On the 21st April the group headed out from the Railway car park heading for Rugeley.
Both groups were going to rendezvous at the Plaza Weatherspoons in Rugeley town centre.
The Tempo group split into two groups which helps to keep the numbers of cyclists down to a manageable amount. This also helps traffic to pass by easier. We first set off towards the fingerpost, then on to the Tin man in Brownhills. Here we headed down the Lichfield road and turned towards the A5 and Chasewater. The route took us past Chasewater country park and Burntwood rugby club. This part of the route is a long and slightly undulating sector where you can build some good speed. Once into the top of Burntwood we head towards Prospect village. This is where the terrain changes to a hilly and challenging area. The climb to prospect village was soon over with all of the group knocking it off in good time.
At this point we take a turn into Cannock chase where many good climbs can be found. Our first big test was to take on Bradbury lane, it's about half a mile long and average of 7% with it touching 9% in places. Again everyone made it up with no real issues.
What goes up must come down, so from here to Weatherspoons our Journey through the Chase was for the majority down hill. Great care needs to be taken on these descents, speeds of over 40mph can be easily achieved. There is a sharp right turn 3/4 of the way down one slope, which has the brakes smoking to feather enough speed off to make it. The ride from the chase into Rugeley town centre is relatively uneventful.
The Weatherspoons itself has a open back yard that you can take your bike into. Service was fairly quick, though they only have one coffee machine. The orders came out and were vary varied, from avocado to fruit and ice cream or a full English. Ian even had two breakfasts (greedy git).
The ride back from spoons took us out into the Staffordshire countryside. Mostly flat lands which included a lengthy straight run of about 7 or 8 miles. The speed was up and the chain were slipstreaming well.
No challenging hills are encountered on the way back until we reach Stonnall and Walsall Wood. These are only a test as the group had covered over 40 miles at this point. Not to be deterred the group pushed through them then put a final sprint on for the return to the pub and a isotonic Guinness or two.