By John Leitch
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2018 - 11:09

My, my, what a scorcher that was.

The younger riders got lucky and made the most of the shade offered by the large spreading tree that grows on the ground level of the Canon car-park because the older mob left us all the space we wanted as a result of Sean and Peter (coaches) and parents all hiving off for their second-ever venture into the wide world, namely the wide cycle track down to the Earlswood estate where escaped lions are a good incentive for improving sprinting speeds.

They all came back…. no-one got caught.

I’ve not coached the youngsters for a few months now, so the challenge was to try to dream up some new ideas that we’ve never done before.

To keep the parents on their toes, they got heavily involved, first off by forming pairs and holding hands to form a series of arches…. coming down the slope the riders went through the arch, on the return they regrouped (well that was the plan).

Previously when we were at Furzefield school, there were two lines of saplings that formed a similar arch, though in the spring I did have to dive in first with the pruning shears and trim some of the wayward branches.

Parents are much easier to manage.

I started off calling this ‘oranges and lemons’ but it morphed into a ‘tunnel of love’…. happily everyone rode in a line and none of the tree stumps (parents' legs that is) were damaged/hit/bruised/broken.

Next up, we set up all the bikes in a line and parents were asked to hold their rider ready to start the slow-fast race….. the slow part involves seconds counting down from 20 to zero and anyone reaching the ‘start line’ before that was eliminated… then a ‘fast race’ to the finish line.

And a modification of the idea resulted in the parents holding bikes as before, but with the riders lined behind them and running away from them, round a distant cone, then back to the bike…. jumping on and racing to a finish line. Once the handicapping was properly tuned it proved very exciting.

Final race for young group – youngest riders, handicap three laps.

1 Hanna Ball
2 Luke Trewinnard
3 Louisa Trewinnard

Final race for young group – older riders, handicap five laps.

1 Luke Trewinnard
2 Harry Plumadore
3 Henry Bromham

The first race didn’t take enough steam out of Luke’s legs, so he rocked up the start-line for the following race, set off first and was never caught though Harry ‘the king of fast cornering’ was hunting him down at a great rate of knots and it was a close thing.