Briercliffe 10 – 26 April 2016

Reporter: Nick Hickman
Photography: Michael Webb

Brrr, it was cold!  Artic air brought in by a biting North Westerly wind welcomed competitors, organisers and supporters to Southill for this week’s Hitchin Nomads Cycling Club 10 miles Time Trial event.  Thankfully the wintry showers earlier in the day had passed through so roads were dry, the sky was bright and it was otherwise a lovely evening.  That is, if you were looking at it from inside a nice warm home.

A diverse mix of defences against the cold were deployed.  These ranged from David Summerell’s full-on polar explorer outfit with stylish balaclava, to Freddy Bulmer’s bare-legged, bare-armed and bare-handed wishful thinking – based on his earlier observation that, “it was warm in my kitchen before I left”.

Sixteen riders took to the line.  James Spence and Frank Turner were on the clocks, with Steve Smith as pusher off.  Leanne Cutler and Simon Doyle provided a mobile marshalling and cheering service.  Michael Webb took some superb photographs from various locations around the course. A selection are included here, the full set being available in the album posted to the Club’s Facebook Page.

Fastest ride of the evening was 2nd claim Nomad Nigel Hale.

James Gomm (also 2nd claim) was the only rider to have improved his time on the same course last week.  He seemed rather surprised, given that he was on his road bike with tri-bars.  Others were typically around a minute slower on this occasion.  Once his white fingers had some blood and feeling restored, Gomm was to compose a letter on this topic to a Mr Chris Boardman, supplier of his regular TT machine, .

Hitchin Nomads CC event:

N Hale 24:11; S Robinson 25:31; J Gomm 26:08; F Bulmer 26:27; N Hickman 27:10; C Corney 28:23; N Wilson 28:30; E Lee Jones 29:56; P Riley 29:56; D Summerell 31:57; N Altham 32:34; S Oliver 35:35; C Jones (off course) 35:41;

Private Time Trials:

R Evans (Army Cycling Union) 24:54; L Barral (Equipe Velo) 25:29; D Ledgerton (Team Sales Engine) 28:59;





InterClub 10 – 24 April 2016

Reporter: Jon Traynor

Sixteen Hitchin Nomads lined up for the first of the 2016 Interclub Time Trial series, hosted by Icknield Road Club.  This was a  magnificent turnout for the boys and girl in yellow and blue. The season long Interclub competition is with four other local clubs – Icknield RC, Beds Road CC, CC Ashwell and St Neots CC.

A chilly start greeted the early riders on an otherwise bright spring morning, with some dampness persisting from overnight rain and sleet. The 6U/10 course is deceptively tricky due to its pan-flat nature with a slight incline towards the Maulden roundabout. A sharp cross-wind at this point gave rise to several Nomads commenting on this draggy section of the circuit, although once the turn was traversed there were some speed benefits found. Two laps from roughly the A6/A507 roundabout to Maulden is what was required to post a time which all but one Nomad on the start sheet duly performed. Webby had withdrawn from the event several weeks previous due to illness but did make an appearance to grab some excellent shots of the day.  He was last reported to have enlisted Austin Powers’ assistance to help to find his cycling Mojo.

Quote of the day goes to Steve Smith who’s tactics were to take it easy for the first couple of miles, then turn the tap on. However, he reported that, “when the tap was turned on, only a dribble came out”. A fact that a lot of other Nomads could readily identify with.

Excuse of the day was a close run thing.  James McPherson reeled off an impressive list of reasons why he could have done better before revealing that he did actually put in a good time.  Stephen Oliver was held up by a turning motor home.  The honour has to go to Paul Riley though who revealed in the post-event chat that he needed to research some more aerodynamic brake blocks to gain the advantage needed.

In the mid-section, one second separated Nigel Tooke and Chris Brabrook, whilst the same margin also separated Nigel Wilson and Jon Traynor.  Mr Wilson reasoned that the consumption of beer and pizza the previous evening was the secret to his success.

Right, your reporter is now off down Dominos then the pub!

Next event in the series will be the Interclub 15 hosted by BRCC on the morning of Sunday 12 June.   Lets have another good showing from the Nomads!

Official Nomads times:

Nigel Hale 23.17; James Cornell 23.51; Steve Robinson 24.10; Nick Senechal 24.33; James Gomm 25.29; James McPherson 26.08; Terry Davies 26.26; Nigel Wilson 26.41; Jon Traynor 26.42; Nigel Tooke 27.06; Chris Brabrook 27.07; Chris Corney 27.24; Leanne Cutler 27.38; Paul Riley 28.12; Steve Smith 30.41; Stephen Oliver 32.47

Simon Norman, representing BRCC, was fastest on the day with a 21:10.

Competition Points Standings After One Event:

BRCC 761; CCA 573; HNCC 502; SNCC 473; IRC 414

Briercliffe 10 – 19 April 2016

Reporter: Nick Hickman
Timekeepers: Frank Turner, James Spence
Pushers Off: Paul Riley, Steve Smith
Marshal: Simon Doyle

photoPhoto: Paul Riley

Another excellent turn out with twenty two riders, one up on last time out.  It was the first go this season around the classic and somewhat more challenging Briercliffe 10 course.  There was bright sunshine, although it was a bit chilly and the North Easterly breeze gave no favours up to the G&M RAB.   The stretch to Shuttleworth was a blast, although it was agreed that the climb from there was as gruesome as ever.

Fastest ride of the evening was by Sam Hayes of Team Sales Engine, with Steve Robinson (first claim TSE) going close and being fastest Nomad.  Steve had asked to be Sam’s minute man to “give him the challenge to catch me”, which Sam achieved with 3 miles left to go.

There was plenty of mid-table competition around the 26 and 27 minute mark.  Most riders were around 30-90 secs slower than last week on the Roadworks 10 course.  Those who were only 30 secs slower obviously hadn’t tried hard enough before, or else put in a superb performance today – you decide!

Private Time Trialist Liz Dunn had an impressive course debut – her first ever TT in fact.  She is in training for a sponsored ride from London to Paris and said she “loved it” this evening.  She did not follow the long held tradition of going off course first time round and must now be targeting “evens” (<30 minutes) in future weeks.

Hitchin Nomads Competition

S Robinson 24:32; F Bulmer 25:01; J Cornell 25:33; N Hickman 26: 19; J Gomm 26:26; J McPherson 26:37; J Bainbridge 26:40; N Wilson 27:07; T Davies 27:10; C Corney 27:31; J Traynor 27:33; R Cook 27:36; D Summerell 28:50; R Bamberough 31:13; N Altham 31:22

Private Time Trials

S Hayes (Team Sales Engine) 23:14; W Smith (CC Ashwell) 23:29; L Barrel (Equipe Velo) 24:58; P Gell (Beds Road CC) 25:17; P French (Beds Road Racing Team) 25:38; S Horwood (unattached) 27:51; L Dunn (unattached) 33:30

Thank you to all those who got things organised, without whom these events would not take place.

Same time, same course next week …




Reporter: James Gomm

The second evening 10 of 2016 saw the pleasant weather continue, with mild temperatures and a steady SW wind. 21 riders took to the start line, with 8 Nomads making their evening 10 debut for 2016. With 2 events under the belt, friendly rivalries have already started to form that are set to be battled out over the next few months.

Fastest Nomad of the evening was Nick Morgan, who managed to shave an impressive 47 seconds of his previous weeks time to go under the 24 minute mark. Hot on his heals were second claim member Steve Robinson, with Freddy Bulmer rounding off the top 3 with a commendable, but equally agonising time of 24:00.

The best battle was found in the middle order, where Edd Lee-Jones, Adam White and Nigel Tooke were separated by just 3 seconds. If you’re having trouble sleeping this evening Nigel, just have a think about where you lost those 0.3 seconds per mile……..

Frank Turner and James Spence worked the clocks with Chris Corney assisting this evening. As always there were 21 very grateful cyclists giving their thanks.

Hitchin Nomads: N Morgan 23:40, S Robinson 23:52, F Bulmer 24:00, N Hickman 24:50, J Gomm 25:30, T Davis 26:00, J Traynor 26:21, C Braybrooke 26:38, N Wilson 26:41, T Low 26:53, E Lee-Jones 27:06, A White 27:08, N Tooke 27:09, L Cutler 27:26, R Robinson 28:56, P Riley 30:49, S Oliver 32:27

Private Time Trials: R Evans (Army Cycling Union) 23:32, L Barell (Equipe Velo) 24:16, P Gell (BRCC) 24:25, E Koppe (CCA) 26:52


1U/10 Course:

Open TT Events 9-10 April 2016

Reporters: Nick Hickman, Leanne Cutler
Photos: courtesy Davey Jones

Despite a large Hitchin Nomads team not being able to ride the Team Sales Engine 10 miles Time Trial on Saturday afternoon due to the Highways Agency threat of road works, the Club’s testers were competing in two other Open events over the weekend.

The top performance was without doubt that of Leanne Cutler, who rode the Lea Valley CC event around the E2/25 course near Newmarket on Saturday.  She achieved a new Club Women’s Record for the 25 miles distance, crossing the finish line in 01:02:04.  This beat the previous record by a massive 00:01:57, a record she had set herself last year.  She has made an excellent start on the Women’s British Best All Rounder competition, which is based on the average speeds at the 25 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles distances.


Leanne’s records her thoughts on the event:

With heavy rain overnight and showers forecast it threatened to be a damp afternoon on the E2/25.  The drive up the A11 and A14 confirmed the inner lane had standing water, exacerbated by the large number of heavy goods vehicles.

After sign on, my taxi service and mechanic drove to parking close to the start.  Following a relaxed preparation and warm up I was told I had 4 minutes to get to the start.  Oops, cutting it a bit tight? Nah, I was there with 2 minutes to spare.  At 15:09 number 69 was off. The road had dried and I was greeted with a 12 mph headwind. Nervous of blowing up early and with coach Doyle’s nagging (I mean instruction) about maintaining a high pedal cadence I tried to keep above 85rpm. As I approached the turn at Four Went Ways roundabout I had been passed by numbers 70, 71, 72, 73 and 74.  Not good, but for the first time on this course I didn’t have to stop at the roundabout due to traffic.  That was a bonus but I needed to  compose myself and look my best for Davey Jones’ camera.  At the half way point I had clocked up 34 min.  I certainly wasn’t setting the pace alight. Perhaps I hadn’t realised how much a tail wind would be a factor until I started to fly on the return leg.  As the miles ticked down I started to believe I might get in around “one-o-three”.  With 5 miles to go a long “one-o-two” could be on the cards, which was well above my prior expectations. The final mile and I was now pushing to get the long “one-o-one”, forgetting that the course is actually 25.2 miles.  As I passed the chequered flag I remembered why I loved this discipline and the course.  Yes, the heavy, fast-moving traffic may not be to everybody’s taste but for me the speed, thrill and flatness  of this course cannot be rivalled.

My 01:02:04 time knocked 00:01:57 off my personal best and last years women’s Cub Record.   I also beat the Women Veteran’s Club Record. The coaching of Simon Doyle is clearly making good and puts me on a firm footing for BBAR challenge this year. If that isn’t a high enough goal it appears those around me have set me a sub-hour target for 25 miles by year end.  A dream perhaps?

Lea Valley CC put on a superb event and my partner Jason and son Ethan certainly enjoyed the cakes and crisps afterward.  I was good and had a banana though! Next stop F1B/50 in May.

Early Sunday morning and the boys were out, competing in another 25 miles event.  This time on the F1B/25 course from Tempsford, down the A1 to the Baldock Services roundabout and back. The conditions were bright and sunny if rather cold and with a light head wind to the turn, which gave a nice push on the home leg. The event was hosted by our friends at Beds Road CC, who did a superb job as always and posted the results by lunch time, which must be a record in itself.

Julian Pegg and Nick Hickman went under the hour.  Jon Traynor achieved a personal best and Nigel Wilson a course best.

Pegg 00:59:12, Hickman 00:59:57, Traynor 01:05:25, Wilson 01:06:12



Briercliffe 10 – 5 April 2016

Reporter: Nigel Wilson

A bumper field turned out on a lovely Spring evening in Southill for the first Nomads “Briercliffe 10” of the season, looking to post a time that they will then spend the next 4 months trying to improve upon. After discussion amongst the riders, the consensus was that the “official going” was  “ok” with only a gentle unfavourable cross-wind providing any opportunity for anyone to grumble about the conditions. 

It was good to see a number of riders making their debut in the Briercliffe series, which is named after one of the club’s most celebrated ex-members:

Fastest Nomad on the night was Cap’n John Watson who posted a 24:09. Messrs. Bulmer and Morgan also went sub-25 around the course. However the quickest time of the night came from Justin Layne of CC Ashwell, who completed the course in exactly 21 minutes.

An impressive team marshalled the whole event: Gavin Ashfield, James Spence, Meli Fletcher, Steve Smith, Paul Riley and the incomparable Frank Turner as Time Keeper. Thanks to all of you for looking after us – it is much appreciated as ever.

Hitchin Nomads: J. Watson 24:09; F Bulmer 24:17; N. Morgan 24:27; N. Hickman 25:25; J. Gomm 25:32; T. Davies 26:22; R. Thomson 26:22; R. Cook 26:35; N. Wilson 26:44; C. Corney 26:48; D. Rickels 26:48; N. Tooke 27:26; T. Low 27:28; P. Fletcher 28:41; N. Altham 30:19; M. Loosley 31:31; L. Jarvis 32:16; R. Bamberough 32:26

R. Chirvasuta recorded an unofficial 30:17 (late arrival)

Private Time Trials: J. Layne (CCA) 21:00; T. Trimble (CCA) 22:24; W. Smith (CCA) 22:37; R. Witchell (Bristol Uni) 22:43; T Weir (Swansea Uni) 23:03; P French (BRCC) 24:23; L Barral (Equipe Velo) 24:36; P Gell (BRCC) 24:49; D Ledgerton (Team SalesEngine) 27:11

Note from Nick Hickman (TT Secretary):  It was brought to my notice by one of our course marshals that riders need to pay special attention to keeping on the left hand side of the road unless overtaking slower moving traffic or turning right.  I will have no hesitation in disqualifying riders observed to not be following this CTT regulation.  And I am ashamed to admit I found myself slipping just over the central line on the last turn up through the woods after Old Warden.  I promise that if I do that again I will set an example by DQ-ing myself!