I spectated at the Hillingdon races and AGM. The races were 40 mins plus 1 and seemed to go very well. I am quite pleased with the pictures. In addition to the long lens I used at Battle Mountain, I used my new monopod, which let me get good clarity despite poor light.
I walked out of the AGM after a few mins. Richard Ballantine started on a long waffle about how our races are not record events. It seemed like a repeat of what he wrote in the last newsletter. Journalists, like programmers, are lazy. He’s very behind the times. I have been going to international races since ’89, including 4 in the US. They have all been competitive events rather than record events. There may have been the odd 24 hour or handcycle record.
My aim when I have been involved in running events, from the Leicester events to Bentwaters, has alway been to provide plenty of good and varied racing. I have avoided tours around the town and meeting the mayor. They do not benefit the riders. I also avoided practical vehicle competitions as it is impossible to frame sensible and consistent rules. They lead to bad feeling and prove nothing.
I was appalled to find the cycling press used the same ‘Mad Mad Worlds’ title for Foulmead they did for Brighton 2001. It shows how interested they are in us. I think they are further away than ever. They make money from selling flashy conventional bikes and kit. We are of no economic interest to them.
Talking of Brighton, I am very critical of my own works, but I still see it as a high point. Good entry, good race venues and the highest membership the club has ever had. OK, it was hard work and expensive. I’m still glad we did it. Do we have to rule out grand works?
At venues such as Bentwaters there are a great variety of courses, so it is logical to use the runway for sprints and standing kilos. Mike Burrows may not like them but plenty of others want to answer the question ‘How fast does it go Mr?’.
I hope the changes in the club committee will bring it back into the present day.