Ideal weather condition was a bonus for riders who set off in the “50 miles in 4 hours Trial”, the first of two ACME Wheelers Reliability Trials planned for early season. The route starting from Tonypandy where Mike Bevan and Kerry Lewis decided to start at 9.30am gambling on a 3½hr time schedule to complete the route, both knowing a decent pace would be needed to hold off in form Dean Cummings starting ½ hr later at 10am hoping to complete the route solo in under 3 hours. All riding to finish before 1pm at the Royal Mint.
Mike and Kerry moved southerly down to Treforest and then climbed up Nantgarw Hill and onto Caerphilly, a forecasted headwind greeted the two on route to Machen on the undulating road. Working together hopefully would have benefited them compared to Dean.
Tredegar park signalled the end of the headwind as the riders turned west away from Newport and onto the quiet Wentlooge Flats road. With the wind now assisting them along the coastal road, a toilet break by the leading pair delayed their progress for a little while, which benefited Dean chasing.
Into Cardiff and Red lights from traffic controls was now going to cause concerns and luck was going to play a big part as Mike & Kerry’s navigated across Cardiff town. Things were going well, but some traffic lights seemed to last 2-3 minutes when stops had to be made, delaying the progress… Dean also found the delays were not helping and braking his rhythm, but the busy Cardiff Centre was soon behind the riders and this is where Dean caught a distance glimpse of Kerry & Mike who where totally unaware and hoping to stay ahead of Dean, who was chasing hard behind. Through Fairwater Dean narrowed the gap again with the traffic lights playing a part in the dramatic chase. The climbs had now started again and were testing the tired legs of the leading two and Dean’s good form started to show. The leading pair still unaware as Dean closed in again and soon contact was finally made out of Llandaff, Dean stormed past, Kerry initially gave chase, but no way was he going to match the pace as the next hill beckoned.
Llantrisant road is always a tough test in the final miles and Dean slowly disappeared into the distance and his only concern now was to finish inside the 3hrs he gambled on, especially with all the delays in Cardiff. The now chasing pair were again delayed by road-works but quickly set off using every effort in final miles as their allocated time was also getting close. Once the final climbs ended both Dean and the chases had to get through the final traffic control’s as they approached Talbot Green, Dean had now disappeared far into the distance and rolled into the finish at the Royal Mint – Llantrisant in a time of 2hrs 45mins a great early season solo ride. The chasers turned up the pace on the final miles on the flat run in with only 18 allocated minutes left to finish. Then suddenly Mike slowed to a stop, Kerry wondered what was happening – Mike had punctured with a mile remaining, quickly Mike and Kerry had to work together to rectify the issue as minutes ticked by, Kerry quickly removed the tube as mike prepared a replacement and soon the Issue was resolved, Mike inflated the tyre just enough to get riding again and both raced the final mile to the finish.
Kerry and Mike finished in a time of 3hrs 20mins a decent time for the two partially fit members riding this early season event.
It had been a good early season trial and a lot of fun, but with all the delays in Cardiff etc makes the event a bit more of a challenge to finish in a selected time. Deans computer indicated he had 9 minutes of delays on route, Mike & Kerry delays were worse at 17 minutes – red lights, toilet stop and a PUNCTURE……. the 50 in 4 is always a good annual event hopefully more groups will be on the road in the 2020 event.
More Pictures from the Event:- Press Here
Next reliability trial will be the Hilly Fondo using a number of the tough Mountain Climbs around the local Valleys at the end of March.