Despite the weather changing for the worse and the nights drawing in, it’s been a busy few weeks for the Club, with lots of club cycling activity and our AGM, plus a tour of Shropshire and representation in national championships.
White Peak Sportive
Stephen Kane and an adopted member of Congleton Cycle Club (Glasgow division) took part in the White Peak Sportive on the 13th October.
Stephen reports, the weather was appalling with high winds and pouring rain. This coupled with his heart rate edging above 200 every time he hit a bump, made for an extra challenging event. Especially as the ‘bumps’ took in some infamous categorised climbs at Curbar Gap and Crowdecote. In total Stephen and his riding buddy cycled over 84 miles with 9200 ft of climbing.
You might think this would have been a recipe for a miserable day out. Nothing could be further from the truth, Stephen’s heart rate eventually righted itself and whilst it was never sunny, it did at least stop raining for small periods of time. So the challenges just added to the sense of achievement. Stephen’s post ride comment “I can honestly think of no other pastime that can give such sublime enjoyment, even in extreme conditions. Or maybe the happiness just stemmed from being Scottish and having a perverse liking for rotten weather and being able to moan at my lot.”
Hilly Reliability Ride
Despite some pretty awful weather again, we had a good turnout for the hilly reliability ride on 20th October, with a mix of riders tackling a local course that took in climbs around Macclesfield Forest, Wincle and the Cloud in a 32 mile route with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing. This event had been postponed from earlier in the year due to poor weather, but we were not particularly lucky on this occasion either!
Whilst it clearly tested the legs for everyone, it also tested the map reading skills for some, which were found to be sadly lacking – cries of ‘you’re going the wrong way’ were levied at one group of riders, although they did tackle one of the hardest hills twice as a result of their map failings.
The changing seasons means its cyclo-cross time again and a couple of our time trial regulars tried their hand at bunch riding in mud at the weekend!
Mike Jones made his cyclo-cross debut on Saturday 26th October at Otterspool Park, Liverpool. 90 riders competed in a 45 minute veterans race, which was held over multiple laps of the park-based off-road circuit that included short steep banks to climb and descend, as well as ‘the spiral of doom’ circular maze that once in the middle of changed direction and required the riders to pedal back out! Mike finished a very respectable 51st place.
Pete Tatton also competed in the senior race, finishing 43 out of 55 riders.
Congleton Cycling Club Shropshire Tour
After all the preparation, at long last, what started as a casual thought became reality. It was Friday morning the 25th of October and our group were ready for the club tour to Shropshire. Eleven were going, four junior members Mark Allen, Joseph Langford, Tristan Roberts and Sam French and seven adults Denise and David Hurst, Dean Roberts, Roy Hayhurst, Mary Renshawe, John Cottrell (guest), and Richard Thomas (guest), carrying all their luggage on the back of their bikes. The youngest participant in the group being 15yrs old and the eldest 76yrs old.
The mileage on the first two days was about 55miles and on the third and final day approximately 65miles. The group cycled approx 180miles over 3 days and climbed approximately 3000metres.
A comment came back to say ‘we have had a fantastic time, great company, locations and routes. Couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to touring’. Denise already has the next tour in her head…
Being the third Saturday of the month (October 19th), 9 riders met at the Unicorn in West Heath for a short club run to Minshulls Garden Centre at Leighton near Crewe. Led by Georgina Norton, the group of Bev Hambleton, Bob Banner, Wayne Powell, Bill Boynton, Karen Bennett (guest), Peter Nelson Stephanie Cooke and Bob Norton, enjoyed a leisurely ride through the lanes in mild autumn conditions. They pedalled through Hassall Green, Winterley, Sydney and Coppenhall to reach the refreshment stop, before returning through Wimboldsley, Cledford Bridge and Brereton Heath for a round trip of 31 miles.
On Sunday, after seeing off the riders in the clubs Hilly Reliability ride, Bob and Georgina Norton were the only riders on the Sunday club run, which went to Dagfields Craft Centre near Wybunbury.
On Sunday Oct 27th, six riders enjoyed a trip to Market Drayton, led by Wayne Powell. Wayne had ridden the route the day before as well, to check out the cafes. Unfortunately all except Morrison’s Supermarket are closed on Sundays, so that we where they went. The others in the group were Stephen Kane, Bill Boynton, Karen and Mike Line and Bob Norton. In a blustery headwind, and sometimes wet conditions, the outward route took them through Alsager, Barthomley, Betley, Madeley (and Barr Hill), Woore and Norton in Hales.
At Market Drayton they had hoped to rendezvous with a club group returning from a YHA weekend in Shropshire but after spending over an hour in the cafe, had to leave without them. A mainly tailwind return through Audlem and back onto the outward route at Betley made for a rapid return to Congleton for a round trip distance of 65 miles.
National Hill Climb Championship
Elsewhere Nick Decker travelled to North Yorkshire to compete in the CTT National Hill Climb Championships. On a windy, cold and very wet day in the Arkengarthedale hills, the 2013 British Hill Climb Championships were held on the climb known as the Stang (held on Stang Lane) on the road to Barnard Castle. The 2.3 mile climb, like so many of the roads in the area, ramps up at 18% from the starting area to then drop and flatten a little before a series of drags to the top where it got steeper as the finish line approached.
Nick finished 83rd overall in a very respectable time of 10:02.3, on a hill which probably did not suit him. He could not ride his hill climb special lightweight fixed wheel bike, as the 2.3 mile climb had a variable gradient. Jonathan Poole, a second claim member, also rode. Riding for Ashley Touring Club he finished in 14:46.2. The Champion was Tejvan Pettinger of the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team in 7:57.7.
On Thursday Oct 24th the club held its Annual General Meeting to elect the club committee, set its subscriptions for 2014, and to receive reports on 2013 from its executive officers. Twenty two members attended the meeting. Club Chairman Bob Norton thanked all of the committee members for their contributions during the year, in particular Tony Elliott who was standing down after fifteen years as the clubs Treasurer and nine as the Membership Secretary. He was embarrassed by a round of applause. The meeting heard that the club membership had risen to 105 (86 in 2012), with a significant rise in its under 18 membership from 6 to 14. There have been increases in all areas of the clubs activities from racing to leisure rides. Bob summarised by saying “2013 was a year of continued growth in all aspects of the club, continuing the trend of the last few years. Activity, particularly racing activity, has increased significantly. Finances have increased, along with membership, and we are now in a very healthy position for the future”.
The officers elected for 2014 were:
|Vice Chairman||Rob Waghorn|
|SecretaryClub Runs Secretary||Denise HurstDenise Hurst|
|Membership Secretary||Sue Blake|
|Racing Secretary||Nick Decker|
|Social SecretaryWelfare Officer||Georgina NortonGeorgina Norton & Dean Roberts|
|Acting Press Secretary (for Peter Hayhurst)||Andy Farr|
|Clothing RepBritish Cycling Delegate||Wayne PowellWayne Powell|
|Mountain Bike Rep||Vacant|
|Under 18 Rep||Tristan Roberts|
|Web Master||David McVitie|
|Cycling Time Trial Delegate||Kelvin Milward|
The clubs President Tony Willis, and Vice Presidents, Mr S Sebire, Mrs K Biddulph, Mr R Little, Mr and Mrs B Wakefield, Mrs G McCargo and Mr B Fox, were all re elected. Regretfully two other VP’s Mrs Pat Roberts and Mr Bernard Biddulph passed away during 2013.
Bob Norton wishes to publish a correction to his report in the Chronicle on Oct 24th. As a teenager, Karen Line was a National Junior Champion at 10 miles, not just her club champion.
The Club meets every Thursday at 8.30 p.m. at the Rugby Club, Park Street, except for the first Thursday of the month where the venue is Beartown Tap. Anyone who would like to swap ideas and stories on all cycling topics is welcome to attend.