By John Leitch
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 19:49

Well the rain did nothing to dampen our spirits yesterday….. off went three groups of Bandits into the badlands beyond Denbies (that noisy wagon train accounted for 12 of the older riders) while another 24 logged in to take part in the 12noon session within the confines of Ashcombe School.

Thanks to all for coming, especially the new faces. I reckon there were about six with us for the first time, so a big welcome to you all.

New coach Tom Griffiths was at the lower end with the youngest youngsters, leaving me working on the upper patch with those able to kick up more dust (though there was precious little of that today).

The exercise that went least well was the scooting. A line of riders scooted their way forwards with one foot on a lowered pedal, the other dabbing on the ground. Good progress…. but something with more to work on.

It’s the first phase in getting onto a moving bike, should anyone wonder what was the point of it all.

We did a fast race but quickly switched to a slow race because riders were in danger of punching their way through the netting at the far end.

Riders were eliminated if they put their foot on the ground. As it was all slightly downhill, those who worked out that using their brakes was a help were always closer to winning than the rest.

Dividing everyone into two groups, positioned half a lap apart, with one pack tagged as dogs (Hannah’s choice of animal) and the other pack as wolves (this being Alex's choice) the idea was to ride fast enough to catch the group in front.... or avoid being caught from behind by sustaining a whizzy pace.

It all became one merry blur and since no-one seemed to care (or tire) we just kept on and on.

Final race – older riders, group A, handicap six laps.

1 Emily
2 Reuben
3 Oscar

Final race – older riders, group B, handicap six laps.

1 Alex
2 name missing - help!!
3 William

The last two laps were exciting as William set off last and worked his way through the field…. in a last gasp push for the line he caught one but not the other.