On Sunday, September 6, at 6.21 am, Tanis Hand represented Tenby Aces Cycling Club in the Welsh 12-hour time trial championship held near Abergavenny.

The cyclists set off at one minute intervals and rode throughout the day on a route that took them up to Hereford and back, then around a 25-mile circuit between Abergavenny, Usk and Raglan.

After the leading rider had completed six laps of this circuit, everyone was directed onto the finishing circuit, a 15-mile loop, with timekeepers placed every mile or so to record times as riders passed. The distance covered by each rider was calculated to three points of a mile.

This was the first time Tanis had ever attempted such a challenge and her main target was simply to complete the time trial. She had hoped to get further than 180 miles, but 200 miles seemed a very long way! She turned onto the finishing loop after five times around the middle circuit, and realised that with about two hours to go and around 175 miles already covered, the 200-mile goal was achievable as long as nothing went wrong in between.

Fortunately, there were no mishaps, the weather stayed dry and a very tired, but happy person completed a total of 208.318 miles in all. The icing on the cake was the surprise discovery that Tanis had cycled further than the other ladies and was therefore Welsh Lady Champion!

The winners were presented with bright yellow caps with Welsh 12-hour Champion on them (see picture) and will be attending a presentation dinner later in the year to collect their trophies.

Congratulations to all the other 48 finishers (from around 65 entries) and in particular the riders from Pembrokeshire Velos, Cliff Jackson, who won 1st vet on standard, Nick Brown and Pete Lloyd, who rode amazing distances of 258, 235 and 217 miles, respectively.

On the same day, John 'Wilier' Shuttleworth took on a different, but equally challenging ride, the Trans Cambrian Cyclo-sportive, an 87-mile ride taking in the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales.

John was the only member of Tenby Aces amongst the 500 entries and it meant an early morning start for him as he had to get to Rhayader for 7.30 am.

Decent weather and breathtaking scenery resulted in a fabulous day for John, who finished in a very respectable time of six hours 32 minutes after some long and tough climbs.

John is hoping to finish the season on a high with a good ride at the Autumn Epic Sportive on October 4. The Epic has been voted the best organised and toughest sportive the last two years. There are two hill climbs of 22 and 25 per cent gradient that usually split the field of riders in two - those who can grit their teeth, tolerate the pain and make it to the top and those who don't!

John will have some company on this event, with Tim and Alex Brace, Nigel Lewis and hopefully a few more. Alex at the age of 14 will be the youngest entrant on the day and the youngest rider to tackle The Epic's route in the event's history.

The following weekend is the club's second club trip this year to Aberaeron. A very challenging route awaits the members, with some leg-burning hills out of St. Clears and Newcastle Emlyn. Some of the newer Members have been training hard to prepare themselves for these two tough rides. Those wanting accommodation must reserve their places with Jon Mills at Tenby Cycles by the end of September.

Club rides on Tuesday and Thursday evenings will continue at the earlier time of 6 pm and a shorter route to take into account the fading light. Turbo training will start on Wednesday, October 15, from 8 to 9.30 pm at Tenby Leisure Centre. This year it is in the main hall, so allow a little extra time for setting up please.