Report – March 25th 2012

Congleton Cycling Club’s chain of events

10th / 11th March: Good weather for March (cold to cool but dry)

MDTTA 10-mile TT on Chelford course: Peter Hayhurst was the club’s sole representative and became the club’s fastest TT rider of 2012 with 29.55 on this non-too-easy course. However, this did not prevent Barry Charlton, of Lyme Racing, posting a winning time of 21.52.

Club run to Elvis’s at Tarvin Sands, 67 miles: Georgina and Bob Norton, Denise and David Hurst, Stephen Kane, Wayne Powell, Doug Taylor and Peter Nelson (first section) chose the 65-mile reliability route to this popular café at Tarvin Sands, returning via Delamere, Davenham and Goostrey.

50k Goshawk Challenge MTB Race: Jamie Willets rode this event which is based in Wentwood forest in south Wales, and was 50km of great trails and packed in just under 6,000ft of climbing. He reports: “As a challenge ride there was no pressure to be racing and trying to sit as close to the front from the beginning. Working through from the mid pack at the start, the initial Climb up to the forest separated the riders out fairly well and allowed me to pass a fair number of people and not get caught at too many bottlenecks once on the trails in the forest. The course was very tacky due to heavy rain earlier in the week and had started to dry out well, but lead to areas where you had to pedal quite hard just to keep moving downhill. By the end I was a little concerned that my legs were going to drop off, as they were not liking all the climbing and cramp had become a major issue. Completing the 50km in 4hrs 15mins, I was a little disappointed as my pace was slower than expected and seeing a couple of the competitors for the upcoming 24hr UK champs riding well didn’t inspire much confidence.”

17th / 18th March: excellent weather (for March):

Social ride to plantation at Plumley, 32 miles: Georgina and Bob Norton, Bob Banner, Dave McVitie and Peter Nelson took to the lanes through Brereton, Middlewich and Byley and returned via Goostrey, Swettenham and Radnor Bank.

MDTTA 10-mile TT on Chelford course: Peter Hayhurst was, again, the club’s sole representative and was still the club’s “fastest TT rider of 2012” but his 32.12, on an easier day, was due to sore legs following heavy DIY. However, he did win the over-70 prize and scored his valuable Cheshire points. Sam Harrison (the youngster), 100% ME, posted a winning time of 20.25 – a course record.

Club run to Shire Horse Centre, Cotebrook: 55 miles. Only Bob Norton and David Hurst managed this ride via Davenham, Vale Royal, Oulton Park to Little Budworth Lake where they were attacked by a large dog which dashed out of a farm entrance. The dog owner appeared but instead of apologising, he defended the dogs “rights” to go on the road, unattended. Naturally, our members gave him their point of view but whether the owner will take any notice and prevent such happenings in future, remains to be seen.

Chelford Chicks (MDLCA) Shropshire Weekend: Gerry Goldsmith and Denise Hurst were the club’s representatives on this Ladies Tour motorised). They had a pleasant stay at Hopton Heath Chalets and enjoyed the company of the other seven ladies. Their Saturday ride was over (or around) Long Mynd and then Bishops Castle and Clun. The Sunday ride was to Ludlow and back on excellent roads — not too steep — so they enjoyed the beautiful scenery which was enhanced by the spring  flowers.

Spirthill four-hour training Enduro: Jamie Willetts reports: “I decided to enter this race after my poor performance the weekend before and thought that it would be another good training session. The course was approximately a 6km lap which has been built on a farm with two areas of woodland linked by riding around and through the hedges and fi elds joining the areas — a classic XC course. This was to be my last race outing before the 24hr UK champs and it turns out that I wasn’t the only one thinking of this. Jay Horton, current UK 12hr vets champion, was there to test his legs and force me to work hard to get a decent result. Things started well — Horton disappeared into the distance (as expected) and I was sat in the group of 2-4th and feeling good. Lap three took a turn for the worse — two front end crashes in 100m and then nearly a third down the steepest descent on the race. I felt my rim hit the ground over a bump and the tyre came off the rim. I managed to reseat the tyre but could not get it to reinflate fully on the trail so ran / rode back to the pits. Back on the bike but down to fifth — and about half a lap down on fourth — I pressed on hard and managed to create a stable gap back to the riders behind, but could not catch the riders ahead. Overall I was happy with the fifth place, as my legs felt like they were working well again, despite technical problems. With one more weekend of long training rides planned, the national 24-hour champs are rapidly approaching, it’s almost time to start tapering and recovering.”

24th / 25th March: perfect, summer- like weather.

Altrincham Ravens 25-mile TT, Chelford Course: Peter Hayhurst, the club’s sole representative (again), enjoyed the whole atmosphere (include ride to and from) and was pleased with his 1.12.40. The winner was Andy Wilkinson from Port Sunlight Wheelers with a storming 52.19, for his first event of the year. Due to the summer weather, the social aspect was a highlight, with many riders and supporters standing around in the sunshine, in groups chatting for ages.

Club run to Beeston Lock Café: Georgina Norton led this ride, with Bev Hambleton, David Hurst, Peter Nelson and Doug Taylor. They did a circular ride with a stop at Beeston Lock for lunch and another social stop at the Boot and Slipper in Wettenhall on the way back. The weather was glorious. The outward route was Swettenham, Goostrey, Lach Denis, Davenham, Whitegate, Little Budworth and Eaton. The return was via Bunbury, Wettenhall, Church Minshull, Middlewich, Brererton Heath.

Cheshire Cat Sportive, 75 + 106 mile versions: Stephen Kane and Mark Tilstone completed the long version in just over six hours, which included the Mow Cop Killer Mile, Blacky Bank up to the Bridestones, Rudyard to Meerbrook, then Gun Hill — plus many others. Of the 3,000 riders, about 2,000 rode from Congleton to Rudyard in one practically unbroken line and due to their 4 to 6mph climbing speed, with overtaking manoeuvres leading to 4-5 abreast, this caused much traffic congestion!

Roses to Ragby, 210K Audax: Denise Hurst enjoys this ride from Alfreton to Ragby, along the rolling lanes into Lincolnshire, stopping inthe  afternoon at the café opposite Newark Castle — altogether a pleasant 11 hours savouring the countryside, the weather and the company of 40 like-minded souls.

Chirk 210K Audax: Within 12 hours, Denise Hurst had started another long ride, this time the traditional one from Poynton, via Nantwich, Malpas and Overton, to Chirk where the riders enjoyed coffee and food sitting in the sunshine, before commencing the return route via Bangor-on-Dee, Holt / Farndon, then afternoon tea at the ice cream farm at attenhall and then the lanes via Church Minshull and Knutsford for another 11-hour day!

Future Events: On Sunday, 1st April, the club run is a 60-mile circular starting from Abergele (Pensarn sea front LL22 7PP) at 10am. Members will ride to Betwsy Coed then Conway and Llandudno and do a circuit of the Great Orme (optional) before returning to Abergele along the North Wales Coastal Path.

The club’s new website can be found at Members meet every Thursday at 8.30pm at Congleton Rugby Club, Park Street and welcome anyone who would like to swap ideas and stories on all cycling topics.