We had a large group out on the long run today, no doubt prompted by the imminence of the club weekend to Llanberis in two weeks’ time (eek!)
Jim led us out through Davenham and Swettenham to Congleton – an incident free ride other than Heather getting a puncture and Carol being told off by a farmer’s wife when she went behind a hedge at a pit stop (yes really!) Then through Congleton up the Bridestones climb and my goodness me we have some good climbers in the club. I decided not to show them up and did the decent thing by taking on the role of backmarker, and everyone was very good about waiting at the top of the hill – then a great descent, a fast ride alongside the Rudyard Reservoir and then left onto the lumpy, steeply-bumpy road to the cafe at Meerbrook.
Lunch was good but there was a long wait at the counter for everyone (fortunately not for Kev who’d sprinted in with Jim to the cafe) – then a team photo and we were off, up Gun Hill. I unselfishly backmarked again… then over to Wincle for the HORRIBLE steep climb up to the motel on the A54, exacerbated by the fact that it was greasy so our back wheels slipped when we tried to stand on our pedals.
We all enjoyed the descent to Sutton but there was a tractor cutting the hedge and the rest of our ride was marred by the resulting punctures. We ended up splitting up for the ride home, and Carol, Graham and I were grateful for some sterling time trialling from Stuart who allowed us to shelter behind him at a cracking pace of 20mph all the way from Gawsworth to Lach Dennis, leaving Carol and I to plead for mercy for the last 3 miles. My Garmin tells me we did 105km at an average of 24.9km/h (sorry it’s metric) and we climbed 1203 metres – hence feeling knackered now!
‘Twas a fabulous day out with good weather and excellent company – with me were Jim our valiant navigator, Kev, Graham, Carol, Heather, Ewart, Colin, Jeff, Stuart, Paul x 3, Phil, Alan K, Tony, Jamie, with Iain, Geoff and Howard competing for the honours on the climbs. Thanks everyone!