Winter training rides are the mainstay of developing a solid base for the summer, and there’s no better way to do so than by joining a Reliability Ride. To quote Wikipedia:

A reliability trial is an organised bicycle ride which challenges a cyclist to complete a course, passing through designated control points, within a preset time limit. In the United Kingdom, such events are often held in the wintry opening months of the year and are used by club cyclists as training rides.”

A reliability ride is therefore an opportunity to test that you and your machine are equipped to handle long distance rides, that you have the correct nutrition, spares and equipment to carry out endurance rides – they are not races, but a chance to ride steadily and grow your engine that will be used later on in sport.

Slipstreamers encourage riders to join such events. One of the favourite rides is promoted by our friends at Westerley CC with their attractively named “Westerley Winter Warmer” which takes place in the Chilterns on Jan 15th. The ride is free to enter for juniors, and only £4 for adults. We suggest that as this is early in the year, you start with the 61km route and look to progress by entering other reliability rides through the winter. Juniors must sign parental consent forms, and be accompanied by adults throughout the ride – so hopefully enough adults will sign up to accompany riders in groups.

To enter, follow this link.

To get you prepared, we are holding our own reliability ride on Dec 31st (yes! New Year’s Eve). All riders who are currently first year U12 are invited to join. The format is simple – start at 8:30 as part of the early session and ride 54 laps to complete the Hillingdon 50 miles!

To be eligible, you must have:

  • Food and drink for 3 hours non-stop riding
  • Spare tubes
  • Multi-tool
  • Pump
  • Correct clothing

As this about testing yourself, the group will be required to stop and assist anyone who has difficulties, such as mechanicals, punctures, or issues with continuing. Of course, we will celebrate the achievements of all those who complete!

Remember, there’s no mechanic’s hut on the open road!

Important: this is about steady group riding, so an average group speed of 17 mph will be enough to see you home in the allotted time.

If you would like to join the Hillingdon 50 or have any questions, please see Dave or Sam!