With most of my friends into mountain biking and the difficulties of persuading others that they would really enjoy going out for even a short cycle let alone 50 miles or more it’s always a challenge to find people to go out with. However, when you start looking there are many new people to meet who love nothing better than a jaunt on their bike.
On January 8th I bit the bullet and, arriving at the designated meet up spot, joined the first Sunday of the month Spokes cycle ride. It was a chilly day, my bike had just come out of storage and I arrived, rushed, with skewed handled bars to see who else had turned up. For the first 10 minutes of waiting for any late arrivals it looked like this would be a trip with the boys. As it happened in the next few minutes another woman did arrive and we were soon off…. with what were now straight handle bars!
The great thing about organised rides is that you really can spend time enjoying the ride, not worrying about navigation and learning new cycle friendly routes while out with those who’ve cycled the area many times before. Everyone in the group was friendly and over the course of the next few hours I spoke to most folks out for this Sunday ride. Within the first hour the other woman on the trip had even worked out where we had met before. (I had been a presenter on a training course she had attended some 12 months earlier!).
Heading out of town, past Musselburgh and Prestonpans we found time for pub lunch and after a few hours out on the bike I started to head towards home. All in all this had been a great trip, a friendly group, non-competitive and full of interesting rides and information from other travels. For me the only negative had been that the speed was very slow at times and in chilly conditions a faster pace would have made for a slightly more pleasant ride. I will definitely be back for the February trip… especially having been assured that the pace was much slower than normal….