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Gav tackles the Epic ‘Rat Race Road Trip’ an event covering the 440 miles from London Tower Bridge to Edinburgh Castle!

10 May
May 10, 2013

Saturday 04/05/13 I took part in the ‘Rat Race Road Trip’ an event covering the 440 miles from London Tower Bridge to Edinburgh Castle in either 4 days or 2. Being a Rutler and a Yorkshireman I obviously opted for the 2day event requiring me to cover 220miles per day over the weekend.


Due to set off between 05:00 and 07:00 on the Saturday I opted for getting to the start at 06:00, assuming that is when the majority would depart and not wanting to do the entire distance solo. On my arrival the park was empty, much to my dismay I was informed that everyone had hit the road at 05:00, Whoops! Luckily the sun was out and temperature way into double figures although there was a strong headwind (which persisted for 440miles).

I set off alone at Mach 15, determined to catch someone lest I get lost on my own. After about 30miles I caught a single rider from a welsh cycling club, riding sponsored by Skoda and I later found out a much stronger rider than me! Working together over the first day we slowly clawed our way back into the main field and eventually overtook towards the front, we later found out that for the first 130 miles we averaged 22mph!

Feed stops enroute provided flapjacks, cakes etc to fill our pockets and a larger midday stop due to provide sandwhiches. However much to our disapointment we found that the riders taking part over 4days had already been by and eaten the sandwhiches or anything substantial, therefore my lunch consisted of 2 slices of fudge cake, a flapjack and a hand full of crisps, great!

Most of Day 1 was flat but battling a strong headwind at a pace I was slightly uncomfortable with (trying to keep up with my adopted team mate) plus a lack of proper nutrition left me arriving in York at 19:30 a little worse for where. Luckily not untill the last 10miles but I had completely blown! Bonked, hit the wall, done! Delirious I inhaled the pocket full of jelly babies I had to try and help me focus untill I could find some real food and do my best to get at least a bit of sleep!

Day 2 was a difficult start, this time I WASN’T starting solo so I was ready to go at 04:30. I set off to searing pains in my left knee and across my shoulders, bad enough for me to consider turning round there and then. I was convinced that my knee wouldn’t hold out but told myself this is a one off event, so if I at least go untill my knee gives way, I know I’ve done my best. I spun steadily for the first 40miles until the sun came up and as the temperature raised my knee eased slightly, although the pain never ceased it fortunately eventually got me to Edinburgh.

The terrain in day 2 was much more challenging, after 100miles in a headwind some hefty climbing was thrown into the mix! As we neared Scotland some of the climbs were brutal, I hadn’t anticipated having to tackle this kind of thing given the distances involved! By this point my body and mind were done, I limped over the climbs and past the ‘welcome to Scotland’ sign, there was brief elation untill I realised that Edinburgh was 50miles from the border…..and the climbing became much more intense. I had now spent most of the day alone but tagged on with a group towards the final stages, as we were all demoralised and generally battered by that point we were taking turns battling the wind and helping each other out. About 30 miles out of Edinburgh, just before the 2 most testing climbs of the entire ride, the pain in my knee forced me to back off the group and tackle the remainder solo in a limp.

Descending towards Edinburgh was a massive relief (I thought). Although after every bend the city on the horizon appeared to be moving further away. I was now extremely tired and my entire body was in a lot of pain, sick of ‘chasing a rainbow’ I was getting frustrated. Having arrived at a point at which I thought was the edge of the city I passed a sign reading ‘Edinburgh 12miles’. This made me extremely angry! Again delirious from over exertion and on the edge of been blown once again I found myself shouting, not sure what at just simply yelling profanities at the world with displeasure of my discovery.

I did however limp across the finish line at around 20:15. A total of 30hrs 4minutes riding time, where I was greeted thankfully with water, cakes and a warm bowl of some kind of stew, the contents of which I couldn’t care less.

I knew 440 miles in 2 days would be tough, it sounds tough but in practice it was much more demanding, mentally and physically than I had imagined. Physically, it is now 3 days later and I am still in a fair amount of pain, still also nursing exhaustion and finding myself enjoying 2 or 3 cat naps per day, including the accidental couple of hours shuteye I had in Edinburgh town centre on the Monday.

Despite the ‘sandwhich incident’ Rat Race put on a great event! The feed stops, marshalling and organisation was fantastic, as was the route, avoiding any major roads and scenic from start to finish. The entire set up had a very professional feel. Can reccomend their events to anyone interested, will definitely be taking part again next year.

An interesting event…

08 Apr
April 8, 2013

Surely Sheffield is crying out for an event like this…

Charge TV: Week 4: Hill Chasers – Edinburgh from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.

But where would you hold it ?? We’re spoilt for choice for suitable hills…

Club Meeting 5th April 2013

08 Apr
April 8, 2013

Here are the main action points / headlines from last fridays meeting.

There were no new members this month.

Time Trial – Nick – In the 2 up we had teams that did well. And as such after on event, Rich Whitney and Ben Harvey are in top spot in the Je James league. The next event in the series is a 10 mile tomorrow (6/4/2013) on Hatfield Woodhouse.
A new North Mids Championship event is at the end of April. There was sad news that a Caravan hit a cyclist on the Hull based, V718 course.

Road Race – James – James gets all of the race licence sent to his address and then forwards these on. As James has to travel with work this may take slightly longer than anticipated so apologies if you are waiting for yours. Rob and Darren rode the first half of a vets race before it was cancelled due to snow. James T and Danny made a start a few weeks ago.

The North mids road race league starts at the end of this month. Discussion about the road race league and which groups people will be in for the coming season.
The chain gang mad a welcome return last Tuesday (2/4/2013) it is currently departing at 6:00 pm sharp.

Mintys road race – Andy needs help with Marshalling – ten marshals needed. he only has two at the minute so needs 8 more to put the event on. If anyone can help out it’s on the 5th May please email . Bren is going to do some pictures. The HQ is at Haworth.

Social – Not much to report here… Cleethorpes, decided on the date of Sunday 7th July unless we have a deluge of requests to change it, so note that date in your diaries.

Annual Do – We discussed a few new different venues. More to come on that one but the date is fixed (venue dependant) at Saturday 16th November.
Meeting venues – Any ideas ??? We are still unsure whether we can make the Palin suite at the University arms our home so if anyone has any ideas…email

Teacake Night ride in the summer is being planned. The idea being that we will have a few pints in the evening somewhere and then head out for a summer evenings spin when the pub shuts. Possible date for this is Friday 21st June so keep the date free is you fancy that.

The latest clothing order has arrived, email for more details. We will press ahead with the next order very soon so if you want other items then again contact Simon. We are going to order some arm warmers with the next clothing order.

Big thanks went out to Andy Elston for organising a fantastic trip to Majorca this year. 30 people made the trip and a great time was had by all despite the slightly inclement weather at time!

Sunday club run this Sunday…Goyt valley…it is open and it will be on.

AOB – In the future we will include a slot for the Andy Smith – “Runs captain”.

18 Members in attendance.

We’ve got a new facebook group

25 Nov
November 25, 2012

At last months meeting the Club decided that we should have our own official Facebook Group where news and comments about the Club’s activities could be posted.

Not a member yet? Why not head over and request to join!

104th Annual Do @ Lescar – 16th November 2012

20 Nov
November 20, 2012

Just wanted to say a massive to thank you to all who made it a great night last friday at the Lescar.

Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as me but if you didn’t feel free to email me on and we’ll do our best to improve it for next year.

For those of you who missed it, relive some of the magic below with Bren’s pics from his phone.

ps If anyone else has any pics email them in and I’ll add them to the site.

Brendon’s Mam Nick 2012 gallery

22 Oct
October 22, 2012

Below is a link to Bren’s pictures from the Mam Nick hill climb. There are some right belters … Enjoy!!!

More road bike stunts…

16 Oct
October 16, 2012

…EPIC !!!

Peak Hilly 2012 – The Aftermath…

23 Jun
June 23, 2012

Well it again lived up to it’s billing as many riders favourite time trial of the year. the Peak lads did us proud once more and provided a great course, good safe marshalling and a good hq. All in all a further progression on what has become a “must do” event on many riders calendar. If you weren’t riding, ask yourself why not??? Next year don’t miss out.

Rutland was well represented by a turn out of eight riders on the start sheet. The lucky riders were… Liz Barber-Lillie, Fee Wormsley, Thomas Webb, Nicholas Latimer, Denise Bayliss, Michael Birkby, James Bell, Kate Morris and Rob Fowler. Also riding was Danny Lowthorpe.

Sadly due to his recent accident on the chain gang Michael Birkby was unable to ride and due to illness Denise was also a DNS.

How did the rest get on? Well it was a first EVER time trial for three of our new members. Choosing the Peak Hilly as your first TT is maybe a brave choice as it certainly a challenging course but Fee, Kat and Liz all got round and applied themselves very well! It only get’s easier after your first event so we expecting that there will be much more to come from the ladies!

Fee and Liz also picked up prizes at the finish, Liz for the Lantern Rouge and Fee for the best first timer.

The rest got on as follows:

4 Danny Lowthorpe Langsett Cycles RT 44:30
9 Nicholas Latimer Rutland CC 47:29
11 James Bell Rutland CC 48:00
18 Thomas Webb Rutland CC 50:32
24 Robert Fowler Rutland CC 52:38
29 Kate Morris Rutland CC 59:18
33 Fee Womersley Rutland CC 01:09:15
34 Liz Barber-Lilley Rutland CC 01:12:29

I shan’t go into anymore detail of the overall cause it is covered with an excellent article over on the website.

Suffice to say, it was an absolutely awesome ride by Gunnar to take the win. Have a ride around the round route yourself some time and you will put Gunnars ride into perspective.

The course can be seen here on strava.

So big thanks to the Chris Myhill and Simon Owens and all the Peak Road Club for putting on a great event. Get it in your diaries early for next year and let’s see if we can even more Ruttlers riding!

Stannington Road Race 2012 – What a fantastic event!

11 Jun
June 11, 2012

(view Bren’s photo diary here)

Firstly let us just a MASSIVE thank you to all the Ruttlers who came out and helped to put on the race on Sunday. You all did a fantastic job and helped to make the race such a great event and an absolute credit to the Rutland CC. Numerous riders commented on how good the marshalling of the race had been so give yourselves a pat on the back!

Special mention must go to James Thompson who has been putting in loads of hard work behind the scenes to make this event a reality. What can we say…THANK YOU TOMO !!! The hard work was definitely all worthwhile. You did yourself and the club proud!

Thanks too to the event sponsors, Langsett cycles, Our Cow Molly (damn that ice cream tastes good!), Nourish me now shakes, Bradfield brewery and Harrison cameras.

As for the race itself, well it was tough. Very tough! Many riders from the field had had enough after one climb up to the finish. For the rest of the field, there were 16 more laps! The main break of the day was forged early on when chain gang regular and officially the fastest student in the country, Tom Stewart (RST) broke clear with the Team Hopes Sam Boast. They quickly established a good lead of over a minute and looked all the time they might be contesting the win.

It was good to see that the riders were keen to contest the Our Cow Molly KOM points. Early on it was looking like a a hotly contested competition but as soon as Tom and Sam had broken away, there was only ever going to be one winner. Congratulations to Tom for lifting that award. I think he led through on five of the counting laps so there was little to test Nick’s special spreadsheet.

As the race wore on and the main group gradually narrowed down, we were all expecting a reaction from the bunch. The gap did fluctuate a fair bit but the consistent work rate from the front pairing kept the bunch at bay.

With two laps to go Martin Ford, who had looked very smooth all day, shot out of the bunch and showed some real class to cross a gap of well over a minute in a lap to bridge over to the leaders. I fully expected him to go straight past the front two and take the win but as the riders homed into view for the last time, all three were together. It was Sam Boast who proved to have the best kick to cross the line just ahead of Tom Stewart with Martin Ford coming over in third.

Next up came what was left of the bunch. The vast majority of the crowd were cheering for another chain gang regular Dan Storey. Thankfully Dan was up to the task and led the bunch home for a fine fourth place. Well done Dan!

Special mention must go to another local rider, James Baillie who had been looking very strong in the main bunch all day. Sadly the race proved to be a few laps too long for James but he battled on valiantly and finished the race just outside the top 20. Next year I predict he will be competing for the win!

Well done to all the riders who competed and completed the race. This was a hard event so hats off to you all.

Finally, we have to thank out very own Social Sec and professional photographer Brendon Tyree who has once again stunned me with an absolutely cracking selection of shots that really manage to capture the day. Enjoy Bren’s photo diary here.

ps For those people who did help out on Sunday…remember you are now half way to free membership next year! You only need to marshal at two Rutland events in a season to claim free membership for the following season…bargain…

A trip down memory lane…

26 Mar
March 26, 2012

I was out riding with Jamie yesterday and he mentioned that someone had uploaded a legendary stage of the Kellogg’s Tour of Britain onto YouTube. A bit of digging when I got home uncovered this gem. Watch in awe at the sheer genius of the course designers of the day brining the riders up that b*tch of a climb to Owler bar from Millthorpe followed by my all time favourite climb in the region, Scotsman Pack.

Just awesome…they don’t make routes like this anymore…what makes this day even more engrained in my memory was the fact that it was the first ride I had on my Specialized Allez Epic road carbon road frame. What a day… Anyway hope you enjoy!