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!