During last Sunday’s epic, only for the brave and strong ride, I became aware that my wheels were in need of attention. The relentless freezing rain had got in to the hubs and washed away the lubrication, replacing it with a screaming mouse sound effect so I was aware that work was needed in the form of new grease. You might have seen somewhere that I have had a bit of a cold and as a result of this I never had the gumption to get in the garage, strip the wheels and do the necessary work. Saturday morning 8.30 am, I went into the garage to find the front wheel rusted completely solid and rear wheel moving only with a great deal of help. Plan B required. It was lucky that several weeks ago I had given my summer bike the once over so it was just a matter of air in the tyres and away I went. What a difference a nice bike makes… made me feel like I had a half an ounce of ability. A complete fallacy I know.

So. Saturday before the weekend away on our bikes that several of us have planned. I joined Jim, Colin Walsh, Tim, Jules, Nick, Stuart and Geoff at the Rugby club. I had to endure many comments about my choice of bike before a general consensus that actually it would be really nice to get the summer bike out, it being a decent day and all.

We met Matt Ellis, Paul Handley and Colin Carthy at Davenham and rolled along without mishap towards Lower Peover, Goostrey and then Congleton. I was feeling pretty rough at Congleton and had strong thoughts of turning around but thought i’d give it just a bit longer. It turned out that Matt was the first to leave us, having an appointment in France with a plank, a mountain and some frozen rain.

Out of Congleton, up the lower slopes of The Cloud and it was Jim who put in the first dig of the day, getting a small gap up the steep slope before waiting to re-group at the Coach and Horses. We said goodbye to Paul at this point and our group of 9 carried along the undulating road which eventually joins the Macclesfield to Leek thoroughfare. There are a few up and down ramps along here which variously warm the legs and sharpen the senses quite nicely. At the main road it’s a left turn and 5 minutes to the Bosley crossroads. Right at the lights and it was noticeable the number of people taking on food and drink before tackling the Doonbaars. Jim, Geoff and Tim skipped up the road with the rest of us fighting the slopes in various states of distress. A general re-grouping took place at the Sutton crossroads before it was agreed we would next all be together at the cafe itself.

Turning right at the sharp turn by Algreave and Jim, Tim and me were together, Jim and I taking turns on the front. It’s a long slog of a climb, not too steep but fairly relentless. I was coping OK until Tim put in an effort, breaking up the rhythm, we got together and then he did the same thing again. Again we got together but at this point I needed a little breather and that 15 seconds was all it took for the gap to be opened and for the pair of them to slip away.

Being at the top of a hill, riders arriving at the cafe in ones and twos has the dubious benefit of no one having to queue. It’s a great little cafe, there are loads of ways to get to it and really should be on the list of destinations more often. During lunch I exposed the fact that i am not up to date with modern technology, mistaking Jim’s phone for his Garmin. Beyond that I also asked Geoff if he had been uphill. What can I say, I was tired.

Out of the cafe and it was decidedly chilly for the first 10 minutes on the Leek to Buxton road and then up the single track road over the hump at the top of the Cat and Fiddle.

Regrouping by the main road we then broke up pretty quickly again going down it in to Macclesfield. Jim, Jules and Me worked together, although I thought Jim was Colin and wondered why Jim was off the back. Half way down the hill and Colin (Jim) got a gap and Jules and Me could not get him back, me all the time marvelling at how strong Colin was. Quickly we were in to the centre of Macclesfield where I finally realised Colin was Jim and that Colin actually arrived a little bit afterwards. I hope that is all clear. A general regrouping took place here and I had a lie down.

Macclesfield, ‘the town of a thousand traffic lights’, was quickly cleared before the left turn at Broken Cross. Phil Booth’s nemesis was taken without crisis and we rode at a comfortable pace back the usual way home through Lower Withington and Goostrey. Jim turned off with me at Lach Dennis to get his 100 in. I had to return home double quick as we were having people over for dinner and there was a stove I needed to be chained to.

A really excellent day out, good company, nice weather and a challenging route for all. I was so pleased I did not turn around at Congleton as the legs and lungs eventually loosened up. See you next Saturday.

Ok, so start sheets just about finalised prior to next weeks Round 1! Look forward to seeing you all next week #bringthesunshine

This might sound like a daft question but the 10 TT on 3 May is for setting your handicap. Don't all riders who participated last year already have a handicap time? I understand that we all should turn up because otherwise there would only be a few newcomers who haven't already got a time. Also, we may be quicker now than we were last year. Just asking. ... ’Expand’’Hide’

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Can anyone shed any light on this,, ? I did a Zwift race tonight, started off ok in a bunch , then found myself alone for the entire race, crossed the line, but It didn't seem to end so I just warmed down a bit and ended my ride,,, ended up with a dnf, my ftp was 254 and power was 3.1 w/kg should have seen me reasonably well placed, I'm a bit baffled! ... ’Expand’’Hide’

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Heads up for tomorrow night, road closed at the bottom of Northwich road, says until tomorrow but we will need to check. ... ’Expand’’Hide’

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One of the 'must ride' races in the 2017 Cyclocross calendar takes place at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire on Saturday 8th July.

THE QUEEN VICTORIA CYCLOCROSS RACE is a truly unique off-road cycling event; sponsored by LUDGATE FINANCE and broadcast on SKY TV/VIRGIN Bike Channel it attracts over 300 riders from across the UK all competing over a course like no other.

With officials dressed in Victorian costumes and spectators enjoying traditional Victorian entertainment including barrel organs, steam engines and a funfair you would be forgiven for thinking this is all just an excuse for some summer fun – and for the spectators enjoying a real ale or two from the authentic Victorian pub it undoubtedly is.

But for the riders – this is serious stuff. It isn’t badged “Britain’s craziest bike race” for nothing. Entries are now open and the organisers are encouraging anyone to come and have a go, from novice riders to experienced cyclocross riders. Entrants can use either mountain bikes or cyclocross bikes, but prepare for a challenge! This is a tough off-road cycle race, for adult and junior competitors alike.

Each race takes in several laps of a gruelling circuit featuring pavements and cobbled streets, wooded trails, steep hills (including the ascent of the Hay Incline Plane) with riders having to carry their bike over several parts of the course. The event will also feature the Telford Balance Bike Championship.

Promoter Nick Jeggo said “We are delighted that once again we are receiving generous sponsorship from Ludgate Business Finance. The event has become one of the favourites on the Cyclocross calendar with people travelling from all over the country to take part. The event has grown year on year and we’re looking forward to an evening of family fun combined with top class cycling action”

Steve Grice Director of Ludgate Finance, himself a keen cyclist with Newport Shropshire Cycling Club said “ This is a great fun event, and we are very happy to be headline sponsor again, meaning it can be televised so more people can enjoy it. It’s a real have-a-go race for all comers”

Taking place at this World Heritage Site located in Shropshire’s beautiful Ironbridge Gorge there is much to enjoy for spectators and riders alike and with the town’s Victorian pub, traditional chip shop and café all open to provide refreshments a great family atmosphere is ensured.

Competitor Entry: cyclotours.co.uk/qvcx/race-entry/
Gates open 17:15, first race 18:00
Spectator Entrance fee: £4 (Children under 16 free - must be accompanied by an adult) for further information visit www.queenviccx.co.uk
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Upcoming Events

18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Gents 2-up
WVCC Club 10 TT – Gents 2-up
Apr 26 @ 18:30 – 21:00
  WVCC Club 10s 2017 – Gents 2-up A war up for this year’s TTs! For new riders, just come along and have a go. It’s all about you and the clock, and measuring your[...]
09:00 Ron Sant 106km Audax
Ron Sant 106km Audax
Apr 30 @ 09:00 – 16:04
Ron Sant 106km Audax @ Winnington Park Rugby Club | Hartford | United Kingdom
106km cycling event starting from Winnington Park Rugby Club, CW8 3AA. Controls at Eureka, plus 4 information controls. After an early climb over Mersey View this is a predominantly flat ride through Cheshire lanes. Passing[...]
18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Practice 10
WVCC Club 10 TT – Practice 10
May 3 @ 18:30 – 21:00
Practice 10 – a place to set your handicap for this year’s Guardian Cup The Guardian Cup is a season long competition based on a points system. The cup is awarded at the club dinner,[...]
10:00 MTB Dairi-Pak Borderlands Challe...
MTB Dairi-Pak Borderlands Challe...
May 6 @ 10:00
22 miles, charity event. Entry and details here. We usually try and start off in a pro-looking group, (but it never finishes like that!) at close to 10am.
19:30 Committee meeting
Committee meeting
May 9 @ 19:30 – 21:00
Longer run, at a steady pace.

Club meeting times

Sunday runs:

09:30 - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club - see calendar for updated start times (Most runs 10:00 during the winter months)

Tuesday evening (informal - usually a small gathering!)

20:00 onwards - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club

Wednesday runs:

10:00 - Hatchmere

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