After 3 months of social isolation and riding on Zwift – we are finally back. Bath CC will be organising rides on a Saturday morning – but there will be some differences that must be complied with. These are all highlighted in the Bath CC Covid-19 Risk Assessment – you must agree to abide by this risk assessment to ride on any Bath CC Group rides.

The first rides will be on a Saturday morning over the 70km chaingang route – there will be groups at all speeds so this will be suitable for riders who do not normally ride the chaingang but want a social group ride and a coffee back in Chelsea Rd.

In order to minimise a large group forming at the start of the ride – all riders must be signed up to the ride, using this link.

A WhatsApp group will be created for each Saturday and groups and start times will be announced by 7pm on Friday evening.

We will meet in the Car Park of the Dental Implant Surgery on the corner of Newbridge Rd(A4) and Chelsea Rd – NOT outside Cadence where we normally meet – Thank you to Jonathon Schofield for letting us meet there.
Initially we will start with Groups of 4 – this may increase as guidance changes.

Chelsea Rd café is open and we can meet there for a coffee – please maintain social distancing of 2ms at all times and be aware of other pedestrians and users.

Bath CC Covid-19 Risk Assessment

This risk assessment has been based on British Cycling Covid-19 guidance – The Way Forward (Planning a safe return to sanctioned cycling activity and facility use) and should be used for all Bath Cycling Group activities until Government and British Cycling Guidance changes.

Unlike football or rugby, it’s very rare, if not impossible, as amateur cyclists we get to experience our sport as a truly team effort.

Of course, we may represent our club in various forms of cycle racing, but this will almost always be as an individual points scorer towards a team total.

Only at a semi-pro, pro or on the track do cyclists actually work together tactically for the collective effort.

Yesterday evening more than 30 Bath CC members found out what it was like to enjoy their sport in a team competition. Each of their experiences were unique, with as many different tales to tell as people in the start pens. Most, if not, all will have great memories. Every single Bath CC member who took part in the WTRL TTT last night deserves a massive pat on the back. They all contributed in some way to their team’s result. A few didn’t make it to the finish, but put in massive turns allowing others who were in the scoring riders to finish in a good time. One or two suffered the frustration of technical or mechanical issues, just like any other form of bike racing. The likelihood is that without any of these riders their team wouldn’t have even made on the start list.

Indoor cycling races bring concentrated pain. Long before the start time, your head will be telling your body to expect a thrashing. There are nerves and doubts, just like any competition. The punishment, in cycling racing terms, is usually quite short, around an hour or less. But what an hour! This is another reason why the representatives of Bath CC deserve a hat-tip.

In Zwift terms Bath CC is tiny. To muster 5 teams across 4 of the 5 categories was incredible. The final results look really promising for future weeks. Our teams were in the top half of all the races we entered against worldwide opposition.

Some of the talent in this competition is of the highest level. Mads Pedersen, Current UCI Men’s World Champion rides the Espresso division. Many World Tour Pros, male and female, are in the starting line-ups of the elite teams.

This makes our performances in the top Men’s and Lady’s divisions outstanding. Sam Duffy martialed his team of top division riders (Bath CC Lansdown) around the 37.5km route in 50:34.

Kim Barfoot-Brace was the Bath CC Royal leader. She only had 4 riders (including herself) to lead whereas many other teams they were up against had the full quota of 8. The Royals still managed 20th place out of 72 in the Vienna Division. Their time was 58:54. The other ladies team Cavendish, with Julia Adamson at the helm, performed out of their skins to finish in 64th place.

The Frappe event featured an incredibly hotly contested set of races. Dave Stoyle led Camden to a top half finish out of almost 250 teams in 54:01

Finally, in the Latte division, Norfolk, with just 6 riders led by me, made it to 16th position out of just over 150 teams in 55:05. Brilliant!

In my opinion, this type of racing is about as much fun as you can have on a bike anywhere. It is not meant to replicate riding outdoors. It’s just a different strand of cycling. Of course, you turn pedals and there are other shared characteristics. Some people like to dismiss e-racing as fake. Try telling that to the 32 Bath CC riders taking part last night. Or the 4000 others in this huge, mass-participation event. They will reply, “It was real for me. And it was so much fun to ride with my team!”

Chris Deane

Great turn out from Bath Cycling Club and riders from local clubs. Hope I get the Bath team list correct

A Cat

Will Duffy, Sam Duffy, Paul Richards, Martin Langley, Paul Allen, Dafydd Evans

B Cat

David Stoyle, Alastair McChesney, Michael Taylor, Stuart Gold, Steve Ridslade

C Cat

Steve Gallagher, Richard Jaques, Philly Gaisford

There were local riders from Velo Club Bristol, Salt And Sham, Bristol RC, PDQ, Performance Cycles, Swindon, BoA and Rowe & King. At times it was a little difficult to identify other riders from different clubs – but we will work on that for other races. There were 170 riders in total.

There were several riders making their debuts on Zwift racing – and no matter how many times you tell people that the start is hard, nothing prepares you for the first 2minutes of a Zwift race. Need to wind up the power with 5 seconds to go – 1.5 times FTP is recommended. And hold it there until it settles down. Once over this hump, its a question of finding the right group and holding on.

The Tick Tock course has a hill after 10-12 minutes, its a balance between trying to hold on to the group and controlling your hear rate so you are ready for the attack up the hill. Juts like a race IRL its all about positioning, holding your place in the bunch and saving energy. The first hill is about 90 seconds, and its another all out effort. Aiming for maximum Heart Rate at the top of the hill, its all about hanging on (unless you are a Duffy or a Gardner).

It’s normally where the groups split into Categories – 32 made it over the top of the hill in the first group. All the Bath A group riders plus me – there were still 11 B Cat riders in this group, including a couple from SAS (although not identifiable!!). Once over the top, its all about the recovery, but hoping the group pushes on so that the group behind does not catch.

The next hill is out of the underwater tunnel. Sam Duffy put in a massive effort – plenty of red numbers as he sprinted away from the group. The move did not stick, but helped to drop a few more. Sam then had a mechanical and power drop and was dropped from the group – a shame after his top 25 finish at the Betty Pharoah Nat B race on Saturday.

The race at the front settled down to “Club Run Pace” – well thats what Paul Richards said – 3.5w/kg is no club run for me!

The second time up the Grove climb was a little more relaxed and no further riders were dropped – and with less than 8kms to the finish, thoughts turned to the finish. A hard last climb strung the bunch out. Riders are then split between those who are just pleased they have made it that far and are doing all they can to cling to the back of the group, those who have a little left an try and hold their position as far up the group as possible – and those in it for the sprint. Will Duffy was the only local rider in the last category – great sprint for 2nd.

There were great stories throughout the race – I know that Philly, Steve and Richard Jaques were figthing it out in the Cs and kept seeing each other fly past.

The main group of Bs was very competitive with some good riders from local clubs battling it out.

The plan is to have Wednesday evening as race night. Then Saturday and Sunday as more social rides when we can get on the Zwift companion app and chat to each other. Maybe even try a coffee break/discord channel. Details to follow.

Overall Results of Local Club Riders are difficult as not all the clubs have sorted the Zwiftpower Club. Steps to take

1 – Put your club name in brackets after your name on Zwift

2 – Choose and wear club kit. – Bath are using Road CC kit with baseball hats. PDQ in a yellow and black kit.

3 – Register on Zwiftpower and link Zwift and Strava profile to Zwiftpower profile

4 – Creat a club in Zwiftpower

5 – Register with your club on Zwift power.

Some Notable performances that I have picked up.

Cat A

2nd Will Duffy – Bath CC

11th C Downham – Bristol RC

19th Martin Langley Bath CC

20 Paul Richards Bath CC

23 Chris Macdonald – PDQ

26 Dafyd Evans – Bath CC

Cat B

1st B Pope – SAS

4th David Stoyle Bath CC

11th R Morgan – SAS

13th P Hayward – R&K

15th Nico Lado SAS

17th Jason Streather PDQ

18th Michael Taylor Bath CC

20th J BoA

22nd David Swan SAS

27th S Ward Bristol RC

28th R Performance Cycles

29th Stuart Gold Bath CC

30th Matt Dale VCB

32nd Steve Ridslade Bath CC

34th Greg Drane SAS

35th S Russell – PDQ

40th A Cameron Bristol?

45th Gethin Mush Performance Cycles

Cat C

3rd Steve Gallagher – Bath CC

4th J Chappers – SAS

8th Alasdair Brown PDQ

16th M Leeming PDQ

19th Richard Jaques BAth CC

23rd Philly Gaisford Bath CC

29th T Cummins SAS

Cat D

6th P McCormack – Chip Wheelers

24th S Cox SAS

I am sure that there were many more local riders that I did not spot – a more complete report next week.

Following on from the success of the First Inter Club Zwift race on Wednesday. We are proposing to promote 4 events a week for local riders to attend. Saturday and Sunday Social Group rides and Monday and Wednesday Races. This will hopefully allow a bit of banter with friends either using the Zwift Companion App, a dedicated discord channel or WhatsApp groups.
The two weekend rides are far more social, just start at a pace you want to hold. After a few km join a group, then ride the rest of the ride with this group – you don’t have to chase the group in front for a good time and good workout. Hopefully, you will see a few friendly local riders to draft along with. Both are 100km rides – you will be amazed that it is possible to be on a turbo for 2 ½ hrs but feel welcome to join for the start and step off at any time.

Saturday 9:15 ZHR Audax 100km (Ride)

Sunday 9:00 UKZwifters 100km Sportive

The race nights will be harder rides but Zwift racing is very inclusive with 4 categories based on FTP/kg – so always someone of the same ability to race against. Felix Young will create series standings for the two race nights similar to his Odd Down racing. There will be separate male and female leaderboards, and a club competition too.

Monday 7:20 7:20PM GMT TFC & WTRL Mad Monday London Series

Wednesday 7:15 3R Tick Tock Flat Race – 2 Lap (36km/22.4mi 100m)

In order to be part of the Inter Club series you must create a club on Zwift Power – if you don’t have a club then Felix has created a British Cycling South Region Club that you can join in order to be part of the series standings. PM Felix Young

Choose a team kit and put your club name in brackets after your name and it all contributes to the social element for Zwift riding.

Remember – No License Required, No Race Fees, No Field size limits, No travel Required, 4 Categories based on w/kg.

Rather than try and post in every local clubs facebook page, which takes a lot of time, we will be using the British Cycling South Region facebook page for event updates, race reports and series points. Please like the page

We may vary the rides after the first couple of weeks, but keep a bit of consistency first – please make suggestions on how we can improve the idea.

The situation in respect of Covid-19 is changing rapidly. The government has encouraged us all to distance ourselves socially to the greatest extent possible. All organisations are considering what it means for them and how they should react. British Cycling has cancelled all of its officially sanctioned events up to the end of April. The TT this Sunday has been cancelled so if you have made a cake already, either enjoy it or give to someone who is self isolating!

We all need to do our bit so we have decided that Bath CC sanctioned rides are not appropriate at a time of social distancing so we are cancelling all official Bath CC rides until further notice.

Exercise to keep us fit and healthy is still very important so you should still try to get out on your bikes. However, in line with the guidance to maximise social distance and reduce the risks of transmitting the virus, it probably makes sense to do this on your own. This is for two reasons. Primarily it is to avoid riding in the slip stream of someone else’s exhalations. Secondly, although not specifically health related, we need to be seen to be acting responsibly to protect Bath CC’s name in our community. While we all want to support the cafes that we all enjoy the reality is that a lot of them may be closed so you will need to think about taking more snacks than usual.

We appreciate that not everyone uses social media or ride sharing platforms, but to keep us all amused for the next few weeks here are a few ideas:

  • Zwift. Chris Deane and David Stoyle have an inter club race set up on a Wednesday for all abilities. Contact them or me if you don’t have their contact details.
  • The Club Climb and Club Sprint challenges. Join Bath CC on Strava and we’ll have a reckoning for April to see who has done best on their own so get out there and have a go.
  • Check out the clubs ride with gps site for a library of rides around the area that will bring back all those happy memories of previous rides.
    Use Strava for your rides and “follow” as many other riders as you can to keep in touch.
    Facebook and WhatsApp groups are a great way of keeping in touch. Not just for cycling items but other stories and banter as we’ll need a few laughs over the next few weeks. With all racing cancelled we might have a few spare trophies, amusing ideas for what to do with them on Facebook please.
  • Send pictures of your rides/activities to Kim Brace to post on the Bath CC Instagram. Don’t forget that Chris Deane is running a photo competition this year so there is every reason to let your creative juices flow……
  • Let us know if Bath riders catch the virus or are self isolating so people can help physically (running errands) or morally (a steady stream of good jokes).
  • Sadly the ReliabilityTrial on 5 April is a casualty of social distancing. Fear not though, Jon Witty has some cunning plans to adapt it so watch out for updates on social media and email.
  • Put pictures of your clean and dirty bikes on Facebook and we’ll award a small prize for the best ones at the end of April. I already have some ideas on who will win……..

Stay healthy and do what cyclists do best, look out for each other.