The 2015 Reliability Ride took place on the 19th July with the following characters being found to be (more or less) fully reliable:
100 Miles: Peter Hackman, Mark Heal, Clive Richardson, Dane Maslen, Martin Vinson and Mark Waters
75 Miles: Bob McLeod, Alan Ince & Chris Boggon
As a result of a most unfortunate set of circumstances, Aiden Gill got separated from his companions and then suffered a GPS malfunction resulting in him taking a wrong turning. By the time he worked out where he was, he decided to head directly home rather than work his way back to the route and plod on alone: sensible chap!
The weather couldn’t really have been better and it was altogether a most enjoyable day (however, see bottom para). The route is superb and the new start / finish point at Rokers, just opposite Merrist Wood College in Worplesdon, worked well. Many thanks to Roger Philo for holding the fort there at the finish until the organiser (Mark Waters) got back.
There are really just a couple of comments to make: although the route sheet might make it seem like there’s not much in the way of refreshment stops, in fact there’s a perfectly adequate supply: coffee can be taken at Selborne at 23 miles, although an early arrival there might find the cafe not yet open; the mini-supermarket at Clanfield (at 42 miles) is small but adequate and does provide fairly nasty coffee and tea if required;and at 60 miles, provided the deviation through Midhurst is taken, there are cafes and shops in the town. In addition to these, there are quite a few pubs along the way.
It would be a useful exercise to study the route and see if it could be improved upon. Only the very ambitious would choose to avoid a stop in Midhurst, so the ‘voie normale’ really needs to pass through the town. And owning to the change of event HQ at Rokers, we found it necessary to cycle past the finish and up to the roundabout and back down in order to achieve a full 100 miles.
Just for the record, the first people back took, including stops at Clanfield and Midhurst, about 8 hours, 50 minutes to complete the ride.
From the point of view of the award presented at the Annual Dinner to the oldest rider to complete the 100 mile ride, the oldest willing acceptee of this prestigious award this year is Mark Heal. Congratulations, Mark!
Finally, thanks to all who turned out to ride the event. That said, with the Benstead Cup now no longer being competed for, holding events is essentially a fund raising exercise and the club isn’t going to get rich on the revenue obtained from this event. Once you take that factor away, it could perhaps be said that this ride spoiled what could otherwise have been a very enjoyable, and perhaps slightly less frantic, normal Sunday club run! Thought needs to be given as to whether to try and raise the profile of these rides so that they might appeal to a wider audience; however with the seeming gradual demise of the CTC Tourist Competition, attempting to achieve this might be quite difficult. Food for thought pending a discussion in the future sometime.
Full details of the route may be found by clicking on this link: https://www.strava.com/activities/350082099