West Suffolk Wheelers Suffolk Punch

Suffolk Punch 2011 Reliability Trial

Sunday 6th Feb


Registration from 9.30am – First group away at 10am

Starting from Nowton Village Hall

Choice of two routes – 55 miles and 40 miles

Four average speed categories – 18, 15, 13 & 11 mph – Certificates to qualifiers

This year there is no formal entry fee, but a suggested donation of £5 to EAST ANGLIAN AIR AMBUALANCE SERVICE Will be much appreciated.

Sunday February 6th. This is a road based event, a reliability trial – you choose a distance and speed to suit and then spend the next few hours trying to do just that…. something like, I’ll do the 55 mile route at 18mph average, or the 40 mile route at 15mph. Choose on the day. You are usually given all the information you need at the start. These tend to be very enjoyable and are non competitive…in theory. I made the mistake of trying to ride with the fast group one year and while I was able to hang on for the first 20 miles, as soon as the pace picked up I was dropped and never regained contact. I was picked up many miles later by the very veteran Gren Ellis who chaperoned me home as I had blown spectacularly.

Road bikes then, mudguards are a very good idea, don’t start with an over inflated opinion of your ability, you might come unstuck.


Have a look at this from Justin Wallace (West Suffolk Wheelers) for a description of a Reliability Trial:

With so many new people joining the club this year, and with Suffolk Punch just over three weeks away, I feel it would be a good idea to give a brief outline on what a reliability trial actually is. So here goes:
Why back in the dim and distant past, most cycling clubs organised reliability trials during January or February. They were designed to enable members to test their fitness prior to the racing season, and as they attracted riders from neighbouring clubs they tended to have a competitive edge – however, they were not races.
Reliability trials are similar to sportives in that riders are set off in groups and have target times to aim for: some sportives go for gold and silver targets, reliability trials for average miles per hour categories. Unlike sportives there aren’t arrows on every corner (route instructions are provided instead), there are no feed stations and no mechanical back up. The clue is in the title: you must be reliable. For instance: you must be capable of changing a punctured inner tube, because unlike a clubrun most people are on a mission to get back within a time limit and you can’t rely on members of your group stopping to help. Anyone trying to get round a hilly route in February averaging 18 or 15 mph can’t afford to hang about.
As stated earlier, reliability trials are not races. There is no result sheet published, just certificates presented to each finisher with the average mph target time recorded. All riders must obey the rules of the road and be considerate to other road users, riding single file when road conditions dictate (cars waiting to pass, busy section of road or narrow, twisting road).
If you think today’s Suffolk Punch is tough I can assure you it is a walk in the park compared to some of the two day events that were promoted in the 70s and 80s. Haverhill ran the Great East Anglian Rally (GEAR) for several years, which consisted of three (or was it four?) stages over the weekend. Maybe a 30 mile warm up on Saturday morning followed by 40 or 50 miles in the afternoon. Sunday’s stage was around 70 miles. The first Suffolk Punch events in the late 80s were also held over two days, and before that ten years of Lincstour with the same format. So enjoy the 6th February safe in the knowledge that your legs won’t be aching from the day before.

Sunday 20th February 2011 Peddars Way Pedal Off Road Ride

Start time 09:30 Start from World Horse Welfare Hall Farm Snetterton (follow the signs off the A11)

Various distances

Entry by Donation on Line – entry fees will be used to help fund the Gas Hill Gasp

Organiser Ken Jolliffe, 01953 681755, kenjolliffe@mypostoffice.co.uk

I have not done this one myself but I understand it is good fun as well as being a good way to get early season miles in your legs.


Spotted on the Timber website:

Yes, it’s back for 2011! And this time it’s actually in Cambridge.

Rollapaluza Cambridge – National Series qualifier Fri 4th Feb 2011
@ The Corner House,
231 Newmarket Rd,
Cambridge CB5 8JE

Qualifying starts at 7pm
£ 10 riders (Entry via RiderHQ)
www.riderhq.com/events/rollapaluzacambr … /all/enter
£ 5 spectators (on the door)

Once again generously sponsored by Ben Hayward Cycles. There’ll also be a DJ
and as usual our very own MC will be giving gentle encouragement. Any questions
please email rollerracing@team-cambridge.co.uk.

Team Cambridge


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