Sunday, 27 September 2009

September club run

Septembers MCC club run had a good following including 2 guest (potential new members?) riders - myself, Paul, Simon (crimmy),and Joe being the members and Joby and Chris being the guests. Gaz came along for a smidge of the ride, but had to head to a family thing so couldn't complete the ride sadly.I was leading this ride, but had managed to leave my dongle with the route map on it at my parents so relied on memory except for the added bits that I'd either not ridden before or had only ridden once therefore my memory wasn't overly clear on the route. Joby and Chris had kindly put the route onto their Garmin units.After everyone met up at the Velo and Joby's monkey had his picture taken at the entrance (it was his daughter Lily's request that the monkey come out with us) we set off out across Ashton Old Rd, Hyde Rd and Stockport Rd to head past the Bike Docs and out through Rusholme and Didsbury and on to Wythenshawe Park where the route followed that of the Manchester 100 that myself, Joby and Chris had done at the beginning of this month (Chris being the braver of us as he did the 100 mile route): alongside the park, onto Shaftsbury Ave and then through Hale before turning off at Ashley to get onto the lovely long drag of Ashley Rd to the entrance of Tatton Park where we had lunch.

After stuffing our faces and refilling bottles we set off back to the Rostherne entrance of the park turning left to head into Knutsford. At this point my memory was a blank and the boys' Garmins had also gone rather wrong as they'd directed us the wrong way down a one way street! A bit of hike-a-bike was called for before mounting again and setting off on our merry way along Mobberley Rd, where I was surprised to find the lay-by void of the snack van that is normally tucked away there.

Joby tried to send us the wrong way but we managed to find the right turning and headed along Broad Oak Lane and another Mobberley Rd back into Ashley. The route diverted off again onto a bit I haven't ridden before and, again, the boys' Garmins gave up the ghost as they claimed we'd gone way off course. We hadn't though as myself and Chris were discussing whether to come this route or not due to a sharp hill out this way.The road swooped around between fields before a sign actually warned us of the descent that we knew we had to go down before getting the same gradient back up the other side - a lovely 11%er. Fab! I took the lead down the descent before Joby came tear-arsing alongside me and he got the head start up the hill. I was on his tail and Chris was on mine. I told Chris to go round me as I was quite happy to just pootle my way up this one - I didn't want to risk hurting the pelvis so chose not to really attack it. Soon a dark blur and a hum passed by as Simon just shot by. He really does make climbs look so bloody easy. No prizes for guessing who'll be winning the club hill climb this year then!

Once over the top we waited for Paul and Joe to catch us up before going for the death-defying right turn onto Wilsmlow Rd and under Ringway runways (sadly no planes were taking off as we did so - the sight of then travelling across the road is awesome. They're so bloody massive!!). Joby had the time of his life in the tunnels; he really has no life by the sound of it! Myself and Simon were bombing it through there, tucked up and ripping the road to shreds.

Then came the first of a few off-road jaunts, complete with groans and moans from the boys (except Paul as he knew what was coming) as we got onto the Orbital Cycleway: a path alongside the runway fencing that is made up of gravel varying in size from dust to big chunks of rock. The boys were whining, but myself and Paul ripped away from the group as we'd had the advantage of riding on this stuff before and had the handling skills to cope with our speed.

Onto Styal Rd and once through the traffic lights at Ringway Rd, I opened up the gears, tucked up and blasted away from the group. Simon caught up and tried to be my pacer (or tried out-gunning me), but as he was gaining speed, so was I and ended up overlapping his wheel a little, so his pacing for me went a little wrong. Soon I was overtaking him and was his pacer, but I think I was leaving him behind a little. We eased up and a breathless Joby caught us up stating defiantly that he needs to get into training for the club track champs in December. I think he wasn't expecting the burst of speed from myself and Simon, nor expecting us to maintain it for so long. That and he absolutely hates people going faster than him!! Chris left us at this point as he lived nearby.

Back in Northenden and we cut through the back lanes to get to Chorlton Water Park for a loo stop and to ease any tired legs a little before getting back onto Wilsmlow Rd and onto the Fallowfield Loop in Fallowfield (funnily enough). As the boys hadn't been on here before I added this part to the ride to give them a taste of something different - and they loved it. Well, Joby and Simon did, dunno bout the others. After coming to the aid of 2 damsels in distress who needed a bike pump (mine came to the rescue), Joby's monkey came out again for a photo shoot (the girls looking rather embarrassed about it, but took it all in good humour), we continued on until we reached the end of the trail; well, as far as we were going on it anyhow.

A quick jaunt through Abbey Hey and Openshaw and Joby was leaving us to get the extra mile sin to make it officially the longest ride he's ever done, and myself, Paul, Simon and Joe were turning off to go our separate ways too: Joe and Simon had the fun of Berry Brow to climb, but seeing as Simon had been out on the bike since stupid o'clock another hill wasn't exactly gonna stop him!

Stats -
Lovely day, cloudy and a little chilly but not too bad.
Miles: 48.7
Average speed: 14.3mph
Average speed for the sprinting: 28/29mph
Climbed: 1091ft


  1. I appreciate the invite today - absolutely loved it!

    Didn't realise Simon was a member...

    [runs off to change his blog]

  2. I will have to turn up to your hill climbing championships so that Simon thinks he's got some competition. I wont beat him; but he doesn't know that!

    BTW. Your bike hike link doesn't work.

  3. Your link to the map doesn't work.

  4. @ Joby: you're very welcome. Simon has been a member of the club for a while now. It's just Mike who isn't at the moment. Oh and you, Chris and Gaz of course, but I'll work on that ;oP

    @ Red: you'd be more than welcome to come along for the club hill climb (when I get to know when it is!). It's on Blackstone Edge, you know it?

    The link usually works, dunno why, probably being stroppy. I'll try and sort it out asap