Venue and Circuit
Fowlmead may not be as famous as the Monza track where the Italians ran last year’s most enjoyable event, but for those of the narrow hard tyre it is a much smoother arena to conduct our battles, and in the writer’s opinion the nicest cycle track in the UK.
Although riders of classic bikes would probably prefer Hog Hill: a place that the BHPC no longer use (the clue is in the name) Fowlmead’s ‘noticeable gradients’ should suit us better. Plus there is a wonderful series of bends to negotiate: ‘serious’ for the fully faired and ‘interesting’ for part faired.
Situated on a bit of a hill and near the coast, wind is not unknown and even if we get a ‘bit’ of rain and it washes the coal dust off the slag heap as it has in the past (but so far not on a June event), the clubroom has six showers (assuming they are all working this time, ed) and hot food.
This will be open till late as camping is being allowed on site – free of charge! – but, there being no such thing as a free lunch…slag heaps are a bit stony and puddles can form. But it is a very nice spot with lots of newly planted trees and wonderful views over the Kent countryside, none of which we want to destroy so cooking on gas or similar stoves, no bonfires!
Deal and the delights of the seaside are just two miles away along a cycle-track from the circuit to Deal station, normally for bikes only but opened out for the weekend to allow the multi-track brigade through. For those that remember Brighton in 2001 Deal is not like that, it is small and civilised and where even the gulls know to =beg for chips rather than snatch them from your hand. Very much a “don’t make ’em like that any more” sort of place but with plenty of chippies, mini-markets and pubs.
Here is a map of the track
Click map to see a larger version. NOTE: this map is provisinal, it will be updated in time to show start/finish, direction, camping etc but these are still under discussion.
Here is a video of the course, the quality is not great but should give an idea of what it is like