Today I saw the article about me in the Ipswich Star and I was really excited. I really liked it and I am very happy that I got the opportunity to be in the newspapers. Thank you ‘Sarah Lucy Brown’ for taking photos and thank you ‘Oliver Sullivan’ for writing it. Especial thank you to Alan, Alison and Keith for all of your support.
It was a nice day today. The sun made it warm compared to the past weeks. It was 14 degrees. I increased my speed a little bit to around 17.5mph average this week. This is quite slow compared to race speed, but the plan today was to ride a 10 mile Time Trial course three times called the B10/9 from Sudbourne through Tunstall and back. It was quite fun, but not as flat as I was told by my dad. It was a bit windy, but not too bad. I am trying to learn the local courses, as I will be able to race on open roads from the end of March. I will miss the first race at this course, as I won’t be 12 in time. Still, it was good to get the feel of the course. When I race, I do sighting laps and installation laps. The installation laps are where you work out where the best lines through corners might be, braking points, exit speeds and things like that. Sighting laps are just riding around the course and checking what it’s like, where there are pot holes and other things that I need to take different lines for. Today I rode on my CycloCross bike with road tyres on, so it didn’t feel as fast as a road race bike. The only technical bit was in Tunstall, but as I was not in a TT position and not going over 20mph, it seemed easy enough. I think the tight corner on the way back in Tunstall might be harder at full race speed because I had to be careful at 20mph. If there was a tail wind into that corner or a strong side wind in a time trial position, it would be a lot harder. I think I will do a few test rides on my TT bike in a month or so, so I will find out then.
Today I went to Stonham barns and had a few photos taken by a photographer called Sarah. (we were social distanced). She asked me a few questions about my cycling and then she took some photos of me, she also took some of me with my dad, and some while I was riding. Luckily it was warmer and wasn’t snowing this week so it was quite fun.
It was cold outside today. I did a ride with very icy roads. The temperature was about 1-2 degrees, but the wind was colder. I cut the ride a bit short as the snow drifts were too dangerous to ride on at a normal speed. I did around 45 miles total. I got used to the cold quite quickly, so that wasn’t much of a problem. Its warmer next week, so hoping it is dry too.
This weeks training has gone well. I still have no idea where my cycling friends I race against are with speed, but I think if we race I will soon find out. Today I am still doing endurance training, but we did most of it in the garden and in the village park. Dad put my CycloCross tyres back on my bike, which made it easy to ride on grass. Still looking forward to doing speed work and the sunshine, but I’m having fun and riding in the snow.
Just a bit cold outside today, but I needed the miles, so I went out. Towards the end it dropped to zero and there was ice everywhere. I stayed local and on the quiet lanes. It was dry, which was the best part. It took my feet about an hour to go back to the right colour afterwards. I did about 52 miles at 15 miles an hour, which was the target. I was a bit worried, so the last 2 miles I picked up the pace to 20mph roughly, and dad was not finding it easy (nor was I). I think it will be nice when the weather gets warmer.
National Closed Road Time Trial Championship 2020. On Saturday the 10th of October 2020 (last week), my dad and I went to ‘Premier Inn’ at Thruxton in Hampshire for the race the next day.
We went with Jack (10yrs) and Edith (13yrs), all of us are members of Suffolk Youth Race Team (SYRT). We had dinner together that night and then went to bed. The hotel let us down a bit with breakfast, so we had to find some in another place.
In the morning, we woke up and packed our things away. I got ready in my kit, then we packed the car and checked out of the hotel. We then went to McDonald’s and bought pancakes, but didn’t eat them in the end as we didn’t really like them, so I had a banana instead. When we got to the race, I signed on and got my numbers and timing chip and took them back to the car.
Edith, jack and I rode around a bit to keep warm and at 8:00, we did a few laps of the course together to practice our lines and position.
With about 30 minutes to the race, I got on the rollers and did a few minutes on there. I finished my drink, got back on the rollers and did a few harder bursts. With about 10 minutes to go to my start, I went over and started riding around the square warm up area near the start line.
At the start line, I had to think about my gears and where my pedal was in order to get a fast start. Although I was ready, I still had quite a bad start, only getting clipped in at the end of the pit lane.
I was on the tri-bars as soon as i could have and about 1 minute into the race, I went around a corner and someone came past me on the inside of the track, but there was not much space, maybe 40 cms, so it was very close. They made me lose control of the bike whilst I was on the tri-bars, and I almost fell off. I recovered and settled back into the race without losing too much time.
There is a hill on the course near the end of the lap. After a few laps riding the hill seated, I decided to test out which one was faster, “out of the saddle” or “on the tri-bars seated” for the hill. I figured out that I was much faster out of the saddle when going up the hill and still recovered in time to push onto the finish straight.
I forgot my inhaler before the race, so I was struggling a bit with my breathing for the whole race, but at the end of the race I gave all my remaining energy away by giving a sprint to the finish line. I was so tired and out of energy when I finished, that after I signed out, I could barely stand and had to sit on the ground whilst we were talking to team mates.
I was quite happy with my result and I came 1st (I was the only one in my category ). Although I did beat a 13,14 and 15 year old which I think is quite good.
It was great fun and I’m glad I could race there this year. Well done to everyone who raced.It was about 4 hours to get home, so I was quite tired when we arrived to see my mum and our dog.
Thank you again to Angus for lending me his disc wheel. I looked after it very well and It made me feel very fast.
Thank you to Stonham Barns for their support this year (Alan and Terri Forward, Keith etc), you make a big difference, especially for the opportunities you make available to me.. Its never forgotten.
Today I went to Milton Keynes to ride with the UCI road team, Cams Tifosi.
When we arrived, we met Keith the photographer who works with my sponsors Stonham Barns and we went to the area where the team were getting ready.
A few minutes later, I talked to Clover Murray, who came from Colchester and rode for Braintree velo (who my dad used to ride with, and they both knew Chris Broadway). She was very kind and supportive.
There were two choices of course, 20 miles or 40 miles and I chose the 40 miles one.
We had to ride in groups of six because of coronavirus and our group was with Megan Barker (Professional cyclist who won a gold medal at the European games). It was a very nice course and lovely weather. I used my cyclo-cross bike which is a bit heavier than my road bike. The course was quite hilly but also had lots of long downhills.
We rolled out from the café but our group split up quite quickly so Megan and I rode together almost all of the way. I managed to ask a lot of questions and I now know a bit more about how professional riders work.
Everybody was very friendly. The photographer and my dad came past quite a lot and got hundreds of pictures of Megan and I. Megan said “it’s like were celebrities.” It was very windy which affected our speed a bit but we still got round with a 16 mph average.
When we got back to the café me and my dad got a drink and something to eat. I got the biggest bit of Victoria sponge cake in the world! The wasps were attacking us and they wanted my dad’s Danish whirl. After that the team had a quick Q&A session, but we had to leave a bit early, so we could only see half of it.It was a wonderful experience and a very inspiring ride and I’m glad I got this opportunity.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Allan, Keith Suffling (amazing), Simon and Cams Tifosi but especially Megan Barker for looking after me around the course today.
Some great photos from Keith Stuffling of Megan and I during the ride.
Massive thank you to Megan for buddying me around the 40 miles, Clover for being so kind before the ride, Keith for helping to organise the ride and taking all of the photos and of course, Alan Forward of Stonham Barns Park for his support, as ever.
This took a while to get right. We went through a few weeks of how to get an 11yr old girl, me, to beat some of the fastest male senior riders around the showground. I know if they came back, they would beat me, but that’s not too surprising.
We worked on all sorts of positional optimisation, corner exit speed etc to be in with a shot. A local coach tried to tell me I was not riding correctly, which confused me a bit for one week, but w got back on track and the results are below.
It was great to be on my own pushing out a good few lap times that equalled the record, but I was over the moon to see two laps that were quicker. I did have a few laps out on each attempt and the fastest time same from 3 laps in a row attempts with the middle lap being the hardest push.
Thank you again to Stonham Barns for their support and use of the show ground.