SCC 2015 Survey Results

Back in November 2015 a survey went out of SCC club members to see what they thought about the club. There was also a paper version available at the AGM. The survey was completely anonymous and asked 10 simple questions about the club with the opportunity to comment.

It’s taken me a while to compile the results (including manually entering the 30+ paper surveys), but it’s now complete and the results are up for all to see.

See the Survey Results

We had 72 responses from around 150 members, although only about 100 of those members are actively involved with the club. So a pretty good response rate of just under 50%. I’m not going to do an analysis of the responses, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but all in all I think we did pretty well in 2015.

Thanks to all who took the time to complete the survey.

Spring Wednesday Training

Spring is coming! You wouldn’t think it with the weather we’ve been having, but I’m confident we’ll have warm evenings and dry roads from March until May.

Come spring, you want to be getting some strength back in those legs. Now I’m not a fan of endless hill reps, but like a hilly ride as much as the next man. So I’ve devised 4 new routes to run from March 2nd until April 27th for our Wednesday training rides. Same meeting point (Dave’s) 6:30PM every Wednesday night.

All the routes are pretty lumpy so we’re not going to be able to keep it together all the way round. The aim is to build up strength and climbing ability, so go at your own pace on the major climbs but re-group as needed. I’ve included some suggested re-group points in the descriptions below.

Langbar – Week 1

A steady ride out via gated road takes us to the long classic Langbar climb. One of the toughest climbs in the area for sure, re-group at the top. Return route is via Cocking Lane (you’ve got to love that name), actually higher than Langbar at just over 900ft but far more gradual. Again, re-group at the crossroads at the top. A short up and down through Bradley brings us back to Skipton.

Nappa Winterburn – Week 2

A fairly simple variation on the classic Nappa-Hetton loop taking in Airton and Winterburn rather than the valley road to Bell Busk. There’s a proper climb out of Otterburn, so re-group at the top and it’s endless lumps between Airton and Hetton so there will be a re-group in Hetton. The rest of the way round, let’s try and keep it together.

Hartlington Raikes – Week 3

This route is all about Hartlington Raikes, a seldom used climb over by Appletreewick. One great thing about Hartlington Raikes is that it misses out Dibbles Bridge while still taking us right to the top of the moors. We go out via Black Park, but return via Grassington Road for a flattish route back. Feel free to go mad up Black Park and Hartlington Raikes, but you might be waiting a while at the top, they are both long climbs.

Cowling Hill – Week 4

Sort of like going Over t’Moss, but harder. Cowling Hill gives us a long steady climb to Skipton Old Road but with a nice lumpy warm up via Cononley rather than heading straight up from Carleton. Re-group once we hit Skipton Old Road at the top. Fast and flat back via Earby, but let’s try and keep it together there.

Autumn/Winter Wednesday Training

With the nights drawing in and the weather getting colder and wetter, we’ll be moving the Wednesday training ride to something shorter, more varied, sheltered and sedate. Chain gang will be back in the spring.

There will be 4 routes which we will alternate starting from October. Pace will be 16-17mph, aim will be to keep it together and keep it moving all the way round. If you’re struggling or dropping off the back, please shout up! The routes are:

Espresso (Linton Variant) – Week 1

24 miles, up to Kilnsey, across the bridge to Conistone and back via Grassington and Linton.

Nappa Hetton 30 – Week 2

30 miles, out to Nappa via Gargrave and Bank Newton, up to Hellifield, Flasby and back. Option to cut short if it’s grim by heading straight back to Gargrave from Bell Busk.

Burnsall Loop – Week 3

23 miles, classic Burnsall route via gated road. Short but quiet with one climb coming up to Burnsall. Usually a quick regroup in Burnsall.

Over t’Moss – Week 4

25 miles, short and easy to keep the pace up. Much of the road from Crosshills through Cowling has been resurfaced. Considerable amount of the route has street lighting. Good fun when you get a tail wind through Kelbrook.

SCC Winter Kit Order

The kit order site is live for those who want kit, including a new Milltag pro stretch rain jacket at a very reasonable £66. There will be a stock kit order going in of £1500 also, mostly common sizes (L/XL), but some youth stock in there too. Milltag sizing is pretty spot on (similar to Castelli).

Milltag sizing is pretty spot on (similar to Castelli). I’m 6ft, 76kg and wear a large jersey and shorts which are a snug fit. If you need to exchange unused kit for a different size, we can swap with stock kit (depending on what we have available).

Youth Kit: SCC subsidises youth kit by 50%. Email simonl@skiptoncyclingclub.org.uk with what kit you need and we’ll get it added to the stock order.

Closing date is 13th September, delivery will take approx 5 weeks. Order direct from the Milltag SCC site, payment by PayPal.

Order your SCC kit today

SCC Summer Ball – 8th August!

There are 2 main social events every year in Skipton Cycling Club. The Christmas Do and the Summer Ball. Well, this year the Summer Ball is on the 8th August.

It’s a great chance to spend some time with your fellow cyclists while they are not in Lycra (warning! some may still be in Lycra). There’s a 3 course meal at the excellent Herriots Hotel in Skipton, and SCC has hired a DJ so you can burn off those vino calories on the dance floor.

Wear whatever you like, smart, glam or casual. It’s a bargainous £15 each plus a small booking fee. Your other half can come too!. It was excellent last year so please come again and let your hair down.

Book now on Event Brite!

Wednesday Night Training

Basically the same as the Tuesday night training rides were, but on a Wednesday. 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 approx 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 chaingang from Buckden all the way back with the pace gradually increasing up to full pace coming out of Rylestone.

A few rules:

  1. Back off on the climbs! The ride won’t work if you pull on the climbs, weaker riders will lose your wheel and end up in the wind with no chance of catching up.
  2. Hold a wheel. At times you’ll need to push very hard to get on a wheel. It will hurt, but whatever happens don’t lose the wheel in front of you. Once you’re on a wheel it will get easier, in the wind it will only get harder. It’s worth the effort.
  3. Point out potholes. When riding close at 20mph you won’t get any chance to see a pothole or load of gravel on the road. If you’re on the front you are the eyes of the group. Point out any potholes or other surface imperfections (shout “big hole” or “gravel” if needed).
  4. Don’t worry if you get dropped. Everyone gets dropped at some time or another. If you’re dropped on the way out, spin for a bit, turn around and jump on a wheel when the bunch comes passed on the way back. If you’re dropped on the way back, just follow the road back to Skipton, meet back at Dave‘s after the ride. Either way, don’t worry, you’ll get fitter, faster and more used to holding the wheel in front. Soon you won’t be dropped!
  5. Keep it tight. You should be able to put your arm round the rider beside you and spit on the rider in front. It’s a wide road so we won’t be lining out.
  6. Don’t overlap wheels. The road is full of holes and covered in puddles. Riders often have to move out quickly. If you’re overlapping their rear wheel, they’ll take you out when they move and we’ll all be in a heap on the floor.
  7. It’s not a race. There will be a final sprint up to the Craven Heifer coming into Skipton, but other than that, keep the pace up but don’t attack.

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.

Return of the Sunday Steady 50

Earlier in the year I ran a series of Sunday rides aimed squarely and time strapped Saturday riders and chilled out Sunday riders. It was very popular, the last in the series seeing 17 riders out. Alas, commitments meant I couldn’t keep it running all year round.

Well, people have been on at me to bring it back… and what’s more, we’ve even got some people interested in leading the rides. So we’re re-launching the series!

Same format as before, a series of 4 rides, on the first Sunday of each month, 50 miles max, 14-15mph average, aim to keep the ride together, keep it moving and be back around lunch time. Café stop at Bean Loved after the ride.

Here are the dates (and suggested rides, actual routes will be posted on the SCC facebook group):

  1. 5th July – Halton Gill
  2. 2nd August – Norwood Edge
  3. 6th September – Waddington Fell
  4. 4th October – Hebden Bridge

New Saturday meeting point

Albion Place

Back on the 26th of March, I sent out a proposal for a change of meeting point. I’ve received quite a bit of feedback, here is a sample:

Would endorse change, as I think it,s only a matter of time before an accident occurs @ Dave,s, and I think we are seen as a bit of a nuisance to shoppers and general public. Not good for club image.

We have definitely outgrown the available space

We are causing a lot of congestion which can result in a bad image of the club

I think it is a great idea to change the meeting point to Albion Place- this looks like it was designed as a meeting place/amphitheater and since the powers that be have provided such a good spot it is a shame not to use it.

Albion place has cycle stands and is sheltered more than the place on Rope Walk

I’ve spoken to many other members, the only negative raised by a few people was:

We’ve always met there and I don’t see the need to change it

…which is totally valid. Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings even, no-one is about.

So, initially we’re going to change the Saturday meeting points only. All Saturday rides will now be advertised as meeting at Albion Place. Access Albion place via Jerry Croft (turn left before Cotswolds). There is vehicular access, so you do not need to dismount unless you wish to (although watch the dropped curb).

Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday evening and Sunday rides will continue to meet at Dave Ferguson Cycles.

Note: This consultation has been done via email to ensure all get an equal say, and to be as inclusive of the membership as possible. With such a fundamental decision, I (and the rest of the committee) thought the club meetings did not attract a wide enough audience.

Le Petit Depart – Kidstones

Come day of Le Grand Depart, Kidstones became the place people wanted to be. It’s the categorised climb on Stage 1 and situated in the most beautiful countryside in the Yorkshire Dales (plus there is a pub at the bottom). It also become a hub of fun and silliness. Richard from SCC captured some great pics of the day.

So what about the climb itself?

Kidstones isn’t the toughest climb in the area (I think that award goes to Park Rash), but it is (in my opinion) the best. Starting off relatively easy and ramping up to a harsh 17% for final corner) it’s a climb that needs a bit of strategy, but one you can really have a good go at. I generally go deliberately slow at the bottom then give it the beans as you get past the waterfall (which probably won’t be a waterfall if last year’s weather is anything to go by). I promptly regret giving it the beans when I realise I’ve got another 100 metres to go, but all is soon forgotten for the fast, smooth downhill getting ever closer to the grub spot.

Steep final corner

The stats

Stava has got it down as a Category 3 climb (Le Tour classed it as Category 4), but as UK climbs go, I’d say it’s a medium. 6,500 people have had a go a getting up Kidstones on their bike since Strava began, personally I’ve been up at least 20 times.

Professional riders can get up Kidstones (or Cote de Cray if you will) in under 8 minutes, my best is over 10, but anything between 10-15 minutes is excellent. In fact, if you can get up Kidstones without getting off and walking, thats a good achivement in my book. I’ve certainly thought of getting off more than once. The Skipton Cycling Club record is currently held by resident whippet, Stuart Cowperthwaite at 8:11.

Kidstones gradient

Distance: 2900m
Evelation gain: 185m
Average gradient: 6.3%

Enter Le Petit Depart Today!