Sunday, 9 September 2012

Cheeky Bit of EtapeCymru + Night Riding

Have not blogged for a while due to a bit of travelling with work. Last week for example I was in Leeds all week at a conference (the 39th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology if you are interested).

Anyhow, I decided to blow the cobwebs away by doing a decent ride on Sunday 9th September. The previous week I had done a good ride out from Chester -> Mold -> Ruthin and back via the Shelf and Llandegla with Tim from the Chester Road Club. For some reason I had felt pretty knackered all the way through the ride (average speed for 46 miles, albeit with 3000 feet of climbing, was only 15.4 mph). So I wanted to try it again, this time though I was on my own. I also knew that because the Etape Cymru was on, the Shelf would be "closed road" conditions.

I arrived at the bottom of the Shelf from the Ruthin side, and the marshals seemed a bit surprised when I turned up the road from the wrong direction!. I think I was slightly ahead of the leading group of 8 or so riders who went up quite quickly and soon overtook me (although I was then only overtaken by another 5 or so riders as I went up the ride). Once through Llandegla I turned left and went back to Chester whilst the Etape Cymru went straight on. If anyone saw me, I was the one wearing a Chester Road Club top. I don't feel too guilty about doing this since I did the Etape Cymru in 2011, and the Shelf was supposed to be on the route but was missed off (however if anyone really is offended by what I did, I'm perfectly happy to cough up the £3 I probably owe - 5 miles or so of the 92 mile route !). This was much better than the week before, and I knocked off around 7 minutes and had an average speed of approx 16 mph. Map of the ride is below:

For what it's worth, for the bit of the Etape Cymru I saw, it looked a lot better organised and marshalled than the 2011 event. If you were in it I hope you enjoyed it. Personally I felt it was quite expensive, considering I ride most of these roads all year around. The Broken Spoke and the Circle of Hope Charity Ride are much better value in my opinion (even if they are not closed roads).

Anyhow, enough of Sunday's ride. The week before, Thursday 30th August I think, that I joined a few people from the Chester Road Club in a "night ride". We set off about 6:50 pm and I got back home around 9:30. For most of the ride we needed our lights, and it was a novel experience riding as a group down narrow country lanes. Very enjoyable and I will probably do it again (there was a ride on Thursday 6th Sept but I couldn't go as I was in Leeds. Route for the ride below:

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