It’s not easy to run a Chain Gang

“After my 437th lap round the hub, I decided to start something new”

I was riding Tuesday nights over at the Stephen Burke Hub. 10 miles there, 20 miles round the track, 10 miles back, quality training. But, it was bit of a cliquey bunch, I didn’t really get on with them well. After my 437th lap round the hub, I decided to start something new, something local. Skipton CC Tuesday Night training was born. A fast paced, rain or shine ride up to Buckden and back. One, windy, wet Tuesday, it was just 4 of us. On a sunny evening we had riders from Ilkley, Skipton, Prologue, Bronte and others. 20 riders wasn’t unusual.

Come the summer, I was keen to reclaim my Tuesday nights, several were racing locally and numbers had dropped off. To me, it was spring training, preparation for racing. It was time to close Tuesday training until the next year. Nick (one of the regular Ilkley riders) dropped me a message on Facebook; “How about running the chain gang on a Wednesday?”; I wasn’t keen. We had our Wednesday night club ride, which I loved. It started without me. Andrew Fletcher had taken the initiative to run it alongside the club run with a group of the regular chain gang riders from Crosshills. Skipton CC riders wanted the chain gang and I relented.


… keep on reading!

Skipton CC at the races

Big thanks to all our volunteers setting up and staffing the Skipton CC stand at Skipton Town Centre races. We couldn’t do it without you.

Wednesday Spring 2017

Over the winter we all tend to ease up and bit, hide on the turbo and avoid windy hillsides. To get some intensity back in last year I ran a series of lumpy rides on a Wednesday night. They are based on around 30 minutes of climbing and an hour or so of steady riding. You’ll find that similar to many Sufferfest workouts, and quite frankly, you won’t wany any more than 30 minutes of upper threshold work of an evening.

So idea is, we all ride together, nice and steady to the bottom of the climb, then go at your own pace to the top and regroup. We then ride altogether again to the bottom of the next hill. There are 2 main hills on each route.

This year I’ve dropped it to just 2 routes to give you a chance to hit the same hills week on week. Both routes start with Black Park. On both routes the 2nd climb can be cut out if you’re not feeling it.

Route 1 – Starting 15/03 Black Park – Hartlington Raikes

Hartlington Raikes goes up from by Hebden, rather than turning left, you just head straight up the hill to the B6265. It’s a long climb with a steep start levelling off half way up. Hit the start hard as you’ll get some rest shortly after. Return via Linton, chain-gang down Grassington road if you’re feeling up for it.

Route 2 – Black Park – Langbar

Langbar is steep and doesn’t ease off for one minute. Wait until you can see the full climb ahead before going for it, the start from the turning is not the main hill. Return via Nesfield gated road.

https://www.strava.com/routes/7908804

Skipton Reliability Ride 2017

Sunday the 5th March sees a return of the Skipton Reliability Ride. Start/Finish point is behind Chevin Cycles in Skipton. Sign-on from 9:00am, if we have a large number of riders, riders will be set off in groups. Please arrive by 9:30am.

This year the reliability ride is a free event for existing Skipton Cycling Club members and potential new Skipton Cycling Club members (under the 3 rides rule). You can register your interest over on the SCC facebook group Skipton Reliability Ride 2017 event.


Full SCC membership is £20 or if you are a member of another club and wish to ride the reliability ride you can join SCC as a 2nd claim member for £10.

Join SCC today

There is a route, a start point and time, a load of riders and you need to find your own way round the route and back to the start. The whole point is to prove (to yourself) that you and your bike are reliable. It’s not a race, or a group ride, but you’re welcome to ride it with your friends and it should be a great day out.

This year we have a GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE result for the long route. Gold is 3hr 45, Silver is 4hr 15, and Bronze is 4hr 45. All finishers on both routes will be listed on the club website.

We have 2 distances to choose from, a 50km and a 100km route:

100km Route

Click here for the 100km Reliability Route or Download the 100km route GPX (for GPS devices)

Similar to last year, but cuts out Hall Hill Lane at Whitewell, instead straight on, past Wildboar Park. Yes I know you all loved it, but it’s easier to navigate without. Greenberfield Lane down the back of Barnoldwick has also recently been resurfaced, so is not well worth riding to cut back toward Thornton. Distance remains at almost exactly 100km.

50km Route

Click here for the 50km Reliability Route or Download the 50km route GPX (for GPS devices)

Pretty much exactly the same as last year, but I’ve amended the GPS track near Thornton to fix an irregularity. Again, Greenberfield lane is included. Newsholme to Horton (after Paythorne before Barnoldwick) is a bit rough in places, so take care. It’s a very small turning 200m up after turning left on the A682 from Paythorne. I’ve left the route going this way as it avoids almost all main roads (apart from the small section of A59) making it more suitable for younger riders.

Ride London 2017 SCC Team

The Ride London Club Challenge is running again this year. Entries open on the 27th February (although they don’t mention when they close!). Event is on Sunday 30th July 2017. You’ll need to be available on Saturday the 29th to sign-on.

It’s slightly different this year. We are NOT guaranteed a team entry. Full details (what there is) are on the Ride London site.

Teams are either mixed (2 men, 2 women) or just 4 men or 4 women. Last year we had 2 teams in, but we struggled to fill both teams, 1 team reaching the start incomplete. This year I think it best we just put forward 1 team, but we’ll see what the interest is.

Entry is £69. You’ll get an email about paying if/when the entry is accepted. You MUST be an SCC member and a British Cycling member to enter. Preference will be given to those who did not get a place on the team entry last year. Register via the button below by 27th February (yes, you’ve only got a few days).

I want to be on the team

New Partner – Smart Performance Coaching

Skipton Cycling Club now has a coaching partner, Smart Performance Coaching based in Steeton and run by local racer Chris Sherriffs.

What Chris and SMART Performance Coaching are about!

Chris has been in the sport of cycling for numerous years, both competing and coaching all over the UK and abroad. He has a keen eye for detail and is easily approachable, which makes him the ideal coach to come to and trust as he has that personal experience of setbacks, time constraints, overcoming illness barriers and many other factors which speaks volumes! He is looking to help every cyclist out there, from novice to elite by making every single training aid accessible to them via his fitness lab at a competitive price. He has thought of everything a cyclist would need in order to improve their performance, such as structured individual training programmes, nutritional supplements and guidance, strength and conditioning, altitude training, power profiling, lactate testing and much much more!

Club Discount

Below is a list of items/products in which members of the Skipton Cycling Club will be entitled to a 10% discount from the fitness lab, which is based on Russell Street, Keighley.

Training Plans

  • Elite Package
  • Performance Package
  • Leisure Package
  • Nutrition Package
  • Strength Package
  • RAMP Test (FTP, Power/HR Zones, Lactate Testing

Nutrition Products; Anything above £15 qualifies

Skipton Cyclocross 2016 – Volunteers needed

SCC are proud to once again be hosting the first round of the Yorkshire Cyclocross Association Winter Series. The event will be in Aireville Park on Sunday 4th September and will include races for all ages and abilities.

The event was a huge success last year, due in no small part to the support from SCC, turning out in great numbers on the Saturday and Sunday to help with the event set up. We’d like to match that this year and need a show of hands for volunteers for the following jobs:

  • Saturday 3rd September: Course setup in Aireville Park
  • Sunday 4th September: Sign-on, Marshalling, Course take-down

As always, many hand will make light work. If you can spare any time either day, it would be greatly appreciated and add to the reputation we gained for last year’s event. Register to help by clicking the button below. Any questions drop Stephen Hannigan an email at sjhannigan@gmail.com.

Volunteer to help

SCC Velodrome Trip

Stephen Hannigan has very kindly organised us a club velodrome session over at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester!

It’s 2 hour club booking, 13:00 – 15:00, Sunday 17th July.

We can take a maximum of 16 riders (minimum age being 9). Younger riders should be confident cyclists, ideally with some competitive experience or previous experience on the velodrome.

Cost is £35 per rider for a 2 hour session with a qualified coach. Bike hire is included. The bikes use Look Keo compatible pedals, so if you’ve got Look Keo cleats on your shoes, you can use them, otherwise shoe hire is an additional £4.

Register for Velodrome trip

Any questions, please contact Steve Hannigan at sjhannigan@gmail.com.

Places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Skipton Chain Gang starts 4th May

Every Wednesday night, starting from the 4th May, we’re going to be doing the Skipton Chain Gang. It’s the same route every week (Skipton to Buckden and back), total of 36 miles. Meet at 6:30PM outside Dave Ferguson Cycles. Pace will be about 20mph, so we should be back for 8:30.

We’ll aim stay together on the way out, but pace will be high, so you’ll need to be able to hold a high speed (think 18mph on a solo ride). The way back will be a chain gang from Buckden all the way back.

A few rules:

  1. Ease up the climbs: 3 main climbs on the way back, Kettlewell, Long Ashes and Threshfield Bank. If you kill it on the climbs, we’ll split up and all be doing a time trial home, which is not the point.
  2. Ease up when you go past: Don’t go past the group like a steam train, you’ll split the group up. Ease up a tiny bit as you pass, but don’t brake and don’t stop pedalling or everyone will crash into you.
  3. Keep it tight: We’ll be riding 2 abreast, so cars can get past we need to ride tight together. There should be no more than half a foot between you and the rider beside you or in front.
  4. Don’t overlap wheels: If the guy in front moves out unexpectedly and your front wheel is overlapping their rear, they will take you out and everyone else behind you.
  5. Don’t line out:: If we’re 10+ riders, lining out just makes for an impassable long line of riders. There are only a couple of narrow sections on this route, cars are safer to wait until it opens up than squeeze past.
This is a dropping ride. Don’t worry if you get dropped. Some of it is fitness, some of it is practice holding a wheel and some of it is getting used to that horrible feeling of going into the red zone for just a few seconds. All will improve the more you do it.

Youth riders welcome. You will need your parents consent, and if you are under 16, you will need to be accompanied by a nominated adult club member to be responsible for you for the duration of the ride. See Youth Membership for more details.

2016 Skipton Reliability Ride Report

What a brilliant day for it! Unlike the grey skies and gale force winds of 2015, we had sunshine. I had no idea how many people to expect so I was all ready with 2 sign-on sheets just in-case. Bumped into Dave at Dave’s getting ready and Sean bringing the SCC flags, soon we were ready for sign-on. A few riders had already gathered behind Chevin Cycles, it was great to see some old faces and new shiny summer bikes. Sign-on went smoothly, route cards handed out, rider briefing done and the 100km were away on time at 9:30 with the 50km following on shortly after.

A coffee, a walk in the woods and a pretzel from Marks & Sparks later and I was waiting in anticipation for the first riders back. 5 minutes after I’d arrived Diane, Neil and John rolled in and seemed to have enjoyed the 50, wasn’t long before all the 50s were back. Expecting to see Stuart rolling in first, I was surprised to see Martin arrive in good time and promptly collapse on the floor, not long followed by Bruce then a steady stream of the rest. Stuart tipped up with a group just missing the cut-off by 6 minutes having taken several wrong turns and back-tracking at least twice! Just as I was packing away Neil and Gareth turned up, bang on 2pm and just within the 4hrs 30. Time for Bean Loved, another coffee and some cake!

I know several people took wrong turns, back-tracked and got it wrong in places. The Skipton Reliability Ride is a much tougher than many others, partly due to the twisty, lumpy terrain and party due to the care required to navigate it. If you got round and got the route mostly right, you did well.

Particular thanks go to Stephen H for helping the SCC youth riders round and Sean M for setting up and hanging about with me much of the day.

50km finishers within 3hrs – not in order

John Tinker
Neil Smith
Diane Craven
Pete Dolan

50km finishers within 3hrs 30mins – not in order

Christine Buckley
Andy Hartley
Claire McKibben
Matilda McKibben
Paul Norman

100km finishers within 3hrs 45mins (2016 cut-off) – not in order

Gareth Frankland
Martin Humphris *
Bruce Dinsmore *

* route cut short due to wrong turn

100km finishers within 4hrs – not in order

Stuart Cowperthwaite
David Ferguson
Chris Gibbons

100km finishers within 4hrs 30mins (2015 cut-off) – not in order

Sam Potter
Stephen Hannigan
John Preston
Christine Preston
Nick Gillies
Lawrence Solloway
Jayne Butterworth
Adam Thompson
Matthew Lister
James Chew
James Sanderson
Gareth Evans
Neil Wilson