Humber Bridge Sportive - Sunday 9th June 2019
For most of the Academy riders this was the chance to complete their longest ride to date (approx. 40 miles or 64km) and to be part of a Sportive for the first time; the benefits of this being that the route is signed, well marshaled and includes a feed station (one on the route and food at the end).
The aim was to start and finish as a group and work together as a team to complete the route. There were 12 of us in total and 850 riders out on the course so it was important for the group to communicate well (both verbally and non-verbally), give clear instructions and ride safely.
Fortunately, the weather was on our side! We did experience some of the common issues when riding in a group...mechanicals (x 4), water bottles dropping out of cages (x3), riding near other riders/groups, negotiating junctions and turns.
My advice to the group at the start was that they are likely to learn something new every time we ride out and that was definitely the case today. It was great to see how much they have improved both individually and as a group and I was really impressed with the way they conducted themselves during the event.
All in all, a superb day all round and great experience for the group to see and take part in a large scale cycling event.
Today's team session was based on teamwork on hill climbs and rolling hills. We set off up the hills in groups of 2 riders using slipstream techniques, in slipstreaming the lead rider pushes through the air ahead of them, helping the cyclists behind them by making less drag.
We also built up more experience on gear shifting when starting hill climbs. Preparing our gears for a hill to ascend or descend was key. We covered about 40km/24 miles with 430 metres/1400 feet of climbing. All riders did very well and team contribution was at its best, 2 new riders joined the team session and also gave 100% effort in the group.
Cycling is all about teamwork. This is the idea that was reinforced on Wednesday's session which involved a team pursuit where a team of rabbits set off 15 minutes before a pack of foxes set off to chase them down. The idea was that if both teams coordinated their best riders and rotated who was doing the work at the front of the group they would finish at the same interval they set off.
As it turned out, the rabbits were caught. We learned some good lessons about the importance of coordination and drafting, and maybe next time both teams will finish at exactly the interval we set off.
Until I started cycling with a group I never realised the importance of drafting and the difference it makes to the effort you are making at higher speeds and over longer distances.
I will definitely be putting this into practice in the future.
We started off by going through nutrition information such as when and what we should eat before, during and after a ride.
We then went onto gears and what gearing we should use for certain areas e.g. for hill climbs, flats and down hill. This was particularly useful as we've been riding around Beverley and the surrounding areas (Newbald, Etton, Cherry Burton etc).
We then jumped on the turbo trainers to look at our position on the bike and made some adjustments if needed.
Overall, a great session as all of these areas contribute towards becoming a better cyclist!
Looking forward to trying out these skills on the road in my own time and on the group ride next week.
tour de yorkshire: blog post by roisin gorry (member of the cycle academy) saturday 4th may 2019 (photos courtesy of Josh Harrison Photography, joshharrisonmedia.com)
On Saturday morning Bridlington was buzzing and so were we as we met in the morning for the initial team meeting.
Seeing everyone wearing the club kit really made me feel part of the R-evolution cycling team and it was amazing to go on the same stage that the top male cyclists would also later be on and have Marc Chavet present our new club to the Bridlington crowds!
We then had an unexpected meeting with a group of Bridlington schoolchildren who were interested in what we did while we were at the club and why we were wearing shoes that made us walk in such a funny way. We even had requests to sign t shirts.
Then the highlight of the day...cycling out together from the Tour start line with the crowds cheering and then watching the elite cyclists go past at a slightly faster pace!
What a memorable day!
In this session the Academy went out on a ride around Beverley and the surrounding areas (Cherry Burton, South Dalton). It was the first time all members of the team rode as one in full kit. The group looked amazing in the matching jerseys, shorts, helmets and shoes, giving a great sense of teamwork, it really feels as if we are coming together and improving each week at speed.
It was a lovely evening to go out to try all of the skills needed to successfully ride as a group as well as socialise with other members. Trying not to run into the back of someone or falling flat was particularly difficult when clipping in and out of pedals!
I am sure on Saturday at the launch at the Tour de Yorkshire in Bridlington we will show just how well we have come together, reflecting all the hard work the coaches have put in for us.
Yesterday the Cycle Academy spent 2 hours at R-evolution HQ in Cottingham. We got involved with basic bike maintenance activities lead by Head Mechanic Oliver which was extremely useful as we are better prepared for problems with punctures, brakes and gears.
Afterwards the groups switched roles as we were in two groups and my group moved onto kit fitting. The kit looked really nice and I’m very much looking forward to wearing it out and about and at the launch at the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday 4th May 2019. We tried on jerseys, bib shorts, gilets and jackets as well as helmets and shoes. Once shoe sizes had been sorted we moved onto practicing clipping into pedals which was challenging to begin with but with practice (I think I’ll be doing a lot of it) definitely becomes easier. We then met Hull Thursday Road Club and had a group photo with them. They have allowed us to borrow some bikes to help to get the Cycle Academy started.
There was a really good atmosphere at the session and I found it really good to continue to get to know everyone involved and it really put it into perspective how much R-evolution are putting into giving the Academy such an exclusive opportunity so I’d also like to say thank you everyone involved and I am excited about further sessions with the group and the exciting launch on Saturday 4th May in Bridlington!
It was some months ago when I was approached to be Head Coach for the new Cycle Academy. At the meeting I met John Marshall the CEO of R-evolution and Tim Pattle the Development Co-ordinator at their base in Cottingham, it was an ambitious and interesting project plan, to recruit a group of young riders and develop them physically and psychologically through a road based Cycle Academy. It was soon clear that we all had the same passion and enthusiasm to help young riders develop in the sport and I jumped at the offer to be involved.
So we fast forward to last night which was our fourth meeting for the academy riders and one where the team achieved their first goals as we ventured out from Beverley on the first team road ride. Up to this point the riders had spent three sessions at Ennerdale circuit on a closed circuit so that they were ready for the road so that they could be safe and efficient in their riding.
We met six riders yesterday in Beverley for the start of the ride consisting of 20 miles with just under 1000 foot of ascent, a route which had one significant climb up Stoneknowle hill out of North Newbald. Andy Cawley and I acted as the ride leaders and Tim Pattle drove the support and safety vehicle. The riders certainly performed better than we had anticipated, there were some strong efforts from the riders up the ascents and the group riding was very effective into the head winds. It allowed Andy and me to see first-hand where each rider was with their bike skills, fitness and team work. The riders finished the ride with a respectable average of 15 miles per hour.
One of things I always like to monitor when I am out with the Academy is the chatter and listening to ensure that riders are getting on with each other and there is a sense of fun in the team, we certainly had that last night and the humour was there throughout the ride (well apart from when everyone is pedalling hard to get to the top of any climbs). I was also pleased to hear riders appreciate the environment and there were comments on the local scenery and how nice the evening was and that’s one thing that makes this sport so different with such fantastic roads so close to nature and the countryside than some other sports and pastimes.
It’s been a superb start to the Cycle Academy and the riders have been a pleasure to coach and support, all the riders listen and soak up the advice. So keep up the good work team.
Finally, we cannot forget the excellent support that this Academy has, everyone involved, from Amy in the office doing the essential admin, Oliver for the mechanics on the bikes, Tim with his superb communication support and overall management, Andy (Coach and my wingman) and John for his constant drive and enthusiasm. It’s a great team!
In this session we worked on more group riding skills. We practiced riding at slow speed through an obstacle course made up of cones to help to develop our skills when riding on the road where there is traffic, junctions, people etc. I mainly ride a BMX so it was good to transfer some of those skills over to road riding.
We all had a go at a 1km time trial (we each had a turn at doing the fastest lap) which tested everyone's fitness and skill levels at high speed.
We also practiced more bike handling skills (i.e. riding one handed, drinking from a bottle, passing items to other riders).
We ended with a group race (3v3) where we decided on what tactics we would use to try and beat the other team. Looking forward to getting out on the road with the group next week!
Blog post by Alex White (Beverley Grammar)
I’ve been cycling for a number of years, either riding to school or with my family. I had high hopes of the R-evolution Cycling Academy and after the first couple of sessions it has definitely exceeded my expectations.
Everyone in the group is friendly and approachable. We have all been riding road bikes at Ennerdale Cycle Track and learning how to ride together as a group and building fitness – it really makes you appreciate how useful it is to work together as a team.
In cycling, you often ride or compete as an individual so it’s great to ride with like-minded individuals.
The coaches and volunteers are knowledgeable and approachable and get the best out of the group in every session. It’s great to be able to ride with and learn from such experienced cyclists.
We learn about different aspects of cycling (i.e. riding safely in a group, communication, positioning on the road, changing position, changing pace etc).
I’m excited to take part in future sessions to gain more experience and try out new skills.