50 Mile Events – 12-13 May 2018

Last weekend saw the Time Trial Squad in action on two 50 miles Events.

Saturday afternoon James McPherson made his debut for the distance at the ECCA event, using the E2 course on the A11 / A14 near Newmarket.  James achieved a 1:54:11.  35th of 52 riders and a tremendous time for his first go.  Paul Hart of Southend Wheelers scored a new Competition Record with 1:34:37, which is a 31.7 mph average speed!  Nick Morgan was fulfilling a Nomads marshaling duty in the rain at the Four Went Ways roundabout and managed to get a shot of James in action:


Sunday morning and it was time for the Nomads’ Club 50 Championship using the Norlond TT Combine event on F1B, going south from Tempsford on the A1.  The forecast for poor weather proved wrong with damp roads but otherwise fine conditions and very calm air.  There was great relief that it was not a repeat of last year’s windy and wet affair.  The new road surface around the “lumpy bit” near Langford Water Tower was much appreciated as this had been very poor in recent editions of the Event.

With a 1:57:15 Julian Pegg successfully defended his title from last season and retains the Stanbridge Cup.  Likewise, Leanne Cutler keeps hold of the Women’s Trophy.  Her 2:10:34 was a course best for her and more than 9 minutes less than for this Event last season.  James McPherson decided one 50 in a weekend was enough and passed on his apologies.  Marc Diplock started the Event with a head cold and retired at 25 miles so was a “DNF”.  Nick Hickman made up the numbers with a 2:05:30, being a minute or so slower than his course best.  Steve Smith was in attendance at the Tempsford turn to offer support and take some photos:

Friend of the Club Davey Jones was also out with his camera at the Baldock turn:

The Club 100 Championship will be held at the ECCA event using the E2 course on 10 June.  Entries close on 22 May.  The Club’s long distance specialists Julian Pegg and Leanne Cutler currently hold the trophies for this one too.


Briercliffe 10 – 8 May 2018

The task of writing up the Nomads’ Briercliffe time trial series events is one to be approached with gusto and verve.  The chance to embellish the parchment with the mighty quill to create a historical record to rival Magna Carta and Domesday, is often so much of a treat that literally nobody volunteers to act as herald.

This week was no exception.

Having been ‘volunteered’ (on the basis of some minor misdemeanour that was wholly unsubstantiated – Fake News indeed), this week’s scribe was given the task of having  to ‘be funnier than Paul Riley’, but also actually relay what happened. Being funnier than Paul is akin to being less silly than drinking bleach, but without the fuss of trying to get the lid off.

Editorial ‘steer’ from the event organiser (see credits below) comprised of ‘you must write the following’: Ruggles junior was not caught by Ruggles senior; Robinson was not caught by Hayes; Cutler was not caught by Robinson.  In effect, according to the organiser, nothing happened. Doubtless a career in the security guard/night watch industry or professional football referee in any European game that features the mighty Liverpool beckons.

In reality, all riders were faced by quite a buffeting (though not a buffet – although debris from several Scotch eggs were left in Webby’s car. Webby complained bitterly, as he’d not been offered one).

A westerly 11mph wind ‘provoketh’ as riders traversed Southill, however the same wind did indeed ‘taketh away’ nearly everywhere else. The cultured amongst the readership (I can but hope) will reflect on the reference to the ‘Scottish play’ in reverence to the eggs of the same  cultural origin. The rest of you can ‘Google’ Macbeth. (I didn’t ask for this job so don’t blame me, it’s challenging enough to make a list of names and numbers interesting as it is). I have no quotes that feature Irn-Bru.

‘So what did happen?!’ I hear you bellow!

Well, Cutler and Ruggles jnr created new course PBs and Catherine Jones went nicely under evens, thereby setting a target for the gentlemen who are yet to dip under 30 minutes. Chapeau ladies.

In the ‘Gentlemen’s and Ryan Witchell’s race for people called Ryan Witchell to win event’, Ryan Witchell continued  to demonstrate that youth is wasted on the young, with a simply superb sub-22 minute ride. If he got himself organised he could actually go quick. Well done Ryan. That nicely backs up the 19 from the weekend. Top riding indeed.

For the rest of the field (i.e. those who can actually remember what a Betamax video was and when bleach didn’t have a safety cap), Sam Hayes was second with another strong ride in the series.

Only the width of a carefully placed fiver in the timekeeper’s pocket separated Doyle, Robinson and Hickman. Doyle was in no way pleased that he beat his long-term sparring partner (and fellow former club captain), Robinson by a mere second. Mick Case of BRRT also recorded a time in the same bracket.

Nigel Tooke recorded a notable 27 on the nose with Chris Batt recording a slightly slower time than last week but in the 27 minute bracket nonetheless. 


Leanne Cutler 27.36

Catherine Jones 29.42

Ella Ruggles 32.35



Ryan Witchell 21.51

Sam Hayes 24.21

Simon Doyle 26.07

Steve Robinson 26.08

Nick Hickman 26.09

Nigel Tooke 27.00

Chris Batt 27.38

Manuel Manrique 28.01

Nigel Wilson 28.30

Brian Ruggles 29.38

Chris Corney 30.15

Steve Smith 30.41

Stephen Oliver 31.29

Mike Moralee 32.41



Mick Case BRRT 26.07

Bob Wright CCA 27.54

Graham Laming BRCC 28.27

Christopher Wilson BRCC 32.33


Thanks go to all those who contributed to making the event happen, during the preceding few days and on the night.

Timekeeper– Frank Turner

Genuflectiondemonstratorand propperupper– Paul Riley

Foghornandgeneral start-line larrikin– Michael Webb

ChiefPontiff– Julian Pegg

Organiser-she-who-must-be-obeyed– Leanne Cutler

Reporter – Some bloke acting as the Bard of Hitchin (Ed – surely is that barred from Hitchin?)

Next week sees the commencement of the Dave Gudgin series. Details of the course to follow.

Briercliffe 10 – 1 May 2018

Principal Timekeeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Nigel Wilson
Prop: Michael Webb
Sign On: Julian Pegg

On this May Day, when some had to scrape ice from their car at 06:00, the sun shone on twenty five riders who turned out to test their power against a southerly wind (and a free ride along “Growers”) at 19:01.

A minute silence was observed for #1 as a mark of respect for former Nomad and occasional tester at this Event, Terry Davies, who recently passed away doing what he loved – riding his bike.

For the third week in a row we had three women riders lining up at the start.  Debutantes Rachel O’Donnell (HNCC) and Triathelite Katie Harbon (unaffiliated) both navigated the course without getting lost.  Rising Junior HNCC star Ella Ruggles knocked an impressive 2 minutes off her previous best time to record a 32:49. The Muddy Monsters and Icknield Sportive at the weekend clearly didn’t weigh on her legs.  Mr Dad Ruggles took more than eight miles to catch his daughter.  Ella’s target by end of season is surely not to be caught?

Paul Wright spent a second event in a row chasing (and catching with a 27:35) the women.  Is this going to be a 2018 habit and does Mrs Wright know?  Paul Riley (28:33) must be wishing he hadn’t sold his TT wheels to the other Paul as next week they could be biting him on the way past (pending rider availability and field layout of course).

Team Sales Engine were out in force claiming the top five results in the Nomads Competition.  All are second claim Nomads so it is looking good for the Inter Club competition there guys!  Bragging rights belonged to Ryan Witchell who, despite having major mechanical issues minutes before the start, managed to grind around stuck in a huge 106″ gear with a 22:06 (quickest time of the evening).  Steve Robinson was able to hold off team mate Sam Hayes by exactly 1 minute … just as well they were separated on start line by 2 minutes this week!  It was a welcome back for Gavin Ashfield (some people will do anything to save £2 on entry fee) and the Nomads’ Lost Prophet, Simon Doyle (whom no doubt will be scanning this article fore apostrophe’s, bad spelling and incorrect grammar).

Nick Hickman riding a 72″ fixed gear was able to hold off ‘Ryan The Flying Sales Engine’ by an additional 0.27 miles compared to last week.  Could this be Hickerz’ secret goal for the 2018 season?  The Chuckle Brothers (Mani and John) were separated by 18 seconds with the latter having the biggest chuckle.  Battle of those named Chris was won by Chris Batt with a 27:03.

Best Private Time Trial of the evening was Lindz Barral with 24:54 followed by Adam Gross with a 25:04 and then Simon ‘on the naughty step for running off with number AND forgetting fees’ Poole with a 26:54.

Many thanks to event crew without whom the event would not have taken place.


HNCC Women

Rachel O’Donnell 32:40
Ella Ruggles (Junior) 32:49


Ryan Witchell 22:06
Sam Hayes 24:16
Gavin Ashfield 24:38
Steve Robinson 25:16
Simon Doyle 26:01
John Martin 26:59
Chris Batt 27:03
Paul Greenfield 27:07
Manuel Manrique 27:17
Nigel Tooke 27:20
Paul Wright 27:35
Nick Hickman 28:15
Paul Riley 28:33
Brian Ruggles 28:52
Chris Brabrook 29:20
Mark Loosely 29:45
Chris Corney 30:03
David Heath 31:31
Terry Davies (RIP) DNF

Private Time Trials 

Katie Harbon (unattached) 28:04
Lindz Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 24:54
Adam Gross (700cc – unaffiliated Club) 25:04
Simon Poole (unattached) 26:54
Graham Laming (BRCC) 28:22

Briercliffe 10 – 24 April 2018

Event Sec: Nick Hickman
Principal Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Julian Pegg
Sign on and Prop: Michael Webb
Event Reporter: Paul Riley

The healthy turn outs for the Tuesday evening TT series continued with 24 riders on the start sheet to tackle the classic Briercliffe 10 course.  Various excuses and blatant disregard of Rule #9 reduced this to 19 on the evening.  Thank you to those that passed on their apology ahead of time though, that is much appreciated.  Despite the advent of Autumn following last week’s 5 days of Summer, some impressive times were posted.  We know of some Course PBs although with a number of other newer riders present, there could be more; let us know if we’ve missed you out.

Fastest time of the evening went again to new Nomad Ryan Witchell, overtaking his minute man Nick Hickman (riding medium-gear fixed) after just 1.35 miles and achieving a superb “long 21”.  Marc Diplock took 2nd place in the Nomads competition with a Course PB time. The women were led by Leanne Cutler (Course PB) followed by Catherine Jones and Helen Riley who managed to knock over 6 minutes off her previous best time which was a 2-Up. The author has some sympathy with the principle of being hampered by a slower 2-Up partner doesn’t he Nigel Wilson?

The mid-field battles proved tighter than ever with the majority of the riders sandwiched into the 27 to 29 minute times. On this occasion the perpetual “Battle of the Nigels” was won by Tooke, finishing just 10 seconds ahead of Wilson. Positions in this competitive sector of the field will surely chop and change over the season as some riders’ training plans kick in and others more beer-based schedules take their toll!

Time keeping duties were handled by Frank Turner & Julian Pegg. Michael Webb managed sign on and pushed off.   Simon Young declined to ride, despite the many invitations from the field of riders, choosing instead to add his support on the course.

Hitchin Nomads CC Event


L Cutler 27.44, C Jones 29.45, H Riley 35.49


R Witchell 21.58, M Diplock 25.07, N Tooke 27.46, N Wilson 27.56, M Lippard 28.02, M Manrique 28.03, P Riley 28.39, N Hickman 29.02, C Corney 29.29, C Hopper 29.14, D Heath 33.06, C Brabrook DNS (Apols), S Hayes DNS (Apols), M Loosely DNS (Apols), P Wright DNS (Apols), D Summerell DNS

Private Time Trials

J Stuart (CCA) 23.31, L Barral (JCA-Equipe Velo) 24.50, G Osborn (BRCC) 24.59, M Case (BRRT) 26.10, G Laming (BRCC) 28.28

Briercliffe 10 – 17 April 2018

Principal Time Keeper: Frank Turner
Assistant Time Keeper: Julian Pegg
Event Sec and Prop: Nick Hickman

HNCC Women

Cutler, Leanne 27:50
Matthews, Ingrid 27:51
Ruggles, Ella (Junior) 34:49


Witchell, Ryan 22:07
Hayes, Sam 23:45
McPherson, James 24:12
Diplock, Marc 25:15
Robinson, Steve 25:42
Tooke, Nigel 27:05
Hopper, Christopher 27:15
Wilson, Nigel 27:32
Wright, Paul =28:02
Ruggles, Brian =28:02
Riley, Paul 28:12
Corney, Chris 29:40
Loosely, Mark 29:42
Summerell, David 30:35
Moralee, Mike 32:30
Heath, David 32:49

Private Time Trials

Barral, Lindz (JCA-Equipe Velo) 24:25
Poole, Simon (unattached) 27:28
Laming, Graham (BRCC) 28:32


Muddy monsters is a fun introduction to cycle racing to be held on Butts Close, Hitchin on Saturday 28th April.  The event has been re-scheduled from the 3rd January when it was cancelled owing to snow.

This event is ideal for young people who love riding their bikes and can manage to ride consistently for up to 15 minutes (10 minutes for the younger riders).  Age categories are: Under 6, under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14 and under 16.

MM1Each rider gets the chance to compete in three races: sprint, endurance and handicap.  There will be separate races for older and younger age groups, although some age groups may be combined.

The event is open to all, but parents MUST accompany and register their children to ride. Registration is on the day only and costs £4.00.  Registration will open from 9:15:am

The first race is at 10:00 (practice on the course from 9:30) and we aim to finish the last race at 12:00 for prize giving.

Participants require (and will not be allowed to ride unless they have):

  • MM2A bike that fits them in good mechanical order with two working brakes (BMX, Mountain bikes, Cyclo cross, road or hybrid bikes will all be acceptable – some tread on the tyre to give traction on grass is ideal)
  • A properly fitting crash helmet

Sensible, non-baggy clothing and gloves or mitts are strongly recommended.


The course is short walk or ride from the centre of Hitchin. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO PARKING FOR COMPETITORS ON BUTTS CLOSE FIELD. However there are several car parks within a short distance:

  • Hitchin Swimming Pool (pay and display) off Fishponds Road (overflow car park across the road may be open if this is full)Christchurch Car Park (pay and display) off Bedford Road
  • The Lairage multi-story off the A505 next to Waitrose
  • There is also some on-street parking in the surrounding area for those arriving early.