Friday: Took a trip out to Chester to look at bikes, wheels. Found out you can’t get a spare set of cadence magnets from Garmin. Will have to try a Cateye one for the crank.
Saturday: Watched the track cycling on Eurosport when I should have been out riding. Sorted out Facebook profile, I’ve added a new game only profile to stop everybody getting bombarded with Mafia Wars, FarmVille and Cafe World messages. The Toy is going to get it’s first airing on the Spring 50 Tourist Trial. The turbo tyre was taken off and the Conti put back on. A quick spin up the close had me thinking this is good and how am I going to better this.
Fridays trip to the Bike Factory had me looking at a £2700 bike with a 105 groupset on it. The more I looked the more it became apparent that manufacturers are slipping cheaper components into what should be topend bikes.
I should have stuck in some more miles on the Toy as the shifting was suspect on the ride Sunday.
Plotted the Course in BikeHike which is handy as it has an OS map window as well as the Google map plotting window.
Sunday: Ride day. It’s a busy Sunday in the North West with the clocks going forward and a lot of events running. The Egg Run, Liverpool half marathon, Cheshire Cat sportive and the Spring 50 Tourist Trial from Higher Kinnerton.
There is a record entry of around 150 riders going off in 10 minute intervals. I’m in the last group group 15 and it’s going to be hard to make up ground today.
Team Wallace and Grommit are in front of us and it’s going to hard to make up ground on these lads. Made our way to the start with The Northend and we were sent on our way. Well I would have if I had turned the Course on the 705 on, so I had a bit of ground to make up on what is possibly the worst part of the ride, the hill heading out of Kinnerton.
I’d caught up by the rail bridge and went off the front just after the dip and S bend. Heartrate on this part of the Course went up to 184 BPM which is as good as 100%.It was then a case of putting it in the big ring and pressing on. Got caught by the lights at Straight mile so what turned out to be Allans group had a minute on me again on a fast part of the course.
Fast is 42 mph, a bit beforehand I’d been chasing down what turned out to be a chap on a mountain bike. At Gresford I catch sight of Allans group and finally close in on them on the climb before Borras Road. There are good views overlooking the Cheshire Plane here with Beeston Castle in the distance.
Allan group didn’t give up and I ended up being lead out man for them on the straight stretch to Holt. The lights caught us on the bridge and we stayed together for a few miles. One of the guys was a strong rider who could power away from a junction eventually splitting the group around Tilston.
Eventually I came across the first control and there was a comment about my Etape number, which isn’t coming off by the way. The CTC do the Semaine Federal and Margaret leaves her number on so has had similar comments. Allans group arrive as I leave and as there are 4 of them it’ll be a few minutes before they will get through the control. I’m starting to pass the odd group or two now, coming across Keith Boarmans NorthEnd group.
On the section into Overton there are already riders returning to Kinnerton. In years past I’ve been one of the first through the doors at the stop. This year I’m greeted by a big queue for soup so decide to give it a miss.
I sit down with Trek Chris who is riding with Team Wallace and Grommit and finding the pace not what he’s used to after a winter layoff like most of us.
You need to get spanked once in a while to up the ante.
Leaving the hall it was a question of chasing down a group in the distance and latching on to one of the Chester groups. It all went well until the first climb after a quick run into Bangor on Dee. Shifting problems meant the chain was jumping sprockets and they were gone in a flash.
I then hooked up with Allan Negus and the chap he was riding with. His Etrex Legend trying to route him off course and then reclculating for him.
The chap he was riding with then suffered front mech problems and in te end he had to turn back for him. So I’m back on my lonesome.
The run from Holt was a bit rough with a sidewind and a surface that I hate, tarred and chipped about 3 or 4 times that gives a harsh ride even on carbon. I pass another two guys at Rosset and the come up on a group on the final section around the Green.
Here Team Wallace and Grommit come by me, well at least Chris and Allan did the rest having been shelled off the back. I tucked in as they made their was through about 8 to 10 riders. Chris is setting a fast pace and I eventually had to drop off as I started to cramp up in one leg.
Not much else to say, I had to go 10 metres past the finish gate to get the Garmin Course to complete with it’s little melody which isn’t too bad seeing it was quickly planned the night before.
The stats. 49.71 miles, 3 hours 3 minutes, 16.3 mph average. Max speed 43.6 mph 1786 ft of climbing but who know these days with a faulty Edge 705.
Chatted to Team Wallace and Grommit at the finish with comments bouncing around about team discipline. Headed back to the Eureka at a slower pace and had a chat with the Northend group I’d left at the start.
68 miles and it felt like it. Knew about it next day.
The shifting problems were a loose rear wheel and what looks like another worn wheel bearing.
See Stans comment about his Horseshoe Grimpeur, 2600 metres (not feet) of climbing.