Tag Archives: Team ASL360

Come race with me…

Team ASL360 are on the look out for some more female riders. This makes me very happy for lots of reasons:

1) The more women riding bikes, the happier I am.

2) There need to be more opportunities for women to race, and this is one!

3) ASL360 is a small, well organised team with brilliant sponsors. So this is a great opportunity.

4) There’s a possibility that I’ll no longer be the only member of the team with nail polish to match her kit (although I’m sure the guys would look fetching)

Team Launch at the London Bike Show       (Photo © Klickchick Photography)

Currently the team is made up of Juniors; based in Scotland, and seniors; based in Sussex. Members vary from me, a newbie 4th Cat who hasn’t even done her first race yet, to guys who’ve been racing most of their life. Three ASL360 Juniors recently took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on the podium for their race at the IG London Nocturne, at the London Bike Show. The diversity in the team makes it a pleasure to be a part of.

ASL360 is a company with cyclist safety at it’s core. That’s why they were at the London Bike Show with us last month.

Team ASL360 is the brain child of John Powell, the Sales Exec at ASL Vision – the company that designed and developed the ASL360 Surround View Camera system.

The team was formed because of a long standing passion for cycling and a desire to create awareness around ASL360SV. A system which minimises blind spots on any vehicle, including HGV’s, and so helps protect vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

As our team knows only too well, 53% of cyclists killed by trucks and large vehicles are crushed by them turning left – a renowned blind spot which this system addresses. If we can dramatically reduce the number of such incidences then we can increase public confidence in cycling and encourage more people to use this fun and sustainable means of transport.

Indoor Crit at the IG London Nocturne.    (Photo © Klickchick Photography)

If you answer ‘yes’ to the following statements, you ought to think about getting involved:

- You are a woman.

- You love cycling.

- You currently race, or want to start racing this year.

- You live close-ish to Lewes, in East Sussex (we have riders from Brighton, Horsham, Scaynes Hill, Hailsham…) Rides start there on Sundays, and it’s where we get together for team meetings.

If you think you might like to join Team ASL360, or want to find out a bit more about the team, feel free to contact me, or email John Powell directly at this address: teamasl360@gmail.com

—————————————————————-

Team Sponsors:

 

Sunshine and sandwiches.

In wonderful contrast to the snow, sleet and rain that we’ve had our share of recently, this weekend saw some Winter sunshine for Sussex.

On Saturday I made the most of the weather and got out on my own for a few hours in the saddle. Having spent a fair amount of time of late spinning on a bike in a gym, it was lovely just to get out and RIDE. The downs were still dusted with icing-sugar snow – but it was nearly all melted from the roads. The beautiful views almost made Devil’s Dyke enjoyable. At the top I found myself grinning, and remembering that this is why I fell in love with riding a bike in the first place.

Edburton Road on Saturday

Melted snow & the previous day’s rain on Underhill Lane.

Sunday was a team ride, and being totally honest – I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’m still a bit nervous about cycling in a group, even though the guys in the team are great and I’m getting to know everyone. What if I fall off and look like a plonker…what if I get left behind on a hill…what if…SHHH Lois, get on with it woman, you’ll be fine.

And I was.

Clearly my bonking crisis on the last team ride made an impression, as I ended up with homemade flapjacks & sandwiches from Matt, and homemade bread pudding from John, all stuffed into my jersey pockets. If that’s not team spirit then I don’t know what is! I felt a little over-laden with essentially a packed lunch on my back, but 71 miles later – and only half a (very squashed) sandwich left, I was very grateful for my snack-filled pockets.

Breakfast. Not to be underestimated!

I won’t go through the route, because that will get boring, and you can see the map at the bottom of this post. What I will say is that apart from a few idiot drivers nearly hitting us, and one hill up to Friston which was hideously steep, narrow and full of traffic – I enjoyed every minute. And I didn’t fall off ;-)

Still smiling at this point…

These are going to be famous last words I’m sure – but I’m starting to enjoy climbing. Not the sort of hills that are so steep I wonder if I am moving at all, and unclip in a wobbly panic, but the longer, more gradual climbs. One such was the long climb up the zig zag road (Upper Dukes Drive?) from Eastbourne to Beachy Head. I’m not saying I sang my way up it with a smile on my face, but there’s something satisfying about getting from A to B, uphill, with only your legs and two wheels to thank. It’s the good kind of hard work, and, dare I say it, the good kind of pain. There’s a fine line there though..

I have never cycled against such strong winds as those on the top of Beachy Head that day. I had to lean my bike against the wind so that I didn’t get blown into the sea*. I’m looking forward to going back to those roads on a still day.

(*slight exaggeration)

So I finished my weekend with 105 miles on the clock, which is probably some sort of record for me. A few days later and my legs are politely reminding me of every one of those miles, by aching like hell. Still, there’s only one way to deal with that – let’s get planning the next ride.

Our route! Click map to see larger image

Drop the chocolate bar and grab the handle bars.

LAZY was the order of the day over Christmas, for which I won’t apologise. However this week it’s been back to work, back to not having excuses to eat too much chocolate (although I could probably still find some) and back into some kind of a routine.

The end of my holiday on Friday also meant a long overdue return to the saddle this weekend. I did cycle a bit over Christmas, but not much, so it was with some excitement (and some fear of how much my fitness had suffered) that I dusted off Claud for a ‘proper’ ride on Saturday. The lovely Gill joined me for 45 miles through the Sussex countryside: a nice loop from Brighton through Lewes, Offham, Ditchling, Steyning and along the seafront from Shoreham back home again. We rode at a good pace, catching up about Christmas, and the only truly unpleasant thing about the ride was the feeling of dissapointment on being told that the pub we stopped at wasn’t serving any food. 45 miles on a piece of toast and a bag of crisps might be easy for the pros, but it isn’t my style!

You can read a bit more about Saturday’s ride from Gill’s perspective, because she’s just started her own blog as part of a fitness challenge for 2013: you can find it here.

Spooning bikes…

Sunday was my first team ride with Team ASL360. Group riding is very new to me still, and I knew it was going to be a bit of a learning curve. I would like to publicly apologise to my new team mates for swerving, swearing and slowing more than I should have done. However, I do feel like I learnt more in those 3 hours than in the whole of the rest of the time I’ve been riding a bike – so it’s not all bad! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no better way to learn than to ride with a bunch of people who’ve been riding for longer than you have. Two hours in and my legs were starting to give up (despite the social pace we were going at) but I made it back in once piece with the rest of the group, and that’s good enough for me. 3 hours and almost 50 miles of riding later and I was well ready for my glamourous post-ride routine: drinking a recovery shake in the bath.

It seems my lazy festive fortnight didn’t do too much damage, but it’s back to business now; bring on the riding…

 

 

 

Racing & Resolutions.

I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions.

The reason for this is that resolutions typically involve giving up nice things like alcohol or chocolate, and setting unrealistic goals for ourselves regarding diet and exercise. They’re never much fun, and we usually find ourselves failing to keep to them, and then feeling crap about it. A few years ago I started a little new year routine as an alternative to resolutions. Instead of making unrealistic promises to myself about things that, frankly, don’t really matter, I would use the start of a new year as an excuse to write a list off stuff I’d like to achieve/get done/try over the year. The idea of the list is that it’s full of stuff that I WANT to do, not stuff I think that I ought to.

There are lots of things on my list this year, but I’m just going to write about a few, which, funnily enough, involve Claud.

Whenever I write a list, I always put something I have already done at the top, so that I can tick it off right away and feel good about it (am I the only person who does that?) So, number one on my list:

☑ Join a cycling team

Yes indeed, you heard. I am the newest, most nervous, least experienced member of Team ASL360, based in Lewes. Thanks to them for having me…!

☐ Ride More Bike

Ride more. Ride Further. Have fun.

☐ Get others on their bikes

Probably my favourite thing about this blog is how it has encouraged a few people I know to ride a bike, when they never normally would. There was my friend George, who hadn’t ridden a bike for years and then had the most amazing day out on a bicycle, and my best mate Sabrina, who declared “I don’t ride bikes” and shortly afterwards was climbing Sussex hills on a road bike.

I’m already looking forward to 30 Days of Biking in April (the initiative that got me to start this blog back in September) and as part of that I hope to organise some more social rides.

☐ Race

I’m going to give racing a go. Who knows how it will go, but I have a feeling I may get hooked. Either way, I’ll be using the blog to document my progress, so look out for a post about my first race in the next few months.

Speaking of racing, yesterday I went up to Hillingdon with Jason and Matt from Team ASL360. Whilst the guys warmed up for their race I watched the women’s race. If I needed any convincing that I should try racing, this was it. Perhaps it was just because I was so cold standing and watching, but every inch of me wanted to jump on a bike and join in.

So, here’s to 2013: The Year of the Bicycle.

Women’s race (all Cats) – Photo (c) Huw Williams

Some of my phone photos from the day:

Women’s race (all Cats)

E123 race

Young supporters cheer on their dad

E123 race