This weekend saw a split of our weekend activities. Most of the club made their way to Manchester for a track session at the velodrome. There was also a club run from the usual place as well, more on that later. I went on the Velodrome trip so my personal report comes from there.

6.30 on Sunday morning, what a stupid time to get up. Driving to Manchester, it is weeing down, what a crappy day I am really happy about taking this option. Then hold on, think about this a bit. OK so on the normal run I would only have just got up, but when I get to Manchester I will be able to ride in the dry and warm. Suddenly it is lot more attractive proposition. There are nearly twenty of us in Manchester. I normally do a start list for the club runs, but it does not feel relevant for a circuit. All the usual suspects were there plus our new members recently of the Eclipse. They add a little class to the event.

Our 15 minute warm up gets a little carried away. As the pace increases with 4 laps to go, I find myself behind the Eclipse TTT. They wind it up sufficiently so that there is no chance that I can raise it any further when they peel off one by one to leave me exposed on the last lap. At least I got warm.

We then move to the planned training session. Having two qualified coaches with us allows us to run the session as we want. Under the watchful eye on the BCF. The first part of the session involves lapping in two groups half a lap apart. On a whistle the lead rider of each group attempts to jump across to the other group. As the gap between whistle blasts diminishes this gets harder and harder as the group in front gets smaller and smaller. It is a good interval exercise.

We then go to 2k team time trials. There are enough of us there for four lines. The Eclipse ride as one and look very impressive. The BCC experienced line also ride close and neat, but not quite as fast. Our line is a mixture, but we do not look too much of a mess and get round safely. The father and son line of the Rowledges and Caswell’s appear to have forgotten that this is a team event. Adam, clearly intent on blowing his Dad out the back, only succeeds in ripping the whole team apart. Very clever Adam, yes, you are going better than your Dad, but it is November and this is training. It was a technique exercise to be completed as a team. Someone tell him for next time.

Then in a bonus we have a derny available and go for some Keirin training. Nick and China go up with the Eclipse boys and Nick puts on a good show, but Ossie still takes the line. I have never ridden behind a derny, or in a Keirin. I decided it would be better to watch how this is done from the back. Paul Kilbourne gives a good demonstration to me, soundly thrashing the whole BCC committee in one race. Then China strikes. Like a dose of Asian flu he descends on the final line from the top of the banking. Unfortunately he was not in control of his bike at the time having ridden too slowly at the top, his tyres lost grip and down he fell. Mick Caswell was the unfortunate recipient of the yellow peril and was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone. The real cyclists injury. Fortunately China was relatively unscathed and only suffered bent handlebars. We hope that Mick recovers soon and we look forward to his rejoining us and a return to form for Majorca. I think Tim learned his lesson and will be more careful from now.

When we returned to the track the Eclipse boys went for and Olympic sprint in 55 sec. Not bad boys. We then went for some “light” derny pacing work. I was in the first line and it did not feel light to me. At the end there were only 3 of us left and we were all definitely feeling it. It was then time for a shower and brave the M6 back down south.

The track is a great alternative in the winter. It provides a dry place to get in some good quality training to help with the miles that are generally done at this time of year. Well worth the trip. One point to note. Despite the accident mentioned earlier, I have ridden the track several times and this is the first accident or even incident I have seen. Once you know what you are doing it is very safe.

Yours, not hurting at all this week, unlike Bobby who got his arse soundly whipped by all accounts on the club run. Gosh I nearly forgot to mention the kicking that poor Bob took. I am sure that it will be mentioned frequently for the rest of the winter. I can’t wait to get more details. Meg