Category: News

Getting ‘Crit’ical of the Rain

It’s been an interesting 2 weeks of ‘Crit Racing’. I use the inverted commas as the races have consisted of me racing myself for some long periods! (This seems to happen more often than I would like but I always say I like cycling as it clears my head.) 

I have also had to contend with a monsoon last week that due to poor clothing choices led to my hands going numb and 50mph winds this week. I can’t really explain my thought process in seeing the BBC weather warnings the night before that I thought the deep aero rims for the (Not so) Sunny Rhyl Cup were the correct call. Driving over the snow covered Halkyns at 7:30 on a Sunday morning to go racing also had me doubting my sanity.

Truthfully I am disappointed in my 5th and 11th places but the step up to E/1/2/3 racing has been massive. I am definitely stronger but so is everyone else, coupled with me forgetting everything I learnt last year has led to 2 long training rides around the Marsh Tracks.

I am writing this after spending 2 hours trying to come up with ways to Froome myself in the next few weeks. So far I have 3 options;

  • Quit work
  • Neglect wife and kids
  • Cheat (Seems to be frowned upon in cycling though and I can’t find that bloody motor!)

As appealing as option 1 is and the fact I actually like the people in option 2 I will probably carry on as I am. I am Dave the Husband, Father and Engineer who cycles not a pro cyclist. The challenges will be successes at some point over the next few months and the sun will shine  to make it more enjoyable when I do finish with the others. You never know I might even go for option 4.

  • A few days off, have a lie in until 7:10, do a jigsaw with the kids and just visit the bike shop to keep my eye in. Cold turkey is no good for the body, shock and all that.

By Wednesday I will be desperate to ride again and be convinced that i am the ‘greatest undiscovered talent’ in all of Moreton. I am also pretty pleased with myself for clapping loudest when the winners were being presented on the podium today, I was average but they were awesome!

Stay safe and enjoy the ride!

Dave

Racing Roundup 23/24 Feb

This weekend the Velo had 3 riders in the Chester Road Club hilly 14 mile time trial, near Broxton, Cheshire.

Robin Hennessy, Dave Cuthill and Mike Stanley were in action on an unseasonably mild Feb afternoon.

Dave was off first of the team and recorded a superb 33:49, good enough for 18th overall in the event, but more importantly a massive 3 minute improvement on last year. A winter of hard work is paying off!

Dave Cuthill cornering at speed in the Chester RC Hilly 14

Next off was Robin, looking ever the pro, and got round in a blistering 32:38, which placed him 8th overall. He was closely followed by Mike who recorded a very respectable 36:39, a good 3 minutes better than his veterans standard time. Overall three great rides at the start of a great season to come! Thanks to the Chester RC for a brilliantly organised and run event.

Robin Hennessy in full flight

2019 Race Season

First race of the season was on Saturday and it went pretty well except for the pesky NWV ‘Legend in the Making’ getting the better of me again! (Great ride Robin, 33:12 is a top effort – 2nd)

After a few months of training it was time to strap the new improved TT bike to the back of the Fiat 500 and head off to the dogging capital of the world, Broxton roundabout and its infamous car park. Robin pulled in 5 mins later (Also in a Fiat 500 – new team car?) in the tightest pair of jeans i have ever seen, I assumed the car park has a dress code I didn’t know about! Soon after we started our warm ups, my methodical approach compared to Robin rolling down the main road a couple of times. Each to their own and either way we were ready and set off with numbers 4 and 5 on our backs.

I went flying down the A41, avoided being killed, falling down cavernous pot holes, climbed a few hills, overtook a couple of people and was generally having a good if painful time. That was until Robin came flying past in his ‘relaxed’ fit Lycra but even this couldn’t dampen my happiness at the finish line when I finished in 34:17. I had gone 2:38 faster than last year and as a bonus eventually finished 6th. (ELATION)

The week leading up to this had seen me go through a number of emotions that racing gives you. I had planned in 2 practice runs on the same training runs I had done the previous year. The first was destroyed when after putting in a massive effort into a headwind i was stopped by traffic going for Sunday dinner. (FRUSTRATION) The second attempt nothing went wrong except me being slower than the previous year! (DESPAIR) Rebekah rightfully suggested this could be down to wind speed and many other variables but what did she know, I had wasted the last 4 months and that was that!

The morning of the race was also a bit of a roller coaster. I woke up NERVOUS and ANXIOUS that i would be worse than last year. I was prepared, had worked hard, lost weight and improved all my equipment (Pointy helmet and everything!) but I still might actually be slower.

However, this all changed when my 2 daughters surprised me with a good luck card they had secretly made. Below is my Facebook post that sums up this best, but fellow racers please remember this is meant to be FUN so ENJOY it and be happy for other people’s success!

First day of the race season for me today and the girls surprised me with a card they sneakily made. It has taken me back a little as I do feel guilty missing time with them to train but it has also made me realise I have been working hard and it’s now time to just ‘enjoy’ it and whatever happens, happens. Good luck and stay safe to all the other racers.

Stay safe, ride hard and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

The Start of a New Season

As January grinds by we look forward to the season ahead, lighter nights and better weather.

The North Wirral Velo’s racing team members have been working hard over the winter so far and are looking forward to the challenges the new racing year.

Meanwhile the rest of the Velo are still enjoying themselves with a few pints and a curry! A very well supported and enjoyable evening was had at the Mak Syed in Wallasey Village. As well as putting the world to rights, plans were discussed for more club rides (and more social events).

The end of January saw a club trip to the National Track Champs in Manchester. The first visit to the velodrome for some of the members, and the night was enjoyed by all.

Panoramic view of the velodrome in Manchester

The club website has had an upgrade too. We have changed hosts to a more stable platform and we have added a forum and events calendar to help club organisation of rides and social events.

In summary, we are looking forward to the coming year, the racing, the riding, the socialising and the banter!

If you want to join us, please email hello@nwvcycling.club for more info, or say hello when you see us out!

Ho Ho H..wow! Nice Jumpers

The annual NWV Christmas jumper ride returns this Sunday to one of our favourite cafe stops Cleopatras in Holt.  We are hoping for an even bigger turn out and a lot better weather than last year!

This year the competition for “Most Festive Effort” is also on and the winner, who will be determined by an independent panel of experts, will receive their coffee/cake/beans on for free!

So, get decorating your bike, get on your best Christmas jumper and good luck for Sunday!

Oh What a Night!

Just as the memory of Frankie Valli lives on, so does the North Wirral Velo! And what a night we had at the first (reformed) Annual Club Prize Presentation and Dinner.

 

A fantastic event, attended by over 60 members and guests, it was a night of drinking, eating, more drinking, awards, more drinking, speeches, more drinking, dancing and more drinking.

 

The trophies awarded to the winning club members

The evening started with a lovely hot buffet, although the some found the lack of beans on toast a bit disappointing.  Next was the prize presentation. The awards were for the club champions in various disciplines throughout the year.  The Champions are:

Road Race ChampDave Cuthill, promoted to 3rd cat in his first year of racing

Dave Cuthill, Club Road Race Champion

Time Trial ChampionRobin Hennessy, sub 21 minute 10 mile TT 

Robin Hennessy
Robin receiving his award for Time Trial Champion

Club TT Event ChampionMike Hornsby, put his fake claim of a wooden leg to good use

Mike Hornsby
“How much handicap did you get?”

Hill Climb Champion Jon Doyle, no sign of the iron lung he said he had to use to justify the amount of handicap he got

Jon Doyle
Jon receiving his Hill Climb Champion Award from Pete Matthews

Junior Hill Climb ChampionHenry Timewell, the future of cycling and, as Louis Walsh commented, “he reminds me of a young Marco Pantani”

Henry Timewell
Henry receiving his Junior Hill Climb Champion Award from Pete Matthews

Mike Walsh Memorial Club Spirit AwardMike Hurworth, for fantastic enthusiasm, determination and supporting all the other members, Mike was an easy choice for the award this year.

 

Mike Hurworth
Mike receiving the Mike Walsh Memorial NWV Club Spirit Award from Cath Walsh

Most of the awards were presented by our guest of honour Pete Matthews, who went on to give us a great speech about the history of the club and some of the colourful characters that were involved over the years.

The last award, the Mike Walsh Memorial Award, was presented by Mike’s sister Cath.  She gave a heartwarming speech about Mike’s time in the club and the tragic event when a careless driver took his life.  Mike was 19 at the time, and Cath marked the 30th anniversary of his death last year by riding 68 miles (as he was born in 1968).

 

After all the formalities were over, it was onto the long awaited, and much anticipated, world premier of “The History of the NWV – a Ride Through Time” the movie.  It looked like a simple thing to organise.  The room was kitted out with super 1990’s multimedia technology, what could possibly go wrong?  The short answer was “everything”.  After a lot of crying, 
spitting, swearing and crossing the white line by the creator of said film, it started to play.

However, just as the film was getting to the “good bit” another technical disaster and everything stopped.  Frustrated and angry, the restless crowd started brandishing pitch forks and burning torches, looking to hunt down and torture those responsible for this travesty.

Fortunately, negotiations for the film to be released online in the near future averted any rioting from the gathering. 

The night was then dedicated to dancing and Scott got down (as is tradition when he’s had a pint) to Jump Around by House of Pain (now are you wishing you went?)

So finally, onto the full version of the video, enjoy…

The NWV Movie

Two Weeks to Go!

Forget Christmas, ignore all the decorations going up everywhere, you can’t possibly think about it until after the next big event of the year.

 

The first (reformed) North Wirral Velo  Club Dinner and prize Presentation is just two weeks away!  It’s going to be a fantastic night of eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating the success of the club in the past year. The venue this year is The Manor in Greasby.

 

 

A guest speaker has been confirmed for the event, and the evening will also feature the world premier of “NWV – the Movie” (imagine the Hangover meets Dodgeball but with bikes).

 

So, if you fancy a great night of food and entertainment for just £25, email hello@nwvcycling.club for info on buying tickets*

 

Hope to see you there!

 

OB1

 

*Subject to availability, terms and conditions apply (see absolutely nowhere else for more details).  North Wirral Velo isn’t a trading name, it a cycling club. Not buying tickets could reduce the amount of fun you have before Christmas.  Drinks go down but can come back up.  Please drink responsibly. And dance responsibly if you have drunk responsibly, or dance like nobody is watching if you haven’t drunk responsibly. Please remember that if you’re not living on the edge, you take up too much room.

 

Onwards and Upwards

As the North Wirral Velo is officially into the start of it’s second year “back in the saddle”, tonight sees the Annual General Meeting being held at the Velo’s new club rooms in Pensby.

It is planned that the club will meet regularly over the winter months for various fun activities, plus turbo training, Zwifting, circuit training etc  We are also hoping to have some coaching sessions for our aspiring new racers, so that they can build on the success we have enjoyed this year.

 

The club hill climb champs is fast approaching in October, swiftly followed by a night of celebration, drinking and eating at the Annual Club Dinner.

 

The dinner takes place on Friday 16th November at the Manor in Greasby.  Tickets have sold well but we do have a few places left if you want to come and see us in our dancing pants instead of Lycra (unless your dancing pants are actually made of Lycra(don’t knock it until you have tried it)).   The dinner will also consist of a prize presentation for achievements through the year and be the official premier of “North Wirral Velo – the movie”, so lots to look forward to!

 

Hope to see you there and out on the road…

Ride safe

OB for the NWV

NWV Club TT Hailed as Great Success

The fast growing North Wirral Velo had their first club TT (this millennium) last Thursday evening.

Expertly organised by TT ace Dave Cuthill with time keeping superbly carried out by the club TT legend Robin Hennessy.

Many of the members who competed had never ridden a time trial before and the 8.2 mile 2 lap course was an excellent introduction to the art of riding against the clock.

Dave had used a complex system of levers and pulleys to work out a handicap time for all riders as to provide a level(ish) playing field.

The handicaps were based on an estimated average speed for each rider. There was a lot of “discussion” about the estimates submitted y some of the riders, leading to a deep analysis of everyone’s Strava accounts by Anthony Statto Denby who was determined to make sure he wasn’t disadvantaged by any skullduggery.

First off were TT virgins Mike Hornsby followed a minute later Mike Hurworth. Next off was meant to be Chris Skinner but he was unable to make due to [insert bogus excuse here]. So it was left to Ian “ooh my back” Lamb to start next.  Another DNS this time from Ant “Sorry lads” Doolan and so the big guns were rolled out in the form of Andy “Rapha Beard” Woodside. Another late DNS from Colin “can’t ride as I got my chemical preparation wrong” Parker. He should have been followed by Scott “so old it hurts” O’Brien but after an altercation on his train from work he was delayed and so was already “racing against the clock” to make it to the start.

Dr LaxSlacks negotiating the tricky downhill right hander after the start.

That left Anthony “Statto, stop looking at my mahoosive calves” Denby to ride down the virtual start ramp and into the fray. Then came Mark “hardened roadman ” Donaghy and Chris “Dr Laxslacks” Redhead.  All that was left now was the man on scratch, the mighty Dave “Aero” Cuthill in full TT mode, TT bike, aero helmet, skinsuit, the works.  He had generously applied an 1 minute 30 penalty against his time due to the 3 minute gain he would enjoy from being super aero.  But just as he was getting off his warm up turbo trainer, and his soigneur was giving him a final rub down, his doctor was injection him with his “asthma” meds and his Director Sportive was giving final instructions before jumping in the following car , a panting Scotty OB1 came in view to be given the final start position after big Dave.

Dave started his effort and Scott was left to be pushed off a minute later, wondering why he had signed up for such nonsense.  Clad in autumnal long sleeves and leg warmers, and very much unable to get on the “hooks” due to his immense belly, he lumbered off whistling his favourite tune of Jump Around by the House of Pain.

Unsurprisingly Dave was quickest overall with an incredibly fast average of almost 25 mph in the blustery conditions. The old master OB1 showed the younger guns a thing or two by getting the second fastest time, and indeed was the moral victor for being fastest on a normal road bike.

However, the race was a handicapped event and with an outstanding victory to the first man off Michael “economical with the truth about speeds” Hornsby, beating another Mike (and lets face we have bloody hundreds of them) Mike “cut me some slack as I’m old and semi retired aka now a semi professional cyclist” Hurworth.  Third was Scotty “lies like a flat fish” O’Brien to complete the podium places.  the full results below:

We approached the winner for an interview after the race but he refused to comment and directed us to contact him through his agent.

Mike telling us where to go after his victory

A great event enjoyed by all, trophies to be presented at the club dinner November 16th Well done to all that rode, the next event is the club hill climb in October.  Full details to follow.

 

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