CTC Chester and North Wales 50 Mile Tourist Trial Sunday 16th March 2008

I rode this event last year and surprised myself by being first back. Now I wasn’t expecting the same this year far from it. I’ve had this nagging doubt that I’ve been overtraining probably just nerves as I had such a good year last year.

This year there were 108 entries which is a fair bit up on last year. I’m in the tenth group to go off which means the ones that started first have 50 minutes on us. Everybody seems to hate the climb straight out of the scouthut. It’s not that hard but it does sort everyone out right at the start.

I’ve got gear problems from the new chain I fitted last night, it’s jumping about all over the place and stuck in a low gear I end up going off the front with Phil from the Chester Road Club in tow. I’m just trying to gain a bit of time to sort it out.

Once at the top it’s big ring stuff to 5 ways and the Mile Road. Phil and I have started to pick off riders that started earlier as it’s still a fast pace. Chris is by the side of the road in a bus shelter fixing a puncture. He still has the hill at Marford to climb and hasn’t got much chance of catching his group.

Phil and I pick off a few more going to Borras and the first control. This gives me the chance to sort the gears out while Phil has his sheet signed. The next section to Farndon is fast and last year we had passed half the entry by this point. Not so this time as the field is larger and more spread out. Gave us time to sort ourselves out wile crossing the bridge. A good turn of speed over the bridge gives you momentum on the climb on the other side. The Edge is doing it’s job, Phil is having a few problems with his but he is riding off Ray’s route.

Next up we come across a group with Roy and Joan in it with Andy. There is a bit of banter as we are either slow or they are quicker as we had passed them by Farndon  run in last year. The control point had been moved a few miles along but it wasn’t a problem. That’s the trouble with GPS, it’s accurate to 9 feet, shift a control point and your buggered. This years ride went pretty well.

A bit further on after the second control point we latched on to Allans group. These are handy guys. One of them stuck with us. Phill lost something but we caught the other guy up .Next stop was  Overton and although we missed the turn the mileage was the same.

Signing in Bob is prompting me for a 3 and 1/2 hour finish time?. Hadn’t thought about it but it seemed do-able.

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Not too many pictures this year, the second one is Ray Guy and Martin at the serving hatch. Despite going like bats out of hell we had only managed to put ten minutes into them.The time is above them. We passed the couple on the tandem further down the road an they weren’t hanging around. The last one is of Phil, managed to stick with him most of the time when I wasn’t on the front he sure does know how to push.
The low battery warning on the camera started flashing so it got put away.

There were fairly strong headwinds on the way back with the next section to Bangor on Dee being strong due to it’s open nature.

Saw some other riders still riding to the control including Roy and Joan again.
Didn’t put the extra mile in this year as I had programmed in the turn to Farndon, last year I was heading off to Churton.

The run to Rosset was straight, exposed and could have been better once we had crossed the main road we came to a T junction where we had a wrong turn. The Edge soon showed it up and we only went off course by about 200 yards. With 3 miles to go it was worth looking at the ETA and as the pace was constant it proved very accurate. With a mile to go another pair of riders appeared on the horizon so the pace was upped. We needn’t have bothered as they wern’t on the ride.
At the scouthut it looks like the control wasn’t open as the door was closed. Going inside the control was open and the sheet duly signed. 3 hours 5 minutes for the 50 miles including the stop. Average speed 17.7 mph according to the Edge.

Rode home via the Eureka for another good day.

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