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Monday night

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Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:56 pm

Yester night in my chamber, Mistress Cottom asleep upon my side, I did awake sore troubled from a dream most queer and peculiar. I did find myself cast under the sign of a broken cross, as cheerless and bleak a situation as I could wish upon mine most accursed enemy. About me in the gloaming I did discern seven yeomen standing like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start. I did follow these noble fellows through wood and dale as on and on they rode for nigh on 30 miles, as if the Hound of Hades himself were unleashed from his terrible station and pursued them through the night. These men of parts were, I learned, Master Jack Stevenson, Lord James Russell, a poor creature they called Bird, a sinister cleric attired in black known as The Dean, Master Thomas Richards, Master Eccles Cake and Sir Colin Yates. The darkness reclaimed these spectres as we ascended a last and most terrible mountain and, spent, I fell upon the ground and sleep reclaimed my soul. At dawn I did find the curious figures 17.8 and 17.7 inscribed within my diary. Should I be visited again by these most troublesome apparitions, I pledge to enter in this journal any more numbers that my unbidden hand may record, that scholars yet unborn may one day uncover their meaning.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Buxton Bleat » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:57 pm

Made me laugh!
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Re: Monday night

Postby Brain » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:44 pm

Most literate Sir.
I wait in trepidation for the next saga,
May I suggest "circuit of the Edge" ?
Alan Garner, watch out!
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Re: Monday night

Postby stej » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:48 pm

I would like to remind all attendees of the one simple rule that needs to be followed:
MOVE LEFT AND IMMEDIATELY REDUCE YOUR SPEED.

The phrases 'chain gang' and 'through & off' have recently become ubiquitous catch-alls where as, in reality, they are well defined, group training techniques (ref: Dr. E R Burke, USCF, 1986 et al). Fundamentally, the ride consists of two lines: the working line (usually on the outside on our rides) and the none working line (usually the inside). You can research the philosophy, the variation of effort within the cycle, etc. for yourself but the key to a successful and structured regime is as follows:

as soon as you move off the working line to the none working line, you reduce your speed

This means that you ALLOW the next rider to drop in in front of you. You do not force him to come around you. Simply, you move left and you come off the gas - move 'THROUGH and OFF the gas' or 'THROUGH and get OFF the front'. (If the next rider is still finding it difficult to pass, then it is the role, as the head of the none working line, to slow that line down, thus ensuring a smooth rotation of the chain).

Positives
No one gets dropped.
As the chain is more efficient, it goes faster and the endurance capacity if each individual is increased.
There is no reduction in training effort. (Do I really need to explain this as it is self evident)
No single rider can dictate the pace nor prevent the chain from rotating, it becomes less selfish.
There is no incremental wind up of speed.
It removes aggressive riding which promotes a more 'enjoyable' ride.
It does not deter new or off-form riders.
This is the approach that all previous leaders of this run have tried to sustain - NB leaders have stepped down due to difficulties experienced in trying to maintain this approach.
It has been proven (even on our own rides) that this is the only truly workable approach.
All riders can observe this key, front left position and ensure better policing of poor riding.

The other side of the coin...........
The other approach often adopted - keeping the power on when leading the inside line and forcing the outside rider to move around - is clearly aggressive. This is a bastardisation of the training ride and is often employed in road racing as it exploits other competitors. The method means that you can not only dictate the pace and the time for which you sustain your effort but your competitor has to put in more effort to come around you. The aim is to 'work someone over'. It is currently used, rightly or wrongly, on the Wednesday/Thursday "faster training ride". Working someone over is not the approach Barry Hyde wanted when he set up this steady, intermediate, Monday chain gang.

One final point, just in case anyone feels that they are having 'their' Monday ride ruined by this approach. Consider this, a rider sits on the front of the inside line powering away - putting his effort, giving them self a right good work out. The rider on the right isn't as strong as his counterpart so he's red-lining just to keep up (never mind the fact that he would have to ride faster than this other rider to go around and that the speed of the chain would increase, unsustainably, with each change-over). In summary, the rider on the left is sat out in the wind at, say, 100% effort; the rider on the right is at 105% (over committing and will blow in a few more rotations). Here's the thing though, as well as exploiting one weak rider, the riders sat behind in the outside line, out of the wind, are at 60% effort. When can they move forward, when can they get their training? Only when the 'big I am' decides to come off the front (be it 20 seconds, 1 minute, 10 minutes, all night) or, worse, when that weaker rider has been blown out and isn't in front of them on the next lap. This clearly shows how selfish this method is and why the defined approach is the only one that actually works. By allowing the rider to drop in, this dictation is removed.

The proper method will be reinstated on Monday nights and it is up to everyone to both use it and to point it out to anyone who thinks that it does not apply to them. Whatever your fitness level, please point this out as it not just your ride being ruined but everyone elses. Please don't leave this to one or two others to point out as this leads to animosity. It only takes one rider to ride selfishly and the whole ride disintegrates. If you do not feel that this format is suitable for you then please do not attend. This is a club ride, aimed at all intermediate and faster level riders and, if executed correctly, will benefit all those that attend.

As our Chairman said last year, reclaim your training ride.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Mike Roberts » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:50 pm

Excellently explained article, Stej.

However, I believe a more concise summary of the essential bullet points would be read by more people...

I was once accused at work by a younger member of staff of hiding my diamonds in a pile of cow dung! At the time I was deeply offended and reacted rudely to him, but later it did make me try to lean towards brevity thereafter.

Whilst Chris's epistles on the topic of Thursday nights exploits attract, I am certain, many regular readers, this largely I feel is because they're amusing rather than educational!

There are many poignant statements in your submission. But could it be put more succinctly and become an article under 'etiquette' within iFools Nook?
MBobs

AKA Mr Grub Street - whatever that implies!
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Re: Monday night

Postby Mickoc » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:03 pm

Oh Dear. Has the article that Stevj posted mean that the Monday night ride is fragmenting!!!

I rode most Monday nights through the summer months and found them overall to be well organised.

Might be your club captain might have to attend a few Monday night rides and have a few choice words :twisted: with the perbatrators.

Chris/Moray this is your ride do not let it be hijacked by faster riders.

Here endeth the lesson.

El Capitano :roll:
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Don’t worry Captain. I am pleased to report from the road that this ride remains highly disciplined and could not be described as fragmenting. Mondays can therefore remain a sofa or turbo evening for you after the ‘hard man’ rigours of your Sunday excursions.

The Monday training ride has operated as a self-directed team since Moray stepped down in March 2009 after more circuits than he could count and I reckon it’s generally working very well. But I expect all rides see occasional tension between faster and slower riders, between those with lots of training rides under their jerseys and those who are newer. So, in a naked bid for power that my old chum Marshal Tito would be proud of, I would like to appoint myself as Ride Leader, Monday training ride, Macclesfield Wheelers Cycling Club, another step in my transformation from novice Wheeler (2005) to elder statesman amongst cycling’s power elite (date to be confirmed). This would of course be subject to ratification by The Committee, peer group, riders, my probation officer, oh what a giveaway, the European Court of Human Rights, etc.

Right, assuming there is no dissent, I want to see all riders ready for inspection standing smartly to attention (I think a left to right line of descending height order would give the best impression to a watching world) in the car park no later than 6.55pm next Monday with bikes cleaned and lubed, batteries charged, jerseys laundered and deodorant applied (it’s always summer in the armpits). Oh and no talking.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Just two of us last night: Colin Y and me. Did first circuit, then my companion (lighter and more alert to the nuances of the road than me) could tell that the surface was icing up so we followed the gritters' route along Forty Acre Lane to Twemlow Green, out to the A50, back through Goostrey, across the A535 again and back to Base Camp, my back wheel spinning as I stood out of the saddle on Pexhill. 28.4 miles at an average of 15.8 mph, toes frozen. Loved it, really.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:16 pm

Despite the balmy temperature promised this evening by the Met Office (in contrast to this morning when an overturned car closed an icy Wrigley Lane), I shall not be joining tonight’s ride. This is because Carlo, my personal trainer, has designated today as a rest day after my Mere Century yesterday in the delightful company of MBobs, Becky B and Annick.

Students of form will not be surprised to learn that I have invested a not inconsiderable four figure sum in Carlo’s services with a bespoke three-week programme guaranteed to peak on the morning of 17 February, when all self-respecting team scouts will be watching the Circuit of the Edge. Carlo himself will, however, not be able to see me triumph as, regrettably, he must fly out that very morning to attend the funeral of a cousin in Palermo (it seems that they were like brothers).

By way of compensation he has therefore secured a bag of special gels (several hundred Euros but the kind man is letting me have them at cost price). He promises that all I have to do is to tape the bag above my bed and consume one each hour through the night of Saturday (apparently they taste just like Haribo Sour Cherries Gummy Fizzy Fruit Flavoured Retro Gluten Free Party Sweets). The next day, Carlo assures me, I shall see the results. Victory on the Col du Woodbrook will surely be mine.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Birdy 1403 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:05 am

Well, after all the snow and ice thought that many more would have joined James, Colin and myself, for what was a dry ride and despite the wind we managed a respectable 17.1 mph back to Siddington and 17.0mph to top of pexhill.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:17 pm

A highly disciplined ride last night with all riders following the same wheel for the whole period of through and off (from, and back to, Siddington Crossroads). Colin Y, Steve J, Nigel, Jim, Moray, Andy J and me. We were delighted to be joined by a real live badger running along the road in front of us just at the top of Hill Two. Average speed 17.0 mph back to Siddington X (men not badger), 17.1 to top (yes, really, must have been the wind, that held us to 16.2 going down Pexhill, giving us a welcome assist back up).

Great ride, although I had to peer over the top of my glasses for most of it thanks to the rain.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:46 am

And of course, how could I have neglected to mention our dear friend Brian E, whose yellow tights acted as a beacon in the murk? It must have been my euphoria at badger spotting.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:33 pm

Now that the club coffers in Halsey House must be groaning under the weight of fresh membership subscriptions, I shall be petitioning that shadowy band of overlords known as The Committee for 12 race radios.

These would, for example, help us tell any riders waiting for us at Siddington Crossroads (say Richard T) to tell them that A Rider (say Colin Y) had punctured (say twice on Pex H) and that they may wish to wait rather than assume they had missed us and set out solo until swallowed up by the peleton on lap one. I can guarantee The Committee that investing just a measly few thousand pounds in this way will deliver a 0.1 mph increase in average speed (training ride, Monday Department), which I’m sure it will agree is a modest price to pay.

Last night’s Baker’s Dozen recording average speeds of 17.6 and 17.3 mph also included Steve J, Macca, Brian E, Andy J, Nigel, Jim, Chris Higgs (complete with laser lighting), Warren, Comrade Macnee and me.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:21 am

er you mean Haley House not Halsey House you twit. :oops:
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:53 pm

A Doctor Writes

Dr Crank writes exclusively for the Forum

Just lately I’ve been getting a lot of enquiries from people worried whether their partners may have Too Much Cycling. Typical is this emotional letter from Troubled of Tytherington:

Dear Dr Crank
I’m worried about my husband, Angelo. Just lately he’s been saying strange things like “I’m nipping out for a pint” or “I’m just going to put the cat out”. I wouldn’t mind, but he doesn’t drink, he knows very well we don’t have a cat and he comes home exhausted after a couple of hours, often spattered with mud from head to toe. Last night he was mumbling incoherently about 17.4, 17.1, Richard T, Chris, Nigel, Jim, James, Colin and Warren. Doctor, is this serious?


I’m afraid that cases like Mrs Troubled’s poor husband are very sad indeed. It’s clear that ‘Angelo’ (the name has been changed to prevent additional distress) is suffering the advanced stages of ‘Delerium Downtubitis’, or Not Enough Cycling as it’s more commonly known. The only known cure is to make sure that he has no more than two evenings rest before riding again. I prescribe a stiff dose of the new slower training ride organised by the Macclesfield Wheelers Cycling Club. Ten years of that every Thursday and Mrs Troubled should have a new husband.

Dr Crank’s column is sponsored by wesellwheelsandtyres.com in association with Cheshire East Highways Department.
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