Congleton CC 65 Mile Reliability

18th feb saw the second of Congleton cycling clubs reliability trials. After the previous 49er, the distance was increased upto 65 miles, whilst the choice of target speeds remains the same.
6 Leek CC riders decided they would ride out and back, to make it a 86-90 mile day.
Meeting at 8am in Leek, a cool start saw them ride steadily over to sign on in congleton, ready for a 9:15 start.
There were more people milling around at the start than a fortnight ago, so the organisers were setting us off in groups of 12 or less.
We plumped for an average speed of 18mph or more, and our time was ready to be set off. As it turned out, our group turned out to be just us 6.
With Jordan being “rotation manager” for the day, we soon got into our rhythm, doing short turns on the front, before peeling off for a few mins respite. The early miles flew by until Nick continued with his curse from last week, and picked up another puncture!
We weren’t ready to leave a man down, so waited and then got going again as a well organised little group.
Heading out of Middlewich, the weather began warming up, and into Wettenhall, we soon reached oulton park race track and the outskirts of Tarvin.
This is the point where although Cheshire is notionally “flat”, you start to notice the small drags especially when ridden at some sort of tempo, as we climbed up through Delamere forest, and back towards Warrington.
It wasn’t long before we were back in the lanes and heading through Comberbatch, Great Budworth and into the outskirts of Tabley and Knutsford.
From here we circumnavigated Peover Heath, where we started to lose a few tired legs, and then into the “homestraight” from Lower Withington, somerford and back into  Congleton, where we all had a well deserved cuppa and quite a lot of jaffacakes, before stirring our tired legs for the last push back over the bridestones (where nothing happened, did it Andy…..)
Even with 10 minutes or so lost to the puncture, and some of us slowing at the end, we still managed to more than manage our target speed, coming in at around 19mph for the 65.
Many thanks to Congleton CC for organising another great ride, and we’ll be there for the 100 in a fortnights time.
Written by Club Rider Phil Gayes

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