Velo Club Moulin

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

London league Round 7 (the power of spack)

Hurrah! got home from work on Friday afternoon to find my new skinsuit awaiting me, Ran upstairs and slipped it on. Then calmed down and got excited about the prospect of Sundays 'cross race.

Prior to that though I had the treat of a bivy night up on the North Downs. Got myself all set to go slipped into some warming spandex, helmet strapped on, pack on, grabbed my bike and headed out the door when the minor inconvenience of my light not working reared its ugly head. Never mind i thought I'll just change the battery, Hmm tried both my other batteries which were fully charged but not a bean ah well i think this can be added to the list of things killed by Thetford and rain :-( Fortunately i still had my working head torch and it was all go. The bivy was great despite being woken up by someone growling at thier dog as a form of communication at 4 in the morning. All this was soon a memory as the coffee was brewed and we watched the sun rise over the valley below us. Good byes were said and off we pedaled towards the saturdays ahead of us. For myself more riding for my felow bivyer (?) it was a saturday of gardening.

Sunday: Ah 'cross how it should be rain, mud and a chill in the air. Round 7 was held at Reed Court Farm, Marden back into the Kent country side. Not my ideal course the start involved a drag race up a gentle bumpy grass covered rise followed by a pancake flat route around the edge of some fields interspersed with twisty singletrack through a copse's. Once again the pace was hot i was just getting into my rhythm when my bike started to feel a little loose. The source of the looseness was soon found to be my left hand crank which had creaked during the practice lap and I had written off with a Blase "these cranks always creak" After a few attempts i managed to find a spectator with a 5mm Allen key to fix my woes and with my cranks duly tightened set about making up some lost ground my legs felt great and all was good. For 1 lap just as i came past the previously mentioned gentleman spectator he enquired how my fix was holding up to which i replied she was running just fine. Maybe i should just keep my damn fool mouth shut 100m later grinding my way out of a bombhole my left foot made a successful escape for freedom joined by the crank arm too. After a curse and a fumble the offending article were handed to a spectator with a request to look after them until the end and the one leg drill began in a futile attempt to keep going. As i passed the finish line the welcome noise of the bell was heard sweet i thought just one lap of hauling myself around the course using a mixture of running, limping swearing and flailing.

Not the ideal first outing for the skinsuit but things can only improve especially if i listen to what my bike is saying!

Monday, 27 October 2008

super white

Damn this guy is good

Mugdock Earth Moving Project

I figure  for next year we hold every round of the cross series at Mugdock and we will remove enough dirt to turn the park into a lake! Just a thought.

I had a terrible race, I struggled with every aspect, looking forward to the more traditional courses of Peebles, and the Fife double header but mostly the sand at Irvine, should be good.

Nice showing from Anja, Andy and Johnny(final result not in yet)

Was it like this up there?

I looked at, saw that Killeen was meant to start and was off. Liam didn't show, but
the rains did. I loved it. Secretly, once they had jetwashed their bikes and selves, deep inside I know some of the racers did too.


PS: Hope you don't mind me showing you my outings. If you do let me know!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Mugdock CX

I had the honor, today, of being called up to the front of the line for the start of the Mugdock cross race. "Great!" I'm thinking... "Gonna get a sweet position for that bit of off camber grass round the corner." Not so. Before i even got near I was severely cut up by some excessively ungentlemanly behaviour. The said non-gentleman mashed his way on and cut up two more people who let him know their disapproval more vocally than had I. I passed him (to my immense satisfaction) mere minutes later as he was breathing out his *rseh*le, suffering from his shoddy attempt at grabbing the hole shot.

Gripes aside, it was another great race. Props to GMBC for putting in the hard yards. Muchos mud, skiddy grass and perishingly cold. Perfect!

Friday, 24 October 2008

dull admin stuff

some of you might have noticed that VCM isn't shown against your name in the official results for british cycling events. if you wanna, you can update your club mid-season by emailing with your name, membership number and DOB.

apologies for the dullness. to make up for it - a perfect handup from crossvegas last year:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

London League Round 6

When I started racing cross last year the predominant features of a race were rain and mud. However this season the five races I have done so far have been, dry, sunny and dusty! Now I'm not complaining but I wonder how long can this good thing last or did the torrential downpour at Dusk Till Dawn even out the karmic balance?

Anyway Round 6 was held at Temple School, Strood, Kent. On first appearance I was dubious to say the least of a course that circumnavigated football pitches full of Sunday league footballers and a school. However a practice lap erased any concerns I had and it proved to be a fun and fast course. As for the race it was the standard fair of 1 hour of feeling like i wanted to be sick. But some strange internal voice kept me pedaling round in circles as usual and I had a ball! Looking forward to getting my VCM kit to race in.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

More Auchentoshan

Auchentoshan once more delivered a classic race, after a pretty decent start I was quickly passed by DrJon, when I tried to kick to put up chase nothing happened, bah, I quickly started to go backwards and was feeling pretty rubbish to be honest. Thank heavens for the arrival of arch nemesis Davie Graham, that was just the motivation I needed, we proceeded to race each other into the ground, it is pretty unusual to have such a good rivaled race from the middle of the pack but this was pretty inspiring stuff, the upshot though was that I started to feel pretty good and managed to get a wee gap which I held for the line finishing only a lap down on the leaders for the first ever time! Delighted. Good work Davie.

Also awesome stuff from Andy-W and Anja, both are firing on all cylinders right now, mighty fast folks.

BAd luck Marty, John, and Jac, spare wheels are needed all round I think!

Big thanks to Glasgow United for delivering a great race.

Pic courtesy of Alan Mclean and lots more quality ones here he really seems to have captured the spirit of the event, excellent work Alan, I couldn't find any contact details on your flickr page, so get in touch if you aren't happy about us using the pics.

Monday, 20 October 2008


I had a huge amount of fun on Sunday at the race - the course was brilliant, the support was brilliant, the conditions were brilliant and my new tubs stayed on! I had some super sketchy moments, especially on that fast sweeping left hander early on in the woods (you know the one!).

I got a flyer off the line, somehow pulling out a gap on the field! That skinsuit must be giving me extra powers! From here I got my head down and tried to ride smooth, but also backed off a little so as not to completely roast myself.

After a couple of laps Dan Whitehead caught up but somehow he dropped off after a couple of laps and I was out alone again. I'm not used to this feeling, so maybe my confidence to totally commit to go for the win wasn't quite there, but as James started to close in a shout from the TSPC/VCM pits in the woods of "dig deep - you can do it!" gave me a huge boost to keep riding hard. Thanks for all the cheers. "Eye of the Tiger!" also helped, even if I did do a wobble straight after!

James caught up and was riding strong, faster than me on some bits, me faster than him in others. On the final lap I made a mistake on a short steep bit on the far part of the course and he had 30m gap. I tried hard to close this up but into the car park he had the win in the bag and I rolled in a fews seconds down. Feelings straight after swung from initial elation at the race being over and getting second, to a little frustration at missing out on the win to then just happy..

I'm was extremely chuffed with 2nd though and how i'm going at the mo'. I didn't expect to be leading the series after 3 races! Getting some good results has really boosted my confidence.

Must get "Eye of the Tiger" on the MP3 for Mugdock.

Can't wait..

Kalmthout 08

Look at the boy wonder go! (Looks like he has a black eye too)

auchentoshan quickie

win for anja!
2nd for andy
solid performance by chris
punctures for jac, john and me

more photos

Saturday, 18 October 2008

glenmore cross

A slightly different flavour to this race report. One from the other side of the fence as Velo Club Moulin hosted round 1a of the Scottish Cyclocross series in conjunction with the lovely people at Glenmore Lodge.

The Lodge is Scotland's national outdoor training centre and lies in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park. It offers courses in many different outdoor activities, but this was probably it's first experience of cyclocross. This round would be the UKs most northerly cyclocross this season and almost certainly the only one to be played out in the shadow of some 4000 foot mountains.

The race team met early in the Mountain Cafe for a hearty breakfast - Jac, ChrisM, Mark, John, Davie and Dan (who'd already been up and down Carn Ban Mhor by the time we met). Several thousand calories and a good few cups of coffee later, we convoyed up to the Lodge and had a quick look round the proposed course with Carl Haberl .

The team quickly got things going. Hurdles down, course mainly marked (although we couldn't tape the zig-zags on the lawn as a rescue chopper was scheduled to drop in later in the day), risk assessment done. Sweet!

Fellow VCMers Anja and Phil along with Gareth and dRJ0n pitched up and it was time for a quick ride. Off into Rothiemurchus, up the Lairig Ghru path and back by the Loch Gamhna via an impressive faceplant for Mark. Nearly four hours later our band of slightly tired cyclocrossers are back at the lodge with rosy cheeks, raging hungers and not a single puncture between us.

Showers - curry - burgers - beer - port and lemon - bed

We're up sharp in the morning for a quick breakfast where Mark and I marvel at John's two black pudding race fuelling strategy. More taping, a final safety check and we're ready for racing.

Dan and Karen man the sign-on desk and before you know it, Jac the chief commissaire is giving the juniors their safety briefing.

BANG! (eventually)

Racing is underway!

You can read more about the actual racing in Andy's fine report over on British Cycling website. Some braw performances from VCM racers with Anja taking the win in the women's race despite a severe mechanical and a quick bike change. Andy took second in senior men with two more VCM riders in the top 10 - new signing Phil in fifth and John in seventh.

The U12s race follows and sees the best racing of the day, a tantrum and a few tears. Damn, these kids are competitive!

After prize giving, the team whirs back into action - tear down the course, bundle up the fence stakes and complete the paperwork.

Done and dusted.

I predict big things for the Glenmore round next year - it's an awesome venue and the race course is a corker.

Many thanks to Carl at Glenmore Lodge and to Dan and Karen for their valuable help. Thanks also to Carl at Bikelove for sponsoring the numbers.

Next - back to racing tomorrow at the one of the classic Scottish courses - Auchentoshan.

(bottle of Grimbergen standing in for winner Dan Whitehead)

photos by Mark and dRj0n

big weekend of racing ahead

First up  Saturday is the Hairy Coo which John McCallum is going to take on, good luck to him, looking out the window this morning it's mighty wet out there, Go Johnny Go. 
Tomorrow is round 3(2) of the SCX at the legendary Auchentoshan course, famed for its mud and close proximity to the distillery of the same name, this should prove to be a tough old mud fest. But it promises to be a good turnout for the team with at the last count 7 riders heading there (Anja, Jac, Marty, John, Andy, Dougy, Me) and it looks like some unruly weather will be making its first appearance of this cross season.
And down south Paul Davies is racing I think here good luck wee man.

More coffee now,


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

VCM @ Cycle 08

I am back from my stint in the big smoke, and a fairly exhausting time it was. A big thankyou to all the team and helpers who helped out at the weekend to make Glenmore happen, I will make sure I am around next year and put in a double shift. 
Anyway, we were really busy on the Endura stand and were showcasing some of our new custom kit garments including this really sweet Ultra Packable Showerproof which for the show the guys printed up in VCM colours, the response was mighty impressive too, with numerous punters offering to buy the garment of the stand!
Welcome on board also new team rider Phil Moore who most of you will have met now at Glenmore.
Enough, see you at Auchentoshan.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Three Peaks Slideshow - the real one

Hi everyone. I just put up the finished version of my 3peaks images. You can have a peruse here

I would appreciate some feedback if only to know it's all working properly.
Hope you like it!!

regards y'all

Uncle G

PS: Also just booked the tunnel to go to Koksijde World Cup. If someone sets fire to a lorry that morning I'm gonna be that cross!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Did someone say it never rains at D2D?

Whilst you were all rushing round in circles in the dazzling sunlight, I was out cutting some o's of my own, albeit slightly larger ones in somewhat different conditions. Phil the Horse and I had a crack at Dusk til Dawn, with the intention of getting some good mileage out of our single speeds as a mixed pair. And that we did - in triumphant fashion.

I can say however, Chris, I was far less resplendent in my skin suit on it's first outing than your good self. I can also say, that white skin suits take on quite a different hue when wet, and the amount of mud lodged between it and you becomes quite conspicuous... much to the amusement of the crowd gathered at the finish line as dawn broke and I completed my last lap.

There's a good write up of the night on the British Cycling web site and some photo evidence of the biblical rains we endured on Joolz's site.

There were many dirty damp but friendly faces, including that of Deano, who took an impressive 8th in the solo mens, Phil Hodgkiss, Nigel and Gareth all completing the sapping 12hr mud grovel. Jenn Hopkins took the sensible option by pulling the plug early to get warm, clean(ish). Jenn, along with Adam (a man who will change a tire when you most need it!), doled out oodles of support coffee and the odd whiskey for the dogged riders who were silly enough to battle on.

For those of you who are concerned about the fate of above mentioned skin suit, it washed up quite nicely and is ready for a sunny ride in Aviemore this weekend ;-)

Monday, 6 October 2008


Raced my first 'cross race of the season on Sunday - Round 1 of the Scottish Cyclocross in Glasgow. Only been waiting 8 months for this!

The course was a cracker - fast bits, draggy bits, muddy bits, slick off camber turns, drifty hockey pitch material turns, sand pit, run up, slow 180 degree turns, steps, bollard (to avoid), lots of folk watching, tunes in the pit area, jammy on the mic. Well done and thank you very much to everyone who put the course together.

Looking resplendent (debatable) in my brand spanking VCM skin suit I lined up on the second row and got a good start slotting into 4th on the first turn. Here I stayed, on the back of the first group (save for Gareth Montgomery who had already gapped everyone else) until lap 3 when a poorly timed bunny hop over a tiny step landed me with a rear puncture. After some back end slip-sliding and a quick trip to the pits I'd dropped to around 10th. The next few laps didn't feel too good but by mid race I got back into it and was able to push myself hard, avoid crashing and move back upto 4th place by the end. Well chuffed with this.

Can't wait for this Sunday's race at Aviemore. Should have my spangly new tubular wheels ready for then.


Just spotted that Ibis ( are going to be doing a carbon 'cross frame, sub 1000gm and in a lovely yellow colour that will match up with the VCM kit! I need one! Sod redoing the bathroom, the new shed can wait, I want one!

Hell, imagine the whole team on them!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

SCX Bannerman High School

Cross season is upon us and round one of the SCX kicked off in glorious sunshine in the East End of Glasgow. The course had been sewn together by various SCX board members and a couple of helpers, big thankyou to Chris Marquis.
But what of the racing?
VCM were represented by Andy W, Jac, Marty and Myself and the big news was the first outing for mine and Andy's skinsuits!
The gun went off and all the pain of a year of waiting was channelled into tired legs and cross racing was back. I got a reasonable start and waited to tire like I normally do, but my legs felt pretty good, must have been some benefit to the 3Peaks after all, I found myself in a little group containing Dr Jon, Al Dow and another geezer in a red top who judging by his silver tinged sideys was in my category, I plugged away working on the parts of the course to try and make a gap and slowly it happened, when I eventually got a gap on the doctor, I was starting to think about who might be lurking in front of me. I just kept it going feeling good and rewarded for having taken some illustrious scalps, but I was gloating too soon. No sooner had I shook them off than the back tyre made the wrong noise and the bike started to squirm around, bollocks. Blessedly I was near the start finish and rode what I could and got to the pits to make a wheel change, big mistake, the wheel I was changing had a slightly wider rim meaning the straddle cable wouldn't reattach, luckily the Campag Ergo levers have a QR built into them, I flipped the switch and the brakes connected and I was off. But the Doc had a gap and there was no way he was going to give it back to me, rightly so, I hasten to add. 
Anyway, the race quickly seemed to reach its climax without any other incidence, so I got a 16th overall and 6th in my category, pretty good start to the season me thinks. 

Andy W rolled in 4th, Marty 28th and Jac 34th (4th woman)

I really enjoyed that, here's to the rest of the season. DrJon

Friday, 3 October 2008


a joint VCM/american peleton are heading to puerto pollensa for a early season trip between March 1st and 13th. lots of riding (including suckmacobra, lluc back in anger and the terrifying restdayride), stacks of climbing, miles of bee-yoo-ti-ful tarmac, fair bit of coffee, a mountain of tapas and a right guid habble for the town signs.

drop me a note for more info. naegears[at]googlemail[dot]com.