A big well done to all of you that turned up to compete in or help out at our Duathlon last Sunday, a big chunk of the clubs membership where either taking part or helping out which made for a great morning, helped by glorious sunshine – which we don’t normally get!
It was nice to see lots of little personal battles going on right through the field, and as well as a some suffering, some fun as well!
Even relatively short Duathlons are challenging events, and everyone, especially the first timers have come away with a real sense of accomplishment having pushed themselves out of their comfort zones.
Here are the category winners and podiums:
1st Paul Prosser
2nd Richard Jones
3rd Tim Tomlins
1st Alison Horsley
2nd Audrey Morris
3rd Jennie Page
1st Team: Matt Copps/Dominique Ballard
1st Team Handicap: Margaret and John Crisp
1st Jan Hamill
2nd Paul Delaney
3rd Pete Stalley
I used a timing app called Racesplitter, along with manual entries to do the timing, it was a learning experience for me having never been involved in timing an event of any kind let alone a three leg event, and we wouldn’t have any results if not for Steve and Louisa, so hats off to them.
Full results are here http://racesplitter.com/races/397FFE923 note that you’ll have to subtract your run 1 time manually from the split 2 to get your bike time, which will include the transitions.
A spreadsheet with the handicap results is now available here Excel Sheet: 2013
More photos are on Facebook (thanks to Gary Pitman)http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=gm.10151642591986278&type=1
Whilst the handicap competition is a lot of fun, I have to base it on a awful lot of guesswork, and as such it isn’t very fair to those that have done the event before or those using mountain bikes. Likewise it means a lot of waiting around whilst the results are calculated. So I’m thinking of having a re jig on the categories next year, here’s what I’ve come up with as a new format, let me know if you like!
Proposed new awards for 2014:
1st Mtb male/female.
Fast run award. m/f
Best young competitor (under 19.)
Best veteran competitor. (m/f handicaps given for every year over 50/45 for example)
Its actually the same amount of trophies!
If the event has spurred you on to start cycling more, or you just want to go a little faster on the roads, then a proper road bike is what you’ll need.
However it can be a bit of a minefield to know what you need or how much you need to spend. I can tell you that you do not need to spend the earth, or even anywhere near the £1000 government limit on the bike to work scheme. But beware of the very cheap “supermarket” bikes, they are barely fit for purpose and certainly aren’t likely to inspire you to ride more often. Here are two of the best bargain road bikes currently available:
Merlin S2200 http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/bikes/road-bikes/merlin-road-bikes/merlin-s2200-road-bike.html
For 5p shy of £330 you get a awful lot for your money. 9 speed Shimano Sora is normally only reserved for bikes costing double the asking price and gives you plenty of gearing options and scope for changing the cassette if you ever want to.
Decathlon B’TWIN Triban 3 http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-red-road-bike-id_8274036.html
At £299.95 this is probably the best value for money bike on the market. Carbon forks is unheard of at this sort of price range.
Its got Shimano 2300 gears with triple chainrings and 8 speed cassette. I prefer the double set up of the Merlin personally but this is splitting hairs, they are both superb bargains.
Personally I wouldn’t go any lower on price or you’ll likely be making too much of a compromise, the advantage of the B’TWIN is that you can go to the shop and sit on one before buying and you’ll get some basic service. However, you’ll still need to be able to set up, use and maintain it properly to get the most out of it, and for many the extra price of getting a bike from a local bike shop will be worth it when the bike fit, set up, advice and service are all taken into account. I recommend UK Cycles in Leigh-on-sea where you’ll pay around £500 for an entry level bike, however its worth shopping around and speaking to a few shops to gauge what level of service and support you’ll get.
If you can wait, remember the best bike bargains are always around October-November when they sell off their stock to make room for the next years models.