Report – February 13th 2012

Congleton Cycling Club’s Chain of Events

Saturday, 21st
January – Social Clubrun to Wheelock Farm

In dry but very windy conditions, Georgina Norton, Bev Hambleton, Bob
Banner, Peter Hayhurst and Pete Smith rode via Brownlow, Barthomley, Haslington
to Wheelock, where warm nourishment and the usual banter was greatly
appreciated. Bob Norton then joined us on the return route through Warmingham,
Cledford, Bradwall and Brereton.

Sunday, 22nd
January – 49-Mile Reliability Ride

A good turnout for the 1st Reliability Ride for 2012
on Sunday 22nd January, a total of 24 riders left for the 49 mile route into
strong winds on the open sections. A good grip was required to keep the bikes
going straight and all riders except one completed the route in time. There was
a good turnout from Leek Cycling with a total of 8 club members joining us.

Sunday, 29th January – Clubrun + MDTTA Annual
Lunch & Prize Presentation

Ten Members attended the MDTTA Lunch & Prize
Presentation in Middlewich. Georgina & Bob Norton, Denise & David Hurst
and Stephen Kane rode the clubrun, via Alsager, Weston and Haslington in calm,
dry but cold conditions and met other riders, Peter Hayhurst and Neil Skellern
at the venue and also Lynn & Edgar Reynolds and Peter Nelson (who came by
car in order to transport trophies and handbooks etc). The traditional hotpot
meal with selection of sweet desserts, was excellent. Derek Hodgins’ Organising
and MC functions were top-class and Brian Clayton’s acknowledgement of his
retirement award after many years’ service as President was quite touching. The
prize awards were dominated by Seamons C.C. and Wills Wheels. For our club,
this caused a bitter-sweet atmosphere, especially when Derek Hodgins paid
tribute to missing Karl Austin.

Thursday 2nd February – Beartown Trophy Presentation
/ Clubnight

Ian Burns, owner and “headbrewer” of Beartown Brewery,
presented his new trophy to Mike Harrison at the first February Clubnight
(Thursday, 2nd) which was held, as usual, at Beartown Tap. Twenty members
celebrated with Mike (winner for 3 consecutive years) and enjoyed Ian Burn’s
buffet and the variety of tasty Beartown Brews.

Saturday, 4th February
– Hit-the-North MTB + Cyclo Cross Race

Jamie Willetts opened his Racing Season with 277 other competitors!

He reported:

“This was a 2 hour, off-road race, based in Philips Park in Manchester open to any type
of bike, which meant racing mountain and cyclo-cross bikes, and a tandem! As my
first race of the season, I held no expectations and this was to be a shake
down for both my legs and new race bike. The course was a 3.8 mile lap
involving some steep bank and stair climbs which needed cyclo-cross skills and
lots of fun-bits of single track which really suited the mountain bikes – and
sheet ice on several of the corners and one of the main climbs which didn’t
suit anyone.”

“Starting towards the back of the field, my legs soon warmed up on the initial climb and
I started gaining places. The first lap was very much a sighting lap, and with
the normal bottle necks at technical sections it was a great way to learn the
course. Once I had a feel of the course and knew how hard I could push I
steadily worked my way through the field. The last 2 laps were probably the
most fun as the snow started to come down. By the time I was completing my
final lap, most of the course was covered in white and I was trying to remember
where all the ice was hiding, which led to a few sketchy moments”

“I completed 5 laps i n just over 2 hours – only one lap behind the winner, which
put me 88th out of 278 starters. I was a little surprised when the race was
over as I had quite a lot left in the tank, and made me feel that I should have
been pushing harder from the beginning, but let me know that there should be
better results later in the season.”

Thursday, 9th February
– Social / Competitive Ten-Pin Bowling Clubnight

Twenty Members trekked to Macclesfield (plus two to Crewe!) to enjoy 3 lanes of
bowling in a points competition – all organised by Pam Dean and Georgina
Norton. The result: 3rd place = Stephen Jackson; 2nd place
= Wayne Powell but 1st place went to Pam Dean! Now we know why she
was so keen to organise this event!

Sunday, 12th February – 65-mile Reliability Ride

This was the postponed event. The roads were now much safer but the freezing conditions
called for warm clothing and care in the misty lanes through Brereton and
Middlewich. The mist then cleared and the temperature became manageable through
Church Minshull and Utkinton, to Tarvin Sands and Ashton Hayes. The shaded,
hilly section through Delamere Forest to Hatchmere was full of road cyclists
and many mountain-bikers could be seen and heard in the forest. Thereafter, the
slightly higher temperature made for pleasant riding through Acton Bridge,
Comberbach, Great Budworth and Tabley. The cold, damp mist re-commenced at
Knutsford and the lanes through Over Peover, Bate Mill and Lower Withington
were wet and / or icy. Twenty five Members and Guests completed the ride and
were relieved to be greeted by excellent refreshments, served at the Rugby
Club, by Lorraine Powell and Mary Renshaw.

Future Events –

100-mile Reliability Ride on Sunday, 19th February

HQ is Rugby Club, with signing-on at 07.45 for 08.00 start (09.00 start for fast

Our new website:
The Club meets every
Thursday at 8.30pm at the Rugby Club, Park Street and welcomes anyone who would
like to swap ideas and stories on all cycling topics.