SCCU 25: Chicken Dinner All Round (and round and round the roundabout)

Image: Sharon Reynolds (
Image: Sharon Reynolds ( No one looks good in this position, right?!

A quick one – because – well, how much can you say about riding up and down a dual carriageway? (A LOT actually if you really want to – for evidence check this one..)

After a few weekends of so-so results at crit races, it was nice to have a little success at the Southern Counties Cycling Union (SCCU) TT on April 3. Being back on the TT rig and in total control of my effort over the hour was a little bit blissful, I’ll admit, but not so much so that I’m ready to give up on the whole bunch racing affair and sidle back to solo efforts.

Held on the ‘Horsham round-a-bout-a-bout’ course (G25/54), wet roads and strongish headwinds on the outbound stretch didn’t exactly make for a fast day, and actually neither did me dropping my chain at the 15 mile mark as I passed the finish flag on the first of two occasions. I’m still unsure how this happened, I didn’t change chainrings at any point, it seemed to dislodge itself as I changed on the cassette over some rough ground, not something I analysed in detail at the time.

Frustrating as this was, the jump off bike, replace chain, jump on bike maneuver probably cost me 20-40 seconds in total, about the same as being held up by a car or similar. Though either not or *only just * a PB (with the chain correcting time subtracted..!), it was enough to win.

Admittedly, had Maddie Lee-Smith been there, it wouldn’t have been, and I did hear that Tamar (Vanderhaas) had to double round one roundabout having been cut off by a car. Sadly, I couldn’t sign up  and represent as MDV Race Team because they’re not SCCU members, hence ‘Private Member’ – next year guys!


My best on that course was a 1.2.31 in September last year, and I have to admit I had wanted to beat it. However, perhaps I might have without the mechanical. I was pleased with the effort considering [standard TT excuse time!!!] conditions made the 25-or-so roundabouts slippery and thus slow and the wind (plus my lack of sleep following a good friend’s wedding!) didn’t exactly add up to hopes for the speediest of times.

What I did particularly appreciate was the way the SCCU organiser, Tony Alston, grouped all the women together, and made the results easy to spot by giving us our own colour on the results board. Firstly – it’s good to put all the women in one bunch, so we can chase each other. Secondly, it might sound picky to those used to being in the majority, but when you’re a bit exhausted and have just made it back to the HQ, having to count the ‘W’ logos on the board to work out where you came in your own ‘minority race’ can be a bit arduous, so seeing us all clearly marked out was much appreciated.

The next event in line is the most exciting: my first ever track league event on Saturday. I’m mainly nervous, but a tad excited. And, well, not sure WHAT to wear…

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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