La Musette #2



“As long as I breathe, I attack” – Bernard Hinault

Happy New Year and welcome to our second edition!

For many riders January involves stepping on to the scales and having a good think about the next 9 months. Dreams of turkey, stilton and stout are banished as conversations move from After Eights to power to weight. But don’t worry, we’re here to help…

In this edition we’ve got a bit on training, upcoming rides, the latest Face in the Bunch as well as other news from around the club. As always, contact James Stannard or Ben Knapp if you have any feedback or want to include something in the future.


The Dulwich Paragon VeloPark Winter Series is already a success weeks before we start the series. Thanks to a good number of you we have fantastic representation from Dulwich in all the races and have sold out weeks 1 and 2 for both men’s races and sit around 60% in the women’s race. We expect to sell out weeks 3 and 4 of the men’s races in the next few weeks and hope to top over 20 riders for each week of the women’s series. This will see 110+ racing on a weekly basis. With over £1200 of prizes on offer both on weekly basis and for the overall series we should see some great racing.

There is a lot of racing in the coming weeks with the SERRL Winter Series (Cyclopark), ELV Winter Series (Hog Hill) and Imperial Winter Series (Hillingdon) all taking place. The first of the Road Races have also been released on RiderHQ and British Cycling with racing starting as early as February in some cases. Check the link below to find more in the South East but don’t forget about races further afield in the Central Region and the Eastern Region (although ERRL races are hard to get into as we are not affiliated).

The other big date for your calendar is the clubs Annual Dinner and Prize giving, which is more relaxed and informal than it suggests, it will take place on Thursday the 5th of March at the Flying Pig in East Dulwich. You can read more on the forum and secure your tickets through RiderHQ. The clubs annual awards and trophies are the highlight of the evening as is the raffle that will see proceeds directed to the clubs preferred charity.

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.


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.

For us the recent highlights have come from the first 2 weeks of the ELV WINTER SERIES with Ben Allen taking 2nd and 7th alongside James Freeman in 6th and 5th in the first 2 weeks of racing in the 2/3s leaving Ben Allen in the lead for the series.



This time round we chat with Alice Cutter one of the number of growing Paragonettes in the club who have stepped into racing over the last few months.

Current category?
I only started racing at the end of last year, and with only 8 points under my saddle – I start this season as cat 4…

How did you first get into racing? 
I started to toy with the idea last year after many chats with, and listening to the experiences of some Paragonettes. After going to a couple of race training sessions and, with a bit of a nudge, I found the confidence to enter some races!

I wish that I knew what I know now…
Why did I not try this sooner…?!

Favourite local circuit and why?
I live really locally to the Velopark and after spending many (painful!) minutes riding the Tuesday Tens TT series on the road circuit last year – it now feels like my back garden!

Best place you have ridden a bike?
I have loved all the cycling holidays I have been on – you really do get to see and experience some amazing places by bicycle! Mallorca would be the obvious answer, but this summer Greg (also DP) and I spent a week riding in the Picos De Europa in Spain. We rode some of theVuelta stages and climbs – Covadonga was a beast and the views from the top where incredible! (I let Greg suffer up the L’Angliru solo!)

What are your goals for 2015? 
To learn how to race hard and become stronger both individually and with Team Paragonette!

What are you known for in Dulwich Paragon? 
…the Paragonettes are best places to answer this! But as the season develops I hope it will be for riding to the best of my ability – in name of the Team!

My autobiography would be called…
A Cutter Above The Rest?!

Favourite Dulwich team mate & why?
All Paragonettes are such a brilliantly enthusiastic and inspiring cyclists – so I can’t pick just one out! But my favourite DP training partner is Greg Moss – for pushing me to peddle further, longer and faster than I thought possible!

Rider type…
Belgian cobbles specialist with a bit of a sprinters kick

Pro you’re most like? 
Tom Boonen

Sum up riding a bike in three words… 
Riding – Energy, Health, Happiness
Racing – GRrrr, Phwwwhw, Ughhsshitt



Patrick Hawkins has been working hard on moving the race from a National B to a National A race and, after lots of hard work and heavy lifting, he has been successful. We should expect a field of heavy hitters and those chosen to represent the club will have their work cut out for them! It’s all very exciting for the club and marks a great start to our 80th year.

News on the Wally Gimber Team is here.
NB: George Harper won in 2013 and is pictured above as the 2014 winner is, well, see here.

I never thought I’d say it but Hillingdon went viral in December making appearances on the GCN News Show, Cycling Tips and in numerous other blogs and tweets. For those of you who missed it here is the moment a rider from High Wycombe went all Evil Knievel on us. A few words from Sam Evans and Ben Allen who were in the race (Sam is pictured in his trademark shades).

“I was coming to the conclusion that it was too little too late for my own chances and started to sit up, when all of a sudden half of the riders who had got up into the first wave decided to get into a big tangled mess, and in a split second there were riders hitting the floor and piling over the top right left and centre, even hurtling off the track and taking down a steward/race official who was innocently standing by…I had a lucky escape” – Sam Evans

“Hillingdon’s got a reputation as the carbon graveyard, but I think we have to look beyond the riders for the cause.  Careful examination of the photo reveals a number of riders crashing without actually hitting anything.  Further, the Garmin that can be seen mid-flight is following a suspicious trajectory; it almost certainly can’t have come from a bike.  Call me a conspiracy theorist but that finish line is surrounded by more than a couple grassy knolls” – Ben Allen



As fabulous as the internet is, it can, at times, be a cyclist’s worst nightmare. How many times have we tied ourselves in knots over nutrition, training or saddle height after reading 65 forums worth of conflicting information? With training, people respond differently to different plans and it’s important to try and find what your body responds well to. We can’t offer a silver bullet but we’ve outlined a simple early season training plan below that we think offers a fairly standard approach from coaches at this time of the year. If you want some structure you could do worse than following the below…

Break down your 7 day week into 6 Sessions on the bike and a rest day, build your week around other commitments placing the rest day on a day you are unlikely to be able to ride and sandwich the Recovery Day and the Rest Day around your harder days in the saddle.

Day 1: 3x20mins SST with 10 mins at Z2 between
Day 2: 6 x 5mins (Z5) with 5 mins at Z2 between
Day 3: Rest Day
Day 4: 3x20mins SST with 10 mins at Z2 between or 1x40mins SST (move to 60mins SST in week 3/4)
Day 5: Free Ride (Club Ride) 3-5hours mainly Z2 with some efforts (hill/sprint for signs and other fun)
Day 6: Cafe Ride (Easy Recovery)
Day 7: 3x8mins (Z4) with 5 mins at Z2 between

Off the bike concentrate on core strength with 2 or 3 20 minute sessions slotted in during the week (Plank, sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts etc.) – and stretch daily!

Talk training plans to anyone and they will have differing idea, what is proven though is that work at SST is critical to increasing FTP. As always there is a balance between training and enjoying your ride so don’t forget why you ride your bike in the first place.

British Cycling has some useful calculators for Training Zones at

If you are considering a coach talk to a few of the other racers, between us we’ve used several and can recommend a few.


The first order for the kit has been placed and we hope to be in receipt of this in early April*. For further updates on orders/expected dates – see the forum.
*subject to Giordana


Wheelsets: A topic of continual discussion either in the forum or track side at crits. Here is a roundup of some of the more recent discussions on the forum that would be a great place to start if you are considering new hoops in the new year:

Tips for Road Racing: Phil Jones shared a great post on Road Racing Tips in May 2014:


As mentioned in the previous edition we are keen to introduce regular racers rides before the racing season begins. We want to experiment on the three dates below, meeting at Cadence at 0900 for a 0915 depart. This will allow us to see what format works best and if it is something worth pursuing.

Sunday February 01st – 0900 Cadence for 0915 depart
Sunday February 15th – 09:00 Cadence for 0915 depart

This ride is for Dulwich racers and those aiming to race in 2015 who want to improve their skills and confidence riding in a group. This ride will be about discipline, etiquette and tidiness, not chasing Strava KOMs or kicking each other’s head in. An average speed of around 28kmph will be the vibe with no regrouping. It won’t be like a chain gang and if anyone is not doing it right they’ll be told so, on the spot.

Discipline is your friend

  • Club kit should be worn (in deep winter wear something Dulwich at least) with a maximum of 10 to a group (the group will be split if numbers exceed 10).
  • It’ll be a controlled ride with 1 or 2 designated ride captains (usually the race captains).
  • No half-wheeling
  • Strict 2 by 2 (unless ride captain singles out), bar to bar, wheel to wheel with 5 minute clockwise rotation where rider front left moves to front right and front right shifts to second row right and so on. Ride captain calls rotation.
  • On the return leg the ride captains will elect whether to switch to standard chaingang rotation for a quicker return.

Here is a great link highlighting the art of group riding:

Alan has also written some specific notes on the mid-week chaingangs (1st/2nd posts):