So screw it, I did it. I've been putting this moment off for so long, simple because I enjoy my lazy Sunday mornings but today I finally got around to riding with a club.
I had a choice of 2, Thames Velo and the rather less fetchingly named Fanborough and Camberley cycling club. From my house it's about the same distance to the clubs ride out points so I thought I'd give the latter a try as I knew the meeting point.
Scheduled meet was 9am @ Speedys on the West Heath Roundabout, could just about manage that on a Sunday morning, I left the house about 8:20am which got me there with 10 mins to spare. (9.9 miles).
I've been wanting to ride out with a club for a while as it's a good way to rack up the miles without having to pay a hefty fee to enter a sportive. Like minded people, good roads, great bikes, can't fault the idea really and as it happens that's just how it turned out. Only 5 of us riding today, all good confident road riders with a nice selection of bling bikes. Now this I could do.
Only now I've uploaded my data to Strava do I actually know where I've been, I recognised certain areas but others were completly unknown to me. Rode at a good pace keeping the ave speed around the 17mph mark, which was great considering the headwind we seemed to be riding into. Got a round of applause at one point as we followed the route of the Phyllis Tuckwell charity ride through Farnham, ok so the applause wasn't meant for me but you take what you can get....One of our riders did try to explain that we were just training on the route but that just made it akward, applause it was.
I really enjoyed getting to ride a route other than my commute, especially on board my new bike. Ok so it rained but thankfully only a shower and most of the ride was complete by that point. I also had a small 'off', nothing damaged other than pride (and a slightly scuffed left brake leaver), very slow off whilst trying to navigate a ridiculously sharp turn when riding up a steep footpath that seemed to continously go back on itself like a zigzag. I seem to forget how to unclip in that situation, I know it's happening and I know what I have to do, I just don't do it and end up lying on the floor like a pleb.
Lost one rider to a mechanical at about 20 miles in but other than that it was a good morning's ride. I had worried how my legs would react as I commute 25 miles daily but they were fine, total ride distance was 62 miles, I guess this next commuting week may turn out to be more difficult.
When seeing groups of cyclist's riding together they always look so fast, I had imagined I'd struggle with the pace in parts but this fear was unfounded and I actually happened to be one of the faster climbers, I was quite shocked at how easy it seemed to distance guys on climbs without really trying and at no point did I feel I was pushing myself, plenty left in the tank.
Anyway, enough of blowing my own trumpet, I'm off to watch the Peter Sagan take stage two of the Tour...