By John Leitch
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 10:24

Wow, what a mass of riders, new riders and new parents, we had.

If we hadn’t recently moved from our old home, which was the confines of Furzefield School playground in Merstham, to the much more expansive car-park zone at Canon we’d have been in a right old crush.

We even have one regular parent now arriving extra early armed with his own armchair so as to book the ideal spot to settle in the sun for the best viewing.... perhaps we should start to charge.

And welcome, welcome, welcome….. I don’t know quite where to start.

Loadsof new faces, that’s a record for us.

Here we go then (by age if I can)

four: Logan Reynolds, Eddie Perelman, Aurelia Hydes, Teddy Partridge.

five: Alex Sheard, Leo Eggleton.

six: Evan Eggleton, Arthur Perelman, Edward Jacques, William Partridge.

seven: Markus Berger, Francesca Murray, Alexander Grantham.

eight: Henry Jacques.

nine: Dominic Jacques.

ten: Chris James.

That’s a total of 16.

Paul Wright got the heavy end of the log, coaching the youngsters on car-park Level 2, while I was down on Level 1… carrying the lighter end.

Here, we had the luxury of a couple of engines, namely older riders Jamie Pullen and Ben Elliot who were helping out.

The three riders immediately behind the engines were pulled to a halt as they were ‘black flagged’ while the rest rode away. Once the whistle blew the three had to sprint to catch up… the stronger they were as sprinters the longer they had to wait for their whistle.

Stop-box challenge

…. the number of seconds the riders could stay within the start and finish of the stop-box zone without putting a foot on the floor (so partway to being able to do what is known as a track stand) (the bigger the time the better).

16secs – Dominic Jacques

14secs – Joseph Armstrong

12secs – Alister Millar

9secs – Henry Jacques

9secs – Chris James

6secs – Ella Dabrowski

on a different planet – Alex Palmer.

The aim of the next exercise was to riders get used to making a difficult descent, so they dropped off the mountain top individually, with cones in place to make a slalom run rather than a straight line descent.

As an extra challenge, Joseph was invited to drop down the hill hard on the heels of Jamie Pullen, then Ella was invited to do the same with Ben Pullen… the idea being that if the rider in front can do it, you should have the nerve to do the same.

Final race – handicap, five laps.

1 Dominic Jacques

2 Alistair Millar

3 Ella Dabrowski

So far, we have always had five laps on the flat, but today was different and thanks to nagging (oops… suggestions) by Ella the finish line was moved to the very top of the hill, so four laps on the flat, then the fifth had a detour.

Joseph managed a spectacular crash which blew his chances of a win. Alistair’s own bike had a flat tyre so he was riding on a stand-in bike which wasn’t exactly a good fit…. and ahead of them all Dominic romped home clear winner. Well done everyone.


Sean Lamberth took a whole fistful of shots - they re on our Facebook page


Do please sign in…. as British Cycling calls on us to keep our house in order.

All in all then, a lovely day for Raiders….. it promises well for the future

Extra parents' training hour at next session - Sunday 8 October - 11am to 12noon

We want all parents who ride a bike to come an hour early, so 11am, when we'll be coaching a skills session especially for you. The offer also extends to employees at Canon, which is something of a thank-you for them letting us use the site.