Breakfast in Bampton Audax by Craig Boyde / Roderic Inglis

Well the Breakfast in Bampton audax is unforgettable if nothing else! Not only did it rain for most of the day we had floods to contend with too. That first one we got past by walking the slippery wooden boards, other we had to ride through but has make a couple of diversions for others. One near Dulford on the way back a Toyota Hylux was up to its wheel arches going through it! 100km turned into 80 miles but we made it back in time, stopped in Bampton for coffee and cake at the Bridge house cafe and I had fish n chips with a pint of Fursty Ferret at the Cranberry Farm at the finish. So cold and wet even the ducks took shelter and soaked through almost from the start but thoroughly enjoyed it ???

2019 National Hill Climb by Jack Dallyn

It was a freezing cold Sunday morning for the National Hill Climb at Haytor in the Dartmoor National Park. First task was to sign in at 7:40am and get my numbers pinned on and then Park near the top of the climb.

The climb is 3.1 miles long with an average gradient of 6.4% and total height gain of 1068ft.

Having taken a good 40mins to try and warm up on rollers it was then time to roll down to the start where I froze!

When my number was called, I rolled to the start area and me and my bike were held up and had a photo taken before I looked like I was about to die. I then had the dreaded 1-minute countdown which feels like an age. 321 and I was off with a blast up the initial approximate 15% gradient lane we start on before hitting the main climb.

I came into this hill climb with a target of a top 10 and to average 400 watts over the duration of the climb.

As the cold air started to hit my lungs, I settled into my effort and up the steep first bit of the climb where I was greeted with some fans cheering me on. I didn’t feel great on the first half of the climb, but I knew I could make up time on the flatter section of the climb.

Having seemingly crawled up the first bit of the climb I decided it was time to accelerate on the middle/last part of the climb. When I saw the exposed moor and I knew it was time to go full gas. I could see spectators with cow bells and shouting at me which gave me that extra bit power and motivation.

I then hit the final bit of the climb where the majority of fans were, and you caught sight of the famous rocks! This is when I felt like the top was never coming. My legs thought this was the end, but I had still at least 400 metres to go which is where the fans cheers come in to play and give you what you need to get to the top. As approaching the top, I could make out my name and Exeter Wheelers (the club I ride for) being called out, but I was so tired I couldn’t make out!

The Hill climbing community is very supportive of each other as everyone cheers everyone including their rivals! It’s a great atmosphere to ride in and be a part of. During the hill climb riders will want to stay as light as possible but as the National is usually is the last hill climb of the year it’s a chance to eat as much cake as possible after.

I finally got to the top where I was greeted by friendly volunteers to hold you up or your bike. I rolled onto the grass patch at the top and flopped over my bars and luckily my bike was being held. I stayed there for 5mins and was then invited into the coach which was designed for riders to sit in to warm up and rest. It was a great relief as it was warm, and I could finally sit down. I reflected on my effort and was trying not to be sick as I had worked so hard.

I then stayed up the top and watched and supported the other riders coming up the climb before heading down to sign out and see where I had been placed. I was very happy to find out I managed to pick up 8th and later analysed my ride to find out I had hit my 400 watts target and set lots of PB’s along the way.

This has been my first year of racing (17 years old) and it’s had its ups and downs. I started the year with some unfortunate crashes and a few good results but coming towards mid-season where I felt I had settled into the racing season and picked up some decent results, but I had an head on collision with a car whilst out training. I broke 3 ribs and punctured my lung amongst some other injuries which led to a 5 day stay in hospital. This led to me missing my second half of the season and knocking my confidence quite considerably. I recovered in time to race 1 circuit race where I got 9th and a Road race where I picked up 15th. It then came to the hill climb season where I was super motivated and ready to go. I did around 5 hill climbs before nationals where I picked up 4th, 5th,7th and 2nd overall in the 3 hills challenge which consisted of climbing Chineway, Haytor and Widecombe in 1 day! (Both Haytor and Widecombe where run by Mid Devon CC)

The event was run by mid Devon cycling club and it was a very well-run event! There was marshals everywhere and the sign on process was easy and all results were posted on a Great Wall in the HQ when the riders finished. When you finished you got a free cup of T which was nice.

I would like to thank all volunteers and Mid Devon cycling club for putting on the national’s champs on and all the fans that turned out to support.

Ellie Dominey Qualifies

A night in hospital with an ill child didn’t daunt Ellie as she headed for the Darley Moor Duathlon.

More PBs were achieved as she sped round the two runs (3.05 and 1.55 miles) either side of the 11.28 mile ride in the Sprint event. She was 10th lady and 2nd in her age category, which earned her an automatic qualifier for the 202 World Duathlon Championships. Congratulations, Ellie.

Jack Dallyn tackles the 3 Hills Challenge

In one day, the Challenge takes riders up three of Devon’s most daunting climbs: Chineway (ToB Stage 6 KoM), Haytor (3.17 miles, reaching to 1,102ft) and Widecombe Hill (Official Climb 10: 554ft in only 0.91 miles).

Not only did Jack hit several PBs on the way, but he was the fastest U18 and 4th overall on the Chineway Climb.

Oh, and he’d ridden another one the day before!

4 Hill Climbs in a Weekend and 3 on Sunday!

In total, Jack achieved a 4th, a 7th and 2 top 20 positions, finishing 2nd overall in the 3 hills Challenge!

Well done, Jack.

Great South West Sportive

On Sunday, Scott conquered a staggering 7965 feet of climb over 75 miles in an inspiring time of 4.42.40!  The cross country Great South West Sportive on Sunday 15th September 2019 started at the home ground of Plymouth Argyle. Riders were part of the first ever cycling event to cross the Tamar Bridge, after which they tackled the long climb from Horsebridge and the famous (infamous?) Strava top 100 climb of Rundlestone. This is yet another of Scott’s amazing achievements in 2019.

New Forest

A mass gathering of Honiton Spinners celebrated the end of the summer season at the UKCycling New Forest 100 on Saturday 14th September. The first challenge was to find the entrance to the splendid grounds of Somerley House near Ringwood. Once the long, snaking gravel track was negotiated, bikes united with riders and the front of the long queue finally reached, 18 Spinners plus former members set off on a fabulous tour of the New Forest lanes, with the added interest of cars, horses, cattle, tractors and deer.

Liz and Rod completed the 100 mile Epic route in excellent times, Liz achieving a Gold time and Rod, having taken a wrong turning, only just missing out.

John secured a well-deserved Gold on the 59 mile Standard route, proving that there’s plenty of life in the legs still. Roger, Suzanne and Pete completed their first ever sportive in fine style and the group of 11 Spinners who rode together caused such a stir as they flew over the finish line together, that they were interviewed by the local press! 

Completing the line-up was Jackie who completed the 30 mile Short route with a friend. 

Everyone enjoyed the well-organised event – especially the jelly beans and cake at the food stops – although they were a bit bemused by mention of ‘hills’. Where were they?

The Brecon Devil sportive medium route. Brutal!

Craig Boyde is renowned in the club for riding extraordinary distances. Here is his account of the recent Brecon Beacons Devil sportive. 

Last year I challenged myself to the 200km long route; this year I just did the medium route which was no easy ride, but it was a lot more enjoyable. The Welsh countryside here is absolutely stunning to which makes the suffering worthwhile. 

Soon after the start the route took us over Gospel Pass (the long route also goes over the Tumble as well) and then an undulating ride around the lanes in Powys, passing Brecon and Builth Wells, riding up the Usk and Wye valleys and climbing Llanbedr moor at the end with the views at the top across England and Wales. It was no easy task with 25% climbs. In addition to the climbing, it was made tougher by narrow lanes where the road surface was rough with mud, gravel, debris from the rain and potholes.