La Musette #1



“There are no races. Only lotteries” – Jacques Anquetil 

Greetings cyclist, put down your razor, drop your bib shorts, get off the turbo and let us invite you to pour an espresso (or a protein shake if that’s how you choose to live your life) and come digest the inaugural edition of ‘La Musette’. Yes you read it right, our great club’s latest offering is a proverbial bag of newsworthy rice cakes and insightful gels designed to propel you to racing glory and bring us all closer together for 2015 & beyond.

For those of you who love the name and those who swore when you read it, thank Rich Whitehorn, with age comes wisdom it would seem. As well as keeping you informed about what’s coming up and what’s been happening we hope to provide insight into the unique world of amateur racing and encourage you to strap on the blood bag and give it a go. If you have any feedback (positive or negative) while we get clipped in please email me, James Stannard or Ben Knapp. We will also welcome contributions with racing content. Ultimately it’s a lycra clad body of experience and joy set against the backdrop of a radio mast. Enjoy.

Hopefully you will have seen we’ll be running a winter series at VeloPark in January. Details through the forum, and then RiderHQ, are listed here. In early January we will aim to have a Skin Suit fitting and general get together, stay tuned for more details.

Targeting races and getting our ducks in a row is a big priority for 2015 and there is much more to come on this. For now here’s a link to upcoming events in the South East.

Similar to upcoming races, in 2015 we’re keen to keep members abreast of what’s going on, who is riding like a boss, who has had a spectacular crash & how many times Charles has forgotten to charge his Di2. We’ll provide specific results and reports in a digestible format in 2015 but given we’re in the deep mid-winter here’s a link to recent results in the South East. I understand James Freeman and Sam Evans were at Hillingdon the other day, presumably in anticipation of a calorific Christmas… [cough].



Everyone loves a Q&A! Tearing down the walls of testosterone in this edition we’ve got a cake eating, cynical, human ATM Charles ‘Charlie Chainring’ Batho:

Current category?
I’ve just crashed back down to 3rd after a humbling season at 2nd cat.
How did you first get into racing?
I drifted into it via the 2010 Dulwich Worlds after studiously avoiding it for years. Racing became a great new source of motivation for riding my bike after years and years of just aimless riding.
I wish that I knew what I know now… 
Stop worrying and give it a go; you won’t know if you’re good enough until you try. It’s an exhilarating journey.
Favourite local circuit and why?

Has to be Crystal Palace. You can’t really describe it, or understand why it’s so special, until you’ve raced it yourself. Definitely not the best place to race for the first time though!
Best place you have ridden a bike?
I’m going to say Bali because that was the place that made me realise how great riding a bike was as an adult. I hired a really shitty mountain bike for a forest tour & I was hooked.
What are your goals for 2015?
It’s the same as it’s been since I started; to win a race.
What are you known for in Dulwich Paragon?
Ha… others are better placed to answer this than me. Probably my love hate relationship with food.
My autobiography would be called…
Someone had to come 12th.
Favourite Dulwich team mate & why?
Oh I can’t pick a favourite. It’d be like picking a favourite child. Not that I have any children, thanks for reminding me.
Rider type…
GC/Sprinter/Grimpeuer/Puncheur/TT specialist/Rouleur/Domestique/Whingeur
Pro you’re most like?
You’re joking right?
Sum up riding a bike in three words…
Riding – Instinctive, Organic, Freedom
Racing – Excruciatingly painful, Fun

New race sec Ben Knapp wanted to formalise the leadership structure around Men’s racing going in to next year. You can read all about it here.

More to come on this…


As most of you will know 2015 marks the club’s 80th year in existence, quite a milestone! We revealed the kit design at the AGM and you can find out everything you need to know on the forum.

We’ve pretty much discussed everything that about bikes and racing in the forums over the years. To save you doing the hard searching yourselves here is a couple of great threads:

Total Newbie to Racing: Great advice from fellow club members if you’re thinking about racing.
Cycling Tips Archive : Al did the hard work with a pile of links to some great tips on racing.

Contrary to popular belief there is by no means a crisis of cohesion amongst the racing gang, but inevitably, in a club of our size, certain members stick to a few mates so that groups, don’t become too unwieldy, with some going earlier or later in twos, groups or even solo. As race season nears the specificity of training also sees the “Racers Rides” become more organic ensuring riders of similar ability and season targets are riding together and newer riders aren’t getting smashed to pieces. It’s not about snobbery or cliques, it’s about safety and benefit to all concerned. We’re keen to organise some standard rides together like the days of old and La Musette seems like a good place to start. Duration/intensity will be decided and groups split on the morning of the ride shaped by those who show. Generally the racers meet as below on the weekends.

When: Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00am departing circa 9:15am
Where: Cadence Performance (Crystal Palace)