he Club was in mourning this month with the loss of our dear friend Ken Norbury. Ken was an avid supporter of the Club and would turn out and all weathers to take professional level photographs of riders participating in our Time Trials. His cheerful support by the roadside was always a huge motivator. Our sympathies are with Lesley, Ben, Lucy and Alan. The funeral at Toft’s Church near Knutsford job was well supported by Club members paying their respect to Ken and his family.
Ben Norbury (library photo by Ken Norbury)
Picture of Ben Norbury going well in time trials, following his recent injury and family loss.
Time trial Summary for April and 1st week May
The club had 5 riders in the Dukinfield 50, the first Cheshire 50 mile TT of 2017, yesterday. In cool, overcast conditions with a north easterly wind they were led home by Stephen Sladin in 2 hrs 6 mins and 36 secs, a new PB. Kelvin Milward finished in 2:08:03, Lee Wood 2:13:57, Duncan Poole 2:20:51(PB) and Polly Wilding 2:34:02 (road bike). Lee and Polly were competing in their first ever 50’s.
Despite the generally dry weather a couple of the events over the last month have been affected by distinctly northern icy blasts.
A stiff and cool north easterly wind hampered riders on the way back from the turn in this week’s Evening TT League event on the J2/1 at Chelford.
Ben Norbury made a comeback following a long layoff through a crash injury and family bereavement. He recorded a winning 21:33. It was like he had not been away. In second place was Philip Gleave with 22:55 and third was regular visitor Keith Dutton (Wills Wheels) in 23:06. Third best CCC rider was Steve Sladin with 23:43
The Ladies were led by Sue Blake with 28:27 from Janet Spires Alston 29:20 and Claire Thompson 29:35. The juniors were all guests from other clubs. Tobias Edwards was top with 23:29 from Matthew Braybrooke (Knutsford Tri Club) 24:32 and 13 year old Aaron Mansell (Lyme RC) 27:02.
The 10 mile TT at Gawsworth in decidedly wintery conditions. It was about 4 degrees with blustery showers.
Jack Schofield 21:30 was a fastest from Philip Gleave 22:45 (PB) and Keith Dutton 23:11 (Wills Wheels). Third club member was Mark Allen with 23:58.
Jack said he had done a 13 mile run earlier in the day! On Sunday he finished second in a Duathlon at Ludlow, breaking the course record for the 30 km bike section sandwiched between a 10 k and a 5 k run.
Best Junior was Tobias Edwards (Huddersfield Star Wheelers) for the second week running. His 23:59 beat Matthew Braybooke (Knutsford Tri club) 24:37 and James Brayford (Lyme RC) 25:18
Riding his first ever TT Jake Dooley (Coventry University) posted an excellent 26:01. Jake’s father Mark was one of the clubs fast men 20 years ago!
The second event in the 2017 Evening TT league had 32 starters on a fine evening. There was a bit of a fright before the event got underway, in that there were mobile roadworks on the course doing pothole repairs. In the event no riders were stopped so there were some excellent times. Jack Schofield was quickest in 21:31, from Jon White (Pro Vision) 22:19 and George Coghlan (Janus RC) 22:33. The next best Congleton riders were Phillip Gleave in 22:55 (a PB by nearly 2 minutes) and David Farrington on the comeback trail after a nasty accident last year with 23:34. The ladies race was won by Claire Thompson in 28:40 from Sue Blake 29:00 and Wendy Mansell (Lyme RC) in her first TT with 31:52. The junior racers were all visitors. Tobias Edwards (Huddersfield Star Wheelers came top in 23:37 from Andrew Burgess (Pro Vision) 23:56 (PB) and Matthew Braybrook (Knutsford Tri Club) 25:51.
There were 3 generations of the Mansell Family (Lyme RC) competing. As well as Wendy there was Mick 25:28, their 13 year old son Aaron 26:51 and grandfather Derek 29:28.
Club Run Events
Weekend of 8th May
Seven members partook in what was a distinctly hilly ride to Jackson’s garden centre at Bagnall. The hills started with a climb up the Cloud, followed by an ascent to Morridge Ridge which, according to Strava, reached 28.5% gradient. Club lead emphasises this percentage as he had the ignominy of wearing out his cleats by walking. A series of further short sharp hills made the sign for the garden centre extremely welcome with a total climb of over 3500 feet before we reached the cafe stop. We decided to take the easy way back and follow the N55 cycle lane from Stoke all the way back to Congleton.
Thirteen members enjoyed a 37 mile club run yesterday, with a stop after 21 miles at the Riverside Organic Farm, Whatcroft near Davenham, where we had reserved a table. On a warm day you can sit outside but it was not so warm again. Lovely tail wind on the way out. Instead we went via Bradwall and Sandbach instead of Middlewich, because of railway bridge works at Cledford.It was a circular ride returning through Lach Denis and Goostrey. Two are missing from the photo, as they did not stop at the café.
Weekend of April 30th
Thirteen of us turned up at the rugby club for a trip to Bunbury. Excellent weather, dry and warm, and even better, we set off with a strong tailwind for the first half of the ride. After we stopped at the cafe the group got whisked home due to strong tail wind. Tilly’s was pretty busy but we had a reserved table and the drinks and food arrived in remarkably quick time. One got back from the vet so that made twelve and one more joined for the trip home, back to thirteen. Now the same weather was not so excellent because we were heading into a strong headwind. We went slightly further than planned, probably about 104k, because a bridge was closed near Middlewich.
9 keen riders set off on a hilly ride yesterday, in overcast cool dry weather. Lots of hills, including Bosley Cloud, Langley, Coalpit Lane, Kerridge, under White Nancy, to struggle up, until a final length of canal delivered us to Clarence Mill. Cafe did us proud, but the reservation was essential.
A few more hills out of Prestbury, Birtles and then past Redesmere towards Lower Withington, Swettenham and then home.
Even with a few punctures and gear problems we were back in Congleton around 3pm.
A very ride but enjoyed by all.
Weekend of April 23rd
12 riders set off for the Whitegate Way Station Cafe in bright sunshine. There was a bit of a headwind but not enough to dampen our spirits. The cafe was slightly put out by our number and gave us a card with their phone number for future use. Perhaps it was because Jon Horne joined us there, boosting the numbers? It was warm enough to sit outside, though the breeze made it better to sit in the sun than in the shade. We returned along a dry Whitegate Way and, having managed to navigate the Middlewich housing estate without losing anybody, arrived back in Congleton is good style.
Weekend of April 17
Thirteen riders set off in sunny but cool weather. The original destination should have been the Radway Green Garden Centre, but they were unable to accommodate us. We decided instead to go to the Astbury Garden Centre, which was on our way back. There was a minor spill in Sandbach, but otherwise it was uneventful. Some riders split off before we reached the Garden Centre or didn’t stop, but nine were met by Bob, Jon, Dawn and Richard. After the usual refreshments and photo the group went their separate way. A good day all round.
The club had about 60 entries for its Hawkstone (135km) and Ironbridge (207 km) Audax rides on Easter Sunday. There were a lot of non-starters, probably put off by the weather forecast. Thankfully this was proved wrong, with most getting back in the dry. A stiff south westerly wind was behind the riders for the last 40 miles. It was good day out for all.
One Ironbridge rider had ridden from Sheffield to Congleton that morning, setting off at 3 a.m. for the 8 a.m. start. He was planning to ride back again after the event!
No photo’s on the rides (unless anyone else has some), but these were taken at the HQ. Thanks to Steve Dawson for organizing and the Georgina and Lesley for doing the very welcome refreshments.
Weekend of April 9th
The mercury topped 20 degrees again today which tempted eleven riders to start the Sunday Club Run. Before long though we were down to 9. An unfortunate “coming together” of two riders left one with bad gravel rash and another with a broken seat stay, requiring a rescue.
This, and a niggling head wind meant we were a bit late getting to the Lockside Café at Grindley Brook near Whitchurch, but we did get there via Barbridge, Wrenbury and No Mans Heath.
The headwind turned tail wind on the way home, so the return via Ash, Audlem and Alsager was easier. The ride was 74 miles.
What a great day. The Saturday Club Run to Cudmore Fisheries enjoyed some splendid weather. A cool start but up to 20 degree by lunchtime. The ride was 42 miles and 16 riders took part. There were a few climbs between Madeley, and Cudmore via Baldwin’s Gate, but no complaints about the route. The return was via Keele and Alsagers Bank to reach the Cheshire Plain again at Audley.
The photos were all take at the Cudmore Fishing Lakes, near Whitmore.
Weekend of April 2nd
A grand total of eleven riders set off for Stoneyford Cottage Gardens. We travelled out through Twemlow, Brine Fields, Little Leigh and up to Acton Bridge. From there a few miles along the lanes to the nursery and tea room. Fortunately, we’d warned them of our arrival so they’d reserved a table for us. They were also happy to provide beans on toast and bacon butties for those who wanted them. Hunger satisfied, we set off back home. Despite comments from certain quarters, the leaders did know where they were going, so we soon reached Church Minshull then the usual way back to Congleton.
Seven people turned up for the first of the medium length, steady Sunday rides. It was a perfect spring day and the group rode via Rudyard and Cheddleton for the lunch stop at a very busy Tittesworth Reservoir where it was nice to be able to sit outside in the sunshine for the first time this year. Afterwards 2 riders decided to take what they hoped would be an easier route home and the rest returned via Timbersbrook.
On St George’s Day, some of the club helped out at the Congleton Town Council St George’s Day Triathlon. The field of about 40 (some in teams) was headed by the Mayor Cllr. David Brown, who did the whole event solo. Other competitors were town councillors, town hall staff and friends. The objective was to promote physical activity in the town.
The club colours were worn by David Hurst in the event, whilst another 15 club volunteers officiated on the bike leg. Megan Giglia, club member and Paralympic Gold medallist from the 2016 Rio Paralympics was on hand the encourage Mayor Brown around the final lap pf the run, and to assist with the awards ceremony.
Last week, Stephanie Cooke gave a great presentation last night about her tour of Hebridean Island hopping tour in 2016. This was no 5 star luxury tour; it was wild camping on a budget of £5 per day to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research and a hospice in Ludlow. Stephanie had lots of interesting stories about characters she met along the way, and lots of stunning photographs. For the statisticians, she visited 20 islands, and hiked to the high points on almost all of them, cycled 650 miles and raised £1500. Thanks Steph, your hard work and endeavour were appreciated.
Roy and Stephen are planning a ride round the Cevennes in France in late August. If anyone is interested in joining, contact one of the above. They are following a route made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson’s book in his book, Travels with a Donkey.