To celebrate the club run returning to it’s 9.30 (booo = less sleep) Summer start time, Al put together a classic route to take the short run to Summertrees. A route steeped in heritage, created by a certain Terry Veal years ago which features every hill en-route including The Yeld and Chapel Lane (the hard way up – opposite to the Charity Ride hill climb competition later in the year).
Following last weekend’s venture to the Ice Cream everyone was ready for a day in the mountains. For me the build up started on Saturday when Derek Heine apprehended me in Northwich town centre. I was innocently taking some cash out when he tapped me on the shoulder. There we stood, outside Nationwide, man to man, eyeball to eyeball. Now OK, we didn’t talk about Sunday’s ride but I think deep down we both knew that Sunday’s ride would be difficult and the best man would win.
Despite a return to almost milder weather and sunshine (yes – it was back again this weekend) the turnout at the Legion was quieter than expected. That said, Kempy was taking part in his first road race at Audlem and Sid and Dennis had spent over 12 hours (yes over 12 hours) on the road on Saturday completing an Audax. A group of 20 headed out to Summertrees.
The route headed out through Weaverham, but not the normal way, we down Burrows Hill and up past Hartford Golf Club for the first climb of the day. From there we went up to Kingsley before heading up to The View at Frodsham. We rolled along, pulled by the fresh legs of Gaz T (congrats on baby Ethan!) and Craig Lee. From The View we then descended down to Moldsworth and into Kelsall village. Climbing through the village and then the Yeld. We did a loop back round and went pootling around for a bit before hitting Chapel Lane for a mountain top finish.
I’ve never been this way up Chapel Lane before. It was hard and it hurt. Now by this point I had been distanced, so out of the 5 riders that broke away, I don’t know who made it to the top first so you’ll have to look on the forum for that one.
At the cafe we had a great surprise with a visit from Max Taylor, back for a month from Aus. It was great to see him. After a lot of telling him how much of a wuss he is for not coping with our glorious Spring weather, we headed direct back home.
On the way home we had an intermediate sprint, I managed to beat Al “the cannon” Silver. As we recovered Gaz T and Graham Gregory attacked after the crossroads. It eventually came back together. Gregory concerned having been beaten by Wood two weeks on the run, took to dirty tactics; blocking the youngster in with Al Silver. Fortunately down the decent to Whitegate Hill Wood was able to break free to sit behind Gaz T. Gregory fought back at the start of the climb, but Wood slowed to overtake again around the outside.
An attack went halfway in, a new rider broke clear, but it was too early. We let him dangle there until eventually reeling him back in. Punching it into the big ring, and inspired by Cancellara in the Ronde, Wood took the sign by a few lengths from Gaz T.
It was a great day out on the bike, great to do some nice climbing with everyone really sticking together. A great day in the mountains and a good laugh as always. I’m away the next couple of weekends moving house so hopefully someone else will write this load of rubbish while I’m gone! Al – I’m handing over the lead sprint to you while I’m gone!