Ajax “Hill” Cake Ride

Earlier this year, some members set a few cycling goals, one of which was to do a 100mile ride. Chris Byrne decided to organise a 100 mile ride on the 7th October 2018 to a small village called Hill, near Berkeley, Gloucestershire via Magor and the Old Severn Bridge. Unfortunately Chris got injured a free days before doing crazy velodrome stuff and missed out not just on the ride but the main reason for going to Hill – cake! An impressive display of cake was available care of the local WI who put on their monthly cake sale. About a dozen riders completed the trip enjoying cake, cycling and sunshine!

Introducing Sunday “Improvers rides”

We’ve been running more beginners rides on Sundays this year, and we’re looking to build on the success of these by introducing “Improvers rides”. We hope that this will increase opportunities for newcomers to ride with the club on Sundays, and offer a stepping stone for those of you who are aiming to ride further and faster.

Beginners rides will, as before, cover 25-30 miles. Improvers rides will cover 35-50 miles. Both types of ride will be at the pace of the slowest rider over easy terrain (usually pan flat, or as close as possible, on the beginners rides; there may be the odd lump to contend with on the longer rides!) and have a cafe stop halfway round.

Both types of ride start and finish at Maindy Leisure Centre. The ride is led by experienced and friendly members of the club, who will offer advice and assistance along the way. You’ll need your own (working!) road bike, a helmet, some food and drink and some basic spares (eg a spare inner tube and a pump). You don’t need to be a club member to come on these rides, but if you enjoy them and come regularly, we would strongly encourage that you join Ajax.

From November, we will run beginners rides and improvers rides on alternate Sundays, so there will be one or the other every week: usually beginners rides on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, and improvers rides on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month.

Dates and details of the first two rides are below and a schedule for the rest of the year will be added to our Strava page and calendar soon.

https://www.strava.com/clubs/2140/group_events/402571

https://www.strava.com/clubs/2140/group_events/402564

Cardiff Ajax Hillclimb 2018

Sunday saw the return of the Ajax CC Hillclimb event, where all are welcome to take on the deceptive climb up Heol Y Fforest. The day was clear and bright, and after a pre-event briefing at the Mountain View Ranch, 33 riders took on the course.

Thanks to Graeme, Suzie, Andrew, Norman, David and Rob for volunteering, and well done to all who took part!

Please click here for the results.

New Bike Skills and Confidence Building Courses

Ajax CC will be holding two new skills and confidence building courses starting next week, and held at the Maindy Leisure Centre cycling track.
Please note – these will run alongside our existing track sessions.

Open course for man & women  –  Mondays 19:15-20:30 from 22nd Oct to 26th Nov.  

This course is suitable for ALL abilities and open to non-members and will run over 6 consecutive weeks.

The course will cover a range of skills from cornering and braking to gear selection and riding in a tight group. The focus of the session will be skills, confidence and safe group riding.
https://www.facebook.com/events/749306985424061

Womens Only Course – Wednesdays  18:00-19:30 from 24th Oct. to 5th Dec.

This course is suitable for ALL abilities and open to non-members and will run over 7 consecutive weeks.

The course will cover a range of skills from cornering and braking to gear selection, riding in a tight group and basic roadside repairs. The focus of the session will be skills, confidence and safe group riding.
https://www.facebook.com/events/198136577648270

Places are limited on both courses and can be booked via the links above. Cost is £15 for members (£30 for non-members).

 

Rob’s Bwlch and Rhigos hill climb weekend

This from our hill climb specialist, Rob Jones, who raced last Saturday and Sunday up some iconic valleys climbs:

“I left a leaving do at a well known vodka bar prematurely on Friday night with a double header of hill climb events in my weekend calendar – The Bwlch from Treorchy on Saturday afternoon and The Rhigos from Rhigos village on Sunday afternoon. This is the first time since I’ve been riding competitively that we’ve had anything in South Wales District other than a Triple Hill Climb event ahead of the Welsh Championship Hill Climb. So I was keen firstly to support it by riding, and secondly to use it as preparation for one of my season targets of ‘Top 10 and / or 1st Vet in Welsh Champs Hill Climb’.

Event 1 (The Bwlch) – rode over with mudguards and wet weather gear on a cold blustery afternoon into a horrid headwind. Got to the bottom of the climb cutting it very fine and then realised I had no idea where HQ was. After heading off in the wrong direction for a bit I turned and headed the other way into Cwmparc where I luckily saw another rider warming up and got directions. Smallest HQ ever, would never have found it by myself. Anyway I stripped everything off my bike in seconds pinned on a number and got to the start just in time and suitably stressed. I was 14th to go with only Ed Laverack of JLT Condor starting after me. It didn’t seem that long until he eased past and I finished at a wild summit 2 miles on from the start with a time of 8m 18secs in first place. Well behind Ed and a fair way behind Hefin Evans (2018 welsh crit champ) who finished 2nd. Still I got on the podium and had my photo taken alongside a Professional so was pretty happy with how things went. I rode home tired into a cold headwind (how does that happen!?!).

Event 2 (The Rhigos) – rode over on a fresh but sunny afternoon, having to use far less energy than the previous day riding to Treorchy. I also made sure I got there in plenty of time, although I know the Rhigos Rugby Club well so finding HQ was not going to be an issue this time. This time I have my skinsuit, a lighter cap and am thinking the longer climb will suit me better. So I’m feeling good! On route to the start I see Luke Protheroe warming up (riding for Merthyr CC on this occasion for tactical reasons – their club hill climb championship event, which he won). Seconds later a huge Alsation is running at me along the middle of the Rhigos Road. I narrowly swerve the dog to Luke’s amusement, wish him good luck (more so with warming up on his turbo when said dog returns than with the hill climb) and continue to the start.

As the countdown gets to zero I find myself at a funny angle propped against a slab and the kerb. Rather than sprinting away from the start, I slowly fall sideways, only to be kept off the verge by the starter and timekeeper. Eventually I sort myself out and get away having lost a bit of time but mainly pride. My power is down 10% on the previous day no matter how hard I try and I look down to see my bottle with the drink I meant to leave at the start too. Things like this annoy you when you’ve gone to the trouble of doing things like find a lighter cap! The bottle soon gets ditched by a sign so I can pick it up on way back down, and it seems like only a few minutes until Ed is flying past me (again). Anyway time continues to pass quick despite the headwind, and I arrive at the summit 3.3 miles on from the start with a fairly strong finish.

My time is 14 mins and 7 secs. I think Ed puts best part of 3 minutes into me this time and Hefin over a minute and a half too. Both their power is up on the previous day despite the longer climb, so they obviously recover as well as ride up hills much better than me. I scraped a podium place by 4 seconds despite my poor ride and won another fiver back towards my entrance fees. I also got an identical prize presentation photo with Ed and Hefin.

After some much needed cake (the afternoon start time meant I missed out on lunch), I rode back home over the Rhigos mtn, and as hard as I could up the climb. Not sure why but it just happened. And after the climb it was a good route choice as the valley sprawl back to Cardiff was unusually quiet and the wind seemed helpful. I reflected on a good weekend of hill climbing and hopefully some good preparation for the Welsh Hill Climb Championship on The Tumble next Sunday.

The Bwlch and Rhigos hill climbs will be going ahead next year too, but this time one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. This makes a lot of sense to me. Please come and ride these low key but rewarding events or they will disappear again to be replaced only by more A40 or A465 drag strips. The hill climbs like most time trials are for all abilities and I think the age of entrants varied from a young girl doing her first ever time trial on the Rhigos, to a legend called Dai Parry of Cwmcarn who is firmly in the veteran category.”

Club Hill Climb Championships

The Ajax hill climb championship takes place Sunday 21st October. The course runs from just north of Castle Coch to the entrance to Mountain View Ranch (https://www.strava.com/segments/2719877). Once again, Aaron Wagg has kindly agreed for us to use The Mountain View Ranch as HQ for the event. Sign on will be in the canteen from 8:45am until approximately 9:10 with the first rider off at 9:30am.


It’s £3 to enter. Under 18s on the day of the event need a completed parental consent form (https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/documents/download/3737) – unless one has already been provided for the club evening TT series – and have to wear a helmet that meets the standard safety requirements. Non-members are welcome to enter.

Club runs should be leaving the Mountain View Ranch afterwards so you have no excuse not to help out or, even better, ride!

Ladies-only Introduction to Track Cycling – Monday 10th Sept

For our first Monday evening winter track session, we are running a special session for ladies only. Cardiff Ajax is holding a women’s maindy outdoor track cycling session. This session is open to ladies of all abilities and is designed to introduce women to group cycling and outdoor track cycling in a friendly environment. The session will be run by our own qualified and experienced coaches and is open to ladies aged 16+ (members and non-members). The session runs from 7:15 to 8:30pm, with approximately 45mins to 1 hour of riding time. Please arrive before 7:15, as there is another group using the track from 8:30 and we would like to maximise track time. Price: £3 for Ajax members £5 for non-members You will need a road worthy bike, tools and spares (including inner tubes and a pump), a drink, helmet, appropriate clothing for the weather

Winter Track Sessions

Make the most of the good weather to get out on the road, as we will soon be changing to our winter track training schedule.

The first track session will be Monday 10th September – this is typically an interval training session, and is for experienced and/or club riders.

The following Wednesday (12th) will be the first of the chaingang track sessions. There is a beginners’ session on the first Wednesday of each month, and for all of September. Please start here if you have not done one of these rides before.

For further information, including what to expect and what is expected of riders, please see: Weekday Rides

Sessions are £3 for members / £5 non-members