New top times in League roller racing

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The League’s annual winter roller racing event saw new fastest times in almost all race categories.

Teams from eight schools competed on roller-mounted track bikes, racing in groups of four over 500m virtual meters.

Stroud Green’s Year 6s set new League records for the fastest times in both boys and girls — 29.81 and 30.98 seconds respectively.

Next was Risley, hitting 31.05 seconds in the Year 5 Boys, with North Harringay close behind with 32.44 seconds in the Year 4 Boys.

Seven Sisters took 35.05 seconds to come first in the Year 5 Girls, while St. Aidan’s led the Year 4 Girls at 35.08 seconds.

Stroud Green’s fastest boys’ and girls’ times slashed last year’s records set by St. Aidan’s and North Harringay. Both times, however, fell just short of the non-League records set by Stroud Green and North Harringay in the 2021 pilot series.

St. Aidan’s dominance in the Y4 races helped them accrue the most points to finish the day on top with 260 points, with Belmont in second place (245) and North Harringay third (226).

Standings after Round 3

Full results: rider times and points-per-school

Roller racing: record times

With thanks to Leigh Day for their support for this year’s League.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Record turnout at Round 2

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This month’s racing saw 78 riders from eight schools competing in 24 races on a cold December day at Ducketts Common. A record for the League: the most riders from the most schools, and the highest number of races we’ve ever compressed into a single round.

Weeks of wind and rain had left the ground soft and littered with leaves, making it a slippery course for the riders. Not that that slowed them much, or made them any the less determined to fight their way through the tight turns. Despite a fair number of slide-outs and crashes, only one rider failed to finish, with most being desperate to get back on the bike quickly and limit their losses. 

Beyond that, the unusual thing about the day was just how close it was: no one team dominated any of the categories, nor took more finals than any of the others.

It was a good day for League newcomers: in just their second appearance, Seven Sisters notched up three wins — including two finals. Meanwhile, Holy Trinity finished the day with one second and five third places, remarkable for a school’s first bike racing experience.

Were it not for the bonus points awarded to Year 4 riders, Stroud Green and St. Mary’s would have tied on the days points, with St. Aidan’s close behind.

But schools fielding only Year 5s and 6s were at a disadvantage. Risley, North Harringay and Belmont  took maximum benefit from the bonuses, with Risley — already finishing well with three wins, including one A-final — leapfrogging from third to first place in the standings.

See the full results and points-per-school.

standings after round 2

Special mention has to be made of our brilliant team of volunteers and assistants for their help in organising the day, making sure we could get the racing done as quickly as possible — it was a cold day to be waiting trackside. Schools will be relieved to know our our next round will be indoor roller racing on 12 January.

With thanks to Leigh Day for their support for this year’s League.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

2022-23 League: Round 1

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Five schools took part in the inaugural round of the 2022-23 League at Ducketts Common last month.

Returning champions Stroud Green showed their now familiar form, taking the most points to set an early lead in the trophy standings competition.

Close behind in the points table were St. Mary’s who weren’t going to let Stroud Green have it all their own way. In probably their best League performance to date, they notched up the most wins on the day.

Risley and North Harringay came next, both teams taking advantage of the bonus points on offer for Year 4 riders.

Newcomers Seven Sisters had an auspicious start to their League career, taking a win in one of the Boys 26″ heats, and with two riders making the A-finals.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Standings after round 1

Round 2 will be in on 2nd December.

With thanks to Leigh Day for their support for this year’s League.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

The 2021-22 League Finale

Last Friday saw the concluding event in the 2021-22 League, bringing to a close our best-ever season. Seven schools, nine events, 475 riders — and some amazing racing.
 
Six schools competed in a day of grass-track racing on a simple oval course. Today, it would be riders’ raw speed and power put to the test, rather than their technical skills negotiating the twists and turns of our normal track layouts.
 
The first round of racing was the keirin, which involved riders being paced by a lead cyclist, gradually picking up speed over one lap before leaving the track and releasing the riders into a two-lap sprint.
 
The final race of the year was an ‘English Pursuit’ round, a two-up relay race between school teams lined up on opposite sides of the track.
 
In case there was any doubt about their dominance over the League this year, Stroud Green won five out of the eight keirin races, as well as their pursuit race against League runners up North Harringay.
 
 
final standings
 
 
Thank you to all to the schools and volunteers for their commitment to our League this past year, and to the teachers and assistants managing their teams on the day.
 
Many thanks to the deputy leader of Haringey Council Mike Hakata for presenting the trophies.
 
Thanks, too, to the Council’s Smarter Travel team for their support for the League over the past decade.
 
Most of all, though, thank you to this year’s riders — that’s over 250 individual children — for keeping us all enthralled with your speed, skill and determination. And for giving us some of the most exciting racing we’ve seen in our 10-year history!
 
And congratulations to our 2021-22 podium!
 
Stroud Green       🥇
North Harringay  🥈
Belmont Junior    🥉
 
See you all again for more in the autumn term.
 

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Ten years of primary school bike racing

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2022 marks the League’s 10th anniversary. Ten years of bringing cycle racing to children from Haringey primary schools.
 
In that time, we’ve had nearly 2,800 children at our race events. Many experiencing bike racing for the first time.
 
Please come to our AGM on Thursday 16th June, 17:30-19:30 and help us keep going for another ten.
 
Location: All Good Bookshop, 35 Turnpike Lane, London N8 0EP.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Back to the track at Herne Hill

Herne Hill Velodrome, June 2022

Last week saw the return of the League’s annual visit to the Herne Hill Velodrome for a day of coaching on track bikes at the historic venue.

Always a favourite with our schools, it was great to be back after two years’ absence due to the pandemic.

Riders from four schools learnt the basics of riding track bikes — which have fixed wheels and no brakes — round the banked track.

They learned how to start and stop safely, how to pace themselves and control their distance from other riders, take turns at the front, and how to use the track’s banking to build speed.

It wouldn’t be right to go to Herne Hill and not actually take part in a race, so the day finished with an ‘English Pursuit’ team relay.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Stroud Green seals the League at Round 6

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Stroud Green’s win in the League’s trophy competition — which had seemed already a certainty half way through the season — was secured last Friday with another emphatic win at Round 6 in Downhills Park.

The school notched up 250 points over the day’s 16 races — and won six of them.

North Harringay came second with 237 points. They were the best-performing school when it came to the finals, taking three B-finals and two A-finals.

Risley were close behind NHP with 233 points, despite only winning one race, the Boys’ 24” heat.

St. Aidan’s came fourth on the day in points, winning the Girls 26” B-final and the Boys 26” A-final.

Belmont struggled to compete with a reduced team of eight riders. That didn’t stop them winning the Boys 26” second heat, however, and they finished the day with 139 points.

See the full results and points-per-school.

With only each school’s best 5 rounds counting for the end-of-season tally, Stroud Green’s position at the top of the standings was beyond reach by the end of the day.

Standings after R6

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‘The Vortex’: technical twist for Round 6

The five schools tackled another technically challenging course, with a series of tight turns and switchbacks compressed into a single, circular zone bounded by sweeping turns and a fast return straight.

We may hear a collective sigh of relief when the schools come back for the final round next month to find they’ll be racing on a simple oval course for a day of grass track racing, followed by the trophy presentation.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Stroud Green maintains lead as North Harringay takes Round 5

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After missing out in the roller racing round in March, Stroud Green returned to the League last month to recover a healthy lead at the top of the standings in the trophy competition.

But it was North Harringay who stole the day on points and secured the most wins. The former champions dominated both the boys and girls 26” category heats, winning five out of the six races. But despite taking the Girls 26” A-final in a thrilling race to the line, they fell short in the Boys 26” A, beaten by strong rides from St. Aidan’s and Belmont.

Risley had similar success in the 24” category, taking wins in both the Boys and Girls heats, and the Girls 24” A-final. The Boys 24” A-final saw one of the closest League wins in years, with Risley and Stroud Green finishing in a dead heat that only transponders or photo-finish cameras could have separated.

St. Aidan’s had a good day, taking one of the Girls 24” heats, both 26” C-finals and the Boys 26” A-final.

St. Mary’s backed up their win in one of the Boys 24” heats with a first place in the Boys 26” B-final.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Round 5 course

The course layout for Round 5

The schools raced three laps on a dry, fast-running course, negotiating a complex series of turns before a fast return straight. Riders needed to be first into the turns so as to avoid getting held up behind others in the technical section.

Riders who were more confident in the tight corners were obviously at an advantage — though some were adept at letting the lead rider stay in front until the final lap, when they moved ahead to take the sprint for the line.

With just one scoring round to go, this has become the closest competition in years. Stroud Green currently have an 89-point lead at the top, but only 26 points separate 2nd and 3rd places.

Only the top five rounds of each school will count in the trophy competition, so the final round could see some changes in the podium positions!

Standings after Round 5

League standings after Round 5.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Roller racing returns to the League

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January’s postponed roller racing round took place last week at St. Mary’s CE Primary School.

Normally a winter event, when the local parks are too soggy for racing, roller racing is a great way of keeping schools racing through the cold and wet weather.

Five schools took part in the racing, using the League’s new set up with Kreitler roller racing stations, Frog track bikes and OpenSprints electronics and software.

Four riders at a time sprint over a virtual 500m on fixed bikes mounted on rollers, with progress displayed on a screen.

It’s fast — and loud!

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Watch Year 6 roller racing in action (video credit: RAPS)

Congratulations to St. Aidan’s Y6 boys for setting the fastest time of 30.24” — a time so fast we had to check the equipment was set up correctly!

North Harringay’s Y6s got the best girls time of 31.21”.

St. Aidan’s scored again with the fastest Year 4 time of the day, with 32.38” — the 8th fastest time out of a total of 49 riders across the three year groups.

Belmont and St. Mary’s had the fastest Y5 boy (32.93”) and girl (37.02”) respectively.

Risley were joint winners of the day with St. Aidan’s, notching up 248 points each.

See the full results and points-per-school.

This leaves the points competition delicately poised, with three schools within 30 points of each other – and just two points separating Belmont and North Harringay!

But this is all this likely to change over the next two rounds, as only each school’s top five rounds will get counted for the final tally.

Even so, this is shaping up to be the League’s closest competition in years.

Standings after Roller Racing
League standings after the latest round.

Round 5 on 29th April will see a return to racing on grass at Downhills Park.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

St. Aidan’s win at Ducketts

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St. Aidan’s claimed an emphatic Round 4 points victory at Ducketts Common last Friday. Their riders won four races – including two B finals – and amassed 234 points to finish the day on top.

Only Stroud Green could come close in points (229), maintaining its customary control over the Girls 24” category to take both heats and the A final. Risley dominated in the Boys 24”, winning one of the heats and both finals.

North Harringay won the A final and two of the three heats in the Girls 26”. Belmont won the Girls 26” B final although, down one rider, they couldn’t repeat their Round 3 success and were overtaken by St. Mary’s in the day’s points.

See the full results and points-per-school.

With three more scoring rounds to go, the League standings after Round 4 have Belmont and North Harringay vying for position behind Stroud Green in the trophy competition.

League standings after Round 4

League standings after Round 4

But it’s not all about the points. The day saw some of the most exciting riding of this year’s League as riders negotiated an exceptionally twisty course with skill and determination, sometimes using techniques in the hairpins more at home in speedway.

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The “Ducketts Diablo”: hairpins, switchbacks and a fast return straight!

No cornering skills needed for our next event, however, when the League will see a welcome return to roller racing.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.