On Saturday four members of the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club turned up to ride the Worthing Winter Warmer, an Audax event starting at Dial Post. Rob Pelham, Micky Turner and John Miller elected to ride the 30 miles from Uckfield to the start at a crazy 19 miles per hour average!
As entrants set out on a raw morning they were somewhat fearful of icy conditions, but thankfully for most of the circuit the roads were clear and frost free. In contrast to some of the recent Audax events the course was relatively gentle, with only one steep climb at the mid-point section of the course at Blackdown Hill. As the road soared it became ominously dusted with snow, and whilst being picturesque was not really appreciated by the riders as they battled towards the summit.
All the Wanderers successfully completed their ride, including the fourth Lewes man Adrian Hills. At the end of the ride the Uckfield boys had to make the long ride home to complete an arduous 120-mile adventure. This high mileage training is invaluable for John and Micky who are in training for the epic Audax London-Edinburgh-London ride to be held in August (also being ridden by Chris Martin and Paul Gibbons).
The following day was to see the final round in the somewhat arcane Reg Porter Competition. This event reflects the eccentricity of the English, as no other nation could possibly dream up three such disparate and quirky events.
This round was based on speed judging, with riders having to trace round two loops of a circuit at set speeds without the aid off a speedometer, one loop at thirteen miles per hour with the second loop a mile an hour slower. Judging speeds is deceptively difficult, especially as the second loop takes in the climb up to Glynde. After this point riders were starting to bunch, indicating that most of them had seriously miscalculated their respective speeds.
At the start of the day Micky Turner and Adrian Hills were locking horns for top spot, but the drama of the day proved too much for them as they finished way down the field. Master of the event was veteran racing legend Ian Landless who paced one loop to such a nicety that he was within one second of his target time.
After the event riders returned to Peter and Ann Baker’s house where they were treated to lashings of hot tea and cakes with a collection being made for the Children’s Society raising over £40.
In the steam filled room and with riders tensely munching their cakes Peter sat hunched over his laptop entering complex numbers into a mystifying spreadsheet to ascertain the results.
For the speed judging round Ian Landless was top dog with the human dynamo Peter Baker runner up. Peter should have a good feel for speed judging as last year he completed over 23,000 miles, riding every day in the year in the process. New boy Mark Longhurst judged his speed well and finished high enough to claim the prized Reg Porter Trophy, hopefully one of many trophies to be captured by Mark in the future.
This Saturday the Wanderers are holding their annual prize giving ceremony hosted by Club Chairman Chris Martin at the Roebuck Inn, Laughton.
More details of all events may be found at www.lewesawanderers.co.uk/index.htm as well as the club’s new blog site at http://www.leweswanderers.blogspot.co.uk