Hatch Warren Beggarwood Cycling Club
With an air of great excitement and a certain amount of trepidation, twenty brave HWBCC members set out for Belgium this April, for a glorious weekend away. After last year’s successful completion of the Flanders course, this year we were taking on the infamous ‘Old Lady’ one of the hardest and oldest Sportive’s in Europe.
The course is well known for the ‘Cote de la Redoute’ an almost 2 km climb of up to 20% gradient lined with supporters in their campervans, egging you on all the way. This was one of 7 officially advertised hills within Liege Bastogne Liege, and there were many more they hadn’t mentioned!
Most people took on the 97 mile route, and a few the shorter distance. All riders deserve a huge amount of respect and of course the fabulous medal we all received at the end. With temperatures of up to 30 degrees and an early start of 4:45am, this ride was gruelling in many ways.
Everyone, from the more experienced amongst us, to those who were completing this type of event or distance for the first time, all came back and recounted the same words “That was BRUTAL” and it was, but it was also magnificent.
An epic adventure with amazing people, lots of laughs, great food and beer, beautiful weather, and breath-taking scenery. As per our club ethos, there was an incredible amount of support from fellow cyclists on the day, those who came to support us in Belgium and those at home making sure we’d all crossed the line safely.
In other news this month, an amazing group of over 30 members tackled the Isle of Wight Radonnee – a route around the island of 100kms. And a week later over 50 members cycled to Winchester and back as part of Christian Aid’s ‘Big Bike to Brekkie’. Now that the sun is making more of an appearance, many don’t pass up an opportunity to get out on two wheels – especially if food is involved.
Whether you are up for a massive challenge like this one (and who knows what next years will be!), you want to get fit again, or just like the idea of a social ride with cake. ‘Come ride with us’, you won’t regret it.
If you’d like to join the club, our membership year runs from April to April but you can join at any time – its only £15! Go to the membership section on the British Cycling website. Simply type “British Cycling Hatch Warren” into Google. If you are not ready to commit just yet, why not come along for a trial ride. For more information on our scheduled rides, please see our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/HWBcc/