Archive | cycling

Start of the Cycling Season

Last week I turned on Eurosport for the first time since last October. It was the Tour of Dubai, a flat stage over the deserts of Dubai –  reminiscent of the rather forgettable World Championship in Qatar.



As I turned on, literally the first piece of commentary of the year was Carlton Kirby talking about how to tickle a camel on the top of the head. This mind-blowing piece of advice lasted a few minutes as the riders trundled through the dust and bare environment. I like Kirby’s esoteric commentary as much as the next person, but it didn’t seem an auspicious start to the cycling season. A flat stage to Dubai, where the greatest excitement is ruminating over the ticklish parts of camels. Why do I watch cycling anyway? Continue Reading →


At the top of White Horse Hill

Yesterday, there was a strong southerly wind, so I headed towards Lambourne.


There is a long 3% drag from Lambourne towards Wantage; it is the kind of climb which is good when there is a strong tailwind. Looking for a new way to get to Lambourne, I tried the technique for taking unknown roads and hoping it would take me into the next valley. From Bishopstone, there was a nice deserted climb. At the top, I found the road was deserted for good reason. It petered out by a pig farm on the top of the Ridgeway. There was nothing to do but go back down and take the main road from Ashbury.



Unfortunately, by the time I got to the top of this climb from Ashbury, it was raining quite hard, and for some reason, my rain jacket wasn’t in my saddle bag. I hid under an old tree for a few minutes and ate an energy bar. Continue Reading →


Part-time Cyclist

I’m a bit of a part-time cyclist at the moment. Still some lingering hip troubles so I just do the odd ride here and there. It’s not as much fun with nagging problems, but it’s still a relief to be able to get out and do something.


I visited Clee Hill at the weekend.

I keep trying different things. I visited a third osteopath last week. The second osteopath did very deep tissue massage – quite painful. The 3rd osteopath just held his hands at various pressure points on the back. It was quite meditative lying back looking at the sky. It barely felt like anything happened. Very different approaches, I wonder which one works best? If you go to a physiotherapist, they say it is one thing; if you go to an osteopath, they say something else. Everyone offers a diagnosis from their perspective. Continue Reading →


Original Cycling Blog from 2005

I believe this was my original attempt at a cycling blog in 2005. I called it “It’s all Downhill from here”

Just out of interest, I’m going to archive here. I’m not correcting the old spelling errors and grammar – just to prove I have perhaps made a little progress…

It shows some things change, back in 2005 I wrote:

“…In Belgium cycling is the number one sport after football. In the UK cycling is probably just a little above crown green bowls…”

It was also interesting to find a photo from 2005, and the days of a full head of hair!

Thanks to David Coleman for finding on the Internet Wayback Machines

All downhill from here

Bristol South CC hill Climb 2005


At the Start – The only place you can smile on a hill climb

Last year I finished 2nd in 7.12. Danny Axford won with a new course record of 7.02

This year I had  a new bike about 1.2KG lighter.
See: Hill Climb Bike

The weather was very good for October with just a slight headwind at the top of the climb. Last year there was quite a strong tailwind so most people’s times were slower this year.

For the first 4 minutes I rode at a relatively comfortable pace (for a hill climb). Just over half way there is a cattle grid and then small descent. At this point I made a bigger effort trying to accelerate towards the top. I nearly caught my minute man and was pleased with my time of 7.05 it would have been nice to go under 7 minutes though.

I prefer these long climbs to short steep sprints like the National at Rake, Ramsbottom. I suggested to the organiser Dave Keene he try and get the National held here one year. He said he would try.

It was also good to have another Sri Chinmoy Cycling team member for a change Ed Silverton finished 40th in a respectable time of 10.19. If he can stay injury free next year he should be able to make big improvements.


Name:Cat:Club:Time 2005
1stRichard PettingerS2Sri Chinmoy CT0.07.06.83
2ndDanny AxfordS3Artic-Shorter Rochford RT0.07.10.94
3rdJames DobbinS2Artic-Shorter Rochford RT0.07.21.84
4thNeil BlessittV4Severn R.C.
5thPeter WheddonV4Clevedon & District R.C.
6thRob AdamsS2Bristol South C.C.
7thMatt LelliottS2Severn R.C.
8thMartin BawdenS3RAF C.C.
9thDerek SmethamS3Dursley R.C.
10thRob PearsV4Bath C.C.

Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team


Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team have a new place on the web at:

There are a few articles and pictures. There is quite a bit of interest in the club, so hopefully there will be stuff coming from Australia, Europe and the US.

I’m going to write a training manual at:

Not that I particularly know what I’m doing.

Hardcore Trophy – BMCC

The evening before I flew to NY I rode the 10 Mile TT at Weston on the Green. I won in a time of 21.35. The event was organised by BMCC, they are a great club and I enjoy there events at the airfield where there are no cars to contend with.

I won a great trophy which was sponsored by a cycling shop Broadribbs in Bicester. They named the trophy after a brand of mountain bikes

I was also joined by another rider from Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team, Roger Chamberlain. Roger was in a running race at the weekend and so did well to finish in 26.41.

British Time Trial Championship 2005

The British Time Trial Championship was held in Penistone, South Yorkshire. I travelled home on Friday afternoon and rode round the course a few times. It was a very hilly course and I enjoyed riding it. I met a few people doing the same on Friday. I rode around with Daniel Lloyd, he is currently racing in Belgium for Team Flanders. He said the racing in Belgium is very different to the UK, which is not suprising. In Belgium cycling is the number one sport after football. In the UK cycling is probably just a little above crown green bowls.

Anyway there were 252 riders and I came 14th in the Senior Men.

14th R.Pettinger  26 miles in 1.06.21 –  24.1 mph

The event was won by Stuart Dangerfield 1.01.?? who finisished just in front of Michael Hutchinson.

Reading CC 25 Mile TT


Set a new Personal Best for 25 miles – 53.41.

This was despite my tribar extensions falling off with 5 miles to go. I had to hold them in my right hand and cycle on my other handlebars.

– I blame the bumpy H25/1 A4 Aldermaston course
– but it’s probably my fault for not tightening them up. A new set of tribars are definitely on my wish list.

– The weather was pretty grim with constant rain, however there is a theory that with rain there is less friction so you go faster. There were 102 entrants but only about 40 made the finish line.

Reading CC25 Mile TT13th August 2005
Weather Conditions = Rain, light wind
1P.KenchLiphook Cycles RT53.17
2R.PettingerSri Chinmoy CT53.41
4R.HughesClarence Wheelers55.24
6T.ThorneBath CC56.39
10A.BojarskiHemel Hempstead58.05


Rudy Project Time Trial Series


Sat 6th August 2005 Rudy Project Time Trial Series – National Round 4 out of 6

I came 3rd in 1.04.01  AV Speed 25.5mph for 27 miles.

M.Hutchinson won in 00.59.46

There were some good riders in the field so I was pleased to come 3rd. It was a good course based near Gloucester.

I won a pair of Rudy Project sunglasses and socks –

25 Mile TT – Aldermaston


Sat 30th July 2005

25 Mile TT H25/1 Aldermaston Time = 53.58 came 1st

W.Girvan came 2nd 54.07.

A new PB by 2 seconds. Last PB was in National Championships in May

Added: Beryl Burton to Great Cyclists


Beryl Burton won the Best British All Rounder title for 25 consecutive years

Updated World Hour Record, new record set by a Czech rider from AG2R

Latest Races


Sat 23rd July 20.5 Mile TT

Finished 2nd. Time of 46.28 AV.Speed 26.5 mph

Good quiet circuit near Quainton, organised by North Bucks CC. Event won by D.Axford in a new course record

Sat 24th July 50 Mile TT

Finished 1st : Time = 1.54.??

First 50 Mile TT so a Personal Best. Course record is 1.51.?? Course was the H50/1 on the A4 near Aldermaston.
It rained all through the race, pretty unpleasant not many people finished.

ROger Chamberlain of Sri Chinmoy CT finished his first TT 10 miles in a very respectable 25 minutes (no tribars)


Newbury CC 10

It was my first 10 Mile TT for a long time. Got a new PB by 2 seconds 21.11

Wanted to go under 21 minutes but didn’t go quick enough.
Came second which was quite good.

The winner’s time was 20.59
The Course was the H10/1 near Aldermarston.
Aldermarston is famous for something but I’m not sure what. I’ve just looked on Google – “Aldermarston March” campaign against nuclear weapons. I wonder if it was the same Aldermarston

Tomorrow is the Tour Of Cotswolds 100 miles etape style day. Hopefully will do it in under 5 hours.

National 100 Mile TT

I finished 4th in the National 100 Mile TT Championship (result is provisional at the moment). I particularly like the course which was hilly.

My time was 3.55.04

Oxford – Henley

Today was the Oxford to Henley and Back Time Trial. I like the course as there is about 8 miles of flat followed by a long climb into Nettlebed and then a long descent into Henley. At the turn I was 45.30

Last year I won in a time of 1.37.07. This year I won in a time of 1.32.32, (AV. speed 25 mph) which is a new course record by 2 and a half minutes.

The weather conditions were very good with only a light wind.

* The Tour De France is looking quite good with many riders attempting to attack Lance Armstrong. I’m going to watch it now.

10 Mile Time Trial

Newbury CC 10 Mile TT H10/1

Came second in the Newbury CC 10 Mile Time Trial at Aldermarston.

My time was 21.11 – 12 seconds behind the winner.

Its a long time since my last 10 Mile Time Trial I got a PB by 2 seconds which was good.

Tour Of The Cotswolds

Rode the Tour of the Cotswolds today, ending up doing 130 miles see. Tour of the Cotswolds

First 100 Mile Ride of The Year

In preparation for the National 100 I rode 100 miles for the first time this year. It actually included 6 miles commuting in the morning. But in the afternoon I travelled 90 miles averaging just over 20 mph. I quite enjoyed it, despite it being quite hot, it is suprising how much drink you can get through.

However although its hot here, Abichal and the other 3,100 mile runners are experiencing heat of over 95 degrees in New York, glad I’m not doing that.

Entered National 100

Entered the National 100 Mile Time trial today. Am planning to ride 100 mile  training. It will be the first time I have ridden 100 Miles for nearly 2 years.

Raining again today. When its raining I like to do interval training the intensity makes you forget the wet.

I have added some writings by Sri Chinmoy about sports. Includes some articles on drugs in sport

Cycling Photo

richard by dennis

Photo Copyright: Dennis Sackett.

This picture was taken at OUCC 10 Mile Time Trial 1st May 2005

Dennis has many more excellent cycling photos on his website

These include photos from the current Tour De France.
It’s interesting to see the riders time trial style

25 Mile Time Trial – 12th July 2005

This evening I rode the BMCC club 25 at Weston on the Green.

I set an new course record in a time of 56.50.

Looking forward to the National 100 mile Time Trial on Sunday.
I’m really hoping to go under 4 hours, we shall see!

Verulam CC 27 Mile TT

Today I rode the Verulam 27 Mile Time Trial near Luton Airport. It was generally a rolling course with one steeper hill on the second lap. I enjoyed the course, although I did get held up behind some cars on the last 5 miles.

I felt pretty good having recovered from last Sunday’s 130 mile epic.

I finished in a time of 1.02.04 Average speed 26 mph.

The second placed rider finished in 1.06.57.

25 Mile Time Trial – 1st

Tuesday evening. Rode the 25 MileTT organised by Bicester Milenium CC at Weston on the Green Airfield.
10 laps of the 2.5 Mile circuit is pretty boring but it is interesting to see the splits
(well its interesting to me if not to you!)

Richard Pettinger 06:06   05:32   05:38    05:40    05:45   05:44   05:48    05:46   05:50     05:46    Final Time+00:57:35

Slowed up in the middle with a bit of saddle sore – glad it wasn’t a 100 miles would have been torture.

Riding a 10 on Saturday and then the Tour of the Cotswold, I need to finish in under 5 hours because I have so many exam papers to mark this weekend.

Other comments from other pages

Tour de France 2005

(Rasmusen is nicknamed the chicken because of his lanky build. Quite a few people have noticed the similarity in build between me and Rasmusen, but the comparisons just about stop there.)


Yorkshire Dales – country lanes


Three riders on Sunday.

In the past week, I’ve been to Bolton Abbey a few times. On Sunday it was sunny and the roads were quite busy with cyclists. The weekend enables a lot more cyclists (and cars) to be on the road. During the weekdays, there are not as many cyclists, but still quite a few on the back roads. I think the riders mid-week are more likely to be serious racers. There are quite a few professionals who live in the area, and these are popular roads for training on.


Barden Tower in the background. Continue Reading →


How to plan cycle routes

A reader asked an interesting question – how to plan a cycle route?


Part of the attraction of cycling is finding new routes to ride. If I go on a long ride, of over 3+ hours, if possible, I like to find a road I’ve never been on before. Even if a minor variation, it is always good to take a new direction.


Generally, I don’t use any technology, I have a Garmin, but have never used the map function. For someone who makes a living online, I’m a relative Luddite. I prefer the old school plan of looking at an OS map 1:50,000 series and then trying to remember it. There is beauty in an OS map. I’ve spent many hours looking at the contours, trying to find the hilliest route within the shortest distance. (most uphill meters in shortest number of miles, if you can follow my thinking)

These days, my one concession to technology is sometimes taking a photo of a maps when visiting new areas. But, generally I quite like to just ‘follow my nose’ and see where I end up.


There is a certain freedom in just choosing the road which looks most inviting and hope it is going in the general direction. If you follow this approach you will both win and lose some situations. I remember riding up and down this busy A road by Sowerby Bridge, in the rain looking, for the start of Dog House Lane – a new steep climb in Todmorden. I never found it that day, but I did ride up and down a road getting overtaken by articulated lorries. I kept racing up these right hand turns – uphill farmtracks which proved to be dead ends. Taking strava segments which had about four people on the leader-board. Some poor chap thought that “climb to Uncle Bill’s old farm and then a dead end” was a safe KOM and then some mountain goat comes along and nicks it off you just because he got lost. It has happened quite a few times! It has also happened that some farmer has come out to eye suspiciously this sweating cyclist – why has he come up this road when it ends in my farm? I sheepishly do a u-turn. Continue Reading →


Average speeds cycling

A look at different average speeds in different types of cycling. All speeds are in km/h.

People often ask what is a good average speed for cycling? When I was in Otley CC, we used to have ‘reliability rides’ (think sportive which doesn’t cost anything). Usually, the reliability rides involved riding 50 miles in 3 hours. – 16.6 mph, 26.8 km/h. It was a good test for the club-rider; it could still be done at a non-competitive, but ‘brisk’ pace. I don’t know if people still do reliability rides.

Usually our old club runs would be done at around 14mph (23 km/h) and that didn’t include the three tea stops during the day. Of course, the average speed of a club run will all depends who you go with. If it’s a club run of more than 20mph, I think a chain gang is probably more important. When I went with a local Oxford chain-gang, the average speed was something like 23mph for a flattish course around Otmoor.

Good tool for calculating average speeds

How to increase average speed

A quick conversion for km/h to mph:

  • 20 km/h = 12.4 mph
  • 30 km/h = 18.6 mph
  • 40 km/h = 24.85 mph
  • 50 km/h = 31.06 mph

My personal average speeds


When average speed of cyclists is higher than average speed of motorists

  • Commute into town, including stopping times at traffic lights – 12-16 km/h
  • Commute into town (slow) – 16-2o km/h
  • Commute into town (fast) – 20-28 km/h. (The average speed of motor traffic in Central London is said to be around 9mph.)
  • Training ride on winter training bike – 24-27 km/h
  • Training ride in summer – 28 – 30 km/h
  • Threshold training ride 32-33 km/h
  • Threshold training ride on time trial bike 34-37 km/h
  • Hilly time trial on road bike – 38 km/h
  • Hilly time trial on time trial bike – 40-42 km/h
  • Flat time trial TT bike, no traffic – 46-47 km/h
  • Fastest time trial on TT bike (fast course, + traffic)- 50km/h
  • Fastest downhill – 85 km/h

Factors that affect average speed:


  • A time trial bike in a very aero position can add an extra 3-4 km/h (see: difference between road bike and TT bike)
  • Passing traffic on dual carriageways can add an extra 2-3 km/h
  • Very smooth roads – smooth tarmac can add an extra 1 km/h
  • In a 10 mile time trial, with a tailwind of 20mph, I once averaged 56km/h. Into the headwind on the return, I averaged 36 km/h. Wind  is important
  • If you can average 32-34 km/h on the flat on a road bike, you may find you can get close to 40km/h on a time trial bike on a fast course.
  • If you cycle in the wheels – behind another rider, you can save 20-40% energy. In the middle of a large peleton, it is said you can save up to 50% of your energy. You can probably ride 3-9 km/h faster. Average speeds for team time trials are often 3-5 km/h faster than individual time trials.

Continue Reading →


Using miles or km for cycling?

The other day, I struggled to wake up, and when I did wake up, I had sore legs, a saddle sore – and it felt great! The usual aches and pains of cycling, but a small price to pay for being back on the bike.


On Saturday I managed 60 miles through a damp and grey Cotswolds. For three and half hours effort, whilst struggling to remain warm, 60 miles doesn’t sound too impressive compared to the perceived effort. I think I should switch to km, 100 km sounds more satisfying than 60 miles.


Continue Reading →


Winter training bike 2016-17


This will be my winter training bike for 2016/17 (assuming I can get out to ride it). It is an old hill climb bike  with a Trek Madone frame – 10 speed Dura Ace groupset. After buying the Emonda, I thought about selling this Trek, but with the growth of 11spd and electronic gears – 10 speed mechanical has devalued in price. The likely selling figure seemed a poor return, so I have kept as a winter training bike.  I also have an attachment to the bike as I used it in 2013 Nat hill climb. Continue Reading →


Cycling very slowly

The past week or so I’ve been ill again with some kind of sickness. It left me quite ill and weak, but I had an an appointment with an osteopath I wanted to keep – to work on the bad hip. I thought I would drive the 4 miles, but at last minute couldn’t bring myself to drive through the centre of Oxford so got on bike and cycled very slowly.


There’s always one person who cycles through mid winter in bare arms (or legs) but rarely both.


I’d lost a bit of weight, still recovering from virus and it probably wasn’t the most sensible thing to do. But, after sitting on settee for a few days I felt like a challenge. The main thing is that I cycled very slowly and on any downhill freewheeled. It meant I was getting overtaken by just about everybody on the road, which is quite something. It took half an hour there and half an hour bike. I was probably averaging 8mph. It was interesting experience, but not one I’m particularly keen to repeat.


Buses traffic jam

Even when still ill, I’d rather cycle than drive through traffic jams. I have some ideological opposition to spend 25 minutes driving somewhere through congested traffic when you can do same distance on a bicycle.

Cycling very slowly is harder work.

I nearly got doored by a van driver opening his car door whilst on mobile phone. I realised that because I was cycling so slowly, I was much closer to the curb than usual. You have less confidence to cycle at a distance from car doors when cycling slowly.

When I got to St Clements roundabout I tried to accelerate. You feel rather isolated cycling around there at 8mph, when everyone else is driving at much higher speed.

That was an experience of cycling very slowly, can’t say I particularly enjoy it.


Good job cars are banned from the High Street There seems more pollution around this winter or maybe when you’re ill you become more sensitive to it.