Bryan has recently returned from his training camp in Greece and writes about the unique opportunities for cyclists wishing to take their cycling to the next level.
“For the last few years I have been looking to do a warm weather training camp, but I didn’t want to go to the same places everyone else goes and I when I went to NEC bike show last September I went with the goal of finding somewhere like this.
At the show I met Paul and Steve at Greek Cycling Holidays which looked perfect for what I was looking for. They have a house in Eretria where they have been having cyclists for the last 3 years.
Eretria is on an island around 1 hour’s drive from Athens airport and once you get onto the island (which is only a 100m bridge) you go into a different world. All the traffic stops, and life start to slows down. The house is located just off the main road around 1km from the town with a lovely port area with some great cafés.
The house sleeps 8 people and is in its own gardens with a hot-tub where you can rest your tired legs after each ride. In the basement they have a full workshop and with a very good bike shop up the road they can keep you on the road in most situations.
I feel the unique thing about this camp is it’s not a hotel and while you are there you feel you are very much at home. Steve has been a chef at some of the top restaurants in Europe and the biggest selling point is he cooks for you each day as well as join you on some rides. There isn’t any mass catered cooking but a menu to suit you and perfect for after a hard day in the saddle. Steve also makes his own jams and curds from the produce grown in the garden and he has even had the local winery make some wine from his grapes.
One thing I didn’t expect was the roads in Greece after the trouble they have had over the last few years with their economy, but I was very surprise how good the roads were that we went on. On the island there is a main road that is about 500m from the house which runs the length of the island, which the local say is busy but to be honest it was like a UK B-road. Once you got off the main road then all you need to be careful of were goats on the roads (we got stuck behind a herd 3 times!).
While we were there, we did a lot of climbing and most days we did over 3,000 feet but with very good road surfaces I was surprised at the end of each ride that we had done this much, and they were long climbs instead of short steep ones. Twice we rode from sea level to the snow line which was amazing, and we had some amazing views while going up and down. Each day we were able to go a different direction and apart from riding out each day for the first 30mins on the main road, each day we went a different way with each route looking and feeling very different.
To sum up, cycling in Greece is an untapped jewel and if you are getting tired of Mallorca, Spain or trying to spot the Sky team in Tenerife, then Greek Cycling Holidays are what you need. We have already arranged dates for 2020 already so why not join us for an amazing time next year?”
Sign up for 2020
Dates for 2020 1stto 8thMarch and 29thMarch to 5thApril
For details of next year’s camps visit our Facebook event here.
AllThingsRide are passionate about bringing like-minded cyclists together for a range of UK and European sportives and events.
Through All Things Ride, you can ride the best and most challenging events that Europe has to offer. From Haute Routes to Etape du Tour to The Dragon Ride, AllThingsRide have a range of events to suit all types of rider. They can tailor every trip to your needs, e.g. if you need extra nights, bike hire, insurance or a price for a non-riding partner, leave it to them.
Members of Bryan Steel Cycling Club can now get 10% discount off all cycling holidays and events organised by AllThingsRide, including sportives and hospitality trips to Tour de Yorkshire, Il Lombardia and Flanders. So something for everyone, whether you want to stay in the UK or venture abroad!
For details, contact Bryan on firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Last Friday we had a brilliant session at WattZone in Ilkeston, the new indoor performance centre featuring Watt bikes.
10 riders of mixed ages and abilities enjoyed the session in which Bryan focused on peddling efficiency and power delivery. With all the riders Bryan works with this is the first phase of developing their technique, as the rider needs the be able to deliver as much power as they can before we start building their fitness.
The session lasted an hour, starting with a 15-minute warm-up, where I introduced the session and led into 6 efforts at 85% of the riders’ FTP. Throughout these efforts the riders rode at around 50RPM. For the first two efforts the rider focused on riding from their core and not pulling on the bars. During the 3rd and 4th effort as well as doing this Bryan showed the group how, by leading with their heels, the riders were able to deliver a whole pedal stroke of power instead of the normal push and pull.
During the last two efforts we brought this together with the participants riding without their hands on the bars, but delivering the same amount of power, showing how they were able to achieve a greater speed by having an effective pedal stroke.
Bryan reports on his recent ride in Varese and forthcoming plans for 2019.
2018 has been a big year for us with the start of Bryan Steel Racing and the group has been focussed on getting riders ready to compete at the Grand Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy.
Through qualifying at the Tour of Cambridgeshire, myself and 4 other riders took the trip to Italy to ride with some of the best cyclists in the world.
I was there for 5 days working on the Godfrey Bikewear stand who I am ambassador for and Sportive Breaks where I was the lead rider for their training rides, helping their 100 riders to be ready for the big day.
I travelled out to Italy on the Wednesday and spent the Thursday looking over the 130km route. I rode over the first 40km and then the last 50km to see where any potential problems were.
In the afternoon was the Time Trial where I had Jack riding and even though he was in the youngest age group he did a brilliant ride, finishing just out of the top 20.
On the Thursday we had amazing weather but overnight everything changed with thunder storms which lasted until Saturday afternoon, which meant the planned lead ride on the Friday had to be cancelled and the Saturday morning ride had to be moved to the afternoon.
We managed to get to ride the first 30km of the route on the Saturday afternoon but the main thing I wanted the group to ride was the first hill, which was only after 20km and was the biggest climb on the route. For me this would be the first and most important selection of the event, coming from a wide road down to narrow road where a car would have just been able to pass.
So, the big day came and with a 7.50am start everyone was down early for an early breakfast before heading up to the start area with plenty of time. To see the whole 5,000 riders in their age pens was an amazing sight and as the start time approached everyone was starting to get serious.
In my age pen was Simon who I coach and was good to get some good pictures together with all the other nationals riding.
The start time came and we were away on time, heading out of town in a group of around 400 riders – I was trying to make my way to the front but there were two short tunnels to go through before we hit the first hill. I was in a good place but in the second tunnel which wasn’t lit someone near the front came together and stopped the whole group, and it was only when I tried to start off again that I noticed that my rear brake had been moved and I had to stop again to stop it rubbing on my wheel.
It was only a few kilometres to the first hill now and even though I got back onto the first group I was at the back so I spent the hill and then most of the ride moving through the groups. I finally ran out of steam after 100km, having to sit up with cramp before having to try to push on again, but with the last 3km uphill, once I hit that the cramp came back.
I crossed the line doing the ride in 3.49.50 which I was pleased with but I would have liked to get below 3.45.
On the whole was pleased with my ride and Simon did an amazing ride despite his front mech stopping working and did the whole ride on the big ring (not sure how he managed this!).
With the success of the event and working with Sportive Break over the next few weeks we will announcing the British Grand Fondo Racing Club where we would like to get people read to do their very best at 10 selected events in 2019.
We will be send you some information over the coming weeks and if you would like to find out more then please send me an email to email@example.com.
In the last weekend of June, the four riders who are part of the Bryan Steel track program travelled down to Newport in Wales to compete in the Masters track championships. Bryan reports on the successful event for his riders.
The Masters events runs in the same format as the open national championships but in age groups starting at 35 and in groups of 5 years after. Within the track group we have Lindsay Clarke 55 to 59, Steve Clarke 55 to 59, Bob Barber 65 to 69 and Wayne Smith 50 to 54.
With the main events ran over the weekend, the championship started on the Thursday afternoon with the 500m time trial. Bob and Wayne decided to ride this event but as their focus was on the more endurance event later in the weekend they wanted to have an effort and clear some nerves before their main focus. Both riders did personal bests finishing 5th in their age groups.
Lindsay start her account for the weekend with a win in the pursuit with a personal best time of 2.40.316 which is only 1.2 seconds off the world record for her age group. On the Saturday afternoon Lindsay also won the scratch race which was hard as she was mixed with other age groups but managed to finish strong with younger riders. Sunday afternoon was the points race and as of the scratch the race was mixed with younger riders and with our season goal of winning the masters world and a current world silver medallist we decided to ride for a result in the whole race. Lindsay started well just missing the points by one place in the first 2 sprints but in the third sprint Lindsay manage to get a 3rd place and going into the fourth and final sprint Lindsay went for it and got fourth in the last sprint. This gave Lindsay the win for her age group and 5th place in the race overall.
Lindsay’s husband Steve’s nationals started on the Saturday with the pursuit, just missing his personal best doing a 2.42.421. Steve just missed his timing at the start which made a slower than usual first lap but after that he was running faster than his PB, trying to make up for this slight mistake but with the pursuit only being 2km Steve didn’t have the time to make up the loss of the first lap. On the Saturday Steve also had a scratch race where Steve rode very well finishing 13th in the finish sprint. Sunday’s point race was one of the fastest races I have seen right form the first lap with Steve getting involved in the first sprint but he paid for this in the next few laps, struggling in the hot pace of the race. Steve finished in 12th place but rode very well against some very good riders.
Bob is the oldest rider I work with and has focused on the sprint events in the past, but we started to work together when his goal was the more endurance events. In the pursuit he did a very good personal best finishing in 4th place in a time of 2.46.060. In the scratch Bob rode very well following all the moves and going into the last lap he was sitting 3rd place but with half a lap to go his legs started to go, finishing in a very close 6th place. For the points race and with his new focus we decided for Bob to look to be in the break instead of waiting for the sprint and going on the attack twice and in the first of these getting half a lap lead before being brought back just before the second sprint. He finished in 8th place which didn’t reflect his ride at all.
Last we had Wayne riding the 50 to 54 age group where he did a flying ride in the pursuit recording a nearly 5 second personal best of 2.24.455 and only missing out of a medal by 0.250 of a second. In the scratch Wayne finished in 9th place being very active throughout the race but I think doing such a hard ride in the morning affected this result. Like the other points races Wayne’s was the same with being very fast with him winning the first sprint but others went straight on the attack after this sprint not giving him any time to recover and affected him for the rest of the race getting 6th by the end.
Overall is was a very good weekend for the Bryan Steel Track group with every rider apart from Wayne going to the World Championships in September and this weekend was more a run out with their main goal being the worlds. Everything is looking good for September and hopefully a good haul of medals.
If you are interested to hear about the Bryan Steel Track group programme or another of the programmes we run at Bryan Steel Cycling, please visit www.bryansteel.co.uk or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please contact me.