South East Racing - Where

Talk about your races - Time Trials, Road Races or Cyclocross.
barrybridges
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South East Racing - Where

Postby barrybridges » Wed Feb 13, 2013 14:03 pm

I'd really like to get (back) into racing again this year, but having looked the calendar of events in this part of the world I'm a bit surprised by how little there is near me, for a 4th cat.

I live just outside Edenbridge so various options open to me (Surrey League, SERRL) but all of the venues seem like they're a minimum 45 minute drive, or a slog all the way over to Chertsey.

Am I missing something? What's my 'local' place where I can get some semi-regular racing in? Or is it the case that actually most people do a lot of driving to/from lots of different places to make up their season?

okgo
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby okgo » Wed Feb 13, 2013 15:16 pm

Yes, you are missing something, the fact its a minority sport and you might have to get in your car, with all due respect its not that much of a hardship is it? I cycle 45 mins to my closet place and I live in SW London.

Would have thought cyclopark is your closest, there are plenty of Surrey League races much nearer you, but not for 4th cats, only 3rd or above.
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

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BigMat
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby BigMat » Wed Feb 13, 2013 16:37 pm

SERRL do a few 3/4 road races. You might have to drive / catch a train.

barrybridges
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby barrybridges » Wed Feb 13, 2013 16:45 pm

okgo wrote:Yes, you are missing something, the fact its a minority sport and you might have to get in your car, with all due respect its not that much of a hardship is it?


Well - with all due respect - when you've got a wife and baby and limited time, it is a significant discouragement to actually get involved in racing.

I'm slap-bang in the middle of the Home Counties - and yet it's an hour's drive to the nearest race destination? And yet I'm surrounded by plenty of clubs much closer with no racing events on.

If you're trying to get people involved in racing then making any participation in an event 2 hours longer because of travel time is going to put people off. Hence my question: I was hoping that there might be closer events to me.

Dunsfold is in Horsham, a fair distance away. Deal is miles over the other side of Kent. Chertsey is as far away at the end of Surrey from where I live as can be. Crystal Palace is 45 minutes (on a good day) into London. And yet I'm surrounded by amazing cycling territory.

Cycling ISN'T a minority sport. But if you're trying to get people involved - especially those who have families - then you're asking them to give up the best part of 4/5 hours just for a 1 hour event.

toasted whippet
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby toasted whippet » Wed Feb 13, 2013 16:47 pm

You could always join a club and organise something yourself ;)

barrybridges
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby barrybridges » Wed Feb 13, 2013 16:58 pm

toasted whippet wrote:You could always join a club and organise something yourself ;)


My local club (which I've only just joined) are involved in Surrey League and I'm happy to help out there, but as I've mentioned previously, opportunities for 4th Cats in Surrey League are limited to Chertsey (1 hour), Benchley (1 hour), Dunsfold (1 hour) and nothing really kicks off until May.

I suppose my question was really:

For someone who wants to get back into racing, but who has to fit their cycling around the normal constraints of a busy family life, is there a regular series I can join or races I can enter which aren't going to require me to clear a 5 hour slot in my diary every weekend?

Or looking at it another way: I'm jealous of people who live next to Hillingdon who can rock up each week, race a bike and go home.

My point was that where I live is centrally located in the home counties with great cycling landscape all around: Box Hill, Titsey Hill, Westerham Hill...plus some closed-circuit potential locations (Brands Hatch?) but there's nothing on until you travel much further afield to the far West of Surrey, or London.

fish156
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby fish156 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 20:29 pm

Additional Surrey League races right on your doorstep are the Newchapel, South Nutfield and Charlwood courses which are all used for Thursday evening handicaps, and hence open to 4th cats.

Tom_UK
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby Tom_UK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 22:08 pm

At the start of May you also have Eelmore Circuit races in Aldershot/Farnborough, Cat 3/4 Wednesday evenings at 7pm is when it was last year

okgo
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby okgo » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:01 am

barrybridges wrote:
toasted whippet wrote:You could always join a club and organise something yourself ;)


My local club (which I've only just joined) are involved in Surrey League and I'm happy to help out there, but as I've mentioned previously, opportunities for 4th Cats in Surrey League are limited to Chertsey (1 hour), Benchley (1 hour), Dunsfold (1 hour) and nothing really kicks off until May.

I suppose my question was really:

For someone who wants to get back into racing, but who has to fit their cycling around the normal constraints of a busy family life, is there a regular series I can join or races I can enter which aren't going to require me to clear a 5 hour slot in my diary every weekend?

Or looking at it another way: I'm jealous of people who live next to Hillingdon who can rock up each week, race a bike and go home.

My point was that where I live is centrally located in the home counties with great cycling landscape all around: Box Hill, Titsey Hill, Westerham Hill...plus some closed-circuit potential locations (Brands Hatch?) but there's nothing on until you travel much further afield to the far West of Surrey, or London.


There are loads of races round there and it is good terrain, but not for 4th cats, because they generally cannot really be trusted on open roads (or maybe there was a rule against it? Can't remember) I would imagine given the amount of crashes that occur on closed circuits, if you can get out of 4th then you will find that lots of the SL stuff is much close to you, including the race right on your doorstep that runs twice a year (Bletchingley)

It IS a minority sport, just because its all over the papers etc, there are still only a couple of thousand racing cyclists in the whole of the UK, I would imagine there are more people in Surrey alone competing every weekend in football leagues.
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

AngryNortherner
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby AngryNortherner » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:31 pm

The cyclopark is at Gravesend, it's hardly a million miles from you. But, why not race Time Trials, there must be courses closer to you and potentially the training commitment might be less (depending on your ambitions and the distances that you race) than bunch racing.

Danlikesbikes
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby Danlikesbikes » Thu Feb 14, 2013 13:32 pm

barrybridges wrote:
toasted whippet wrote:You could always join a club and organise something yourself ;)


My local club (which I've only just joined) are involved in Surrey League and I'm happy to help out there, but as I've mentioned previously, opportunities for 4th Cats in Surrey League are limited to Chertsey (1 hour), Benchley (1 hour), Dunsfold (1 hour) and nothing really kicks off until May.



Take it up with your club then, if they are missing a trick by not catering for Cat 4 racers then they are also missing the income from not putting on the races.

Clubs always want help with putting on events and sadly not enough people offer to help you should get out what you put in as they say & volunteers are the lifeblood of most club run events.

I even get my other half to help out sometimes (though normally only in the summer) she does the registration/sign on at some events and a bit of marshalling at others.

Of course I do have to be dragged around shoe shops for hours to end up back at the first shop to buy the first pair she tried on FFS but when you have a family its all about compromise.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

DavidJB
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby DavidJB » Mon Feb 18, 2013 20:42 pm

Sorry to say racing is a time consuming business. If you can't fit it in then you can't fit it in. You think you have it bad you should try living in central region.

jibberjim
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby jibberjim » Mon Feb 18, 2013 20:54 pm

Danlikesbikes wrote:Take it up with your club then, if they are missing a trick by not catering for Cat 4 racers then they are also missing the income from not putting on the races.


I don't think there are many clubs in the South East who put on races for profit, most have more trouble putting on a race at all than any shortage of cash.

Barry, you know the road races in Surrey don't always get a full field? Which suggests that it is a niche activity, so why would expect there to be local events when there are no suitable local courses? You will have a few handicaps a short distance away otherwise it's a bit of a trek. My wife manages to race all over with a young child, so I'm sure you can!
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Dess1e
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Re: South East Racing - Where

Postby Dess1e » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:40 am

No Premiership football clubs in Surrey either and it costs a fortune and takes ages to get to Manchester, yet many seem to do it.

Any activity involves some small sacrifice. I live in riding distance of Hillingdon, but if I want to road race, I normally have a 80 mile + round trip to my nearest course including the one I promote on. It also means I have 45 mins of urban riding before I get to anything resembling open countryside lanes. My choice to where I live, as the other aspects of living here out weigh the above.


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