Wednesday morning sessions meet at 6am on the cobbles on the opposite side of the road of the SE corner of the outer loop.
Please use the egroup to notify others if you are coming. Riders are split into small groups to avoid one large, unsafe mob cycling round the park. If you have been a regular to the sessions you should now know who to group yourself with, so please do this and we can get going much quicker. If you are new please make yourself known to the overall coordinator and they will accommodate you as best they can. If you arrive late please cycle anticlockwise and find an appropriate group.
Remember that the park is busy, so we try to focus on hand signals and communication. Please have this in your mind when you are riding, particularly towards the end of the set. Each group should focus on working together and looking after each other. If the group gets broken up or comes off a sharp bend then you should wait until the everyone is back in formation before picking up the pace. The same also applies when the rider at the front drops off to let the group through. Everyone should be talking to each other constantly and signalling when appropriate to keep the session running smoothly. The stronger regular riders should be able to ensure the pace of the group is steady and everyone is happy.
As usual everyone is welcome new and old members, speedy or not so speedy! The outer circle is just under a 3 mile continuous circle with three sets of traffic lights which we must stop at if red. Even if you come to this session and struggle to keep up you cannot get lost or left behind as you simply turn around and head off in the opposite direction until you find the gang again. Generally it takes about 8 mins to work our way around one lap when doing intervals. You will probably find it easier to have cleats and a road bike for this session. Helmets are mandatory due the speed and proximity of the riding groups. During the winter months when we’re training in the dark, bike lights are also mandatory (non flashing rear please). Coffee at the Pret in St Johns Wood after the session is not mandatory, but highly advised!
The session caters for all abilities; however if you do get dropped simply turn around and head clockwise until you pick the group up again. We use a combination of techniques; usually we stick with a paceline, however occasional sessions may use rolling turns – these will be called out at the start of the session! These two techniques are covered in detail below – if you don’t understand any of it, make sure you ask before the session starts.
Riding in a paceline
Take time to watch the video in the link below, read the video description and have a solid understanding of how this riding style works. If you have any questions or doubts about anything you MUST ask until you are sure about what we will be doing. The left line (inside) will be the slow and the right line (outside) will be the fast. It will be up to the inside line to maintain a steady speed thats allows the outside line to pass and make its way to the front. Once the front rider on the outside line is past the front wheel of the rider on the inside line they must safely move across and gradually reduce their speed to allow the next rider the opportunity to make it to the front. Only move across when it is safe to do so and do not brake to reduce speed, simply stop pedalling for 2-3 seconds. If you are not confident enough to look down to see the inside riders wheel then it is up to the inside rider to give you vocal confirmation that it is safe to move across, a simple ‘CLEAR’ will suffice.
There is a delicate balance between the speed of the two lines which is usually dictated by the speed of the inside line. The pace on the inside line should be comfortable enough to allow minimal recovery while also making the outside line have to work hard to get to the front but this will all come in time and tomorrow will be about group riding skills and not speed. If at anytime you cannot keep pace with the outside line you simply make this clear to the rest of the group, drop out to the right when it is safe to do so and rejoin the back of the inside line. Remain in this position until you have had sufficient recovery and once ready you can make the group aware you are rejoining.
Rolling turns are very similar to a paceline, but with riders taking less time on the front – typically just a few sessions before rolling off to the rear of the group. This technique is more difficult to master than the basic paceline, but looks very flair when performed correctly!