Last Sunday adult member and Go-Ride trainee coach Dave Edwards from Calthwaite took part in the 115 mile Solway Sportive, 160 riders started from Dumfries following a route south via the Solway coast to Dalbeattie, and on to a midway feed stop at Kirkcudbright, then returning via an inland route through Dalbeattie and Haugh or Urr to finish at Dumfries.
The quickest rider completed the route in 3.5 hours, Dave only started competing in these events last year, and put in a solid performance to finish inside 5 hours, he is another member who uses the grass track racing to train for the events he competes in.
On the previous Sunday another club member Jonathan Walkinshaw from Maulds Meaburn took part in the arduous Fred Whitton Challenge, a 112 mile route starting from Coniston including 6 famous Lake District passes, the Struggle up out of Ambleside, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose, to finish back in Ambleside.
In wet cold weather conditions it proved difficult for a number of the 1480 competitors, the fastest 2 riders completed the route in 6 hours 5 mins, Jonathan felt he was setting a respectable pace up to the half way point, but took pity on a fellow competitor who was suffering in the cold conditions, and gave away his waterproof jacket.
Shortly after that it started to rain, Jonathan himself then suffered from being wet and cold, which slowed his progress, yet he still finished the tough event in a very respectable time of 7 hours 54 mins, he believed he could have finished inside 7 hours had the weather been more favourable.
The third round of the Cycling Development North West circuit race series took place at the Salt Ayre 1 mile cycle track Lancaster last Saturday, when 200 riders aged between 7 and 16 split between 5 different age categories, contested a short sprint race followed by a longer race, the races ranging from 1 mile to 30 mile.
Beacon Wheelers members David Fargher Long Marton – U16 boys, Henrietta Colbourne Milburn – U14 girls, Sam Ross Greystoke – U14 boys and Matthew Egglestone Penrith – U10 boys, were all racing to improve their championship standings.
First to race was Matthew, winning both his races, the second race almost a photo finish, winning by less than a wheel length, but importantly taking maximum points for the day, extending his championship lead.
U14 boys and girls race together, the track was still damp from the early morning rain, as the large group of riders headed into the first corner from the start of the first race, one of the front riders slid off bringing down some of the riders behind, unfortunately one of those was Sam, by the time he got to his feet, checked his bike and decided to continue, he was a lap down and out of the running, and rode to salvage some finishing points.
He was quietly determined to make amends in the 20 lap second race, and after settling in for the first 8 laps, he made a break from the front of the bunch and pulled away as nobody was prepared to give chase, producing one of the rides of the day to win by well over a minute.
Henrietta in the girls race also got held up with the first corner crash, but recovered well to finish 7th overall and first girl in the sprint race, then followed this up with a repeat result in the second race, but more importantly producing one of her strongest rides to date, mixing it at the front of the main bunch for the full 20 laps.
David Fargher was last to race, determined to try and get the monkey off his back from crashing in 3 of the 4 circuit races he has entered this year, his first race went to plan finishing a strong 3rd overall, in the second he rode near the front of the bunch for the 30 laps, but slightly miss-judged the sprint to the finish, crossing the line in 8th place, nevertheless pleased to pick 4th overall points for the day.
To follow that on Sunday as part of British Cycling’s initiative to nurture young riders, a number of the clubs young riders were able to sample riding on the Velodrome track at Manchester, for some it was a first time experience and slightly daunting, but all mastered the high banked corners that are much steeper than they appear on television.
The next big event for the Beacon Wheelers youth riders is the 3 day North West International Youth Tour over the May bank holiday weekend, racing starts on Blackpool promenade on Saturday, Salt Ayre circuit Lancaster on Sunday and Preston circuit on Monday, with over 300 riders travelling from as far afield as Czech Republic, Holland and Belgium.