Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Rollers 06 December 2016

Eight attended the rollers tonight, everyone riding 3x500m plus handicap. One PB improved upon (by me!), which was a surprise as the previous best time was set when the roller belts had been freshly replaced.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Rollers 29 November 2016

After the massive and overwhelming numbers last week (not) this week saw a return to some semblance of a decent turn out with ten riders, one time lord and Number Two club mascot.

Number One club mascot was unable to attend due to a recent meeting with a scalpel and so remained at home with assistant time lord Number Two.

Everyone rode three plus the handicap final.  Sadly no PBs this evening which we put down to the extreme cold...

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Rollers 15 November 2016

This week saw the first recorded attendance in the cellar of suffering by Alfred Horatio Mann and Betty Alice Mann aka club mascot 1 and club mascot 2.  No photographs exist of this momentous event as none were taken....

On the human front we had a decent turnout once again with 10 riders and 1 assistant time lord.

No records were broken at 500m but Victoria and Chris both managed to knock a chunk of time off their 1000m marks to gain PBs.  

Ian on his first attempt (he volunteered to do it) came in under the minute mark and I'm quite sure will PB at the distance next time he tries now he has an idea of how to pace the distance.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Rollers 8 November

The numbers in the cellar fell nearly as low as the outside temperature last night with only 4 riders to be overseen by the Clockster.  Using Tom's spreadsheet on his tablet it was possible to record everything without the need for paper.  We didn't run a handicap as everyone felt they'd done more than enough just turning out whilst their fellow Imps washed their collective hair.

No PBs were forthcoming and the results are below:

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Cheshire Safari from Two Perspectives - Part A - Chris Timson

A Cheshire Safari

Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean was introduced to Europe in around 1528 and eventually sold as a delicacy called ‘baked beans’ in Fortnum and Mason at the turn of the last century. Fortunately, this culinary delight is now available to us mortals around the regions and provides essential fuel for kids, the long distance cyclist and comedic stage entertainers such as Le Petomaine. Although, it is a common misconception that Joseph Pujol actually passed intestinal gas as part of his stage performance. But that is another story!

The Cheshire Safari Audax is one I’ve done before and provides the novelty highlight of cycling through the middle of Chester zoo. I’ve only done a handful of Audaxes and so elected to do the short one which is only a mere 160km. The course is also flat and passes through Tatton Park and lunch stops at the famous Eureka Café.

The bloody alarm went off at 5:45. What on earth was I thinking. It’s dark, cold and a Sunday morning so time to get up, quick breakfast and on the road to collect Paul who has had the luxury of another half hour in bed. He probably needs it though I thought, as he planned to do another 200k on the bike the day before. 

So bikes loaded on top of the car and first stop, the obligatory McDonalds for 2 breakfasts, just for Paul. He’s a growing lad don’t you know.

In no time, we arrived in Cheadle for the start. The car park was full to capacity and the riders for the 200k ‘long’ route had already set off into the freezing November air.

At the village Hall and greeted by the sound of 300 chirping Garmins confirmed we were at the start. We spotted Tom and Ian. Graham E had a puncture on the m62, in his car, so he was out as well as a few other imps were absent. 

Brevet grabbed, quick cuppa and off we went, and yes it’s cold. What are we doing here? Many of the locals looked like they’d been invaded with poor people on bicycles. A lot of the poor people seemed to have carbon frames, Garmins and electronic gears though. I don’t think you see many cyclists between the Bentley and Ferrari dealerships. Why would you? What, you actually pedal yourself!

First treat, and off the road and through the lovely Tatton Park. It’s rutting season says the warning notices. So groups of deer are all huddled around. It’s too cold for any of that nonsense but quite a few photographers were all at various vantage points trying to get that ‘money shot’. The deer seemed struck with stage fright and obviously wouldn’t perform particularly with hundreds of cyclists huffing and snurching their way through their ground

Suddenly a twanging sound from the rear wheel. Oh bugger. I’ve lost a plastic nut off my new mudguards and one of the plastic arms was playing a tune in my spokes. One zip tie later and we set off again although as every cyclist carries zips ties, very few carry snippers to cut the long ends off. With the bit sticking out, the remaining 78 miles looked like I was permanently turning left. 

It was a relief when Ian wanted to stop for a pee. I’d been bursting for the last 10 miles and we were averaging 20 mph with Cre at the front so a comfort break was restful. The only downside was getting cold again. At least it was still dry, apart from the area around the bush where I was standing.

Turning right onto Parkgate Road and past the Emu’s. Emus? Yes, I think that’s what I saw in a small enclosure just there. I think there were some Lamas and rare looking sheep in there as well but the Eureka café was just up the road so that’s where the attention was focused. 

At the famous café there must have been 250 bikes parked outside. Inside, there was probably 300 million baked beans and 20,000 loaves of bread. The queue was enormous and as we got to the door, I recognised a man on the photograph from 1978 who appeared to be just at the front at the till with an enormous beard, covered in cobwebs. We also caught up with David S and Richard W. I don’t think they’d been waiting that long.

While we queued, we all got the opportunity to view cycling accessories for sale. Healthily marked up to the captive audience. I can’t imagine buying a turbo trainer or spare bike from a cycling café but if anyone is ever passing and you’d forgotten your bike. They can sort you out providing you’re patient enough to wait a while. 

Anyway, the coffee was great. I wish I’d ordered two as it took so long for the beans on toast to arrive. Someone remarked that they only had one toaster which is probably true.

Back on the road and it’s still cold. We followed a dual carriageway for a couple of miles before turning left onto a quiet lane towards the zoo. A brisk pace and nicely warmed up again, we pass the elephant enclosure. 
“Oooh, an elephant”
“look, a camel”
“some kind of deer, or horse, no rhino, bear?”
“was that lion’s roar?”
“sorry, it’s my stomach, the beans”

Tada, that was it, apart from the squashed hedgehog or something on the road. Still, it’s not 
every day you see stuff like this on a bike.

Back along rolling countryside and through Delamere forest which seemed full of muddy mountain bikers. Very picturesque though and a nice change after the flat Cheshire countryside. Stopping again at great Budworth. A lovely place with homemade icecream and posh tea cups to slurp from. 

Nearly back now and the last stretch just as it got dark and the rain came. Up went the power at the front jet propelled by the beans and arrived back at Cheadle for hot soup and biccys. 

I’m always impressed how well organised these rides are and the time that people give to provide an enjoyable day. I’ll probably do this again next year. Great fun and great company.

Cheshire Safari from Two Perspectives - Part 1 - Ian Worth


Well I'd been looking forward to this ride for a few weeks & was fed up of keeping my fingers crossed for some nice weather as if there is any chance of rain I don't bother going out on a bike. I woke up at 05.45, showered, cleaned teeth, applied but cream & got dressed. Then ate a massive bowl of porridge before setting off in the car to drive to the start in Cheadle. I got down to Sowerby Bridge then realised that I had forgotten my cycling shoes so turned around to go get them. Finally made it to the start at Cheadle Village Hall, what a wonderful little town Cheadle is. Watched the hardy 200k riders setting off, saw several if them in shorts & thought it must have warmed up, got out of the car & decided that no it hadn't & that they must be either mad, stupid or just forgot to take leg warmers.

Collected my brevet & then met up with Tom Brabbin, Paul Cre & Chris Timson, no sign of Andrew Nicholas Mann. Chris Bullock & Chris Jones were doing the 200k so had already set off 30 minutes before us. The first half of the ride out to the Eureka Cafe was an absolute delight, almost pan flat with not too much wind & I must have dressed just about right as I neither felt too cold nor sweated one bit. A nice ride through Tatton Park where we saw numerous deers & stags, we thought it might be rutting season so decided to not get too close to the stags as most of them had some pretty impressive horns on them, David Saleem has some nice photos of them which he liked to show to innocent bystanders in the cafe.

We made quite impressive time after the park until myself & Chris could hold it no more & had to stop for a "comfort break", after finding a suitable gap in a hedge we both created a lot of steam in the cold air, although Chris took forever as he complained "it's so cold I can't find it." Fit for pedalling again we both caught up Tom & Paul taking turns on the front although Paul being Paul he spent more time than anyone in the wind. Got to the cafe, managed to park the bikes up then joined a lengthy queue to order beans on toast, coffees & cakes, these took nearly 45 minutes to arrive but the poor 3 young girls serving were rushed off their feet. I felt so sorry for them I even left a 50p tip which is unheard of for me. We managed to get a table with Dave & Richard Whitehead & had some pleasant banter with them. Apparently they were just passing through the area not knowing that there was an Audax ride on & decided to follow some people to see where they were going. As if!!

Feeling suitably refreshed we set off on the return leg, passing through the middle of Chester zoo where camels, deer, elephants & something black that I thought was a bear were seen. A very loud lion's roar could also be heard which was a bit offputting, must have been close to feeding time. Next stop was at an ice cream farm shop where only Paul decided to have ice cream, us others had coffees & cake to recharge the batteries. Through Delamere forest which was a rollercoaster road with the road going up & down for several miles, nothing too steep & we kept up a good pace. Went though a beautiful village which I can't remember the name of but it had a little cannon placed in a hole in a tree & Dave said it also had little people carved into it. I presume everyone in the village spoke English, not a big issue in site & no crime had been committed since 1765, probably apple scrumping.

It was only now about 25 miles or so to go but as always the last miles seem to take forever to complete & Richard was starting to feel it in his legs so Dave stayed with him whilst us 4 carried on at our usual pace. It was starting to get dark & a few spots of rain coming down so we just put heads down, arses up & finally got back to the start for some warming soup, bread & chocolate biccies. Met 2 Condors at the village hall, both from Keighley, Oakworth Steve & Andy who had done the 200K ride.

My write up probably doesn't do the ride justice, it was a very enjoyable 100 miles with very little climbing, good company, beautiful countryside & certainly put a smile on my face ( that is when I got in the car & got the heater on full blast). Might do the 200k ride next year.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Roller Results 1 November

Following his brief break to allow a return to Gallifrey for some R&R, the Time Lord once again resumed his place at the front with the Watch Phone of Time.

This week due to having partaken of an inhaler via a TUE exemption (BC Section 5 , Para 2, Dodgy Exemptions For Old Men) the Timelord himself returned to competetive riding without making too much of a hash of it, although admittedly his best time was the slowest of the six riders on the night...

Mr Graham Lloyd was actually in last place until his third ride which brought him a PB and took him well clear of Mr Mann whose inhaled vapours had by this time obviously worn off again.

Particular mention however must go to Mr Ian Scott who became the first ever rider in the cellars of suffering to gain a PB on each of his 3 rides. Fez, fez, fez!!!