Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Its all too much!

Things haven't settled down much since moving house. I have managed to get out on the bike, but there isn't much time for writing the blog!!

Last week Rob was down from Scotland, so a few of us headed out to Wales with him, to remind him of his cycling trips when he lived in Liverpool. Another group rode through the Tunnel and out into Lancashire to find Wiggo's Postbox, and also a great cafe, which we will be visiting to try out the cakes!!

Mmmmm Cake
Sir Bradley Wiggins Golden Postbox
There was still a Cafe spin to Eureka, which included a first for Mrs Badders and Sian as they rode through Wales to get there!

I think Ken and Kev were pointing to where they thought we were! 
Rob, Ken, Heather, Steve, Degs, Steve, Badders and me met up at Eureka and headed out into Wales. We rode up over Northop and on to Mold, where we had our first "moment of the day"!! Instead of following my trusty Garmin, we went the wrong way!! Not usually a problem, but this time it led us towards Denbigh!!

A quick re route took us up a particularly nice climb near Moel Arthur.The View was worth it though.

Waiting for Steve who took a wrong turn after a comfort break!
The descent into Ruthin was good though. Passing through the Town we saw the lads from Liverpool Mercury, coming off the descent of the Nant Y Garth which was our next climb! I have been down it a couple of times, and it is a fast descent, but to my surprise it wasn't too bad going up for 7 miles! We had a bit of closed road fun at the top, when we hopped onto the route of the Etap Cymru for about a mile. ( We did have a bit of off road earlier in the ride, when we came across a resurfacing team, but it wasn't that much fun riding next to the hot wet Tar and big plant machinery!)
The climb up to the top of the Horseshoe pass wasn't too bad either, but didn't go so well for Steve who suffered from a broken spoke. Luckily we had master mechanic Steve B with us who took the spoke out and trued the wheel while we were getting our brew at the Ponderosa Cafe.

Degs inspecting the offending Spoke!

Ready to roll
The ride back was uneventful, and fun as there is a great descent back to Hawarden. It is true that what goes up must come down! We split up at the Cycle path to the Marshes, With Ken, Rob, Steve and Degs heading back via never ending lane, and the rest of us via the Marsh track and then Heswall and Irby. A couple of the group managed 100 miles, but I had to get back for Mrs P to go to work!

The weather has finally changed from a glorious summer into a windy damp autumn. With the nights closing in and the unappealing weather I was expecting the evening rides in the week to become less popular. I couldn't have been more wrong. We are still welcoming new members every ride, and the numbers are still in the 20's.

This weekend, I organised a social spin to the cafe on Sunday, suitable for all abilities. One thing could conspire against a great turnout and that was the severe weather warning posted on Saturday for high winds and heavy showers. I wasn't expecting too many to venture out, but I was welcomed at the Twelfth man by 17 other smiling faces ready for a ride. We were joined by Jake, Andy O's 12 year old son, and our second junior member. We headed out towards Barnston and then on towards Brimstage. Unfortunately only 6 miles into the ride we lost Kev, as his front wheel developed a terminal problem,literally.
We carried on through the lanes via Thornton Hough, Raby Mere and Eastham then down the Oil Sites road before turning towards Mickle Trafford and the Greenway through Chester, where Jen suffered our only puncture of the day, and on to the Eureka Cafe for a Brew Stop. On the way up never ending lane I was discussing with Karen how it would be good if the Cafe had an app we could use to post orders as we approached, to reduce the queuing when 17 people arrive at once. I suggested this to Anne when we were at Eureka, to which she answered quite matter of factly, "just text me!"  enough said!!

 As we left The Cafe we split up and headed off in two groups, one back towards East Wirral, and the rest of us back to Greasby via Puddington, Burton, Neston, Lower Heswall and Irby.

A special mention has to go to Jake, who not only kept up with the group, he kept smiling, and even led to group for a while. His post on Facebook after the ride reminded me of why I started the club.

"Did 56 miles today, longest ride ever done. Thanks to the Palefish crew for all the support"

Jake with Dad Andy
Well done Jake.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A lot can happen in a month!

The second anniversary of the blog has been and I have not had a chance to do any updates as we have moved, and our phone and internet provider decided it would be a good idea for us to have to wait a month to be reconnected to the outside world!!
Anyway, I am now back online, and can get back to the business of boring you with my ramblings.
It has been quite a year. the club has grown so fast, we now have 183 members and it is growing every week, we regularly have over 25 people on our evening rides and sometimes there can be 4 or 5 different rides over a weekend. I have also had more fantastic opportunities to indulge myself in my passion. 

To catch up on the last month I have compiled photo's of some of the rides the club members have been on. The great thing with Palefish CC is that people are getting more involved in organising rides, and entering sportives as groups, which takes a lot of pressure off me!  

Three of the biggest challenges club members have faced in the last month were the Wild Wales Challenge, the Ride with Brad and the Ride of the Roses. 

The Wild Wales challenge takes in some of the best scenery in north Wales, but at a price! 
Here is Darrens account of the event. 

Yesterday I completed the 2013 Wild Wales Challenge, said to be the second toughest Cycling Sportive in the country. Heading out of Bala in the fog with around 600 other riders, I was sure of two things; it was going to get sunnier, and it was going to get harder. The hills soon arrived with 1,000 feet climbed in the first 10 miles, only 9,000 feet to go! Breaking out of the fog presented stunning views of the Welsh countryside, blue sky and hills... lots of hills. The main climb of the day, "The Wall", started with a 17% gradient and maintained an average of 10% for two miles! And what goes up, must come down. Many of the descents were technical, on narrow roads with numerous cattle grids and gravel or even grass down the middle, although approaching the first check point I managed 44mph on a cracking stretch of wide open road. Riding through the pretty village of Tremadog and across The Cob in Porthmadog made the day even better. But the climbs just kept on coming, around every bend the road just ramped up even further... even the sections which looked flat were still uphill. Those hills took their toll on my legs, especially my right knee which was starting to object to the constant grinding of the pedals. Short stops provided a brief rest bite and allowed my heart rate settle back to a more reasonable level. On the last climb of the day we could see the road reach the summit and then drop down a cracking descent, only to realise that the route turned left before the descent and climb up even higher! The last 6 or 7 miles back into Bala were mostly downhill or flat and it was a relief to pass the Bala sign as we entered the village. It was a great day but a tough ride, certainly one to remember

Great roads on the Wild Wales Challenge
The reward for completing one of the toughest Sportives in the country
up up up!

I was hoping to take part in the Ride of the Roses, but unfortunately I had only just moved in to the new house, and I didn't have the time. There was a good Palefish representation there to tackle the 100 mile route including the challenging Trough of Bowland. It was a good day for Owen, Heather, Ken, Mark and John who all achieved their first 100 mile ride.

Palefish at the front of the group.

Ride of the Roses rest stop
Looking good after the 100 mile Ride of the roses
To prepare for all these challenging rides, the weekend club rides have mostly been going out into the hills of Wales.

On the way to Ponderosa
Palefish Road and MTB groups meet up at the Ponderosa
But we always manage a Cafe stop somewhere!!

The Shoal at the Ice Cream Farm
Steve also took part in the "Ride with Brad Sportive. Steve has been busy this year not only riding his bike but also raising money for charity.

At the finish of the "Ride with Brad " sportive
A couple of the lads also took on a local Time Trial. Wirral Mamil Sean (who I hold responsible for giving me the inspiration to start Palefish CC) has been training for TT's and posted on teh club page that he was doing the Willaston 5mile and invited Palefish CC members along. Paul, Phil S, Phil W, Ant Carl and Andy all had a go and thoroughly enjoyed it! I think there may be a few more takers next year when the season starts again.
Paul's first TT
Carl's first TT
As I mentioned earlier the club is growing weekly! A few weeks ago we had our biggest Thursday group out. We split into two groups, as I didn't think the other road users of Wirral would want to contend with the Palefish Pro Peloton!
Biggest Thursday night group!!

Finally, To start September off, Two of our new members, Father and Son team Alan and Ben road the Coast to Coast route in two days, had a day off then came out for a club ride on Thursday!! There is commitment for you.

The end of the C2C route.
So, with the internet back on, some of the moving boxes emptied and the bathroom and toilet knocked into one, I should hopefully be able to get back out on the bike and update the blog regularly!