Saturday, 25 February 2012

A great "lumpy" loop of Cheshire!

Today was the first time in 6 weeks that the club riders joined the Team lads for a Saturday morning ride. The group was impressive with 20 of us blocking the pavement outside the shop before the off. It was great to have a chance to catch up with everyone after last weeks Ten Minutes of Hell. The agreement of everybody there was that it was a great event, and next year the field will be much bigger, and some of us may try some Ten mile TT's this season!

Before we left Dave, the coach, explained that as there were lots of abilities in the group, we would ride in pairs and take turns on the front, riding at the pace of the lead pair. This way everybody would have a chance to set the pace, but also have to put some effort in to keep up if the pace got faster. It was also agreed that we would not leave anyone stranded in Cheshire somewhere!

We headed out along familiar lanes, chatting and spinning the legs to get them warm, We were riding towards Elsmere Port through Little Sutton when the only incident of the day happened.
Riding in a big group is great, as you put in less effort when in the middle of the Peloton (the name used to describe a group of cyclists in a bunch!) and the miles seem to fly by. But there are some down sides, one is when you get dropped it is hard to get back on as you are on your own in no man's land, and secondly, you can not see any obstacles in the road. If you are following behind a peloton and see the riders frantically gesturing, pointing to the road, waving at the tarmac, or putting their hand behind their back they are telling each other what the road conditions are like. You may also hear shouts of  "HOLE" or "GRAVEL" or "S**T" if you are in a country lane near a stable.
Today one of the riders came upon a raised grid in the road which he tried to avoid, by bunny hopping, lifting both wheels off the ground and jumping over the obstacle. Unfortunately he landed awkwardly and fell, sliding along the road as we were at quite a pace. He decided that his ride for today was over and headed home, with another rider for support. I can report that he got home safely, a little battered and bruised, but should be ready to race next week.

The remaining 18 continued to the Shell Oil road, and managed to get all the way down it without seeing the infamous security guard! We continued on to Helsby, then Delemere, Tarporley, Beeston, Tattenhall, Waverton, Christleton and the outskirts of Chester, finding every hill along the way! We split from the Team riders here as one of the lads had to be back for work and they could ride fast together to drag each other home at pace.The remaining Club riders rode on to Eureka for a well deserved Coffee, and a Banana for me, and cake for every one else!  After the pit stop we headed up the Chester High road and back to the shop.

Regrouping at Beeston Castle

We didn't hang around at the shop today, as the ride took a bit longer than expected, and I had an excited son at home waiting to go and get his new Cycling Helmet!
It was great to ride with the whole group today, and also good to see that we are not that far off the Team pace, kind of!!

Dave gave us some great quotes today:
"Bunny Hops.....Just don't do them" discussing Alex's incident
"Loads of pot holes, this road is bad. Deal with it!" when he got fed up pointing out the obstacles
If I can get enough I may start a new "Zel says" page!

Today's ride details

As you can see from the widget at the top of the side bar, I am taking part in another charity bike ride this year. This time it is a  longer Challenge, From Loch Lomond to Loch Leven, 150 miles in 2 days. The ride is in aid of Asthma UK.
Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma. Please support us in our vision of "Control over asthma today, freedom from asthma tomorrow".

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