It’s always good to get out on a bright Autumn day.
I love this time of year as the Summer turns to Autumn, the leaves begin to turn some of the most amazing colours and winter gradually gets its claws into the land as the frosty mornings start cold and bright. However if I’m really honest I hate the cold dark dank days that also come in late autumn and winter. However on the bright side it is a great time to get out and play in the mud!
As many a great explorer has said “there is no such thing as bad weather just poor preparation” actually I’m not really sure who said that maybe not Scott! But seriously you can ride in any weather if you are wearing the correct clothing or have some of the top tips below to keep feet and hands warm.
So do not be afraid of the weather hug it tight and be a conquering hero of Autumn and Winter riding.
I noticed just this last week that the number of CX Sportives is on the increase and a quick trawl through the events list suggests that they are very popular in the South, come on you guys in the North make sure your events are publicised.
I rode my very first CX Sportive this year, the amazing Adventure X event based around Keswick. What an experience it was, don’t forget to read my review of the event elsewhere on this website.
So if you fancy trying a little bit of cyclocross but don’t have a CX bike, well don’t worry most events are open to wide range of bikes, pretty much anything will do, except perhaps your pride and joy the full carbon road bike!
From my experience riders will turn up on any bike from a full carbon CX bike, hardtail MTB, Full suspension MTB to a flat bar hybrid. The only thing I would recommend is that you check the ride profile and make sure you have a suitable range of gears for the event unless you are riding single speed! I got caught out on the Mini Monster Adventure X in Keswick.
CX Sportive (www.cxsportive.com) has several good rides available this season:
CX Sportives are the fantastic new mixed surface events that are combining the thrills of on and off-road riding into one awesome experience!
•Sportive style events on fast, mixed surface courses
•Courses from 40-80km
•Full sportive support and infrastructure
•Great for all kinds of bikes: CX, MTB, Hybrid, 29er, Singlespeed & even Road!*
Riding a mix of road and off road is so exhilarating.
Big challenge rides tend to come in two flavours; massive road sportives and hardcore MTB enduros. But why not mix it up, take on the best of both and spice up your riding?
CX Sportive is an exciting new ride format. It’s ideal for your cross bike, but equally suitable for your XC MTB or even road winter training bike, tweaked for a little rough stuff!* The course mixes back roads, interwoven with byways and a few short tougher off road links that will certainly bring on the heat!
Your choice of steed will define your ride. Will the versatility of a MTB offer the best performance over mixed terrain? Will the pure speed of your road bike make up for time lost on the short, occasional off road dismounts? Or will the CX bike give you the best return where it counts?
To prove a point (or just let you fly the flag for your tribe), they even include your bike choice in your results listing; so if you insist on tackling the route on your mum’s folding shopper, they’ll credit your lunacy!**
You’ll have a range of time targets to aim for, with age and gender adjustments; including full route marking, RFID timing, top notch catering and first class, friendly organisation and support.
*Not recommended for your beloved, super-light carbon road thoroughbred!
**Disclaimer: Don’t tackle the route on your mum’s folding shopper!
Ride X the Evan CX rides
The bike supermarket that is Evans have also added CX Sportives to their list of Ride It events this year. They might well be worth checking out if you live in the South (Evans Ride it CX Sportives).
For the Autumn/Winter season they’ve added 4 exciting mixed terrain routes to their existing Sportive offering. As with all of their road sportives, all routes will be fully way-marked with GPX files published pre-event. High5 sponsored feed stations will help you tackle a variety of riding surfaces (tarmac, mud, grass & more!) whilst clocking up some worthy mileage in this new format. The routes are best suited to cyclocross and adventure-road bikes that are up to some off-road exploring.
All rides include: Fully way-marked routes • Well stocked High5 feed stations • Mechanical support • GPS files published pre-event • Free High5 pack worth £10 when you sign up 8 weeks in advance • Free Garmin hire • Times published post-event
Cycling Weekly Adventure X Series
Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for next years Adventure X series promoted and run by Cycling Weekly with the support of changing sponsors. The event I rode in October was amazing, one of the best challenges I have have ever taken part in (more details can be found in my report on Adventure X Lakeland Monster Miles)
With so much going on on the cyclocross sportive scene surely it must be time for you to ditch the winter rode bike and get yourself a CX bike and rise to the challenge. I did and I haven’t looked back :)
Kreis is a relatively new brand to the UK market and comes at it with the angle of offering limited run Club orders. Their designs are very modern and striking and give an opportunity to have a coordinated wardrobe for not too much money. The clothing is made for them by Kalas, a Czech company that have enabled Kreis to bring their designs to the public.
The overall emphasis from Kreis is on creating your own statement and having them help you realise it. Most of the designs are size customisable too, offering a great deal of flexibility for every shape and size of cyclist. Emphasis is placed on the ‘pre-order’ stage of purchase where the details of what you need can be tailored to you.
Kreis Echelon-Gipfel Renntrikot Jersey
The design of this jersey and indeed all the kit we had for review certainly turned heads. This jersey was of simple construction with a lycra front and sleeves, and mesh panel rear. This gave a great amount of breathability from the rear portion and the modern aero design most riders now seek. It fitted very snuggly and was comfortable in the classic cyclist tuck, without any flapping. Importantly the three rear pockets were accessible and deep enough to carry usual cyclist needs. Renntrikot has a full length zip which worked easily and gave flexibility when venting is required in warmer temperatures. In long term testing it washed well, it’s light colours remaining clean.
Our Test model was sized ‘4’. This was in modern terms a ‘race fit’ i.e. tight and was in the realm of a small/medium. As with all brands your own size and fit differ from other manufactures sizes.
The Jersey is listed at £85
Kreis Echelon-Gipfel Tragerhose Shorts
Shorts are in modern terms one of the biggest areas of discussion amongst Cyclists of all persuasions. Each contact point with the bicycle has to be perfect or your ride is going to be very short indeed. Kreis offer gender specific inserts to provide the comfort and they actually are pretty comfy. Quite a few rides gave plenty of confidence in the chamois. Fit is the secondary area of comfort for shorts, any ruffles or bagginess will soon become a problem but the Tragerhose are made of a nice weight of lycra that is soft and solid enough to help their panelled structure to fit well. The only negative for us was that the leg ‘gripper’ arrangements were baggy on our test item. This is probably down to the simple fact that the test shorts were size 5, which equates to an XL on the Kreis sizing chart. The grippers have their silicon band cleverly embedded in the fabric itself, meaning that the old fashioned ‘just above knee elastic line’ is totally eradicated. A smaller size would have given a better fit here.
The shorts are listed also at £85
Kreis Echelon Accessories
We also tested the Echelon Armwarmers which are made of a ‘roubaix’ (brushed lycra on reverse). These proved to be lovely and snug in cooler conditions. They have a silicon top gripper to keep them in place and were longer than most modern styles giving less chance of a chilly gap at the top. At £20 these compliment the rest of the Echelon range nicely without breaking the bank and could be worn with other clothes as they are mostly black with just a few details.
A Radlerkappe was also sent for our enjoyment, that’s a cap to you and I, and although with helmets being solely the order of the day the cap was called into service on a couple of low sun evenings to prevent dappling light affecting the eyes. There is a functional mesh panel within its structure that prevents any overheating allowing a good point of ventilation.
The hat comes in three sizes and we tried the Medium which was perfect for a ‘normal’ head. £15 buys you the perfect piece to finish your pro-rider designer look.
The Armwarmers are listed at £20 and Cap at £15
For someone on a modest budget this range could be ideal and with a bit of input even unique to you. A lot of modern riders wish to have their own identity in a crowd and this could help them get there.
CyclingShorts.cc gives the Kreis Range 93% and a star buy rating.
Range available from:
©Alex Broadway/SWpix.com – 2014 British Cycling National Track Championships – Day 4 – Men’s 30km Points Race Final.
Results from day four of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Jess Varnish’s perfect week continued as she and Dannielle Khan successfully defended their team sprint title, Laura Trott took victory in the women’s scratch, Callum Skinner made it three titles in three days with his keirin win and Mark Stewart won the points race title. Lewis Oliva also took a dramatic tumble in the semi final of the Men’s Sprint against Matt Crampton, Matt did amazingly well to stay upright.
British Cycling Sprint Championships presented by FIAT – Men
Gold: Callum Skinner (The Rigmar Racers)
Silver: Matthew Crampton
Bronze: Philip Hindes (Sprint-Team)
Women’s Team Sprint
Gold: West Midlands (Dannielle Khan and Jessica Varnish) 33.969
Silver: North West A (Katy Marchant and Victoria Williamson) 34.142
Bronze: North West B (Rachel James and Helen Scott) 34.998
Gold: Laura Trott (Wiggle Honda)
Silver: Emily Kay (Team USN)
Bronze: Danielle King (Wiggle Honda)
Gold: Mark Stewart (Spokes RT)
Silver: Mark Christian (Team Raleigh-GAC)
Bronze: Jonathan Mould (NFTO Pro Cycling)
The championships conclude on Sunday 28 September. Tickets are available on the door at the National Cycling Centre. Competition starts at 10:30am with the women’s keirin, men’s team sprint, women’s points race and men’s scratch race titles being decided.
Bioracer Pixel Jacket
This years show runs from 26th – 28th September 2014 and has exhibits from just about every brand you have heard of in the Cycling World and then some.
There are many highlights and there has been a push this year to get some of the fresh new equipment on show for the punters to drool over.
Kim Madsen presents New XTR Di2 Gruppo
Top of this list was the Shimano stand where Kim Madsen and his team have unveiled the new XTR Di2 Groupset and have set it up on a working bike along with a 3D interactive Trainer that when wearing the magic 3D goggles allows you to actually ride in the mountains!! There will be big queues to play with this so get there early!! Kim and his team are part of Shimano’s drive to keep the fun and excitement in cycling and when you see the faces on the grown-ups testing the new kit you will see this plan’s working!!
For Weight Watchers the big draw will be Treks stand featuring the new super light Emonda range which features there lightest ever production model. The excuse that they haven’t got one in the colour you want is out the window as they have a vast range of custom options to match your team or club kit, seeing is believing but this bike is measured on how fast your jaw drops when you lift it and say ‘Wow’!!
Bioracer have a fantastic simple stand which shows their new super safe Pixel range which reflects light the give riders visibility in poor light, ideal for winter and at the other end of the scale their much talked about Speedsuit time trial wear actually had people queuing to see what Martin and all the top testers have been using to help cheat the wind.
The exhibition is vast so take sensible shoes and enjoy the entertainment such as at 14.15 pm everyday Jules Thraser from ATG training giving a demo on how to program Shimano Di2 components, easy when you are shown well!!
Jessica Lee from Glasgow Rapide TCT set the day three afternoon session underway in the Women’s Sprint Qualifying event with a 12.796 ride. Defending Champion Jessica Varnish, last to set about qualifying, could only manage a third place with a 11.370.
It was Danielle Khan that qualified in first position posting a respectable 11.349 with Victoria Williamson second at 11.358 & Katy Marchant fourth 11.400.
1 Danielle Khan 11.349
2 Victoria Williamson 11.358
3 Jessica Varnish 11.370
4 Katy Marchant 11.400
5 Helen Scott 11.724
6 Lauren Quenby 12.308
7 Hannah Blount 12.439
8 Crystal Lane 12.508
9 Laura Clode 12.655
10 Neah Evans 12.701
11 Jessica Lee 12.796
12 Sophie Black 13.507
Danielle Khan, Victoria Williamson, Jessica Varnish, Katy Marchant, Helen Scott & Lauran Quenby ride through round one of the Women’s Sprint Event.
The Velodrome is lifted with the chorus of children enjoying an afternoon out cheering the riders as they past the home straight.
Khan, Williamson, Varnish & Marchant go through to the semi finals.
The Women’s Individual Pursuit saw World Champion Joanna Rowsell drop into third place for tonight’s finals. Both Katie Archibald & defending champion Laura Trott will go head-to-head for the Gold Medal. Rowsell will ride for Bronze Medal against Elinor Barker.
1 Katie Archibald 3:34.471
2 Laura Trott 3:34.814
3 Joanna Rowsell 3:36.593
4 Elinor Barker 3:37.876
5 Ciara Horne 3:38.196
6 Dani King 3:40.064
7 Dame Sarah Story 3:41.556
8 Anna Turvey 3:44.811
9 Amy Roberts 3:45.919
10 Emily Kay 3:49.306
11 Hayley Simmonds 3:52.269
12 Madeline Moore 3:56.341
13 Niki Kovacs 3:59.243
14 Brit Tate 4:00.363
15 Sophie Lankford 4:04.759
16 Ruth Taylor 4:05.817
17 Jennifer McAndrew 4:07.639
18 Kiera McVitty 4:10.882
19 Jessica Hill 4:12.579
Open 4000m Qualifying (NR: Chris Boardman 4.11.114)
Andrew Tennant secures his Gold Medal ride off against Steven Burke in tonight’s 4000m individual pursuit. Jon Dibben & Mark Christian will ride for the final podium place.
Andy Tennant – ©www.chrismaher.co.uk
1 Andrew Tennant 4:21.468
2 Steven Burke 4:26.503
3 Jonathan Dibben 4:27.102
4 Mark Christian 4:27.421
5 Oliver Wood 4:29.242
6 Mark Stewart 4:29.528
7 Chris Latham 4:30.311
8 Germain Burtain 4:30.689
9 Silas Goldsworthy 4:38.524
10 Alex Minting 4:38.977
11 Harry Tanfield 4:39.851
12 Tom Ward 4:40.589
13 Andrew Stuart 4:41.397
14 Jon Mould 4:41.533
15 Alex Paton 4:42.261
16 Adam Duggleby 4:43.113
17 Scott Burns 4:43.573
18 Alistair Rutherford 4:44.471
19 Kyle Gordon 4:45.310
20 Chris Lawless 4:45.886
21 Nicholas English 4:46.661
22 Edmund Bradbury 4:47295
23 Peter Anderson 4:47.856
24 Gavin Murty 4:50.625
25 Jacob Tipper 4:50.861
26 Jonathan Gildea 4:51.536
27 Jack Green 4:52.106
28 Ashley Martin 4:52.625
29 Alan Thomson 4:53.360
30 Joe Andrews 4:58.398
31 Deacon Cutterham 4:59.361
32 Jaco Van Gass 5:04.102
33 Brendan Drewett 5:11.756
34 Howard Heighton 5:23.162
35 Robert Bishop 5:26.042
Para-cycling Flying Start 200m Time Trial Medals
2010 Holder: Jon-Allan Butterworth WR 11.105
2011 Holder: Jon-Allan Butterworth WR 10.897 MC5
2012 Holder: Mark Colbourne WR 11.105 MC1
2013 Holder: Crystal Lane
- Gold – Jaco Van GassMC412.314
- Silver – Lauren Booth FC4 12.485
- Bronze – Matthew Hamilton MC5 12.666
Para-cycling Mixed BVI Flying Start 200m Time Trial Medals
- Gold – Sophie Thornhill & Rachael James
- Silver – Neil Fachie & Peter Mitchell
- Bronze – Laura Cluxton & Louise Haston
Women’s 3000m Pursuit Medals (Non Olympic Event)
2009 Holder: Sarah Storey 3:40.147
2010 Holder: Wendy Hovenaghel 3:31.555
2011 Holder: Joanna Rowsell
2012 Holder: Lucy Garner
2013 Holder: Laura Trott OBE
- Gold – Katie Archibald
- Silver – Laura Trott
- Bronze – Joanna Rowsell
Steven Burke trailed Andrew Tennant in this mornings qualifying by almost five seconds. Setting off at a blistering place in his ride for Gold against Tennant, at one point had him in his sights for that elusive early catch. Tennant kept his machine-like pace, and by the midway point had turned the table, with Burke now in his sights. Burke’s legs were buckling by this point, so it didn’t take much longer for Andrew Tennant, to catch, and take the Championship Jersey.
Open 4000m Pursuit Medal (Non Olympic Event)
2008 Holder: Steven Burke
2009 Holder: Geraint Thomas 4:18.241
2010 Holder: Peter Kennaugh 4:25.215
2011 Holder: Steven Burke
2012 Holder: Owain Doull
2013 Holder: Ed Clancy MBE
- Gold – Andrew Tennant
- Silver – Steven Burke
- Bronze – Jonathan Dibben
Women’s Sprint Medals (Olympic Event)
2008 Holder: Victoria Pendleton
2009 Holder: Victoria Pendleton 10.984
2010 Holder: Victoria Pendleton 11.067
2011 Holder: Rebecca James
2012 Holder: Rebecca James
2013 Holder: Jessica Varnish
- Gold – Jessica Varnish
- Silver – Katy Marchant
- Bronze – Victoria Williamson
Open Keirin Medals (Olympic Event)
2008 Holder: Matt Crampton
2009 Holder: Sir Chris Hoy MBE
2010 Holder: Ross Edgar
2011 Holder: Sir Chris Hoy MBE
2012 Holder: Matt Crampton
2013 Holder: Jason Kenny OBE
- Gold – Callum Skinner
- Silver – Matt Crampton
- Bronze – Lewis Oliva
Official National Track Championship Website & Live Updates
Results by British Cycling
My photos are regularly updated on https://www.flickr.com/photos/23913935@N07/
©Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 24/09/2014 – Wiggle Honda in action (Laura Trott, Dani King, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell) Women’s Team Pursuit qualification.
Results from day one of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where the Wiggle Honda quartet of Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker successfully defended their team pursuit title, the 100% ME team of Germain Burton, Chris Latham, Chris Lawless and Oliver Wood took gold in the men’s team pursuit and there were victories for double para-cycling world champions Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James (pilot) in the para-cycling time trial (BVI mixed) and 13-year-old Lauren Booth in the para-cycling time trial (C1-5 mixed).
Women’s Team Pursuit
Gold: Wiggle Honda (Elinor Barker, Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott 4.27.324
Silver: Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International (Katie Archibald, Ciara Horne, Dame Sarah Storey and Anna Turvey 4.33.657
Men’s Team Pursuit
Gold: 100% ME (Germain Burton, Christopher Latham, Christopher Lawless, Oliver Wood) 4.09.120
Silver: NFTO (Jonathan Mould, Russell Downing, Samuel Harrison, Adam Blythe) caught in 2.57.483
Bronze: The Rigmar Racers (Alistair Rutherford, Philip Trodden, Finlay Young and Ryan Fenwick 4.38.457
Para-cycling Time Trial
C1-5 Mixed 500m/1000m
Gold: Lauren Booth (Newport Youth Velo CC 40.654 (factored time 1.06.784)
Silver: Jonathan Gildea (Seamons CC) 1.09.835 (factored time 1.09.835)
Bronze: Jaco van Gass (Team Battle Back) 1.13.131 (factored time 1.12.085)
BVI Mixed 1000m
Gold: Sophie Thornhill (Performance Cycle Coaching) and Rachel James (pilot) (Aberygavenny RC) 1.09.804 (factored time 1.01.225)
Silver: Neil Fachie (Performance Cycle Coaching) and Peter Mitchell (pliot) (Performance Cycle Coaching) 1.01.953 (factored time 1.01.953)
Bronze: Laura Cluxton (Rock And Road Cycles) and Louise Haston (pilot) (City of Edinburgh RC) 1.14.032 (factored time 1.04.933)
The championships continue. Tickets are still available for a selection of sessions across Friday 26 – Sunday 28 September at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/britishcycling