I’ve been wanting to do a club run for quite a while now, but theres always been an excuse for me not to do one. I have got fed up of training on my own, so decided to try out the club Adam is in. Adam invited me to pop along to a 30 mile ride a few weeks ago, and I thought I’ll give it a whirl.
So, I got up at 6am, out of the door at 6:45 after I filled myself up with a bowl of readybrek. Please note, I am a student and these times are rarely seen by me. The meet point was 11 miles away, and I had just over an hour to get there, perfect. I ended up getting there 30 minutes early which was quite boring waiting for the first people to turn up. Another new guy to the club called Michael turned up at around 7:45 and we were beginning to wonder if anyone else would turn up. Suddenly there was a mass influx of people who seemed to turn up from no-where about 5 mins before the scheduled meet time.
Adam phoned me as we were just about to leave saying that he woke up late. This coming from the guy who refuses to ride after 10AM. We went through the route, and Adam said he will catch up with us.
We left the meet point at about 8:05 and set off aiming for a steady 16mph average. Within 2 miles of leaving, we already had numpties in cars. A guy in a golf decided it would be wise to try and overtake 13 cyclists before a pedestrian refuge. He skidded to a halt without making it, and so did the car which was following closely behind him, nearly causing a crash. We were soon onto the country roads with single lanes and little traffic. I nearly lost it on one corner due to not seeing the gravel in the middle of the road, that would of been embarrassing on a first club ride. The single lane did give me one hairy moment, as we all were in single file letting a car coming in the opposite direction pass, he came a bit to close to my elbow with his wing-mirror, and I nearly flopped it trying to move out of his way.
We got to the hill in Wysall where the hill descending competition was held. No pedaling allowed, just rely on gravity and your aero tuck. Just before I was about to go, I got a text from Adam and somehow he had managed to fall off his bike into a grass verge, and wasn’t joining up with us, and was missing the cafe stop. Anyway, back to the competition, I managed to get 41mph down this hill freewheeling, and got a bit sketchy so feathered the brakes. I manged to get 3rd furthest out of the 13 of us, could of got higher if I wasn’t such a wimp and feathered my brakes.
This hill was about 5 miles away from my house, and about another 11 to go back to the meet point in the wrong direction. So I bailed off at around 2 miles after the hill. I didn’t see the point in cycling 11 miles to the cafe, then another 11 back when I could just get home which was only 5 miles away. My excuse was that if I bailed with 5 miles to go, I had to go up a few 7% average climbs of a few hundred metres each, that would be my punishment for ending early. Whereas if I carried on to do the whole ride, there would be no hills.
So, I ended up doing just a shade under 40 miles, at an average speed of 16.2 mph. Max speed of 41.1 mph. It was great fun (apart from the dry skin on my palms now) and will defiantly be going back for more.