10 Mile Individual TT at Frome

On Sunday 21st February, both me and Dad rode our first ever individual time trial at the Frome and District Wheelers Open 10 mile TT.

Once at the event, it was a case of signing at race HQ, and then for Dad, one of the first riders set off, time to head to the start line. I was one of the last to set off, so once Dad was underway I was left in the van to prepare myself and my kit, and then to start warming up. As I had enough time, I was able to get a good warm up in and make sure I was hydrated before heading across to the start line, ready to go.

I set off well, and I was able to get up to speed and then settle in to the effort, and I was able to crack along at a good speed, and at a steady cadence. Going down the “ski slope” (local name for part of the bypass) I picked up lots of speed, and I carried this through into the next long straight maintaining the free speed I had gained.
As I had thought, there was a bit of a tailwind on the way out, this helped keep the speed up, but I was conscious that I had to do the return leg into a headwind, so I was a little conservative in my efforts.

On the return leg I started to empty the tank, and kept mentally telling myself how far I had to go, and saying that “it wasn’t much further!”. This allowed me to push harder and keep the speed up. I was passed by a rider, and this also helped as it gave me something to ‘chase’, a carrot to a donkey!

Where I had saved some energy, I was able to get over the hardest bit of the course at a good rate, and then was able to pick it up in the final dash for the line. I probably picked it up too hard too soon, as coming up to the line I started to slow a little, but I kept pushing and was able to get over the line before my speed dropped too much.

I ended up doing a 23:25, which for a first time I was very pleased with, and Dad also did very well, riding a 25:45, which he was delighted with.

After a cool down and handing our numbers back in, it was time to return home, and then to prepare for next weeks team time trial – the Severn RC 25 mile 2 Up that I am riding with fellow BCDS Academy member Charlie. A report on that to follow…

Half Term Holiday of Cycling

Over this half term I have attended both a Track Regional School of Racing (RSR) and a Circuit RSR.

The track RSR was held at Newport, and was a very early start as we had to be at the track for about 7:15. During the RSR we spent time on the track, and this time we were doing the Madison event, where two rider teams compete in events, with one resting and the other riding in the race group. To swap around it is most common for a sling to take place, where the rider that is coming into race will gain momentum from the race rider, with the race rider dramatically slowing down. I had never done one of these, so over the day I learnt a lot, and by the end I was getting the hang of it.

One of the best parts was practising behind the durney bike traveling at 30mph, slinging people in and being slung. I was grateful to my partner, who helped me throughout the track time giving me advice and tips as he had done a Madison previously.

I had Wednesday off of the bike to rest, which I was thankful for as the weather was awful.

On the Thursday morning it was off to Castle Combe, for the first Circuit RSR of the season. There was a big group of riders there, from the south, Central, south west and Wales regions. The weather was nice and sunny which made the riding all the more pleasant, even if it was a little chilly. During the riding, all 120km of it, we did various exercises based on the concepts of bunch riding skills, cornering and also a little bit on attacking at the end. For the bunch riding and the cornering I was relatively confident, as my past of group rides from an early age, riding around odd down plenty of times and also various race packs I’ve been in had helped me to develop my skills in this. I liked the attacking part of the session, even though it came at the end of the day when I was starting to tire! I quite like putting in attacks and trying to catch people unaware, so through his exercise I was able to practice this and experiment with different tactics that could win a race in the future for me.

It was a great couple of days riding, although it ended on a bit of a negative as I left a toolbox behind that I had bought with me – “D’oh!”. Once home it was swiftly in to contact with the coaches, and one of them had thankfully picked it up for me to collect at a later date.

Lots of lessons learnt in these days, both on and off of the bike, but the stand out one, never forget the toolbox again!

Onto the next couple of days and a new experience for me, my first 10 mile time trial on Sunday, so am looking forward to hopefully setting a good time on my first outing.

Local Press

It’s been great to have lots of interest from the local press recently.

We’ve had interviews with BBC Somerset, The Somerset Standard and the Frome Times.

I’ve collected them all together in one place.

The Standard piece is here : http://www.fromestandard.co.uk/Talented-cycle-siblings-Morgan-Laura-Curle/story-28630933-detail/story.html

The Frome Times: http://www.frometimes.co.uk/2016/02/09/siblings-shift-up-a-gear-towards-cycling-dream/

and then the BBC Somerset Interview can be listened using the player below.

bbc somerset

BBC Somerset Interview

Today we had the pleasure of being interviewed by a local BBC Somerset radio reporter, Jack, who was doing an article on us for their morning radio show.

They found out about us from an article that the Somerset Standard had published. They thought the story of a brother and sister both training and racing bikes was was interesting, and so got in contact and asked to come and meet us.
Jack knew we are looking for publicity to help us get the sponsorship we need to pursue our goals and ambitions, so we were delighted when he offered to come and do the interview.

When he arrived we were not long home from school and setting up to start a training session, Jack took the opportunity to record audio of that process. Following this, Dad, Mum, Laura and myself sat down together to do the main interview. We answered questions about our cycling journeys, how far we have come, what the future holds and little things like our daily routines to fit in the necessary training with school and family life. It even included a question about my shaved legs!
We were also asked about the need for sponsors to help us with the costs as we progress, and we explained about the amount of travel, the cost of kit, coaching and entry fees.

After the interview Jack recorded audio of us starting our training, clipping in to pedals and the whirring of the wheels. When we were on the bikes and riding he then videoed part of the warm up to put on their social media, and then once everything was sorted we were left to continue our training.

We are looking forward to hearing the interview on the radio and seeing the post about it on the BBC Somerset social media, we hope that it will help raise our profile and let potential sponsors know about us.

The interview and links to the article on social media will be posted when they become available.

To read the article about us from the Frome Standard, please click on this link: