In keeping with the time of the year, today’s Captain’s Challenge ride was the 100 Mile Randonee, the longest of the club events, and for many the longest ride they will do in the year.
After the false dawn of two sunny days, a group of riders gathered under the grey clouds in Clevedon, at an early start time of 0800. The set off for Congresbury where further riders had gathered to make a total of 16 (with all 3 Groups represented) planning to do the whole ride, and a further 2 who were going to provide support and take the early turns on the front.
Shortly after starting the riders tackled the first uphill section of the route, climbing from Churchill, through Shipham and then down to Cheddar – well the rest must be fairly flat, mustn’t it? – Alas there were some regular lumps – Wedmore, Street, Somerton – a long gradual drag to Yeovil – nevertheless the intermediate group were managing a respectable 27.5 km/h, so it was with some relief when Montacute House came into sight – both half way and the all important coffee and cake stop.
The Fast Group were already there and the two riders from the touring group then arrived a little later, just in time for the group photo.
Refreshed (a number certainly had more than one cake) and still dry the riders started the home leg, hoping to stay ahead of the promised band of rain – as the pace picked up the legs began to tire and the light rain appeared – but after a few hours the more regular roads around the Poldens were reached, and after a quick comfort stop (but no more cake), re-energised the riders headed home.
A great (hard and tiring) ride with a strong turnout – including newer members, a potential member, a visiting previous member and some regulars – enjoyed by all and not only the sense of achievement but also the company, chat and encouragement and change to ride some new roads.