Distance – 60 ish miles

Riders Present -Dave Smith, Nick Selibas, Richard Todd, Mick Wright, Bob Gunning, Andy Heany, Chris Duffield, Dave Sinar, Rich Deeley, Nick Walford, Rob Bishop, Tom Kirk, Tim Kronsjo, Mark Wilkes, Mark Goldstein, Martyn Bennett, Tom Kirk and two friends of Tom’s ( Apologies for anonymity)

No A or B runs today, so a fairly large group set off on what was a pretty miserable morning considering the fine weather of late.

Nick Selibas had laid done some ground rules to keep the group together so the pace was fairly gentle for the initial part of the ride. Chris Duffield and Dave Sinar decided to leave us and do their own thing after a few miles and were later emulated by Rich Deeley and Nick Walford who also chose the option of an early Bath. Not such a bad idea really as some of the lanes were in a disgusting condition following the overnight rain. I don’t think any of us had looked so mud splattered since last winter.

After a few close encounters with Range Rovers and horses, a rotation system was brought into effect with most riders spending about 2 minutes on the front and then dropping back in the usual fashion. The pace here was a bit staccato at times which led Nick to utter a few choice words to get a steadier rhythm into operation. Following the requisite stop to water the hedges, a rather swift through and off session was initiated. This worked very well with most of us getting a good workout. The pace increased and increased until the pack split in the sprint into Bideford. I think Rob Bishop won it although this will need confirming as I wasn’t there to see it.

At the traffic lights just over the bridge we pulled into a car park to wait for Mark Goldstein who was struggling on his fixed wheel and after regrouping a truce was mutually agreed for a short time

On the run in as usual the pace quickened and natural selection took effect as riders slowly started to drift off the back. China was the first casualty and went home with Dave on the less hilly route to Redditch. They were shortly followed by Mark Goldstein and then Nick Selibas, Mick Wright dropped back to help him home. On the lumpy road up to Ullenhall Mark Wilkes and Andy Heany inflicted more damage as we lost Tom Kirk’s mates, while the rest of us gathered ourselves for the climb ahead. Halfway up the climb the group disintegrated as Tom Kirk attacked. The rest of us were either unwilling or unable to follow and after a regrouping at the top set off in chase.

This is where the story ends for me at least, after about two miles I couldn’t hold the pace. No excuses offered other than I just wasn’t good enough today! Of the remaining group that left, Mark Wilkes, Andy Heany, Richard Todd, Rob Bishop and Bobbi to chase down Tom and fight out the medals.

After keeping Mark waiting for about 10minutes at Becketts island, I gathered the final details on the ride home. Tom Kirk was caught somewhere around the bridge where you make the turn for the 10 course and then the select group motored down the dual carriageway back to Becketts together.

The above report forms the basis of the training ride of the 30th of Jan 2000 and is a true account as far as I was able to give. Apologies for any outstanding cycling feats by anyone that I have failed to mention.
Regards Martyn (aka Beans)

Here are some notes from Todger as to what happened after Beans had gone.

Someone set off a rocket on the short steep climb up Morton Bagot (not me, although I was third up). From the top of Ullenhall Wilkes was really storming along (so much for him having an ‘easy’ day to rest for his Birmingham University session). The dual carriageway saw a bit of through and off with Wilkes, Bobbi and myself. I think I managed to get to the front three times. Bobbi stonked it along until Portway, Wilkes took over and we all hung on grimly up the slope and over the M42. Captain Kirk attacked from the back 600 yards out and left everyone else for dead. At Becketts Bobbi looked around and uttered the immortal words. ‘Have we dropped Andy Heaney? Excellent!’ Nuff said.

I don’t know what the cack was that we rode through but it set like cement. Rather that sloshing soapy water into everything, I usually leave the bike to dry and clean it off on Monday night. A 10 minute job. This week it was almost a chisel job that took an hour.