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 throughout the summer.
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 January the 15th. The ride is free to enter for juniors, and only £10/9/8 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 annual reliability ride on Saturday 7th of January 2023. All riders who are currently second year U12 or older are invited to join in the 50 miler. The format is simple – sign on between 08:00 and 08:25 and be ready to start at 8:30 as part of the early session. You will then ride 54 laps to complete the Hillingdon 50 miles! If you don’t fancy the 50, don’t worry. You will be able to join groups at 09:30 as part of the regular session to complete 25 miles – an adequate challenge for most of our younger riders looking to improve their endurance.
We will set the riders of in small groups of 8-12 riders, and each group will have their laps counted and timed. You may choose your own groups, but we advise that you choose a group that matches your own ability. Important: this is about steady group riding, so an average group speed of 17.5 mph will be enough to see you home in the allotted time. We will also need as many rider helpers as possible to ride with the groups so all registered helpers will be welcomed to get their bikes out and join in.
To be eligible, you must have:
- Food and drink for 3 hours non-stop riding
- Spare tubes
- Correct clothing (Minimum: Jacket or arm warmers, Tights or knee/leg warmers, Full Fingered Gloves. Nice to have: Waterproof. Shoe covers)
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 is no mechanic’s hut on the open road so we won’t be relying on them for assistance during the challenge!
Please note that while it may possibly be wet, mudguards are not permitted for Slipstreamers sessions.