Reliability rides go ahead a week late

Velo Club Baracchi’s reliability rides have been postponed from last Sunday to this one, amidst safety concerns about the conditions on minor roads during the cold snap.

Hopefully the postponement will ensure that the rides go ahead in reasonable conditions and will be well-supported.

Traditionally, on the British cycling scene, the purpose of such rides was to encourage club cyclists to test themselves and build their abilities after a winter break.

The purpose is to ride at a steady pace and prove reliability by arriving back within a pre-planned time frame, without racing as such.

As it happens, many club cyclists never have much of a winter break these days, if any and their training programmes tend to be so efficient that reliability is not usually an issue.

These events do meet the need for a good ride in company, often with a few riders from other local clubs and these days some riders enjoy a burn-up without the risk that used to be taken seriously of being disqualified for going too fast and returning too soon.

This Sunday’s 50-mile reliability ride is planned to take place with the usual staggered start to reflect the intended duration (4 hours at 8.30am, 3.5 hours at 9am, 3 hours at 9.30am).

The start is at Oulton Community Centre, Gorleston Road, Oulton but the finish is outside St Mark’s church, Bridge Road, Oulton Broad.

The organiser of these rides, John Thompson, said that despite his foreboding about last weekend’s conditions he did get a ride in on Sunday, though there was slushy and wet snow near his home.

Thompson went via Beccles, Ellingham and Hedenham, before turning into the lane through Kirstead.  He managed to find more lanes he hadn’t ridden before than he anticipated finding, going through the picturesque village of Howe and then to Loddon where he stopped at e Rosie Lee’s tea room.

Thompson added, “I decided to indulge myself having an all-day breakfast and the large version.  To add to it, Caroline gave me extra bacon, ‘because you deserve it.’”

He rode home via Thurlton and St Olaves, around 45 miles in all.


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