For some time members of Pelsall Social Cycling Club had been gearing up for a very well run local sportive called "The Brewood cycle challenge".
When the Saturday morning of the event rolled around, it became apparent that it was going to be a wet one. No one could imagine how wet though.....
As the hundreds of cyclists rolled up to the start it was raining heavily. This did not dull the excitement though as the atmosphere was buzzing. A road cyclist may look out their bedroom window on the morning of a ride and observe foul weather. This may bring a smile to said cyclists face as he knows he has the determination to succeed.
The club had one rider who had elected to go off in the front group (first to be released), these were the 18mph plus group of cyclists.
Then the remainder of the clubs brave souls set out at 9am, ahead lay 65 or 35 miles of open road and beautiful England.
The weather did not improve at any point during the ride, in fact it worsened at times. The rain hitting participants in the face as it came down almost vertically. The wind was strong, gusting to over 20mph and the temperature down to 14 degrees. There were at least 50 places where the road was completely flooded across. Countless half road flooded roads hid potholes and debris waiting to destroy someones ride. Pools of mud lay in the road caused by feild wash outs or agricultural activities. All these were to be negotiated with care.
The feed stations were well run and well stocked, though the problem of stopping and becoming warm inside the venuedeep , and then departing and becoming chilled was a real issue.
Potholes in puddles are a nightmare for cyclists as hitting one will likely cause a puncture from a pinched innertube, or at worst a dive off into said puddle.
There were a few testing climbs, not least the one out of coalport on the river Severn. The descents associated with the climbs were even trickier with rim brakes not efficiently capable of stopping their riders whilst under water.
All of the clubs riders made it back to the finish in good time, with one of the group doing a very respectable time in the top 10 finishers.
Anyone who made it around that course is a bloody hero/heroin in my eyes. Raising money for a good cause and suffering whiles doing so. The clubs strong female membership were not shy in coming forwards for this event showing that the girl really can do it. Cycle sportives.....pfft easy.