Dean Makes Two Visits to Worcester

On a sunny and warm day in the middle of May, Committee Member, Dean Cummings made the familiar journey to Worcestershire to compete in the LVRC National C/D Road Race. This event attracts a quality field headed by former British Squad member Andy Eagers. One familiar face for Dean to pass the time of day with before the start was, former member John Hughes.

Given the quality of the riders it was no surprise that the pace was fast from the off, headed by Eagers.  Ambulance driver Dean sat in the bunch in an attempt to conserve energy. The route followed the busy A443 trunk road before the riders took a sharp left onto the one mile climb.  This split the field as they crossed the Start/Finish line and Dean was dropped by the blistering pace. Though he chased for the 11 mile lap he decided to pack at the next climb up the hill feeling the busy A443 was too dangerous for a lone rider.  Andy  Eagers went on to win with a solo break away. Though very disappointed with the result on the day Dean is looking forward to returning to the event next year.

For those of you who like to know these things Dean rode 22.5 miles at an average of 20.09.  Maximum speed was 43.5mph and average power output was 225 with a maximum of 786.  Well done Dean

Following his disappointment the previous week ex-policeman Dean Cummings retraced his steps to return to Worcestershire to ride the  LRVC Sevale Road Race on the popular Welland circuit.  As with all these route in the west of the county there are narrow country roads and hills which rise towards the Malverns.  There is never an easy circuit.  Dean turned up with high hopes to be able to compete in the sprint on a sunny but chilly day in May.

The 48.5 mile race was for Cats D,E,F,G. Riding strongly to keep a good position in the bunch Dean was able to cover all the breaks, though he felt that he did a little too much on the front.  The race was all together on the long straight for the final sprint. Having given himself every chance of a good finish by working hard throughout the race dean was rewarded with 9th place in his age group, leaving him much happier on the return home than he had been the previous week.

Stats for the race  48.5 miles with an average of 23mph. output of 218 watts with a max of 808 watts.

Two Trips Over Offa’s Dyke

The month of June offered road racer Dean Cummings two further opportunities to cross Offa’s Dyke to compete. 

The first race meant crossing the M5 to reach Bearley just south of Birmingham to race the Tommy Goodwin Memorial RR organised by Solihull Wheelers under LVRC Rules. The 56 mile event was organised for C/D Cats on a hilly course with fast descents.  Though the race split on lap 3 Dean managed to stay in a group who all worked together enabling him to finish in a strong field of riders. Often riding against a strong easterly wind Dean was very pleased with his efforts with placed him 10th in his age group.

Stats for the day:  Av. Speed 21.5 mph – max 40 mph Power output Av. 215 Max 779 Watts.

The second race was only just over Offa’s Dyke at Aston Clun in Shropshire, this Cat C/D event was organised by the Ludlow Brewery CC over 45 undulating miles. A strong field assembled at the start with several younger C Cat entries.  Riders were expected to negotiate 5 laps of an 8.67 mile circuit with a one mile climb at the start of each lap.  The climb managed to control the early pace but on Lap 3 one rider attacked the field and was soon joined by two others while the bunch hovered about a minute behind.

Feeling strong, Dean was able to hold his position well in the bunch until the final lap when the pace increased. The bunch fragmented on the long climb but came back together on the fast descent.  The three in the early breakaway managed to stay away while the bunch frantically chased after them before the final sprint for the line. While the first three riders were positioned the bunch was given a formal result as they could not be split.

The event was very well organised with excellent prizes and lots of beer from the organisers.

Stats for the day: Av speed 22.5mph Max 42.1mph Av HR 143  Av. Power Output 225 watts Max 701 Watts.

Gary’s UP-and-Down 50

The A40 between Llandovery and Carmarthen is up and down when driving in the car.  The route profile for the Bynea 50 resembles the sort of saw lumberjacks used to use before the advent of the chainsaw.  The Bynea event was run on the R50/5, a change from the planned Resolven course because of road works which gave organisers and riders the opportunity to look at the up-coming National 50 Championships course at the end of June.

Two Acme members had signed up for the event, unfortunately Dave Singleton was not able to start, leaving Gary Flower as the Club’s sole starter.  Conditions were dry and cool but there was the inevitable wind for riders to contend with.  Gary had his sights set on a distance PB, however, when he saw the trees bending as he rode to the start his plans changed.

The course profile and technical nature of the roads meant that the wind offered no assistance to riders on this out and back course.  Even the road surface was a hinderance in some areas, Gary estimated he lost a couple of miles per hour on some sections. The GE engineer was disappointed with his 61 minutes for the first 25, after the hard work he had put in he felt he had gained little reward.  Although the return leg was not quite as difficult it was still a tough ride with the hoped for tailwind not materialising.

After setting too high a pace at the start Gary was counting the miles after 40 and was delighted to see the Time Keeper get closer and closer.

Next up for Gary the WCA 100m Championships.

Dean’s Second Drive up the M50

Another regular event in the LVRC Calendar this 48 mile route is broken down into three laps of 16 miles.  It is known as the Welland Circuit, after one of the villages on the course, which is in the shadows of the Malvern Hills.  All the riders expected a fast pace but that was likely to take its toll because of the strong easterly wind.  The course wends its way through agricultural countryside with hedges providing the occasional shelter from the wind.  In other areas these same hedges would create “head-wind tunnels“ for the riders to contend with.

 The first lap went well for retired policeman Dean Cummings and all riders were together after a few attacks were pulled back. As the bunch travelled along the open common road the cross wind caused a split in the Bunch. Dean chased back taking several riders with him and managed to get back on before the start of the 3rd and final lap.

The pace quickened and Dean knew he would pay for his efforts on the previous lap. As the final miles came he could feel the fatigue his legs. As the riders negotiated the final bend onto the common road into a now strong head/cross wind the bunch kicked. Digging in to stay with the front-runners Dean managed to finish 23rd for a second time. However, this put him into an excellent 10th in his age group.

For the “Statos” amongst the readers Dean completed the 48.58 miles in 2hrs 6min with an average speed of 23.1mph.  His average power output was 213w with a maximum of 742 watts.

First Trip Over Offa’s Dkye

The Road Racing season started at the end of March for Committee Member Dean Cummings with two visits to Worcestershire to compete in League of Veteran Racing Club (LVRC) events.

The first trip across Offa’s Dyke was for the Pinvin RR in the Pershore area of Worcestershire, Dean was competing in the D cat 55-59yrs section.

The course was an 8mile circuit along undulating country roads which is completed six times. This regular LVRC event is always a good one to test the legs and form for the early season. The Race went from the gun with four riders away and the strong team from Bath CC blocking any efforts to bridge the gap. The fast race pace continued with several attacks from the bunch over the undulating circuit with a difficult easterly cross-wind to deal with. At 2 miles to go two riders were well clear though they were being chased down by three riders hovering a few seconds in front of the bunch. Though very tense, the final mile saw no change in the overall result.  With 300 metres to the finish the road opened up in front of ambulance driver Dean and he went for it only to be swallowed up with 20 metres to the line.  

In a very competitive field Dean finished in a creditable 23rd position with an average speed of 23.8mph over the 48 miles.