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