Black ice causes problems

MANY Suffolk and Essex cyclists headed north to take part in the second Norfolk Nips Audax ride of the winter – and found some surprises waiting in shady spots.

MANY Suffolk and Essex cyclists headed north to take part in the second Norfolk Nips Audax ride of the winter – and found some surprises waiting in shady spots. Leaving Norwich on a bright crisp morning to ride to Castle Acre and back, there was warmth in the sun and the expectation that any ice would soon melt. However several riders found their wheels slipping from under them and it became apparent that there was black ice lurking.

Around a dozen falls were reported. Most riders were soon on their way again – taking care to ride smoothly and straight and avoiding using their brakes. However, a few retreated direct to the finish and at least one visited hospital.

The non-competitive ride attracted 147 starters, including no less than 15 from the Cycle Club Sudbury, where this sort of Audax-style endurance riding is especially popular. Several members were reduced to walking in the iciest places and as a result found the luscious cakes at the Castle Acre check all eaten – and so had to make do with healthy bananas. After that there was a tailwind for the return leg and all were among the 124 who successfully completed the 104 kilometre route.

“A mudfest” – that was how XRT/Elmy Cycles junior Hugo Robinson described round five of the National Trophy cyclo-cross series in Bradford. The infamous mud-bankings of Peel Park were at their muddiest and most demanding.

Robinson who had concentrated on endurance training for the previous two weeks and was looking for a work-out rather than a win, was well-pleased to finish second to Joe Moses in the junior race.

In the senior event new Eastern & South Eastern Champion Jamie Newall (Team Corley) was 19th, with Chelmsford’s Andy Nichols 31st. Nichols’ young Ciclos Uno clubmate Sean Dunlea was fourth in the Under 16 race.

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West Suffolk Wheeler Alan Trolove was among those attending the launch in Ipswich of British Cycling’s Project Excel for ambitious 17 and 18-year-olds interested in time-trial and road disciplines. Eastern Regional Development Manager Nigel Hampton is in charge – email him at for more details.

The next round of the Elmy Cycles ‘Cross League is the classic Broome Heath Scramble, near Bungay tomorrow. This year the organisation has been taken over by the Iceni Velo club and with former winner Shaun Aldous laying out the course an interesting day is in the offing.

The first race, for veterans, is at 11am while the senior event for the Joe Waller Trophy rounds off the day at 1.45pm. The headquarters at Ditchingham Village Hall will be open early and clubruns and visitors will find warming refreshments on sale. All races can be entered on the day - for more details telephone Shaun on 01986 895082.

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