Over the past few weeks I have taken part in reliability trials held by local clubs in the nearby area. The two events over the past two weeks that I have taken part in have been organised by Welland Valley Cycling Club and also the Ratae Road Club.
Riding a reliability trial involves riding a set route given in advance by the organisers. The idea is that you specify the time you estimate it will take you to ride the route and then ride the route within that time. Reliability trials are low cost to enter (£4-£5), similar to audax events. They aren’t signed as a sportive would be but the route is usually posted as a gpx file online with riders also given a route sheet to follow on the day. Reliability trials are usually in the winter months and so its good training at a sociable event, but does mean braving the elements as we have found out over the past few weeks. Rain, 20mph wind and then the added challenge of being talked into making up the mileage the a century. That of course is optional and another story.
The best part? The homemade cakes and that you are awarded a certificate at the end, almost similar to the proud moment of completion of the cycling proficiency test age 11.
I joke, but they are great events and a good way to support cycling clubs in your area. The routes are put together by keen cyclists and they are usually well tested.
Here are our tips for riding reliability trials
- Make sure you have downloaded the route and have the route sheet, don’t rely on others to know where they are going.
- Even if there is a designated tea stop make sure you are carrying food and water with you anyway.
- As with any ride, be prepared for a puncture and make sure you’re carrying what you need.
- Get to the start a little early and give yourself time to have a coffee before heading out.
- Chat to other cyclists, either at the start, the tea stop or during the ride. Cyclists are friendly people and with cycling in common you will always have something to talk about.
- Ride at your own pace.
- Enjoy the cake at the end.
Love Velo CC