Others of course prefer to spend their winter afternoons cycling over muddy fields, covered in mud and grime and freezing to death in icy winds..this I am told is the joy of Cyclo Cross.
Now whilst I cannot disagree that Cycling Clubs do engage in all these activities there is a much more social side to it all.
I am old and can never participate in these events but I can, and do, help out as part of the Support Team and find it really enjoyable and , though I am not a ' proper ' cyclist I have been made very welcome.
Occasionally though there are also highly inclusive events where everyone can participate irrespective of age and sporting prowess. Last weekend was such a time when Derby Mercury held their 78th Anniversary Ride.
There were three, or possibly four options; a 78 mile ride out into the back of beyond, a 78km ride to the edges of the Peak District, a 78 furlong option for those who wanted a gentle pootle, and a zero yards option for those who just wanted to partake in the post ride BBQ.
I chose the 78km option out to Denstone, a marvelous place for a mid ride break. I was a little concerned that I might not be fit enough to complete this ride so took a solo practice run a couple of days in advance to ensure I could manage the climbs. Having successfully completed this I felt more confident to go with the group and do the Anniversary Ride
There were over 50 riders on this ride, somewhat fewer on the 78 mile torture fest, but over 100 made it to the BBQ taking into account all the options
Below are a few images and here is a short video taken from the 78km Slow Group
|Denstone Farm Shop and the Queue To Refuel|
|All ages were on the ride|
|A discussion on just how many punctures one should expect|
|A very happy me enjoying my ride out with the group|
|BBQ at Derby Rugby Club post the ride|
In cluding my trip to the start and the ride home I managed to cover about 100km and climb just over 1000m. I was happy with that..but whether I will be able to manage 79 km next year remains to be seen