Cardiff Ajax Annual Dinner – 23 Nov – Tickets now available!

https://ajaxdinner.eventbrite.co.uk

It’s time to get the gladrags on and celebrate this year’s activities and achievements! This year’s annual dinner and prizegiving is on 23 November at The Discovery, Celyn Ave, Cardiff CF23 6FH

Tickets include a three-course dinner, and we will be issuing a range of awards to members (racing and non-racing) to celebrate their achievements. The trophies are being polished and voting will be underway soon for the eagerly awaited prizes!

Partners are welcome – this is our big social of the year, so it would be great to see as many people there as possible!

Adults £28/Juniors £23 – book your tickets online, or you can pay Reg in cash each Wednesday at Maindy between 6 and 8. Places are limited, so please book ASAP to guarantee your spot.

We hope to see you there.

Celtic Series Final Results

Good morning all.
This is just a quick post to update everyone on the final standings in this years Celtic TT Series.

Final Team Standings

Ajax win by the slimmest of margins of just 149 points

Individual Standings

Leon Evans wins the Male Veteran 40-49 yr old category in only his 3rd season of racing, making a step by step improvement up the podium from 3rd in 2017 and 2nd in 2018.
In that time his 10 mile PB has improved from:
2017 – 22:17
2018 – 21:48
2019 – 21:18

Thomas Dye, Rob Jones and David Medhurst also saw 10 mile times crumble with new PB’s this year:
Tom – 21:16 (13 Jul 2019)
Rob – 21:18 (07 Sep 2019)
David – 20:28 (17 Aug 2019)

Cardiff Ajax Points Contributions

It cannot be overstated enough that if your name is on this list, then you DIRECTLY contributed to Ajax winning the Dragon Trophy this year.

Every point in the above table was critical and vital and I cannot thank you all enough for your contributions. (especially to everyone who turned out in poor weather for the final round in Raglan!)

Time Trialling may be an individual pursuit of one person suffering alone against the clock, but where trophies are concerned, team work and club participation is the key component to making this club a success in the time trialling scene in South Wales.

Thank you all once again for contributing to the clubs success and hopefully we will see similar results again next year in an effort to retain the trophy rather than handing it back to Bynea again!!

Four cows, two punctures and a Dragon Trophy!

It was an odd day…
Everything I normally do in my morning routine I either didn’t do, or did arse backwards.
I put my socks on wrong foot first (first time ever. its ALWAYS right foot first subconsciously ).
I got on the turbo trainer from the left instead of from the right…

The weather for the final round of the Celtic TT Series was bleak, not dreadful or the worst I’ve TT’d in, but bleak.
However, the mountain top fire signals had been lit many weeks previous and the messengers on horse back had been run ragged to send out the call to all Ajax far and wide to answer the call to help the club slay a Dragon.

The call was heard!
Many red, white and blue were in attendance to answer the call and give their all for roughly 20-30 minutes of battle.

“It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing… such a little thing…”

#cough, ok enough of the Lord of the Rings

Sunday was the final round of the Celtic TT series. The weather was bleak but not awful, the wind was as low as it could be for Wales and the rain didnt come down anywhere near as hard as the forecasted yellow alert implied it might.
Helen Jones punctured as soon as she left the car park and a fellow tester in the car park came to the rescue with a spare front wheel.
Helen Jones then, along with a few other riders had to suffer the indignity of having to stop on the race course while a large (herd?) of cows decided to meander from one field, across the road and then into the adjacent field in their own sweet time!!

I went off the start well (albeit with the typical loss of form as the season is almost done) and was hitting PR’s on the strava segments on the way out.
Sadly the rain had loosed every tiny bit of grit, wood, detritus in the road and about 1 mile from the turn onto the A40, the tiniest sliver of wood forced me to abandon with a front wheel puncture and a 10 minute walk in cleats to the turn where no marshall was waiting and then a 30-40 minute wait in the rain until my knight in shining lycra, David Medhurst came to my resuce and picked me up \o/

However, everyone else managed to get around the course and put invaluable points on the board for the club:
https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-results/19139#anchor

5David MedhurstMaleSenior 21:37138
10Niall FosterMaleVet 22:18123
15Toby HopperMaleSenior 23:32108
18Rob JonesMaleVet 23:5799
33Kevin LavelleMaleVet 26:1454
37Stephen Davies MaleVet 27:0042
38Ian LlewelynMaleVet 27:0739
39Haydn GriffithsMaleVet 27:3836
41Helen PriestFemaleVet 28:5330
43Suzannah MinnsFemaleVet 28:5424
45Chris JamesMaleVet 29:0918
47Bernard BrownMaleVet 30:1512
48Nia JamesFemaleVet 30:489
DNFLeon EvansMaleVet
0

We had enough riders and enough points that we held or slim advantage over Bynea and came away 2019 Celtic TT Series Team Winners to win back the gorgeous Dragon Trophy!!

Course records fell on the same day with Michelle Lee posting from PDQ Cycling posting a 22:50, Chris Gibbard from Bynea breaking the mens course record with a 19:53, only to be beaten 40 seconds later by the eventual winner David Griffiths with a new new course record of 19:41!

Thank You!
To every Ajax rider who answered the call and raced, from me personally, thank you so much, we wouldn’t have won the trophy without you!!
If you want to take part in more rounds next season then by all means please sign up!! Tom and I could really use the help!! 😀

Thank you once again!
Leon.

Back on track – winter Wednesday training at Maindy

Wednesday night training at Maindy begins again on 18th September. These sessions are held every Wednesday from 6 until 9 pm throughout the autumn and winter. These sessions are coach led training sessions, and normally consist of chaingang sets with recovery periods in between, with groups divided by ability (beginners and improvers ride from 6 til 7.30, with faster groups from 7.30 til 9).

These sessions are open to members and non-members (£3 and £5 respectively), but if you’ve not ridden with us before you’ll need to attend one of our induction sessions at 6pm*. Induction sessions will be held on 18th Sep, 25th Sep, 2nd Oct, and then the first Wednesday of each month.

For the first three weeks, we’ll also be offering some skills and group riding training alongside induction from 6-7.30.

Full details of the programme for Wednesdays can be found on our rides page: http://www.cardiffajaxcycling.co.uk/weekday-rides/ or on our Strava event for this ride: https://www.strava.com/clubs/2140/group_events/579435

We hope to see you there throughout the winter.

*First timers with Elite 1st,2nd or 3rd cat licences do not need to attend induction, but if you fall into this category please make yourself known to the coach in order to understand the way the session works.

Welsh cyclocross league round 1 – Tredegar Park

David Jarrom writes with an update from the cyclocross season opener. Photos by Rob Goldsmith and Nic Pow

It’s September already. For most cyclists, a time to start winding down a little after a busy summer, and maybe time to start thinking about taking a break after a season of racing. For a certain breed though, it’s the business end of the year: cyclocross season.

2019 is my 14th season of racing cyclocross, but even as a devotee who returns to it every year, I appreciate that it is the absolute marmite of cycling disciplines. My advice is try a cyclocross race, at least once. You may find the whole idea of racing what it essentially a road bike with grippier tyres round parks and fields, whilst occasionally being forced to dismount and push or carry the thing over unrideable obstacles, baffling, bizarre and hellish. Just as likely though is that you’ll be hooked on a form of bike racing like no other: fast and furious off-road racing that rewards not only fitness and power, but also technical skill and good racecraft. It’s also a uniquely accessible form of bike racing, suitable for all abilities and with compact courses that offer plenty of opportunities to cheer people on when you’re not racing yourself.

One of the other blessings, some would say curses, of cyclocross is the sheer variation in conditions as the season arcs from the tail end of summer (fast courses on bone-dry ground) through all of autumn and into winter (expect anything from frozen solid ground, to snow and ice, or several inches of mud). The season opener was typical of this, with plenty of blue skies and warm sunshine: there was even an ice cream van in attendance to reward the kids (and big kids) with something sweet post-race.

Tredegar Park is a new venue for the Welsh League, nestling at the very east end of Newport. The course was dry and predominantly flat save for a couple of just-about-rideable ramps, making for a very fast race. The main thing that kept speeds down was the relentless bumpy ground, baked hard by the recent dry weather.

After a packed morning of racing for under-16s, a new format this year saw the women race first followed by the men. A healthy sized field lined up for the inaugural women-only race, including 3 in Cardiff Ajax colours. Claire Hoskins took a commanding win for Cardiff Jif (who also did a sterling job of organising this round) and also took the V50 win – second V50 was Liz Webb for Cardiff Ajax. In the V40 category Suzie Warren came home 7th and Chris Byrne 11th.

On to a packed men’s race, with well over 100 lining up on the start line. Seniors and juniors set off first, followed by veterans in a separate start a couple of minutes behind. Lining up on the 3rd row, the charge down to the first corner, completely unsighted over bumpy ground, was something I was glad just to survive! I slotted in a few places behind Tom Dye and within a couple of minutes we were together. On a fast course, ‘cross can almost resemble an off-road criterium and there is definitely an advantage from working together, so Tom and I set about doing just that, managing to reel in a few riders ahead of us over the next couple of laps. Our teamwork came to an abrupt end on lap 3 though, when Tom’s rear wheel popped out of the dropouts, costing him a minute or so and leaving me racing solo. Despite my best efforts to reel in riders ahead (including teammate Mike Webb, last seen up close overtaking me into the first corner), I made little impression and came home just outside the top 10 in 11th place. Mike took 9th place and Tom recovered to finish 14th. Steve James (Hope Factory Racing) outsprinted Ben Nott for the overall win.

In a very busy veteran men’s field, containing no less than 12 Cardiff Ajax riders, the best-placed V40 Ajax rider was Brian Kiernan in 31st place. Paul Harvey was the best-placed V50 Ajax rider was Paul Harvey, coming home 17th with Miles Brown just seconds behind after a mid-race puncture.

Round 2 heads to Builth Wells this coming Sunday, for what looks like more sunny racing weather. Those of us thrive in modders will just have to be patient……

Let them eat cake: Ajax outing to Hill

Nia James writes of an Ajax trip across the border for culinary delights. They’ll be another chance to ride 100 miles and eat cake on 6 October…..

To the uninformed or uninitiated the prospect of a 100 mile ride to a village called Hill might not be particularly appealing. 

Fear not. The route from Maindy to Hill, near Berkelely in Gloucestershire (and back) offers one of the most benign century rides you’ll get in these parts. Rolling, with no major climbs and a total elevation of around 1000m, it’s a great route and one I’d highly recommend to anyone wanting to pop their century ride cherry.  

And talking of cherries, these will most definitely be on offer when you get there as the lure of Hill, when ridden on the first Sunday of the month during the Summer, means The Most Amazing Cafe Stop Ever, in the form of the Hill Cream Tea in the Village Hall.

The teas, run by the local WI group, have turned Hill into a Mecca for local cyclists. On the appointed day of the month expect to see several large groups heading to, or from, the fantastic refreshments. 

The cakes are, quite simply, awesome ! Set out on a series of trestle tables which stretch from one end of the hall to the next, the choice of home baked delights is endless.  It’s impossible to decide between the lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge, banana loaf, ginger cake, tiffin, fruit cake, all manner of shortbread based delights, pavlova, cherry Bakewells, treacle tarts,  flapjacks, and so on ! I defy anyone to walk out with a single slice. 

Those with a more savoury tooth can enjoy a delicious homemade sausage roll and/or Scotch Egg. All washed down with a tea of your choice or a cooling glass of squash. 

The facilities at the Village Hall are super. There are a couple of (spotless) toilets at the back, a drinking water tap and (I hope you never need it) a defibrillator which a number of us have helped fund through the buying of raffle tickets on a previous trip! 

Our trip to Hill on Sunday 1 September was thoroughly enjoyable. Twelve of us set off from Maindy at 0900. Our route took us down the flats, through Newport and across the Gwent Levels. A quick stop at the Co-op in Magor it was then on to Chepstow via Portskewett which makes for a welcome variation on a ride to Chepstow but without denying anyone the joys the descent towards the garden centre.  

We took a right turn into Mathren and up the most challenging, but short, climb of the day. Past G’s wedding venue, St Tewdric’s House, it was then across the old Severn Bridge and into England. There’s a cycle path on both sides of the M48 bridge which makes for a fun ride and spectacular views of the Severn Estuary. Once in England, it’s less than 10 miles to Hill via some easy to navigate lanes.  We travelled just over 50 miles on the outward leg.

The Hill Cream Tea is is very well set up for large groups of cyclists: there’s plenty of bike parking and lots of seating in the field opposite, and, in case you need a bit of shelter, in the bus stop ! When we were there a large group from Newport Social Cycling was just leaving. We passed groups from Bristol and Swindon clubs too. (Not sure who the chap I saw sucking on a gel was riding with or whether that was before or after his entry into the hall…. ?!) 

After an enjoyable exchange of cake reviews sitting in the sun we head to Berkeley, around 5 miles away, before turning for home (and resisting the lure of seconds at the Village Hall !). 

A strong headwind meant for a tough crossing of the Severn Bridge on our return leg. But we were thankful it was in block form with no gusts or crosswinds which can make the Bridge quite frightening when you need to lean into the wind to stop your bike becoming a kite. Been there. Hated it ! 

Mathren. Five Lanes. Magor (and a final stop at the Co-op). Steelworks road and back to Cardiff by 1700 having clocked an average of almost 15mph, despite the wind. 

A delicious day out with a sweet group! 

Marie-Antoinette would have approved our outing so we’re off again:  weather permitting, the next Ajax Cream Tea Pilgrimage will be on 6 October. Cakes cost £1 each. Please ensure you bring cash.  Further details about the ride to follow.  

You can find out more about Hill Village Hall by consulting their FB page. And if consuming more calories than you expend is your thing, look out for the  LVIS Audaxes for 2020. Entry usually opens on NYE for these popular routes which include a stop at Hill and several similar cake laden locations along the way !  

Let them eat cake, indeed.

Celtic Series Round 8 – Nothing but Red, White and Blue on the Podium!! \o/ (UPDATED: also Dave ‘The Anvil’ Jarrom came 9th)

Round 8 of the Celtic Series this evening was hot, humid and close.

Having never ridden the course before and having no idea what to expect, 4 Ajax went out for a ‘casual’ recce ride.
the R10(cough 11.5)/24 is a course of two halves, punchy hills in the first half and then gently undulating for the return second half.

A smaller than normal field saw a phenomonal night for Ajax with a complete lockout of the podium!!

1st – David Medhurst – 24:16
2nd – Tom Dye – 27:17
3rd (1st vet) – Rob Jones – 25:31
5th (2nd vet) – Leon Evans – 26:12
9th – Dave ‘The Anvil’ Jarrom – 28:40 (again, REALLY sorry I forgot you!!)
Comical DNF – Nial Foster, who took a wrong turn when a race arrow was turned the wrong way and ended up doing a 25 instead of a 10 :O

Round 8 Results
Rob Jones – 1st Vet
Red, White and Blue Podium lockout!!

Awesome result for the ‘jax with one round remaning and puts us pretty much level pegging for the coveted Dragon trophy this year!

Special mention must be given to Dave ‘The Anvil’ Jarrom who scored us crucial extra points in our fight for the overall team win and the Dragon Trophy at the end of the season!!

The final round is on the 22nd September and has increased points (150 for first place instead of 120) and we have a very good change to win the Dragon Trophy this year. All we need is a good club turn out at the final round to gain as many points as possible!!

SEE YOU AT THE FINAL ROUND!!

Leon.

Celtic Series Round 7 – 40kph wind, almost an Ajax podium lockout, 1st place Vet

Windy…… REALLY windy!!!

Only the brave turned up to the ‘sporting’ R10/9 course at St. Athens this evening. Brave or foolhardy!! (or those respecting Rule #5).

40kph winds meant alot of time fighting the bike rather than riding it!
Initial impressions by David Medhurst: “8 minutes out lads and 16 back?” turned out to be not quite accurate! 😛

While it was blisteringly fast for the first few km’s, the drag up to the turn was not as fast as expected given the huge tailwind.
Once around the roundabout, the headwind was brutal, even down in the dip just before the garage.

Many comments back at the cars about fighting the bike just to try and keep it in a stright-ish line.

Back at HQ, the results were in:

Almost an Ajax podium lockout!:

1st – Neil Poulton (Ogmore Valley Wheelers)
2nd – David Medhurst (Cardiff Ajax)
3rd – Tom Dye (Cardiff Ajax)
4th (and 1st Vet) – Leon Evans (Cardiff Ajax)

Leon Evans 4th overall, 1st vet, David Medhurst 2nd, Tom Dye 3rd
Podium overall

Congratulations to everyone who braved the conditions and put valuable points on the board for the club!!

See you at the next round!

Leon Evans.

Celtic Series Round 6 – The night PB’s fell…

Tonight was round 6 of the South Wales Celtic Series TT on the Resolven bypass near Neath on the R10/22a course.

Tonight was the night many PB’s fell.. and fell HARD!
the secret to a PB in time trialling? forget your power meter, forget your expensive TT bike and fancy skinsuit and pointy hat. All you need is really good weather conditions!!

Tonights conditions were close to perfect, a gentle 12kph steady breeze coming from swansea in an easterly direction. This gave a mild cross-headwind on the way out on the gentle descent down to the turn and then a nice cross-tailwind on the return leg which rises ever so gently.

The PB’s shown on the results below were just the PB’s the organisers knew about and there were plenty more on the night that werent added to the results sheets.

Top rider on the night was Lee Perrott of Cycle Specific with an impressive 19:28
Chris Gibbard of Bynea and Chris Massey of CES Sport rounded out the top 3 men.
Fastest Male Vet on Standard was Anthony Jones of Towy Riders with a 19:52 (+6:39)
Fastest Juvenille on the night was Iago Williams of Towy Riders with a 21:59.
Fastest Lady of the night was Susan Shook of Bush Healthcare with a 23:50 (+6:19).

Cardiff Ajax in attendance tonight putting points on the board for the Dragon Trophy were Leon Evans and Tom Dye.
Both Riders smashed new 10 mile PB’s by quite a margin.
Leon Evans finished 9th with a new PB of 21:18 (previously 21:48)
Tom Dye finished 10th with a new PB of 21:20 (previously 21:38)

A fanstastic evenings racing with plenty of happy faces and PB’s!
Results are below:



This Saturday sees the South Wales VTTA 10 mile championship hosted by Ross-on-Wye & district CC and the R10/17 at Raglan/Abergavenny.
Plenty of Ajax are in attendance on the start sheet.

The next Celtic Series is round 7 on the 30th July on the rolling R10/9 St. Athens course. See you there!!