Club runs discussion
We headed up north to Broadbottom yesterday. Thank you to Gordon for leading the fast group: Andrew Rowson, Andy W, Ant, Oliver, Dom, Rich and Dave R and thank you to my own travelling companions: Phil, Jons B & C, Andrew Rowe, Ben R, Roger, Steve P, Daves Harbottle and Halefellowwellmet, Fred, Huw, welcome home to Jonathan McEvoy, Mark E, Vinny and welcome the Wheelers to Chris Edwards who joined us at the café and rode the return leg with us. So 24 Wheelers in all, sadly no ladies this week for the first time since I don’t know when. My average speed home to home? 12.1 mph. Flat ride next week I reckon.
24 riders out yesterday for our first post-clocksgoback ride of 2016 to Hopley House, Wimboldsley, where several of us availed ourselves of the special offer of tea and cake for £2.99. The fast boys, who couldn't bear to leave for the flatlands without climbing to the Hanging Gate, were Paul H, James, Oliver, Rich, Ben R, Dave R and Gordon, while it was my pleasure to be joined by Joe Junior, Joe Senior, Andy W, Russell, Jon B, Phil, Daves Haley and Harbottle, Greg, Steve H, Matt R, Cath, Roger, Graham, Andy J and Dave T. I clocked 55 miles home to home (and yes I did go all the way up to the top of Mount Pex, just for old times' sake) at 14.0 mph. If you've not been out with us on one of these rides yet, you can see what fun we have by joining us next week.
Coming soon (next Saturday if it's not raining or the following one even if it is): the Geoff Stevenson Free Wheel Competition. See how far you can get (down a gentle hill) without pedaling. Yes, grown men and women actually do this and, I tell you what, it's great fun.
Will be a late call this week, depending on forecast. Flat if foul (perhaps Wheelock). Shortish hilly ride otherwise to the Roaches, and the Geoff Stevenson Free Wheel Competition after tea. Decision before 10pm Fri night. Watch this space.
Amended to avoid the muddy 'road' near the chapel known as the Swythamley Swamp. Thanks to Dave Higham for this one and for warning us of poor surfaces at the bottom of Gun Hill.
Road club run to Bagnall.
Here I am, later than ever (it's been trophy mania here at Wheelers HQ), with my report from last Saturday. 11 of us: Gordon, Eddie, me, Paul F, Mick, Roger, Dave Harb, Louis, Kev, Brian E and Darren, riding as one age-diverse group with riders aged from 17 to, allegedly, over 70. And they offered us pots of tea at Jacksons Garden Centre - a great improvement on the single mugs that have rather taken the edge off my previous visits. Eschewing the becoming charms of the calorie-laden carrot cake, I can report that low fat scones were the carbs of choice for this elite group of athletes, who coaxed me to achieve an average speed of um, er can't remember but I had a great time, thank you all for coming.
Geoff Stevenson Freewheel Competition 2016
Not been quite your year for racing? Missed that elusive PB in the time trial series? Never fear, you still have a chance of trophy glory. It's the big one this weekend: the Geoff Stevenson Freewheel Competition 2016, held as part of the Saturday road club run. How far can you get down a (long, gentle, quiet) slope without pedaling? The course is a closely guarded secret known only to those that have participated in the club's most fun competition since its inception in 2008 (it was previously the Geoff Stevenson Tourist Trial Trophy). Previous winners have been Mick O' C (twice), Mick Warren, Graham W, Brian R, Eddie, Cath and Greg.
Could it be you this year?
Route for the ride here:
The post-cafe atmosphere was tense as we assembled last Saturday high in the hills for surely the club's most fun competitive event, the Geoff Stevenson Freewheel Competition (see how far you can get without pedaling). A strong field included previous champions Graham W, Cath B, Brian R and two time winner Mick O' C, all hoping to repeat the glories of yesterday. It was not to be for, straight out of left field, unseeded rider Dave R took the laurels with a ride that definitively silenced the competition and the adoring crowds. Other riders patronising the Roaches Tea Rooms were Roger, Dave Har, Dave Hal, Andrew, me, Tim P, Fred, Phil, Ben, Paul H, Paul F, Matt R, Matt B, Russell, Andy W, James, Gordon, Rich and Darren, 24 of us in all (good thing too as I had told the cafe to expect 20 of us and Matt R and I took the last two seats). I clocked 4 hours riding, home to home, 45.83 miles at 11.4 mph. And yes, I was as rubbish as always in my one annual competitive event. But, hey, there's always next year. I intend to be there. And you?
Last Saturday's ride to Wheelock
Dave Harb, Louis, Tim P, Fred, Rob S, welcome back Simon R, Mick, welcome back Pete, me, Dave L and Phil. Fast group was Paul H, Rich, James, Gordon, Monica, Paul F and Ben, so 18 in all. The foggiest club run I have done in the 11 years I have been riding this ride. I did 45.6 miles at an average of 13.2 mph.
Two pairs of merino wool socks, winter boots, overshoes, ladies' merino wool tights, bib tights, shorts, two pairs of liner gloves, skiing gloves, three merino wool tops, winter jacket, gilet, skull cap, helmet. And that was just in the house. Thankfully it's now December and I can persuade Mrs C to turn the heating on.
I'm thinking flat, I'm thinking Anderton's Boat Lift, I'm thinking I must do the route tonight or tomorrow morning.
19 riders out yesterday although, sadly, freehub failure meant that one of us didn't actually make it out of South Park. 'Data Protection and Discretion' was a core module in my Ride Leadership NVQ and so I am unable to reveal the name of this unfortunate, but it is fair to say that they were in one of the following groups: John J, Dave Hal, Andrew, Andy B, Phil, Eddie, Steve P, Pete, welcome back Chrissy, welcome back Laura, Cath, Elliot and me or fast group Paul H, James, Rich, Andy W, Matt B and Ben and that they had driven to us from a spa town over the hill. I clocked 50 miles garage door to garage door at an average speed of 13.4 mph (so it wasn't me then, unless you think I pushed myself round the car park for 3.4531 hours).
This Saturday will be my last club run for a few weeks (doctor's orders) so we're going to my favourite cafe, the Craft Centre in Longnor. Just 35 miles, but it's going to be hilly.
Just how hard a ride can you fit into 35 miles? Harder than the one my group actually did on Saturday since a quick post-cafe risk assessment confirmed that the ascent of Hollinsclough Rake in the wet would be a trial too far (but that didn't stop Phil who did it anyway by himself). Others joining me, no less a hero each of them, were Warren, Greg, Mick, Brian R, Andy B, Andrew R, Rob F, Steve P and Cath, while the faster group or groups were Jon, Monica, Eddie, James, Paul H, Dave R, Gordon, Ben and Darren, so 20 of us out. I did 40 miles door-to-door at 10.7 mph, including through a monsoon as we came back into Sutton.
Paul and Darren will sort out some rides for you while I'm off. I'm keen to share the delights of planning, promoting and leading these rides next year so please let me know if you would like to have a go.
At the club's AGM in November I gave the following report on this ride for the year Oct 2015 - Sept 2016.
Saturday Road Club Run 2015-2016
• Total rides - 50 (cancelled one due to ice and no ride on Boxing Day)
• Total riders - 107
• Total riders new to this ride this year - 38
• Lady riders - 8
• Riders under 18 - 6
• Average attendance - 21 (over 38 rides analysed)
• Highest attendance - 37 (in two successive weeks in Feb and Mar)
• Lowest number reaching the café - 3 (sadly Simon’s last club run before his accident)
• Rode in one, two or three groups
• Cafes visited – 43 (including at least 9 times when different groups visited different cafes)
• Cafes new to me in the 11 years I’ve been coming on this ride - 14
• Cakes consumed - many
o Controlling large groups when Garmins mean that riders don’t need to wait for directions at every junction
o Finding cafes large enough to accommodate large numbers of riders
As this Saturday is Christmas Eve and people might want to be home a bit earlier than usual, I'm going to start the ride at 11:00.
Of course, if 13:00 suits you better then feel free to turn up at South Park then.
The weather looks like it's going to be ok (at the moment) so might do a slightly hilly ride, nothing too extreme.
I'll probably decide the destination on the day
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