Saturday 14 April 2012

A bit nippy around the knees...

The first ride with our new tops was mostly a success!  Many turned up proudly wearing the new club colours, and two were presented with theirs as they arrived at the cafe - but I still have 10 sat in a bag so come on and collect them! (I will email out to remind you!)
Sunshine on the Greenway
19 of us met and milled around at the cafe this morning - the weather had promised me sunshine which was what we mostly had but it was still quite chilly - I had shorts on (hence the title of the blog - my knees were a bit chilly but it was bearable!).  Despite sending out the route via face book in the days preceding the ride, no-one had downloaded it so I was struggling to find a second-in-command to lead the other half - we needed to split again into two smaller safer groups.  But with help of a smart phone and someone with good local knowledge of the lanes, we were able to divide up.

Jo called me- she had run over something sharp which had split her tyre - luckily she was right by the Eureka shop at Mollington, so was able to get emergency help.  She would meet us either on route or at the cafe.
Thin band of yellow is field of Rape:
there were many golden fields today!

Forgot to take my traditional photo at the start - it took a while to get everyone signed in and explain everything that I am sure we were late leaving - and we had to give Group 1 a head start - but Welna wanted us to follow on with same route rather than tracing second half backwards.  I think next time we split we all set off at the same time but go opposite ways (I know what I mean!)

After the greenway and just outside of Guilden Sutton my phone rang (again) - Moira was following the route but had gone the other direction (as originally planned) - we arranged for her to come across and meet us at Stamford Bridge.  We then met a delightful chap on the footpath along the A51 - now I appreciate we are riding on the footpath, but the A51 is a very busy road and he could see us (all) coming but no! he had to carry on - forcing a few ladies to not only stop but also step into the road - luckily the traffic was stationary at the lights.  I don't usually rant on the blog but come on!

Climbing Barrow hill - chuch just visible
through the trees on the right.
Moira sooned joined us and we climbed up into Great Barrow then out the back lanes to join the A54 (more footpath, less pedestrians!) and along to the cafe.  the first group were still queuing, but cafe had been prepared, and we managed to take over an entire room in The Elvis Cafe.

Inside the Elvis cafe.....
Wall to wall Elvis - literally!

A couple of the ladies then decided that hey wanted to head off for a few more miles; but I did not have my group photo.  So, now all were assembled, I chivvied people outside for a quick photo - but I ommitted to mention it to the cafe ladies who swooped in at the first opportunity and cleared the tables.  Some were unfortunate enough to lose their beverages - I just managed to grab mine.  My fault - I am so sorry ladies!

happy smiles and pink tops - before we realised our elevenses were being whipped away!
Group one were soon ready, so we waved them off and settled for a further 5 minutes, to give them another head start!  I think I may make everyone sit next time at the cafe and do a bulk '10 teas and 10 coffees please', it may be simpler! I am sure we can manage food like that too - when there are so many of us.

However, Moira had lost her cycle top - at some point since she phoned me.  So, ot only had she done more miles to join us, she now had to retrace her route - so we waved her off too!

Track between Oscroft and Tarvin
Group two were now ready to roll, back along the footpath and across the road to Oscroft.  We then followed a track - giving a lovely view across Tarvin and the church.  Through Tarvin to pick up another brief track across the A51 and the route was intended to turn left to Sheaf farm.  By now Welna's phone battery had died, so they instead followed down the Gowy bridges. 

As we crossed the A51 (again!!) at Littleton, Moira was spotted at the rear! She was able to join us for nearly a mile before going home.

21 ladies, two groups, 19 miles.  The route can be found on Map my Ride site. (you may need to create an account to see the route, but it is free).  Moira clocked 26 miles!

Thursday 5 April 2012

Fabulous Club Tops

Over the last year there have been several conversations about having a ladies cycling club top. We considered a certain budget supermarket chain who have twice yearly sales of cycle clothing, with some nice tops that some of us have invested in.  However, these are time limited, as are the sales from another sports shop.  I had spoken to our local bike shop, but they were not able to hold the stock for us.

It all started when I saw some photos from the Chichester Belles, who had spotty pink tops.  I asked where they got them, and they passed me the details of the company they used.  We could design just about anything we wanted and in any colour.

I requested samples from the company (Owayo) and some ladies had a go at designing a club top.  Then 7 of us gathered in my dining room in February, and had a very productive evening designing a top and colour scheme.

After several weeks of negotiation with the company and our local bike shop, The Bike Factory, we came up with a final design, and sponsorship.  Orders were taken, money collected, and the big day finally came in April when the tops had arrived!

We met in the bike factory oping to wow them all at forthcoming Chester and North Wales events!

Sunday 1 April 2012

Sunny Spring 50

An annual event, the Spring 50, or 'early season tourist trial', is held in the Spring, somewhere around Palm Sunday (I remember it being on mothers day, at least once).  It is intended to be a slight challenge, as you have to complete the course in 4 or 5 hours - and that is not just pure riding time, but includes any stops.

I rode it many years ago, but then was not fit enough; and in latter years I have happily marshaled, making my own way out and hanging around for all the riders to come past before tootling home again.

But this year I, and a small contingent of Fabulous Ladies, booked ourselves on, and prepared ourselves for the big day. 

After two weeks of beautiful sunshine, Friday and Saturday were grey and cold, so it was not with much hope that I opened the curtains early on Sunday morning - to be greeted by blue skies and sunshine!  It was however quite cold, scraping the light frost from the windscreen to drive out to meet the ladies.

We were soon off, heading up and up and out of Kinnerton, climbing up lower mountain, and then left on the B road to climb further to Llay.  This was the highest point, and we were rewarded with a super downhill to Rossett (I clocked 37mph, which was fun).

We rolled along, chatting but also keeping the pressure on the pedals, and made it to Overton Village hall where we were met with plates of sandwiches and cakes, soup and tea!  But we could not stop long, and after 20 minutes of chomping we were once again off into the lanes.
Arriving at the morning checkpoint
The two Garmin Girls checked the route out and back; although I am sure one had the Garmin upside down, as at several junctions she would say one way, then the other would sail past saying no, this way! 
Early Spring Sun
signing in at the end

We finally made it back to Kinnerton, after fighting a gentle headwind, and received our certificates.  then, after a quick photo, we all converged on the Red Lion at Dodleston for a sit in the chilly sun and a little light refreshments!