The Ronde is deliberately very low key and relaxed (just turn up and ride) but to make sure it all runs smoothly for everyone turning up, as well as local residents and visitors, please familiarise yourself with the following:
Over the years, as its popularity has increased, parking has become more of an issue at Pendle Heritage Centre. This year, please DO NOT park at the Heritage Centre. I'm expecting over 100 riders and your cars simply won't fit in the tiny Centre car park anymore.
Instead, please park at either
Greenfield Rd car park, off the B6247 and opposite Barrowford Reservoir (might be a barrier - watch roof racks?!)
At the Rec Ground at the end of Wilton St off the A682 or
Behind the Spar (car park) on the A682
Both are on the map below and close to the Heritage Centre, or alternatively find considerate on-street parking nearby. We will all meet at and ride from the Heritage Centre.
View Larger Map
There could be a large number of riders on Saturday and whilst it isn't a race/sportive, some will be going faster than others.
Head out from 10.00am onwards but if you fancy going out in a quicker group, feel free to wait till 10.30am and the last group. If not, form a group and ride with whomever you fancy.
I'll do my best to sign much of it but it's a big task. Make sure you have a cue card or Garmin trace - also many will have done it before so find someone you don't know, say hello and ride with someone new. Simples.
Sportsunday, our fave local photographers have been baking this week. Those who have been before know what this means..... They are doing this for free so please let them know how much we appreciate their efforts, without spitting cake all over them, and go to their website after and check in for the pics. There will be at least one of you and are well worth purchasing, if only to say thanks.
Please look after each other whilst riding, and be considerate to other road users - there could be a whole heap of cyclists riding round East Lancs that morning..... You know the rest.
This is a social, voluntary ride and you ride entirely at your own risk.
See you Saturday!
Tuesday 27 March 2012
Friday 16 March 2012
I snuck off work for a day earlier this week and went filming. Armed with a Go Pro camera and a moody, misty East Lancs day I thought I'd give you a sneak preview of some of the Ronde's finest features.
Dave Haygarth has done a superb job editing it, and supplying the music - huge thanks. Wayne McIntosh replied to a twitter invite to come and join me filming, albeit for the first section.
The eagle eyed among you will also spot another Planet X prototype - the forthcoming 'XLS' carbon cross, internal routed cables and discs included. Like.
Final details for the Ronde on 31 March are coming soon - check the links over on the right hand side of this page for route description and further background info.
Saturday 10 March 2012
Monday 5 March 2012
I spotted the flouro bibs first. There were already bib-sporting marshals at cross races but this pair seemed to be lurking in the undergrowth, or at improbable points along the course. After a race or two, I realised they were photographers and that they weren’t casually snapping friends and family. No, they were taking pictures of each and every rider, lap after lap.
Welcome to the North West’s hardest working photographers of amateur sport – David and Laura Bradshaw from Sportsunday Event Photography. David and Laura cover not only every North West Cyclocross League event, but also pretty much any other outdoor endurance sport you care to mention – triathlon, fell running, ultra running, mountainbiking as well as road sportives and other mass participation cycling events. Apparently, photographing winter cross is what they like to do on their days off……..
Professional photographers of many years standing, their town centre studio in Burnley was the base for many a wedding and portrait shoot but they were drawn into cross after beginning to cover local fell running in March 2010. Their portfolio has now expanded across the endurance sports spectrum and they have a team of 8 other photographers with whom they work to cover all the events. True to form, there don't appear to be any pics of the pair themselves in action. I shall have to get some for an update.
I recently asked them what drew them to the North West cross scene – ‘what we really like about the cross scene is the family aspect. Lots of dads and daughters/sons all playing together. Competitive yet friendly, we’ve met lots of NICE people.’
And they echo the clear signs that the local scene is growing too:
‘The cross scene looks set to burst into life. The 2 things that get a lot of kids are Tri & Cross. We would like to see cross become even more popular. Sunny warm with mud would be good. Perhaps a couple of evening events, louder with music and sponsors. Make it something where people would stay longer.’
Last year, in the run up to my annual social ride, the Ronde van Oost Lancashire, I got a call from David and Laura. They asked if they could come and photograph the event and if I wanted any support with running it. Slightly taken aback at the offer of support, I mumbled something about cake and from that point possibly the most legendary cake provision in any cycling event was born.
‘We got involved with the Ronde because it was something new. The cake was a way of us putting something back. Defo our fav event last year. So really looking forward to it this year.’
The Sportsunday Ronde Cake Stop, at the top of the cobbled climb through Heptonstall, whilst about to have only its second running, is spoken of in those revered tones reserved for those true pillars of the cycling world – ‘did you go on the Ronde the first year of the cake stop….?’
Apart from the most amazing collection of cakes to greet 70 hungry and breathless cyclists, it featured David and Laura’s daughter Clare and her friend dressed in fairy costumes whilst dispensing cake. Many of us were speechless…
So if you're out and about at any two-wheeled or two-legged event where weekend warriors are putting themselves through their paces, be sure to look out for David and Laura and say hello. Chances are, they'll have taken a great shot of you along the way....