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The 5th Floor

Rides, races and culture

8bar crit 2016

October 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Back in September, check Alex Blomeley headed out to Berlin to compete in the 8bar crit, steroids organised by our adidas brothers. Up against some serious European talent, case Alex came away with an awesome 4th place – read his full write up here. As we know, it’s not easy putting on a race but it looks like 8bar and adidas did an incredible job – bring on next year!

Race organising is HARD by Aoife Doherty

October 3, 2016 | By | One Comment

I thought racing was tiring, stomatology then add organising the London Summer Cross Series into the mix and new levels reached.
I’ve finally gotten to the end of checking results, salve tidying sums and all the other nuggets of excitement that go hand in hand with organising races. Done! Along with my team The 5th Floor women, we have just successfully run our first cross race series.

It began with our very first race as a team on the 3rd January this year. The Badlands. CYCLOCROSS. Three roadies joining forces with two cross enthusiasts. What the F*** were we doing in a muddy field in rain, in January? A love of bikes, that’s what.

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As much as I was looking forward to road season, there was a definite lull between the the winter cross season wrapping and the early season road races getting underway. Then we hear that the Summer Cross Series is in danger of not happening. Just no. The two overworked founders, maxed out on life and other commitments, no longer had the capacity to run it. Cue five very enthusiastic, and slightly naive, cross-loving girls.
And ok, we had a bit of an idea how much work it might involve, a very small bit. But I won’t bore you with those details. Cause that’s not what it’s about.

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It’s about seeing months of work, stress, emails, phone calls, thinking the whole thing is going to fall through on more than one occasion and then turning up to the first one.  And realising that it’s actually going to happen. The cogs are turning. What once was a field is now full of super stoked racers, from kids to the oldies. And a rad cross course, that’s going to hurt.

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If you’ve never been to a cross race, get yourself to one immediately. The atmosphere is like nothing else. Pure good vibes. From spectators to racers. Heckling at its best. The racers take it seriously, but not too seriously. There are no points up for grabs, summer cross is about having fun in a field, with your bike and your friends and whatever the course designer decides to throw at you, from off-camber uphill steps to special sections like the spiral of doom and the gautlet. It’s rough and tough and a whole lot of fun.

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In the end we ran three races (let’s not speak of the fourth). Addington Park; short, sharp and lung destroying. Morden Park; all levels of fun, hurdles, steps, spirals and fast. And finally Herne Hill. With beer provided by Bianca Road Brewery from our very own in-team brewer Reece, the atmosphere of the series finale was like nothing else. The turnout was immense and the racing was even more so. Between frantically trying to figure out the series standings and handing out podium prizes between races, we even had a bit of time to heckle those tackling the infamous hurdles.

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I’ll tell you what, I’ve been enlightened doing this. Seeing the hours, time and effort people put into making something like this happening. All of this voluntary. All the clubs that helped make each round happen. The commissaires, sponsors, supporters, racers, hecklers. The only gain people get from the time they put in, is the insane satisfaction of seeing the race come together.

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And it’s worth it, to see the mayhem of hundreds of men, women and children racing around in big laps of confusion, legs and lungs burning and having a damn good time.

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Yes it took over our lives for a few months, but we made it happen and that’s an amazing feeling.

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CROSSCROSSCROSS! I think we’re all looking forward to a proper season of racing now, with a newfound respect for all those organisers out there.

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A special shout out to all that make bike races happen. You know who you are!

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Thanks to Tom Powell for the photos and snapping away at each event – check out the full set on his site

#8barcrit by Alex Blomeley

September 28, 2016 | By | One Comment

First off the Templehof is sick. Its Regents Park on crack with no cars and the Berliners are understandably proud of it. It’s a huge space and the 1.3km concrete marvel that is the terminal is a sight to behold especially now that it’s current use is to house war refugees from Syria. There’s just something awesome about thrashing it down an airport runway.
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8bar and the title sponsor adidas put on an equally impressive show with the now annual #8barCrit. A strong local presence backed with a few international hitters made for a high quality race. I was confident from the outset as I knew who the strongmen were and reckoned I do a good job. A 2nd place in qualifying proved that and I was ready to drop hammers in the final.

The course was technical but really wide. The corners were taped in the dangerous parts so the was plenty of room to manoeuvre. All in all it was a pretty safe days racing, 1 or two crashes but thankfully nothing serious.

Support race and the Women’s final (a cracking battle in that) in the bag it was our turn to make each other suffer. Parade lap done the multi coloured bunting came out for the third and final time to rack the riders up, cute. The crowd was sizeable and the BBQ smoke blowing over the course thick and sausagey. Germans could definitely use a lesson in cheering & heckling from the British and the Americans, you gotta SCREAM GUYS!!! That said they did get into it and the support was good, maybe they hadn’t drunk enough, surprising because the Pilsner is SO good in Berlin.

In the race I attacked, chased and drove the pace a lot. Generally just trying to making a nuisance of myself and take the race by the scruff. It was a lot of fun. 8bar did a good job controlling the race for the first half but missed a beat when they didn’t organise themselves fast enough in bringing back the eventual winner Stefan Schafer. They’d put themselves in the position where they were in charge, they had numbers and had efficiently worked everyone over in the first half so when the Stefan broke everyone looked at them and they bottled it, eventually losing out on a podium as well. Props to Silvio from Standert and Owen from ELF because us three did a whole lot of work on the front keeping the pace hard and fast.

Last few laps got a bit tight with people trying to move up into a winning position but they were chancers and quickly faded as the pace racked up. Unfortunately my sprint got blocked slightly by an 8bar riders saddle shattering in front of me in the last 100m which was a shame as my sprint was good and I was confident of getting the bunch sprint win.

It was a great atmosphere and the organisation was spot on. The weather was great and by the time the finals were in the wind had dropped, much to the surprise of the locals (Tempelhof is notorious for epic wind).

So in the end my results were 2nd fastest qualifier, 2nd in both primes and 4th overall (1 place away from a podium), so for today at least I was the bridesmaid. For all that effort I didn’t win anything but that’s not the point is it? Both races I’ve done in Berlin this year have been some of the most fun I’ve ever had on two wheels. I’ll be back in 2017 for more Pilsner and to improve on my placings from 2016. I’m bringing the team with me, no more bridesmaid.

Words by Alex Blomeley
Photos by Stefan Haehnel

5th on Film

June 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

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RACES

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Round One

Thursday 21/07

Location TBA

Round Two

Wednesday 27/07

Hog Hill

Round Three

Thursday 04/08

Location TBA

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Round Four

Thursday 11/08

Hern Hill Velodrome

RACE DAY SCHEDULE

17.30 – Registration opens
18.15 – Racing commences

18.15 Under 12 Boys / Under 12 Girls
18.30 Youths Boys, dosage
Youth Girls
19.00 Senior Men, Senior Women, Vet Men, Vet Women
20.00 – Presentations
20.30 – Stalls close


Any questions, please get in touch with Aoife Doherty – aoife.arrr@gmail.com

Steel is real and so is film. Here are a few raw, order
untouched photos of #5thLDN taken by Jammy on his Richoh GR…
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London Nocturne 2016 by Alex Blomeley – Photos by J.Baines

June 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

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London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, visit
the lack of pubs surrounding the course and what classes as a critical mechanical failure but on the whole a super successful day. We really liked the St.Pauls circuit it being narrow, disinfection
technical and flat which makes for fast, health
heart poppingly strung out racing. The stuff we love and your friendly neighbourhood team in green were out en masse being strongly represented in the LeighDay, Mango Bikes and both the headline Elite races.
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Thundercrit Men’s Race Report

May 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

Firstly, neuropathologist
NLTCBMBC outdid themselves. With some great planning and organisation everything went their way on Sunday and we’re stoked for them. The format worked as everyone got some good qualification times and everyone got to race the main event (fastest riders from qualifying at the front). Chapeau guys, it was a great day.
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London X League – Team Champs

February 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

First of all, click there was no running in this race, discount RX
so this report should be nowhere near as sour as the last one on CX Nationals, health so sorry if it disappoints.
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