Last weekend the team travelled to the Lake District on Saturday afternoon for a dual purpose.
First, the riders had entered the CRC Open Levens 10 Mile Time Trial on the L1015 course and we had 4 riders in the event. The weather was good but the conditions were far from ideal with a very strong head wind facing the riders for the latter half of the time trial.
The lads all rode excellently with 3 riders using their Shark road bikes fitted with clip-on TT bars and our fastest (most experienced) rider using a time trial specific bike.
The times were as follows:
- Lewis Hartley: 20:48
- Daniel Gibson: 21:59
- Nathan Hawthorn 22:00
- Cory Edmondson 22:24
These are Personal Best times (PB’s) for all of the riders so they all left the event very satisfied for an evening meal just up the road in Kendal with a fellow VCUK member and #1 fan John Hawtin.
After dinner we then travelled further North to Hawkshead YHA where we stayed for the night ready for an early start on Sunday.
At 5am our alarms sounded and we quickly got ourselves ready, had a simple breakfast, packed the van and set off by 5.45am heading to Ambleside to marshal for the Fred Whitton Challenge.
We had offered to marshal as the FWC has helped our team throughout 2015/16 with sponsorship and this was our way of giving something back. The majority of the proceeds from the FWC go to McMillan Cancer Support but the organisation also helps some other worthy causes.
We were marshalling at the mini roundabout at the base of the infamous “struggle” which the riders did not have to face as we were directing them out of Ambleside towards Windermere for their ascent of Kirkstone Pass.
We marshalled around 2500 riders between 6am and 9am and to be honest it was a very enjoyable experience watching a lot of very keen cyclists participate in a great event in memory of a great man ‘Fred Whitton’. Fred put so much into the development of cycling in the Lakes and Lanc’s region as an active member of the Lakes Road Club and former Regional Road Race Secretary before his untimely death at the age of 50 in 1998.
After marshalling we headed to a nearby café for some more breakfast and then the lads prepared themselves for a Lakeland road ride.
The road ride included an initial lap of the Kirkstone pass in the same direction as the FWC and then a descent down the Struggle into Ambleside before heading South-East to Skelwith Bridge and then Coniston. The lads then did a lap of Coniston in absolutely glorious sunshine, before heading back to Ambleside via Hawkshead. On arrival in Ambleside the lads then proceeded up the Struggle (1:4) which is a very difficult climb up to the Inn at the top of the pass road. The riders then descended down the Kirkstone pass to Bowness and then returned on a reverse loop back to Ambleside and onwards to Grasmere where the start/finish point for the FWC is located, covering 55mile and a few thousand feet of climbing.
Once at the FWC HQ the lads were able to get cleaned up and changed, grab some food and were then introduced to the founder of the FWC, Lynn Whitton (Fred’s wife) and also the current event organiser Stuart Emms. Lynn and Stuart presented the riders with some FWC tee-shirts in preparation for a team shot and this concluded a very enjoyable weekend in the Lake District.