Sunday, 8 November 2009

North Cheshire Clarion club run 8th Nov 2009

Metcheck had forecast a much better day than last weeks run with a temperature of 5'C that would feel more like 2'C owing to a moderate northern wind. With this in mind I came prepared for a cold run wearing 2 baselayers under a windtex type jacket under a boil-in-the-bag waterproof, a cap under my helmet and £5 Aldi gloves. On the day there was a bit of rain but not anything near the 2.6mm Metcheck had forecast for 9am - that's why the boil-in-the-bag waterproof, I had come prepared for the worst.

When I got my bike and all my gear out of the car I thought I had left my riding glasses at home seeing as they were no-where to be found although I was damned sure I had brought them... Still there was always the sunglasses from my car - totally unsuitable with dark lenses in the gloom of an autumn morning but better than mud and stuff in the eyes...

A good turn out of 12 NCC'ers at Stretton and at 9am we set off heading west for the cafe stop at the Summertrees tea rooms in Willington. On the run up to the cafe the weather wasn't too bad, not much in the way of wind just the usual winter crap on the roads - twigs, leaves, mud and cow/horse poo especially on the narrow back lanes of west Cheshire we traversed. Not much climbing or maybe there was but I've just gotten better at this lark and didn't notice it so much - just Acton Bridge, a few hills around Delamere and Little Leigh stick in my mind.

It was an uneventful ride to the tea rooms keeping a reasonable pace and with very few shouts of 'TAIL!!!' - we really are as a group getting fitter. Obviously there are some who have been playing this game a long time whereas some of us are old and decrepit such as moi and hearing the shout of 'TAIL!!!' is very nice to hear indeed on occasion. Myself generally when it comes to hills I take them at a nice slow pace and get overtaken by some, well mostly everyone :/ I get to the top but at a crawl, I defo need some hints and tips at hill climbing because I want to be up there with the fast boys...

At the tea rooms we had a nice bite to eat and come 11am with it being remembrance day we showed our respects with a minutes silence but just prior to 11am two ladies came in talking to the cashiers. When we became silent and still - all 12 of us, I could see them looking at us whispering and pointing amongst themselves wondering whats going on, we must have looked like something out of The Happening, normal and talking one minute, still and quiet the next - very eerie. It took them a few seconds to click and became silent themselves - they did apologise later.

After the cafe stop came a puncture, a few more hills and another puncture. The highlight of the day for me was seeing someone have a clipless moment, it's not funny I know but it's like hearing someone accidentally fart - it's funny but it shouldn't be and it creases me up every time. One moment he was upright, cycling very slowly waiting for the group to make a decision as to which way we were to go then all of a sudden 'TIMBER!!!' he's on the ground still clipped in - it's childishly hilarious to see it happen, although I really shouldn't laugh because I can't claim to be clipless moment free - It's happened to me twice with the first being the most embarrassing, I came to a T junction waiting to turn left only to be stopped from pulling out of the junction by white van man and then yes you guessed it I had forgotten to unclip before the junction so I slowly toppled onto the verge, I couldn't get my foot out in time to stop the fall. Highly highly embarrassing especially when I caught a glimpse of white van men laughing their socks off...

So all in all a good ride and a good route. When the weather improves this route will be glorious, I look forward to the time I can do this route with the heat on my back and wearing my proper shades which incidentally were in my car after all, hidden in plain view on the dashboard - what a numpty...

My Stats 39.4 miles - 2hrs 30 min - Av Speed 15.7 mph - 1624 ft climbing


  1. You write a really good blog Mark, that was really engaging to read. Keep it up! Phil

  2. Great read Mark....just the incentive I need to get back in the saddle!

  3. Thanks guys, your comments are greatly appreciated :)