works to remove all barriers to cycling for anyone who thinks they can’t (or can no longer) cycle. We want people to be able to cycle safely on the road and enjoy social inclusion, health and environmental benefits on a daily basis. For people for whom cycling in a park is more appropriate, or who need to borrow 3 or 4 wheeler cycles, our emphasis is on running regular sessions so they too can enjoy cycling with their family and friends and benefit from regular exercise & fresh air. We also provide advice to individuals, groups and policy makers, and campaign for improvements which can reduce the barriers to disabled people cycling.
Wheels for Wellbeing was established in 2007. We run weekly sessions at Croydon Sports Arena and in Brockwell Park in Lambeth. We are actively seeking to establish sessions in other London boroughs and we work closely with similar projects elsewhere in the UK.
Wheels for Wellbeing currently receives funding from the Big Lottery Fund. It also needs to raise funds from private and corporate donations for much of its work.

 

About the Herne Hill Velodrome

Herne Hill Velodrome is the last remaining finals venue from the 1948 Olympic Games that is still in active use. It was given a new lease of life in 2011 after British Cycling invested in a programme of track refurbishment which included a complete resurfacing.
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is a charitable organisation (Charity Commission number 1140128) established in 2011 to lead the refurbishment and renewal of the Herne Hill Velodrome site for current and future generations of cyclists.
For more information on the velodrome visit www.hernehillvelodrome.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ye Oulden Days of Bicycle Motocross


The B.M.X. leg end that used to be Andy Ruffel communicated with his fan today via the interweb to advise us of a super dooper new film put together by the great Mongoose company. ” look” he urges “me and Tim March made it” so I thought ok we shall have a gander at this. It was instantly apparent however that Andy meant “made it to the final cut” Which is odd really as I am pretty certain that neither of them actually rode for Goose in the Olden Days.

Now in the early days of BMX out there in the land of good wholesome smog that is Cali fornia. Frames first and then wheels on the beach cruiser Schwinns that were popular….Raleigh Grifters over here.. We’re subject to fatigue. Put another way they frequently broke…..badly. This little film provides a little nostalgic glimpse back in time to one Father’s solution and the industry it spawned.

 

But it set my mind a wandering as to how fings ain’t wot they used to be. When your kid wandered into the local ‘paper shop in the early 1980s and spent his/her pocket money on the British publication BMX Bi weekly, (a clumsy title for an even clumsier attempt at rad dood journalism). Or the Oh so esoteric American import BMX action bike, it was but a short step from Halfords whence came his Raleigh Burner, to a specialist shop where something lighter properly engineered and race worthy could empty Daddy’s wallet.

 

Now as can be appreciated, this was most parents first foray into competitive cycle sport so the inclination was to look for complete bikes. Top of the wish list were (as far as complete bikes went) Hutch, Redline, SE, GT,  Back and the wonderful Mongoose Super goose. The Super goose and mini goose pictures festooned boys bedrooms all over this country. It’s 4130 true temper Chrome Molybdenum frame and forks dazzlingly chromed. It’s 3 piece crank as opposed to the standard one piece Ashtabula. The Tioga competition 3 tyres. It was a thoroughbred straight out of the carton? Everybody wanted one of these machines.

So here’s a little slice of BMX history. Complete with cameo appearances from Andy and Tim respectively stunt doubles for Bat Fastard and Seasick Steve. Everything changes though. Today’s riders won’t have an idea as to who Tim March, Andy Ruffel or Mongoose bikes are…

Enjoy the film and hey well done Jody Cundy. Full set; Bronze, Silver and Gold.
 
 

 
 
 
 

My Mad-Dash For The Line

Becca Hunt & Ellie Coster Madison Podium ©Cpoyright Ben Dando/Cycling Shorts.

The madison went really well. My partner Becca Hunt and I were both very nervous for this event because we both wanted to win really bad. We knew we had a good chance of coming in the top three but we had to have a good game plan. We planned to put me in for the three sprints because I am more of a sprinter than Becca. We planned to change as normal during the race then with three laps to go before the final sprint Becca would get in a good position and swing me in. This worked really well because  I could judge how quick or slow I would have to go on the boards to make this work.

Once I was in the race I knew I had to watch team 7 which was the pairing of Emily Kay and Emily Nelson of Cunga Bikes. They were our main rivals. I tried to get Emily Kay in front of me for the sprints so I had someone to chase and work towards, this worked for the first sprint as I came around her in the finishing straight to win the first set of sprints. Another tactic that Becca and I had was to make sure once I had crossed the line after the sprint Becca was there ready to come back into the racing line, this meant that I could swing up straight away and rest. Becca got this spot on, every time I finished the sprint she was there ready and waiting to get back in the race. We planned that once I had done the sprint, I would have two laps rest, so we would miss a change to give me more time to recover, this meant that I would be fully rested in time for the next sprint. Becca again made sure that she got in the best possible position so that I had the best set up to win the sprint. This meant that we won the second sprint as well. Becca and I were talking to each other at every possible chance in this race, this made it much easier to communicate if I needed more time to rest and recover. After the second sprint my legs were starting to feel heavy now, Becca stayed in the race longer to give me enough time to rest, we just made our last change at the right time 3 laps to go until the final sprint, and once again Becca had got a great position and we were set up for the final sprint. I knew that all I had to do was watch Emily Kay as she was the closest team to us I just had to beat her or finish one place behind her, and we did. We won it by just 2 points. We worked really well as a team, and I think that’s what lead us to the win. We worked to our strengths, Becca is endurance and I’m a sprinter and we used those talents to our advantage.

I felt the rest of the evening went really well, not just for me but for team howies. We had a good team talk before the racing started and we all had to say which races we were going for the win in. I said the 6 lap dash. I set off in this race determined to win it. My teammates knew that the Dash was my race so they helped me in everyway possible. It’s one of my favourites because it is short and fast, it suits me great. We said before we went onto the track that we wanted a 1 2 3 finish in this race for team howies. With 2 laps to go I started to work my way up and get into the right position, Emily Haycoxs of team howies was right on my wheel, which is what we wanted. Then we went, I crossed the line and we got a 1st and a 2nd. This was my first race that I’d won at the Revolutions and it was the one I wanted to win from the beginning so it was a really good race for me overall. It was a great feeling because I’d been getting 2nd and 3rd all through the series and it was nice to win one. After this race, my legs were shot from the madison earlier on and the race I had just done.

Ellie Coster's 6 Lap Dash Win ©Copyright Ben Dando/Cycling Shorts.

I will be back next year, I cant wait for the series to start back up again, and it’s only just finished haha. One of my goals is to win the Revolution Series Championship next year. It would be really good for me. Hopefully by next year I will be stronger and fitter and also have some more knowledge of the different types of tactics I could use in these races to give me a better chance. But I’m very pleased with what I have done this year at the Revs, I am just very glad I have won a Revolution race this year and won the Madison with one of my closest friends and team mate Becca hunt.

 

Ellie

P.S. Don’t forget to watch the highlights of the Revolution Series on ITV4 7pm on 30/01/2012