Riding The Wilier Cento 10 Air

When The Velo Store first told us they would be sponsoring the team for the 2017 my first thought was…. what bike would I be getting? After months of Anticipation The Velo Store arranged a demo day with Wilier on their newly Cento Air 10 race machine. The team took them out for an evening and we were all very impressed with the bikes. The guy from Wilier who rode with us on the demo didn’t managed to stay on as we put the bike through their paces. “That’s the fastest demo I’ve ever done” is what we heard at the end. 

I have now had this bike since the end of February and I have done a fair few races on it. The design and colour scheme are spot on, we all agreed on the Matt black / red with a glossy finish – the best colour choice in my opinion. The frame is based on advanced aerodynamics and also features integrated Alabarda aero bars which not only improve aero performance but also finish off the bike nicely. 

We all received the bikes with full ultegra groupsets and Mavic cosmic carbon wheels. At first I was a bit wary of the wheels having not rode on cosmic’s before and hearing a few bad experiences, but the wheels have been awesome, never missed a beat. As for the groupset, I have always rode on shimano and probably always will. Ultegra is a great all rounder and I would recommend it to anyone. 

I could sit here boring you with all the geeky details but I am not going to. All in all I would highly recommend the Cento 10 Air and I will be sad to see it go at the end of the season. If you are looking for a bike built for speed then the Wilier must seriously be considered. For anybody who wants to read the full review please follow the link below:


Whilst at St Johns ….

A fantastic and varied 2 days at St Johns Primary in Stafford. We delivered level 1 training to 30 year 4 children and level 2 to 40or so  year 5’s.

 29 of the level 2’s rode their bikes to school during bikeability, 7 of which ride in on a regular basis though more are hoping to after the course. Just over a quarter of the children go out riding for fun with their families quite a lot and nearly the whole course knew it was National Bike week as it was on the school class calendar. 

 The most unusual comment I have had about bikeability came from the afternoon group as traffic increased on Weston Road when they were given the opportunity to do a series of turns when we were told it was “an adrenaline rush” We were however delighted to also hear the group say that they would use one of Staffords many cycle paths on the busy roads unless they had an adult to ride with. Safe decision making at its best.

Velo Race Team 2017 – Ride Fast And Have a Blast :)

The last few years I have really started to take my cycling a lot more seriously. At first it was a social ride in the country side which then soon evolved into a trip from Lands End to John O’ Grouts and now I am sitting here looking forward to my next race.  

In the last 3 years my racing has got more serious, the first year it was the odd race and gained my cat 3 license, the second year I gained my cat 2, and this year is all about retaining my cat 2 and trying to be more competitive at that level. Being 34 years young sometimes doesn’t help but as everyone knows… age is just a number.

Last year (2016) I was asked by The Velo Store if I would be interested in racing as part of the newly formed race team, alongside R.Lloyd, G.Bigham & S.Williams, for the 2017 season,  without hesitation I accepted this offer. The opportunity to race for my local team with my mates was a no brainer. So the heat was on, although I was very excited about this I also was aware of the added pressure of performing at the level I wanted to.

Training started as normal in October, having a full time job and a wife who works nationwide and 2 children can make training extremely difficult but some how I manage to fit it all in. Sitting in the garage on the turbo trainer, getting up early am, long dirty wet weekend rides, just to ride for the trill of racing in the summer for the team.

After a pretty harsh winter I decided to go on a training camp to Calpe with team mates R.Lloyd, G.Bigham and the current national track champion D.Bigham. This turned out to be a fantastic trip, it was a chance to ride in the sun with good company, it was what the doctor ordered… even though we did get lost on my last day thanks to one of the Bigham brothers which put an added 30 mile on the days ride. The whole trip was massively beneficial and I would recommend it to any one as part of their winter training. 

The 2017 season started – March – Myself and Grant started racing all over, from Lancaster to Wales, if there was an early season crit then we were there. Although I started racing well and felt fit the results weren’t going my way, burning way to many matches early on in races and having nothing for the end…I was just far to excited. Grant on the other hand, he was chipping away at the top 10’s and getting the pts which was good for him and the team. 

April – I got a bit smarter, sat in more, kept myself fresher. I managed to get a few podiums, a 3rd in a E/1/2/3 in Rhyl and a 2nd at a local TLI race. Again, Grant was still chipping away at the top 10’s and getting the pts. In late April Grant had obtained enough pts to retain his cat2 licence so he was happy with that. 

May – this has been the hardest month for myself ever. My legs have felt weak, my mind felt weak, I had genuinely been down about my whole performance. Instead of beating myself up to much I looked at what’s gone wrong and tried to work away round it. I have since had a change of coach and I am having regular massages @ Bd sports massage & injury therapy, I can’t tell you enough how much this has helped me to slowly get back on form.

June – its starting to look better, I’m feeling better and training is going well. Grant has hit some really good form and is starting to look more like a cat 1 rider. Richard has managed to get a couple of top 10’s to help him try and obtain his cat 2. Simon again is getting very strong, he even hurt me going up a hill the other day (I’ll wait for the message now) but collectively we are started to race like a team. 

On the 11th of June we all raced in the local TLI race and managed to help Grant his first podium of the season. The race was full of action from start to finish, Grant managed to get in an early break and on the last lap, another member of the Velo club/team Paul Hollins managed to break away from the bunch solo to get 7th place. All in all a good day all round for the team.

Although racing is fun and the trill makes you go back for more and more, sometimes racing can also be very challenging not only physical but mentally –  “ride fast and have a blast” is my motto cause nothing beats it. Over the next coming months I will try and achieve my goals which I am confident of, if for any reason I don’t, then it’s time to work harder over the winter months until I get where I want to. 

Life is to short to fail.

By M.Hillman 

CTL increases cycling in Staffordshire during National Bike Week, by Cameron White

My journey to John Wheeldon Primary was a 16 mile round cycle trip using a mixture of dual carriage way, back lanes and national cycle network through the Staffordshire countryside. Alison and Sarah, my fellow instructors, had both riden a couple of miles into school using the local cycle paths.

67% of our participants had cycled into school that day for Bikeability Level 2 – a 56% increase from the the usual 11% that ride to school. 
We all spent the afternoon learning about starting and stopping journeys on our bikes, where to ride on the road, how to be aware of other traffic and the various rights of way when cycling round parked cars and junctions. 

By the end of the session all the children said how they wanted to carry on cycling to school more often because they had lots more confidence and it had been fun riding to school that morning.  A great many of the students said now they have seen some of the local cycle paths on their way in to school, they were more keen to get out and explore them – especially wanting to ‘drag’ their parents out with them to cycle round the local area.

And that’s only day one, we can’t wait to see their enthusiasm after tomorrows second session.


Community Work


Whilst the schools are closed for half term, CTL volunteers its qualified instructors to work with other organisations in our local communities. Today in Macclesfield we were supporting a lovely family, from a ethnic minority group, to develop their off road cycling skills and appreciate cycling road safety.

The three boys, and supportive father, were accompanied by Connected Communities who were happy to help throughout and were extremely pleased for the children who received the opportunity to increase their cycling skills and learn about road safety. We had an interpreter to help throughout the session. The eldest of the two boys could already ride and just needed support to build up confidence, whilst the youngest needed some help learning to ride but picked skills very quickly.

Together they progressed through using brakes correctly and took part in some cone work on the courts at Bromley Farm. The organisers were particularly concerned about the children’s road sense and ability
to understand traffic so we covered some basic road safety talking to these young people about standing on the clean side of their bike, away from the traffic. They also discussed which side of the road traffic flows in Britain and what to be cautious of. We helped them to improve their knowledge car signalling. Demonstrating how to start and stop a journey and ho
w to pass parked cars allowing a safe distance when travelling passed also developed their understanding. We moved on to talking about junctions to help them gain a basic knowledge of where to look for traffic.

These children really enjoyed the entire session from start to finish as did their Dad who was very encouraging throughout.



Last Month in Comments not stats

Some nice comments from schools we went to in April.

Woodseaves Level 2

“As always, we have been really happy with Bikeability and the professionalism, friendliness and encouraging instructors.  All children have thoroughly enjoyed the 2 day road course.”

Penkridge Level 2

“Great manner with children.  Clear instructions and demonstrations.  Great feedback to children.  Excellent booking. Helpful staff. Speedy CTL responses.”

Longwood Primary

“The children always thoroughly enjoy it and it is good to know they are being taught how to ride safely.  Excellent booking.”

Bickerton Holy Trinity Level 1
“Children’s comments: Really good fun; Great fun; I can turn and ride a lot better now.School Comments: Good progression for all children. We all got to get involved in different ways which was really good. Children were very happy when they came back”

Hermitage Primary School Level 1
“Teachers comment: It’s been brilliant, children have thoroughly enjoyed it. Children’s comments: I want to go out on my bike now; Loved the class.”

Level 2 Year 5
Children’s comments: Thank you for helping me learn about cycling. I feel more confident and happier to ride on roads.

St Marys Level 1
“Children’s comments: Really good fun. We like the Snake Game. Teachers comments: The children enjoyed the Level 1.”

Yorston Lodge Level 2
“Teachers Comment Children v enthusiastic, thoroughly enjoy cycling. They all enjoyed the Bikeability course. An enjoyable and beneficial course. ”

Bollingbrook Year 5
“Excellent. All the children loved it, especially when they were taken to the busier roads.”

Bikeability Level 2 at Queens Croft School Lichfield

One of the standout schools last week was Queen’s Croft High School, a learning community for youngsters who find learning difficult.  A generic Special School, it serves students with a range of special educational needs from Lichfield and the surrounding towns and villages.

Out of the 17 initial students, 13 successfully completed Level 1 Bikeability, with 12 participants progressing onto Level 2 Bikeability.
Students successfully completed a number of Level 2 outcomes including starting and stopping an on-road journey, passing a side road and parked car, deciding where cycle infrastructure helps a journey and demonstrating correct use and understanding where to ride on the roads being used. Other outcomes were also individually undertaken such as learning when it might be best to be a pedestrian rather than a cyclist and how to safely cross the road with a bike.



But beyond achieving these National Standard outcomes was the students greater ability to demonstrate a positive attitude and approach. In addition, following Bikeability Level 1 and 2, two pupils are starting to ride into school with their parents and carers.

Here are two statements that perfectly summarise what the school stands for, and more impressively achieves, which are two things we would all benefit from applying to our daily lives: