Words by Adele Coupland
The 19th of March saw the beginning of the weekend long Battle on the Beach event and an evening of camping which was not welcomed by all. Liz Fu and Duncan headed down earlier in the day in order to take part in the single lap Battle in the Dark race that evening. They completed it in the amount of time it took for Alice Earle, Adele Coupland and Martha King to drive around the campsite looking for a place to camp (near the Bianchi tent), sit in the car staying warm and then put up their tent for the evening. The rest of the evening was spent carbing up in a little Welsh pub while England won the grand slam.
With a 12pm start time Liz, Adele, Martha and Duncan all made their way to the beach with the 533 other riders for the running start. The race was 45km, 15km on a beach and the rest either single track or double track. The course was not as technical as feared but some big puddles and sandy hills made it challenging. Liz completed the race in a respectable 377th position and 24th out of the women also picking up a rubber duck on the way, winning herself some tyres. Martha and Adele were happy with finishing not last and crash free as it was their third time mountain biking. A big thank you to Alice for supporting us and being a photographer for the day, hope to have a bigger group there next year, an event not to be missed!
Full results here: http://www.battleonthebeach.co.uk/results-2/
Words by Adele Coupland
Another BUCs event and UOBCC continue to field increasing strong teams, with a full male and female squad making the trip up to the Manchester National Cycling Centre for a weekend of racing on the velodrome.
The first event was the Men’s sprint with Ollie Walker-Hayes and Chris Parker giving it the beans over 200m, finishing respectably mid pack, notably the winners of this event ride completed a time close to Chris Hoy’s BUCs record showing the calibre of the field at the university champs. Next up was Poppy Thompson in the Women’s sprint doing a commendable 14sec flying 200m a result that she was keen to improve on for next year.
The Individual Pursuit was to decide this year’s bragging rights between Andrew Kirby and Ryan Witchell. With the race shortened to 3000m Ryan took the kudos beating Andrew by 1 second in 3.47. Tom “the most aero man alive” Ward from Loughborough won to gain his second gold of the championships. Beth Rolf and Alice Earle contested the pursuit for the women, both breaking training personal records with Beth marginally taking the Bristol win despite Alice’s strong finish!
Team Pursuit time was the highlight of Sunday with Bristol’s ‘best’ chance for a top placing. The women were wrongly denied entry due to technicality of not having 4 start riders – very disappointing, as the team was fired up to get some BUCs points. The Men’s team rode to a strong 6th setting a new Bristol PR in 4:47, 10seconds faster than last year and 2 seconds off a medal ride.
If you are keen to come to the track then look out on the club forum for regular updates on track trips. Special commendation to Alice Earle for giving her all to the team, despite numerous crashes in the run up proving that for every setback there is a come back!
Saturday saw many riders of all ages descend upon Falfield, a bit outside out Bristol to race on the well-known U7B course. The weather was great and somewhat warm, meaning that skinsuit clad men and women would feel a bit less cold as they cut through the morning air as smoothly as they could. After a quick rekkie and set-up of the course we were ready to have riders head off, with Tom Hall, club alumnus, being pusher. Freddy Carlton had the opportunity to start the event off at 9.01 sharp as first club rider and put in a rapid time of 23 minutes and 4 seconds, putting him down as first club rider, with Hugh Brashaw coming in a close second (23 minutes 16 seconds). As the racing progressed faster and faster times flowed into race HQ via text messages, until the W word was mentioned, this belonging to Dean Robson who blasted through the course in 20 minutes 41 seconds, with Billy Oliver following him in second place with a time of 21 minutes 11 seconds.
During the race the HQ was dead empty, but once done everyone flooded in and anxiously awaited results, and occassionally even took over the event organizer's chair.Cake was nibbled at and tea was drunk until the arrival of the timekeepers, who confirmedt the official results. After this it was a matter of handing out the prizes for each respective category, although some of the recipients had already disappeared, perhaps in search of seconds lost on U7B. All in all it was a great morning, and as event organizer I would like to thank everyone who raced, along with the marshalls Tom, Luke, Ted, Ben and Fred, and timekeepers Doug Gale and Sheila Edwards - everyone helped make the event a great success! Also a big thank you to Bike UK for providing some excellent prizes and a mechanic for last minute tune-ups on the day.
For the third year in a row UOBCC took part in Ignit10n, a University wide charity event raising money for above and beyond, Bristol's NHS foundation charity. The donation pages are still live, so if you're feeling generous head over to https://ignit10n-2016.everydayhero.com/uk/uobcc_tour_de_burrito to help a very worthy cause.
Sixteen UOBCC riders lined up for the third annual Tour de Burrito. With 2500m of climbing spread out over the 200km route it was never going to be easy. The day started early, 7 am outside Park street mission burrito for photos and group sorting. Then we were off for the 80km leg to Cardiff. Despite a Watt-sapping headwind the first leg was covered quickly, allowing an appetite to be built up for the first burrito of the day. Every bit of fuel possible would be needed for the next leg, 105km to Bath taking in some serious 'lumps' on the elevation profile. At least the headwind was now a tailwind.
Progress out of Cardiff was slow for the second group, however, they were soon out into the countryside and well on the way to their second burrito. More by luck than by judgement the steepest gradients of the day were downhill, making for some nerve-racking and brake-pad destroying descents. As the day progressed the kilometers ticked by, with some snow on the higher hills on the way back to the old Severn bridge.
Once back in England the end was in sight, with only the imposing Lansdown hill standing in the way of the warmth and food of Mission Burrito Bath. At the top of this it seemed that nothing could stop us. Then, as if from nowhere, a giant fissure in the Earth opened up, causing a quadruple puncture incident in the leading group (The large crack in the road may or may not have been there before our arrival). In the fading light cold hands scrambled to fix punctures, with just enough inner tubes to go round. Then the chilly descent to Bath for a Burrito.
Finally, it was out into the cold one last time for the victory parade along the Bristol-Bath cycle path. To celebrate, it started raining. After eight hours in the saddle the whole squad rolled into Mission Burrito Bristol for a well deserved beer and final Burrito. A massive congratulations to everyone who took part, and a huge thank you to Mission Burrito for supporting us along the way.
We are a large and eclectic club consisting of approximately one hundred and fifty riders who enjoy riding Road, Cross Country, Downhill, BMX, Street, Cyclo-Cross and Track.