Welwyn Wheelers Hilly 50km TT – 25 March 2016

Reporter: Nick Hickman

A six-strong Nomads team took to the roads around Hitchin for the classic Welwyn Wheelers Good Friday event.  Aside from damp roads and a light head wind into Hitchin the conditions were superb, with the spring sunshine warming up some of the riders’ knees for the first time this year.

This being the only time trial that actually passes through Hitchin all year it was good to see an excellent level of support from other Club members spurring the competitors on with their enthusiastic cheers.

HNomads087Provisional Nomads’ times for the Nomads are:

John Watson 01:26:55, Julian Pegg 01:29:19, Nick Hickman 01:30:45, Nick Senecchal 01:34:52, Roger Taylor 01:38:00 , Catherine Jones 01:48:21.

Fastest ride of the day was Joe Fry (Pedal Heaven RT) 01:11:16.

Captain Watson demonstrated once again that a TT bike isn’t needed for him to go faster than his Club Mates.  Roger Taylor and Catherine Jones made their debuts at an Open Event.  Nick Hickman achieved his best time on this course but narrowly missed out on getting one over Julian Pegg.  Nick Senechal took his “old faithful” machine out for a last outing before “new faithful” is put into action.

Photos courtesy Davey Jones


Medium Gear 25 miles TT – 19 April 2016

Reporter: Terry Davies

It has to be said that definitely no two Saturdays are the same, especially where the weather is concerned.  This Saturday was considerably worse than last, and when you’re about to ride a TT over 25 miles on a single speed medium gear you need more favourable conditions as opposed to cold, rain and wind.  So massive kudos to all who rode on these machines.

Personally I think it was always going to be a big ask to replicate the numbers from the previous Saturdays 2up TT, and so it proved with just 8 riders including myself on a selection of bikes, of which 4 were medium gear and the remainder a selection of full aero and road bikes. I decided to opt for a road bike with some clip on bars and was the 4th rider off the start line. By the time I had got to the first RAB at Shefford I could barely see anything through my visor due to that horrible misty rain sticking to it and now a head wind all the way up to G&M Growers.  Now if I was finding conditions difficult then I dread to think how the single speed riders were coping with it, but cope they did and I must say they all rode extremely well.  Especially Freddy Bulmer who claimed top spot in the Club Medium Gear competition on his first single speed TT. I’m pretty sure that I had told Freddy once or 30 times before the race that I ride a single speed all week so the idea of riding it for fun at a TT doesn’t float my boat.

HNCC Medium Gear Competition

Freddy Bulmer- 1.16.51; Chris Corney- 1.21.42; Meli Fletcher-1.34.23

Other Results

Neil Fraser – 1.14.25 Stevenage CC (Medium Gear); Steve Robinson-1.05.19 Team Sales Engine & HNCC; Terry Davies- 1.13.53 HNCC; Nigel Wilson- 1.17.59 HNCC; David Summerell- DNF HNCC

At this point a massive thanks to all people who made this happen including time keepers, sign on rep etc.  Please excuse me where names are concerned but being new to the club I’m still unsure who people are.  Suffice to say you all do a sterling job and you know who you are. Some of us attended the café in Southill afterwards where I spent most of my time worrying about if my partner Louise would get the message to meet us there as opposed to sitting in the café at Shuttleworth.

Once again a massive thanks to everyone involved on the day.


2-UP 25 miles TT – 12 March 2016

Reporter: Leanne Cutler

There was no snow this week and the fog wasn’t thick enough to cancel or put off the bumper field of 43 rides for the HNCC 25 miles 2-up TT.

3 solos and 20 pairs lined up, with a mixture of both aero and non-aero gracing the start line.  Frank Turner was timekeeper; Gavin Ashfield and James Spence pushed riders off; and Chris Tribe was our photographer, snapping some excellent action shots, which are all on the Club’s Facebook Group (notably the ‘dual carriage way’ passing of Mr and Mrs Captain).

Guest riders from Stevenage CC, Beds Road CC and Team Sales Engine demonstrated how well promoted and organised this event had been by Club Capain Vatson and TT Secretary Nick Hickman – a formidable pairing on and off the bike!

A record 4 x women pairs started (all non aero) with all but 2 individuals being “TT virgins”. The field gathered with excitement at the prospect of propelling themselves as quickly as possible around the “sporting” Dave Gudgin course.  The weather was kind in the end as the fog cleared.  Little wind and some sunshine in latter stages made it all the more pleasant with the need to remove jackets.

Some David and Goliath pairings were made.  You had to feel admiration (and pity) for Tom Clarke on his road bike trying to hang on to TT giant Andy Herbert, taking to the front to show Herbert the speed at which they should be going … for Clarke not to burst his lungs. The team of Leanne Cutler and Ingrid Matthews (who looked a tad nervous at the start) managed to remain un-lapped until the final approach to ‘Growers RAB’ where John King and Chris Brabrook overtook.  This just spurred on an un-lap, but with the final slog up Shuttleworth to go, the ‘Blacksmiths Bullet’ overtook again with no 2nd comeback for ‘L&I Rockets’. The cowbells (and Jane Hickman) encouraged all riders to keep going … and helped them keep record of how many laps were left, with only 1 team straying from the designated route (a miracle in itself). The temptation when sprinting/climbing/crawling* up Shuttleworth Hill 3 times was to detour into the cafe but thankfully all testers decided to wait until 25 miles of fun/torture* before indulging in cake and coffee (*delete as appropriate)

Shuttleworth cafe was filled with the buzz and chatter of those that still had energy to spare afterwards.  The Captain’s awards were presented.  Aero bars to make you go faster by either 1) eating them there and then for the minty sugar rush – successful or 2) sticking them to your bike – not so successful.

Fastest of the day was Team Sales Engine solo rider Sam Hayes with 1:01:06, just pipping the fastest solo Nomad Nigel Hale at 1:01:27. Freddy Bulmer and Nick Morgan (aka Beaujolais and Visor) were the fastest 2-up team with 1:04:34, also receiving Captain’s award for fastest non aero male team.  It is scary to think of those 2 on TT bikes and our TT Secretary is rumoured to be plotting a new rule to ban it.  Beaujolais will be looking forward to later in the season in road races when he doesn’t have to stare at Visor’s backside so much. Cutler and Matthews were the fastest (and non-aero) women’s team  with 1:14:37.  A whole 2 seconds behind the full aero set up of Paul Riley and Nigel Wilson … darn that missed turn … we will get you next year ‘Bus Pass Pistons’! Best Newcomer went to Clarke who needed the chocolate Aero to replenish some calories to cycle home.  Lanterne Rouge was awarded to Joanne Elliot and Meline Fletcher (the Pussycat Dolls).

Excellent debuts and times by all those participating and I think everybody was in agreement that it was a ‘cracking event’. I do believe I heard mutterings of ‘I enjoyed it more than I expected’ and ‘I would do it again’… I will hold you all to that!

Hopefully the event introduced newer members into the fun and challenge of Time Trialling,  and demonstrated that you don’t need the ‘TT kit’ to have a good time around the course. With the Tuesday evening series fast approaching it would be amazing to see as many out again (especially women), soaking up the atmosphere, miles and speed.

There is also a Medium Gear 72″ competition around the same course at the same time on Saturday 19th March.  Those without a Medium Gear machine or who haven’t the faintest idea what this term means are most welcome to ride and will be given a time, even though they won’t be part of the official competition.  Any 2-up teams that want to see if they can go better than last time?


Rider Club / Team Rider Club Time
S Hayes Team Sales Engine 01:01:06
N Hale HNCC 01:01:27
F Bulmer HNCC N Morgan HNCC 01:04:34
N Fraser Stevenage CC M Vuoght Stevenage CC 01:05:04
N Hickman HNCC J Watson HNCC 01:05:23
N Senechal HNCC J Cornell HNCC 01:05:36
G Hicks Beds Road CC A Smith Beds Road CC 01:07:26
J King HNCC C Brabrook CC Ashwell 01:10:01
C Corney HNCC J Traynor HNCC 01:10:30
A Herbert no affiliation T Clarke HNCC 01:10:41
J Tilley HNCC J McPherson HNCC 01:11:13
P Fletcher HNCC T Davies HNCC 01:11:52
E Lee-Jones HNCC B Ruggles HNCC 01:11:52
 N Wilson HNCC P Riley HNCC 01:14:35
L Cutler (W) HNCC I Matthews (W) HNCC 01:14:37
S Stanbury HNCC C McQue HNCC 01:21:08
R Bamberough no affiliation S Horwood no affiliation 01:22:13
S Reed HNCC D Timms HNCC 01:23:27
C Jones (W) HNCC L Jarvis (W) HNCC 01:23:41
G Timms (W) HNCC M Reeves (W) Stevenage CC 01:23:52
M Loosley HNCC 01:29:59
J Elliot (W) HNCC M Fletcher (W) HNCC 01:30:41
N Altham HNCC S Evans no affiliation off course

Spring Hilly TT – 5 March 2016

Reporter: Nick Hickman; Photographs: Paul Riley;

Timekeeper: James Cornell; Assistant Time Keeper: Roger Taylor; Pusher Off: Paul Riley

There was little evidence of Spring in the air as competitors and event crew gathered near Whitwell for this traditional first Club event of the Nomads’ time trailing season.

Snow before the start

After some debate about whether it was safe to hold the event the snow storm ended and the course was left wet but without ice or any white stuff.  Paul Riley pushed the first competitor off a little later than had been planned and was all done seven minutes later.

Two laps of the Whitwell course were completed, with no mishaps aside from light frostbite to toes and fingers.  Novice time keepers James Cornell and Roger Taylor ran the clock, also with no mishaps.  The fastest rider on the day was Club Captain John Watson on his road bike.


Results (all HNCC members):

John Watson 00:54:05; Nick Hickman 00:56:45; Jon Traynor 00:58:48; Thomas Clarke 00:59:43; Leanne Cutler 01:01:33; David Summerell 01:03:52; Catherine Jones 01:06:14

The next Club event is the 25 miles 2-up team time trial from Southill on Saturday 12th March at 09:00.


North Road Hard Riders 25 TT

Reporter: Nick Hickman

Photographs: Davey Jones, Sally Oliver, Nick Hickman

The Nomads 2016 Time Trial season got underway at the North Road Hard Riders 25 miles event on Sunday 28 February.  For the first time in several years there was a full Club team, consisting Paul Riley, Nigel Wilson and Nick Hickman.

The course was gravelly and potholed; conditions were cold, wet and windy – so all was as normal for this classic event whose history goes back to 1939.  It wasn’t quite cold enough for ice to cause a last minute cancellation as in 2015, and the various road works were all clear so that the full 25 miles course could be used for a change.

The marshalling and signage was superb and huge credit to North Road CC.

Wilson and Riley, on road bikes, had a target to go under 01:30:00.

Hickman wanted to complete the course without a puncture and test the new set up on his TT bike.

North Road Hard Riders - Nick Hickman - 28022016

All targets were achieved with Riley and Wilson having minutes to spare, and Hickman discovering that his new handlebar stem was going to need a rethink as the aero bars dropped further down below horizontal each time he hit a hole.

Riley’s first words after catching his breath post event were, “that was fun, I’d do that again”.


  • Lloyd Chapman (Pedal Heaven RT) 00:57:54 1st place
  • Nick Hickman (HNCC) 01:18:15 64th place
  • Paul Riley (HNCC) 01:27:11 75th place
  • Nigel Wilson (HNCC) 01:27:49 76th place

Back at HQ after the event Phil Liggett, the “Voice of the Tour de France” was in attendance.  Sadly this was not to comment on the Nomads team performance, but to receive the F.T.Bidlake award for his excellent contribution to cycling.  Bidlake was the “Father of Time Trialling”, being very active in the 1890s to set up this discipline in Great Britain.  Liggett remarked in his acceptance speech that he had been recently chatting to Chris Froome in Australia but had thought it prudent not to mention that Froome has not won this award.

North Road Hard Riders  - Phil Liggett - 28022016

Wilson’s comment to his team mates on leaving for home, was “same time next year then”.

Hickman, while preparing to drive back, was asked by another competitor if he had seen anyone move his bike.  Sadly, it seemed likely that the questioner had had his machine stolen from the car park.

All Club members are reminded to take very special care at events to reduce the risk of theft.