By John Leitch
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 13:31

September has brought Raiders bouncing back to life, with a sunny Sunday generating quite a party atmosphere at Canon with parents stretched out on the grass enjoying the heat.

…. next news we’ll have an ice-cream vendor rocking up or sneaky bottles of prosecco being smuggled in by parents.

The coaching deal was for Paul Wright to take the tough nuts ( ie older riders) while I had the younger group up on the higher levels.

After a bit of endurance riding (five laps up and down the hill) we staged a slow race where the idea was to win by being the last to cross the line thanks to lots of braking, lots of good balancing and riding slowly in the lowest gear possible.

The minor problem with the theory is when a couple of riders get the wrong message, pedal off quite normally and most of the others blithely follow suit. We got there in the end though and had some good slow riding.

Next came some elimination races. The standard British Cycling format is what is called the ‘devil take the hindmost’ where the last to cross the finish line is eliminated, so we kicked off with that.

Then we moved on to my version which rewards the slower riders with more action as it is the winners who are eliminated each time. It has always worked well… until today.


A couple of crafty devils (no names but until now the fastest) realised that the way to stay in the races was to go slow…. so they did just that… and so (behind them) did everyone else…. resulting in the best-ever slow race we’ve had.

Final races – youngest group, younger individuals, two laps handicap

1 Billy
2 Eddie
3 Louisa

Final races – youngest group, older individuals, four laps handicap

1 Charlie
2 Arthur
3 Blake.