Journal


Carberry Tower - the latest performance training camp from Service Course

This September, we’re hosting our first UK performance training camp in conjunction with Carberry Tower, a luxury castle hotel in beautiful East Lothian. The camp has been designed by Service Course to help improve all aspects of your riding and involves our team of world level coaches, physiologists, physiotherapists and with the back up of expert guides and mechanical support.

Our performance camp will give you honest training and racing advice from our highly experienced coaches and ex-professionals racers who can pass on a wealth of experience during Q&A sessions over dinner. Evening talks will cover the subjects you need to step up your abilities: training sessions that we know work for riders, how to draft an annual training programme that is suited to you as an individual, what nutrition advice to follow and how to improve bike skills. No matter if you sign up for a hilly sportive or desire to move up a category in racing, this camp will progress you as a rider in a supported learning environment with like-minded riders around you.

We will give you a more accurate determination of your training zones with a personal blood lactate testing by our resident physiologist, who works with international endurance riders. Our physiologist will carry out the test on the Wednesday night after arrival and this will form the basis of our personalised training discussions with every rider in sessions with our Training Peaks and British Cycling certified coaching staff.

The training camp will be based at Carberry Tower, an award winning castle hotel nestled in stunning private grounds just to the east of Edinburgh with easy access to challenging training roads through the Lammermuir hills. Menus have been designed to complement your efforts in training before you relax in the hotel’s luxurious accommodation.

Further details can be found on Carberry Tower's website and bookings can be made directly with their team on +44 131 665 3135. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions on the performance elements.

Sponsor Focus - SciCon

In the second of our partner features, we take a look at SciCon, a company that we’ve worked with since we started in 2013 (and used personally well before that). SciCon’s innovative range of luggage keeps our bikes safe in transit and our spare kit just where we need it when out on the road.

SciCon was founded in 1980 in Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region of northern Italy, home to many of the cycling industry’s biggest names. Initially specialising in bike bags for pro road racers, their range has grown to encompass a wide range of bike specific luggage for all types or bike and all types of rider. As well as Service Course, SciCon’s bags are trusted by a wide array of pro teams, triathletes and MTBers for their air travels.

If you’ve ever opened up a bike bag after a flight to find things are in a slight different shape to the way they went in, you’ll know that investing in a top notch bike box or bag is a very sensible choice. The Service Course team recommend SciCon’s AeroTech Evolution X TSA Bike Travel Case – it requires minimal disassembly with padded protection and dedicated storage space for parts – allowing you arrive confident that your bike has arrived in fine fettle. Also in constant use is our Aerocomfort Road 3.0 TSA Bike Bag - quick to pack, without compromising on protection - ready to fly or ready to ride in minutes.

Pro riders know the benefit of a rain bag on race days and it’s something we encourage all of our guests to bring on our trips too. Fresh kit can transform a wet day into a fun one with a change of clothes or a place to stash a jacket and full-fingered gloves when the weather is changeable. The SciCon Race Rain Bag is the best thought out bab that we’ve used. Compartmentalised storage is clearly labelled, so that the kit you need is where you need it with space for shoes and overshoes, warmers, gloves, helmet, jersey and jacket. Our corporate guests can also choose add custom bags with names and country flags to their package.

Booking now – our September training camp takes in our favourite training roads in East Lothian and the Borders supported by the Service Course team and then relax at Carberry Tower - a multi-award winning, luxury 4 star castle hotel. Find out more here.

Learn how Service Course can deliver a bespoke corporate cycling event for your company here.


Training Camps are coming

With the UK firmly in the grip of old Jack Frost and with training roads are either under snow or treacherously icy, the thoughts of all but the most masochistic of riders turn towards a warm weather training camp.

We covered why you should choose to go on a training camp previously, so we presume you took our advice and have something lined up, even if you weren’t able to get onto our fully booked Mallorca camp in March. Here’s how to get the most out of your training camp experience with the Service Course team’s training camp tips.

You – as the adage goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. This goes double for your own fitness. Aim to arrive with a good base of long miles in your legs. Training camps should raise your level in terms of bike skills as well as fitness and move your season preparation up a gear. Service Course clients benefit from the coaching expertise of our international coaching team, and now is a great time to think about your coaching needs for the season ahead too. Stay tuned for more information coming soon about 1-2-1 performance coaching from our Spartans Cycling Academy and warm weather training camps later this year.

Your bike – if you’re flying with a bike, then we recommend SciCon’s unrivalled range of bike luggage. We’ve been using their travel bags and bike cases for years and we particularly like their Aerocomfort Road 3.0 Travel Bag which gives case like heavy-duty protection in a fast to pack, lightweight design.

If you choose to dodge airline fees, then hiring is a great chance to try something out something new and treat yourself to a temporary upgrade. When in Mallorca, Canyon.Base (based in Cala Serena) offer a wide range of WorldTour ready Canyon road bikes to hire.

Your kit - after a long winter of riding in foul weather gear, it’s a joy to head out in just a jersey and bibshorts. It can still be chilly in the mornings and on long descents, so think about packing arm and leg warmers, a lightweight race cape or gilet to provide an extra layer of protection.

Your hydration – long days in the saddle mean that you need to think about your hydration a bit more than you might do when hitting Watopia’s roads in the comfort of your garage. Nuun’s tabs are the perfect way to add electrolyte balance to your bidons and are way easier to travel with than trying to squeeze a container of powder into your bike bag.

Your insurance – no-one wants to think about the downsides but it’s wise to cover both you and your bike against any unfortunate happenings. Yellow Jersey offer specialist cover for you and your equipment when riding, racing or training worldwide.


Sponsor Focus - Canyon Bikes

Service Course are extremely proud to work with the best brands in the cycling industry. Our partners are leaders in the fields of bikes, apparel, luggage, nutrition and cycling insurance and mean that our riders and guides are perfectly equipped for the journey ahead. We’re thought we’d let you know more about our partners and how they help us, first up in this new series is our bike supplier – Canyon.

Canyon have been manufacturing bikes since 2001 and have become one of the great disruptors in the industry, quickly latching on to direct selling through the internet, bypassing the traditional distributor model to offer outstanding value for money. Canyon road bikes have been proven right at the very top. Fighting at the front in the Tour de France, setting tempo in the local chain gang or building up to personal challenges, Canyon’s bikes are developed to excel in every scenario.

Our fleet of Ultimate CF SL models packs Canyon carbon know-how into a package that highlights the smoothness and efficiency of carbon fibre frames. They strike the perfect balance with a fast, yet comfortable riding position for long days in the saddle. Our guests regularly find that our Ultegra Di2 equipped Ultimates are so rewarding to ride that they go on to upgrade their current bikes to Canyon following our events.

Service Course are not alone in using Canyon’s bikes – the Koblenz based firm sponsor an array of top road teams, including one of the leading Women’s WorldTour teams in Canyon-SRAM, world champion Alejandro Valverde and his Movistar Team and Katusha–Alpecin who now feature Alex Dowsett and Harry Tanfield in their ranks. Away from the road, Canyon also sponsor a sparkling roster in triathlon and MTB disciplines.

Our fleet of Canyons is available to all of our guests at events throughout the year. Find our more about our September training camp, held in conjunction with Carberry Tower here and learn how Service Course can deliver a bespoke corporate cycling event for your company here.

Photos: Rafal Skiendzielewski / Canyon and Service Course


Service Course Worldwide - 2018 Review

We've enjoyed a superb 2018, with new clients and new partners joining us for outstanding rides in more countries than ever before. Before we head into the festive season, take a look back at what has been yet another fantastic year for the best cycling events company in the world.

Our early season adventures took us to Mallorca in March for a camp that saw our training group escape the Beast from the East and the snowy roads of home for warm weather miles. Training never seems as easy as it does riding out from our base in the north east of the island which enjoys easy access to the mountain roads of the Tramuntana range to the north and a wealth of rolling terrain elsewhere. We have a few places available on our 2019 Mallorca trip - kickstart your campaign on one of our performance camps.

After a day providing neutral support at the Tour de Lauder, it was over to California to lead a series of events for a corporate client at their partner conference in Los Angeles. With a mix of abilities and training goals in the group our team of ride expert guides put together a selection of routes which took in both steep canyons and beach-side paths suitable for everyone.

Mid-summer was spent in Scotland for a series of country crossing journeys through the Highlands. These are some of our favourite roads and we know the area like the back of our hands allowing us to choose the right routes and the best in Scottish hospitality to create unforgettable experiences for our clients.

The glorious scenery of Royal Deeside, Highland Perthshire and the Kingdom of Fife featured heavily in our events during one of the best summers in recent memory. However, we’ll let you into a secret – sometimes it rains in Scotland, even in a record breaking heatwave –even the downpour that resulted in Tour winner Carlos Sastre warming his feet in front a roaring pub fire before lunch didn’t dampen our day out in the Trossachs.

It was back to our home roads of East Lothian and the Scottish Borders for the next batch of events and we headed to the delightful surroundings of Carberry Tower – which will host our recently announced performance camp next September – and the often overlooked road riding opportunities available so close to the capital city.

Carlos joined us once again for our final Scottish event of the year and he provided our guests with a fascinating insights into his storied career after a day out riding alongside them. Carlos is always a pleasure to ride with and although he claims not to be in the saddle as much these days, he still looks like he could pin a number on and return to the pro peloton without too much effort.

Our final engagement of the season saw us ride from a client’s HQ in central London to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a stone’s throw away from their Netherlands office. Over four days, the group worked their way through the lanes of Kent to the Channel before snaking up through France, Belgium and the Netherlands in amazing autumn sunshine. This trip formed the opening leg of a series of events that will see us criss-crossing Europe between the company’s many European bases.

If you’re interested in developing a cycling event for your organisation in 2019, then it’s not too late to get in touch and find out how Service Course can help forge stronger relationships with your team and clients with a truly bespoke cyclng experience - contact us.

We'd like to thank our guests, partners and the Service Course family for a great year - see you in 2019!