In the bunch: DPCC's own Jono Gale on his Wally Gimber
More of Jeremy's great photos here .
The Back PAGE
CX SEASON WRAP
INSIDE AprilAP018Text Here
The 59th Wally Gimber trophy was another great success for the club.
For those who might not know, the trophy was awarded to the club for presentation at the annual road race by Wally Gimber, a lifelong club member. Wally was an active member in the 1940s and excelled on the Herne Hill velodrome. In 1948/9 he was the track, massed-start and roller champion and set a national tandem paced half mile record of 48.55 seconds. He emigrated to the US in the 1960s but returned to the UK in 1985 to present the trophy to John Shand at the club’s 50th anniversary dinner. He kept in regular touch with the club until his death in 1993.
Past winners of the trophy include Sir Bradley Wiggins, Tony Gibb, who won three times, and Simon Cope who won four editions. The trophy itself is Sterling silver and worth a pretty penny.
This latest edition of the race, held on 25 March in good weather conditions, attracted one of the strongest fields ever, with big teams such as Canyon Eisberg, JLT Condor, Saint Piran, Team Wiggins and Dulwich Paragon. Only a handful of category 2 riders were admitted to the start sheet, with the rest of the field comprising Elite and category 1 riders. The race was a suitably tough one, being held on the much loved/feared Frant - Lamberhurst circuit in Kent. Our boys in blue, Jonathan Gales and Giles Hartwright, did their club very proud indeed.
The race was won by Thomas Moses from JLT Condor, who was kind enough to express his thanks to the club and to acknowledge that putting on road races is increasingly challenging these days.
Which brings me on to you, my fellow club members, who did such an awesome job, once again! There are a few things that make our event stand out from the crowd. Our Rapha-sponsored race numbers and Bob Ruszkowski providing radio tour, for example, but the big difference is in the Dulwich Paragon members who help out. We are fortunate to have lots of highly experienced people in the club who add a real sense of professionalism to what we do. They are complemented by others who make up for sometimes limited experience with great enthusiasm. All of this is noticed by the competitors, their directors’ sportive and the British Cycling officials alike. There are, literally, too many of you to thank by name but I must single out a few: Graham Hindson for organising his army of volunteers; Cath Roulson and Joe Booth for the catering; Julian Bray, Pez Roscorla and Olivia Campbell for the line judging; Esther Drabkin-Reiter for the live twitter feed; DJB, Martin Headon and Esther for the sign-on desk; Joel Natale for being the blackboard scribe; Jeremy Beswick, Simon Evans, Kevin Miller, Ben Rice, David Broderick, Michael McKenna and DJB for driving in the race convoy; Hans Van den Berk as race doctor; George Cory for leading the team of accredited marshals; Terry Wilson & James Corlett for the video and our own Scott Taylor who was Assistant Commissaire on the day.
I'm looking forward to next year already. Pencil 24 March 2019 in your diaries now!
Patrick Hawkins, Chair DPCC
CONDOR FLIES AT WALLY GIMBER
PLEASE SIR I WANT SOME CARBS
Awards Winners - Full List
For several years now the club's annual awards ceremony has slipped the chains of the formal, best bib-and-tucker, sit-down dinner. Some feel it makes less of what should be the club's premier social event. Others stick to the line that being more relaxed and inclusive discourages the somewhat collegiate feel of past occasions. Whatever your opinion (and we'll be canvassing that in a club-wide survey very soon) and whatever the style, it's always a struggle to get numbers much past the 60 persons mark –– and in a club of roughly ten times that number, it's a tad disappointing to say the least. This year's awards do was held on Thursday March 15th at The East Dulwich Tavern, in very pleasant, spacious surroundings. Yet, once again, despite the best promotional efforts of Libby, our tireless social sec, only 60 'ish turned out.
There may be a number of factors involved. Perhaps it's the wrong time of the year? These events used to be during the classic social months of November and December, when achievements were a little fresher in the memory. The (very welcome) surge of interest in cyclo-cross means we now delay things until the end of the CX season –– and they've all had a good wash. Meaning February or March.
Is it the wrong night? Thursdays seem to have the least impact on the cycling calendar but obviously there's work and school to consider, so maybe a weekend would be better? Is it price? We work hard to find drinkable ales and a decent feed at bargain prices, although club funds are often tapped to cover shortfall: there's only so much silk purse you can make out of mushroom-based, vegan-friendly sow's ear substitute.
Notwithstanding the turnout, it was a great night (they always are) in convivial and comfortable surroundings. The worthy winners were honoured and adorned with trophies and framed certificates and the "secret" awards were finally revealed. Volunteer of the Year went to Joe Booth, and the Walter Kirsch Cup for Clubman Of the Year (that's what it says on the trophy, so no #MeToo backlash, please) to the very deserving Kathryn Innes for another 12 months of above and beyond duty organising volunteer activities.
So... next year. What? Where? When? How much? Let's be hearing from you.
On a chilly mid-March evening, the great, the good, and the gangly of DPCC descended on the East Dulwich Tavern for the annual awards. We convened upstairs, having relegated the pub quizzers to the main bar below. This didn’t appear to have caused any acrimony, but the next weekend, a man did try to run me off the road near Sundridge Hill, shouting “Big Ben is the bell, not the clock!”, so who knows?
I spent the bulk of the evening with fingers crossed. Not because I thought I might win anything but in the forlorn hope there might be a second serving at the buffet. A horde of hungry cyclists had polished off the plates, and the VO2 intervals I did before heading out were making their presence felt in my stomach.
But the main event was the awards, and it was marvellous to see so many talented club members recognised. And having only known half the winners from email, forum posts, or Strava leaderboards, and never having actually seen them in the flesh except perhaps with helmet and shades, there’s the outside chance that I might now recognise them too.
(Though I would put in a special mention for Joe Booth, who must be the most widely-known face in the club due to his tireless attendance at races, TTs, and club events - a thoroughly well-deserved winner for Volunteer Of The Year.)
So I’ll see you all at the next one - and if you think I seem pleased to see you, that’ll be the emergency scotch egg in my pocket.
The emergence of the daffodils means spring is coming and the Cross season is going, finally we have run out of races. There’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough, the first MTB races are upon us.
This has been a stellar CX season for Dulwich, with over 30 members racing in the London XC League we are now biggest Cross Club in the region. By sheer numbers the club has dominated events in both the London and the fledgling East Kent leagues. To cap this achievement we sent an ace team to the incredible serious and not very grown up World Cup CX Single Speed Series in Koksijde (Belgium), such an ace team , everyone finished second in their various categories.
Not only quantity but quality too, Andy Pollentine opening the early season batting with some very respectable results including a 1st and 3rd in the Grand Vets, Olivia Campbell never finished much below 3rd place including several 1st’s finishing 3rd overall in the London Rankings. That Junior Titan Ed Davies rode all the leagues, consistently in the top 15 in the National series, top 3 in the London League and even higher with several wins in the East Kent League. Dave Rees took his time winding up his results but towards the end of the season was on flying form earning regular podium results, leading the Senor men in the East Kent league ranking and finishing a creditable 6th overall in the London League.
The London League rankings make pretty decent reading for the club, we have riders in the top 10 of almost all the categories raced.
The Dulwich promotion at Leeds Castle with over 450 riders racing on the day was reportedly the largest event ever in a London League, outstripping the usual local suspects by some margin. Seen as one of the toughest courses in the calendar, it has become a true marmite event, thankfully most riders like marmite. Well supported not only by racers from all clubs but visibly by Dulwich volunteers – who all deserve a huge round of thanks.
Now all this is all good stuff, the chairman should be a happy bunny, however the greatest result of the season was the emergence of such a strong team of 30 riders of all ages and abilities, each spurring and encouraging others on, look at Olivia’s video, you’ll understand what I mean.
The social climax of the season was of course the End of Season debrief, a serious event attended by 25 racers, who, after dinner were forced to sit an arduous exam on CX minutiae set by Prof Rees. This was followed by the award ceremony for those seriously contended prizes that cannot due to time trial constraints be given at the Club awards.
For the record the following prizes were awarded:
The Dirk Hoffman Award for Best contribution to the What’s App Group – Aidan Scully
The Café Paradou Award for Race Report Fiction – James Malone
The Conde Nast Vogue Award for Best Dressed Rider – Olivia Campbell
The John Prescott Award for Heckling – Dave Rees
The Phil Glowinski Award for Organisation – John Cox
The Good Housekeeping Readers Award for Rider of the season – Dylan Bexley
The sensible awards were of course presented to the following:
Club Cross Male Champ – Dave Rees
Club Cross Female Champ – Olivia Campbell
Club Cross Junior Champ – Ed Davies
We will be holding our round of the London League at Leeds Castle again on the 23rd September. This is the race to look at if you have been curious about CX, after all if it’s that dull there’s always a castle to wander around instead.
Until then attention for the mud larks has shifted to MTB racing in the Mud Sweat and Gears, Gorrick and Beastway race series. These along with the occasional Saturday adventure and the weekly(ish) Thursday evening Off Road Chain gang should sate your mud passion until we recommence the 4 sessions per week intensive train sessions next autumn, keep an eye on the forum.
Finally – a round of thanks to all those who have generously donated so much time, effort and sheer goodwill into this year’s season, I hope you have all got as much out of it as I have, roll on the start of the Summer series.
Photos by Dave Hayward
The Veteran's season opened with tragic events at Gravesend Cyclopark on April 7.
Riders were stopped after four laps as it became clear there had been a serious incident. Initially thought to be a crash it was later announced that a rider in the C/D race, Chris Hewitt, had suffered a cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
Chris was an active racer and popular member of Sussex Revolution VC. The club has sent condolences.
The TT season has yet to get into full swing but if you're TT-curious then try the club's own Harry Must series.
It's a great way to start in an informal setting and you don't need special equipment. There's a road bike category as well as one for people with pointy hats.
It starts in May with four races on Saturday mornings, then transfers to Thursday evenings at Cudham.
Full details here.
CLUB ROUND UP
Track League has started (every Wednesday 7-9pm) and we've had the first Open Meeting (First Saturday of every month).
DPCC is already piling up the results. Mostly by using Jonathan Gales as a secret weapon but with sturdy support from all our other riders.
And as the weather improves what better way to spend an afternoon or evening than sitting on the bleachers in front of the new Exodus pavilion, cold beer in hand, cheering us on. Even better... get a number on your back.
Information for aspiring track riders on how to get accreditation can be found on the HHV website. And don’t forget that we have a small fleet of DPCC bikes you can use for free.
We also have a track session booked at Lee Valley Velodrome, built for the 2012 Olympics. There are still a few places going if you are quick.
Another upcoming event is the World Cycling Revival in June which will help raise much needed funds to keep the velodrome going.
Look on the forum for details of how to take part or volunteer or even better buy some tickets.
Top to bottom:
We’ve had a great start to the season with Katy Murphy having many top 5 places in her early season events and well on the way to enough points for moving up to Cat 2.
We have also entered the Women’s National Team Series and are lucky to have Tina Hartwright riding for us once again. Next race for us is the Banbury Star on the 27th May. If interested in competing please contact Emma or Tina.
Plans are afoot to also provide some race training on a mixed basis and Emma and Jono are working something up. It will be open to all racers and those who want to start. More news to follow via the forum so keep an eye open!
For any Cat 4s Medway Velo are running a women’s only Cat 4 event this weekend at Cyclopark. This will be an ideal event to get a first taster of racing.
We are also competing in the London Women’s Racing league again this year and there are some events coming up which we would like to see more blue shirts at – dates for your diary are:
29/04 CC London, road race in Essex (waitlist)
05/05 Hackney Primavera CC, crit at LVVP
12/05 CC London, crit at Hog Hill
For any questions please contact Emma.
The womens’ general riding skills session is being replanned (the one that was cancelled in Dec due to one of the snowmageddons) as we speak and we are aiming for a weekend 2hr slot in May at LVVP. Keep an eye on the training section of the forum and the Paragonette newsletter.
WOMEN'S RACING & NEWS
THE BACK PAGE
A club the size of DPCC has many groups and many social media forums, especially 'private' groups like WhatsApp. It can be a challenge to new members so each edition of the newsletter will try to highlight some of the outlets.
This time around: Track Chat . A WhatsApp group for anyone interested in track cycling administered by Jon Maher and Charly Roberge.
Details of this and other groups are in the forum link here.
Which came first...
It might not qualify for the Herne Hill Cycling Revival but this fine selection of Nigel Wood's club kit is a showcase of styles over the last 40 years.
Nigel's challenge: put the kit in the right order.
L to R a,b,c,d,e. Leave your answers on the club forum.
You may have noticed this new format for Paragon News and I hope you like it. I'm keen to hear from anyone who wants to contribute or if you have ideas about things you'd like to see.
There's a thread for discussion and feedback on the club forum so please leave some feedback there.
Chris O'Hearn, Website & Paragon News Editor