Hi. I’m Emily. I grew up in Salisbury, but now live (sort of) in Norway, when I’m not travelling to competitions around Europe. When I’m back in England, the Stonehenge Cycles is almost my second home … which isn’t good for my bank balance!

I compete in Mountain Bike Orienteering, or MTBO. Some of you may have heard of MBO Score, Trailtrax, Trailbreak, Trailquest, etc etc. This isn’t what I do. MTBO uses 1:5000 – 1:15000 scale maps, with a very detailed track network. In MBO Score events, decisions have to be made every few kilometers, and the competition time is more like a full day’s adventure. MTBO requires an intense decision making process, taking junctions every few hundred meters, riding at the speed of an international XCO athlete while maintaining enough oxygen flow to the brain to make good decisions and not have a ‘headless chicken’ experience. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell …

I joined Sarum Velo because I wanted a UK club to represent at my races. I have started to race XCO events; Gorrick, Southern XC, Brass Monkeys and OffCamber. I’m new to cross-country racing, but I’m having some moderate success in the elite class; a 2nd and 3rd and two of the Southern XC rounds this spring. I’m still learning the ropes but with each race I improve and learn something new. All my races have been at the end of hard training blocks so the fatigue levels have been high before the races started! One day I will do a race with fresh and on-form legs …

In the future I will write a blog about me and more about MTBO. But for now, I will try to keep this shorter than the essay’s I write on my website; benhamkvale.com. You can find the pictures and maps from the weekend on there.

The weekend just gone saw me travel to Denmark for the World Cup opening. I had high hopes for the races in terms of my performance. I am a full-time athlete, training 1000 hours a year physically, and a lot of mental map preparation. (I’m a map geek FYI). With only occasional part time work as a bike mechanic in Norway and occasional cartographer, it’s hard to makes ends meet, but I’m lucky to have picked up some great sponsors this year. As a result, I felt a bit of pressure before the races to perform. Especially since I built my own racing 29’er this year that weighs in at 7.96kg. It’s all very well to talk about having a fast bike, but I needed to have fast legs and a faster brain to get results and prove my bike building skills!

The sprint race was a mental 20 min ‘sprint’ around a university campus, with 26 controls in 5.6km. Thats about a control every 200m, so when riding at full speed around a place that is entirely unfamiliar, it’s difficult to get it right all the time. I lost a few seconds early on as I was too ‘hot in my head’ and excited to be let loose. But I managed a 2nd place just 5 secs behind the winner from Finland. My first World Cup podium (that wasn’t a European Champs or World Champs).

The event I was most excited for was the long distance mass start. My cross country racing has helped to prepare me for this, and from the gun I was legging it for my bike (le mans style start), leaping on it and pedalling like mad. The pedalling like mad continued for 90 minutes. MTBO is less relenting that XC racing, there isn’t the same ‘downtime’ on the descents or fireroad sections. At least in my experience, I have found XC racing has large fluctuations in power output and cadence. MTBO tends to require a more constant power and almost always pedalling. So after a 90 minute sprint always with 4 other women playing cat-and-mouse, I was in a position to contest the sprint finish. Until luck reared it’s head. A branch from a tree decided to rest in my spokes while I punched the final control. As I pedalled off, it jammed the back wheel. As a result, the other two women got some metres lead while I tore it out. I took 3rd place, just 8 seconds behind. A pity considering we all punched the final control at the same time. The wheel and spokes are intact however. A real shame, because I’ve been eyeing up a carbon fibre wheelset. At 1250g the £ to g ratio is all that matters. £150 per gram, of weight saved compared to my Stans Gold wheelset. Bargin! Without a broken wheel, how can I justify the purchase to my boyfriend? Advice needed 😉

As it is, I am currently 2nd in the World Cup standings. I hope to improve this by taking some top positions at round 2 in Sweden in two months time. Despite a hard weekend, training doesn’t stop, and it’s back into the swing of 21 hr weeks, excessive map geeking and bike porn … I’ll keep you updated!

Hammoon Cycles is organizing and promoting the event with the help of friends. Our goal is to bring some great racing to Shaftesbury and to raise money for The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. All proceeds from running the event will be donated to them.

We are looking for your help in promoting our first Hammoon Gold Rush events in Shaftesbury, Dorset and were hoping you would be able to let your fellow Club Members know about them. 

On Saturday 7th of June we have a hill climb up Gold Hill, it is to be run in-between the cheese races of Shaftesbury Festival. www.shaftesburyfestival.co.uk . There should be a big crowd and we have electronic timing for accuracy and excitement.
Entry is by contacting Hammoon Cycles 01747 850622 or on the line half an hour before your first race run. £5 entry for two timed runs. Trophy’s and prizes for 1st to 5th place. Registering before the event does help us with organization.
On Sunday 8th of June we have a town centre Criterium in Shaftesbury. The circuit is 650 meters long made up of some tight but flowing corners with fast and furious straights. Start and finish is outside the town hall. We have all categories of races on the Sunday from U8/U10 right through to E/1/2/3 Men, and Women only E/1/2/3/4

Entry is via British Cycling’s website. Trophy’s and prizes for 1st to 3rd in each category.www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/109385/Hammoon-Gold-Rush#entry
We need around 20 marshals on Sunday 8th to help with the Criterium race. This would be voluntary but we will be providing radios, water and a pack lunch. If you/your club members are interested in helping us run this event please contact Will Norgan at Hammoon Cycles 01747 850622

If you have any questions then please email me will@hammoon.com or telephone 07779104350 
We very much hope to see some of your riders at the events.

British Cycling National Road Race Championships 2014. We would love to see you and your Club in Monmouthshire for this amazing event? We have been asking Clubs if they would like to visit us for the weekend and volunteer for the event? if you know anyone who would like to help us out then please pass on my email address and ask them to get in touch.


If you or anyone from the club is planning to watch the event on the Sunday, I would be happy to advise on the following;

•             “Ride the road of champions” sportive on Saturday 28th June 2014 –Championship Sportive (Children cycle for free when accompanied by a paying adult and discounts for 10+ riders)

•             Places to stay (Camp sites, hotels and B&B’s) More Info

•             Places to eat

•             2 Day Bike Bash festival

•             How to get to Monmouthshire

•             Where to park

Should you require further information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Dale Evans | Public Relations Development Team
National Road Race Chapionships | Monmouthshire County Council

Tel: 07525426242
Email: DaleEvans@monmouthshire.gov.uk 
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NationalRoadChamps

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/NationalRoadChamps l Web:www.NationalRoadChamps.co.uk

We had a great turnout of riders today including riders from the SP1 chain gang cheers guys for coming out. we also has some other new faces including hairdresser John and his son who did a remarkable job considering his age left me for dust which I’m not ashamed to say.

We did a great ride up  up to warminster for a coffee and back not to far but far enough for some

It did go a bit faster than I had anticipated. But I think everyone enjoyed it.

If we can do this more often please let me know who’s up for it
I know some of you guys have family and work commitments.

Hope to see you all again soon.

PS if you have any photos please email me clubsec@sarumvelo.org

Salisbury fire station are celebrating 50 4 50 charity ride next Sunday the 25th. Starts at 1000 hrs and will take in Amesbury, Shrewton, Tilshead, Chitterne, Codford and back down the Wyle valley. There is a £10 entry but all going to local charities. Would be good to see the club members out on it so please head down to the fire station and sign up for the ride …

Ok I’m putting the feelers out here to see what people think ok do we have anyone interested in using the track in Newport and London firstly no point in going there if you have not ridden track before so you would need to go to calshot a few times and maybe Bournemouth to get used to riding on a track

So If we can is id like to try and arrange a track session or two at calshot

So just getting a idea of numbers interested at first


Paul club secretary Sarum Velo

Dave peel and Dave Doyle both had long trips down west to race in Devon in the Avon valley road race .from what I’ve heard it sounded a good race and a bit lumpy in places .

I look forward to hearing more from both Daves (also hoping they or one of them will do a write up of the race .


i have a number of free one month trial periods for trainer road so be quick to get the promo code promo codes are good for one month of free usagehttp://www.trainerroad.com email me at  clubsec@sarumvelo.org for more info members only

British Cycling Membership

As a affiliated member of British Cycling

these are some of the benefits we get from british cycling to pass on to members of the club for any club members joining british cycling for the first time

Adults get a free Race Bronze membership or a discount on another category

under 16s get a free race silver membership


CTC Membership

Members of Sarum Velo can now join CTC too for just £16 a year by going to
www.ctc.org.uk/affiliate-join and quoting 90072597. This will guard against
claims for accidental damage caused by them while cycling. (Terms and
conditions apply). They will also receive:
– Access to a wide range of retail discounts.
– Our entertaining weekly e-newsletter ‘CycleClips’, full of all the very
latest cycling news.

You  can also enjoy their own regular copy of ‘Cycle’ and free legal claims
advice by upgrading to full CTC membership for individuals and families.

you can also join http://www.tlicycling.org.uk

TLI Cycling is a voluntary sports organisation, supporting cycling clubs in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, to organise competitive cycling events for all ages, entrants racing against others in their peer group. It is run on a not-for-profit basis by unpaid volunteer members, any surplus being used to maintain, improve and develop TLI Cycling’s activities.

TLI Cycling has for over 30 years provided grass-roots cycle racing for all ages and abilities, with competition based upon age. In 2013 we accommodated over 10,000 male and female entrants in our various events, the competitors ranging in age from under 12 to over 75!

on proof of membership using membership card we also get 10% discount from  Hayballs  and Stonehenge Cycles on parts and accessories (this does not include  sale items bikes or labour)

www.eyewearoutlet.co.uk we get discount of 15 % (members will be given discount code) via email or sms


If anyone wants to lead any rides in the week let me know and i will Post them on here!

also if anyone wants to lead Mountain Bike Rides let me know as well and i will add them!

Ride going out Saturday  from Five Rivers @ 9.30 for 3hrs. Steady ride average speed around 17-18mph

there is also a medium paced ride going out saturday 31st of May Leaving From Stonehenge Cycles at 9-30 am being lead by Mr Andy Guest nice average speed of approx 16 mph 2-3 hours

Sunday am ride this Sunday brief run down to the new Forrest at a nice leisurely speed if anyone’s up for it let me know (not a race) ps ps nick race is in Canada … 😉

look at Facebook page or Twitter for latest info @sarumvelo on twitter or https://www.facebook.com/sarumvelo

here is a link to all the local events in the southern region that are sanctioned by British Cycling

whats on in the Southern Region