Author Archives: Gary Baldwin

Ashley March 2012

Hi again everyone!

I cant believe it has already been 3 months since I became the 1st rider for the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund, time certainly does fly!
Unfortunately I don’t have much to write about for my riding over April as I was ill for nearly the whole month! I raced the infamous Pennypot lane in North Yorkshire the 1st of April, needless to say I was a fool for it! It is a course where you are really exposed on the moors and climbing good old Yorkshire roads. The likes of Sean Yates has won on that particular circuit in the past so that just shows that it takes a real man to make his way around there. Unfortunately I was not on form for the day and it was the week that I came down with the typical sniffles, but u went in with a fresh head hoping for a good race. Once I arrived I was shocked to see how busy the road were wish parked cars, I thought I had rocked up to a premier calendar with the amount of vehicles and in particular the Motorpoint team car with 60kg twigs for men hanging out of the doors. I was always going to be a hard race where I was going to suffer as I am an all out sprinter. The break pretty much went straight away on the 1st lap on one of many hills and it soon found myself in the group with the riders that are more like myself with the 70kg+ builds. I slogged myself around in the group pulling turns but people were still attacking within our group which made it a really tough race for me. My energy levels started to be sapped rapidly and by 2 laps to go I blew going up the main climb to the start finish area as yet another attack went off. I was a bit gutted about not doing well but I knew that it was not my type of race, end of. I also knew that I could be coming down with an illness which turned out to be the case!

I had been sniffling for a few days after Pennypot lane but it soon started to deteriorate and I developed a nice cough to accompany my runny nose. This went on for a good two week and i really thought it was not going to shift, Its quite depressing that you’re seeing your season slip away at your fingertips just because of something that any non cyclist wouldn’t be too fussed about. I had to cancel two entries to races as I wasn’t in a great state to ride, but it has got better and I have been able to lift my intensity of riding in training to something above recovery rides! Hopefully the seasonal illness for me has gone for good now and that it will enable me to be stronger later on in the season when other people maybe wanting a bit of a rest because they have been going full on since the start of the season in early March.

Now for me it is about moving my levels of fitness up to a higher standard and for me to condition myself so that I am fully ready for my intense blocks of racing in June & July. For me, this is the business end of the season as I want to be able to get my face shown in the elite circuit race series as this is more suited to my style of riding! Hopefully I will have plenty more to talk about in next months blog as I have now got over this rubbish cold.
Over and out

Ashley

Ashley March 2012

Hello again everybody! Im bringing you all my 2nd blog, much of it consists of the happenings which took place in March (yes, I know I have a boring life and it doesn’t consist of much) so put on your reading glasses and put the kettle on because it’s going to be some read!
Jokes…

So, the 1st race of the season for me was the Eddie Soens. It’s a race that ive now took part in 3 times and truly enjoy, a 180+ bunch which ranges in abilities and its on a car free racetrack (WHICH IS FLAT, WOO) It was an extremely cold and wet day, much to my surprise…

I was having a good race, had a little ride off the front of the group to try and be a hero by getting across to the front group but that soon was brought back and then soon enough the elite riders were on our tail. Now that the big guys had caught the other groups, it was time forme to sit and let the big teams pull the race along. I was still feeling good with around 10 laps to, by now the pace started to increase as the bigger teams such as Endura and Rapha realised it was going to come down to a Bunch sprint, this is how I like to race!

I had now paired up with my only team mate in the race, the legendary Alastair ‘Adge’ Wood. He is an extremely experienced racer who has won numerous National medals on the track and knows how to read a race. We were sitting on Tony Gibbs wheel with 2 to go as we knew that he was going to be a hitter in the sprint, but coming into the corner just after the Start/Finish (a sweeping left hander) the bunch squeezed up and Alastair’s supreme bike handling meant that someone else came off worse, right in front of me… I had to pull a quick dismount to avoid the fallen rider, but this resulted in me going to the back in the space of 10 seconds or so, great!

So it was race over for me, I was quite gutted as I was feeling good for the finish knowing that I have a good sprint on me (yeah, ive beaten Tom Murray numerous times in gallop intervals, no biggie. Sorry Tom!) but unfortunately due to a crash, it changed my race. Never mind though, there are plenty more races in the season!

I kept pushing on through the week with my set training from Greg at Vitesse coaching and sooner or later the weekend came around. I had originally planned on racing at Darley moor on Saturday but in short notice I found out I had a University open day up in Newcastle so I prioritized and put my education 1st. My trip up north wasn’t so bad after all as I still managed to get a race in at Middlesborough. It’s a small circuit which suits my kind of racing. I was the 1st one to attack in the race and stayed away for around 5 laps, where 3 others joined me, but as circuit racing goes, it was inevitable that it was going to come back. Unfortunately I had being suffering with a mild cold through the week so I wasn’t feeling the best so I battled on through the majority of the race but my energy levels were quickly deteriorating and with about 10 laps to go I blew my doors of the wagon. Again, today was not my day as the cold took its place on me but once again, there is plenty more races left in the season!

Through the week I was resting more and trying to treat my body more like a temple by treating it to all the good stuff that is needed. It seemed to work as by the next weekend I was feeling much more fresh and fighting fit.

On the 21st March was the 2nd Darley Moor, I was looking forward to this race as we had the best weather for March and there was little wind so this meant that it should be a ace days racing! Quite a few Herbalife and RST-trigon riders were present along with 2 Sigma sport riders so I knew that It was going to be a good quality race with lots of attacking so it was vital that I rode defensively as you never know which move may stay away. The race was straight into full swing as we were smashing down the back straight at over 35mph so there was no easing up. I managed to get in a few splits and chase the majority of moves down but around 6 laps from the finish, I dropped back after getting in a move and sure enough the race winning quartet got away with the best riders in it including Tom Murray and Jamie Shirlaw. My finishing position was around 18th which I was not the most happy with but at the same time it wasn’t too bad as I was riding pretty hard for 90% of the race.

So, i hope you’ve had a brilliant read, I know its not your average novel or Sunday newspaper but im sure it doesn’t read that bad, does it? I will be keeping you posted in next months blog with more races and antics ive been getting up to which I am sure you will itching to read…
Over and out

Ashley

Ashley

ashleyHello everyone, I’m Ashley, I’m representing the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund for the 2012 season. First of all, I want to say that it is a true privilege to be awarded this funding. It means a great deal for me to have the opportunity to be the 1st rider to have the backing thats in memory of an amazing rider. Lewis was, and still is a real inspiration for hundreds of young riders across the British isles and I feel really honoured that I was chosen to carry on the amazing memories that Lewis brought in his years with us. I want to thank Jacqui, Kevin & Natasha for all their support that they are offering me as if it was not for them, young riders like myself may not have the opportunity to show their colours in such a demanding sport. So, back to the nitty gritty of this blog.

It was a Saturday afternoon, I was deep into my ‘cyclists nap’ after 6hours in the saddle in the morning. Normally if you were to be woken from your well deserved sleep, you would be quite annoyed as your body is craving the shut eye, but my phone was ringing, much to my disapproval. On the other end of the call was Natasha, telling me that the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund was wanting to interview with me on the following Tuesday. This certainly woke me up as after a couple of months after applying, it was not what I was expecting! Tuesday came soon enough, and in the evening I had the knock on the door where Jacqui, Kevin and the big grin of Natasha stood. Once inside, it was straight down to interview business, non of this teenager mumbling that everyone is used to by now from me! On hearing that I was the only rider to have been selected for the trust fund, it put a big smile on my face! I wont lie, it was some of the most uplifting pieces of news that I have heard for a while. After signing the contracts of agreement, I was officially the 1st rider that was to represent the trust fund, HAPPY DAYS!

We know as cyclists, the winter times are about getting long miles in on your trusty old steed. Although, sometimes your trusty old steed needs some TLC as the winter weather does its best to damage your pride & joy. Therefore I had to purchase some new wheels & tyres to see me through the training that I am doing. With the trust fund, I have been able to purchase these parts, so now ive got no excuses not to be out training! Also, as part of being a cyclist, you have to give your body the fuel it needs and after a lengthy training session, it needs its protein! As I had just ran out of my previous stuff, the trust fund was able to help me purchase some more recovery powder, now it means that I don’t get home after a ride and then suffer for the next few days as I didn’t get a good source of protein. As the racing season is just around the corner, I will have plenty more to write about as my calendar is pretty much full for most weekends, all I can say for now is watch this space!
Over and out

Ashley

Scores get on their bikes for Lewis memorial ride 2013

Photo Neil Cross The Lewis Balyckyi Memorial Ride

The Lewis Balyckyi memorial ride took place on Sunday, with three rides around the Trough of Bowland. The 18-year-old from Walton-le-Dale was killed in a collision with a van in 2011. Former Lostock Hall High School pupil Lewis was about to move to France to embark on a professional cycling career and had been tipped for the 2012 Olympics. His parents, Kevin and Jacqui Balyckyi set up the Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund to raise money to help junior cyclists achieve their dream. The memorial ride was to raise funds to help the charity continue its work. Dad Kevin said: “It was brilliant, we had 235 people turn up. We had brilliant weather, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. “The people we have spoken to have all said they enjoyed it. “Some people got sponsored and there as an entry fee and a tombola, North West Air Ambulance had a stall there. “We have raised about £5,000 which is brilliant.” There was family ride, a men and boys ride and the man up ride. To find out more about the charity’s work, visit: www.lbtf.org

A special young lady with a very big heart

Tarryn-&-Matt

Tarryn & Matt

“I decided to collect money for the Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund at my 18th birthday party because although I didn’t know Lewis personally he was a good friend of my boyfriend. I gave people the option of donating instead of buying me a present and also left collection tubs on the tables at my party so that they could donate loose change. A lovely evening was had by all and in the end £100 was raised for a very deserving cause. A Big thank you to my amazing family and friends for their kind donations!!”

Presentation of cheque from Jerrod Hartley – Balckpool memorial Crits

chequeSmiles all around, Jacqui Balyckyi receiving a cheque from Jerrod Hartley for £1021.75 which was raised at the 2nd Blackpool memorial crits. Jacqui received the cheque on behalf of the LBTF at the Preston Sports Arena; the arena holds special memories as this is where Lewis won his national title. Along Jacqui on a sunny thurs evening were Jerrod Hartley, Ivor Armstrong, Len Woffindin, and Tom Leivers

Lewis Balyckyi Memorial Crits Cronshaw Wins

Second in last weekend’s Norma Bains Memorial road race, Matt Cronshaw (IG-Sigma Sport) went one better to open his account for the season with victory in the feature race of the Lewis Balyckyi Memorial Crits on the Palatine Circuit in Blackpool.

Matt CronshawCronshaw got the better of Dillon Byrne (Champion Systems-Maxgear-Base) in a hard-fought sprint with a gap of 24 seconds to Richard Hepworth (Node4 Giordana Racing), who led in a four-man group battling for third place with the rest of the field a lap down.

“It’s the first win of the year for me and I’m really happy to have done it remembering an awesome guy,” said 25-year-old Cronshaw.

The supporting senior race ended in a bunch sprint won by Dan Spashett (Team Wheelguru).

James Ellmore (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) soloed to a 17-second victory in the Youth A race, while the other age group races were split between Bolton Hot Wheels CC, with wins for Theo Hartley and Benjamin Peatfield, and Mossley CRT who landed a double through brothers Robert and James Donaldson.

The event was run in memory of late age-group champion Lewis Balyckyi who died, aged 18, two years ago in an accident while training.

Skelmersdale Fire Station Triathlon 2012

On the 7th September 2012 the first Skelmersdale Fire Station Triathlon was held. Damian O’Shaughnessy (Paddy) was the organiser, and managed to cajole 20 people to enter, some (not many) seasoned triathletes, but for many it was their first. The course consisted of a 400m swim in the local pool, followed by a 12 mile bike ride around the outskirts of Skem, taking in part of the Tour of Britain route, including Crank Road Hill, a beast of a 25% gradient hill which a lot were quietly worried about. To finish was a 3 mile run around Tanhouse Road which circled the Fire station.

To not let anyone get out of it Paddy allowed 2 team entries for those that felt the whole event was a bit beyond their capabilities, which worked as the start sheet was full come race day.
We were set of in groups of 4, the slowest first, or so we thought, and the first swimmers emerged after about 9 minutes, jumping on bikes with wobbly legs muttering among other things ‘what am I doing’ to themselves. There was a photographer at the top of crank Rd hill to capture the pained expressions as the riders crested the hill, luckily there wasn’t a microphone to record the swear words and cursing, poor Paddy was called all the names under the sun that day.

The 3 mile run followed, which some took very seriously, completing it in 14 minutes, and others that didn’t, as can be seen in the pictures.

After all the complaining around the course everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and congratulated Paddy on a great event, although some vowed never to repeat it! I think that might change come next year though.

The event finished off with the prize giving and food kindly made by our station cook.

Thanks must go to the Station Manager for allowing us to run the event, Paddy for organising it, and all who competed, including the local councillor, who did the run in a skeleton suit!

The event raised approximately £100 for the fund, which we are extremely grateful for.

Blue Watch

Parbold Hill Cross Country Race 2012

The LBTF runners, Paddy, Dave Kev, Tash and Paul

The LBTF runners, Paddy, Dave Kev, Tash and Paul

The Parbold Hill Race is one of the first of the running season, and consists of nearly 7 miles of hills and muddy trails, fields and ditches. Despite this it is very well attended, the organisers having to set a limit of 300 runners.

So on a cold and wet February Sunday, the flag dropped and we set off on a very wet course, knowing there was at least 3 steep hills to run up, and loads of mud to negotiate. By the time we had reached some of the fields they looked like they had been just ploughed, with your feet disappearing up to your ankles in the mud, a few unfortunate’s actually lost shoes when they came off, and had to finish in their socks!
Just over an hour later the finish line was in sight, and we were welcomed back by a large crowd clapping us in, and a marshal handing out Mars bars.

A cold, painful day out but very satisfying to have done it, and we raised about £150 for the fund too.

Thanks to all who participated and raised sponsorship, looking forward to the next one.

A Day of Croquet

After getting off to a bumpy start with Dad the main organiser not being able to attend our croquet day was a hit!!

The sun came out so the Mad Hatter theme was not only hilarious to look at but also provided much needed shade out on the green. (Although there were a few burnt faces at the end of the day!) At lunch time we served our 50 or so guests hot dogs with coleslaw and chips. This went down a treat and then it was back out on the green. We sold raffle tickets throughout the day and had a bar open. With the motto of sell one and then buy one (for himself) the bar tender was very happy at the end of the day and had contributed his share to the fundraising cause!
We had a best hat prize which was taken out by Robyn V for herself created hat with wine glasses attached! Plenty of raffle prizes were given out and we took a moment to reflect on the foundation that we were raising money for.

It was such a great day and everyone who attended had such fun.

It was great to have so much fun and also be raising money for such a worthy and close to our heart foundation.

Watch this space for Dad’s event!!!!