Sunday, 27 March 2022

Weekend of 26th & 27th March 2022 - Off Site Hill Climb Champs, MTB racing, Track Training & BMX Pump Track Practise!

 As the weather improves and we all start to feel much more motivated about riding our bikes outside, it proved a busy weekend for the KVK & KVY as they took on at least three cycling disciplines between them over the weekend!

In Hildenborough we met at Westwood and headed up the Col de Coldharbour for a couple of hill climb TT's. I rode with the older group and I have to say that some of them had limited enthusiasm for the uphill sections, but plenty of it for the downhill!

Jess gave Oli a good run for his money finishing just behind him on both climbs. Alfie suffered a mechanical on the second climb but hung onto his position. Zach put in a decent effort on both climbs, Fin made it up them but definitely enjoyed the downhill more!

Our younger riders gave it their all with a close fought battle between the three young riders.

Toby put in a strong performance on both climbs, Sam and George had a tussle with one win each and finished joint 2nd

We dodged horses, dog walkers and even some road kill but all made it back in one piece, the only casualty being Gavin's derailleur.

Round 1 Southern MTB series. Very dry and hilly course near Winchester. Betsy 2nd (and three crashes ouch) Albert 11th - Great start to the series

Sunday saw team Hacker heading off for some more mountain bike racing (this time near Winchester). The Thwaites seem to have taken up BMXing and were checking out one of the East Kent pump tracks. Meanwhile back in East London, Harry was getting some track time in at the velodrome.

Great to see and hear about all the bike riding our members are getting up to!

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Weekend of 19th & 20th March Go Ride at Stocks Green & Goric Moutain Bike Racing


Today's session focussed on mounting and dismounting. We started with a warm up that involved mastering or improving on scooting technique before moving onto practice various versions of getting on and off the bike.

This was incorporated into the endurance block and again at the end of the session which we finished with an elimination limbo contest.


Betsy raced at Round 2 of the Goric MTB series on Sunday. Dry conditions and a super long lap obviously suited her racing style as she won the U13s race. Congratulations Betsy!

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Saturday 12th March - Go Ride at Stocks Green School & Newport Youth Track Omnium

 Following on from last week's ride out, and ahead of our Hill Climb Challenge in two week's time, we focussed on using gears this week.

After a quick warm up of Sardines, we spent a few minutes looking at the different kinds of levers used to change gear as well as cassettes, derailleurs, cables and chain rings.  Alfie won the prize for best grasp of cycling vocabulary; unfortunately for him the prize was just a pat on the back!

We spent a fair bit of time doing sprint heats, where all the riders started in their easiest gear. The winning rider in each heat stayed in the same gear, whilst all the other riders moved up into a harder gear.

The actual results from this activity are often quite confusing; it certainly highlights the different strengths and weaknesses of each of the riders. By the time riders were in their hardest gear we gave them a held start, which was a new experience for some of them. It was good to see our older riders helping out by acting as holders for the younger riders.

By dictating the gear selection riders get to use gears that they wouldn't always naturally select and the rider who wins each sprint varies a bit more than it would if they got to choose their own gear.  All in all a good activity to highlight to riders that they have more than one gear and they can benefit from using them!

Final endurance block linked the two twisty sections at either end of the site. Riders needed to use their low gears in the technical bits and we encouraged them to 'gear up' on the back straight. Coach Gavin confirmed that he heard lots of gears crunching on that section (maybe we will have to work on smooth gear changes next week...)

It was a fun session, riders worked really hard and used their gears well. We were so busy we didn't even have time to crack open the Custard Creams until the end of the session!

Meanwhile, Kent Velo Youth rider Harry was competing in Newport at the 2022 Youth Track Omnium Series. Harry got off to a good start with a win in the sprint event. There are five rounds in total ahead of the National Final, we'll be watching his progress and wish him good luck with the next Round at Herne Hill(?) after Easter

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Saturday 5th March - Ride Out - Col de Coldharbour

 Brrrrrrrrrrr........another super chilly morning, damp and slightly drizzly but that didn't put our hard core riders off!

There was already some action at the pump track in Westwood when I arrived, a great little warm up for our ride.  We split into two groups; Chris and Norman headed off with with Zach, Fin, Tom & Iris, oh and Andrew too.  Hannah and I set off with Theo, Jacob, Toby, Hughie & Hector, plus a couple of Dads (Jacob & Theos').

The big ones, disappeared and we rode steadily up the lane, making it all the way to The White House without stopping. Great group riding, before we hit the bridlepath, muddy, muddy, muddy!

Up and out and through the woods; the fallen trees that were blocking the path earlier in the week, had been cleared, so no need to carry bikes or duck under trees. So less challenging than I'd anticipated but the rain we've had all week had made the bumpy field even muddier and very squidgy. Everyone made it down, through the gate and back across the field, without taking a muddy bath.

Toby opted for a walk around
Then for the slog back up Horns Lodge Lane before the descent down Coldharbour Lane. Fin, Zach and Iris & Chris overtook us on the way down; all was revealed when we got back to Westwood.  Andrew & Tom left early and Norman had a tubeless puncture, so his ride turned into more of a ride/run/walk session.

Once again, great riding from everyone; touch conditions, cold and muddy but still plenty of smiles!

Next week we are back on site at Stocks Green School, see you then!

Hughie was a walker too...

Hughie was the first to ride through

Followed by Hannah



Fin AKA Mud Monster :-)

Friday, 25 February 2022

Go Ride at Stocks Green Saturday 25th February

 Another simple Go Ride session to get everyone back in the saddle. Short & sweet with minimal equipment but very enthusiastic coaches all fully equipped with whistles 😆.

We kicked off with some more Whistle Stop drills but incorporated the leaning technique that we tried out last week.  Then it was into two groups to continue work on group riding. Chris, Hannah & Jez worked with the older riders;two loose groups rolling round and sprinting from one to the other, then some Peel The Banana and Thread The Needle. Good controlled riding from everyone. Andrew & Gavin worked with the younger riders, focussing a bit more on the basics of good cornering, pedalling and speed control, before working on group riding too.

We all took a quick break and re-fuelled on Custard Creams before moving onto our Endurance Block.  Using the team time trial grouping that we introduced last week, riders had to complete the loop, keeping their group to together and regularly switching position within the group.  To make it a little harder, we added a baton (a water bottle or teddy) that had to travel within the group too; ideally from the back rider to the front rider but some of the groups interpreted this a little differently!

To finish the session, each group ditched their baton and completed a lap of the course flat out.

A great session and all packed up and put away before the rain set in!

Next Week: Off Site Ride to Col de Coldharbour, booking as usual via RiderHQ

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Go Ride at Stocks Green 19/02/22

The sun shone down on us for our first Go Ride session of 2022. After storm Eunice the first thing to do was clear the worst of the branches and sticks that were scattered across the playground. This proved to be an excellent warm up activity :-).

Once all the riders had arrived we kicked off with a quick game of Whistle Stop, ending in a head to head elimination stand off between Tom & Oliver. Oliver maintained his crown, although Tom gave him a good run for his money.

Moving swiftly on we headed back the main playground and got to work on some group riding drills. With riders ranging in age from seven to thirteen, I was impressed that we managed to get everyone riding close and in contact in a variety of pairs and groups.  We progressed onto two groups of six riders peeling off the front of each group and dropping to the back.  We finished off with the older riders riding hand on shoulder six abreast down the playground. Excellent work by all.

For our endurance block we formed groups of three riders and practised riding in team time trial formation. With riders of different speeds and abilities it's a hard ask to keep your group riding smoothly together but everyone managed it really well. With one lap to go we rang the bell and gave everyone a chance to push themselves hard before the end of the block.

A great start to this year's Go Ride.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

BMX Try It at Cyclopark 29th January 2022

We had SOOOOOOOO much fun at BMX with Coach Jimmy. Can't wait to do it again..........