Sunday club ride report 20 September 2015

IMG_0002Eight diehard cyclists left CLS at 0915 on a bright Sunday morning, half having decided to go with long legs and the others braving it out in shorts. This was the morning of the “Beast” in Durham where we had a significant club representation which was great. We headed south along the A167 where Richard Barnett kept an impressive pace with Graeme Bradford. At Neville’s Cross we turned right and headed through Langley Moor and Willington before turning left for Hunwick and shortly afterwards right towards Witton Park.

Having reached the A68, Ian and Mike had to turn back via Witton-le-Wear, while the intrepid 6 decided to continue through Woodland. On the climb out of Woodland and just past the cattle grid, I foolishly decided to do a race commentary, the only effect being that everyone started to race and left me struggling! Having had a bit of fun we regrouped (ie, they waited for me) at the Eggleston junction and all headed up the glorious climb of Bollihope. Weather was cool but more-or-less dry, and Tony Donkin, Richard, Steve Hughes, Philippe Galland and Graeme all had turns at the front. At the top of Bollihope we paused for a group picture (below) where Richard talked the talk to persuade us towards Stanhope and Crawleyside! Having failed in his gallant efforts, we all turned towards Hill End and the technical drop into Frosterley. There was a slight tailwind along the valley road, but the three clicks of Harperley fragmented the bunch again with yours truly particularly struggling (full of lactic at this point), but the lads kindly waited at Fir Tree roundabout and we mosied back through the lanes with Billy Row as our passing point.

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The final run back to Durham was dominated by Richard who had obviously eaten far too many Weetabix that morning. Traffic was not too bad, with little or none between Willington and Frosterley. For those not opting for the Beast, this was a glorious alternative way to spend your Sunday morning and I was absolutely delighted with my average of over 17mph. Thanks again to Richard, Graeme, Philippe, Tony and Steve for their patience.

Peter Scott