By John Leitch
Posted: Saturday, November 4, 2017 - 09:55

Another busy session as the cannonballs came racking up for a bubbling Canon-fest....

.... and with a good smattering of new names….. Rory Doyle (age 6) followed by Ben Stevens (5) and his older sister Isabelle (7). Also Ava and Harry Francis (4)…. welcome to you all.

Sean Lamberth was coaching the older riders (see his report in red below) and I had the younger group. We had an offer to help us from Derek Poole who lives locally.

Derek is a Level 2 British Cycling coach and you might have seen him already in school time as he delivers school Bikeability sessions during the week.

When I found myself ‘bursting at the seams’ Derek was there to take half the youngsters on board at the drop of the hat… so thanks for that.

I’ll copy the report from Sean (in red) and then return to our activities after that.

I took the session today for the older group of riders. The plan was to train for a road version of a one on one cycle pursuit race.

We talked and practiced a number of racing factors in the hope of gaining valuable seconds. This included:-

Starting position
Correct gear choice
Racing line
Bend entry speed
Bend apex
And exiting the bend.

After a number of practice drills and laps we then took individual laps against the clock to organise heats for the final pursuit races.

1 Harry 17:54
2 Henry 17:72
3 MacKenzie 17:88
4 Dominic. 18:04
5 Oliver. 18:20
6 Ella. 18:95
7 Lakshin. 19:04
8 Joseph. (Crashed and retired)

After Joseph crash Ella decided to race twice.

Lakshin vs. Ella Ella wins
Ella vs. Oliver. Ella wins
Mackenzie vs. Dominic Mackenzie wins
Harry vs. Henry. Judges decide Harry wins. Photo finish

The standard of riding was great.... many many thanks also to Jamie and Ben

Everyone in the younger group had a go at the ‘roundhouse’ exercise where the challenging part of the little circuit is when riders enter a circle through a ‘green door’ and come out by way of a ‘blue door’ and while inside they do a complete circle round a ring of cones.

That means an overlap between riders just entering and those further ahead who are already looking to exit… which in turn means a lot of concentration to avoid crashing.

Each side of the doorways was marked by a parent, two dads for riders coming in and two mums for riders exiting….. they were actually there as buffers in case of impact (but don’t let them know that).

We progressed from doing the circuit in groups of four (first) to groups of six (by the end).

For riders so young you all did remarkably well.

Later on we did a ‘musical chairs’ type exercise. First pairs of riders had to shoot off and do a lap when their number was called, the winner getting back to touch their cone first. Once everyone was in the mood, we started eliminating the cones one by one, always with one less than the number of riders…. like party-time on a bike.

Final race – younger group, younger half – handicap, five short laps.

1 Poppy Bishop

2 Logan Reynolds

3 Arthur Perelman

Poppy is always flying and I thought she was the only one from the main/larger/second group to get across to William Loader who set off in the first group who was riding strongly… I think perhaps I need new glasses.

Final race – younger group, older half – scratch race, six longer laps.

1 Harry Adshead

2 Luke

3 Alexander Fraser

Sorry about no second name for Luke as I don’t seem to have a Luke on the signing-on form. I should add that there was a good ride by Isabelle Stevens who had the front three in her sights throughout the race and if it had been a lap or two longer she would have caught up with Luke and Alexander as the gap to them was closing all the time.