DYNAMITE! #40, 04.02.05

November 21, 2010

DYNAMITE! The OFFICIAL London Dynamo Newsletter #40, 04.02.05

Living in swanky Dynamo Towers may sound like the height of luxury – but day-to-day life in the DYNAMITE! bunker is a bit like the average existence of your typical university student. We spend most of the week slumped in front of the box watching sub-standard daytime TV programmes fronted by inadequate television non-personalities – or Sean Kelly and Mike Smith as they are better known. That worn-out Tour De France highlights videotape will snap one of these days! On Wednesday, Mrs Dynamite gives us a hand picking up piles of whiffy, well-used Dynamo kit lying around our famous subterranean base before subjecting the soiled garments to a well-deserved 30 degree wash. Then, on Thursday, we finally realise that dozens upon dozens of scholarly Dynamates are expecting us to email a meandering essay on the importance of London Dynamo shifting the Surrey League paradigm from post-modern concept to post-ideological consensus – and the place instantly erupts with the frantic keyboard-thumping of a hapless humanities undergraduate hammering out their end-of-year dissertation. We always make that Friday morning deadline, no matter how many cups of Tesco value instant coffee it takes! But since we emerged from our extended Christmas hols, the team’s work-rate throughout the week has been consistent as we strive to please you, our strict grade-giver at the start of a new term – and we are pleased to announce that two new Dyna-modules have been introduced to Dynamo Polyversity by two of the finest Dyna-minds in modern cycling. This bumper-sized edition features another firm-but-fair lesson in racing techniques from professor GUY ‘MAINWARING’ ANDREWS, editor of RoadCyclingUK.com, and the announcement of an on-the-road tutorial series which is bound to satisfy every Dynamember’s thirst for competitive bicycling knowledge. So come with us as we take our seat in the intimate Dynamo lecture hall and pull our battered A4 pad from our army surplus rucksack. Here comes the first OHP slide…

Regular readers will already know that PAUL ‘CANNONBALL’ CALLINAN is training CHRIS ‘CALAMITY’ CAMPBELL and RUSSELL ‘RUSTY’ SHORT as part of his bid to qualify as an official British Cycling coach – but now you too can take advantage of his BCF expertise without putting in huge, thigh-shredding mileage for months on end. Dynamo’s race secretary is running a series of three training sessions which will cover topics such as cornering, climbing, descending, pace lines and breakaways. The sessions will teach novice competitors everything they need to know to get the most out of the Beginners Series races, which start at Hillingdon on Saturday 19 February – and Paul, who has also been coaching the Surrey League women, is giving his valuable advice for free. You can also enjoy a lie-in as the sessions are scheduled to start after the Parkride. But there’s a catch! The intensive lessons are limited to just seven members – so Dyna-mail news@londondynamo.co.uk with “Seven Up For It” in the subject heading as soon as possible if you want to take part. Get in there quick – places are bound to go faster than an orange and poppy seed cake at the top of Box Hill!

The other advantage of being taken under Paul’s expert wing is that you won’t get the hairdryer treatment from bellowing taskmaster GUY ‘MAINWARING’ ANDREWS. The Dynamo president has recently got into the habit of turning up late for the Parkride, catching a bunch on the second lap, and giving them a right rollicking over infringements of group riding etiquette. It’s not a pretty sight! Thankfully, Guy has calmed down since last Saturday – and here he is for the second in his unmissable guide to getting the most out of racing. Take it away, maestro!

Thanks, pal. Let’s kick off with the answer to last week’s question.
Positionally, in a road bunch, you have several options. But where do you think you should be? Do you:

a) Stay at the back. It’s far safer there
b) Go to the front without an idea or plan as to what to do and loose your way and end up at the back again
c) Relax, identify a steady wheel near to the front, and try to stay in touch with them, constantly reasserting your place and position
d) Sprint off the front and attack at every opportunity. It’s far safer out there.
e) Ride behind the most dangerous looking rider, following his every move – and hope he doesn’t crash.

The answer was “c” – but there is some truth in most of the other answers. For example, “d” suits some riders (ahem, me) and WARRICK ‘SPEEDY’ SPENCE is usually an “a”. PAUL ‘CANNONBALL’ CALLINAN a “b” and most new Dynamos will be an “e” – just kidding, guys! But you want to get a smooth run and this means looking for the smoother riders and staying safe. The key to riding safely in a group is to RELAX. Watch the yellow jersey at the Tour – always near the front, relaxed and confident, like a true winner.

Week 2 – Team tactics
Picture the scene. You’ve arrived at a 3/4s race at Hillingdon. There are six Dynamos in the signing-on hut, supping tea and looking nervous. Don’t just join them in a refreshing beverage – this is the perfect time to make some race plans. Take charge. Get everyone together. One of you should be race captain and decide who is the strongest rider and the most likely to win. This rider becomes team leader.

It is then down to the rest of the team to decide how they are going to support the leader. An early suicide attack, for example, may work in his favour as it will encourage other teams to chase. Alternatively, you could control the race en masse if you have several strong riders. Use your energy to protect your leader while the remaining team members move on any attacks from strong rivals.

The heat is on
If you have a “disposable” rider in a weak-looking break early in the race, then don’t waste energy protecting his lead – be constantly reassessing your own chances and those of the team leader. Wait for the opportunity to launch the counter attack when the group returns to the peloton. Two or three riders should always be used up at the start of the race to police early breaks and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Make sure any good rivals are marked and stifle their attacks. But if a group goes away that looks handy, you mustn’t just chase it down. Think about it – you have an opportunity to get a rider into a successful move, so try to jump across rather than dragging the whole bunch to it.

Jumping Jehovah!
When I say “jump”, I mean nail it. Don’t let anyone sneak onto your wheel – attack as if your life depends on it. If you get a gap then attack again, because you will only get one chance to get across to a group that is, say, 10-20 seconds up and pulling away. It’s good practice to get into early breaks rather than sit at the back waiting for a sprint you are probably not going to win. And you never know – it might just stay away. So remember – if you’re feeling frisky, mix it up and get stuck in.

Frustrate the chase
With six or so team members back in the peloton, you should have a fair few laps to establish a lead. Riders left behind must do nothing for the first few minutes. Don’t make it obvious that you are trying to get a rider away. Once the group is out of sight, start to move back to the front to hinder the chase. DO NOT go to the front and stick your brakes on – you are looking to slow the chase by placing a rider in the string to upset the rhythm and saving another two to wait for counter attacks.

With a Dynamo group away, there will be riders who will jump in a bid to reach it. If the group is two or three riders, then let them – as long as the whole peloton doesn’t follow. Your team mate may need the extra pair of legs. But if a few too many are going across, you need to go with them and sit on their wheel to upset the chasers. Then, when they ask for help, you stay on their wheel. They’ll get fed up – or if they’re really strong, you get a free tow up to the group. Then there will be two Dynamos in the group and twice as much chance to win. During the middle part of the race, it will be crucial to keep the strongest team members at the front ready to join breaks and try to get across to any breakaways that have disappeared down the road. At Hillingdon or Eastway this is always going to be hard work. It’s also the point in the race when most people’s legs are starting to tire, so be ready for one big effort. Make sure that the team leader is taken to the front and kept there.

The finale
This is where concentration is key. Any riders with fresh legs who think they don’t have a hope in the sprint should use the final two to three miles to wear down the opposition who will be forced to chase. The protected rider can take it easy. It is the team’s responsibility to win – so work together!

This week’s (trick) question
You have a rider in a group a few seconds ahead but they look like they’ll be coming back into the main group. What do you do?
a) Chase him down. I never liked him, with his flash bike and fancy ways
b) Leave him out there. Stay patient as it may still work
c) Let the chase pick up. We can launch another attack when the group is caught
d) Jump across to his group, sit on the back, wait for a chance and then attack yourself
e) Make attempts to frustrate the chase by “getting in the way”

Next week we’ll tell you what to do in a breakaway. Now it’s back to the DYNAMITE! team.

Cheers, buddy – and we now have a grave confession to make. It’s not often that your favourite source of Dynamatic information experiences a slip-up – but DYNAMITE! is honest enough to admit that its cleat came out of the pedal last week. The pictures from Sky One show So You Think You’re Safe featuring a select bunch of telegenic Dynamates went walkabout somewhere on their way to the website. Sorry, chums! We’ve spoken to Dynamo Towers’ resident techno boffin DAVID ‘WEBMASTER’ SPENCER, who assures us that the image of WARRICK ‘SPEEDY’ SPENCE’s gentleman’s area and a selection of other top screen grabs should be up on this week’s edition – so if you’re reading this on email, go to http://www.londondynamo.co.uk to see how the Cyclefit sensation surrendered himself to a dubious medical experiment involving a huge thermometer stuck up his shorts which “proves” the body heat generated by cycling can lead to infertility. The rest of his club chums just stood there watching him suffering the indignity in front of the cameras!

Even more shockingly, DYNAMITE! has learned that certain Parkriders are turning up for the regular Saturday runaround without wearing the brilliant blue and black outfit of London’s most stylish cycling squad – so we’re starting a hard-hitting regular feature in a determined bid to get everyone clobbered up in Britain’s best kit. Each week we will feature a photo of a tactfully obscured rider who has shamelessly flouted the dress code. Then we will ask: ‘Mo or no? Or in other words, is this person a Dynamo or not? Non-members who have turned up to sample the Parkride are partially excused until they join our well-dressed gang – but there’s really no excuse if you’re a fully paid-up Dynamate. You have been warned! This week’s suspect – and email readers will need to click on the website’s Newsletter link to see him – probably rode all night to reach the roundabout by Sheen Gate. At least that’s one explanation why he’s wearing a fluorescent jacket at 9am! If you know who this chap is, or if you are the alleged fashion offender himself, then send a Dyna-mail to news@londondynamo.co.uk with “‘Mo Or No?” in the subject heading. And don’t use the chilly weather as an excuse for the fashion faux pas – Cyclefit has now got long-sleeve jerseys and gilets, for flip’s sake!

We’ve stepped down from the lectern and switched off the overhead projector. Its only five minutes until the seminar begins, but we’ll be back with another challenging DYNAMITE! discourse in seven days. Until then, always remember that we are a a keen-eyed invigilator but we would be nothing without you, our tricky exam paper. So please keep Dyna-mailing your news, gossip, and further sightings of the elusive KEN ‘B.A.’ BUIST to news@londondynamo.co.uk – but PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS ADDRESS if you are reading this on email. The deadline, as ever, is Wednesday afternoon for Friday’s edition. And now, as hordes of scruffy students head for the bar, it only remains for us to remind you about…


The Parkride. Richmond Park, roundabout by Sheen Gate, 9am. Four laps split into fast, intermediate and steady groups.

Hampton Court bridge, 9am for Surrey Hills ride. 50ish miles at a steady pace. Bring a pump, inner tubes, drink, and a textbook.

Richmond Gate, Richmond Park, 7:30pm. Canter to Surrey and back.

So until next week, Dynamates, goodbye and happy riding.

The DYNAMITE! team.

“To the many coaches, especially Eddy Borysewicz and Chris Carmichael who helped me better understand the sport, my thanks. I must also acknowledge the editors who have helped me and improved my writing to where it is understandable.”

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