Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Rides and Touring => Topic started by: TonyJames on January 10, 2019, 10:57:59 am

Title: Reliability Rides
Post by: TonyJames on January 10, 2019, 10:57:59 am
Its cold, it's wet, it means it's time to start doing reliability trials!
Do you do them in your club? We used to have loads down here but there seems to be more of a push towards sportives these days. I still prefer the old school flavour of turning up, paying a couple of quid, getting a photocopied bit of paper with a sort of route on it and then setting off with the wrong group and barely hanging on at the back for 60 miles!

I'm surprised how many people haven't heard of them before, let alone done them.

If you've not done one before I'd recommend trying one (as long as you are comfortable riding in a group)
There's a list here if you want to try one for the first time, if you don't know what you are doing just pick the slowest group and enjoy the ride!
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: mattc on January 10, 2019, 12:23:22 pm
 A club near me ran a "reliability ride" back in December. It turned out to be nothing of the sort  ::-)

Although it did seem to be a small-scale, vv cheap, non-profit, volunteer-run sportive, and generally - IMHO - a nice event :)
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: FifeingEejit on January 10, 2019, 01:08:37 pm
A few round me:
Fife Century
Dundee Thistle
Perth United
think Dundee Wheelers do one too

My experience of them is also going in the wrong group and hanging on for as long as possible.

Only once did I miss the cakes; Fife Century from Falkland, was dropped by Gateside...
The fact that the lead rider of the "moderate 100k" group I picked looked about 90,  hobbled up to the bike and hardly had enough flexibility left to swing his leg over it was a bit of a decoy.
The "easier moderate 100k" group which had a lead rider that looked about 80 and gracefully lolloped onto the bike with ease also broke a part pretty early, but that was I was told at the dig up to Yetts before the glen Devon Climb.

The guy I'd ridden down to Falkland with was told by his wife that she would pick him up at the café in Newburgh.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: essexian on January 10, 2019, 01:26:24 pm
The rides in Shropshire are listed here:

I am likely to do the Nova Raiders and the Audlem rides again this year: they were both useful workouts and not too lumpy!

Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: drossall on January 10, 2019, 01:47:00 pm
My first reliability ride was as a novice in early 1978. My abiding memory is of the rear axle of the trike that I was put behind when I began to struggle, and desperately hung on to for the next ten miles. I can still picture it. That and the Galli brake that played the same role in my first two-up.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: JonJo on January 10, 2019, 04:07:01 pm
Seem to remember Ferryhill Wheelers doing a 100 in 5hrs and a 100 in 7hrs on the first Sunday in Feb. A big loop down the Vale of York, swinging back up to Helmsley where it was every man for himself through the NY Moors back to Ferryhill. It was most definiteley not a race (honestly officer) but it was amazing how much effort was put into getting back first.

Wonder whether they still do it.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: phantasmagoriana on January 10, 2019, 07:27:02 pm
There are a few near-ish to me - February seems the popular time. From the name, I initially assumed that they were nice steady rides, but from what I've seen on clubmates' Strava feeds, they're really quite fast and so I've never bothered attempting one!
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Peter on January 10, 2019, 08:35:39 pm
There can be similarities with Audax.  Certainly the legendary Old 240, a 400k Audax run from Mytholmroyd and awarding 6+ AAA points was based on a Calderdale CTC reliabilty ride requiring 240 miles in 24 hours. 
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 08:37:48 pm
I don't think I'm reliable enough for this sort of thing.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Blade on January 10, 2019, 08:37:57 pm
The largest cycling club in my city runs three early season reliability rides each year.

I first rode their 50 miles in 4 hours event back in 1965 and the course used then is still the same one used every year since.

Only difference now is that it takes me four hours instead of three.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: grams on January 10, 2019, 08:48:51 pm
My club's audaxes became British Cycling Reliability Rides.

Except they've never bothered to organise groups by speed or encourage people to set time goals or anything like that. Would the organiser be involved in that or do the participants work out groups amongst themselves?
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Wowbagger on January 10, 2019, 09:35:29 pm
The Essex CTC SEG runs a Reliability Ride every February. It's 75 miles and traditionally ran from Lake Meadows, Billericay, up to Great Bardfield and back, in a "pair of spectacles" shaped loop. I think those two places were chosen as the whole ride was covered by a single 1:50000 OS map. In recent years it has started at Wickford, which seems to be at the convenience of the organiser, which is not in itself a bad reason. But in my view it does detract slightly from the excellent mapsmanship of the original organisers as Wickford is on a different sheet..
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: sg37409 on January 10, 2019, 11:22:11 pm
A few clubs local to me run some, and they seem really popular. I've seen the riding on them and decided its not for me.  Whenever I've seen them its been a kid-on road race with huge groups and no organisation.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: bobb on January 11, 2019, 09:00:46 am
The Essex CTC SEG runs a Reliability Ride every February....

There's also The Chelmer 100 in 8 which I've done a few times. It goes up to Newmarket and back. Obviously some people go at their own pace, but if you're in the main group it turns into an all out road race on the second 50. I've never managed not to get dropped in the last 10 miles  :-[
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Martin on January 11, 2019, 12:14:30 pm
Did a few with my former club, they were quite hard to find out about (usually word went round) and always involved having to post cheques etc which seems a bit incongruous in these days of contactless. I think they all work on the principle of nominating a time to complete which you have to stick to (ie you can't complete too soon either)

They never usually allowed facilities to eat anything on the way round either

The last one I did was a bit of a massacre as over half the entrants went for too short a time so were DQ'd. We weren't shown the route beforehand but I figured a 105km route in that area was going to be the equivalent of a Hilly Audax so I allowed the maximum 5 hours. I've since turned the route into a successful and very nice perm and calendar AAA ride with the kind permission of the organiser
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Salvatore on January 11, 2019, 12:55:58 pm
Well worth watching. Reliability rides were obviously a big thing in 1962.

1962 Tyneside Vagabonds CC Reliability Ride (

Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: TonyJames on January 11, 2019, 04:15:07 pm
That is amazing, things havent really changed much!
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Jakob W on January 12, 2019, 11:30:04 am
I'd not realised they were quite so racy - I'd assumed they were more of a long CTC ride, but it sounds like they're more of a long winter chain gang (at the front end at least!).
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 12, 2019, 01:15:36 pm
Bristol CTC run something called the Vets 100 (that's miles not km) every year, which I guess is a sort of reliability ride. I think you ride it in groups of three, or maybe five. I'm not entirely sure because I've never (before ::-)) been old enough to enter.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on January 13, 2019, 11:24:26 am

Gravesend CC reliability ride , Jan 25 2019. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Giropaul on January 13, 2019, 03:10:21 pm
Reliability rides used to be decent, tempo, rides; often requiring mudguards and even sometimes a saddlebag. They were friendly, maybe amiably slightly competitive on the run in to the finish. Those arriving at a control too early had to wait.

More recently what I observe is yet another form of unlicensed road racing ( like sportive). It’s all carbon wheels, best bikes and eyeballs out. There are even Facebook comments about who won, where the “ break” went and so on.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: Exit Stage Left on January 13, 2019, 04:35:42 pm
The Preston Wheelers reliability used to have a number of start times, so you could elect to do the ride in 5,6, or 7 hours. The idea was that everyone would finish around the same time. The 5 hour one was a bit of a race. It changed to a single start time, still with certificates for the times. So 'steady' riders will be dropped by the faster participants early on.
Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: aeolus on January 13, 2019, 05:10:42 pm
When I rode with the Exeter CTC in the mid/late sixties they held 'Standard Rides' 100 in 8, 100 in 7 and 50 in 4 (all miles)
They were fairly brisk touring mainly group rides - 100 in 8 some just had time for a quick brew up at lunch !
The object was only to complete within the time.
The route was usually a figure of 8 with some fairly hilly bits I seem to remember.

Still have some certs including on a tandem.

Title: Re: Reliability Rides
Post by: rob on January 13, 2019, 05:15:07 pm
Local clubs used to run them on consecutive weekends through Jan and Feb.   A couple have gone on to become larger sportives, but most of them still run.

It used to be an informal road race up front with the rest of us just chasing the cut off.