Tuesday 27 April 2010

Crystal Palace: there's always a first time!

As we all know, there's a bit of a learning curve to Palace, but nonetheless it's one of the most exciting and challenging circuits around. Combine that with the friendly atmosphere and sunny weather and there's no better place to spend a Tuesday night. Sorry, Hillingdon!

Emily Bagnall from the Kingston Wheelers enjoyed the league race at Crystal Palace last week, even though it was only her first time racing on the circuit. Sounds like she'll be back for more, and we hope others feel the same! Races go every Tuesday evening at 7:15pm from now until late August, riders of all levels welcome.

Photo courtesy of John Mx of LondonCyleSport

"Enjoyed the race! I started off at the back of the line so had to move up to catch the lead group, the sharp corners mean you have to really sprint the flats and hit the up gradient hard to catch people, but I managed to catch the lead group on the second lap.

I was feeling my efforts at this point, it's a very hard short race and kicks in from the word go, so decided to give everything to stay on the lead bunch. The other riders were also feeling it, everytime we came out of a corner a few would fade from the group a little and it meant double the effort to get back on, then they would grab my back wheel and move in front of me again so it was a bit of a fight to keep on. The last two laps a couple of them fell off the back and just gave up, but I kept my head down and came in just behind the leaders.

Crystal Palace is a really nice place to meet and race, the setting and atmosphere are great, and I really liked the tight corners. No loos or water point though so be prepared. Entry costs £10 cash. I must say it's even a nice setting to cheer others on, sit on the grass and not even race yourself!"