Three members of the Ribble Cycles staff were in racing action last weekend – and there was one gold winning victory. Here’s how they got on…
Dionne Allen from Ribble’s Customer Service team won the Monster Middle Triathlon in Ely, Cambridgeshire on Sunday and finished tenth overall in a field of 170 finishers.
She contested the longest event on the day which was over a 1.9km swim, 92.8km bike leg and a 21km run.
On her Ribble Aero TT bike, Dee rode the near 100km bike leg in 2 hours 47 minutes and recorded an overall finishing time of 4 hours 43 minutes 47 seconds.
The impressive victory sets Dee up for a good race in the gruelling Helvellyn Triathlon in September which is considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. The open water swim is in Ullswater, the tough cycle leg includes Kirkstone Pass and the run is to the summit of Helvellyn and back down!
In road racing…
Graham Payne finished seventh in TLI Cycling National Road Race Championships, held last weekend at Audlem in North Staffordshire.
Graham described it as a frustrating race but has to be pleased with a top ten finish at championship level.
“It was stop, start, stop, start, all day long,” said Graham, “Breaks kept going away, being caught and then there was another long lull. The winning break went towards the end of the race and after missing it I was sprinting for the minor places.”
Over 200 riders competed across a number of age categories and they were the largest fields ever assembled for a TLI National Championships with spectators enjoying a great day of racing.
In time trialling…
Matt Stell was the unluckiest or luckiest Ribble rider of the weekend when he was in a spill with a vehicle during the Association’s 12-hour Time Trial.
A car accidentally blocked Matt’s riding line and he could not avoid colliding with it and causing damage to his front wheel. Despite the crash Matt still finished the WCTTCA & LTTCA event and even beat his 12-hour personal best by six miles to cover an amazing 264.81 miles! Matt’s distance over the 12-hour event put him in sixth place.
Matt’s great form continues – earlier in the month he recorded a fast 20 minute 34 sec time trial over the 10 mile Levens course in Cumbria.
Cycling journalist and The Guardian’s North of England editor Helen Pidd raved about the Ribble 525 steel bike in last Saturday’s weekend edition of the national newspaper
The Ribble 525 is our versatile steel bike that is designed for a multitude of practical uses. Our love affair with steel frames has been going on for decades, but that’s not to say we haven’t moved on – far from it. Today, our steel 525 road bike is built for the modern era, meaning you can expect plenty of comfort and durability as well style. Prices for a fully built 525 start at £695.95.
Journalist Helen Pidd even tested the 525 during a rainy weekend in the Peak District and her review was published in Saturday’s edition of The Guardian newspaper.
Pidd is the author of “Love your bike: the Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling” and a well-respected writer on all things cycling.
She gave the bike a proper testing riding with a friend who is predominantly a mountain biker which she says in the review “meant a few ill-advised ‘shall we just see where this one goes?’ diversions. One, past the Derbyshire village of Wash, involved pedalling up a gravelly stream and almost an early bath.”
It soaked up the worst bumps
The 525 performed perfectly though and according to Helen, “The 25mm tyres rolled along fine, even on rocky terrain. The skinny steel frame (Reynolds 525) soaked up the worst of the bumps”
You can build your own Ribble 525 (from £695.95) using our easy-to-use BikeBuilder here.
We’re including more of Helen’s review below but for the full article visit The Guardian here.
“You know how some bikes just feel good? You get on, set off, and think: Oh, we are going to be together a long time. Like when you meet someone new and fit perfectly into their embrace on the first go without any need for adjustments. It was like that for the Ribble and me.”
“It looks a delight… It’s the perfect little winter bike, or a very snazzy commuter. I can really see a future for the pair of us together.”
Team Ribble-sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll is excited by the Rio Olympics after a good performance in the Malmo European Cup triathlon. Watch her video below…
The Olympics… Where little kids dream of going and where big kids have dreams come true. What a fabulous representation of how sport can bring people together. Anyone following Rio will have come across the picture which was a selfie of the young North and South Korean gymnasts together… how fabulous to see. Another picture which went viral was the beach volleyball picture which included team Egypt playing in full length kit. Brilliant. So many cultural differences put aside for the love of a sport. Brilliant.
The Olympics, and sport in general of course, have been tainted with doping scandals. It’s horrible to see so many clean athletes being affected by so many doping athletes and nations. It makes you question why they do it. It makes you question if anyone is actually clean. It makes you look at your own rivals and think… are you clean?
My latest European Cup triathlon
I raced in Sweden a week ago and had the most fabulous race experience to date. I travelled with my boyfriend Rich who wasn’t racing, but was there to help me and this proved very beneficial. He was able to do small things like carry my bike box and do some errands which allowed me to rest and conserve my energies.
I also had the pleasure of meeting one of my countrywomen, and now true friends, whilst out there. I somehow dodged meeting Susanna Murphy on many race occasions but when I met her randomly on a cobbled street in Malmo, I knew she was a keeper! What an awesome girl! Susanna went on to finish 14th in Malmo to gain her 3rd top 15 in a row on the international scene – flying that Irish tricolour flag loud and clear. When I grow up I want to be like her!
I went in to the Malmo triathlon ranked number 29 and my realistic goal for this race was a top 25 finish. Unfortunately I didn’t get that and finished 29th but there were so many positives to take from this race. The first major positive was how relaxed and controlled I was before the race start. I have serious issues with eating breakfast on travel day to races and race day morning.
For some reason although my nerves feel fine, my stomach does not allow me to eat and I feel incredibly nauseous before racing. This time round I was able to eat half a bowl of cereal and some white bread with a bit of bacon. I was having weird cravings, but was going to eat whatever I could get down me as something was better than the usual nothing. Big success.
Another success surrounded the build up to the race. I was so calm and collected being around Susanna. Having Rich there as a familiar someone was hugely calming. Race day, although it brought with it some surprises in weather conditions and whether we were allowed wetsuits or not, it went rather smoothly. The water temperature was all over the place. The day before the race it was 18.8 degrees (wetsuit). The morning of the race 17.6 (wetsuit) and then one hour before the race – 20.8 (none wetsuit). Whatever that water was doing I was not a fan! A few issues upon check-in and we were ready to rock.
My Ribble gets me back in touch
During the race itself – I swam main pack which is where I expected to be. But I was at the back of the pack and a trip and meet and greet with the ground upon swim exit meant I was on the back foot. I went from being there to wow – where did she go?! I did all I could and my Ribble Aero 883 which got me back in touch with the group.
However at this point the main pack on the swim had split into two and the group I had caught back on to was the second half of that group. Not ideal. The eventual winner who then travelled to Rio for the Olympic triathlon, came from my swim pack so that’s very encouraging in itself. I felt incredibly strong on the bike and my little Ribble rocket was fabulous. Entering T2 I was actually running for a top 20 finish despite the previous events and trips. The top 20 wasn’t there for me this race but it’s all there for the taking once I get myself to stop tripping up over my own feet. The ingredients are there, I just need to get mixing and then baking!
Sweden was a special race for me as one of the main sponsors was one of my own sponsors… Newline sport. They are the sponsor of both Swedish and Danish triathlon and so it was nice to see their flag flying high… helped along by the extreme winds as well! The role a sponsor plays in the journey of an athlete is rather huge. I would like to take this time to reinforce how important sponsors are.
Sponsors are so important
No journey is smooth and no journey is cheap. Support, both financially and in equipment, is just massive and allows athletes to grow. Where does the role of sponsor fit in for athletes who don’t start their journey on the podium? It fits in everywhere. There are athletes who started nowhere and are now the best in their field. Their sponsors stood by them when things were looking a little grim. Losing sponsors at a time where races don’t go smoothly is a kick in the teeth athletes don’t need.
We all want to promote the brands as best we can and do our sponsors proud in an effort to thank them but this doesn’t always happen. Sponsors who are there through thick and thin, through the lows and the highs, for the love of trying to help and support – they are the ones who make the difference. Such a huge support. I have been so lucky in having such great support this year.
I have not had the success just yet that I have been dreaming of but each day is a day building strength and speed I didn’t have the day before and each triathlon shows progress. Having people believe in you is a big boost and I believe I will have the success I dream of one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and some journeys require more time than others. I have time and I am very motivated to get myself to where I want to be.
Thank you as ever to Ribble Cycles, Polaris Bikewear, Newton running, Newline sport and New Running Gear. I’m sorry the podium hasn’t come yet but it will!
I hope everyone is cycling happy and loving doing what they are doing – triathlon or cycling!
Ribble-sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll updates us on her eventful July at a European Cup triathlon in Spain
Oh my, Oh my, Oh my, my, my, July. Birthday month, kick start my international triathlon season month and fun times in warm places with cool people month… it was all there for the taking, but oh my, my, my, was it not to be!!!
July started off being a month filled with excitement. I was not really looking forward to the whole year older thing, but it was nice to spend time with friends and laugh at myself for being older. Laughter will keep you young they say!
On our way to sunny Spain
Next on the agenda was my first European Cup triathlon of the year and a trip to Spain with one of the funniest girls I know, Emma Sharkey, from the beautiful emerald isle of Ireland. Emma was flying from home and I was flying from the UK and we would meet in Spain and go from there. We would have each other so it would all be easy, breezy, beautiful, cover girl. We wish!
Delayed luggage coupled with our lack of Spanish had us off to a good start, but it had us laughing because there was nothing we could do. All luggage firmly in hand and all train tickets paid for, we were finally on our way to Barcelona and then the beautiful little seaside town of Altafulla. The heat made for a sweaty journey and Emma’s all black everything outfit left her hot, hot, hot! I also learned that jeans are just not meant for travel. Ever.
We found the hotel in Altafulla with little difficulty. We were here finally – straight to the sea for a swim please! We hopped into the sea and all was right in the world again. We did all the usual things after a day of travel with our bikes and then food, food… give us food! We got our bearings with where registration was, where the nicest Italian restaurants were and we even spotted the best Froyo (frozen yoghurt, Ed) shop for a treat after the race. We had it all done! We got this!
The next day we had the bike recce first thing. Altafulla was a really cool course with a nice big hill which intertwined its way through some old Spanish streets. It was super cool but this was as far as the love for the course grew for me. Up the hill for the first time and my bike became very vocal making all sorts of crazy noises. After much deliberation and some fiddling about with what I thought I may have done incorrectly when rebuilding my Ribble Aero 883, she seemed to be running smoothly thank god. A couple of more times up and over the hill and we were good to go.
Swim recce was next and as there is a lot less technical equipment involved for this section, it seemed to go rather swimmingly! Food, food, give us food! Once our hunger was put to bed we were free to relax and chill out, watching the WTS Hamburg race, before having to dash off to our registration and briefing.
Time for dinner…food again! Yay! Dinner done and home to do the last bits and bobs putting number stickers on bikes and helmets and then we were ready to sleep.
Triathlon race day
The next morning was a lazyish start as the race wasn’t until midday. A relaxed breakfast and a little nap before heading down. During our warm up my bike seemed to be running smoothly. I left Emma and decided I would do one more hill just to make sure my bike was ‘A OK’. Cue the disaster.
Seemingly my rear derailleur had been knocked in transit and it was spending a lot of time up against the spokes creating the noise I’d heard the day before. It had had enough on race morning though and got caught in the spokes which broke the replaceable derailleur hanger. With 45mins to race start I was without a working bike.
Panic… no, don’t panic. Who can help? Ring Stephen from Triathlon Ireland. He likes bikes. He will know. As expected he told me all the relevant details and what to do, but unless I could find a new hanger, I would be a little screwed.
The bike mechanic on site had an extensive tool kit – one small multi-tool. Great! What next? At this point I was stressing just a little. Everyone had racked their bikes and was down in swim warm-up. I was still in the athlete area with no tri-suit on and no bike to rack. These invaluable experiences in life that seem to be awful at the time, have to make sense at some point in your journey. Don’t panic.
I asked if could borrow a bike and the next minute along comes this bike. God knows what speed, or if any speed at all it was, how old it was and how much heavier than me it weighed but she went into transition and I would hop on later and see what happened.
Lets get it on
What happened next, not a whole lot. I had enough time to run down to swim warm up and take three strokes before we were called out of the water to line up. There was an Irish lady whose accent was more comforting than she knew at the time, who was shouting us on. My head was a ‘little’ frazzled and so the race wasn’t exactly what I had planned.
The swim seemed to just stay as one big group and I was at the back following feet constantly thinking about how this bike was going to be. Out of the swim, onto the bike and I could barely reach the handle bars or change gears! Disaster! One lap of the bike is all I could manage and made the decision to call it a day there. I don’t like giving up. Bike mishaps happen every day and are oh so fixable but this one was out of my control. Big lessons learned however – always carry spare hangers.
Emma went on to get the top 15 place we were both chasing. Go on Emmahuh!!
Race over and once packed we were on our way back to Barcelona where I would be leaving Emma who was staying there with friends for a night whilst I went back to the airport. We hopped onto our train in Altafulla and it was packed. I reminded myself to keep my phone in my hand as with a bag on my back and bike box in front of me, I wouldn’t be so sure that anything from my bag wouldn’t be stolen.
One hour passed on the train and our stop was coming up so I placed my phone in my bag. I strapped my bag and had it under my arm pit until the beeps to tell us the doors were about to open. I then doubled strapped it, grabbed the bike box and exited the train. I checked my bag and the phone was gone. Someone had stolen my phone. Now what?
I was leaving Emma and had no phone, no Spanish and no memory of Rich’s phone number to ring him and let him know the story. We went our separate ways. Emma messaged Rich and he eventually got word to the taxi driver collecting me that I needed a meet and greet at the airport. This was all beknownst to me. I arrived safely in the UK but there was no taxi driver to be seen. After some tears a very kind lady taxi driver who allowed me to use her phone to ring my mother. The taxi driver finally showed up and I was on route back to Loughborough. Just after midnight I arrived home a little worse for wear. All in a day’s work… who knew it could be so exciting.
Lessons learnt for next time
Not the trip I was after but these things happen. I learned more than you could even imagine. I dealt with the world of emotions. I laughed. I cried. It was all going on.
In light of it all, my poor Aero 883 had an emotional time also. It clearly came across some very rough luggage handlers at the airport. My bike box did extremely well to protect the frame as a whole and not allow the rough handlers to damage the frame itself. The bit that broke off is designed to do exactly that and with only costing a few pounds to fix I am very glad my Polaris bike box did its job and protected the frame which is slightly more expensive than a few pounds to replace!
Good equipment makes a huge difference and that is as simple as it gets really. Spend the dollar on good protective equipment and reap the benefits upon meeting a rough airport handler.
I am off to Sweden this week for another European Cup triathlon this weekend. Let’s hope the luck of the Irish stays with me this time round! Stay safe, stay happy and most importantly, stay healthy.
Ailbhe (Alva…just in case it’s slipped your mind!) 🙂
Remember that heatwave? That handful of hot days at the beginning of July are a distant memory now as the weather here in Ribble Country seems to have descended into showers interspersed with bouts of heavy rain. Clothing choice is a headache!
There’s a saying in the part of Lancashire where I grew up, that “If you can see Pendle Hill it’s about to rain, if you can’t see it, then the rain’s already started.”
In this kind of weather it’s wise to choose versatile items of cycle clothing that will keep parts of you dry and warm and yet not overheating.
Here’s our mini-guide to ‘Wet Weather Summer Riding Clothing’ and if you’ve been caught out this week without the right kit you might want to read it!
Clothing: Waterproof Jacket
On one morning commute last week the early ‘heavy mizzle’ quickly became moderately heavy rain and I was glad to be wearing a ‘heavier weight’ waterproof jacket and other un-summer like clothing to keep it all out.
It might be the English summer but a good waterproof jacket can serve you well all year round! Heavy rain means surface water and spray so a bright colour or at least some reflectivity is highly recommended.
We’ve a big selection of waterproof jackets from leading brands including Castelli, Assos, Santini, Endura, Altura and BBB. See them here
Road spray can soak your shoes and feet within minutes so a good pair of waterproof overshoes are an essential investment. I’m currently using BBB’s excellent SpeedFlex overshoes which are the right kind of weight for summer (and spring and autumn). Shop now
On longer rides or commutes in poor weather it might be wise to switch back to long fingered gloves. We’ve a huge range here.
Arm and Leg Warmers
This unpredictable showery summer weather has meant digging out the arm and leg warmers. The leg warmers provide some warmth whilst the arm warmers coupled with a short sleeve jersey provide the flexibility you need when the weather is so changeable. Shop now
Workshop: Chain Cleaner and Lubricant
It’s summer but when you bike gets wet it will love you more it you clean and lubricate it! Shop now