It's an exciting time for us a club, exams are over, days are getting longer and warmer, and the racing season is only just around the corner. (Plus looking forward to the spring training camp!)
I lead the A ride on a 50 mile loop to Macclesfield (STRAVA), up the cat and fiddle climb, descending in to Buxton and then heading home. Overall it was an enjoyable ride, although it might have been to early to head in to the peaks, as nearly all of us froze on the descents, especially me, who optimistically chose not to wear my leggings!
The B riders did a flat ride out to Tatton Park (STRAVA) to get the legs working after the Christmas holidays. On the way back in, they took a selfie outside the homes4u, fallowfield branch, to enter into the weekly competition to win £60 of Nandos vouchers!
Written by William Adams
Apologies for the lack of a post from the weekend, it turned out to be relatively uneventful on the bike and hectic off it!
Armitage at 2pm. Weather forecast isn't the best, warm (12-14°C) but heavy showers apparently so pack a waterproof layer. Remember you also need food & drink, tubes, helmet mudguards (not essential but very appreciated) and front & rear lights (make sure they're charged!)
Because of the charity event going on on Thursday, we're keeping Wednesday relaxed, doing a quick spin out to Alderley Edge, up Wizard's hill and then back around the airport. ROUTE/GPX FILE (53km/33mi)
B riders are going in a similar direction but on different roads. ROUTE/GPX FILE (49km/31mi)
If you haven't seen anything yet don't worry, on Thursday we're (collectively) pedalling for 24 hours in support of our charity, Maggie's centres. You can sign up to either pedal with us (on your own bike on a turbo) or to help on the stand.
Any help, even an hour would be greatly appreciated by all of us, you can get more info and sign up hours on the event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1655908031324775/
If you can't help in person, but would like to donate, you can visit our JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/UMCCforMaggies/
Cheers, hopefully we'll see you tomorrow and Thursday/Friday!
24 HOUR PEDAL-THON FOR MAGGIE'S CENTRES
As some of you may have seen, next Thursday we will be pedalling for 24 hours continuously outside the student union for the cancer charity Maggie's (FB EVENT HERE). Maggie's provide practical, social and emotional support for cancer sufferers and their loved ones. They are currently in the process of building and additional 8 centres to the 15 they already have, with two planned at The Christie and in Oldham.
If you can come along and join us on the bikes then look for the posts on the FB event, you don't have to cycle either, it'll be nice to speak to some people to stave off the boredom! If you would like to make a donation then you can do so by visiting our JustGiving page below
On top of seeing us lot pedal away, you'll be able to have a go at our POWER challenge on a wattbike for a chance to win some Nandos vouchers courtesy of our sponsors Homes 4 U. So come along, give us and Maggie's some support and maybe you'll leave with some free chicken!
WEDNESDAY ROAD RIDES
With most of the A riders taking a well-deserved week off, we had a small group of only five of us going out on a pretty solid ride for a Wednesday. We headed out to Marple Bridge, where John O'Brien quickly discovered that he had a gear other than his big ring on the climb up Col du Mellor. After descending back down and fixing a slow puncture, we made our way around the loop of Chinley Churn. The first climb was up a steep road, covered in grit and mud, we then made our way over to the next ascent via some very narrow and twisty roads. After climbing up Onions hill (just as last week), we started climbing up to the far side of Brickworks where disaster struck and John O'Brien and Ed Penrose went over the top, descending down the other side. Luckily enough we managed to contact them and after flying down a soaking wet and busy Brickworks, we caught them in Bollington and started to make our way back through the traffic and pitch black back home. Without too much fuss, we all ended up back at the Armitage knackered and glad to be back!
On Thursday we had our first track session of the year. With a great turnout of 23 we met our new coach from British Cycling, Charlie Evans. He split us into three groups depending on how much time we'd spent on the track. The experienced group set off into their own groove with Charlie giving them pointers as they went through some exercises, while the intermediates began by riding individually before practicing some group-riding and some changeovers. Our beginner riders started by acquainting themselves with fixed gear riding and riding up and down the banking of a velodrome.
Don't worry if you missed your chance, we'll be revisiting lots of times, doesn't matter if you're a track newbie or Chris Hoy. Take a look at some of the photos below.
We'd like to give thanks to Joe Bennion for making this awesome video of the session!
Armitage at 10am, as usual, try and turn up on time, don't necessarily rely on the routes as weather/numbers dependent we change them.
Weather tomorrow is WET, it's going to be raining from 7:00AM until 1:00PM for everyone, regardless of elevation or location so make sure you have a good waterproof layer. Luckily enough it should still be warm ~14°C (thank you global warming) but you can still get cold surprisingly quickly if you're wet and standing around! Reminder that you'll need tubes, food & drink, helmet, mudguards and I'd also suggest a rear light as visibility can be poor.
Will is taking the A ride up Cat & Fiddle, though if the weather is truly terrible this may change. ROUTE/GPX FILE (92km/58mi)
Rhys is taking the B ride out on a loop of Dunham and Tatton park. ROUTE/GPX FILE (65km/40mi)
Phew, we've been doing so much, hopefully you've enjoyed reading. Keep an eye out for more updates about our 24 Hour pedalthon next Thursday and here's a reminder that you can donate here for a very worthwhile cause!
Armitage at 2pm. Same message as last time, especially A riders, we don't want to be having to wait until 10 past to leave!
Weather is very reasonable tomorrow, should be no rain or wind and around 12°C ! Remember your tubes, food and drink, helmet and an extra layer just in case!
Lights (front and rear) are both essential, and we do ask that you put mudguards on though it seems 90% have them already.
I will take an A ride out to New Mills via Marple, a loop of Chinley Churn, then climbing to the top of Brickworks (from the other side) going down it and back via Cheadle (lots of hills!). Route/GPX file here (76km/47mi)
Eleni will take the B ride on a flat loop of the airport. Route/GPX file here (55km/32mi)
Any questions then chuck myself or Eleni a message on FB!
With some great weather (for nearly November) we thought we may as well make the most of it and do some more climbing. While thinking of places to go riding I thought back to last year and remembered a horrendous ride we did in the November rain up a horrendous hill just outside Stoke-on-Trent called Mow Cop. Now this climb holds a special place in our hearts as one of those few hills where you just can't hold back, you've got to use pretty much all of your strength to just get up it. The worst stretch is along Top Station Road, where it stays at a relatively constant 28% as it passes the famous Cheshire View pub. We thought it'd be best to expose our newer riders to this before the cold made it too harsh.
The route out to Mow Cop is relatively flat and easy so our group of 11 powered along with a 20mph average without event and reached the bottom of the climb. Luckily enough the level-crossing barriers were up and John Brett launched off in an attack but he was immediately tailed by Will who kept him close for a while before overtaking after the set of bends at the bottom. After an oncoming van forced some of us to ride in the muddy and greasy verge for a a bit (not the easiest on a ~20% gradient!) we came out of the trees with the full view of the hill in front of us. It can be quite demoralising seeing another a few hundred metres until a vertical wall of tarmac but everyone dug deep and made their way up the hill. In retrospect I would've got better photos by stopping at the steep bit but, well, yeah.
After finishing the climb, we descended down the steep and twisting road on the far side and started to make our way back. With all of us fancying a cafe stop we went looking for one near our route and settled on Chapeau Cafe. After a quick coffee and cake (or a bacon sandwich and a caramel-syrup frothy latte in Tarn's case) we set off, deciding to bomb back along the A34 up to Alderley Edge. As we started, my knee began seizing and Alex's fatigue caught up with her so we formed the "hobble group" while Tarn and Will led a chain gang back, flying on the flat roads back into Manchester. Will kindly waited in Alderley Edge where we picked up another rider with a dodgy mudguard and slowly got back. Thanks to everyone for an awesome ride and for putting out a solid effort on Mow Cop!
Ollie and Rhys led out the B ride to the club favourite, Jodrell bank. It's great to see 14 riders on the B ride, especially as we go into November and the weather really starts to become a challenge! Rather than do a silly climb like the A riders, they decided to some some undulating Cheshire lanes. After going out though Wythenshawe and around Altrincham, they finally hit some quiet lanes without traffic and made some progress past Knutsford to their stop at Jodrell Bank.
After some coffee, cake and brownie, they got back on their bikes and rode towards Alderley Edge where they climbed up Artist's Lane and descended down Wizard's hill into the town. Without a single mishap they all got back home having enjoyed an awesome ride!
Dave took the mountain bikers to Stalybridge to do a loop of the trails there. All in all it was a 14 mile ride, climbing 2 peaks, one to the trig point above Stalybridge with a steep decent down to Walkerwood reservoir, where Dave went OTB (over-the-bars for roadies) and Nick also did some uncontrolled front flips. Dave had actually hurt himself in the process so Jake gave him a makeshift bandage/sling and he made his own way back to the train station. The second steep climb had 900ft of ascent up to Alphin trig point for a total of 1500 ft of climbing with well deserved views! They then descended back into Mosley, following the road back to stalybridge! Everyone managed to get a lift home, due to Dave having to leave early to get the train home! We'd like to thank Jake and Bede for driving everyone out and back, and Alex for volunteering to get the train out. Hopefully we'll see Dave back on a bike soon!
We've still got circuits going on tonight at 7:15pm with the Aim Physical guys at Manchester Grammar School, it's only £3 a session so come along if you want to develop some core strength!
We're heading over to the track on the 5th of November, if you want to go either look in the email again or message myself or Ollie Edwards on FB!
The committee have had a batch of the new kit arrive from Bodhi, we'll be wearing it on the rides so you have a chance to see it, you'll be able to order some soon!
There's also some MTB kit order in the works, so look out on the FB group!
Finally we also have some social kit (T-shirts, hoodies etc.) that will be available soon!
That's all for now folks, have a look on here tomorrow for Wednesday's road rides!
In a rare turn of events, we had a whole seven committee members out on the Wednesday ride (five on the A ride and two on the B), including honoured guest and MTB captain Dave Nobles. In preparation for the evening's plans we thought we should go and do some hills, especially as the weather wasn't half as bad as the forecast. Rhys decided to take the B ride on a similar route, but missing out the final two climbs of our route. After losing our first member almost immediately due to a broken cleat, we went out through Cheadle and hit our first incline at the Col du Lyme, where Gareth demonstrated his incredible ability to ride a bike in reverse down a hill. After rejoining, we hit the never-ending climb of the Brickworks, where Will once again set off and slaughtered us all.
After another regroup, we descended down into Whaley Bridge (where Will hit a pothole at some speed, resulting in a highly sketchy wobble). In Whaley Bridge, Gareth and Tarn departed the group and headed home while the rest of us continued onwards to the climb up Eccles Road. As we started climbing, we noticed Will wasn't with us, but we thought he's self-sufficient and quick enough, plus he knows the routes so we'll crack on up the hill. It was at the top that my phone rang, Will told me he'd snapped his chain and was in a bike shop getting a quick link put in so we'd catch him in Stockport on our return journey. One quick puncture repair and then we continued onto the last climb of the day, a narrow and steep road known as Onions Hill (I guess it brings tears to your eyes?). It soon became apparent who had tiny cassettes on as Torin and Joseph ground up the hill, but everyone put in a solid effort and we were soon heading down the other side (after a bit of tyre pumping and offroading by myself). Riding down the equally steep and narrow descent I saw a cyclist bombing it up the hill in a familiar red jersey... Will rejoined us and told me how he'd just spent £16 on having his quicklink fitted, when myself, Ollie and Torin had four sets of quicklinks and a chain tool between us. To quote Will "I literally paid for my own arrogance there". We turned onto the A6 and tried to blast it home but you'd never guess that we hit traffic at just gone 5pm going through Stockport. With a bit of filtering, we managed to catch up with Rhys' B ride and rode back as a big mix of various groups. It was at this point that somehow Ollie Ivens got lost all of half a mile from the Armitage but he made it back to end a very successful ride.
If you want to see a pretty interesting animation of the Will and the A & B rides splitting up and rejoining, have a look at this Strava flyby.
Numbers are staying up on the B ride with 10 people riding, including the famed MTB captain, David Nobles. Rhys's chain snapped pretty early on (Tom - Perhaps you should take up mountain biking?) - before Brickworks but after taking a link out all was good. James Hind showed us all how to do some acrobatics on the bike, resulting in a cracked frame but no injuries luckily. He managed to hobble back home with the rest of the B ride and we caught up with them in Stockport and rode back with them.
As a group we thought we'd unleash the greatest horror known to man, a swarm of Gareths. Will had prepared several masks (sadly he ran out printer credit after a dozen) for some of us to wear, and Georgia had somehow procured "11 of Gareth's most distinctive tops from his very helpful flatmate Dave. The selection includes low V neck T's, vests and Irish rugby shirts". Gareth proudly told us that one of the T-shirts was 12 years old and that "you would never tell". We walked into La Qila donning our masks and gaudy tops and joined the 32 others already there, making us 43 in total, hands down the biggest curry gathering we've had! After some incredibly average curry and naans we left for the SU where we all threw around some dangerous moves and Alex kept trying to make a tent out of his ghost costume.
We've had our first batch of new kit come in, you'll be able to see the committee members wearing it on rides and there will be a chance to order some for yourself very soon! We also had some photos taken alongside our sponsor Homes 4 U's new fleet of vehicles that we'll put up once we receive them! The kit is made by Bodhi and is absolutely top notch, it comes in three quality/price levels and there is a wide variety available including shorts, jerseys, jackets and bib tights. First order will be within three weeks, there'll also have a event in squirrels where you can come along and try stuff on. If you want some great kit and to represent the club then this is a must-buy!
SATURDAY ROAD RIDES
Meeting at the Armitage at 10am. Please try and get there on time, as the days get colder the willingness to hang around waiting for people gets less and less!
Was nice to see that most of you have you and your bikes prepared for weather, remember it's very easy to get cold in shorts and jersey waiting for someone's puncture so dress sensibly! Luckily enough, weather is mild and dry tomorrow (~12°C). Lastly: tubes, food & drink, helmet etc!
I will be taking the A ride down south to the lovely village of Mow Cop, it's a bit of a steep hill so if you haven't got yourself some easier gearing then now's your chance! GPX FILE HERE (100km/62mi)
Ollie will be taking you down to Jodrell Bank, with a probable cafe stop at Jodrell and then a quick reverse blast up Wizard's hill GPX FILE HERE (74km/46mi)
Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow morning!
So here's what's going on tomorrow:
Armitage at 2pm, you know the deal now.
It'll be wet when we set off tomorrow but should dry up around half way for the return journeys. Seems like you're all good at looking after yourselves but a quick reminder about tubes, food & drink, waterproof etc.
As the clocks went forward this weekend, it will now be getting DARK at 4:45pm so again, front and rear lights are essential!
We also ask that you put some (at least a rear one) mudguards on your bike, this is as much about letting the rider behind you see as it is keeping you dry/clean. Anyway enough of that.
We'll be going out to Whaley Bridge and doing some climbs around there (Brickworks, Eccles Rd and Onions Hill), route (65km/40mi) this will be a relatively hilly/fast ride and with the weather we won't want to be waiting around for ages...
Rhys will take the B ride on a similar but flatter route (Brickworks and Whaley Bridge but heading back) route (56km/35mi)
If you haven't seen it already, we're going for a curry at La Qila after the rides and then heading over to the SU, more details HERE
That's all, if we don't see you riding tomorrow hopefully we'll see you at the curry!
BUCS HILL CLIMB
This Saturday we sent six riders (and one Gareth) out to Sheffield to compete in the BUCS hill climb and got some great results! The climb chosen for the race was Curbar Gap, and is bit of a beast at a mile of 11% average. Our dear leader and president Will managed a brilliant 16th place, John Brett got 82nd with Ollie Wade finishing two places behind him in 84th and finally Lorenz came in 107th. The rest of the men's results can be seen here. Both of our female riders, Georgia and Alex put in solid efforts and finished 39th and 40th respectively. This a great start to the year and we hope to get some more results after some more hard winter training! You can see our results on this page
IN MORE IMPORTANT NEWS
Tarn and Dan rode their bikes out to the hill climb and got quite wet in the progress, thank you Tarn, your effort is recognised by everyone and your presence is always greatly appreciated. No doubt our riders would have come dead last without your support...
But seriously thanks to the both of them for cheering on our riders and also giving the competition a few more metres to cycle around them.
SATURDAY ROAD RIDES
Due to the BUCS hill climb and Rhys being a hardcore raver, I took the B ride out on Saturday instead. Rather than due the route that was originally planned, which would have involved climbing up Brickworks to be blasted by the cold wind and rain, we opted to stay low and just be blasted by the rain. I rocked up to the Armitage five minutes before kick off to find only newcomer Matt Perry stood under a tree. After a little while a few more had arrived but this was still a definite drop in numbers from the normal rides, which is fair considering the weather. However just as we go to set off, another four turned up, soon followed by another four. With a full complement of 14 riders we rode through Handforth to Alderley Edge, up Wizard's and then back via Mobberley. It was soaking wet the entire time, with some torrential showers along the way, but everyone kept plugging away in good spirits!
Will took the A riders out on Sunday after competing at the hill climb (and celebrating afterwards). Rather than taking one of the usual rides going south or east he took the group north to the rarely-visited lands of Calderdale. They smashed the whole ride, even though Jake punctured only one minute after setting off and Will had to refuel at Lidl with some caramel waffles and jelly babies (too much booze kids!), despite this he still managed to get accused Cancellara-style of mechanical doping by Joss.
In classic MTB fashion, we arrived at Wharnecliffe to find out the race was on Sunday! Never mind, werode through the rain in the morning which was a bit of a drag but the afternoon was awesome. AJ only had a front brake (AJ having a bike problem? Really?) Luckily enough, Kalil left his bag in Sheffield making a great excuse to go back to race on Sunday. The weather was great on Sunday, met up with Sheffield Hallam, Liverpool and Sheffield Uni to race! We did a few practice runs and then went to ride some other trails in the woods. Turns out Sheffield Hallam called off the event because they thought we'd gone home! Doesn't matter, we rode all day til 5 never managed to find Kalils bag. We were all shattered from 2 days of riding and woke up Monday morning more tired than Friday afternoon, a pretty good weekend of riding.
Looks like we've had a good weekend all round!
I'll post later today with plans for the Wednesday road rides as well as more about the curry social that night so keep an eye out!
Just a brief summary of Wednesday's road rides here, as for once they were relatively uneventful:
WEDNESDAY A RIDE
With some crap weather, we decided to stay low on a big loop out to the far side of Knutsford. Despite Joss deciding to get a puncture just as we shout to set off, Tom Hodgson getting two punctures and Gareth nearly destroying a car in a head-on collision, we made good progress, developed some group riding skills and showed some of the newer members what cycling up North is often like.
WEDNESDAY B RIDE
As ever, we had a good turn out despite the wet weather with about 14-15 people. It was a pretty flat route but we kept a good pace, we were making good time so decided to have a quick cafe stop at the club favourite: Quirkeee cafe. Another faff free ride apart from one crash (Josh Fernandes) due to the wet road. From what I can see, the highlight of this ride was meeting the two pugs in the cafe.
The MTBers are going out to Wharnecliffe Woods near Sheffield this Saturday to race DH, ride the other trails there and heckle/support our riders. Meeting is at the Armitage at 9am sharp, there are spaces still available potentially so check out Dave's post on the XC FB group, you need to be signed up to get there!
BUCS HILL CLIMB
So the first BUCS competition of the year is this Saturday with the hill climb up Cubar Gap near Sheffield. We've got two girls and four guys entering and we're looking for some decent results! We'll give you an update as soon as possible on how we do!
We're having a curry and then heading out the SU next Wednesday, have a look on either of the FB groups for more details!
SATURDAY/SUNDAY ROAD RIDES
Due to the BUCS hill climb and other commitments, we're moving the A ride to SUNDAY, feel free to join the B ride on Saturday but the pace will be more relaxed and the route less hilly.
Weather on Saturday is expected to be wet but not too windy or cold (~10°C) while Sunday will be drier and warmer. Another reminder to bring light (a rear light is useful even in the daytime through Autumn/Winter), tubes (that are the correct size), a waterproof layer (especially for the Saturday B ride) and food & drink.
William will take the A ride out on SUNDAY meeting at the Armitage at 10am going north of Manchester on the Cragg Vale Loop (99km/61mi)
I will take the B ride out on SATURDAY meeting at the Armitage at 10am, we will go up Brickworks and back via Marple Bridge (60km/37mi) there is strong chance of a cafe stop however if the weather is awful we may just head straight back.
Hope you enjoy this weekend's riding!
Meet at 2pm at the Armitage. You need to bring lights (front and rear), tubes, drink, food and a spare layer. Another thing we always recommend carrying on you is some money (about £10) or a card, you never know when you might have to buy a train ticket home, food or even to get your bike fixed! Weather is getting more autumn-like with a chance of rain and a light breeze though temperature is around 12°C.
Ollie and I will be take the A-ride on a flat but long(ish) and fast route out to the far side of Knutsford: Route (83km/51mi)
Oliver will lead the B-ride out towards Alderley Edge and Mobberley: Route (54km/33mi)
William is taking the C-ride to Middlewood through Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme:Route (45km/28mi)
Last but not least, we're planning a curry social/AU night out for next Wednesday so look out for more posts about that!