Upcoming Circuit Races

No sooner have we welcomed in the New Year that the early season circuit races are about to get underway.

For those interested here’s what’s coming up:

Hillingdon Winter Series u8s through to u16s. Every Saturday for 5 weeks commencing tomorrow, 6th January. Entry on the day.

Lee Valley Youth CC Winter Series at Redbridge circuit – monthly Saturday mornings , U12s – u16s through to March, next race 20th January, followed by 24th February, entries already open online at BC.

Essex Go Ride Race Series run roughly monthly at the Redbridge circuit – aimed at riders new to racing u8s – u14s. First race Sunday 7th January. Entry online at BC

More races are being opened on British Cycling for entry each week. The popular March Hare Classic at Lee Valley road circuit 23rd March is now open for entries, Archer Spring Classic at Hillingdon 7th April and following in from that the Primavera series at Lee Valley.

Many of the Regional Youth Omniums are already open for entry including our own in Group 6. There are also plans for Sunday morning races at Preston Park for u14/16s commencing in February, keep an eye out on the SCRL website.

Getting geared up for 2018 !

Although the end of the coached club sessions was only 6 weeks ago we’re already looking forward to the 2018 season. It’s been great to see many of our riders have been competing in Regional and National Cyclocross races across the age groups as well as the track at Calshot and a strong presence at the London Youth Track League. As well as racing many of the riders as joining the club cluster sessions, VC Jubilee Cyclocross, Lee Valley Track and Cyclopark road circuit amd not to mention our own interval training sessions at the track 10-11 am Saturdays.

Whatever your age and ability setting goals for next year is a great motivator : improving key skills, moving up to outer ring, distance challenge PB, taking part in your first sportive or race, placing well in Regional and National series races.

Clearly still of time to get training for next year but just doing some training – either indoors on the turbo, with family and friends. It doesn’t all need to be cycling specific cross training works well too : swimming, running, football, hockey , and whatever other sports you enjoy really helps getting ready for next season.

I’ll be updating the Club Calendar with 2018 events shortly but the main source as always is the Events finder on the British Cycling website.

If you are interested in racing this winter there are still plenty of events coming up and dates for series in 2018 are being added all the time the BC website. In the meantime here are some series and events for 2018 that we’re already aware of :

London Cyclocross League – check website for remaining dates

London Youth Track League – every other Thursday evening – check website for details, indoor accreditation required

Calshot Winter Track League – every Sunday afternoon, check website for details.

Essex go-ride winter series at Redbridge – novice circuit race series : 07/01/18, 04/02/18, 18/03/18

LVYCC winter series at Redbridge : 20/01/18, 24/02/18,

Hillingdon Winter Series – normally start early January dates to be confirmed

March Hare Spring Classic: 24/03/18

Regional Omniums Group 6 – 15/04//18 (Portsmouth) , 21/04/18 (Reading),13/05/18 (Preston Park) & 19/05/18 (Bournemouth)

SCRL Preston Park: mid-April 2018 onwards Wednesday evenings

Scarborough National series: 07-08/07/18

Assen – 30/07-04/08/18 – entries 9am, 5th February. Note almost all categories fill within an hour so be ready at 8:55 to enter your details !

North West Tour: 25-27/08/18

Week 4 Interval Session Saturday 2nd December

Tomorrow’s session is week 4 in our first block of jnterval training. Meet at Preston park track 9:45am ready for 10am start. It’s going to be cold in the morning so make sure you’re well prepared.

Week 4

Warm up: 10 minutes in a middle to low gear, pedalling with high cadence. Small ring, middle of your cassette, perhaps 39 x 17 or 19. As the warm up progresses avoid changing gear but pedals fast. This can result in good pedalling technique and be quite taxing. 10 minutes.

Main session: 2 and 1 minute intervals. Ride 2 minutes hard, take 1 minute rest, repeat 4 times. Ride 1 minute hard, take 1 minute rest; repeat 4 times. Repeat the set twice but reverse the 1 and 2 minutes interval order for the second set so that you finish with the 2 minute intervals. Take a 5 minute rest between the two sets. 43 minutes.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 58 minutes


Week 3 Interval Session 10-11am Saturday 25th November

Tomorrow morning is week 3 of our first block of interval sessions and it’s a pyramid session where interval length decreases with each interval but the intensity increases until we reach the peak. We then go back down the pyramid where interval intensity decreases but the interval length increases.

It’s going to be sunny but cold in the morning so dress for cold weather riding.

Week 3

Warm up: 8 laps, with 4 laps steady, 2 laps increase the speed, 2 laps fast. Lasts 10 minutes.

Main session: Pyramid. 5 minutes, 4 minutes 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute each with a 1 minute break between. After the 1 minute effort pedal gently for 5 minutes then go back up the pyramid from 1 minute to 5 minutes with the same rests.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 58 minutes

Winter Training and Racing

As the PPYCC coached sessions have now finished for the 2017 season we thought it would useful to highlight winter training and racing opportunities to help riders build on the great improvements they’ve all made this season.

Just get out and ride !

There are a few straight forward options that don’t require travelling hours or investing in expensive indoor training equipment. The most obvious of these is to just get out and have fun riding with friends and family anywhere and anytime you can. If the rider is too young to ride on the open roads there are lots of tracks, trails and bike paths. Whilst we’re no longer coaching the Preston Park track remains open for public riding throughout the winter and provides a safe (roller skaters and scooters permitting !) venue to continue riding ready for next season.

For riders 12 years and older PPYCC have previously organised Sunday club rides of 2-3 hours length starting from the track in November. We’re currently assessing the demand for the club rides and will post more details shortly.

Turbo charge your training

Indoor ‘turbo’ training is a very effective alternative to road riding when the weather is wet or cold. For those thinking about purchasing an indoor trainer there are lots of options out there in Brightons bike shops as well as second hand deals to be had on eBay. Tacx, Elite and Cyclops are three of the more popular brands and there are lots of good cheap models available if you hunt around. We’d suggest going into your local bike shop for advice or looking online at the many cycling websites have undertaken reviews to help you select a model. If the rider has a small bike with 650c, 24″, 20″ wheels check before you purchase that the trainer can be adjusted to fit the smaller wheel sizes. Riding on a trainer can get very hot and boring. So make sure you have a drinks bottle to hand and preferably a small fan or open door/window to keep you cool. To keep the training interesting there are lots of free training videos on YouTube. Global Cycling Network (GCN) in particular has some excellent training videos for sessions 20 minutes to 1 hour long. Having a computer or heart rate monitor isn’t necessary but is useful when following a training video and helps to track your progress during the winter.

The next level of indoor training uses online training systems such as Zwift or Sufferfest where the training session runs from a computer or tablet which connects to a ‘smart’ Bluetooth or ANT+ wireless turbo trainer. The connection between the computer and trainer not only allows the display onscreen of how you’re performing, tracking your session but also can control the resistance on the trainer when going up and downhill making the session even more realistic.

The main advantages of indoor training are that it’s safe when the weather isn’t good, you can ride a specific training sessions in a very controlled way e.g. intervals , and they are a very effective way of training as there’s no free wheeling, slowing down for traffic or stopping at junctions. A 45 minute session on a trainer is easily worth an hour of training time on the road.

Organised Training Sessions

In terms of organised training over the winter track, road and cyclocross club cluster sessions are available across the winter.

Whilst PPYCC are not running coached sessions at Preston Park across the winter for the outer ring riders we will be setting weekly endurance based sessions for riders to undertake themselves at the track. We’d suggest riders meet at 10am each Saturday morning so that you can undertake with other club riders. However, as these are effectively stand alone sessions they could be undertaken at anytime. These are not PPYCC club sessions and will not be supervised. Riders will need to support attending these sessions themselves in terms of bringing pumps, bikes checks etc and ride in the track at their own risk as the track will be open to the public.

Track cluster sessions are hosted monthly at Lee Valley velodrome on Sunday mornings. They start early at 8am and last 3 hours with groups rotating for time on the track. Dates for these sessions are on the British Cycling South East Regional page and also on our calendar.


Entry is in advance via British Cycling website. These are excellent sessions aimed at improving riders skills and count towards indoor track accreditation allowing you to race at London Track League. These sessions are for riders over 10 years old and if you don’t have your own track bike these are available to hire but smaller sizes are limited so you’d need to check with British Cycling or the velodrome in advance to check what’s available.

For riders moving to u14s next season and older British Cycling run circuit cluster sessions every Tuesday evening 7:30 to 9:00pm at Cyclopark. Sign-on is 7pm entry on the day £5. These sessions are already attended regularly by 4-5 PPYCC riders and focus on endurance training and race skills. If you do want to attend it’s better to join sooner rather than later as the demands increase during the winter.

More locally, if you have a mountain bike or cyclocross bike VC Jubilee/Brighton Excelsior run an excellent cyclocross training session on Tuesday evenings at Waterhall fields until February. £2 for a 90 minute coached session starting 6:30pm. These sessions are aimed at riders U10 and older and great for improving your off road skills and building fitness.

Winter Racing

For those of you who are interested in racing during the winter there are lots of options. Traditionally winter is the season of indoor track and cyclocross racing.

There are a small number of circuit races during the winter and the next of these is at Redbridge circuit on 9th December, entry is online via the British Cycling website. In the new year there are winter race series at both Redbridge and Hillingdon for u10s and older categories and once these dates are available we’ll update the club calendar but entry will be online via British Cycling website.

Cyclocross season is already in full swing and it’s been great to see many of our riders in the London Cyclocross League races. These races take place most Sundays anywhere from Sussex across to the Kent border. The races are for u10s and above. The dates and venues for these races are on the London Cyclocross website.


Indoor track racing is held at two regional venues – Calshot and Lee Valley velodromes.

The London Youth Track League is now established as a highly competitive regional racing series. The race evenings are held every other Thursday from now until the end of January. Riders need to join the league in advance and enter races online via British Cycling. Places for these races are in high demand and you need to enter quickly when the races become available for entry. Age categories are for U12s and older but you must be indoor track accredited to race. The best way to obtain accreditation and increase experience before racing the league is to attend the track cluster sessions and if possible race some of the Calshot winter league.


The Calshot winter track league is held every Sunday afternoon from now until end of January. The racing here is competitive but rider numbers are lower and it’s not as intense as London Youth Track League. These are great races to gain experience and develop racing skills. For these sessions you do need to have your own bike but unlike the London Youth Track League you do not need to be accredited. However, to race you must already have outdoor and some indoor track experience gained in previous years at our Calshot training sessions or at the track cluster sessions. Each week there are different races for each age group and typically riders get 5 races in a session.


We hope this helps provide options to keep you training and motivated to continue with your riding this winter. We hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM and Annual Awards on the afternoon 18th November, further details will shortly be published. To those of you who can’t make the AGM well done for your efforts to improve your cycling skills and performances this year and we look forward to seeing you all for the next coached session on the first Saturday of March 2018.

Inner Ring Saturday 28th – Distance Challenge

The final Inner Ring session for our 2017 season will be a Distance Challenge. Please check out your results from the previous distance challenges and let’s try for as many personal bests as possible.

We’ll start with the u8s 6 laps, u10s 12 laps and U12s 18 laps. Riders will be set off individually at 10 second intervals. Whilst waiting for your distance challenge to start we’ll run a timed hill climb challenge.

Inner Ring Saturday 21st – cancelled

Due to the strong winds forecast tomorrow morning we have take the decision to cancel the Inner Ring session. That doesn’t mean that training has to wait until next week – if you have a turbo trainer it’s an ideal opportunity to do a quality session indoors.

We’ll be back the following Saturday for the final session of the season and it’s going to be a distance challenge !

Inner Ring Saturday 7th October

Tomorrow’s Inner Ring session will focus on your attacking and breaking away skills.

The forecast for the morning is still dry but with the wind it will be cool so please dress appropriately. Our advice is to have legs fully covered, long sleeves and a jacket.

As usual please ensure bikes have already been checked before arriving at the track to speed up the process and avoid delaying the start of the session.

The PPYCC BIG race weekend is almost here !

PPYCC’s biggest race weekend is almost here – Cyclopark Autumn Classic tomorrow and London Cyclocross League race at Happy Valley, Woodingdean Sunday. Thank you to the volunteers supporting the events across the weekend.

Fantastic to see so many PPYCC riders have entered the Cyclopark race. We now have over 70 entries. If you haven’t already entered ( U16 boys you know who you are !! ) there’s still time this evening and also entry on the day.

Please make sure you have checked your riders bikes tonight and have read the race manual paying particular attention to the timings. Make sure you allow sufficient travel time. As a guide aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before sign in closes (race manual) to allow yourself time to get organised, have gears checked and then sign-on.

Parking at Cyclopark is £1 all day, payable in cash at the reception desk.

As this is a BC Regional event sign-on closures will be prompt as per the race manual as we need to finalise and pass rider sheets to the British Cycling Commissaire and our race judges well ahead of races starting.

For those of you who have rollers or turbo trainers for warming up there will be space for these outside.

Cyclopark Autumn Classic Youth Races 2017

It would be great to see as many of our riders as possible racing at Happy Valley in our Cyclocross race on Sunday. Or just come along to watch and support our event and riders. There will be 100s of riders competing  from across London and the South East, it’s a great spectacle to watch.

See you all tomorrow  !


PPYCC Circuit Championships at Cyclopark (Autumn Classic)

Just a reminder for those for you that haven’t already entered that it’s the PPYCC annual circuit championships at Cyclopark this coming Saturday with the first race kicking off at 12:00 with the u8s and u10s.

Online entry is available at British Cycling Website, please can as many riders as possible sign up in advance as we can pre-allocate race numbers and this will speed up sign-on on the day. Thanks !


and the race manual including timing for the events is available here. Please ensure you arrive in plenty of time to gear check and sign-on before your race.

Cyclopark Autumn Classic 2017 Race Manual

Please ensure that you have your race licence with you on the day and that your gears have been restricted correctly for your riders age category. Riders will not be allowed to sign on and obtain a race number until their gears pass the check. Note that tire inflation really affects gear roll outs so please check that your tires are correctly  inflated before queuing for gear check. If they are soft you’ll be asked to pump them up and queue again.

Gear Restrictions Explained:

A useful British Cycling guide on gear restrictions and  gear combinations are available on British Cycling Website at the two links below:



If your rider has a smaller bike ie 24″ wheels or 650c wheels this website is useful.


First select the correct wheelsize and nearest tire size. Then select the front chainring size(s)  (count the teeth of you are unsure ) and the sprockets sizes (cassette on the back wheel). After you press calculate a gear table will be presented. You need to look for the nearest gear meters below the limit for your riders age category and front and rear sprocket size this relates to. Note for a U12s and below this will almost certainly require the front deralliuer to be restricted so that the large ring cannot be used. Then using a screw driver or allen key restrict the rear derailleur so that it can’t shift into a larger gear. There are lots of You Tube videos that explain how to ‘lock off’/adjust/restrict gears using derailleur adjustment screws.

If this seems too daunting don’t worry you can gear on the day but then you’ll need to lock off the gears with a screw driver to allen key (please bring your own tools) and queue for a re-check.

If this is your first event please don’t let this put you off, it’s standard for all Youth circuit races and done once is as easy as riding a bike !


We hope to see as many riders competing on the day as possible. Racing at Cyclopark is a great experience. Also if you want to make the most of your visit you can explore the off-road tracks and trails on your own bikes  for a small fee or hire a bike from the onsite shop.

Additionally, if any parents can assist with marshalling that would be greatly appreciated as running an event on a circuit this size we do need extra help to ensure rider safety.

thanks, and hope to see you Saturday

Paul Goodwill