Club runs discussion
Great to have 33 riders out on a Saturday in January, including five ladies again as well as three riders on their first Saturday club run with us and four on their second. Welcome to Paul A-J, Dominic, and Steve, and welcome back to Andrew R, Jack, Miles and Vicky. Supporting riders were: Eddie, Matt from Disley, Pete, Mike H, Roger, Daves W, Haley and Harbottle, Fred, Mick, Cath, Annick, Jo, Jill, me, Brian E, Dave R, Greg, John J, Phil B, Geoff W and Andy B with Paul leading a supercharged fast group of Matt B, James and Rich.
I really hope you’ll be able to join us next week when, weather permitting, we’re heading for the hills, probably to Longnor. Get ready Longnor, the cake-eaters are coming.
Sat Nav freaks please note I have amended the route after realising that I was about to lead you into territory best left to the Muddies.
If we have a massive turnout like last week and I hope that we do, I will suggest that an intermediate group goes to the Chestnut Centre, taking in some or all of the delights of Chinley Churn, The Wash and Long Hill. I might even plot such a route if I can stay awake.
Well I couldn’t persuade a quorate number to tackle my planned intermediate group, although Jo, Graham, Fred and Dominic (welcome back to week two Dominic) did divert up Chinley Churn and of course I imagine that Paul will have led the fast group of James, Rich, Andy W and Simon H around the entire Peak District as usual. Thank you to John J for stepping out of retirement to lead one group to the welcome charms of Morrison’s café. Great to see five ladies again on this ride: Annick, Jo, Cath, Vicky (welcome back to week three Vicky) and Jill.
An especially big welcome to Saturday Club Runs to Stephen Hughes and Luke Staniland, both aged 14 and both confident graduates of Mr Jackson’s Just a Ride. Welcome to the Wheelers to Jon Bale. Welcome back to Saturday to Andy Swindells after only six years. Welcome back to week two to Steve from Hazel Grove (last seen heading towards Long Hill with Eddie, Paul F and Dominic, while the rest of us headed home in two groups as directly or flatly as possible, avoiding the planned Cat n Fiddle route on account of the wind). Others were Oliver, Roger, Mick, Dave Haley, Phil, Greg, Andy J, Richard N and me, 30 riders in all. We count ‘em out on this ride and we count ‘em back in again.
Next week, 13 Feb, will be uppy (weather permitting) - possibly to Longnor. Then we'll have a gentle flat ride on 20 Feb, perhaps to Wheelock, so we're all fresh for that highlight of the Wheelers' calendar, the Barry Hyde Circuit of the Edge on Sun 21 Feb.
Never sampled this delightfully designed, but challenging, ride? I urge you to give it a go. Two versions available, normal and extreme. I'll volunteer to lead a normal group at Saturday club run (normal group) pace. Don't bother with the Garmin - it'll get confused by going up and down the same roads (yes I mean it, you'll have to come to find out what this is really like). Not sure your're up to it? Don''t worry - it's easy to abandon as you're never more than about five miles from Alderley Edge Hill (strange but true).
Ten brave souls defied the forecast and joined our 50-mile club run today. And it didn’t rain much for the first 28 miles, even not raining at all at times. Rain or not, I honestly cannot think of anything I would rather be doing on a Saturday afternoon (except of course responding to that long-awaited invitation from Claudia Schiffer). As if proof were needed, I took the time to look carefully at the faces of the shoppers in Knutsford’s King Street as we sped through, and have to report that not one of them looked in the slightest bit happy. In fact, nearly every one looked particularly unhappy. Retail therapy is a con – try cycling you lot.
Welcome back to week three to Kev Tang and welcome to your first Macclesfield Wheelers club run to Phil Cunningham - glad you made it to us at last after 40 years as a club cyclist. Other relatively new riders with us were Andrew R and Vicky, joining Mike C, Dave Haley, Greg, Simon H, Annick and me. Next week I hope the weather will be allow us to go to Longnor. If you don’t know where Longnor is, it’s uphill.
The forecast is light snow in the Peaks on Saturday so we're off down to Bagnall instead. Still a hilly ride but not as hilly as Longnor (which we shall have to leave for a later date). Do try and join us. If you've never sampled a club run before but are reasonably fit, then perhaps this is a good week to see what it's all about. I can guarantee some excellent company, some different countryside and a better afternoon than you could ever get at the Trafford Centre.
You can see the route through the link on the calendar, available through the home page, but here it is anyway:
34 people went clubbing with us today in three groups. Fast group: Paul H, James, Rich, Russell and Matt B the Younger. We split the remainder in the car park into slightly faster and slightly slower and this seemed to work well at any rate viz a viz café logistics, ie not all arriving at the same time and having to spend yonks queuing. Thank you to Phil C for leading the slightly faster group of nine on only his second club run with us. I trust that Colin, Fred, Mick, Dominic, Dave Haley, Jon Bale, Gordon and Graham W demonstrated their allegiance in the traditional Wheelers way by kneeling in homage in the mud of the café’s car park and refusing to let him pay for his own cake.
I led the remaining 19 riders to the café but fortunately had the ever-ready John J on hand again to guide us back on track after a Garmin malfunction turned us the wrong way early after tea (OK fess up it was my fault, must learn to actually look at the thing). Those 19 comprised four ladies - Annick, Cath, Vicky and Chairperson Jill; three Daves - Dave Higham (welcome back Dave after your horrible tumble in August), Dave Harbottle and welcome back after many years to Dave Thorp; a brace of young people - Robert Rowson aged 14 and welcome to Joe Thorp aged 12, both of whom rode extremely well and spent much of the ride at the front; three unrelated Jacksons - Pete, Andy and the aforementioned John; a brace from Hazel Grove - Eddie and Steve H; and five riders with as yet no discernible collective qualifications - Greg, Richard N, Andrew R, Phil B and me. If you’re keeping track, that’s only 33, but we were delighted to be caught by a late-starting Darren, who joined us at the café for long enough to scoff a cake in about 10 seconds flat and leave with the slightly faster group.
Great day, thank you for coming everyone.
I think I can say without fear of contraception that this afternoon was about as wet as I have ever been outside my bathroom or the 1963 Wallop School, Weybridge, Swimming Sports Day in which I won my only sporting medal, 2nd in the half-width (I am not making this up).
How blessed I was with no less than ten companions: Andy J, Andrew R, Mikes C and H, Vicky, Jo, Jill, Dave Haley, Dominic and Phil B. How wet we were! So wet that even the delights of Wheelock Hall could not entice everyone in, with a party of five heading straight back, leaving me to perform the ride leader's noble and ancient ceremony known as the 'Two Caker'.
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