Berkhamsted Cycling Club have scooped the 66-year-old Harp Hilly Hundred Shield for the sixth consecutive year. The shield is awarded to the club with the most members to complete the historic ‘reliability ride’.
The Harp Hilly Hundred, organised by Harp Road Club, Apsley, has been run in January every year since 1954. On Sunday, January 19, on a course shortened from 100km to 60km due to a cold snap, 38 riders for Berkhamsted CC finished, out of a total of 104. St Albans’ Verulam Cycling Club was second with 19.
The shield will now be presented to Berkhamsted’s Mayor and will return to the Town Hall until January 2021.
Mike Plowman, Berkhamsted CC’s chairman, said: ‘This was a great effort by all of our riders – especially considering the chilly conditions. I was most proud of the range of times BCC members completed the course in – between one and three-quarter hours and three hours and a quarter. This shows how there’s room in the club for all abilities, from the very fastest to people who prefer a much more leisurely loop through this beautiful countryside.’
Reliability rides are a British cycling tradition, the earliest dating back more than a century when cyclists would complete a long loop in early January without external support, as a way of proving the durability of themselves and their machines. Berkhamsted – a relatively new club – have dominated the Harp Hilly Hundred shield in recent years but still have a long way to go to equal local rivals Verulam, who have scooped the prize on 23 occasions.