Merseyside DA Early Season Tourist Trial

For whatever reason this is the second time I’ve tried to write this article.
I’d promised Janet by way of Ray that I was going to take it easy on this ride after the Chester DA 50 Tourist Trial. Well I had to break my promise on the final leg. It turned out to be a truly memorable day.

The day started off with a drive out in sunshine to the memorial hall. It was really fresh and I didn’t realise how fresh it was untill the ride through the woods at the top of the road out. Back to the start. There were an lot of clubs riding this event on some serious machinery The Sunlight, North End, Team Dolan (Skem) Chester Tri Club and a lot more were all in evidence at the start. Carbon was everywhere.

On the first leg out we lost Cliff off the front. It was a fast descent on the rollercoaster section down to the A5104, allready some were going the wrong way at the junction. The section to Kinnerton was notable for how cold my fingers were. I was riding in a short sleeved jersey with arm warmers as it promised to be hot latter.

The section to Holt was all familiar stuff from Janets ride and we ended up passing 4 girls from the Chester Tri Club at Borras. Another small group were pondering the turn to Holt.hOn the straight to Holt I have a blast off the front to see what I’ve got in me today. Lots. 

We picked up a few others around Farndon and then we were making our way through the lanes to the first control point. Depending on your arrival time would make a big difference in the queue for the beans on toast.

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Got talking to the chap that owns this Colnago C40 it looks really nice in the flesh.

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I took these shots after we had strung the group out after the Beeston stop. I’d dropped off the front group and ended going all the way to the back to get these shots.

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Just checking out the back of the field to see how my riding partners Janet, Chris and Cliff were doing. They were hanging on(just).

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After I’d taken this shot and got my bike back there were about 30 of us all hanging around waiting for someone to lead off. By the look of it they were waiting for me or the Garmin to make a move. I’d headed out from the hall at a slow pace as the Sunlight guys wanted somebody else to take the lead but no one was having it. I looked back and it was a stunning sight to see so many behind me. The Garmin Edge had proved itself on the legs out by not getting me and those around me lost.

At a Tee junction by Tattenhall the Sunlight split the group again I see it happening and it takes a big effort in the big ring to bridge the gap I was really flying here having past about 20 riders to get back up with the front four. These lads are making a determined effort to drop the North End and they do it. They do an extra loop but it all comes back together at Fardon. There is a woman sitting outside the pub across the road from this junction and she was making a right racket. It must have been the sight of all those bare legs and a few of us wanted whatever she was drinking.

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It was a traffic light grand prix start at the bridge at the bottom of the hill.
I’m over first and make my way up the hill to the war memorial. On the road out the Sunlight start dishing it out to the North end again. I’m still in there but this is new territory for me. We’re going that quick we overshoot the turn. The Garmin says 2nd right so I retrace but not all do. Around the Green there are only 2 Sunlight 1 North End and me left. With perhaps another one hanging in there. Just before Higher Kinnerton the North Ender blows and within a couple of hundred metres he is gone.

We turn off for Penyfford and what is the final climb of the day.  Pacef8 finally blows on this climb. He’s put in a hell of a lot of work, I don’t know my limits yet so don’t yet realise there are limits to what others can do also. So then it was me and the chap from somewhere around Hale that had grabbed my wheel (A Sunlight rider).The gap was about 50-100 yards and thats how it stayed. The downhill section was a blast so much so that we missed the hall and went straight past it. Pacef8 was first through the door, I was second and we shook hands at the table. It was a trully memorable day, I’ve come such a long way in the last two years that it seems unreal at times.

This turned out to be fast company on the final leg.  It was an unbeleivable final leg home with speeds in the 23-25 mph range. I’ve got to admit I was impressed by the workrate of the Sunlight guys, they put one over the North End twice but at the end of the day I feel the CTC managed to get the better of them both.  I was second into the hall only because I and another Sunlight rider overshot the final destination on the final descent and ended up at the road junction a 100 yards on. The chaps in the Sunlight colours certainly knew how to put the hammer down.

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Allan,s Scott CR1 holding the rail up in this picture of the start. All the images on the blog are compressed for dialup users, if you want a copy of any image let me know.
Many thanks to the Merseyside DA for what was another excellent CTC event.
I haven’t had a bad ride yet. The route shows just how good it can be cycling in the Northwest.

If your a seasoned cyclist you can get a bit blase about the great routes that we ride, hopefully by putting the google map links in I can convince some of the others that come across a site like this by accident just how much they can get out of riding these great lanes.

A couple of you have expressed interest in the Garmin Edge 205/305, it doesn’t do maps but for logging your rides and navigating one off events it excells.  If you do get one I’d reccomend you do the Steve Cummings Training Ride that I’ve started to do.
It’s a 3 section 64 mile time trial for us mere mortals. The auto pause function of the Edge means you only count your riding time. So you do get a time for doing the route.
Two or three cake stops, Delamere Station Cafe, Eureka Cafe or Ness Gardens means you can do it any day of the week.

The route before I forget.

Link to Google map of ride.

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9 thoughts on “Merseyside DA Early Season Tourist Trial”

  1. Now you’ve cut your teeth with the CTC rides out, maybe it’s time to move up a gear and have a go with one of the clubs who ride at a faster pace. Reading the ride report of your ride out some weeks ago, i couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl who’s first time out it was, and on a mountain bike, i wondered if she ever returned? Ever thought of having a go at a time trial?

  2. Excellent right up mate, It was indeed me that did the major damage to the north end and i never thought about the rear end of the group at this point because we where in flight and loving it. I was still grinning hours later, I cann’t believe someone asked “who are the sunlight” i think he knows now.
    Many thanks for the gps work it was a big help, apart from the end bit which i knew, (and you didnt ha !!!)

    but we all know it was your day really
    we just did the work for you
    glad you enjoyed it.
    Day in lancashire this sunday, and cheshire cycleway mid june,
    your welcome to join us gps or not.

  3. Anon, I’ve been consious of the fact that we haven’t seen Catherine again. It was the first ride that I’d led and hadn’t bargained on a first timer coming out with us. The route home was altered to accomodate her as she was really feeling it towards the end. There was a chap from Frodsham that we haven’t seen again either and he was up for a good hill or two.

    Bear in mind that I’ve only been riding with a group since last August.

    I’ve developed a loyalty to the CTC that I don’t think I should forget. It was they that got me back to the level that I am now at. No one complains when I blast off up a climb, they are expecting it these days.

    Time Trials, maybe the next step for me. Judging by what I can do in a 45minute Spinning class a 10 mile TT shouldn’t be a problem.
    I’m up for everything these days, there seem very few limits a bloke thats has lost 50 Kg can do.

    Thanks for the comment.
    Regards,
    Frank.

  4. Thanks for the comment pacef8,
    it was a stunning day, I promised everybody I was going to take things easy, I lied. I nearly ended up on the bonnet of a car trying to take a picture of the front of the group, that’s why I went to the back.
    Two years ago I was riding with Terry Galvin on the Eureka 76 km ride. Life has improved 100 fold since then. Don’t think I can make this Sunday, but I’m looking at the Audax program too.

    The Steve Cummings Training rides are set to be a major feature of the site from now on. This is a magical solo ride for me. Basically ex 21 stone bloke rides Olympic Medalists Training Route.
    OK I’m dressed up in full Disco Channel colours but lifes a game when you are my age.

    Thanks for the ride it was an interesting insight in to how far you have to push yourself to the limit.

  5. Frank – one of the chaps posted your blog on our Chester Tri website, I was one of those 4 ‘girls’ – just wanted to say that it was the firt time we had done one of the rides and it was just brilliant – especially the encouragement from all of you that passed us! Fantastic training for our up and coming Ironman!

  6. I was the guy with the C40 whose bike you kindly mentioned (with photo). I was searching for Garmin 305 info and came across this blog. Didn’t realise that the site I’d got to was the blog of Frank who’d got me interested in the GPS on Sunday’s ride. A brilliant day out. I went with the Dolan gang from Beeston and managed to stay with them until the last hill before Penyffordd when my HRM told me I was at my limit (as well as my legs!). I’m off to Spain Saturday to ride the White Villages. Hope the Early Season CTC has got me fit for that. I’ll be buying a 305 when I get back.

  7. Hello Frank
    -this ride was the first of the season for me and noted your encouraging study of the clubs competetive edge– I tagged along with the (4!)north end members– laughed about the shouting woman at tattenhall! yes pint of that please!! chased the sunlight on the final leg but just couldnt get on the back of their group. Still i managed to keep a great pace with everyone else (some of the above!) until that last climb into Penyffordd where my head said slow down !This was where my fellow north end riders i had dropped finally caught and passed me !! darn it , more trainiong on hills maybe- or fact that i am just teetering on 17 stone! better get training for the wild wales can only relate to any sucessful weight loss programs!!

  8. Just to let you know I had a chat with you at the end and rode with the sunlight guys John & Gary. I cycled out from south Liverpool to the start via the tunnel and cycled back home over the bridge which clocked me up just over 140 miles. I was well surprised to still be holding a good pace to the end (21 mph), it shows you what you can do on a good day. Keep up the good work see you again on the road. Jon

  9. Thanks for the comment jon, reading it I feel like I only did half the event. The last stretch was something else, thats the last two CTC Tourist Trials where it has been flat out to the finish. What did surprise me was being able to bridge the gaps when they appeared. The one that was bridged by the level crossing was the hardest and I was going to ask if we should go past them. As it was the final climb sorted us all out. It was a great day out, if I have a few more anything like that one it will be a fantastic year.

    Frank.

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