Oct 18

A new king is crowned at the 2017 HTRC freewheel competition

JP Pretorius rolled to victory by a wheel’s length over a wobbling Phil McCormick taking the title, money and trophy.

Word has got around the cycling fraternity about the event of the year up at the head of Millington Dale.

Freewheel 2017

Riders convene at Skidby Mill prior to the season’s biggest event

Over thirty riders, including a good number of ladies, made it from the warm up to the start line; manned by fixed wheel TT legend Jimmy T. Old and new £1 coins were swapped for cable ties, although some tight gits tried to avoid paying (you know who you are!).

Poker faces discussed tactics; the whispers were multi-time champion Mike P had been off the pies and had been putting in the miles this year and didn’t stand a chance.

Rich Dean hadn’t received the email about not being fancy dress and came as hard man cyclist and now master of commentary Sean Kelly. Would a steel frame out freewheel aluminium or carbon?

All we did know was the wind was in our faces and if you made over the hump near the small quarry then you stood a chance.

Riders were scattered along the course, wiggling to a standstill at differing distances looking for the cutters to free their crank arms from their bike frames. Angie Rawson led the way for the ladies with furthest rider JP’s distance chalked on the road. Last to crawl along the valley and retain his authority was 2016 champ, Lee Coulson.

Lee, always worried about sabotage of his winning machine, had swapped a bike lock for the regulation cable tie but could only manage to grind to a halt behind second place Phil. By the time Lee had remembered the combination to his lock everyone had headed to the café, which for one Saturday only in the year had chosen to close!

Luckily cyclists can sniff out a coffee and cake from some 10 miles as the crow flies! As we all descended on a busy KP Club some decided to plough their own furrow and head elsewhere.

After a brief discussion as to who wore the most ridiculous outfit, golfers or cyclists, the race for home was on.

Thanks to everyone who came along for a ride and a laugh, looking forward to next year’s race; already where a few new rules and extra official categories may well be created.

Dave Millson,