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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:14 am 
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Charlotte and Kat went unto Knutsford. Being un-pennied and therefore skill-less, I assumed the Choppy Warburton role (minus the strychnine and brandy, natch) and worked the pit. The course: a 700m tight circuit. The race: 3 hours, most laps wins.

Kat had previous penny-racing experience in Evandale (Tasmania) so she took the first leg. They both rode hell for leather and WON THE TEAM RACE with an official 105 laps.

(it gets complicated around the lap counting: I was counting each lap, so as to call the changeovers before they flagged, so I had notes for 103 laps. Two free processional laps before the starting gun gives 105. The laps initially announced were well down at 94, so there was some querying...)

That's 72 km!

Did I say starting gun? Starting Napoleonic freaking cannon. We felt the shockwave over in the pit lane.

The big boojum on the course was The Czech, Josef, who has Grand Tour palmares and (in legend) faceplanted to get over the line for a win. A nails nutter who took corners so steep we were all gawping. Once their blood was up, the ladies were cornering like the Czech -- and unlike the Czech, not riding dangerously and not causing DQ-earning dangerous crashes. Later in the race, he was taking Charlotte's wheel for a few laps. There was a respectful nod after it all was over. There are some awesome photos of Calshot-steep turns at speed.

The buzz in the pit was fantastic: the other teams coming through and swapping bikes or transponders, knackered racers, frantic repairs (the Joffs were being ridden to spokey death; the old bikes just falling apart). You'd catch urgent imprecations in random languages and accents, the whole thing had a vintage car race. No pie fight at the end.

There were a team of young'uns on a 27" repro and they had it nailed. The charity guys from Spend A Penny were great, and it was neck-and-neck between our girls and the spiffing moustaches right to the end. We redlined Charlotte for the century lap, swapped over to Kat until the finishing gun, and the two rode a valedictorian lap side-by-side high-fiving through the finish to tumultuous applause.

The solos, the processional teams -- all awesome. Dave Brailsford won the solo, with maybe half a dozen serious solo GC contenders (including the DQ'd Czech). In the last hour we'd see these speedy boys being paced and then being taken by Charlotte and Kat; with a pit-lane time of 15 seconds, we could change often, keeping them sprinty-fresh.

The marshalling, course -- awesome. There's the steward's enquiry to look at yet but we know who won. :)

Queensbury Rules: We're all friends (penny racing is a small, weird pond), but by crikey, they were in it to win it. A-game all the way, perfect bikes for the course (the big wheels couldn't accelerate out of the corners), solid experience (London on a penny = coping with race traffic and the pit), exactly the right dose of red mist and a solid strategy.

Chapeau, Knutsford Great Race 2010 team champs!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:13 am 
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A marvellous day - the epitome of steampunk cycling. Indeed, MVC in her prime did resemble a steam train. kat, too, belied her slight appearance with some fearsome riding and impressive acceleration on some of her overtakes. I have oodles^2 of photos (many just blurs) of our wonderful team and others.

Highlights included:

The young lads who did the whole race on a 27" bike, pedalling furiously (though they did get the hang of getting the feet off the pedals for the short sharp downhill). They were totally focussed for the entire three hours, and I didn't see any adult assistance. Even when tiring, their changeovers were very impressive

Joff riding solo, with a pith helmet on. Chapeau!

Dennis The Menace egging the crowds on.

The indomitable Lionel, who now has a fan club in Cheshire, it seems, from the roars of applause and general delight as he made his stately but good-humoured, and ever-so-slightly eccentric way around the course.

Spendapenny, the second placed team, with their magnificent costumes and serious face furniture. Despite having never ridden a penny before entering the race, they were brilliant.

Best of all - Charlotte & Kat's utter delight after the race. They seemed almost more excited about the prospect of cake than the win itself, but by jove, they had earned both.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:20 am 
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Butterfly kept mentioning that she wanted to do it in ten years' time (the next meet).

Kat was trying hard to convince her to go to Tasmania to race next year, even though Butterfly's never even tried one out! :shock:

But yes, in ten years time, TGL (who shouted himself almost hoarse in support of Charlotte, Kat, Merlin Evans (of Stockport Clarion), Joff and Lionel) will no longer be a teenager, so less embarrassable. Actually, he's a strong track rider, very competitive, and loves riding fixed. I wonder.... :-k

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Sounds absolutely fabulous.

All the cool stuff happens down south.

Sam

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Any photos?? \:D/

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Most of mine were a rubbish, wot with being either odd technical details of pennies or too busy in the pit, but there are some sweet ones out there (flickr "pennyfarthig" "penny farthing" or knutsford, sort by recent). Here's Kat:

Image
The Knutsford Great Race - Penny Farthings! by Daniel Cadden Photography, on Flickr

And here's Charlotte giving it some gurn:

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The Knutsford Great Race - Penny Farthings! by Daniel Cadden Photography, on Flickr

His Joffness:

Image
The Knutsford Great Race - Penny Farthings! by Daniel Cadden Photography, on Flickr

Beeb pics here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/manchester/ ... 973088.stm

I'll get mine up once I've fought the earwigs off my camera...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Chapeau! :claps:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:47 pm 
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Pics! http://www.flickr.com/photos/andygates/ ... 768023415/

(I'm still waiting for some shots of the pit area!)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:00 pm 
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Tale of the tape! http://www.theknutsfordgreatrace.co.uk/ ... esults.xls

The only two with a higher lap count were the mad Czech (DQ) and the solo winner (Jim Brailsford, chapeau!) -- I'm so made up for them now. *basks in reflected glory*

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:54 pm 
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AndyGates wrote:
His Joffness:

Image


Ordinaries sah! Thousaahnds of 'em!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Joff gives great face.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:52 am 
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AndyGates wrote:
Tale of the tape! http://www.theknutsfordgreatrace.co.uk/ ... esults.xls

The only two with a higher lap count were the mad Czech (DQ) and the solo winner (Jim Brailsford, chapeau!) -- I'm so made up for them now. *basks in reflected glory*


An astonishing achievement, demolishing the opposition. Those women can ride!

Jim's achievement is phenomenal, too, keeping the focus for that long. It got pretty lonely for the solo riders.

Over a hundred laps is just mind-boggling.

*basks in reflected reflected glory*

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