Aurora Borealis @ St Mary’s Lighthouse

Ever since I missed an apparently brilliant oportunity to see the aurora just a few miles from my house, back in January, I’ve been avidly watching the various ‘aurora watch’ updates on twitter, waiting for them to return.

Finally the levels hit kp7 (high enough to be seen in most of northern england) so I grabbed my camera bag and (along with a rather sleepy girlfriend, determined not to miss the moment!) headed down to the coast.

As you can see, we weren’t disappointing. Ok, it’s nothing like the photos you see from sightings in the arctic circle but nonetheless, it’s pretty spectacular!

Another item to tick off my last of things to see! πŸ™‚


Virgin money cyclone criterium 2012 @ Leazes Park – Go-Ride 12-16 year olds

Final photos from the Leazes park Criteriums now on Flickr


Velo29 Stockton grand prix

While much of the Britain population were glued to their sofas, watching two men in London batting a ball around a lawn, it was business as usual for a select bunch of Elite racing cyclists.

A new addition to the British Cycling Premier Calendar, the Velo 29 Stockton Grand Prix rounded off the first year of the Stockton Cycling festival.

Starting in the Centre of Stockton the 100 mile race made a bee-line for the countryside where riders would complete 7 laps of a 20km circuit before thundering back into town for a final 6 laps of the course used for Friday’s festival opening Criterium.

From the first Lap riders from Team Raleigh GAC were active with 2 riders going clear on the first lap. After eventually being reeled in it was 100% ME rider George Atkins’ turn to take a flyer, staying away for a few laps. Although other riders attempted to break free of the peleton, it wasn’t to be with the race eventually boiling down to a bunch gallop for the finish line.

Needless to say, with criterium style finish the final result looked like the riders had never left the town centre with Raleigh GAC’s Graham Briggs taking the win over national Criterium Champion Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing) with Another Criterium regular Marcel Six (Scott Metaltek) rounding off the podium.


Virgin money cyclone criterium @ Leazes Park – Go-Ride under 12 year olds

photos from the first race of the evening where the under 12s got to race on the same track that the elites would use later on in the evening.


Virgin money cyclone criterium @ Leazes Park – Senior Race

Prior to the lite riders taking to the course, the senior race proved to be just as exciting to watch.

Following a steady stream of attacks and numerous riders being eliminated after being dropped by the bunch the final gallop for the line was contested by a bunch of around 10 riders. Victorious in this small but select group was Jake Womersley (Sportscover), with a comfortable enough winning margin to begin his victory celebcrations a good few metres from the line. Karl Denton ( took 2nd place with Jake’s team-mate Olli Wood in 3rd.

In the women’s competition Catherine Williamson (Bizhub) took the win. Despite being the only women in the bunch she proved a deserved winner after a gutsy but eventually futile attempt to avoid being lapped when the rest of the group she was in were eliminated to clear the course for the lead riders.

Photos from the go ride event to follow.


Virgin money cyclone criteriumrs @ leazes park – Elite race

all photos from the elite event now on flickr


Virgin money cyclone criteriumrs @ leazes park – Elite race

All photos from the elite event now on Flickr


Photo ID 1 – Richard Lang (Rapha Condor Sharp), Virgin money cyclone criterium @ Leazes Park

The 2012 edition of the Virgin money cyclone cycling festival got offf to a great start this evening with the annual Leazes park criteriums.

Despite yesterday’s storms the crowds weren’t put off descending into the park for a great evening of racing.

Following some great racing in the lower categories the Elite riders took to the course with hardly a lap passing where no-one attacked. Eventually a 4 man break went away in the closing laps with Richard Lang (Rapha Condor Sharp) finally prevailing over his fellow escapees.

More photos and results to follow. Time for sleep now though!


Lancaster VeloCity city centre criteriums – 3rd and 4th category event

Prior to the aforementioned Elite, 1st and 2nd cat event it was the turn of the (marginally) slower 3rd and 4th category riders to brave the weather and the challenging circuit.

Again the Wheelbase/MGD team made a good showing, this time with Steven Clarke taking top hounours from David Haygarth (Planet-x) and the best local rider, Callum Young (Biketreks racing team) in third.


Lancaster VeloCity City Centre Circuit Races – Elite, 1st and 2nd cat Event

Friday (22nd June) was a busy day for sports fans in Lancaster. After the Olympic torch relay had made it’s journey through the region during the day, the evening saw the turn of the racing cyclists to take to the streets of the town.

A new event to the cycling calendar, the Lancaster ‘VeloCity’ circuit races saw the streets around dalton square closed to traffic to form a 1 kilometre cycle racing circuit, with a start/finish line on the cobbles of Dalton Square.

After a supporting event for 3rd , 4th cat and ladies (photos and report to follow), it was the turn of the elite riders, accompanied by 1st and 2nd category riders.

Despite the weather, torrential rain and strong winds, Local rider Matt Cronshaw (Node 4 – Giordana) made light work of the opposition and the testing circuit, attacking on the first lap and lapping every rider in the increasingly fragmented bunch. in the process he set up a thrilling finalΓ© with Matt chasing down eventual runner up (and fellow local rider), Jack Pullar (wheelbase/MGD). In the final few laps, spurred on by the last minute prize offered by Lancaster and Morecambe college, Matt finally managed to catch his adversary, only to for Jack to overtake him again late on in the last lap.

After some dicusssion, it was decided that the prize for lapping the bunch would be awarded which, added to the prizes for the numerous prime laps, first overall and first local rider, made it a somewhat profitable night for the Node 4/Giordana Rider!

The poidum was completed by Thomas Armstrong (Mountivation Development Academy) who also took the honour of being the highest placed Junior rider.

All in all, despite the rain and wind the event was a great success and plans are already afoot to bring the event back to the city next year.

As usual, click on the photo for more action from the event. Or nip over to facebook and give me a like therre!