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!