With the Tour de France behind us, and being well into the school holidays the committee thought we would push out a short update and reminder on rides over the summer holiday period.
Saturday rides go from strength to strength at the moment. We are getting a big enough turn out at the main club ride at 9am to allow for fast, medium, and steady paced groups.
We also think the 7.30am “Tiggle” ride, as it has become known (copyright Terry Alberti !!), is a great initiative, and meets the needs both of those who are short of time on a weekend, and those who want to fire a few “bullets” before the main club ride. It also has the added benefit of getting in an extra coffee and cake for those that can manage it !! If we take add it to the ride bible, as we plan to, it will try and stick to the formula that has worked so well so far.
Sunday rides fluctuate, but we have a pretty hard core of Sunday regulars who want to ride fast and far, though again this number is affected by sportive and racing commitments, to say nothing of school holidays !! We’d anticipate numbers picking back up again on Sundays into the autumn, once we’re on the other side of holidays and the main sportive season. As with Saturdays, there is also a demand for a later starting, slower paced ride, and we are looking to accommodate that. Watch this space for more on this, but Rich Monk and Steve Hoskins have a plan to complement the early risers, with those that need a bit more beauty sleep……
Chaingang on Thursdays at DLC at 6.30pm is still firmly intended to be the weekly group ride short, sharp blast. With enough numbers, it will support fast, medium and steady paced rides – but we need support, engagement, and a little bit of organization to do this. As someone who likes to ride fast, but also gets plenty of satisfaction riding more steadily to contribute to other groups, there is a need from time to time for folk to make the odd compromise. The ride only really has problems when people’s expectations don’t fit what happens on the road – and that is usually down to getting the groups into the right size, each with a lead, and of roughly equal ability. There are club members out there with loads to offer as far as leading and contributing to the fast groups – but we can’t force anyone who does n’t want to engage with this. We tend to be better off in the medium and steadier groups for leading and contributing, so if you’re a fast rider and this applies to you….well….we continue to look for your support and engagement…….over to you….
On the other side of the summer holidays, we will be looking to start the planning for the Autumn/Winter ride book. As ever Rich Monk will take the lead on this, but will look to a programme of rides that offer variety, challenge, a change from the summer ride book, and appreciate different riding conditions of the October-March period. Your help is critical in this too !! We will look at how we could corral ride suggestions from members. We have n’t got all the bright ideas by any means, but there is obviously a limit to what you can do with 30-40 mile Saturday options, and 45-60 mile Sunday options starting and finishing in Devizes !!! Roll on the winter………..
A word on other things going on……Some of you will know of a separate venture set up by 3 club members, who happen also to be founding members of the club. The rationale behind what they want to do is laid out very clearly in their website, and like any club nobody has any issue with new ventures coming and going – this is a fact of life in any sport. But like any club there begins to be an issue if different organizations start working against each other. And not to beat about the bush on this, but the organisation of rides at the same time as our well established framework (in one instance running at the same time, over the same route just backwards….) does n’t help us. Its not something we can do anything about, and people can vote with their feet. But the committee are not going to hide from the fact that at best we think it is unhelpful, and we’re pretty certain that our feelings are no different to any other club placed in the same position……….
In summary – tons going on in the late summer in club, after a very busy early-mid summer, what with the Fred Whitton, Velothon, Dragon Ride, the club trip to the Pyrenees, another group in the Alps, a club member completing his own cross Pyrenean ride, another club member riding the Tour de Force, a great Tour De France themed ride and BBQ (in sunny Wiltshire obviously), a number of club members at Ride London, one planning a Raid Pyrenean in September, as well as our group of committed time triallists, track stars and one neo-pro apprenticing in Italy…..phew !!!
The list could go on !!!! So – thankyou for your support this year. In order to carry on growing, developing, and managing the growing pains that sometimes accompany the sort of thing, we still need your trust, support, and tons of engagement. We are as our website says, and as we have repeatedly stressed, committed to a broad based, inclusive club, which does and will continue to meet the needs of a wide variety of cyclist.