Randonneur Round the Year, Audax and Mile Munching with the Chester Road Club. A personal cycling review of 2015


Well 2015 was a good year with a few kilometers passing under my wheels and some fantastic company and scenery to boot. Here is a little review of the highlights, I haven’t included any rides under 200k (125 miles) unless part of a tour as to keep it brief!

 

January 

Chester Road Club Mile Muncher Strava stats 202.9 km (125 miles)

I can’t remember much about this one except it was bleak and cold with some fine company as we ticked off the monthly 200k doing a couple of loops from home Robert, David and Chris.

February 

Solo 200 Strava stats 204.5 km (126 miles)

Solo for February’s 200k and a wet windy cycle down to Montgomery and back, solo winter riding is character building…..

March

Chester Road Club MM Strava 221.5 km (138 miles)

This was more or less the same route as the above route with a gang of Chester Road Club riders, I can’t even remember how many but it was probably the biggest turnout on a 200k of the year! Left as 2 groups and joined at lunch time, I think 16 people! A rather fine day out and much more fun than solo.

The Barmouth Bash, Strava stats 302.9 km (188 miles)

This ride was one of my highlights for 2015 with 4 fellow riders we had a really fine day leaving in sub zero conditions to climb over the roof of Wales for lunch at Barmouth before returning home over a reasonably lumpy route via Ruthin to Chester. Wall to wall sunshine in daylight, a thousands stars at night and even a big bloody hole in the road we had to climb over cycle-cross style. Toby Willis wrote an excellent account of this rather fine day out here

Chester, Road, Club, Audax, Cycling, Barmouth

On the top of Bwlch Y Groes, from the left, Toby Willis, Phil Miller, Tim Williams, Joe Jord, and Robert Whittal.

Chester, Road, Club, Audax, Cycling, Barmouth

Crossing the Barmouth Bridge

Chester, Road, Club, Audax, Cycling, Barmouth

Sunshine! Barmouth lunch stop.

Chester, Road, Club, Audax, Cycling, Barmouth

April

Nocturnal to the Outlaws, Strava 408 km (253 miles)

I loved this ride, solo and through the night into a storm from Chester to Crowborough to visit my long suffering better half’s parents in the deep South. I left Chester in the late afternoon and went through the Cotswold’s in the darkness avoiding deer and frogs! It was pretty tough going through the night as I stopped for food at around 9 in the pouring rain and was served the smallest sticky toffee pudding in history and then failed to find anywhere to eat until around 07.00 the next day, luckily I had carried very little food to get the full effect of the bonk…… I remember stopping in a bus shelter in the early hours consuming my last bit of food, and one thing I can vouch for is the quality of Cotswold bus shelters, excellent!  And it was rather nice to have a 400k in the bag and it was only April.

Chester Road Club MM Strava  222 km (137 miles)

Another full house as we followed a spectacular route down to Lake Vernwy taking in the spectacular climbs of the Hirnant Pass the Bwlch Y Groes.

 

May

The Easy Muncher, Strava 207km (128 miles)

This was designed as an easy muncher at a slower than normal pace to encourage some newbies along, and it worked incredibly well with an excellent turn out. The only surprising thing it that we haven’t done it again!

The Scottish Jolly, Day 1 Strava Day 2 Strava Day 3 Strava Last day

this one was a very different ride. Three days of fantastic weather and scenery winding up the West Coast of Scotland and climaxing on the might Belach nan Ba and the Applecross Peninsular. It was rode at a touring pace and distance and was rather sociable. The Chester Road Club at it best.   Scottish Jollu

 

Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland

All set for an adventure, loading and unloading at Oban.
Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Ferry

Off to Mull. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Mull

Good looking lad!!!?Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Mull
Beer

We had time to relax. Food

Cyclists have a very healthy relationship with food! Or maybe not.
Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Ardumuchan

Ardamuchan. Stunning country. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Ardumuchan

Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Ardumuchan

Ardumuchan. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Mallaig

Bed, bike and breakfast in Mallaig.  Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Sky

Sky. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Sky, Girls

Girls on tour on the Sky Bridge. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Plockton

Plockton. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland,

Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Bealach Na Ba

Bealach Na Ba. It a mighty mountain on a bike and nothing in the UK is comparable. The sheer drama of the place is amazing. And you can see it for miles as you approach. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Bealach Na Ba

Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Bealach Na Ba

On Bealach Na Ba. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Bealach Na Ba

The way down, it was very cold on the top. Bikes, Cycling, Chester Road Club, Scotland, Bealach Na Ba

Applecross.

The Scottish Jolly was a fantastic few days in cycling nirvana.

 

June

Montgomery with Kane Strava 205.7km (128 miles)

A lovely relaxed ride down to Montgomery with Kane. And June’s 200k in the bag.

 

The Romantic Road Germany and a bit more to the ferry in Holland. Approximately 1100 km over a week (680 miles)

This was a beautiful holiday  crossing through some totally magical country with Debbie and Jo.

Fussen, Cycling, Romantic Road

Fussen, Cycling, Romantic Road

Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Cycling, Romantic Road

Bavaria, Cycling

Rothenburg, Cycling, Romantic Road

Germany 2015 0017

Germany 2015 0135

Germany 2015 0142

Ferry, Europort

I loved the German trip, the people, food, weather and the drivers were just perfect and the senery and old middle age towns just exceptional.

July

Billy no mate 200, Strava

A fine hot summers day for a lovely run down to Montgomery to collect July’s 200k.

 

An aborted 600k with the Devil. Strava 275 km (170 miles)

This was a rather brutal run into a headwind down to the Devil’s Staircase and on to Aberystwyth before returning up the coast and back to Chester, I was meant to ride home but had some pressing matters that I felt I had to return home for so jumped on the train at Machynlleth. As it turns out I didn’t need to get home for anything! Anyhow it was a good solid ride and a first failure of the year. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be the last!

 

Mile Munchen with the Chester Road Club, Strava 221km (138 miles)

A windy and wet day out to the Goyt Valley with Brian and Jeff. A fine ride in good company.  

 

August 

Mile Munchen from Munich! Strava 850km (531 miles)

I had loved Germany so much in earlier in the year when looking around for a long ride I ended up back at Munich airport for a fantastic dash across Germany to Arnhem in the Netherlands. A magnificent ride through wonderful country made even better by meeting Debbie in Utrecht for a leisurely ride back to the Ferry at Europort. Ultimately a failure as an Audax DIY, with missed controls after finding myself on the wrong side of the Rhine and the ferry had stopped for the evening!  Maybe a failure as an Audax but the highlight of my cycling year.  I actually got around to blogging this one here

Germany, Audax, Bavaria

Staer of a mini adventure and a 1000+ km away from the ferry home. Germany, Audax, Rhine

The Mighty Rhine.Beer, Holland

Relaxation mid ride! Maybe thats how I managed to miss the last ferry…..Cologne, Sabbath, September, Audax

An Audax machine, Sabbath September titanium bike and a Apidura saddle bag and Ortlieb Bar Bag. The Alpkit top tube bag held tools. I am not convinced the saddle bag is a better option than a small pannier but it is defiantly lighter. Tubeless tyres also, which were faultless. Rotterdam

Rotterdam. Rotterdam

Rotterdam. A beautiful city and like the whole of the Netherlands a cycling paradise. Ferry

On the ferry home.

 

September

Mile Munching with the Chester Road Club Strava 300k (187 miles)

This was a proper day out down to Clun going through the quite roads and lanes of Shropshire and back via Iornbridge. With some amazing company in Joe, David, and Sion. A rather nice 300 and a pity I didn’t take any photos…..

 

The Flatlander, Strava 209km (131 miles)

This was part of a three day tour with the Chester Road Club to the ‘flatlands’ of Holland and Belguim and one of my favorite 200ks of the year. Brutal Dutch headwind out and a turbo charged second half over the untouchable cycle paths of Holland and along the Zeeland coast. With David and Rob. We the joined up with the rest of the Chester Road Club legions for a few beers and a fantastic three days in the Low Countries.

 

October,

A Pair of Aces, Strava 304km (190 miles)

Solo 300k with a rather magnificent route taking in the major climbs of Bwlch Y Groes (highest in Wales) and the rather fine Dylife Mountain Road. It was brilliant day out starting into a rather stiff headwind that increased through out the day till it was more or less blowing my home by the time I started heading North. Some long climbs, high passes and for me a first getting knocked off my bike on a hill by a rabbit. Some things you cannot make up!  

Bwlch Y Groes

The roof of Wales on a bike. Bwlch Y Groes

Bwlch Y Groes

Mighty climbs and mighty views.

Lyn Clewedog

The quite backwaters around Staylittle. Lyn Clewedog

Lyn Clewedog. It is steep.Lyn Clewedog

 

 

 

Iornbridge with the Chester Road Club, Strava 203km (126 miles)

With David and Phil and a very nice route through Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire down to Iornbridge and back. A fine day out with strong riders.

 

November

Cairngorm, Strava 200k (125 miles)

Ivor my oldest friend joined me for the first third before I headed North to meet Debbie, Simon and Monika in Aviemore. A fantastic route through wild country and the a reconnaissance for a Chester Road Club tour in 2016.  Scotland here we come.

Lock Morlich

 

Mile Muncher with the Chester Road Club, Strava 203 km (126 miles)

It poured down and blew a gale but this was one of the best days out of the year in magical Welsh lanes and just the odd hill! Tim, Phil and David for company and brilliant day out.

 

December 

A very Airy and a very Special ride out, Strava 204k (127 miles)

This was a rather brutal day out into a at times a comical head wind which had us in our lowest gears on the flat! But it was rather special as it was David last ride to finish his first RRTY and Micheal joined us on his first 200k. It no mean feat finishing a 200k ride each and every month, particularly through the winter and it was a pleasure to have been able to accompany David on many of these rides.

 

Well that was my year and it was a very fine year indeed.

May you all have a fantastic 2016 and I think anyone who has got this far on the blog deserves a medal. Well done! And don’t forget to add a little comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Randonneur Round the Year, Audax and Mile Munching with the Chester Road Club. A personal cycling review of 2015

  1. Hi Skye yes the Deeside Lass looks a good one. I’ve done it’s big brother the Snowroads a few times 🙂 See you in 2016.

  2. Nice write up of your cycling year – with some good photos to illustrate your rides.

    If you are thinking of coming back to Scotland in 2016, I’d recommend looking at the Deeside Lass route as a starter for 10.

    Yours in Sport

    PS: Its Skye 🙂

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