Club ride reports - 23rd January

Club ride reports - 23rd January

23 Jan 22

Category 6 ride led by Tony Dos Santos

Nearly a month after Christmas and as I was sitting at Hertford waiting for everyone, I was dwelling on the fact that Santa Claus wasn’t coming to town soon!
So, up rocked John Farnham and Valdis and they advised they wanted to come to Shenley. Wow! I thought, they are coming to the lower echelons of the club. They must have heard how much fun we had, and wanted a piece of the action :-). 
More and more turned up and Matt (nearly PHD) Barker rocked up with his new Ribble. Nice bike. 
In all thirteen turned up and we had a very special guest turn up - yes, it was the one and only Lisa Ridoutt - you know, the one that used to ride on the 6’s but now is so so fast we can’t keep up! Nice to see you coming along, Lisa.
We were thirteen and Chris (I get lost easily) Bowden then decided at 9.31 that he wanted to do some bike mechanics (OK, it was only tightening his bottle cage). 
After a lengthy wait, we were off. We rode like the wind and before we knew it, we were at Brookmans Park. Then through the lanes and into Shenley by 11 am - perfect timing. 
As usual, the food arrived swiftly and was lovely. We were just about to leave when John Pearson, Club President,  turned up. We had a lovely chat with him, but unfortunately John’s timing wasn’t that good :-). After a chin wag, John said he would ride with us to South Mimms; however, he realised how slow we were and said he wanted to make it home in time for lunch! 

The ride back was uneventful, apart from when Kate and Carolyn carried on, when they should have turned right, despite the fact they both had the route on their Garmins. 
No punctures, no nothing, apart from Kate having to turn her dial thingy (technical terms Kate and I use!) for her rear cassette which was clattering around. No problems apart from that, and lovely banter. Oh, one last thing, Chris didn’t get lost today. Well done Chris! 
Obviously written from the throne. Over and out!


Category 4 ride led by Enzo Misuraca

Six intrepid Cat 4 riders braved a chilly January Sunday, in search of cake and eggs at the Norton Heath cafe, east of Ongar, Essex.

After a brief flirtation with a couple of Cat 2’ers, the magnificent 6  set off from the Clock Tower in Hoddesdon at exactly 9.30 am.

They should have been 7, but had, unbeknown to them, left moments before Andy M’s marginally tardy arrival, for reasons beyond the two-time ‘Wheeler of Week’s’ control.  

Apologies, but weekend cyclists wait for no man (or woman), it seems.

A gentle pace was the order of the morning, given the route’s ‘5 hills’ moniker (provided by Elio), which were to test the mettle of each rider.  The first of this quintet of challenges, Hamlet Hill, did more than enough to warm the hearts, and legs, as the troupe moved out of Hertfordshire and into a damp and pot-hole ridden Essex.

The roads flowed for around 20 miles, fortunately without incident, and the riders filed safely into the very busy Norton Heath eatery. 

However, the ride claimed its first casualty of the day, as Mike S told the group he was not feeling on his best form and decided to head back immediately at his own pace, forgoing the opportunity of sampling the confectionary on offer.

Six had therefore become 5, but a mix of oat bars, eggs, caffeine and a full English breakfast (Ian B) re-energised the team, ready to tackle the final 3 monster hills that lay in wait.

The return leg was as tough as expected, but the inspirational climbing of Mike E, who scaled the hills like a youthful mountain goat, embarrassed the rest into pedalling as hard as possible and pretending it wasn’t hurting at all.  

Mike eventually turned off to head home towards Nazeing, but in doing so, missed what was to become an eventful final few miles back to The Tower.

Upon saluting Mike, Ian clipped in, and then straight out as his chain jumped off the small cog on his rear cassette. This resulted in a minor delay, as he hoisted the oily steel back from where it had once rest.

Travelling into Hoddesdon, the drama had not yet fully ended for the unfortunate Ian.  At a set of temporary lights, his right foot caught itself up between tyre and mudguard, resulting into a meeting between man and tarmac.

Some less than complimentary comments by passing motorists (they really can be dickheads, cant they) did nothing to dampen the ardour of the cyclists, as Gary fiddled with what looked like a broken Raceblade, but managed to fit it back satisfactorily enough for Ian to continue on.  It looked a bit wonky, but hey, it was on and everyone really wanted to get home.

Ian reluctantly left what was left of the gang to travel home to Hertford (presumably safe and sound, but nursing a set of bruised knees).  

As the troupe rode into the town centre, the cycle Gods had one final hand to play, spearing Elio’s rear tyre leaving the Italian’s Continental GP5000 to deflate, albeit slowly.

The final 3, Gary, Enzo and Elio, with only a mile or so to go, had no intention of fixing that flat, flicked a V sign to the puncture deities, jammed it full of air and crossed their fingers that it would be enough to make it back to base.

Fortunately the inner tube held out for those final few pedal strokes and everyone made it back home in one piece, but for the usual aches and pains of an eventful 50 mile road trip.

The End.