The Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club hosted their annual Reliability Trial against a backdrop of sweeping rain around a tough circular course centred on Chailey.
The start of the ride was dry enough, but the leaden skies foretold the rider’s sodden fate. There were two courses on offer, a shorter thirty-five miler or the longer fifty-three mile route. Both distances had to be completed in a set time following a route map issued on the day.
With relatively benign conditions at the start most riders rode hard for the first hour, anxious to get some miles under their belt before the forecasted storms set in. A light drizzle soon turned into a bone chilling downpour which made riding along stretches such as Underhill Lane hazardous, with riders threading their way over greasy mud strewn roads interlaced with deep stretches of lying water.
A decidedly bedraggled stream of cyclists found welcome sanctuary at the halfway check point at Goddards Green where Peter & Ann Baker had set up camp to dish out lashings of hot sweet tea and cakes. With batteries recharged riders embarked on the second half of the ride, through Antsy and along to Ardingly. This section of the ride was deceptively hilly forcing riders to dig in deep if they were to complete the course in time. There was an unexpected sting in the tail as riders were forced up some sharp climbs around Scaynes Hill before gliding thankfully down Cinder Hill to the welcome sight of the Headquarters.
All but nine of the thirty-five entrants completed the course in time, no mean feat on a deceptively tough course in such conditions. The Wanderers were particularly pleased to welcome a large field of riders from the Sussex Nomads cycling club who helped add to the general bonhomie of the day. Special thanks should be extended to organisers Stuart Anderson and Paget Cohen along with a band of ever willing helpers who made the day such a success.
More information of all club activities and events can be found at Lewes Wanderers