Saturday, 7 September 2013

A lot can happen in a month!

The second anniversary of the blog has been and I have not had a chance to do any updates as we have moved, and our phone and internet provider decided it would be a good idea for us to have to wait a month to be reconnected to the outside world!!
Anyway, I am now back online, and can get back to the business of boring you with my ramblings.
It has been quite a year. the club has grown so fast, we now have 183 members and it is growing every week, we regularly have over 25 people on our evening rides and sometimes there can be 4 or 5 different rides over a weekend. I have also had more fantastic opportunities to indulge myself in my passion. 

To catch up on the last month I have compiled photo's of some of the rides the club members have been on. The great thing with Palefish CC is that people are getting more involved in organising rides, and entering sportives as groups, which takes a lot of pressure off me!  

Three of the biggest challenges club members have faced in the last month were the Wild Wales Challenge, the Ride with Brad and the Ride of the Roses. 

The Wild Wales challenge takes in some of the best scenery in north Wales, but at a price! 
Here is Darrens account of the event. 

Yesterday I completed the 2013 Wild Wales Challenge, said to be the second toughest Cycling Sportive in the country. Heading out of Bala in the fog with around 600 other riders, I was sure of two things; it was going to get sunnier, and it was going to get harder. The hills soon arrived with 1,000 feet climbed in the first 10 miles, only 9,000 feet to go! Breaking out of the fog presented stunning views of the Welsh countryside, blue sky and hills... lots of hills. The main climb of the day, "The Wall", started with a 17% gradient and maintained an average of 10% for two miles! And what goes up, must come down. Many of the descents were technical, on narrow roads with numerous cattle grids and gravel or even grass down the middle, although approaching the first check point I managed 44mph on a cracking stretch of wide open road. Riding through the pretty village of Tremadog and across The Cob in Porthmadog made the day even better. But the climbs just kept on coming, around every bend the road just ramped up even further... even the sections which looked flat were still uphill. Those hills took their toll on my legs, especially my right knee which was starting to object to the constant grinding of the pedals. Short stops provided a brief rest bite and allowed my heart rate settle back to a more reasonable level. On the last climb of the day we could see the road reach the summit and then drop down a cracking descent, only to realise that the route turned left before the descent and climb up even higher! The last 6 or 7 miles back into Bala were mostly downhill or flat and it was a relief to pass the Bala sign as we entered the village. It was a great day but a tough ride, certainly one to remember

Great roads on the Wild Wales Challenge
The reward for completing one of the toughest Sportives in the country
up up up!

I was hoping to take part in the Ride of the Roses, but unfortunately I had only just moved in to the new house, and I didn't have the time. There was a good Palefish representation there to tackle the 100 mile route including the challenging Trough of Bowland. It was a good day for Owen, Heather, Ken, Mark and John who all achieved their first 100 mile ride.

Palefish at the front of the group.

Ride of the Roses rest stop
Looking good after the 100 mile Ride of the roses
To prepare for all these challenging rides, the weekend club rides have mostly been going out into the hills of Wales.

On the way to Ponderosa
Palefish Road and MTB groups meet up at the Ponderosa
But we always manage a Cafe stop somewhere!!

The Shoal at the Ice Cream Farm
Steve also took part in the "Ride with Brad Sportive. Steve has been busy this year not only riding his bike but also raising money for charity.

At the finish of the "Ride with Brad " sportive
A couple of the lads also took on a local Time Trial. Wirral Mamil Sean (who I hold responsible for giving me the inspiration to start Palefish CC) has been training for TT's and posted on teh club page that he was doing the Willaston 5mile and invited Palefish CC members along. Paul, Phil S, Phil W, Ant Carl and Andy all had a go and thoroughly enjoyed it! I think there may be a few more takers next year when the season starts again.
Paul's first TT
Carl's first TT
As I mentioned earlier the club is growing weekly! A few weeks ago we had our biggest Thursday group out. We split into two groups, as I didn't think the other road users of Wirral would want to contend with the Palefish Pro Peloton!
Biggest Thursday night group!!

Finally, To start September off, Two of our new members, Father and Son team Alan and Ben road the Coast to Coast route in two days, had a day off then came out for a club ride on Thursday!! There is commitment for you.

The end of the C2C route.
So, with the internet back on, some of the moving boxes emptied and the bathroom and toilet knocked into one, I should hopefully be able to get back out on the bike and update the blog regularly!

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