Bay Cycles' News

Keeping you up to date with what's going on in Cycling. From the latest Bay Cycles' bikes, rides and products to what's been going on locally you will find it here
Lisa Gubby

Bay Cycles selected as The Association of Cycle Traders Shop of the Month - June 2017

Bay Cycles selected as The Association of Cycle Traders Shop of the Month - June 2017
Bay Cycles is proud to announce we have been selected as The Association of Cycle Traders Shop of the Month for June 2017. This couldn't have been possible without the continued best efforts of all the team in their Cytech and other training to ensure the Shop's expertise remains at the highest level. We would also very much like to thank all our customers and friends for their continued feedback and support that has helped in the success of Bay Cycles.

    Continued best efforts of all the team in their Cytech and other training

     ACT Shop of the Month - Bay Cycles

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Lisa Gubby

A Project One Belgian Breakaway - Guest staring the Trek Silque SLR

A Project One Belgian Breakaway - Guest staring the Trek Silque SLR
With the UK experiencing such a great summer of Cycling one could be considered slightly greedy in having wanted it to never end. However, as the nights started to draw in and temperatures faded towards the end of September, the arrival in store of the new Trek Silque SLR saw cravings soar for more clear skies and open roads.


Pleading to be ridden, a road trip was definitely in order


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Jonathan David

Product testing the Nobel Prize winning technology of the new Vittoria Graphene tyres

Earlier this year my every day bike was in Bay Cycles receiving some TLC from Jez (with a little bit of help from me!). Whilst I was aware of some of the issues it had, for example the chain and cassette, after closer inspection Jez suggested that my Continental GP4000's were starting to show signs of wear (cracking). They had certainly stood the test of time but, better to be safe than sorry. We therefore decided to swap them for the new range of Vittoria all-round rubino pros now available in store at Bay Cycles.



This Nobel prize winning compound is the hardest, lightest material ever found and at only one atom thick is also the thinnest


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Jonathan David

A Saturday Shop Ride with a difference

A Saturday Shop Ride with a difference
Cycling has many so-called Classics or Monument races; events that have stood the test of time and have only been interrupted by World Wars in Europe. One such race is the Tour of Flanders or the Ronde Van Vlaanderen as it is known in Belgium. This year was the 100th Edition of the race so 7 of us decided it was time for us to pay a return visit (or first visit for some) to the cobbled bergs (Hills) that make up this iconic race.​


Just head towards the tunnel and once across turn left and head for Belgium

2nd April 2016

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Jonathan David

Swiss Stop Brake Pad Upgrade

Here's a little question for you if you have a road bike. How do you significantly increase the 'effectiveness' of your brakes with one easy purchase? The answer is really quite simple when the brakes in question have standard pads such as those fitted at the factory by many bike manufacturers . Simply, replace the brake pads that they came with (once they've worn out, of course) with Swiss Stop brake pads.


       The new Swiss Stop pads instantly gave me the feedback I was looking for

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Jonathan David

The Bontrager 'Flare R' Mission is underway

​Some of you may think it strange that I am reviewing a bike light at this time of year. Surely the nights are getting shorter I hear you say, and yes, I would agree with you. However, the Bontrager Flare R is a rear bike light with a difference. Bontrager appreciate that whilst we all know we are legally obliged to use a rear light at night, research has shown that actually 80% of cycle related incidents occur in daylight hours. Like all good ideas, the thought behind the Flare R started with a 'eureka' moment. Trek Bikes' head honcho, John Burke, was out on his morning daylight commute and saw a fellow cyclist using a flashing rear light. Using this and the proliferation of car daytime running lights as inspiration, John Burke set his R & D department to work and, following refinement of the lens and the LED to be used, the Flare R was born.

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Jonathan David

Muc-Off

Muc-Off

Ok, so you weren't the lucky winner of the cleaning kit offered in the last newsletter, however, that's no excuse for not cleaning your bike. With the weather we've been having recently, if your bike is anything like mine, no matter how lovely it looks before heading out, on arriving back it's completely filthy with the mud and general detritus currently found on our roads. Last week's club run was a great example of this when our ride leader opted to discover the most flooded and dirtiest lanes in my area on our 55 mile Sunday ride. 

It's not easy to motivate yourself after a hard ride in the rain and the mud. All you want is to get some food and a hot shower. However, one of the most important things you should really try and do when you first get back is to clean the chain on your bike. Using a product such as, Muc-Off Bio Degreaser, will however, make this chore a lot quicker. 

Apply to the chain and the cassette and work it in to the really dirty areas with a suitable Muc-Off brush and leave it for a few minutes to do its magic, wash it clean and hey presto, you now have a nice clean chain! Your drivetrain now not only looks good it will probably save you a bit of money in the long run as it will have less grit stuck to it wearing it out during your next ride. 

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Jonathan David

Winter Solutions: Mudguards

Winter Solutions: Mudguards

​ So you have spent your hard earned cash on your nice 'sparkly' bike and quite rightly want to keep it so. However, with the weather the way it is you are very reluctant to venture out on those mucky roads.

One of the easiest ways to keep the worst of your bike is to do it the "old School' way and opt for fitting mudguards. The first thing to do when thinking about fitting mudguards is to check your bike to see if it has mudguard eyes. Don't despair if it doesn't as there are other options available to you. If you have bought a Trek check whether it has clever little 'hidden' mudguard mounts – these will be located near the dropouts on the frame and the adaptors will have usually been supplied along with the bike's handbook. Bontrager provide great solutions in their NCS Mudguard which being a full length mudguard will to keep most of the muck at bay. 

If you are unsure though, Bay Cycles can always take a look and let you know which options are available to you. If your frame doesn't have eyelets but does have enough clearance, there is the Crud Catcher 2– a simple set up with the mudguard 'floating' above the tyre. Be careful though if you are running slightly wider tyres, say 25mm as these can cause you some issues with rubbing. Another solution is the SKS Raceblade, which uses rubber 'bands' to secure the mudguard to the frame. This system is so simple they can be removed for post ride cleaning very easily or on that nice sunny winter's day when they are not needed. They provide a suitable amount of cover for you and the rider behind but if you object to having your calves sprayed from the uncovered part of the rear mudguard then you may want to consider the Raceblade XL. Both sets will accommodate the wider tyres you are more likely to run in the Winter. 

All of these options will keep the worst of the winter muck from your pride and joy and are all available from Bay Cycles. If you are unsure though, Bay Cycles can always take a look and let you know which options are available to you. More Info:

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Lisa Gubby

​Road bike Confidence Boosters

​Road bike Confidence Boosters

With many of our female customers having moved to Road bikes this season, one product that we have seen give a massive boost to rider confidence has been Cross top brake levers. These predominantly retro fitted brake levers are positioned on the straight section of a dropped handlebar as shown below. 

For those new to road cycling, the different style of brake levers and greater reliance on core strength needed to hold a relaxed position on the bike can lead to riders feeling slightly heavier on their hands, especially when braking. With cross top brake levers fitted however, riders are able to brake whilst being in a more upright and relaxed riding position. Consequently, pressure on the hands is reduced. Leaving many of our female road cyclists who have opted for these, reporting increased confidence. All of which we thought was worth shouting about.

With a retail price of £29.99 and taking a professional cycle mechanic about 30 minutes to fit, Cross top brake levers are a great way to increase confidence.

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Jonathan David

Bontrager Race Convertible Windshell Jacket

When is a Jacket not a Jacket - when it's the Bontrager Race Convertible Windshell Jacket.
When you need full protection use it as a traditional jacket and, once things have warmed up take the sleeves off and you have yourself a Gilet. Now throughout this review I will refer to this garment as a Jacket just to be clear. (apart from when it's a gilet!!)
The Jacket comes in 3 colours - black, red & hi-viz yellow,  All have reflective elements for added safety when you need it. The Black one has some rather nice white trim which whilst not reflective does tend to allow the jacket to stand out that little bit more than if it was all black.
The windshell element of this jacket is provided by Bontrager's own Profila wind fabric which, along with being wind resistant also has a water repellant finish. Ventilation is provided by Profila cool mesh in the collar, back and under the arms. Small pockets are provided in the front in the form of a Napoleon pocket and a small pocket at the rear into which Bontrager say the jacket can be packed. These pockets are handy to carry the necessities of a long bike ride i.e. food and allowing them to be accessible when wearing the jacket.

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Jez Barker

Lemond, Chambery Rebuild

Now as a bike shop I'm sure it wouldn't surprise anyone to hear that we get to see a myriad of different bicycles roll in through the door for repair. From the latest electronics found in Road and mountain bikes to the Rod brakes of yesteryear we get to see it all. Every now and then though a piece of cycling heritage or a bike that pays homage to an era of past greats rolls in and ignites an excitement in the shop that everybody wants to talk about. One such bike to have had this effect has been Bay Cycles' customer John Coopers' Lemond Chambery.

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Louise Swann

Victory for Battembirds!

After a first game first win for Bay Cycles sponsored Rounders team The Battembirds, Head coach Louise Swann gives her account on how the team got to this point and their hopes for the season ahead.

27th May 2015

Well I'm still buzzing from winning our first match of the season with a respectful score of 91⁄2 - 3! It's taken some considerable time and effort organising it all but it's been worth every minute, especially when I saw everyone's smiling faces when we won. I've been a captain of a rounders team for eight years now and every year brings the same issues with trying to get enough ladies together who are really committed to playing for little over eight weeks during the summer months. Also it really helps to find a sponsor who is willing to help out with the costs of registering the team and of course looking the part!

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Lisa Gubby

Geo Park Adventure Torbay Velopark, Paignton

Geo Park Adventure Torbay Velopark, Paignton

24th May 2015

A truly family friendly day..

Registration

Bank holiday weekend saw the sun shine on what has to be one of the best events we've been involved with. A sell out event in all Junior and Senior categories set up great competition and a truly family friendly day throughout.

We certainly loved every minute and can't wait for the next GeoPark event on the 2nd August 2015 !

Here are some of our event photos and we look forward to seeing you at the next one !!

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Jonathan David

Lapierre Tour of the Black Country 2015

I saw this event ‘advertised’ and as it was being touted as being inspired by the great classic that is Paris-Roubaix I decided to give it a go.

The Velodrome at Aldersley

Aldersly Velodrome

Aldersly Velodrome

The riders pack, when it arrived via e-mail the week before the event, was well presented and boasted of plentiful parking at the start location. I got there at just after 8am and with the Bay Cycles Team Camper Van struggled to find somewhere suitable but parked up in the end. The queue for the signing-on was very long and I got changed first so I was ready to go after I signed on. I rolled up to the start and took my place in the starting pen in front of some rather nattily dressed individuals on Pashley’s and rather wide tyres though one Pashley was sporting a Garmin?!. I got chatting to some guys from  Fred Williams Cycle Shop (Matt x 2, Jon & Will) in Wolverhampton and we managed to roll out together after being told that the organisers had been locked out the main building hence the long queue. The initial few miles were a bit stop- start as we were trying to get out from the edge of Wolverhampton and in to the countryside so many traffic lights and roundabouts to negotiate but soon we were clear. 

We were let go in groups of c 20 riders and our Group was whittled down quite quickly to about half that by the urban nature of the first few miles. Just after 6 miles in to the ride we turned right off the road we were on and on to our first section of ‘pave’, well gravel farm track really and the speed increased dramatically and our group spread out leaving us with a group of 5(me and the guys from Fred’s) that would stay together to the end. This section was made rather fun by the deeper gravel half way along outside someone’s house that sent the bike sideways but remaining upright.

Note to self: we would travel this section again on the way back.  Soon we were back on to normal roads and travelling through some rather quaint villages forgetting that I was not that far from one of the major conurbations in the UK, Birmingham.

A relatively straight forward section followed before we turned right off a fairly busy main road onto The Hyde – well it all started OK but then the track tilted downhill and went round 2 sharpish corners with a mixed surface of loose stones and half buried bricks. I managed to maintain adequate momentum and soon caught someone up but found it quite difficult to get past them on the single track nature of the track. After a brief kick back up we left that sector to drop down in to Kinver (home of the cave houses – honest look it up). 

After 40km we arrived at the first food stop very well located at a Pub and Yes some people were discussing the merits of having a pint at that time of the morning. We decided that we would wait until the second feed stop at 78km before we availed ourselves of anything like that. It was not long after this feed that we were to ‘hit’ perhaps the most feared part of the ride; Waltonberg with its rough slippery surface and 22% gradient. The approach to this section didn’t really allow you any respite as it involved a couple of drags that sapped the legs. At the top of the second one we turned left, dropped down very slightly then branched right on to the Waltonberg. I have ridden the Muur in Gerraardsbergen and found that relatively easy at 25% but this one was totally different and I’m afraid, just after I got past the photographer, I had to unclip and walk the remainder. I was re-assured by the photographer that more people were walking than riding this climb today. At the top we turned on to what was effectively a bridleway which was great fun until we descended on narrow muddy single track which was fine until we had to take a sharp right turn and I realised my brakes were not slowing me down enough so I went straight on in to a bank which scrubbed the remainder of my speed off!! We exited the muddy track in to a car park and may dog walkers were probably wondered what on earth we were all doing but soon after we were rewarded by a wonderfully smooth descent. I was able to rely on the guys from Fred Williams for their local knowledge on this descent.

The feared Waltonberg

Waltonberg

The feared Waltonberg

We were getting slightly concerned that the sector numbers were not going down as quickly as expected but just like the real thing a large majority of the sectors would come in the last 40km. However, it was not long before we were able to count 2 off almost in one go with the combination of Treherns Farm & Bury Hill running in to one another. Treherns Farm was a rather fun descent on loose gravel before a sharp climb up with a right turn in to Bury Hill at the top. Sector 10 done and 9 more to go. 

The next sector of Roman Road was effectively a shared cycle path but one of our group took a tumble on the entrance into it after slipping on the gravel. We carried on and re-grouped at the end with Will joining us soon after with blood on his right knee.

A sign indicated that we were going to tackle Whittington Farm next, a 1.8km section which started off downhill. What was more fun with this sector was that it levelled off in the middle and there were some rather large puddles that you wanted to avoid. This involved going over bumps that would have put a BMX track to shame. During this sector I was surprised by how many punctures were being picked up, by other people, though and not me!! At the end another busy road to be used before a left turn took us on to the Gothersberg which comprised of a small rise then flat across fields but with a very poor surface of loose stones that were flicking up and making rather nice ‘pinging’ noises on my frame and wheels. Soon the track went down rather steeply with evidence of a drainage ‘ditch’ down the middle and a narrow gate at the bottom. No opportunity to change line but I just managed to get through Ok and a short on road section brought us to the second feed stop at The Navigators Inn, located very nicely next to a working canal and lock.

A quick coke and snack to fuel us up for the remaining 20km and we were off. Soon after I realised that I recognised the junction where we were turning right as this was getting us back on to the route we came out on. A short section brought us to a right hand turn on to Gorse Lane East with Gorse Lane West being the first section we had ‘hit’ earlier. I soon realised that the section was slightly downhill so made it even more fun apart from the deeper gravel in the middle!! 

Back on normal roads and only 4 sections to go with the last one leading on to the outdoor track at the start village. The next sector was Furnace Grange which took us down through a farmyard, luckily no slippy cow muck, and back up a slight rise to rejoin a main road having passed a few riders, again, with puncture issues. A short section along this main road before we turned right to be confronted by a Ford (Trescott Ford) which was Sector 3. I managed to make the decision relatively quickly and took to the small pedestrian bridge – I was glad I did as I glanced across at the others going through the Ford and realised it was quite deep.

We then turned left on to another Sector called Pool Hall which I decided to take steadily, or was it because I was knackered?!, Half way along this sector was a lovely house and another short section of deeper gravel and the sight of a Porsche coming towards me. There was just enough room to pass and I don’t think I flicked any stones up. A small humpback bridge over the canal felt like a mountain but the next half a mile or so was nice and flat alongside the canal. 

The guys I was with kept reminding me that we weren’t far away from the finish and with the build up of suburbia I soon realised we probably only had 5-6km to go. Hanging on the back of the guys from Fred’s I was worried that the elastic would not only stretch but definitely break. Luckily traffic lights came to my rescue on a couple of occasions to allow me to close the couple of bike lengths and also take a breather. Soon the bright yellow arrow ahead indicated a right turn and I instinctively followed the wheel in front and we cut the corner slightly by using the ‘footpath’. Under the old railway bridge and a hard right on to a loose surface of mud/ gravel and there we were, the final section that would take us round the back of the track to enter it on the back straight. A quick half a lap and we were over the finish line. It never ceases to amaze me that however tired your legs are you can always find that little bit needed to kick for the line. 

After coasting round the Athletics track we exited the velodrome and collected our ‘winnings’ – a glass of champagne, a ‘lump’ of coal courtesy of The Black Country Museum (well lump is an exaggeration) and an Elite Tour of Britain Water Bottle courtesy of Vittoria. Saying good bye to my new found cycling buddies I made my way back to the team van and realised how much nicer and easier it is to get changed in there than trying to use the inside of a car. 

A big thank you to Matt x 2, Jon and Will from Fred Williams Cycles in Wolverhampton for their Company on this ride. It certainly made the ride more enjoyable and I ended up pushing myself a little bit more on some sectors. 

Unfortunately, my test Trek Domane went back last Autumn so I ended up doing this ride on my aluminium framed Wilier La Triestina. It had a bit of carbon ‘cushioning’ in the rear seat stays and front forks. I must admit I didn’t feel too uncomfortable though the Domane would have given me that armchair ride over some of the rougher sections. I was running a pair of Mavic Ksyrium SL’s with my trusty 25mm Continental GP4000s’s at 90psi which was perfectly fine. Haven’t a clue what all the puncture victims were using but unlike Paris-Roubaix I didn’t puncture once though I was worried about the gravel and stones ‘attacking’ my wheels but they seem OK.

The Lapierre Cycle Classics team are also putting on other events with their next one in June in Cheshire based on the Tour of Flanders followed by one in July based on the Strade Bianche and held in Oxfordshire. For more details go to www.cycleclassics.co.uk

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Lisa Gubby

Welcome to Bay Cycles New Website!

With New pages on Products, Bike Fitting, Rides and Workshop our new website is packed full of features we hope you’ll enjoy.

Check it out now and let us know what you think!!

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Lisa Gubby

Demo Day

Demo Day

Want to try out a New Trek Road Bike?

 

At Bay Cycles we have the answer.

 

Come and join us at our Trek Demo Day at the Torbay Velopark between 10am and 2pm  on the 31st January. 

With a range of frame sizes you will able to try the New Trek Domane Disc, Silque SLX or the World Beating Emonda SLR!

To register your interest or to book a ride on one of the above demo models please fill out your details below and we will look forward to seeing you on the day!

 - Registration -

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Jonathan David

Has it Really been a Year?

I guess it must have been about 18 months ago when Jez called and suggested we met for coffee as he wanted to have a chat about something – always worrying when someone says that.

The Wall Once we’d got past the small talk and the general catching up Jez casually dropped into the conversation the concept of opening Bay Cycles in Torquay. Having known Jez for more years than I care to remember I was more more than confident in his abilities as an extremely competent Sales Advisor and Mechanic. Moreover, I guess you could say that it had always been his dream to run his own shop.

Being a keen cyclist myself, like many others I would imagine, the thought of running a bike shop would be amazing. However, with the responsibilities of a mortgage and other commitments making such a move was not an option. However, Jez had a solution and I was offered the chance of investing in Bay Cycles – happy days. A quick discussion with the ‘powers that be’ and a perusal of a very well put together Business Plan (well done Lisa) convinced me that this was a worthwhile investment.

Now when they said investment they didn't just mean financial. Before I knew it I was in Torquay helping out with the shopfit and experiencing Lisa’s attention to detail first hand. With a lazer level to make sure we were getting everything straight, under Lisa's watchful eye Jez and I had the first slat board up on the wall and the shopfit was underway (it’s the one behind the counter for those of you wondering which one it was!).

Since the opening I have managed a few visits to the seaside and even managed the shop for a few days in August whilst Jez & Lisa headed off for a well-earned rest at a friends wedding. One of best visits though included joining the Saturday morning shop ride. (if you haven’t been on one of these yet – they’re great fun with good banter and refreshments at the end).

 

A year on since opening it's hard to believe Bay Cycles has gained such a great following in the Torbay area. I know having spoke to Jez & Lisa that they have been bowled over with the support from local cyclists and, whilst it's been a year of lots of hard work I know they've loved every minute.

So what does the next 12 months have in store for Bay Cycles – Well...whilst I'd be lying if I said I didn't know I’m afraid I can’t tell you. Well, not just yet anyway! All I can say is the next 12 months are exciting times for Bay Cycles – and I for one will be keeping an eye on their website and facebook page for updates.

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Jonathan David

The Tour of Britain

This is a race on the UK Racing Calendar that can actually trace its History back to just after the Second World War. Back then it was mainly aimed at Amateurs and in the Seventies was dominated by the mighty USSR (pre break up) whilst wearing their iconic Red Jerseys and riding their Colnagos.

The race took a number of forms after starting out as The Tour of Britain with perhaps its most well known guise being The Milk Race. Following the break up of The Milk Marketing Board however sponsorship dried up and for a while the Race became The Kelloggs Tour and for couple of years The Pru Tour in 1998 and 1999.

Many famous names have won the Tour of Britain over the years including Hennie Kuiper, Joey McCloughlin, Phil Anderson and Stuart O'Grady. These latter winners being professionals as the race had been opened up to a wider pro-am field.

 

Unfortunately with harsh economic times at the end the 90's it proved difficult for the organisers to find a title sponsor and the race took place for the last time in 1999 with Marc Wauters of Rabobank running out the winner.

I remember feeling sad at the time losing such a race from the UK Calendar as I had spent many of my younger years riding out to watch The Milk Race with it being quite a regular visitor to the Malvern Hills, just 25 miles from where I live. It felt like some of my childhood had gone!!

Fortunately, after a period of 5 years an organising Company called Sweet Spot found a new way of funding the race by using local authorities and companies that would help support the race in their respective areas. In 2004 the race was back and a little known Colombian called Mauricio Ardilla won the race for an even lesser well known team sponsored by a Chocolate Company and an IT Firm from Belgium.

It was always going to be difficult to attract the better known teams and also their star riders to such a new event. However, riders were going back and talking to their teams and other riders about how well organised and challenging the event was and that it was well worth competing in. 

In recent years The Tour of Britain has has some great winners including, in 2007 Roman Feillu (who now rides for French Tour De France team Bretagne – Seche Environment); 2008, Geoffrey Lequatre (now running a successful cycle clothing company), Edvald Boassen Hagen in 2009 and most recently Sir Brad himself last year. Consequently, it would be hard to deny that the race has slowly but surely become quite an exciting one to watch with many riders taking it seriously rather than treating it as an end of season wind down.

Personally I am always interested in where the event will visit and this year spotted a stage starting in Worcester and finishing where I work in Bristol.  I had heard some rumours that the race was going to go over some of my Cotswold stomping ground. However, I had already accepted an invite from one of the Solicitors we deal with (RPC) who are based in Bristol for a bit of a ride followed by watching the race near the finish.

Now quite often what they do, when they announce the stage finish points is tell you exactly where that will be. However, what they don’t say is how they get there which ultimately becomes interesting bit. I knew it was due to finish on Clifton Downs after heading up Bridge Valley Road from the Portway in Bristol so accepting the invite was not a problem.

However, closer to the date I was hit by a slight issue. This being that  when the actual race route was published I realised that they would be going up Leckhampton Hill out of Cheltenham, a hill I had cut my teeth on as a very young club rider. Plus, it was also going through Horsley valley from Nailsworth which had seen many a road race in its day. Nevertheless I had accepted the Bristol invite and that was what I was sticking with!

Wednesday 10th September was the same weather wise as earlier in the week, bit of a chilly start but you just knew that you would be rewarded with late summer sunshine and temperatures in the late teens. We all planned to meet up at midday in central Bristol and then enjoy a couple of hours in the sunshine before finding a convenient place to watch the riders towards the top of Bridge Valley Road. 

The first part of the ride saw me ditching the arm warmers (slight bit of over-kill there!!) and battle Bristol's lunchtime traffic until we found our way to Ashton Court and a nice bit of a traffic free stretch. Though it does give you a bit of shock to the system when your muscles are not 100% warmed up with the short sharp kick up to Ashton Court itself then its lovely fast descent to the exit. Though this can cause issues when faced by a runner with headphones on running in the middle of the road who cannot hear your warnings despite of the number of times you try!!

Through Long Ashton and Cambridge Batch a right turn onto the Clevedon Road took us to the foot of Belmont Hill which required a right turn off the Clevedon Road. Unfortunately, we had to wait for on coming traffic which didn't give us the best of starts to the ascent which kicks up immediately. Consequently this left us trying to grab a suitable low gear to secure a decent rhythm. With an average gradient of 7% Belmont Hill incorporates a flat section in the middle before kicking up again towards the top. Luckily, the majority of the climb is under trees giving you a nice cool environment to ride up in.

After a quick regroup at the top, we took a left and skirted the edge of Failland going straight over the busy main road towards Lower Failland. A tight country lane brought us down to Portbury where we took another left. This lane took us behind the rugby pitches you get to see when you head south past Gordano Services on the M5. We then had the option of going under the M5 towards Gordano but chose to take a left into Carswell Hill. This road effectively paralleled the M5 and took us up a lovely steady gradient with a few dips; eventually leading to a junction at the top of Naish Hill, a hill of which, I was inform would have been a far worse proposition than the one we had just completed. 

We then had a choice, either to head back the way we came (which cyclist does that??) or loop round on slightly more busier roads. As we were a small group the main road option (B roads) was deemed to be the better one. We passed Noah's Ark Farm before reaching a junction where a left turn took us back towards Failland passing the National Trust property at Tyntesfield, somewhere worth a visit so I am told.

After Failland we turned left at a set of traffic lights which would enabled us to cross over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This stretch of road is known as Beggars Bush Lane and is quite a quick section of road which we decided to take advantage of. Soon we were travelling past the rather large houses of Leigh Woods reaching the grand Clifton Suspension Bridge in no time at all. As cyclists we did not have to pay and whilst I have ridden over the Severn Bridge I would say that the Clifton Suspension Bridge beats it hands down. Fantastic views down the Avon gorge and back towards Bristol. A quick detour into Clifton itself and we found a Co-op to grab some food and drink before we made our way across to the top of Bridge Valley Road where the riders would take a left turn to join Circular Road on the Clifton Downs where the race would finish. 

We managed to find a good place on a slight bend that would allow us to see the riders turning off Bridge Valley Road, past us and continue to the next left which was marked the KoM point. It was clear to see that cycling has really become popular at all levels with men in suits mingling with the 'traditional' cycling fans in their cycling kit. There was also a group opposite us writing their message to Mark Cavendish who apparently was 'put out' by a comment made the day before about Doughnuts. It took a while to realise what they had written but it soon made sense – 'Cav not a fatty just cuddly'. Like any bike race the crowds started to build and what amazed me was the sheer number of people watching on what was the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday.

A number of official vehicles started to pass and then the all too obvious sound of a helicopter behind us heralded the arrival of the riders on the Portway down below us from where they would take a sharp left onto Bridge Valley Road. A few minutes later and the Police outriders sped past us and the crowd became excited with the road becoming like a Tour de France climb as the 2 lane road was narrowed to one by 'people power'

Then the riders were upon on us, or at least a small group of breakaway riders consisting of a rider from Giant Shimano followed closely by a rider from Garmin Sharp with a slightly larger group behind him. It clearly evident the climb from the Portway had really taken it out of a lot of the riders. 

One big surprise though was how high up in the group was Mark Cavendish was and how far back Wiggo seemed to be. That said, there was a fairly flat/fast run in to the finish theoretically leaving enough time for the pack to regroup. I was surprised that that a rider I greatly admire as an allround nice guy, Kristian House, was drifting off the back of the Bunch. What I didn’t realise was that he had been in the break all day and was forgivingly 'taking it easy' to the finish!!

Being just outside the kilometre to go sign we weren’t sure who had won the stage so made our way to the finish area just in time to see Michał Kwiatkowski presented as the winner. How he did that was amazing to see on the replay being shown on the big screen – coming from nowhere to catch the Giant Shimano & Garmin Sharp riders totally unawares just before the finish line. 

We all went our own separate ways after the finish area with myself enjoying the ride back in to town in the company of another guy on a Trek Emonda and me on a Domane comparing notes!! 

On a final note it was interesting to see 2 future World Champions using the Tour of Britain as preparation with Michal Kwiatkowski (Road Race World Champion) and Sir Bradley (Time Trial World Champion) rather than the traditional route of the Vuelta. 

For me, I can’t wait for next year’s edition and to see which parts of the Country this race will get to so I can make an excuse for a day off from work!!

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Lisa Gubby

Triathlete Tony Moore Hits season high with Bay Cycles

Triathlete Tony Moore Hits season high with Bay Cycles

In his final event of the season at the Weston-Super-mare Tri, Bay Cycles' sponsored Triathlete Tony Moore sees improved times yet again gaining him 8th in category with a time of 1hr 14mins. 

Tony said 'It's been a hard year to maintain..." but thanked Bay Cycles for all their support. Adding '...I have improved so much in my races since having a really good bike fit"

Jez at Bay Cycles, in response to Tony's result this week said, "This is great result. Tony was one of our very first customers at Bay Cycles and his commitment to training was evident from the get go. However, it was clear that Tony was struggling to get the best out of his riding due to discomfort on the bike. In being able to offer Tony the benefits of Trek's Precision Fit though we were able to alleviate this discomfort and maximise Tony's efficiency on the bike."

Tony ended the season riding a Precision Fit Trek Domane 4.5 with Bontrager Paradigm saddle.

Bay Cycles looks forward to supporting Tony throughout his winter training programme with a view to helping him find further improvements in 2015.  

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Jonathan Barker

Deloitte Ride Across Britain – frighteningly close!

RABTraining completed (I have cycled 720 miles, climbing 32,188ft) for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain stage on Sunday 7th September.

Deloitte Ride Across BritainI am riding in aid of the British Paralympic Association and recently watched the IPC athletics event at Birmingham Alexander Stadium.

I felt very motivated and inspired to know that I am raising money to support our future GB Paralympic stars and seeing Hannah Cockroft, Melissa Nicholls and Sophie Hann in action.

My stop prior to the event is Baycycles where I will be asking Jez and Lisa to fine tune the bike and hopefully fuel and motivate the rider!

Stage 2 of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain is the toughest. A five star event, covering 111 miles, starting in Okehampton and winding up through Dartmoor, Cheddar Gorge and finishing at Brassknocker Hill in Bath.

If you would like to sponsor me, please visit my fundraising page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonathanBarker1.

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