Pedal Your Cycle - Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - SPRING ISSUE 01
Pedal Your Cycle newspaper, issue 1 for Oxfordshire and the Chilterns.
WorldBikeGirlChristineP.4 P.15 P.8 P.6Power To Your PedalFrancecoast to coastMemorial RidePedal Your CycleOxfOrdshire & The ChilTernsspring 2015Issue 01www.pedalyOurCyCle.CO.ukThe Free cyclists paper for oxfordshire & the chilternsIm FreeFollow Dawn and Steve across France as they embark on a cycling adventureIntervIew wIthWe chat with the American downhill pro.Some people had said theyd ridden it in one go and that theyd never do it again. A few people said they had done it in 3 days and that was hard.Aston HillOn a very murky and cool morning, I met up with Ian Warby and several of his youth development team doing a session at the Aston Hill Bike Park, just a mile outside Wendover. Aston Hill is one of the best mountain biking areas in England and sits on the side of one of the steeper sections of the Chilterns. The Chilterns are a mix of chalk and clay, which together with plenty of tree roots makes for an interesting and slippery surface to bike on, especially in the winter!Ian has been a part of the mtb scene most of his life starting on bmx bikes with his school friends. Mountain bike racing was just taking off and he found he was quite good at it and was sponsored by local bike shop Mountain High as a junior. He raced through to Elite level with much of his craft learnt in Wendover Woods. The first local race took place in the woods around Wendover but the need for public access required a dedicated site and the development of Aston Hill started. His father helped create the first mtb loop in Aston Hill in 1993 and Ian started work with the Forestry Commission in 1997 building more trails, setting up a club and taking out a lease for the site. In 2000 Ian went full time running Aston Hill. He did that through to 2006 when he joined CTC as their Senior Mountain Biking Development Officer offering advice to others on how to start and develop their MTB plans. Continued on Page 3 >Kieran LindarsP.10IntervIew wIth trIathleteP.7we IntervIew CHRis PARKs SpIrIt BIkeSP.17rIdeS aBingdon To oxFordA ride with options to bring you into oxfordCYCLing CLub CoLuMnTHe PHoenix TRAiLCHiLTeRn soCieTY CYCLing gRouPP.2P.6P.21P.23CowLeY RoAd CondoRsJohny Ringo2 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleWelcomepedal Your Cycle is part of peloton Marketing Services. pelotonmarketingservices.co.ukdesigned by lakewood media limited www.lakewoodmedia.ukBM Box 4523, london. wC1n 3XX. Registered in England & Wales 831 4554ChRis PalmEROxford Edition Editor-in-ChiefJamiE BoothManaging Directoradam haWoRth Managing EditorJEni hughEs News & Copy EditornEil ColEman Advertising & Sales DirectorChaRlEs JaRRoldNon-executive directorwww.pedalyourcycle.co.ukfacebook.com/pedalyourcycle email@example.comConTACT usFoLLow usAdveRTisinghello@pedalyourcycle.co.ukPedal Your Cycle is the UKs only free newspaper for cyclists. With articles for all levels of riders, from professional cyclists to parents looking for a route suitable for the whole family, our aim is to create a newspaper and hub for all who love cycling.In each issue you will find local news, trails and events along with reviews and cycling adventures. Discover cyclists from all over the world in our interviews and check out the centre map to find trusted local places along your cycling route.We hope you enjoy your copy of Pedal Your Cycle as much as we enjoy making it.Missed something in the newspaper? Check out our website www.pedalyourcycle.co.uk for all the latest cycling news and videos.pedalyourcycle.co.uk/advertisingClub ColumnCTC Wallingford1st Sunday of the month2 Star road ride gentle pace. Suitable for regular riders who pre-fer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace.Average speed: 1012 mphDistance: 2030 milesStart time: 1.30 pmStart location: wallingford Market placeRide time: approx 3 hours including a tea stop3rd Sunday of the month3 Star road ride quicker pace. Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination!Average speed: 1214 mphDistance: 3040 milesStart time: 1.30 pmStart location: wallingford Market placeRide time: approx 3.5 hours including a tea stopFor more detailed information on rides in the next month visit www.ctcwallingford.org.ukCowley Road CondorsUpcoming Events in 2015 new member ride / come and try the club for size one a month until May Silverstone ttt Friday 19th June 2015 Oxfordshire road race league (Orrl) 7 rounds May > July 2015 Bike Oxford Sunday 13th September (training rides for non-members, people who have entered Bike Oxford are run by the club from June onwards). Spinning Classes run all winter (October > March) Maintenance classes (partnering with Beeline Bikes) January > april new member meeting april aGM October regular coaching sessions and presentations on training and dietary advice by a local cycle coaching company. winter months regular socials and pub trips all year round Club weekend excursions. destinations include wales, Sheffield, and Belgiuman excursion happens every Spring/Summer.Rides rides (including the famous Screamer ride) are tailored for all abilities / distances every tuesday and thursday (6.15 meet at ricks Caf, Cowley for a 6.30 departure) these occur all year round. every weekend Members usually post ideas for rides on Face-book. women-only rides (occur more frequently around competition time). training rides for the race teams are also held around competi-tion time.For the latest details go to www.cowleyroadcondors.ccBicester Millennium Cycle Clubevery month we have twO types of Introductory ride for you to try. Meet the club, have fun, get fit. Shorter taster ride - 30 miles @ 10-12mph (Cafe Stop at 16 miles)9:30am on the 4th Saturday of each month.2015 dateS: 28th March, 25th april, 23rd May, 27th June, 25th July, 22nd august, 26th September, 24th October, 28th novem-ber 2015.longer taster plus ride - 40 miles @ 12-14mph (Cafe Stop at 26 miles)9:00am on the 2nd Saturday of each month2015 dateS : 14th March, 11th april, 9th May, 13th June, 11th July, 8th august,12th September, 10th October, 14th november, 12th december 2015.Club night - wendlebury village hall - 7pm thursday 5th March 2015Film night - a Sunday in hell - 1976 paris-roubaix - Merckx/dev-laeminck/MoserFamily, friends and new members always welcome.CtC social rides to start in april.we are pleased to support the CtC in organising a monthly Bicester Social rideBicester leisure Centre - 10am Sunday 19th april 2015 @ 8-10mphBMCC 9up team time trial - Silverstone Gp circuit, Friday 19th June 2015For latest information go to: www.bmcc2000.comif you would like your clubs events included on this page please email the editor firstname.lastname@example.orgEditors Welcome The first Oxfordshire & the Chilterns editionAs I write this at the end of February, hope springs eternal having just been out for a ride on a sunny day in 13C. However dedicated we are to cycling over the winter there is always a sense of relief when warm rides are just around the corner.So the launch of our first edition of Pedal Your Cycle in Oxfordshire and the Chilterns could not be more timely as some of the first local cycling events are within touch: the Chiltern Challenge in March and the Abingdon Cycling Festival in April.The last 2 months have been a wonderful journey of discovery for all at PYC as we have expanded out of Herefordshire, Wales and the West Midlands, where we have been publishing for the last 6 months, into new territory. I think we all know cycling is still growing in popularity but hearing how the Cowley Road Condor CC has doubled in size the last year and Berhamsted CC has gone from a standing start to 200 members since October 2014 makes you sit up to just how many people are getting involved in cycling. T h e r e is much to celebrate and talk about and our aim at PYC is to help you get the best from your local cycling world. We will be bringing you profiles on local clubs and what makes each unique, local events you can join in with, we will get to know local talented individuals, suggest cycle rides for all levels, holiday ideas, the mtb scene, how to support charities, and safety matters. If its on 2 wheels and its local we will let you know about it!So please let us know of your stories, events, opinions and campaigns and we will do our best to inform our cycling community.Theres much more on our website too, so take a look.We hope Pedal Your Cycle is both enjoyable and useful and look forward to getting to know you better in the months to come.Be safe and have fun.Chris PalmerAbingdon Cycle Festival has been growing steadily for the past five years. This year the organisers hope the festival will be bigger and better than ever with over 600 people expected to attend the event held in the town centre. Project Manager, Mark Utting, reckons that the growth of the event indicates the strength of a developing culture of cycling in the town. Abingdon now has several well-attended cycling related clubs and I hope that this free event will encourage scores of new riders on their bikes.Visitors to Abingdons Cycle Festival on Sunday 19th April 2015 can expect a fun-filled day of live music, great food, and organised rides through the stunning Oxfordshire countryside.sunday 19th April 2015 is the date set for Abingdons sixth annual Cycle Festival.events include: Led rides for everyone*, from 4 to 50 miles Road rides for family, novice and seasoned riders Mountain bike rides Come and show off your retro bike! borrow a bike for free** Cakes, bikes, live bands, food and bar Tri-Power spinning Challenge - come and ave a go if you think youre fit enough!*all under 16s must be accompanied by an adult on all rides**free bikes subject to availability, deposit requiredFor more information visit www.facebook.com/cycleabingdonaBingdons sixth annual cycle FestivalDid you know you can subscribe?never miss a copy of Pedal Your Cycle againReceive a digital and print copy the second each issue is released.You can choose between a print copy that is sent straight to your home address or a digital copy.go to: www.pedalyourcycle.co.uk/subscribe3www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleAston HillContinued from coverIan has now been coaching on Aston Hill for 17yrs and having left CTC in 2014 has started up a new Mountain Bike Consultancy called B1KE (pronounced Bike). He runs Mountain Bike Skills Courses on Aston Hill for riders from first timers, to juniors, to elite world-class racers. One of the Elite Downhillers he coaches is Josh Lowe who recently signed for the Solid Bikes World Cup Racing Team. Other local riders that have become successful include Suzanne Lacey, Al Warrell and Phil Atwill. His relaxed manner is a natural to coaching younger riders and his talent for remembering what each rider needed to develop was notable.The Hill is now run by the Aston Hill Club and is very much a club set up, with all the course work and event organisation being run by volunteers. Gary Dudley and Mark Harris are good examples; they manage the club and help run the events, the social side and the team. Mark helped out in the early days when Ian first started the Hill, at dig days etc. Mark runs Lovelo Cycle Works and is co-founder with Al Warrels father Tim and talked to us about the challenges facing the Club in maintaining the Hill. Aston Hill is very popular which in itself requires a lot of work to maintain the various tracks and runs. For example, it took some 3 years to accrue the funds to build Surface to Air the Hills first all-weather track. Sponsorship is certainly something that could help the Club manage things more easily and speed up development, and we would welcome the opportunity to talk to potential sponsors.Aston Hill may not have the longest runs in the world but it more than makes up for it with some steep and technical descents as well as easier runs and is one of the only mountain biking venues offering a flavour of alpine riding in the South East. The Hill features 5 downhill runs with names like Ricochet and Root Canal, both sounding like they have potential for plenty of adrenaline! There are also a Cross Country Loop, with an overall length of 5 miles, and a 4X track. The goal being to maintain a heady mix of old-school natural technicality as well as more contemporary flow-based riding and of course, challenge riders of any skill level. The Aston Hill committee host a downhill race twice a year, which often include a regional championship. It is grassroots racing at its very best, and events regularly sell out. Racing also plays a key role in a fundamental aim of the Hill: to draw and develop local talent. The Aston Hill race team is an example of this, and there are many racers on UK podiums that cut their teeth on Aston Hills chalky slopes via the DeVo programme, and support from the Aston Hill community. But its not all about winning races; ultimately, its about having fun and being outside riding bikes. Quite simply, Aston Hill is a venue where riders of all ages and abilities are welcome.Over the next five years, they plan to re-route and extend the cross-country trail, add to existing downhill tracks and introduce progressive jump and drop sections into the existing trail network. In addition, they aim to introduce a double-black grade line and build a skills area to complement the new pumptrack.There is parking for around 60 cars on site and caf facilities in Wendover Woods a short ride away. Use of the hill is 6 and can be purchased in advance from www.rideastonhill.co.uk or on the day in the car park from the Forestry Commission Rangers for 7.More details atwww.rideastonhill.co.ukwww.b1ke.com Photography by Peter Ford- Pinkbike4Why do you use the name Johny Ringo on Facebook?Long funny story, but it all started when I was watching the movie Tombstone one night. Anyways, Johny Ringo is the deadliest pistoleer in the Old West. Watch out for him! Ha ha.Its my nickname at races and in the biking community. Usually people grab my attention with Ringo!, JR, or Johny! How did you get into Mountain Biking and more to the point downhill racing?My mom has been riding all her life, so she had me riding when I was about 4 years old. I remember those days, dreading riding, pushing my bike up long, steep hills as a young child. Looking back though, I wouldnt change a thing! Today, my mom and sister are my riding partners, riding 5-6 days a week with me. As a kid, she started me off on a cheap, heavy hard-tail, which I now appreciate, since I believe it greatly helped my skills. If you can get through challenging sections without suspension, you can fly over it with full suspension!In the beginning of 2013, I watched a downhill race, and I was pretty much instantly hooked. Watching the riders fly down the mountain and over rock gardens, I thought I want to do that!How does being glamorous fit in with downhill racing, do you worry about the scrapes and bruises?I always carry with me my Victorias Secret shimmer lotion and spray when I go riding. Ha ha!It definitely helps me feel better after every ride, especially at races. Being the only girl on the shuttle bus at races with 20 sweaty guys can be interesting sometimes.I bruise very easily, so after a few hits to my legs, I stopped worrying about them. I don't want scars on my legs so I always wear full knee and shin pads. Being so small I struggle to find gear that fits me properly. Size small is typically aimed towards mens size small, which is still a size too large for me. iXS knee guards fit me well! But some cuts and scrapes I dont mind. Usually you never even notice them until you are showering and the hot water burns wounds like crazy. Some scars are cool though; they can hold awesome, epic stories!Theres a quote from an unknown author that I like to live by. It states, Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. Where do you see your career going? Would you ride for a pro road or cyclo-cross team?I hope to one day travel nationally and to join a downhill riding team. I would love to compete more pro GRT races and ride in new areas. World cups would be awesome too, but thats a long way from where I am currently at. I have never ridden road, so that would be interesting. What do you like most about riding?I love adrenaline and speed, and the feeling of accomplishment after a good long, hard workout! The joy and sense of achievement that biking brings to me is simply awesome. I also love running, so I compare it to the runners high, that feeling that you get pushing your limits and seeing how hard you can ride and then push even a little further. Exploring new trails, staying fit, tackling new challenges, and overcoming my fears is my drive for pedalling.Where is your favourite place to ride?I love my local trails in Idyllwild, CA. That is my escape to a mini paradise in the pines. The area has so much to offer; incredible single track trails and some unique downhill trails with different types of terrain from burms, to jumps, to challenging rock gardens. Its so beautiful and peaceful up there! Also, I love Virgin, Utah; the drops, jumps and terrain are simply incredible!How would you like to see women's cycling and women's sport improve and progress?More women specific gear. It would be awesome to have more options of body armour, shoes, and clothes that fit properly. Riding gear and protection that actually fits is top on my wish list..possibly in pink!What would you say to other women thinking of getting into cycling?Just ride and you wont regret it! Yes, it is a male dominated sport since it can be highly intimidating for some women, but we should never let our fears conquer us and hold us back from anything. Keep your riding within your limits, just push enough each ride for progress. Riding with the guys definitely helps too and it makes things fun and interesting. They are all very encouraging, offering help, and telling me to push myself. Interviewed by Jamie BoothThe joy and sense of achievement that biking brings to me is simply awesome.Johny RingoChristineHow much training do you do?I love being active! Usually, I am doing something daily, whether it be riding, running, or weight training. I mix it up, ride all mountain / trail as well as downhill. We have a joke at my house that the TV is rarely on. My mom, sister, and I are always outside discovering some kind of excitement. What's the worst part of competing at your level?Still getting the uncontrollable butterflies in your stomach at the start gate, but eventually I use them to my advantage and embrace them. Usually, no matter what you tell yourself, your mind and spirit is still too excited and adrenaline is racing throughout your body. But rather than fighting it, flow with it.What's the best bit?Simply having fun, riding! I also love travelling so its always fun to check out new places to race, meet new and cool people, and ride in unique areas.Do you have any pets?Before I became more interested in cycling, you would find me at the stable horseback riding every day. I had my quarterhorse, Cowboy, for about 10 years. Interestingly, I think most of my mountain bike skills came from the horses; they taught me a lot about balance and being prepared for the unexpected. I also love my dogs. My dog Moab was my trail partner, keeping up with me on all of my crazy adventures.What would you do if you didnt ride?You would still find me out on the trail, but I would be sitting in a Western or English saddle, horseback riding instead of on my bike saddle. My dream was always to be competing in rodeos and hunter-jumping on my horse.What is a must have when youre travelling away?My bike! If I can, I always take it with me.Have you got a favourite band?Thats a tough one since my music is always changing. It depends on the mood I am in. But country and rock keep my wheels spinning. Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Keith Urban are two of my favourite music artists. But I also love Alice in Chains, Journey, and Maroon 5. Who do you most admire?Lets see Id have to say my mother. She is strong, determined, but still humble and my number one role model! Shes always there for me, supporting me and encouraging me to do my best and stay focused. I always notice, when I race downhill, that I get so focused on my lines that I literally tune out everything around me. I dont even hear the yells and shouting sometimes. When I do, its always a couple of my close friends and my mothers voice that my ear catches during my race run.What else do you do when youre not riding?Im a full time student, working towards earning my Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies to be a school teacher. I used to be a math major, so I love math and helping others. On the side, I work as a private math tutor.Besides riding, I also love to dance, play guitar, hike, and camp.My mother taught me how to cook when I was a kid, so you can find me in the kitchen a lot. Baking! I have a BIG sweet tooth! But hey, we ride off the calories...5christine ringo sponsors:DVO Suspension; Kenda Tires; Intense Cycles; Spank; Profile Racing; KMC Chain; Shimano; iXS Protective Gear; Atlas Brace; FiveTen; Scorpion Bike Stands; Speed Evolution Products; Oakley; Gamut; Pro Motion Racing.Photography Mike lord Photography6 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleNewsYoure going to be seeing me in future editions of pedal Your Cycle so heres an introduction to who I am and what Im doing. My name is Ishbel taromsari and I am 34. I was born in Manchester and raised in Scotland. In July of 2014 I gave up everything and began a lifelong dream, that I never realistically thought was ever going to happen, of cycling around the world. Seven months on, we are into 2015 and I have cycled through France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and herzegovina, Montenegro, albania, Greece and now Im in turkey. Ive done it solo and all by my own pedalling! although I do confess to a moment when I spat the dummy in the face of a never-ending head wind and thumbed a lift with my bike and kit for a few miles. You all know the sort of head wind Im talking about - the kind when it doesnt matter which way you turn you always seem to be cycling into the headwind! I wild camp in my one man tent at nights and scream at the creepy crawlies. I watch the stars instead of my flat screen smart tv. I stand under a litre bottle of cold water in a field instead of enjoying a hot shower. I bathe in lakes and wash my clothes in rivers. I cook all my own food with a little stove; after a day in the saddle, my meals taste as good as what youd be served up in a Jamie Oliver restaurant. although, there was that time after much consideration I offered half my dinner to a starving stray dog with visible ribs and she declined... Ive been cycling most of my life with sporadic periods of when I forgot about the bike altogether but cycling always found its way back into my life. as a child I gave my bicycle a name and instead of wheels turning I imagined there were legs galloping and me and my horse would go everywhere together. I never bothered getting a driving license as an adult and to this day I do not have one; Ive always had a bicycle to commute. I enjoyed road racing for a while and then track sprinting. I actually went from specialising in the 500m time trial to cycling around the world! and yes, the first weeks hurt... they hurt a lot.I pack up my tent each morning and set off with no schedule, I just pedal and see what happens. Its been by far the best experience of my life and Im so glad I started it even though I had so many fears. Ill be sharing updates with you of this amazing journey. If you have any questions about doing such a journey or the kit I use or my budget please send an email to us and I can cover in future posts. who knows, perhaps you will be inspired to make your own adventure happen.IshbelBy Ishbel TaromsariWorldBikeGirlFind out more at:www.worldbikegirl.comwhere to startFrom thame start from the Leisure Centre, which is at the western end of the town about 3/400 metres from the junction of the A329 and A418. From the car park keep the Leisure Centre on your right and use the tarmac path that crosses the playing fields and turn right on to the trail as soon as you leave the fields. Then simply follow the trail as far as you want to go and turn back. The natural end point to turn round is on the railway bridge that crosses the B4009 where cars can park. It is possible to continue further along a track on to Horsenden Lane and then into PR, by turning left into Picts Lane and then pick up Manor Park Road for a quieter route in to the town centre.From Princes risborough its a little more complicated at the PR end. If you want to keep entirely traffic free there is space for a few cars by the B4009 some 400 metres south west of Summerleys Road (B4444) immediately adjacent to the metal railway bridge that crosses over the top of the B4009. Be careful as you drive in as pot holes abound! If this area is full then about 300 metres north east along the B4009 there is a large lay by. You can drop the family off by the bridge car park and park the car in the lay by, then cycle the short distance back to the bridge.If everyone is comfortable on the road another option is to park in the centre of PR in the Stratton Road car park by St Marys church for a small charge. The roads are not very busy but suburban. Cycle south west down Stratton Road, right into Manor Park Road, left onto Summerleys Road for 200 metres then right into Picts Lane, turn right over the railway bridge after about 1km and on to Horsenden Lane. Follow it right to the end and you will pick up a track marked as route 57 that leads onto the Phoenix Trail after about 1km.where to eat and drink. Both Thame and Princes Risborough have plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants catering for all tastes.safetyThe route is used by walkers and horse riders, as well as cyclists but is not usually especially busy, though as is usual will be busier at weekends in the better weather. The Thame end tends to have more walkers.The trail does cross a few roads and most of these are quiet except for a couple near Thame and they have barriers across the trail to warn you of their arrival. There is one exception: about 500m from the PR end the trail crosses Sandpit Lane and there are no barriers so a time to keep any children close by.ThE PhOEnix TRAil a ride for all the familyThe Phoenix trail is a Sustrans route that runs between Princes Risborough and Thame and is an old single-track railway line that has been converted to leisure use. It is part of National cycle route 57 and is about 7 miles each way, attracting cyclists, walkers and occasional horse riders. The trail provides for a perfect family bike ride as, apart from crossing some roads, the ride is all off road and is completely flat, with just a little lump or two here and there. It is generally wide enough for 2 cyclists to be side by side. Once outside Thame you pass through peaceful countryside with lovely vistas, especially towards the Chiltern Hills. The surface is a compacted limestone cinder-type at the PR end and tarmac at the Thame end; about half of each. More or less any bike will be suitable though probably not one with skinny tyres, especially if wet. There can be a bit of debris from the hawthorn hedges, so be sure to take a puncture-repair kit or spare inner tube. There are no cafes on the route though there is a pub, the Three Horseshoes in Towersey, about 2km east of Thame. openstreetMap contributors7www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleLocal NewsHow did you get into cycling?I started riding competitively from the age of 10 encouraged by my Dad who had ridden for the RAF and who still rides regularly at the age of 77. He used to drag my brother and I to races and we followed in his footsteps. Around the age of 15 I started racing mountain bikes until I was in my early 20s finishing in the top 10 in senior races including national point series and British championship rounds whilst still a junior. How did Spirit Bikes start?After a few years away from competitive cycling I came back into it in my early 30s and a friend, Russell Rowles and 3 others set up a new team, Spirit Bikes. A couple of them went off to other teams and as I got back into cycling encouraged some friends to join the team and with Russell we started to develop the team we have today. We started racing locally and did okay and after a couple of years taking an amateur-style approach we brought in Mark Baines who is now our senior rider and acts as team captain. When he started with us we had a 3-man team managed by Russell and myself. Each year has seen the team grow and in 2015 we will be running 11 riders. We also started the shop and workshop which provided the outlet to start obtaining sponsorship from suppliers, which was essential as the costs of running the current team of 11 are over 100,000 each year.What races are the team taking part in?We race in the UK Premier Calendar series run by British Cycling against some of the top UK teams sponsored and our best result so far is when Josef Metelka took 16th in the Beaumont Trophy UCI race in June 2014. Josef is a World Champion C4 Time Triallist at the Paracycling World Championships in 2014. It is fair to say it is quite an achievement for amateur riders to even finish these races; in many races there can be as few as 40 finishers out of 150 or more due mainly to the rolling road closures that mean riders must be within 15 minutes of the leaders to be able to continue at any time.What are the teams ambitions for 2015?The team will grow significantly in 2015 from 6 to 11 and we are beefing up our support staff. For example our kit supplier is an ex pro rider at International level and he is helping us out with the mental side of riding at this level. 6 riders are not enough with so many races in a row so we needed more riders to rotate the team from race to race. The team does one of the tour races each year and last year did the Tour of Ireland.What are the requirements to win?The riders have to ride against riders like Ed Clancy at times and they have to be racing and riding almost constantly to gain the fitness levels required. Also, the top teams will be able to break the peloton up using the very best riders making it tough to keep within the cut-off times in the early part of the races. So we are learning to deal with that and working together to get riders into the leading groups and then finishing nearer to the front. Russell and I use our experience to help with tactics and we have developed our training programmes to help the riders get nearer the front and are bringing in more people to support the team.We are very reliant on having many volunteers to help us and typically need about 10 helpers for a race who are friends and often relatives of the riders.What keeps you coming back each year?I love bringing on new riders and helping them to develop and naturally the joy of doing well as part of a team.Interview with Chris Parks sPiRiT biKesSpirit Bikes are based in Aylesbury at 25 Space Business Park, Smeaton Close, HP19 8FJ01296 461510www.spiritbikes.co.ukMountain Mania and The Road Room cycle stores has given itself the perfect 10th birthday present - in the form of arguably one of the countrys most well established family owned cycle shops. Jamie Lynn, who formed the business a decade ago, has taken over Giles Cycles which has been owned by the Giles family and been part of the fabric of the Oxfordshire town of Carterton for more than half a century.Currently, Giles Cycles also encompasses a large toy department, however that is making way for further bikes ensuring a sales and mechanical repair and service facilities of more than 4,000 sq ft. The move compliments the already vast array of cycle marques already within Mountain Mania and The Road Rooms portfolio. In particular, it brings Giant into its fold alongside Trek, Scott, Whyte, Frog, Wilier and Cervelo to name but a few stocked at its centres in Didcot, Tring and Goring. Collectively, the stores hold more than 800 cycles to suit all requirements, from entry-level bikes for both children and adults alike, commuter, hybrid and electric cycles to the very latest and most hi-tech mountain bikes and road cycles available.These are extremely exciting times for us. Giles Cycles has been serving the Carterton community and its surrounding area for over 50 years, the family behind the business is hugely respected and has arguably one of the finest reputations in the business.I have built up the Mountain Mania and Road Room Cycle stores using the same work and professional ethics that have made Giles synonymous as providing a personal touch to all who walk through its doors.Linda Moore, daughter of Giles Cycles founders Gordon & Betty Giles, and her husband Kevin, have run Giles Cycles over recent times and now intend to retire and spend more time with their children living in Australia. After having the business in our family for over 50 years selling up is a hard decision but one made all the more easier knowing Jamie, who clearly has all the attributes and ethics of my father and Kevin, essentially those principles which have ensured we have been a hugely successful family-run business with a fine reputation, said Linda.Caption: All change Jamie Lynn (right) expands his Mountain Mania and Roadroom Cycles Centres by taking over Giles Cycles of Carterton.Mountain Mania Cycles expansion takes business a step closer to the Cotswolds8 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleCoast to CoastThe idea for this challenge was conceived following the death of my mum in March. We had proposed to do a coast to coast ride 3 years previously, when my dad was ill, to raise money for motor neurone disease. This never happened because unfortunately he died a couple of months before we were due to do the ride and I didnt have the enthusiasm or the energy. So when my mum died I felt that doing something up in the Lake District was the right thing to do. A lot of my time as a child was spent riding around Swindon (but that didnt seem like much of a challenge) and a lot of our happy family times were spent up in the Lake District and particularly in Yorkshire where my grandparents lived. One of my friends had proposed to mountain bike from one side of the country and road bike back but he ended up unable to do the event so we revised it to road cycle both ways although, as will become clear later on, road cycling is a slightly ambiguous statement.We started at Whitehaven in what can only be described as a heavy downpour and we struggled to find the start place which was really a sign of things to come. From there we rode through a post-war council estate with lots of concrete rendered buildings on the Cumbrian coast where Sellafield dominates the skyline. Very quickly we were zig-zagging through the estates at the back of what would have been industrial Whitehaven. We picked up an old railway line and gradually descended for about 10 or 12 miles out of town. It was hard going criss-crossing roads, trying to avoid people walking their dogs and countless other obstacles but suddenly we were in the countryside on Cleator Moor. We then emerged in the Lake District and it was like going from one extreme to the other. Wed left the sea and a run-down industrial town behind and suddenly we were in the beautiful Lake District.The first leg was a hard climb on slippery roads covered in wet mud and manure, which was pretty unpleasant, up to the top of Whinlatter and then a very quick descent down into Braithwaite. As we rode into Braithwaite and along into Keswick the sun came out and we could see Skiddaw and Blencathra (Saddleback) in the background. This area was quite poignant to me because of time spent as a child looking at that same view every day for weeks. On the way into Keswick, Carl suggested stopping for coffee. At that point we were both wet, cold and tired, we couldnt find our support vehicle and it had already taken us 3 hours to ride just 30 miles. Based on the fact that normally in 3 hours wed be doing something like 60 miles, we did start to feel slightly daunted by the other 100+ that we had left to do.The coast to coastBy Jamie Boothwe provide a huge range of services and facilities to Chinnor and its surrounding villages and are one of the villag-es largest registered charities.You can pop in and try our Coffee Shop serving a wide range of drinks, snacks, breakfasts and meals throughout the day. Its a great place to stop off and refuel before carrying on with your journey.with an ever expanding menu, from all-day breakfasts and mid morning snacks to take away sandwiches and deli-cious cooked lunches - we offer a warm, friendly welcome and brilliant value, right in the heart of Chinnor.Open Monday to Friday 9-4.30pm - Saturday 9-2pmpop in to experience our friendly service for yourself.The Village Centre - high Street - Chinnor - Oxon - Ox39 4Dh - 01844 353733The Village Center9www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleBoth of us were pretty daunted by the fact wed had such an almighty cock-up the day before and we were going to be riding into a 40 or 50 mph headwindWe eventually picked up another old railway track and thats when we realised we hadnt researched everything properly as we were riding what can only be described as a cinder track with sharp stones. I was riding a Cervelo carbon fibre road bike which has absolutely no padding or way of absorbing shock at all. If its going to be like this, I thought, its going to be really slow. Inevitably one of those sharp little stones went in and we had our first puncture. Carl was riding an Orbea which at the start of the day I was slightly envious of because it had electric gear shifters, but the shifters locked on the big ring on one of the descents out of Threkeld which then resulted in an hour of unsuccessfully trying to make the gears work. We decided to put road tyres on a cyclocross bike to give Carl a chance of finishing the day.We then climbed up from Threkeld and began to pick our way out towards the Pennines and gradually started to feel better. After lunch we set off following Sea to Sea route 7 but an hour later when we should have been on the top of the Pennines, we were still riding parallel with the mountains. It began to dawn on us that maybe wed gone wrong and a quick look at Google maps confirmed that we were 30 miles away from where we should have been, in the wrong direction! By this time it had gone 4.00pm, wed been riding since 8.00am and we were only about half way! At this point we were forced to make the very difficult decision to drive to the start of the return journey and try again the next day. So after riding 70 miles we were driving to Newcastle, both feeling pretty dejected and fed up with the whole thing. Wed only climbed 6,500 feet and we were realising that maybe wed bitten off slightly more than we could chew.After a very troubled nights sleep, we got up in the morning to face bright blue skies and sunshine and decided that wed have a crack at riding back in one go. Both of us were pretty daunted by the fact wed had such an almighty cock-up the day before and we were going to be riding into a 40 or 50 mph headwind. We didnt have a grand depart this time as we set off on our way back following a route which was very carefully completed with diversions. We finally got out of Newcastle and started climbing to the top of the Pennines. Wed been climbing for 60 miles into a headwind and as we emerged onto one of the moors it felt very daunting as we realised we werent even half way and it was already 1.00 in the afternoon. We started to wonder if we were actually going to finish the challenge...We came into this thinking we were going to set a fast time for crossing the country and back when actually the idea began as a memorial ride to raise money for various charities. Because of my contacts with various cycling organisations and things wed done in the past, it was suggested that maybe we could beat the fastest time for this journey. In hindsight it was a foolish idea to get carried along with and at this point on the ride I was starting to admire anybody who had done it. Some people had said theyd ridden the route in one go and that theyd never do it again. Others said they had done it in 3 days and that was hard. I just thought it was going to be like any other ride but this was a hard challenge, particularly the return journey...10 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleInterviewsHow did you get into cycling and triathlons?As a young child my parents tell me I always had too much energy and at an early age I loved to swim and was spotted as having the potential to join a club. At school I was inspired by an amazing teacher, who had a real passion for running so my lunchtimes were spent running around the school field and soon I started to win medals in the local cross country races. I had always loved to cycle, so when my mum saw an advert for a local triathlon race in Bicester, we thought it would be fun to enter. With little racing experience it was a disaster as I was on a mountain bike and did an extra lap on the bike! However, the triathlon bug had bitten. A few years down the line and with more racing experience we saved up for my first racing bike and I won a duathlon at Hillingdon. By chance I met a young triathlete, now one of my best friends, and he suggested I contact the South East England academy. To my great surprise I was accepted and Spirit Bikes took me under their wing on the cycling side. In 2013 I came 2nd in the European Qualifying Race at Dorney Lake and I was selected to compete for GB in Holland where we won a bronze medal. Since then I have competed in Hungary, Geneva and all over Britain and hopefully this is just the beginning of my journey as an elite athlete.You must have to put in a lot of time and effort into training?I train most days. Swimming on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with Maxwell and this involves some very early mornings which can be tough in the winter when you have a full day of school ahead. I run Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with Vale of Aylesbury Athletic Club, I started running in the middle distance group when I was 9 and have had the same coach, Harry Czapski, all this time. He gives up so much of his time to train us and has been to every running event I have competed in for the past 9 years. He was an excellent runner when he was younger and has been a real inspiration to all of us. I have some amazing support from my coaches at all my clubs and could never have achieved anything without them. And the cycling?My bikes are my pride and joy, they live in the house with us and my cycling equipment has its own room now! I ride with Spirit Bikes at weekends and I have worked on my stamina, cornering and speed but there is still so much to improve on. I currently ride a Merida Reacto 5000 2015, Spirit Bikes Team bike, and a Moda Belero for winter training. My first bike was a Scwinn Fastback Comp, then on to a Specialized Tarmac Pro 2012 and then Moda Stretto Race bikes, again supported by Spirit Bikes.What has been your best result and how did it feel?My best race was qualifying for the European Relays at Dorney Lake. I was in the middle of my GCSEs and wasnt sure whether I was going to race but my revision was going well and Dorney is one of my favourite places to race with the beautiful scenery and close location. It is one of those magic races where everything came together. How did the race go?I came out of the water in the lead group so made the lead pack in the cycling and even came into transition first. You dont have much time to get nervous as there is so much to think about so with just the run to go I knew I just had to keep my cool. The run went really well and I finished 2nd. It is really hard to describe the emotions I was feeling, I knew there was a very strong chance of being chosen for the GB squad to compete abroad. I was relatively unknown before this race and suddenly I had GB coaches asking questions about me; it was a dream and you could never buy that feeling. My family were at Dorney and I was so pleased that after all the years of support they had given me, I had the chance to make them proud. That was in 2013, so how has it gone since then?Well, two weeks later I was in Holland, which was a big step as it was the first time I had been away from home but it teaches you independence. I was thrilled by the end of the week when I was told I would be the lead triathlete out but also felt the pressure as I had to get my team off to a good start. This was my first pontoon start and I lined up with elite triathletes from all over Europe. I was so proud to be in my GB tri suit as my name was announced over the loudspeaker. We came 3rd as a team and later that day I stood on the podium and received my European bronze medal. The after parties at the European events are always brilliant as you get to meet so many like-minded athletes from all different countries and everyone can finally relax and reflect on their races, whether good all bad. TriathleteKieran lindarsInterview by Chris PalmerFind out more www.spiritbikes.co.ukMy bikes are my pride and joy, they live in the house with us and my cycling equipment has its own room now!11www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleHow do you train?I usually dont train a lot because I dont compete a lot. I did the Natural Games event last year in Millau and thats it.I find my motivation in training to achieve my outdoors projects. For example, if I require more core for a specific move I will do some core training circuits twice a week for 3 weeks. I try to do a fingerboard session every week or fortnight. I have a good 40 mins training session. I do mostly dead hands and pull-ups on different types of holds.I try to climb between 4 and 5 times a week. The dream week for me would be doing 3 sessions in Fontainebleau (my home area for bouldering which is la Mecca for bouldering), 1 gym session and spending the weekend sports climbing in the south of France.Do you watch what you eat?I usually pay attention to my diet. I try not to eat too much carbs and gluten and I eat protein after each workout and have a varied diet. Using a blender is an easy way to eat more fruits/veggies but Im not too strict about what I eat as I have a sweet tooth. There are too many bakeries in France.How do you look good and climb?Ha, thats a funny question. Special thanks to my sponsor Third Rock Climbing for making tank tops and leggings that fit women who climb. I have always tried to stay feminine even when doing a male driven sport up to 5 times a week. I take care of my feet and hands because they are really a mess. I apply argan oil to my hair because it is really dry after all that time spent outside in cold weather. Also the key is to moisturise every day!!Whats the riskiest climb you have ever done?I have never done any risky climbs really. Of course high balls are risky but I wasnt really scared because I knew what I was doing.I did some pretty risky off pist skiing when I was living in Annecy close to La Clusaz and Chamonix. I can tell this was way more dangerous because I was totally ignoring the danger and I was reckless when I was a teenager.What advice would you give to someone starting out?Make sure your first pair of climbing shoes are not too small. If your feet are hurting you will never really want to climb again. And have fun!Do you listen to music when you train?Yes I like to listen to music when I train. Music can push me and help me to get more focused but I find it weird when people are wearing their music devices when climbing. I still cant get used to that.What exercise do you do when you cant climb?When I cant climb I am really sad. I do abs and pull ups on my door or I go on a long hike. Ive never been a fan of cardio training.What country would you live in given the choice?I would like to live in the US. I like the climbing community there and the weather is also drier and usually more predictable than in Paris.Caroline SinnoInterviewed by Jamie Boothintroduction to cliMBingDanger is also appealing. But I will say that, for myself, it is more about the control of the potential danger that I like.How did you get into climbing?I started climbing with my family. My dad, who worked in Paris, was climbing every weekend in Fontainebleau and my grandma, his mum, was living in the Alps and climbing easy multi-pitches routes and doing alpinism courses during the summer, up to 68-years-old.How long have you been climbing?I have always climbed! Climbing has always been a part of my life.What do you love most about it?Climbing is more than a sport or a way to get your daily fitness routine. It is a true passion. There are a lot of aspects of climbing that Im passionate about, like the mental dimension (when you fight your fear of falling or have to be really focused to do a hard movement); its palpable improvement scale (it is really motivating for beginners) and its community (you can meet people from all around the world and feel connected with them sharing the same sport/passion).What about friendships you make, and the danger of climbing?Of course the friendships are extremely rewarding in climbing because you often share pure moments of happiness, difficulties and great adventures with your climbing partners. You will never forget these moments and will tell these stories to your grandchildren. I will always remember when we had to finish two pitches in the dark on a long multi-pitches route in Vercors. We didnt have any headlamps and were trying to light up the climbing holds with our mobile phones. It took us forever to finish the route. We were exhausted! But what an adventure!!Danger is also appealing. But I will say that, for myself, it is more about the control of the potential danger that I like.I like to feel when I am climbing a high ball, where I know falling is impossible, that I am doing each move with extreme control and precision.What do you want to climb more than anything else in the world?I have so many projects Id like to do it is hard to choose just one so Ive chosen one in each climbing style.Bouldering: I would like to climb a boulder in Branson Switzerland called les Feux dAzeroth, 8A+ opened by my idol Fred Nicole who is a pioneer in bouldering. He opened amazing boulders all over the world and did 8B+ ten years before anybody else.Alpine style: I would like to climb le Grand Capucin in honour of my grandma who climbed it and died of cancer several years ago. She was my mentor and I will always miss her.Sports climbing: I would like to climb Digital Crack in Mont-Blanc. This technical route looks so appealing to me.Travels: I also would like to travel to Japan to discover their climbing community and culture.Where to stop & things to do5 WaddEsdon manoRwaddesdon Manor, aylesbury, hp18 0Jh01296 653226www.waddesdon.org.uk9 BlEnhEim PalaCEwoodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1pp0800 849 6500www.blenheimpalace.com1 thE VillagE CEntRE high Street, Chinnor, Oxon, OX39 4dh01844 3537334 thE CoffEE housE 3 Butter Market, thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3ew01844 212266www.cafeboboandthecoffeehouse.co.uk7 tREaClEs tEa Room 12 high Street, thame, Oxon01844 26084011 CRumBs sandWiCh BaR 3 town Court, high Street, wendover, hp22 6ea01296 70647612 saddlEBaCk faRm Brightwalton, newbury, Berkshire, rG20 7hr01488 638806www.saddlebackfarmshop.co.uk158 sWindon mB Croft trail, Swindon, Sn3 1tXwww.mbswindon.co.uk2 thE sPREad EaglE Cornmarket, thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2Bw01844 213 661www.spreadeaglethame.co.uk10 thE gEoRgE hotEl high Street, wallingford, OX10 0BS01491 836665www.georgehotelwallingford.co.uk13 sudBuRy housE hotEl 56 london Street, Faringdon, Sn7 7aa01367 241272www.sudburyhouse.co.uk3 2 WhEEls 99b high Street, thame, OX9 3eh01844 212455www.2wheelsthame.co.uk6 Walton stREEt CyClEs 78 walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6ea01865 311610www.spoke.co.uk14 sPiRit BikEs 25 Space Business park, Smeaton Close, aylesbury, hp19 8FJ01296 461510www.spiritbikes.co.ukCycling In OxFORDShiRE & ThE ChilTERnSOpen 7 days a weekBreakfasts, lunches & cream teas.Takeaway available.12 High Street, Thame, Oxon01844 260840Treacles Tea RoomOxFORDSWinDOnWiTnEYBURFORDWOODSTOCKChiPPing nORTOnABingDOnUFFingTOn WhiTE hORSEDiDCOToxfords Bicycle specialists since 1975new biKes - used biKes - RePAiRs - ACCessoRieswww.spoke.co.uk Shop Tel: 01865 311610Workshop Tel: 01865 31062578Walton street, oxford, ox2 6ea23129208101362216 thE liVing RainfoREsthampstead norreys, thatcham, rG18 0tn01635 202444www.livingrainforest.org20 CotsWold WildlifE PaRkBradwell Grove, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4Jp01993 823006www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk15 CRumBs WhEatlEy 87a high Street, wheatley, Oxfordshire, OX33 1Xp01865 874170www.crumbswheatley.co.uk18 CRumBs too 2 high Street, princes risborough, hp27 0aX01844 344462www.crumbswheatley.co.uk21 thE six BElls 44 lower high Street, thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2ad01844 212 088www.sixbellsthame.co.uk23 huffkins the Square, Stow-on-the-wold, Gl54 1aB01451 832 870www.huffkins.com19 aston hill mtB aston hill, halton, Buckinghamshire, hp22 5nQwww.rideastonhill.co.uksPiRit BikEs 25 Space Business park, Smeaton Close, aylesbury, hp19 8FJ01296 461510www.spiritbikes.co.uk17 mountian mania CyClEs 4-6 Miswell lane, tring, hp23 4BX01442 822458www.mountainmaniacycles.co.uk22 mountian mania CyClEs 62 wantage road, didcot, OX11 0BY01235 759366www.mountainmaniacycles.co.ukCycling In OxFORDShiRE & ThE ChilTERnSBiCESTERAYlESBURYPRinCES RiSBOROUghWEnDOVERWAllingFORDhigh WYCOMBEDiDCOTThAMEMAP LegendBike ShopBike Friendly CaFeplaCe oF intereStCyCliSt aCCommodationmtB Centerdo you know of a place or bike shop that you trust, or maybe a business that is bike friendly? If so we would love to find out more and even feature your suggestion on our map. email@example.com? Do you know of or own a place that is cyclist friendly?advertise your place on our map in the next issue and reach a broad audience of happy cyclists. want to know more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org PAinTing bY ALix MCgRegoRALix@LAKewoodMediA.uKTRIBUTE EVENINGS 2015Friday 27th March- Bee GeesFriday 24th April - Take ThatSaturday 16th May- Motown Mission Blue 3 Course dinner, Disco + Fantastic act 26.50 per personSUPPER CLUBWith our Head Chef Andrew Collins on board, with the support of A&M local butchers, we are offering a special steak night every Wednesday.2 steaks and a bottle of house wine 24.95 - it is now time to try steaks Spread Eagle style!SENIORS SPECIAL LUNCHEvery Tuesday from 12 until 3pm, 6.95. Slow cooked Belly of Pork , Mashed Potato, Savoy Cabbage and Sauce Fish & Chips, Mushy Peas and Tartar Sauce Ham, Egg, Chips and PeasEVENT & WEDDING OPEN EVENINGSTuesday 3rd MarchFrom 6pm 8pmCome & view the Hotel with a free glass of Bubbly for your Wedding, Event, Dinner, Christening,No appointment necessaryHALF PRICE CHAMPAGNE EVERY FRIDAYEnjoy a chilled bottle of Champagne in our stylish bar, half price every Friday from 5pm until 8pm.Start the weekend with Bubbles at The Spread Eagle.SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION RATES From 75 for a single and 85 for a double room & Full English Breakfast3 COURSE DINNER, TRIBUTE ACT AND DJ 26.50, 23.00 TO LOYALTY CARD HOLDERSAlmostThe BeeGees Friday 27th MarchTribute BandTake That Friday 24th AprilMotown withMission Blue Saturday 16th MayRestaurant OffersMARCHPasta and a Glass of Wine 9.95Choose from Muchroom & Gorgonzola Tagliatelle topped with slow roast vine cherry tomatoes or Penne pasta bolognese with garlic bread or Mediterranean pasta topped with chicken or a Classic pasta carbonara.MOTHERS DAY LUNCH15th March 2015Mothers Day 4 Course Carvery at the Fothergill Suite with home made Pettit Fours + a gift for mums.SUNDAY LUNCHEvery Sunday, served from 12:00 - 15:301 Course 9.502 Course 14.503 Course 16.50Choose from two roasts from our Sunday lunch menu(fish and vegetarian options are available), enjoy our delicious home-made starters and desserts.Cornmarket, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2BW - 01844 213 661 - www.spreadeaglethame.co.uk15www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcyclePower To Your PedalFive years ago I didnt even own a bike; four years ago I was a novice cyclist swearing never to wear nappy pants or use clippety cloppety pedals. Now I spend every possible minute I can on my beloved bike and daydream about my next adventure. Some call it cycle touring, I call it going for a ride and here is a little insight into my world of cycling and camping. It all started by accident, Anna from Drovers Cycles in Hay-on-Wye was organising a social ride and invited me along. How hard can it be? I thought and off I went with my navet and 5 for chips on the way home. I borrowed a bike from the shop and what felt like a fortnight later I returned absolutely exhausted, aching all over and no chips - by the time we got back the shop was shut! Steve, my partner, fell about laughing. A month later I had invested in a secondhand bike, convinced that this was only a phase and Id be over it soon. Well, so far we have covered a few thousand miles in a few different countries.Cycling gives me a feeling of freedom like nothing else. All youre doing is pushing your legs around and yet the possibilities of where it can take you are endless. I had to build up to it, so in the beginning I had a reward system: pedal 4 miles to the pub for a pint; 7 miles to the pub for tea and at the weekends at least 10 miles for Sunday lunch and so it went on.I soon discovered that I needed nappy pants to avoid those sore areas and trying to find suitable ones is a nightmare in itself! How do you know which ones? Nobody tells you, you have to figure it out for yourself. From personal experience all I can say is dont try saving money because your under carriage will pay the price. The best tip of all though is to make sure your bike fits, it doesnt have to be hugely expensive but its really important it fits you properly. There is absolutely no point in cycling if you are uncomfortable, you just wont stick to it and it can lead to much bigger problems further on down the line. Most reputable dealers will do a fitting session and if you purchase a bike from them they usually knock that off the price of the bike. There is also a super bike fit available from the motion and performance centre at Worcester Uni which is motion sensored and takes into account your personal level of flexibility. After about eighteen months we embarked on our first proper cycling adventure - to Brittany, France. Ten days with nowhere in particular to go. Steve borrowed a BOB trailer and we packed the tent, the sleeping stuff and a small cooker and I had a set of panniers for the clothes. I booked a train from Hereford to Portsmouth then the ferry to St Malo; an overnight trip meant that in under a day we were there - sorted ! On arrival we bought a map and found the nearest tourist information. They have booklets for all the cycle routes, canals and rivers which includes accommodation, restaurants and general info. We roughly planned a flattish route following a cycle tour on the Brittany Ferries website following a canal, a disused railway track and river. Having absolutely no idea of how far we could ride, by taking our accommodation with us meant that it really didnt matter, when we wanted to stop we could! Campsites in France are generally excellent and most big towns have a municipal campsite so the destination is never important and that brings on a whole new sense of freedom. The initial route we planned was about 190 miles, mostly on dedicated cycle paths (voies vertes). Could we do the 200 miles as we only had 10 days? The simple answer to that was, Yes! In fact we did about 500 miles as we kept finding interesting things to go and have a look at. We would get up early and cycle 10-15 miles, stop somewhere for breakfast, cycle on a bit further and stop for lunch and on until we found a campsite for the night. The history and the buildings in France are outstanding and being on the bike meant that we just stumbled across places that you wouldnt necessarily find by car.Its not necessary to camp, we have met many cyclists that get hotels or B&Bs on the way, its just that you need to be better organised with where you want to go. As we found out on a subsequent trip its not always possible to get a room without booking ahead and at least if you have a tent then you will be just fine, and for me, not having a destination each day makes it extra special.So after our first adventure, we returned feeling like wed been away months, completely relaxed and invigorated. Odd really given the mileage. We did this trip with only one 40-mile ride as practice and a few pub runs. Cycling is not age or fitness related, its open to everyone, simple. Just get on your bike and go!Power To Your PedalBy Dawn FarnworthFranceFive years ago I didnt even own a bike; four years ago I was a novice cyclist swearing never to wear nappy pants or use clippety cloppety pedals.Quality, all-inclusive cycle tours in the Pyrenees for small groups, April october. weekend rides, local sportives and raid training weeks all set in stunning scenery, with great weather and clear open roads.cycling tours - school adventure - the FreedoM trail - FaMily adventureI have been involved in outdoor activities for most of my life either as an enthusiastic amateur or in a professional capacity. Having travelled the globe on land and sea, I believe I have now found the perfect environment that provides the opportunity to experience true adventure and to achieve personal sporting highs Will Burchnall - Owner/Founder/Director of The Pyrenees Adventure Company LtdThe Pyrenees Adventure Company Ltdwww.PYReneesAdvenTuRe.CoMinfo@pyreneesadventure.com17www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleNewsas a child I had t h e normal introduction to cycling: a pink sparkly bike with stabilisers. Through the years I progressed onto a junior mountain bike but the extent of my cycling experience was going out on cycle paths with my grandparents. I eventually grew out of this and there followed a few years where I didnt cycle at all until about a year and a half ago when I joined a triathlon club.I had enjoyed running and swimming for a long time, however Id never had much of an interest in serious cycling before. This definitely changed after I joined my junior triathlon club with two of my friends. I also received a new bike shortly after joining which made the cycling much more enjoyable.My bike is the Boardman Road Team Carbon 2014 which is completely different to any other bike Ive ridden before. At first I was nervous because it was so light that I sometimes felt as if I was going to fall off, but soon I got used to riding it, figuring out the gears and cornering. The frame is made completely out of carbon, weighing only 8.6kg which is a huge bonus for triathlons. Not only does it help in transition where you are lifting and moving the bike around a lot but it has a massive impact on the speed. I had completely underestimated how much the carbon frame would allow me to ride and turn faster.For my training I do two sessions a week with my club which vary between the three disciplines (running, swimming and cycling) and I try to keep my fitness up by doing extra run and cycle training on other days.Last season I competed in two races - a triathlon and a duathlon (a run followed by a cycle then finishing with another run). Before competing I was most nervous about the cycle leg however it turns out that it was my favourite out of three in both races. As I had been focussing on my cycling that season the work paid off and I was able to move up quite a few places in the cycle to put me in a good position for the final run.Over the winter I have continued to work on all three disciplines but especially my cycling. Next season I am hoping to do lots more triathlons and duathlons and even some pure cycling races.SophieIllsleyrediscovering CyclingThis route is well known to locals but anyone from further afield will enjoy this way of spending a day in Oxford to do some sightseeing. My wife and I cycled from abingdon to Oxford and back on a beautiful sunny winters day with clear blue skies and golden afternoon sunshine enjoying the boat clubs holding a regatta on the river. we followed national Cycle route 5 into Oxford and returned by the thames path, initially, and then back on to route 5. You can reverse that or even stick with one or the other for part into and out of Oxford. the whole ride with some cycling around Oxford was almost exactly 20 miles. It is pretty much flat all the way though there are a couple of small hills and the surface is a mixture of roads, tarmaced and stone paths. Stronger riders will probably cope without gears, but having a few cogs will make the ride more comfortable. the surface is quite lumpy in places as the tarmac has broken up and when wet there is a lot of surface mud, especially by the thames at kennington and on the thames path. So, more or less any bike is suitable, but you definitely want fatter rather than skinny tyres, mud guards and whilst we saw a couple of racing bikes being used that is not something I would particularly recommend.the route is very mixed and whilst parts are suitable for young children, particularly the first 3 to 4 km from abingdon, there are parts on quiet roads where children will need to be competent on road. From abingdon to radley the route is off road, goes on road through radley to kennington and then off road until hinksey when you use the cycle path on the ring road. through the south of Oxford the route is mainly on suburban back roads. all the roads are quite quiet but through Oxford there are many small junctions and road crossings to negotiate. the return, once the thames path is reached, has more off road than using route 5, but more walkers to share the space with if at a weekend.where to start whilst there is no reason why you cannot do the route from Oxford to abingdon you are unlikely to want to do that unless you live in Oxford. taking a car into Oxford and finding parking can be challenging. an option could be to use the park and ride and cycle into the city centre if you were happy to find your way in. we started from the long stay car park (3.60 for 6 hours) outside abingdon town centre, by the bridge over the thames leading on to Bridge Street.the route - Its a short ride of about 300 metres over the bridge into the Market place and if with small children you could walk with the bikes instead. Just as you come into Market place look to your right and you will see the beautiful church and an arch between it and the old building. You may want to pull over somewhere safe and walk over the junction to the church, as you are in a one-way system. note the sign for cycle route 5, hop on your bikes and go through the arch into abbey Close and into the park at abbey Meadows. then simply follow the signs for route 5 all the way into Oxford. Okay, a friend told me you need to be quite determined to follow the route. I know what he means; it is simple in that the route is well sign posted but you do need to keep looking out for route signs as you pass junctions or splits and in Oxford there are plenty of those. It is not difficult to miss a turning if you dont keep a look out. In radley you will be on Foxborough road for about 1km, you wont see a sign but dont worry just keep going past the Bowyers arms and the station and then you turn left into Church road.when you arrive at the road bridge under the ring road (you will know it, as it is large and has lots of cars on it!) you can follow route 5 or follow the thames path into the city centre. the two join up again near the centre; just look out for the pedestrian bridge over the river, near Marlborough road, that has long ramps and is signed with route 5.the route brings you out into Bonn Square/Queen Street and whilst it does carry on this is a good point to say you have arrived in Oxford and find time for a drink and some sightseeing. Just remember where you are so you can find your way back to start the return journey. Where to eat and drink. Oxford and abingdon have no end of options, of course. there is the Bowyer arms pub in radley and a couple of pubs in Sandford-on-thames just off the route. Safetythe route is used by walkers, as well as cyclists so the main thing is a little patience whilst passing pedestrians as the route is quite narrow in places. as already mentioned, there are sections on road and plenty of small junctions and one or two larger ones to cross, albeit using dedicated crossings, so children will need to be competent on the road to be safe.Abingdon to Oxford a ride with options to bring you into oxfordCYClInG rOuteMAP OF ROUTE | TinY.CC/Abingdon-oxFoRdDiSTAnCE | 17.7MiLes/28.5KMnEARBY | oxFoRd, Abingdon openstreetMap contributorsReceive a digital and print copy the second each issue is released.You can choose between a print copy that is sent straight to your home address or a digital copy.go to: www.pedalyourcycle.co.uk/subscribeannasley Park in issue 3never miss a copy of Pedal Your Cycle againTHE UKS NEWEST & MOST EXCITING DOWNHILL & FREERIDE CENTREGreat Llwygy FarmAbergavennyNP7 7PE07779 email@example.comBook Ahead To Avoid DISAPPOINTMENT.Book NowThe ultimate mountain biking experience set in the heart of the breathtakingly natural beauty of The Black Mountains. Situated just five miles north of Abergavenny, the centre is designed to inspire, excite and is guaranteed to take your breath away!The BMCC is predominantly a downhill and free ride centre which has been designed by renowned riders and trail designers Shaun Bevan and Gary Broad. They have joined forces to design a course which is unique to the UK.We can boast a trail that features a dramatic bridge, large table tops, flowy berms and the countrys best jump line set on a working hill farm in beautiful unspoilt rural Wales.We aim to challenge enthusiasts of intermediate and advanced ability.PUSH UP AND RIDE:Available every day from 10.00 DuskUPLIFTS:10.00 Dusk on Saturday and Sunday (Summer + Winter Months)1 Day Push & Ride PassPay On Arrival51 day ride pass with upliftContact for availability25Midweek Group uplift serviceContact us19www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleDiscover something DifferentCore strengthYes, thats right. Core Strength. Cyclists quite often have a weak core, the majority of the strength coming from the hip flexors and quads, while the lower back muscles tend to suffer from the forward bending posture on the bike. Yoga will greatly improve your Core Strength with poses such as Plank, Forearm Plank, Boat Pose for the front of the body, while Locust Pose and Cobra will strengthen the posterior core muscles and undo all the forward bending we do. This will help to protect the lower back which is always a good thing.You are probably always hearing, Oh, you are a cyclist - you should do Yoga, but have never been told why. You may also possibly have the image of a Yoga class as a room full of middle-aged women sitting cross legged and chanting or, even worse, lying down in corpse pose for half an hour and you would be forgiven for thinking, how is that going to improve my riding? Well heres the thing, not all Yoga classes are like that! The right class will find you sweating and discovering muscles that you never knew you had! So here is my list of reasons why you should drop a session at the gym and head instead to your nearest Yoga class.Ten Reasons Cyclists need To Practice YogaBy Polly Clarke I am a Yoga teacher, Mountain biker and lover of the outdoors, living in beautiful Mid-Wales. I teach classes in Powys, Ceredigion and Gwynedd as well as running weekends and holidays combining Yoga and Mountain Biking.FocusThis kind of follows on and is a part of balance. A good Yoga class will challenge you and require you to focus completely on what you are doing at that very moment. Riding is also about focus, both road riding and mountain biking require focussed awareness. In Yoga there is Drishti - gazing points and while this may not be taught in many classes it is valuable to be aware of where you are looking as one of the first lessons we learn as mountain bikers is - if you look at a rock you are going to hit it!body AwarenessHaving been teaching for nearly 15 years what often becomes apparent with new students is complete lack of body awareness. This is something that develops usually quite quickly once someone starts coming to class. Body awareness is about being able to spread your attention to all areas of your body equally which is going to be a massive benefit to you as a cyclist. How many times have you gotten off your bike and found that your shoulders are sore because you have been hunching them during the ride or that you have been holding on so tight to the bars that your hands are in pain? Yoga helps to make you more aware of whats happening in the body and so be able to notice these sorts of things and change them. The more often we notice and change, the less these things happen.staminaWhat? I hear you saying. Yoga gives you stamina. Yoga teaches you how to stay calm and steady in uncomfortable situations by maintaining awareness on your breath and the sensations in the body. This is massive. How much of riding is about being able to push through the voice thats telling you that you cant possibly make it up that hill? We learn in Yoga to find a balance between the sense of effort and the sense of relaxation and once this becomes a habit it can be tapped into when tackling tricky descents or challenging climbs. Yes, you will be working hard but having a strong mental discipline is what will get you up hills where others are getting off and pushing!!!FlexibilityOkay this is an obvious one. The reason I often hear for not trying Yoga is, Im not flexible enough to do Yoga. My answer to this is usually something similar to, Thats why you go to Yoga! To add to this, who cares if you can touch your toes or not? Yoga will help to improve your flexibility from wherever you are starting from and everyone is different. Its never too late and you are not too inflexible to go to a Yoga class. Being flexible on the bike is going to really help with being able to move around and allow the bike to move around underneath you.RelaxationMajor importance for Mountain Bikers. Being able to relax both the body and the mind while facing what may be a challenging or quite simply terrifying (sometimes) descent can be the difference between you taking a fall or just getting off and pushing. Or being able to control the fear, ride something that scares you a little bit and get the rush of elation and endorphins when you smash that scary descent! Relaxation sounds like a small insignificant useless thing but believe me its not, its so so important and is something you will learn in a Yoga class.breathingWith improved posture comes an increase in lung capacity. Think about it. If we are rounded in the upper back and the chest is collapsed inwards we have less room to breathe. Yoga improves our general posture and so our breath. We also learn breath awareness which we can utilise when riding to help us to stay calm and steady. An ancient Yogic text says, When the breath is steady, so is the mind. Being able to control the breath helps us to relax.RecoveryRiding bikes uses a lot of repetitive motion. When we do this day in day out our bodies natural flexibility tends to become limited. We need Yoga to help us to unwind some of the tension that cycling can create in the muscles. Think of it this way - we look after our bikes after a ride, we clean and lubricate them so that they will stay in good condition for years to come. So we should do the same with our bodies, undo all the doing so that we can keep riding for years to come! Just a small cool down sequence after a ride can really help keep our bodies happy.Humour, gratitude, LaughterOkay so this hasnt got anything to do with riding bikes but a whole lot to do with life itself! Just as I believe riding bikes will improve your life, so I also believe Yoga does the same thing. Just as cycling tends to put us in touch with the earth and the elements and ourselves, the practice of Yoga - Hatha Yoga meaning the Union (Yoga) of the Sun (Ha) and the Moon (Tha) - for me does exactly the same thing, it grounds us, makes us feel good and can give a sense of the connectedness of life and ultimately a sense of Gratitude. So whether you are a roadie, a mountain biker, or just starting out on your cycling journey give Yoga a go. You might have to try out a few different classes to find one that suits you but give it time and you will reap the benefits. Go with a friend or two, that way you can motivate each other. Dont worry about what other people in the class will think of you, believe me, no one will be watching you, they will be too busy focussing on themselves to worry about what you are doing! Most of all though, enjoy the journey!balanceWith an increase in Core strength comes improved balance. There are also many Yoga poses which teach balance such as Tree Pose, Eagle Pose and other more challenging poses such as Half Moon Pose and Crouching Warrior. As riding a bike is all about balance, being able to get in touch with the sense of balance is going to greatly improve your riding.AdverTIse WITh usexpose your business to a wide demographic of cycling and outdoor enthusiasts throughout wales, west Midlands, oxfordshire and the Chilterns.email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone Chris: 07747 015827our latest print advertising offers:Full page - 300half page - 150Map advertisement - 25CurrenT offersConTACT us www.pedalyourcycle.co.uk/advertise20 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleNewsTwo years ago, a small group of us sat chatting about how the popularity of golf days seems to have dropped off. What was once the popular way to get customers out of the office for a day, get to know them and hopefully raise a few quid for a chosen charity at the same time, now seems to be a struggle to break even, let alone be a money spinner.Crazy as it may seem, we decided that cycling is the new golf and what better way to get people together than to organise a bike ride for our colleagues, peers, customers, in fact anyone who fancied joining in on a ride. As were involved in the paper, printing and publishing industry we managed to call in a few favours to get some promotional material out and without the help of any marketing gurus, came up with an original title for the ride. Hence the Paper, Publishing and Printing Bike Ride was born!After a quick phone call to the police regarding route planning, protracted discussions with the local village hall about sharing amenities for registration, negotiations with a local sandwich shop who agreed to supply refreshments and an investment in local ordnance survey maps, we set about planning a route in, around and to some extent over The Chilterns. At the same time, others worked on nominating a charity and set about designing a commemorative jersey that we gave away as part of the modest ride fee and on a warm, sunny day in September last year, 37 of us set off from Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire to tackle a 43 mile route which everyone enjoyed and completed. As one of the organisers it was great to see how much everyone enjoyed it and with the added bonus of a Mark Cavendish signed jersey as a raffle prize, we were delighted to raise just over 3,500 for CLIC Sargent.Upon reflection, it was interesting to see how our bikes had brought us all together and how some people, who at the start of the ride had never met each other, were chatting and pedalling together, encouraging each other up some of the climbs and racing each other down the other side. In a similar fashion to golf, there were a few glances at the beginning of the ride, checking out who had Pinarellos and Cervelos and whod tipped up for a day out in the countryside having dusted down a more modest bike that had a saddle that was of a similar size to armchairs that are sold in various well known furniture shops. In all cases though, we used the same roads, we did the same route and everyone really enjoyed it.So, with one year under our belt, we set about a repeat and this years ride has just taken place and once again The Chilterns featured heavily although we planned a shorter route of 37 miles and a longer route of 57 miles to cater for requests made from the previous year. The group taking on the longer route started off by climbing Whiteleaf Hill which features in the top 20 climbs in the country and has an average gradient of 8% for a kilometre. It proved to be a tough warm up for the keener riders who were then able to enjoy the pleasure of descending Kop Hill which exactly 7 days earlier had put some of the best riders in Europe to the test as they ascended it on the Tour of Britain. There are few other sports where you can compare yourself against professionals but cycling is one as were able to use the same roads and with the help of Garmins, Strava & iPhones, we can all record our results for comparison later on. Again it was a great success and having decided to focus purely on the ride rather than fundraising, raffles etc, we still managed to hand over 1,500 to Beating Bowel Cancer, a very worthy cause, having received fantastic support from riders and some generous companies within the industry too.So, on we turn to planning next years ride which is going to be bigger and better than ever. What seemed like a simple thought a couple of years ago is starting to feel as though it is true: cycling is the new golf. Its great fun, a great way to get fit, a brilliant way to socialise but its even more accessible.Roll on next years Bike Ride.The Bike RideBy neil Coleman21www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleLocal NewsYEARS 1965-2015YEARS 1965-2015YEARS 1965-2015The Chiltern Society may not, at face value, be the most obvious place to look for a cycling group, but there is no doubt there is a very active and well supported cycling section under the auspices of the Society. The Societys main aims are to care for the Chilterns by promoting high standards of planning and architecture and argue against developments that will spoil the area. The Society has a number of sections each dealing with specific areas of care, such as footpaths, rivers and streams, areas of tranquillity, heritage buildings and landscapes. They promote information about the Chilterns unique character and history and to encourage people to walk or cycle in the area and visit attractions to enjoy and care for the natural environment and beauty of the area.I met with Roger Lerry and Dennis Keeling over a pub lunch; Roger established the cycling group some 14 years ago and Dennis joined about 5 years ago and is active in helping run rides and the section.The cycling group is definitely not an attempt to create just another cycling club. The emphasis is on the Thursday group, which is open to all, and is the ideal way to start cycling in the Chilterns, regardless of experience level. It is open to members of the Chiltern Society as well as non-members; although regular attendees are encouraged to join the Society. Rides are of a laid back na ture , taken at a fairly leisurely pace, and cater for a wide range of riders. They are usually about 20-25 miles, although shortcuts are available for those wanting to ride a bit less. An impression of the rides can be gained from their ride reports on their web site. Details of each months first ride are publicised in Chiltern magazine.There are other groups with more specific intentions. The Monday group that is made up of more experienced cyclists who want to take part in slightly longer rides than those offered by the Thursday group. The Tuesday group is again made up of more experienced cyclists who prefer cross-country and bridleway cycling. A large part of most rides is off road and of a more demanding nature. Entry to both groups is through the Thursday group and then by invitation.The Group has over 100 registered and active riders and a feature of the rides is they are organised by people that have a complete knowledge of their local areas so you can be sure of discovering places you did not know existed. Many members are retired and there is a strong representation from women in the group. As the name implies, this is the Chiltern Cycling society, so whilst it may aim to create relaxed rides, their rides always go up and down hills!Chiltern society Cycling groupFor more information about the rides go to www.chilternsociety.org.uk/activ-cyclingIts been a learning curve, I cant deny it. A bike is a bike is a bike, I thought. But with head now spinning with mountain treads, gears and how to use them, helmets that look like dragons eggs, saddle bags that barely hold a key and a packet of mints, what kind of bike pump is easiest to use, I have learned there is a lot to cycling in this 21st century world.Why has all this become so important to me?Well, it was the 2nd of January and I was having lunch with a bunch of friends. As it was New Year we were all doing our usual, unconvincing pledging that this year we would get down the gym, lose weight and get fit. Kaye, the only fitness fanatic amongst us, having celebrated her 50th birthday by completing a one day triathlon, suggested a good way to go would be to work towards an event such as the Ride The Night charity bike ride for womens cancer charities at the end of May. Being Women of a Certain Age this struck a chord with all of us. We all knew someone close who had been affected by the Big C at some point and having a specific goal that all our friends would know about would make it harder to drop out of!But a 100km bike ride? Only five months away? Some of us hadnt ridden a bike in years! It was madness. Within the next five minutes, with the desperation of women not wanting to look like uncharitable wimps, and with a sneaking suspicion on my part that I had been ambushed, five of us had agreed to do it. But two of us didnt even have a bike; I didnt even have a pair of trainers! What have I done? I asked myself for the 100th time later that day.My next door neighbour had stored a brand new bike in my shed a year ago. It had remained there ever since, so I asked her if I could borrow it to at least see if I could still ride a bike. So, on the 8th January I had my first bike ride in years. It would have been the 7th January but I discovered both tyres were flat and the tiny plastic pump attached to the bike broke the minute we attached it, so proceedings were delayed 24 hours till another friend came up with a handy electric pump that connects to the car cigarette lighter. It was great and I was onto Amazon and purchasing one within the day.Tyres and enthusiasm pumped, and wearing three pairs of leggings and a big winter coat, I set off. Once I had actually got on the bike (short legs makes mounting and dismounting comically difficult) I almost enjoyed it. Being of a certain age parts of me are in pain to varying degrees, so the first surprise was that while cycling, nothing hurt - not yet anyway. All in all a not unpleasant experience. Photos were taken as proof for doubters.But it is a long long way from pootling around my village to 100 km ride in less than five months. I needed a plan...Circuits of the village increased over the following week. At first I stayed on the flat and just went around the streets - it is impossible to get in or out of this village without going up a hill so I gradually had to get used to using gears. The last time I was on a bike three gears was a revolution; this bike has 21!At the end of the second week, Caroline, one of the other volunteers had dusted off her 20-year-old bike, borrowed a trailer and dragged me off to Chesterton and we cycled an undulating, mostly off road route to Harbury. She had told me it would be flat but what she called inclines, I called hills and we agreed to disagree on the subject. On that lovely sunny but cold Saturday, we cycled ten miles. Carried away with our achievement the next day we took the bikes to Draycote Water where there is another off road cycle route around the reservoir. Once again a few inclines that challenged my novice skills but I was getting the hang of the gears now, the chain only came off twice (it doesnt seem to like me going down to first on a hill). We went twice around the reservoir - another ten miles.The following week, Susie finally got her bike (a brand new Crossfire Calabria) and we decided to go for a ride. We went along the Greenway, a flat cycle route from Stratford Upon Avon to Long Marston. It was a lovely day again, that bright sunny coldness that I am discovering is perfect cycling weather. We stopped for a coffee in Long Marston before heading back feeling very motivated and smug. Another 10 miler and things were getting easier. The pelvic bones are getting used to the saddle - we are amazed that as well padded as we are, how come the body neglects to provide padding for this crucial cycling bone. After an hour things become distinctly uncomfortable. Daily Pilates stretches seem to help the aches and pains and I try to do an hour Pilates on the days when I dont get out on the bike (Ive discovered that, for the moment I am a fair weather cyclist). Then it all went horribly wrong. As we came off the Greenway to where I had parked my car, Susie insisted on cycling through town back to her place. I went the same route but driving, only to come upon her in a crumpled heap on the pavement by one of the busiest roads in Stratford town centre. She had swerved away from a truck that overtook her too close for comfort and hit the kerb. Fortunately she fell away from the traffic but the saddle had gone into the top of her leg and as we later found out, tore an artery which required an operation to repair.So a month in and I am riding at least 3 days a week and our longest communal ride has been 20 miles. As a group we are of mixed experience and have yet to do a proper combined training ride.I have found a lovely route which I try to do at least every other day - an 8 mile circuit out of the village (yes, I can make it up the hill now) and round the local villages; a quiet, relatively traffic free route that has got easier. Individually (except for Susie) we are confident we are on track. Susie has not been put off, but has yet to recover so watch this space for her progress. All in all with buying all the gear, repair and servicing bikes, operations and so forth it would have been cheaper and easier to just donate. But of course we are doing this for more than just raising money for charity. There are benefits to ourselves already, although no great weight loss in evidence, I already feel fitter and it has brought a lot of laughter and purpose. We have been more motivated about this than anything for a long time and personally I never thought I would enjoy any sporting activity as much as I have this. We are aiming for 30 miles next week.Charity Begins.... at the bike shopBy kim riddellWant to take part? Find our more at www.ridethenight.co.ukHelp Support Kim by donating atwww.justgiving.com/Kim-riddell22 Oxfordshire & The Chilterns - Issue 01 - Spring 2015 facebook.com/pedalyourcycleNewsKey Points for cyclists to look out for with a home contents insurance policy:In 2014 we reviewed 10 very well-known home Contents insurance policies and found that most policies: do not cover accidental damage - only 2 of the policies actually covered bicycles against damage whilst being ridden! Most policies also excluded Accidental and Malicious damage whilst the cycle was away from the home. eversure Cycle insurance, when in keeping to our Policy wording, insures bikes against Accidental damage and Malicious damage whilst ridden, when away from the home or locked up. do not cover theft whilst away from home - The majority of the policies did not cover bicycles against theft whilst away from the home, even when locked up securely at a bona fide cycle rack. our policy instantly covers the bike against theft, provided you have used the appropriate level of sold secure Approved Lock. bikes may be left at a cycle rack for up to 12 hours or up to 24 hours at a train station cycle rack. have a low value cycle limit - Most of the policies had a very low maximum cycle limit. eversure Cycle insurance routinely insures cycles up to the value of 10,000. do not cover permanently fixed cycle accessories - eversure Cycle insurance covers all permanently fixed accessories included in the value of the cycle. For an additional annual premium of 15, we also have an add-on that insures removable kit up to the value of 1,500. do not cover sporting activities such as cycling within their Public liability cover - eversure Public Liability can cover you should you cause injury or damage to another person or to their property whilst cycling. For example, colliding with a pedestrian or damaging a car. Public Liability Cover can be added to the eversure Cycle insurance policy for a small additional premium.Were often asked Why shouldnt I just use my Home C o n t e n t s insurance to cover my bike?. The answer is dependent upon your Home Contents insurance policy and whether it has any of the major exclusions that are common under some Home Contents insurance policies.Firstly, Home Contents insurance as a whole is an excellent product that every household should seriously consider. Home Contents insurance serves a really important purpose; that is to insure the contents of your home against fire, theft, flood, and perhaps accidental damage. All insurance has its limitations or exclusions and you can be certain that Home Contents insurance has its too - it is unlikely to cover every single item that you own in every single situation. For example, you would not expect your Home Contents insurance to replace your car if it was stolen from your garage. Like all insurances, the only way to determine whether a Home Contents insurance policy is suitable for your needs is to carefully read the policy wording. Eversure Cycle insuranceabout eversure.comMyFinance.com ltd. (estd. 2008) launched eversure.com in 2011. the company as a whole has sold and administered tens of thousands of insurance policies. Based in Guildford, Surrey, our team has on average around 20 years of experience each in the Financial Services Industry. Feefo began gathering independent customer reviews at the end of 2014 and to date 100% of our customers rated our Service as excellent or Good and 96% rated our products as excellent or Good.In summary, it is important to read your home Contents insurance and eversures Cycle insurance policy wordings to compare the cover provided and then make the decision as to whether you want a home Contents insurance policy or whether you want eversures specialist Cycle insurance policy.why use eversures specialist cycle insurance rather than home contents insurance?On Sunday 22nd March 2015 Rennie Grove Hospice Care are running their annual fundraiser, the Chilterns Cycle Challenge, which is back for its fifth year and is set to be a great day out in the beautiful Chilterns! It also provides a great excuse for kick-starting your cycling season.The event will start and finish at Kingsbury Square in Aylesbury and offers a choice of three fantastic routes: 10k, 35 miles or the ultimate challenge of 75 miles. The 10k route skirts the fringes of Ayelsbury, the 35 mile route heads south and takes in some of the Chilterns and the 75 mile route continues south to Fingest and then circles back via Amersham and Berhamstead.Registration fees include your Chilterns Cycle Challenge t-shirt, a medal on completion and water on route, and we do ask that you raise as much sponsorship as you can to support the care we provide to local patients and families. The aim of the Rennie Grove Hospices Care is to ensure that local people diagnosed with advanced, progressive life-limiting illness receive the care they need to live as fully as possible at home - or wherever they choose to be - to the very end of their life. The charity relies heavily on the generosity of people like you: over 85% of their 6.5million annual running costs come from your support. The remaining 15% is funded by the NHS.If you would like to support this fund-raising event you can find out more and register by visiting their website www.renniegrove.org/chilternscycle or contact the team on 01442 820740. After you have registered online, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address that you provided when you registered. In the lead up to the event, you will receive an email with your joining pack, outlining everything you need to know for the event, such as parking details and timings. You will also be sent your registration ticket via email, so please print this out, fill it in, and bring it with you on the day.Registration and departure for the 75 mile route takes place between 8 and 9 am, for the 35 mile route between 9 and 10 am and those wishing to take part in the 10k ride should register after 10 am before the official start at 11 am.rennie grove hospice cares chilterns cycle challengeBy Chris palmerAdveRToRiAL bY 23www.pedalyourcycle.co.uktwitter.com/pedalyourcycleLocal NewsFa r m S h o p - B u t c h e r y - D e l i c a t e s s e n - Te a Ro o mthe shop is situated on the B4494 just between the villages of Brightwalton and Farnborough.we rear all of our own beef and lamb which is butchered on site and utilised in the butchery, delicatessen, kitchen and tea room. all the food served in our tea room is made on site using our own meats as well as other local and seasonal ingredients.we are able to ensure that our ingredients are fully traceable back to the producer while remaining competitive throughout and never compromising quality.enjoy a variety of competitively priced homebred local meat butchered on site to your requirementsa delicious selection of local and Brit-ish cheeses as well as homemade quich-es, pies, scotch eggs and quick and easy meals, such as lasagnes.we source as much as we can from local growers to enjoy the best of what is in sea-son.we have a beautiful tea room overlooking the fields, serving a delicious breakfast menu as well as a variety of lunch options using seasonal and local ingredients. we also offer a range of homemade cakes, scones, traybakes and tarts to enjoy with ramsbury tea and freshly ground coffee. please ring or see the website for opening timesOpen tuesday to Saturday 8.30am - 5.30pm Sunday 10am - 4pmOpen on Mondays from easterwww.saddlebackfarmshop.co.uk tel: 01488 638806Saddleback Farm Shop, Brightwalton, newbury, Berk-shire, rG20 7hrButcheryDelicatessenFruit & VegTea RoomWhen you talk to two of the founders of the Cowley Road Condors, Ollie Jaques and Jon Revis, the immediate impression they create is of a club that is keen to give a warm welcome to new members. Indeed part of the clubs mission statement says it strives to be the friendliest sports club in Oxford. The telling comment early in our conversation was they do not drop riders on club rides. The club likes prospective members to ride with them 3 times and will help those not used to riding in groups to manage these sometimes rather anxious moments. The club was formed in July 2011, following a night at an East Ox pub. After purchasing road bikes, the founding members were amazed there was no cycling club in Cowley; a huge catchment area of students, young professionals and of course, cyclists. It was hoped that with the creation of a club it would give opportunity to meet local, like-minded riders and so, with this rough outline of a plan, began the creation of the Cowley Road Condors. Throughout the following four years many new faces have turned up for rides and members confidence and ability have grown through riding with the Condors. In the last year membership has doubled to over 100, but more impressively, the female membership has more than tripled over the last 10 months. The Condors have taken a leading role in establishing the new Oxfordshire Road Race League, collaborating with 5 other Oxfordshire based clubs, and co-organised Bike Oxford, a new sportive for the county. The event was a true success, seeing over 700 participants of differing cycling abilities take part. The Condors designed the route and many club members helped plan, set-up and run the event.Members regularly take part in road racing and TT competitions and host numerous weekly group social rides throughout the season for members, providing a wide variety of group road rides covering all abilities. In the last year new skills training sessions for less confident riders have been set up, led by a local coach and supported by experienced members.The club are active in the local community, promoting Oxfords cycling culture and provide support to local causes. They hold fundraising events for Helen and Douglas House, a childrens hospice. They have also worked on bridging the students and residents gap by forging a link with Oxford Brookes Cycling Club, meaning that all graduating students choosing to stay in the city will be readily integrated in a friendly social group and have their cycling future guaranteed.The plans for the next year continue to be ambitious; they are aiming to double in size again, establish a womens racing team, put on more skills training including ride leader training, bike maintenance sessions, fundraising and social events, and most importantly, to promote their inclusive and welcoming ethos to everyone with and without a bike - in Oxford. They will be heavily involved again in Bike Oxford on 13th September 2015.With such an active and altruistic approach by the clubs founders it is perhaps no surprise the club is a top 10 finalist in Decathlons Cycling Club of the year, no mean feat when 200 groups, clubs and organisations were nominated. Voting closes on 26th February 2015, shortly after our copy deadline date, so well let you know how the club faired in our next issue.See our club events page for details on the Cowley Road Condors up and coming rides and events.It certainly looks like the Cowley Road Condors have a really bright, pink and black, future!By Chris Palmerwww.condors.ccfacebook.com/groups/cowleyroadcondorswww.facebook.com/cowleyroadcondors@CRCondorshttps://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/123937/Woodstock-Classic ROAD RACE*WOMEN ONLY * CAT 3 & CAT 4 CASH PRIZES Sunday, May 10th, 2015 an 80km Women's only, road race for Cat 3&4 riders. Nicole Cooke MBE, World Road Race Champion, Commonwealth Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist will Award the Winner's Jersey. Whether a puncheur or sprinter, the Cotswold Course will excite. This is a British Cycling event, supported by the Bicester Millennium Cycling Club. GO TO: British Cycling /Event URN:366126 WOODSTOCK CLASSIC Back in the day when I first started mountain walking the only way to keep your kit dry inside your rucksack was to stuff a bin liner inside your pack first and then cram everything inside. Whilst this was a simple and effective solution it had its drawbacks. When you needed to get at the bit of kit at the bottom of the pack you had to unpack everything else (usually in the pouring rain) just to get at it, no matter how organised you thought your packing was. This could be exasperating in foul weather or in emergency situations; imagine trying to find your first aid kit when a friend is bleeding heavily. Its stressful enough without having to search for the emergency kit in the first place. Despite being made from plastic, and therefore waterproof, unless you were prepared to tie a knot in the top of the bin liner it could easily let water in and then all your kit would be wet, and stay wet for the whole day. Constant delving in and out of the flimsy bin liner could easily rip it, rendering it useless.Nowadays the solution provided by most pack manufacturers to keep your kit dry is the ubiquitous pack cover. These are normally PU coated waterproof fabric covers that stretch over the pack. Whilst this can be an effective solution it cannot guarantee to keep everything inside your pack completely dry. The covers dont cover the whole pack, and when you encounter the kind of driven horizontal rain we often experience in the UK hills, the water will find a way in. Rucksack covers can be blown off by strong gusts of wind and there is also the practical problem of accessing your kit. You still have to remove the cover to get access to the pack potentially exposing the contents to the elements and youll still have to delve around to find exactly what you need.At Trekitt we advocate the use of Exped Fold Drybags to both protect and organise the contents of your pack. These inexpensive bags are based on the original canoe bags used by river guides and are therefore completely waterproof and come in a variety of sizes, colours and fabric weights. A selection of bags will keep your kit dry, dust free and organised. My hill pack stays packed all of the time so all I have to do is chuck it on and get out there and I can also easily check what may be missing (nicked by my kids) or needs replacing.To give you some idea of how to use these versatile bags I have listed below how I organise my hill pack. Please bear in mind that I am Mr Cautious and always over pack, I suppose this is a hang up of being an ex-mountain rescue team member.in the Main coMPartMent:Exped Fold Drybag Medium Black - Mountain hardware ultralamina 35 sleeping bag (I told you I was Mr Cautious).Exped Fold Drybag Medium Olive - Jetboil Flash (including 100g gas canister) Spork, Coffee, whitener, Sugar, hot Chocolate and trek n eat freeze dried meal.Exped Fold Drybag x-Small Olive - Food and snacks, usually dried fruit and nuts, Snickers bar and some flapjack.Exped Fold Drybag Ultralite Medium Red - lifesystems adventurer First aid kit, Black diamond Spot headtorch, spare batteries, emergency bivvy bag.Exped Fold Drybag Ultralite x-Small Orange - rab Bergen overtrousers.Exped Fold Drybag Small Yellow - rab Bergen Jacket.Exped Drybag Ultralite x-Small Red - rab Strata jacket (spare insulation)Exped Drybag Ultralite Small Yellow - hats and gloves Source Widepac 2.0 litre hydration bladder - I only half fill this and then top up if needed using a Sawyer Mini Filter.The other advantage of this system is that I can quickly and easily transfer kit from one pack to another, so if Im going climbing Ill grab the first aid pack and the jetboil pack and stuff them into my climbing bag; or if Im going on a longer trek Ill transfer whats needed to my large pack along with the kit specifically required for that trip (tent, kip mat, spare clothes etc). You can also easily adapt the contents of each bag to suit the conditions.Once you get used to using drybags youll never go back, but beware they can become addictive! in the toP PocKet:Map - in a waterproof Ortlieb map case (the only map case worth buying).garmin Etrex gPS (just in case) - in an aquapac waterproof case.Mobile phone in an Aquapac waterproof case - I can use the phone whilst it is in the case.Sawyer mini filter and 1 litre pouch - to top up the bladder and to gather water for cooking (its lighter than carrying spare water).in the hiP Belt PocKet:Energy gel - I am getting on a bit!Silva Type 4 compass with tachometer - all the compass youll ever need!lifesystems plastic mountain whistle - plastic so it doesnt stick to your lips in freezing conditions.Hiking backpack gear Whats in our PacKsBy Paul Trepte at TrekittMy hill pack is a Gregory Z35 and always contains the following with a total pack weight of around 8.5kg (depending on amount of water and food).For more info on the products above visit www.trekitt.co.uk