A weekend of great autumn rides…

Saturday. Lori led ten nippy riders through the autumn scenery of Kent to Trottiscliffe (Trosley to locals). Steve led another group of seven more relaxed riders a slightly different way and we all arrived at The George pub for coffee within minutes of each other. The round trip from Oxted just over 50 miles in total.

The George, Trottiscliffe…img_3228-cr

Cass had cold toes…


Sunday: Three groups left Nero’s on another chilly Autumn morning which turned out sunny and beautiful. Gavin and Jo led a gentle ride along Pilgrims Way, Sam led a quicker group out to Hever and Chris Hewitt led the racier types on a 60 mile blast.

Winter is coming, one solution: fit slime filled, self repairing tubes. Avoid cold hands and even colder looks from your clubmates. Around £7 each or you can buy the gunge to fill your own tubes…but it’s fiddly and sticky.

An example of self repairing tubes CLICK HERE


WINTER IS COMING…now we have to get clever with clothing. It was nippy today but we were warm inside our OCC wind/rain jackets. These really work and the new ones are superb. They scrunch up into a back pocket when you don’t need them.. We have a few choices of warm long sleeve tops from £59 to £74.

WINTER BOOTS are good, the Northwave Fahrenheit is still one of the best, not cheap at £135 but quite effective.

GLOVES: avoid anything with velcro, it snags your lycra! For really cold/wet weather the best solution is neoprene but they are actually too hot above 5 degrees.


GET A WINTER BIKE: Wise owls around the club know the benefits…you can get a good winter bike for much less than £500 with tough tyres and proper mudguards fitted which will save the chain, cassette and changers – and save you and the people behind getting caked in wet muck. Keep your best bike for summer!

MAJORCA: Lori is organising next April’s great trip to the sunny isle. Slight snag at the moment all getting into the same hotel, Lori is working on it BUT SHE MUST KNOW if you’re interested for final numbers, get in touch.

CHRISTMAS DINNER/PRIZEGIVING: Jan 28th. So far we have FIFTY names on the list. If you haven’t confirmed, please drop me a line. We’re juggling venues and must know the final numbers likely to come. Just a ‘yes probably’ is helpful, no money to pay yet.

Ride to the Velo House Cafe, Tunbridge Wells

IF YOU DIDN’T RIDE TODAY you missed the most glorious autumn morning – slightly chilly at first but sunny and wonderful. Steve and I tried a new idea, taking both T2 & T3 rides via different routes to the stylish Velo House Cafe in Tunbridge Wells, and we all arrived at the same time.

My group went via Poundsbridge and Speldhurst, two very pretty villages, just beyond Penshurst, a delightful surprise with quiet, beautiful lanes. We were ahead of schedule so we did a detour to the Pantiles, to see the actual ‘wells’ of Tunbridge Wells.

Some of you have been before but it was all new to me. Oli described it well as ‘very New York’….a big open plan cafe/bike shop with some great posters, memorabilia, new gear on display, a very busy kitchen, workshop and showroom upstairs, the whole place heaving with cyclists.

velo-h-1 img_3215 img_3685

The mighty CAT and BEC hill climbs…

More often than not this great day in the cycling calendar is almost as tough on the spectators as the riders, with low temperatures and lashing rain but today was bright and glorious.

We set off from Nero’s in fabulous sunshine to the beautiful autumn surroundings of Yorks Hill, with the buzz of competitors nervously fixing their numbers and warming up. For us spectators there are easier decisions: ‘mustard on yer bacon roll guv?’

We only had one rider in this event, Chris Filewood and he was calm before the storm. We watched other riders before him toil up the legendary hill and suddenly, there he was, pounding the pedals, head down…


Chris did a fabulous 2.22 and as he crossed the finish line, he collapsed in a heap, alarming us briefly but he was fine. That massive effort placed him 2nd out of the 30 riders who’d finished by the time we decided to move off.

Incidentally, quite a few riders are totally spent by the time they finish; one girl lost control, rode into a parked car and was caught by spectators before she passed out. We watched a few other riders but getting chilly, Steve, Duncan and myself decided to head off for a ride – and what a glorious morning to descend Bayley’s for Chiddingstone, then onto Westerham Cyclery for a light lunch, the place was heaving with riders heading to and from the hill climbs. Chris Filewood and Chris Hewitt joined us and some East Grinstead riders. Then it was time to head up to The Bec.

The buzz at White Lane is fantastic. It’s all flags, banners, anxious riders, friends, family, music – and a great announcer. I first came to this event in 1969, aged 15, it’s still just as much fun. The action starts at 2pm…

Our first rider was 12 year old Aimee Hobbs, her dad Paul was more nervous than her, she was astonishingly calm before the start and got huge applause from the crowds. She battled up the hill to finish with 3.55.5, that’s faster than many of us could manage!


Next was Jack Dennison, flying up the hill, which he conquered in 2.18.7, a fabulous time.


Next up was Richard Powell, an accomplished racing man not used to hill climbs but brave enough to give it a go. He looked unfussed about the cheering and noise around him to make a very respectable 2.27.1. After getting his breath back, he started talking about how he’ll use different gearing next time, so he has plans for 2017!


Chris Filewood was making it a CatBec double today, which is hard…and he’d ridden from Yorks to White Lane. His family all turned out to cheer him on plus a HUGE contingent of Oxted supporters now lining the hill! Somehow Chris found the energy to shake the tarmac with a stunning 2.17.3. Incidentally, in a Hill Climb event, Juniors are required to wear crash helmets.


Number 109 on the start sheet was Chris Hewitt, just back from holiday in California. Jet lag and any lack of miles didn’t deter him from knocking 2 seconds off his time for last year, with 2.26.3. Another great Oxted result…and a terrific ‘race face’ of sheer determination!


The organisers arrange things so that known top performers go later as the competition hots up, so Chris Balkham was our last rider to attack the hill. Chris’s wife Lindsay was there to cheer him on, they’re expecting their first child in about seven weeks, good luck!! Chris hammered past us in 2.10.2 – our fastest rider of the day!


THIS WAS A FABULOUS DAY FOR OXTED CC – it’s not easy to ride both events, so we were honored to have Chris Filewood tackle both…and with gusto. We had a terrific ‘big up’ from Mike Morgan, the boss of Catford CC who was on the PA system at the CAT event; he praised our success as a ‘serious new cycling club’. And in the afternoon at White Lane, the announcer was full of praise for Oxted riders…and our distinctive kit, event organisers always complain about people not riding in club colours.

IT WAS ALSO FABULOUS to see so many Oxted members and their families turning out to cheer on our riders. It’s a big sacrifice because however much you wrap up, it gets cold standing for hours. But isn’t it exciting?! And isn’t this a very ‘real’ sport, with no luck or short cuts, just intelligent, hard training to ‘get to the top’! Full results for both events will be published tomorrow.

HILL CLIMBS MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE GNARLY SEASON. This will be our fourth winter and we’re not going to let it beat us. To stay fit, slim and gorgeous (as we all are!) we have to wrap up, knuckle down and keep riding. The only time we’ll cancel rides is if there is ICE and if there’s snow, we’ll meet up and walk over the downs!

The Biggin Hill sportive is next, we can ALL do this one! Book here: www.evanscycles.com/biggin-hill-road-sportive-entry-6th Nov

Nearly the end of the season…

It’s been a great season for Oxted CC so far with many new members at all levels, from social rides to racing. We’ve run a huge number of weekend rides on both Saturdays and Sundays, from local jaunts to long rides to the coast. Our racers have been spectacular; we’re currently 17th in the Surrey League out of 53 clubs, pretty good for a young club! We’ve been prominent in local and open Time Trials, with five sub hour 25 mile champions so far. We’ve competed in hill climbs, reliability trials and sportives as far as Wales…and on the continent. We had 34 riders of all levels in the Circuit of Kent sportive last weekend where we bagged 10 gold and 7 silver times. In the 130km distance we had four riders in the top ten out of a total field of 296. Our members are all ages, around quarter are female and ages range from 10 to 72! We are a club for the whole family.


Chairman’s report…

Chairman’s report to the Committee 29th September 2015

I’m delighted with our progress. We’ve exceeded what we set out to do in running ‘a club for all levels’.

We’ve run 3, 4 & sometimes 5 rides on Saturdays and Sundays for over two years now, thanks to a number of wonderful ride leaders who know exactly what to do.

‘Whole club’ events and sportives have been amazing: the Kentish Killer, Nutfield to Brighton, Reigate Rouleur, the Pru and more. The recent Circuit of Kent was incredible with 47 Oxted finishers, many in gold and silver categories.

We have great racers with Chris Balkham leading the charge as a 2nd Cat. We have five 3rd Cats, Maddy, Jack Dennison, Chris Hewitt, Chris Hardy and now Noah Faiers. And a SIXTH very soon – David Hodge. Plus David Tyler in LVRC and 4ths Pete Hargreaves and Tim Whitehead. Junior Chris Filewood has completed his Race Accreditation. We’ll have ten racers on the start lines next year.

We were robbed of the big Lingfield race in June, cancelled last minute by roadworks! But we ran a good evening race in Nutfield; our reputation in the racing fraternity is good. We should be running the big Lingfield race again in June.

Time Trialling – we’re flying! We have had another great season as guests of the very generous East Grinstead CC at the Horne 10 and in open events, the recent Festival CC/Dorking 10 was the icing on the cake: fastest lady Maddy, fastest Junior Chris Filewood and fastest club, Oxted!

Members have been fantastic at marshalling races and TTs. We are also hoping to book more Velodrome sessions before Christmas.

We’ve had riders in a number of Hill Climbs; the Waller Pain, the East Grinstead CC’s Legsheath Lane, Redhill CC’s Denbies Duels, Catford CC and the Bec events.

Pete Abbott’s Majorca trip was a huge success; we’re going again in 2016.

We have a high proportion of female riders and the membership keeps growing steadily, including more young people.

We’ve had a few accidents but dealt with them bravely. We know the risks in cycling. And Rule No 5 is well understood at Oxted.

We’ve run a First Aid night, we will again.

We’ve had great socials; a superb prize giving dinner, Alan Dennison’s Tour de France finish party was superb and Richard Houghton’s Trevereux Hill hog roast was a great event.

We are definitely much more than a sunny Saturday club; we are a real cycling club!

THANK YOU ALL for your tremendous support, Russell Hicks.


Good news for oldies like me! A study found that older ‘serious cyclists’ really do enjoy great benefits from all those miles!

So, please do take a good look at our calendar and make some dates with exceptional health and fitness: oxtedcc.org/calendar


Kat’s call to action at Lifeline gym on a Friday…

let's get fit

Hot on the heels of Russell’s email about the start of the Time Trial season comes this message from me to let you know how you can prepare for an upcoming time trial even though you are already “in-season”, in other words: you don’t have months to prepare but want to see some pretty good results pretty damn quick (parallel to you clocking up more spring miles on the road as well).

If you think it can’t be done with only a few weeks to go, think again!

It holds true that interval training at race-specific high cadences has been shown to improve endurance cycling performance, but there is evidence that adding resistance to reduce the cadence might be more effective (see study synopsis below). This evidence aligns very well with my constant nagging about the resistance level used in my classes. You need to push against resistance in order to become more powerful and indeed faster.

Resistance-based intervals in all their various forms make up the main body of work in Turbo Trippin’ and are an extraordinary tool to get you race-ready. The study below was based on two sessions per week but I believe that even if you are only able to add one of of my classes to your weekly schedule you will make gains. Just make sure to crank up that resistance, hold back on the speed a little and see your endurance skyrocket.

Oh, and a clear fat-burning effect was also observed in the study: never a bad thing for any athlete entering competitive events. But also a great thing for those of you who may not wish to race but who are just looking to get a little leaner. Love handles may be cute in your partner’s eyes, but they are dangerous: belly fat is a risk factor for many diseases you must not ignore.

Study Synopsis
AIM. To determine the effect of high-resistance interval training on endurance performance of male cyclists during the competition phase of a season. 

METHODS. In a randomized controlled trial, 10 cyclists in a control group maintained usual training and competing while 12 cyclists in an experimental group replaced part of their usual training with high resistance interval training twice weekly for 8 wks. Mean power in a 40-km simulated time trial, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), incremental peak power, body composition, and leg strength were measured before and after training.

RESULTS. Relative to control training, there were clear beneficial effects of resistance training on 40-km mean power (7.6%, 90% confidence limits ±5.0%).  There were also clear beneficial effects on incremental peak power (3.5%, ±4.2%), VO2max in ml.min‑1.kg‑1 (6.6%, ±7.0%), and sum of 8 skinfolds (‑12%, ±11%).  Effects on body mass (‑1.6%, ±1.9%) and thigh muscle area (0.6%, ±2.7%) were possibly trivial.

CONCLUSIONS. High-resistance interval training produces a major enhancement in endurance power of athletes in the competitive season.  The benefits of this form of training should transfer to competitive performance.

Sportscience 9, 27-31, 2005 (sportsci.org/jour/05/amt-m.htm)
Kinetic Edge Cycling, Box 25941, Auckland, New Zealand.
Reviewer: Carl D Paton, Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, NZ

YOU can experience this beautiful science in action by joining us tonight for some serious TT prepping. Let’s get it done, boys and girls

Good Morning Oxted CC

Friday’s SGPT (Small Group Personal Training) with Kat launched at Lifeline last week and those of you who attended had a great time hammering the equipment in the gym… a different experience to a studio class and one we will happily repeat this week.

PLEASE NOTE: 2 places left for tonight only, so grab yours now!

The main difference between a normal studio group exercise class and SGPT is of course that
The groups are small (4-5 people max.)

I design the workouts with your individual goals in mind
I personally supervise you and look at how you move during training

On-the-spot, hands-on advice and training tweaks

Here is a reminder of the general benefits:
Individual training goals
Sport-specific training

Body composition goals (if applicable)

Nutrition (and lifestyle) advice (for your sport/body composition)
Correct lifting technique
Fitness testing
Body fat testing
Stats and bi-monthly re-testing

Injuries (if applicable)
plus you would get a heavy discount on my training and nutrition app

The group format also makes Personal Training more cost-effective. Naturally, the cost is higher than a typical studio class but the input from me, your coach, is a lot greater in and away from the gym. The bonus for you is that you will see the difference that a more individualised approach makes. If 4 or 5 people share PT you get a bumper crop of benefits that a class does not offer, and that for a moderate investment.
The cost of SGPT:

2 attendees = £28 each
3 attendees = £20 each
4 attendees = £18 each
5 attendees = £15 each
Included in the price is full insurance for you and the use of the gym for this session.


See you tonight.



Chairman’s report 1st of January 2015

Dear Oxted CC Members,

What a great year 2014 was! Our first full year as a fully functioning, modern cycling club, bringing great enjoyment to a growing number of people. We’re really on the map now!

Best of all has been the spirit of friendliness between everyone and the support given by experienced riders to new
people. Bob Whitlock, in winning the Good Fellowship cup sets a shining example but I’ve been amazed at how
everyone has made great efforts to welcome new people and help where they can. We’ve all made friendships which
I’m sure will last a long, long time.

My aim was and still is to build a club which respects the traditions of ‘the great British cycling club’ but also one that is ahead of the game, setting new standards. That still means a club for all levels and all ages, whether hot shot with gritted teeth or weekend rider with a big smile. What matters most is that we all enjoy the cycling!

We have been hugely blessed with many keen and competent ladies. Cass was flying last year and has just bought
a new TT bike; now there’s commitment! And the awesome Maddy Lee-Smith has now joined OCC, one of the fastest ladies in the South of England. Cycling is a sport where females can excel but it is equally wonderful to have many keen lady leisure riders, coming out in all weathers and improving steadily.

In 2014 our racers led by Chris Balkham were fearless and ‘in the points’. Thanks to Glenn Karpeta we saw a
number of people try their first TT and the warm welcome from East Grinstead CC was a huge boost. We were
hugely prominent and successful in many prestigious Surrey and Kent sportives. And ‘the blues’ were seen in the
Etape and two classic hill climbs. OCC riders have now twice ridden at the Olympic Velodrome.

We ran out first big road race last summer in Lingfield (in some style!) and have been asked to run it again on June 7th (make a note). The owners of the superb HQ have offered us the barn and grounds again.

Our prize giving dinner was a success and I hope we got the prizes right. The Committee will soon be looking again
at the best ways to reward future achievements. The idea is to give back in prizes at the end of the year whatever is left in the bank! Talking of which, standby for this years demand soon. It is going up to £30 for 2015 but what
fantastic value to be a member of the best club in Britain with a Caffe Nero start and finish.

And thanks to Pete Abbott’s tireless organisation, we have twenty riders now going to Majorca for a training camp at the beginning of April.

Serious moment No 1: There was another Oxted CC once, in the 1950’s and it died through lack of effort from the
members. Just riding isn’t enough. A successful club needs a little effort from everyone. It’s unpaid work and the
most important job is leading rides, reliably, consistently, sometimes slower than you’d like. Being helpful and gentle with new riders is VITAL to growing a club. People need to get back after a ride and think ‘that was fun’ not ‘never again’. Please volunteer to be a ride leader!

Serious moment No 2: There are obviously dangers in road cycling; we accept that every time we ride. But we can
minimise the risks by doing commonsense things and our advice is clear at oxtedcc.org/safety. The club will do
everything possible to ensure your safety but we will not compromise on any rule, whether it’s No 1 or No 17!

Time, or lack of it, is a determining factor in fitness. Family and work comes first but a quote that inspired me years ago was ‘Make time now for good health or be forced to later’. I think it is very important to have targets that you stick to. I’m happy with my fitness with 4600 miles ridden this year but Pete Abbott eclipsed that with 7460!

Goodness knows what Austen has done he had a new Garmin for Christmas, the old one probably ran out of zeros!

Let’s have a great 2015!

Russell Hicks

Oxted Prize Giving Dinner 2014