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Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 21 December 2009

By rod - Posted on 23 December 2008

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 21 December 2009

Season's Greetings from the Press Report!

The turn of the year is a time when many cyclists are thinking of their
plans for the coming season. Reading CC will again be involved in a
whole range of cycle sport while, as ever, aiming to keep the programme

One innovation for 2009 has a distinctly retro flavour. Two of the
Tuesday evening time-trial events will have the option of riding within
an "athlete's" category. To clarify what this is, one can start by
looking at the equipment that is considered to be essential for the
modern time-triallist. The time-trial bicycle has become very
specialised, featuring aero-shaped frame tubing, deep section carbon
wheels, and the forward-facing aerobar handlebars that are necessary to
achieve the most aero position for the rider. The rider is generally
clothed in a smooth skinsuit and wears an aerodynamic helmet. The
athlete's category will wind the clock back to a time before all this
equipment was considered essential. The term "athlete" implies that this
will be, arguably, a purer form of racing, in which speed is less easily
bought by purchase of the right equipment. Riders will use a normal
drop-bar racing bike. Specifically, the following items will not be
allowed within the athlete category: TT frames, deep rim wheels, disc
wheels, aerobars and aero helmets. The club hopes that there will be
interest from riders in seeing what times they can achieve on familiar
courses on a standard machine. These events will also be suitable for
anyone wanting to have a go at time-trialling; by providing a level
playing field, the more powerful riders will perhaps not be quite so
dauntingly far ahead. Reading CC will provide an official "athlete's"
category in two summer events, one 10-mile and one 25-mile.

Reading's initiative for 2009 coincides with a national series to be run
in the same vein. Multiple national time-trial Champion Ian Cammish has
been a force on the UK testing scene for the past 30 years, from the
pre-aero era to the present day. Cammish has organised an "old school"
series of open events for the coming season. The hope is to reduce the
perceived focus on equipment within time-trialling and also to find out
whether today's athletes can match times from 20 or 30 years ago when
using similar equipment.

Photo caption: Ian Cammish pictured in full flight in the 1980s: we'll
see more of this in 2009

All groups leave from Market Place Reading at 9am on Sundays.

Roderick MacFadyen
Reading Cycling Club