I hate hills!

Well ride number 2 is now complete, today was the Ron Sant Reliability Ride, a 45 mile loop run by the folks over at local cycling club Weaver Valley. The route started off in Tarporley and took in Burwardsley, Tilston, Hob Hill, right down to Whitewell and back up to Malpas, Egerton Green, and past Beeston and Peckforton Castle.

I personally thought, with the amount of clubs around the area, it would be busy, however only a handful of people turned up. After a glorious Sunday, we woke to a cold, foggy morning and off we set after a relaxed, friendly registration. Along with the miserable weather, I found it hard to get into a rhythm without the vibe and atmosphere of a normal ride at the start.

In the first hour and half, the ride took in numerous climbs and for the hardcore who attempted the 66 and 100 mile courses on the Cheshire Cat I'm sure it would be a breeze. I didn't. I hate hills, always have done. I'm currently loosing weight to make it easier, and the practising so far has seen me improve. Anyway, I got dropped by both a group and Brad, and was behind by a fair few miles. I was climbing well, I kept in the big ring comfortably, I just wasn't climbing fast enough and was getting out of breath pretty quickly. Something wasn't right and having been dropped and now everyone out of sight I stopped and removed my beanie from under my helmet. I've found out today that it's better to feel the chill than to protect from it. My performance totally changed and I managed to catch up with Brad. The second half from Malpas onwards was a lot flatter and I pushed on. I got a good rhythm and was flying along.

However it was from here that it all went wrong. As we registered we were told that there were 2 points which weren't signposted as they had run out of arrows when putting them out. One of the missing arrows was a right on to a main road which was easy to spot, the other however was at a junction to direct you back home, which was also part of the loop we had passed previously at the beginning. Unfortunately a couple of us took the wrong turning, going back round the loop again and ended up doing my own last quarter of the route back to Tarporley instead.

I was a bit disappointed by the turnout, the lack of numbers meant there wasn't the challenge of the chase of busier rides. Pretty much all of the riders that entered were Weaver Valley riders, I met a couple along the way and they were friendly. As with reliability challenges there wasn't a feedstop but the guys were friendly, it was good to do a challenging 45 miles non-stop and the ride took in some nice scenery. I'd recommend it.

Macclesfield Bikeathon 52 is next.

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