Briercliffe 10 and 4-up TTT – 23 May 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Meli Fletcher
Event Organiser, Sign On and Prop: Nick Hickman
Props: James Spence, Nigel Hale, Michael Webb
Event Reporters: too many to mention

In a change to the regular Briercliffe 10, in addition to the usual solo rides there were four 4-up teams having a try out ahead of the Tour of Cambridge Team Time Trial in early June.  So, in the spirit of Team Time Trial this report is not a solo effort but a collage of observations from many who rode.  Results follow.

  • A PB for me, finally breaking the 30 minute mark thanks to some top tips​ from Nigel Wilson. Sales of beetroot juice could be on the up.
  • TTT is a savage combo of TT, chain gang and a road race.
  • Chapeau Mark Loosley!
  • The chance to practice for the ToC 4-Up was really appreciated and big thanks for facilitating this.
  • Maybe something we could repeat in future if the interest.
  • My team were very happy to not be caught by Messrs Riley, Wilson, Corney & Ms Cutler in all their aero paraphernalia.
  • Jules and I spent as much time behind lumps Morgan and Thomson as possible.
  • A fine evening with the usual great camaraderie.
  • Good to see Mark going under 30 – well done pal.
  • Before the start Ethan, on seeing the Hale motorbike, asked, “Is he going to ride”? Leanne, “No, he’s got an engine”. Ethan, “So have you”.
  • Ric Palmer’s time was his fastest for 4 years.
  • Think those who did the 4-Up really enjoyed it – something different, and great spirit within all the teams.
  • Simon Doyle beat team mate Steve Robinson. Ha Ha.
  • Quite muggy but conditions were fair IMO, the Growers road ran quickly. I was tapping 27/28 up there.
  • Change at the front, change, change, turn left, clear, change, hole left, change – and so it continues for the next 23 minutes.
  • Our first TTT felt very smooth. I think we split once or twice but took good care of each other.
  • Big smiles for me up the final hill sprint as you get to be a participant and a spectator watching the solos whizz down.
  • A perfect evening bombing smoothly around the Shire lanes with mates.
  • Thanks to all the crew for hosting a fabulous evening, and thanks to Chris Corney, Leanne Cutler and Paul Riley – never has it been so enjoyable going so quickly round the Briercliffe.
  • Most fun on a bike this year for me.
  • Good to see that our team stayed in formation all the way to the White Horse.
  • … our team achieved likewise all the way to the Bird in Hand in Gosmore.
  • TTT is a completely different kettle of fish from a solo TT. And nothing – not even training rides with the hammer down – simulates the conditions and the pitfalls better than a real event.
  • Only a TTT like tonight, with all the nerves and thrills that come along with it, tests and boosts the cohesion of a team.
  • Big kudos to everyone involved for giving us this big chance, it was a glorious day.
  • Learnt how not to do it. Better now than at the main event though and still a brilliant evening on the bike.
  • Great to have so many riding to and from the event – use of road bikes and team formats encourages this. Thanks as always to those who made the event possible.
  • The only event where your team mates are not only those helping you, but simultaneously the ones hurting you – perversely brilliant fun.
  • I had a lump in my throat all the way round … due to the effort required to keep up with my team mates Nigel, Chris and Paul. A rose amongst the thorns. First place had to be ours for the beautiful formation as we crossed the line.
  • My three invisible teammates refused to take their turns at the front, the lazy sods.
  • If you get dropped don’t bother chasing. It’s a lot less frustrating.

Briercliffe 10 Club Competition (solos)

J Bainbridge 24:41; S Robinson 24:45; M Sayers 26:25; T Weir 25:19; N Tooke 27:06; Manuel Manrique 28:57; D Summerell 29:04; M Loosley 29:37; A Saunders DNF

4-up Team Time Trials

N Morgan, J Pegg, R Thompson, J Watson 23:54
J Cornell, I Matthews, N Senechal, D Rickels 25:27
R Chirvasuta, P Greenfield, S King, B Ruggles 25:36
C Corney, L Cutler, P Riley, N Wilson 27:24


Private Time Trials

S Doyle (TSE) 24:08; Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 24:19; R Palmer (TSE) 25:57; D Ledgerton (TSE) 29:35; R Serradinho 29:53

‘Roadworks’ 10 – 16th May 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Leanne Cutler
Sign On and Organiser: Leanne Cutler
Prop: Julian Pegg
Cowbell: Denise Pegg
Reporter: Chris Corney

14 riders turned out to compete in the first of four ‘Gudgin 25’ time trials this evening, only to discover there were temporary traffic lights (3-way no less!) in Southill village. It took your reporter a fair few minutes to get through said traffic lights in his car, so it was no surprise to find out that we would be competing instead, on the brisk ‘roadworks’ 10 course. I’m sure I caught a look of relief on some testers faces as the black clouds and squally Summer drizzle set in! It was a warm evening though, and strangely pleasant while out on the course. A brisk South Westerly wind ensured a good push from Shefford all the way up to the growers roundabout.

Fastest rider of the night was Sam Hayes (TSE), fastest Nomad was Nick Morgan.

A big thanks to the people who donate their time each week to make these events happen, this week including, timekeepers Frank Turner and Leanne Cutler (who also organised sign on), prop Julian Pegg and some sterling cowbell support from Denise Pegg.

HNCC Competition
Nick Morgan (23.32); James McPherson (23.36); James Cornell (24.15); Tom Weir (25.12); Chris Brabrook (25.30); Mark Desborough (26.13); Nigel Tooke (26.25); Chris Corney (27.03); Catherine Jones (27.55)

Private Time Trials
Sam Hayes (TSE) (22:46); Jason Stuart (CCA) (23.13); Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) (23:42); Simon Doyle (TSE) (23:48); Matt Cook (BRRT) (25.19)

Briercliffe 10 – 9 May 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Leanne Cutler
Sign On, Reporter: James McPherson
Prop: Steve Smith
Event Organiser, Course Check, Prop and Roving Marshal: Nick Hickman
Start Line Queue Manager: Ethan Dynes
Number Collection: Catherine Jones
Photographer: Michael Webb (report contains a very small selection, a full gallery is available)

A good size field of twenty one testers met up for the regular Briercliffe 10, with some having their debut at the “best way to spend a Tuesday evening for literally miles around”.  It was bright and calm, albeit that tricky temperature of 10 degrees invoking the debate of, “is it cold or not”?

Nick Hickman turned up on his Brompton to marshal, claiming he could not race as he “had been on his bike four times that day already”.   He explained to us there was no wind to make any difference as we gazed over the fields at the fast spinning windmills.  He was as usual correct, it was possibly the best conditions since the 2-up.

006 Ethan Dynes and 008 Leanne Cutler also came to help, ensuring that 007 Jason Dynes was set off correctly on his top secret power-testing mission.  Leanne was under strict orders from her Coach not to race but to taper for a double header 2 x 50 miles TT weekend.

David Summerell  provided retail opportunities with the very modern idea of a pop up bike shop at the start – see picture and if any item takes your fancy please contact him.

Pop-up Shop

James Bainbridge turned up on his “fast bike” but was seen frantically pumping up tyres as the last tester was sent on their way and so was unfortunately unable to compete.

Simon Doyle was the fastest private tester. Catherine Jones was the fastest female Nomad,  and rightly gained a loud cheer as her result below the 30 minutes mark (“evens” as it is called for reasons that no-one seems to know) was read out.  Roger Bamberough also went sub-30 for the first time, and Paul Greenfield posted a “long 27” on his TT debut.  James McPherson was the fastest male Nomad.

Simon Doyle (TSE)

Catherine Jones

James McPherson

Thank you to Michael Webb for the fabulous and comprehensive photos.  Also many thanks to Frank Turner and Leanne Cutler for time keeping; to Steve Smith and Nick Hickman for sharing Prop Duties; to Catherine Jones for ensuring we got all the race numbers back; and to Ethan Dynes for organising the queue at the Start Line.

Event Crew

Full results below (all HNCC unless otherwise stated):

Simon Doyle (TSE) 00:24:48
James McPherson 00:25:01
Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 00:25:51
Peter Gell (BRCC) 00:26:20
Scott Horwood 00:26:49
Jason Dynes 00:27:18
Paul Greenfield 00:27:53
Nigel Tooke 00:27:53
Chris Corney 00:28:12
John Martin 00:28:12
Matthew Sayers 00:28:17
Nigel Wilson 00:28:29
Manuel Manrique 00:28:57
David Summerell 00:29:16
Catherine Jones 00:29:31
David Ledgerton 00:29:37
Roger Bamberough 00:29:55
Richard Serradhino (unattached) 00:30:09
Mark Loosely 00:30:32
Steve Stanbury 00:31:17
Stephen Oliver 00:34:26

Briercliffe 10 – 2 May 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Leanne Cutler
Prop: Julian Pegg
Event Organiser & Sign On: Nick Hickman
Cowbells: Denise Pegg
Kit Caretaker: Scott Horwood
Coaching Tips: Simon Doyle
Tifosi: Paul Riley
Reporter: Nigel Wilson

A positively tropical evening (compared to last week!) greeted the 14 riders who turned up for this week’s Briercliffe 10 mile TT.  Alas, there was still a keen wind that made everyone work hard on the long stretch from Southill up to G&M Growers.

A number of Nomads recorded PBs for the course this season.  Nick Hickman posted a 26:39, your reporter posted a 27:58 following an intensive weekend at a “training camp” in Prague, Mark Loosley managed to shave off another second on his mission to get a sub-30 time, and Chris Corney PB’d for a second consecutive week.  However, the fastest Nomads on the night were Tom Weir and James Bainbridge.

The evening was managed with customary aplomb by Frank Turner, ably assisted by Leanne Cutler and Julian Pegg. Our sincere thanks go out to them for giving up their evening to enable us to compete. And our thanks also go out to Denise Pegg (and her cowbell), to Simon Doyle (for his comprehensive guide on how to ride the course), to Scott Horwood (for looking after riders’ kit while they rode), and to Paul Riley (who rode round the course on his Tuesday bike, encouraging the riders as they passed).

Hitchin Nomads Event:

T Weir 25:51; J Bainbridge 26:28; N Hickman 26:39; J Dynes 27:47; N Wilson 27:58; C Corney 28:59; D Summerell 29:41;  C Jones [editor: Chris not Catherine] 29:42; M Loosley 30:36.

Private Time Trials:

S Hayes (TSE) 23:37; L Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 24:40; P Gell (Beds Road CC) 25:51; R Palmer (TSE) 26:12; R Serradinho (unattached) 32:12


Briercliffe 10 – 25 April 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Reporter: Paul Riley
All the other stuff: Nick Hickman

Seven riders turned out for a return to the old friend that is the Briercliffe 10 “Sporting Course”.

Given the conditions, two minutes in all riders were realising just why they hadn’t phoned that old friend in a while! With ambient temperatures around 7 deg C and the promise of strong winds, the riders took to the course on a mix of road bikes and TT machines [editor – Mr Wilson reported 2 deg C]

Fortunately the afternoon’s sleet storm had passed through, the rain held off and the forecast gusts of 27mph failed to materialise, right up until the point that Riley surged past Wilson for a minute, although it was reported at the finish that the gust had in fact been a load of old hot air emanating from Riley’s mouth in some form of “2 Up Bromance” encouragement.

Looking at the respective times it seems that a TT bike gave an advantage on the evening of about 90 seconds based on last year’s typical performances.

Fastest ride of the evening went to Lindz Barral (Equipe Velo) with a time of 25.17, which interestingly (in a Steve Davis interesting kind of way), was exactly the same time as the last occasion I wrote a race report.  Fastest Nomad was James Bainbridge with an impressive 26.30 on an “Old School” Claud Butler road bike.  The rest of the field seemed to be taking part in their own private battles if the stories being exchanged at the finish can be believed.

Mark Looseley continues his personal challenge to get under 30 minutes, and based on tonight’s time in tough conditions, it won’t be long Mark before you’ll be needing to buy the beers in the White Horse.

Time keeping duties were handled by Frank Turner; with Nick Hickman signing on, pushing off and acting as assistant Time Keeper. Thanks to both for turning out on such a grim night.

Hitchin Nomads CC Event

James Bainbridge 26.30; Leanne Cutler 28.39; Paul Riley 28.57; Nigel Wilson 30.33; Chris Corney 30.46; Mark Loosely 30.58

Private Time Trials

Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 25.17

Briercliffe 10 – 18 April 2017

Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Meliné Fletcher
Sign On and Organiser: Nick Hickman
Prop: Nick Morgan
Reporter: Catherine Jones

Ten Nomads and four guest riders turned out for the first time trial of the season on the traditional Briercliffe 10 mile circuit (1U/10). It should have been renamed the Brrr…cliffe as it was cold.  A few hardy souls stripped off to their skin suits;  others retained legwarmers, arm warmers and long fingered gloves.  It was noted that although two caravans were on the circuit and available for hiding in to get warm, on this occasion no Nomads availed themselves of the facility.

Rides started well, then hopes for a ‘push down Growers’ were dashed when riders turned left in the north wind at the Broom Cross Roads and realised the ‘push’ was going to be all in the legs.

The Nomads’ Leanne Cutler was the leading woman with 28:27. James McPherson was the first male Nomad with a time of 25:07. Fastest ride of the evening was Jim Moffat of CC Luton with 23:43.

There are a gaggle of five Nomads who are poised to break the magic 30 minute barrier should conditions down Growers prove favourable. Why not come on down another week and see if you can break 30 minutes too?

Thank you’s are a must to Nick Morgan (pusher off), and timekeepers Frank Turner and Meli Fletcher who withstood the cold. As ever thanks to Nick Hickman for doing sign on and everything else!

HNCC Competition

James McPherson 25:07; James Bainbridge 25:37; Nick Hickman 26:57; Nigel Wilson 28:18; Leanne Cutler 28:27; Catherine Jones 30:12; Roger Bamberough 30:21; Mark Loosely 30:37; Chris Corney 31:05; Steve Stanbury 31:22

Private Time Trials

Jim Moffat (CC Luton) 23:43; Sam Hayes (TSE) 24:16; Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 25:10; Ric Palmer (TSE) 26:39

Note from TT Sec:

Following feed back received after the event, riders are reminded of CTT regulations that they “shall not act or behave in a manner such as to give offence to the public interest or such as to bring the sport into disrepute”.  Competitors must observe the law and:

  1. not ride in a manner that is unsafe either to themselves or to other road users;
  2. ride on the left-hand side of the road except for safe overtaking and when making right hand turns;
  3. conform to all traffic signs, signals and direction indicators;
  4. in making any turn before, during or after the event, ensure that it is safe to do so.

Welwyn Wheelers Hilly 50k – 14 April 2017

Reporter: Nick Senechal
Photographs: Courtesy Davey Jones

Every year on Good Friday, Nomads have the opportunity to show what they are made of briefly on passing through the Club’s home town.  You always look pretty good zipping into Hitchin on the fast Codicote Road and then swooping down the Priory Bypass road before existing the town via Willow Lane.  This is a blessing because a lot of the course before and after its brief dalliance with Hitchin does not lend itself to a calm unruffled demeanour.  This year, as last, we had six Nomads entered, but owing to unforeseen circumstances only four were to make it to the start.  Bright yet cool weather reflected conditions very similar to 2016: a steady wind from the west at about 20kmh did little to trouble riders except on the A505 drag out of Hitchin, extracting the punch from legs before the challenging climb to Great Offley. A set of temporary traffic lights on the approach to Hitchin had threatened to interfere with the test but they magically disappeared the day before the event.

Looking back over time Nomads have been consistently improving in this race.  With last year’s winning time (01:11:16 by Joe Fry) and this year’s (01:11:17 by Ashley Cox) being practically the same and the similar weather conditions we have a good basis for comparing times.   They show some strong improvements.  Leading the team home, Julian Pegg (on a road bike) improved his time by one second shy of 5 minutes; Nick Senechal managed to shave 7 minutes 22 from his time, but maximum credit to Catherine Jones who took a cool 8 minutes 56 from her 2016 time to finish in 1:39:23.  Nick Hickman was about a minute off last year’s time at 1:32:01,  but this is perhaps explained by high mileage training for the National 24hr TT later this year.

Part of the improvement in form must be due to the fantastic support from Nomads, Junior Nomads, and Cow Bells around the course.  I sense we are getting close to a real breakthrough in this event, perhaps in the team competition.  We’ve already won the “best club spirit” award in my estimation!