16th April

On Sunday 7th April, nine members of the club met at The Welcome Inn to take part in the last of this year’s reliability trials – The Hilly Ride (45 miles). After the recent spell of cold and windy weather it was nice to start the event in reasonably calm and slightly warmer conditions. The riders were waved off by new club chairman, Jeff Matthews who was accompanied by his predecessor Roger Evans and supporting cameramen – Kerry Lewis and Chris Thomas.

The group rode together up the valley and some way up The Bwlch before the first splits occurred. At the top junction there was no respite as the route turned right towards the Afan Valley. There was a very brief regroup at the mast, before the group split into two on the very cold (and icy) descent into Abergwynfi.

The front group – Paul Harries, Neil Lewis, Glen Waters, Phil Andrews, Simon Iles and Ian Humphries continued down the valley to the next climb from Cymmer, over the Bryn, into Maesteg. At this point the following group of Jason Dodd, Tavis Rees and Tony Rees were not that far behind. The pace increased in the Maesteg Valley before the route turned left towards Shwt.

This climb was surprisingly steep and made slightly more difficult by width restrictions on the road due to road works. It also had a little sting in the tail with the further climb to Llangeinor. It was on the descent into Ogmore Vale that Paul Harries strung out the front group into an order that stayed the same over the final climb of the Bwlch and back to The Welcome.

Jason, Tavis and Tony caught Ian on the climb to Shwt and this group stayed together until Nantymoel where Ian lost contact on the climb from the clock tower. He worked hard to rejoin on the descent to Treorchy and these riders stayed together to the finish.

Final finishing times were as follows. Paul Harries – 2 hrs 31 mins. Neil Lewis – 2.35, Phil Matthews – 2.36, Glen Waters – 2.40, Simon Iles – 2.42. Remaining Riders – 2 hrs 48 mins.

Because of their shift patterns, Dean and Hywel were unable to ride that Sunday but not wanting to miss the experience they rode the course on 30th March, completing the distance in 2 hours 48 minutes.

Many photos from the event can be seen in the Gallery.

Posted in 2013 News, April.