The first event in the club calendar finally took place on Sunday 17th February after being delayed for a fortnight due to the atrocious weather we are (again) suffering this year. Sixteen members and two guests left The Welcome Inn at 9.30am in dry but cold conditions to complete the 50 Mile Reliability Trial. Recently retired Chairman Roger Evans deputised for his successor as ‘starter’ as Jeff Matthews was off relaxing in sunnier climes.
The group rode steadily through Pontypridd and on to Treforest Industrial Estate before the first climb at Nantgarw. After a bit of regrouping it was on through Bedwas and the rolling roads through Machen and Rhiwderen to Tredegar Park. At this point there was a diversion along the A48 to Marshfield, due to roadworks on the Newport Flats, before the usual route was rejoined. Ian Humphries provided the entertainment during a ‘natural break’ when he performed a ‘piked triple somersault’ down a grass embankment that resulted in some unfortunate brown stains on his shorts. (Always a crowd pleaser!).
The centre of Cardiff provided unwelcome disruption to the ride, with every set of lights changing against the group. A slight increase in pace at Old Llantrisant Road caused small gaps to appear on the undulations towards Groesfaen.This resulted in some riders being held at the traffic lights at The Castell Mynach pub while the majority rode together to the finish at the Royal Mint. All riders finished the ride in just over 3 hours – at least 20 minutes inside the allotted time for the distance.
Sunday 24th February saw Dai Long, Steve Williams and Dan Taylor competing in the first circuit race of the year at Llandow. A huge number of riders and supporters overflowed the car park and were greeted by a grey morning with a biting north-easterly wind on the riders left shoulders approaching the finish line on a clockwise circuit. All three of our riders were competing in their first ever race of this type. Their lack of experience didn’t allow them to challenge for points but all rode strongly throughout, maintaining their effort to the line which bodes well for future races. It was especially pleasing to see the large number of juvenile riders of all ages taking part. With the amount of talking and shouting going on it was a wonder they had breath to race but were certainly enjoying themselves. Work commitments and health problems prevented a number of our riders from taking part on this occasion so it will be good to see a large number of Acme jerseys in the upcoming races. There are many others in the Club with the ability to compete in these events so why not join the current riders for a half hour race ?
More pictures from both events are in the Gallery. Thanks to Kerry and Chris for standing for so long in the freezing wind to provide the superb quality, Llandow photos.