‘I want to race’ I said.
‘ok’ they said.
‘For Ripcor’ I said.
‘Why don’t you start a race team?’ they said.
‘ok’ I said.

And that’s how it began. The Ripcor Race Team was born. In world record time I had become the club ‘Race Secretary’, organised some potential sponsorship, applied for a coaching course, argued with the committee (‘that’s bollocks’ they said), resigned, organised a racing training day and asked for my position back as secretary. 2 months later, here we were, 21 hardy souls braving the cold January early morning start to experience some coaching from the guys (and Julie) from Prime Coaching at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in west London.

The programme included: Through and off, pace-Line, moving through, cornering & pedal technique, ascending/descending skills, bridging and pace control, sprint and finally putting it all together in a race.

Some notable highlights include:

  • Speed Steve showing his true competitive streak by barging John Wood off his bike and onto the tarmac during the moving through session
  • Dave Guy not giving his bike to Mark Sproate to complete the coaching for him
  • Myles Hanlon looking resplendent on his vintage steed only to suffer 2 punctures and retire without completing the course (Mylo – you can pay me later for putting those tacks down mate)
  • My group of over enthusiastic idiots completely ignoring the instructions for moving through with riders sneaking round the outside with so much arse caressing that we were told to pull onto the apron and start again.
  • Greengrass pretending to be disgusted by the thought of being peed on during a race (I know he likes it)
  • Mark Sproate showing everyone he can sprint as well as climb. and time trial.  what a bastard.
  • Chris Hall’s fancy Italian ‘winter bike’ suffering from mechanical issues (should have bought a Boardman)
  • Tom Marchment from Hunt wheels joining the Ripcor crew (and unfortunately having his car broken into by some local scrotes – please don’t judge us Tom, we still love your wheels)
  • Tom Marchment showing us all how bloody good his wheels are in the freewheel distance challenge by winning by a country mile.  Awesome.
  • Ele Suggett from the Design Museum putting in an appearance and hopefully being persuaded to join Ripcor and bolster our female contingency. The girl can race too!
  • Ant Harris foolishly honking his horn at Dieter on the way out and then suffering from some ‘banter’ as his windscreen wipers and wing mirrors were twisted and lifted out of place.

All in all it was an excellent morning. The coaches were absolutely brilliant and we loved their old school, no nonsense approach. Exactly what Ripcor needed to be pulled into line.

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Here’s to a positive start to 2016, I hope the day has whetted the appetite for people with an interest in racing for Ripcor.  Watch this space for a track taster session at Herne Hill and let me know if you have any thoughts and ideas or if you just fancy an argument and me quitting again!