Monday, 9 July 2012

Liverpool Chester Liverpool (on the MTB)

I have completed the Liverpool Chester Liverpool challenge 90 mile bike ride for the last couple years, but as Mrs Palefish likes to point out, I have done it on my easy bike, and not entered into the spirit of the event and ridden a Mountain bike, like her and 70% of the other riders who take part every year. 
So, not liking to turn down a challenge, I agreed to ride this years 50 mile route on my Mountain Bike (a lot heavier, bouncier, and older than my road bike!)
Paul agreed to keep me company, and join me with Mrs Palefish, her friend Michelle and my old school friend Jason.
I have had my MTB for quite a while, and since taking up Road riding,I must admit that I have neglected it. So as a treat I took it to the Bike Shop in Moreton for a service and check over. They did a great job, as usual, and the bike rode as good as new.

We met at Palefish towers at 7 on Sunday morning, nothing unusual for me and Paul, but a bit of a shock for the others! I loaded the car with all the bikes and we headed off to Liverpool.

As we arrived at the start area at the mouth of the Birkenhead Tunnel the scale of this years event became apparent. There were over 3000 entries for the 19th edition of the ride. As we had already registered all we had to do was wait for the start, which took quite a while!

Ready to go.
The Queue!
Nearly there?

The first challenge of the ride is the Tunnel. As you may know I have had previous experience this year riding in the Tunnel when I took part in the Ten Minutes of hell Time trial. This was quite different, but still good fun. In fact, with the gearing on the MTB and the relaxed pace, the climb out of the tunnel didn't seem too bad!
Once out of the tunnel the route took us out through Rock Ferry and up to the Leaver Causeway and then on to the Familiar lanes we use for our club rides. 

Paul and Mrs Palefish
It didn't take long for Paul and I to settled into a nice pace and start to loose the others, which isn't a surprise as we do ride about 100 miles per week, and between Claire, Michelle and Jason I don't think they have ridden 100 meters between them since last years event! 

Paul and I got to the half way point in Chester and decided to stop for a brew and wait for the others. 
After a cup of tea and something to eat there was no sign of the others so we decided to set off again.

Paul with the MTB's
We met up with Claire and Michelle, who had decided not to come into the feed station, but to carry on and eat on the go, on the road into Great Sutton. We rode with them for a while and then headed off to find Jason. The going was a little tougher as there was a little headwind, made all the more noticeable as there is no chance of adopting an aero position on the bikes we were on! To be honest, the weather was fantastic. The forecast had not looked good, with rain threatened for the early stages, but it held off and the sun even came out to keep us company!
We met up with Jason near the Wirral Rugby Club, and he was still going well. We were now 12 miles from the end, and we decided to up the pace a bit. Once we were over the hill and on the way back into Birkenhead we upped the pace a little more and along Price St we were riding at a pace we would have been proud of on our road bikes!
For the final Tunnel run we decided to see how fast we could do it in! My half way point in the Ten Minutes of Hell Time trial was 6minutes so I thought maybe 8 or 9 minutes would be ok. I started a new lap on the Garmin at the point we started on the TT and went for it. There was a little more traffic than in Feb, but we speed into the darkness hoping not to get caught up by anyone. It didn't take long to get to the bottom, and then the mile climb out began. After 40 miles the legs were a little heavier than on the way out, but I pushed as big a gear as I could to keep the speed up and emerged into the light and checked my Garmin and was happy to see the elapsed time of 7.3 minutes. Not too bad on a heavy full suspension MTB after a 49 mile warm up!! Maybe if I do a TT again I should do it on this bike?

Once we had crossed the line and devoured our complementary drinks and Haribo we waited for the others.
First out was Jason..

Closely followed by Claire and Michelle...

As we waited for Michelle's Sister to finish I spotted Tim and a couple of the other Palefish CC lads finishing their 90 mile Challenge ride


Tim, Paul, Pete and Dave (PalefishCC)
Paul Jason Claire and Michelle Finished, Literally!

 I have to admit, Claire Michelle and Jason did really well seeing as they had not prepared in the best way. And now I have completed the ride on the MTB and met Mrs Palefish's challenge, they have decided to get road bikes and see if they can ride as quick as me and Paul! 

Liverpool Chester Liverpool Ride details

1 comment:

  1. OMG I can't believe I have featured in a blog!!! More to the point, I can't believe I found myself looking at bikes in Costco today... The challenge has been set Chris, you know what you have to do!