So, Saturday dawned a very cold and grey day. The occasion of my second outing as group leader for the ‘C’ group ride with Team MK, therefore I was obliged to get up and out whatever weather.
To make matters worse as I went to the garage to get my bike out ready for departure I could feel some spots of rain. On the drive across to Stony Stratford the rain got heavier and then by the time I arrived at the car park the rain had thankfully stopped. As I drove in to park I could see Steve, my assistant for the ride getting his bike out of his car. The task for the assistant is to ride at the back of the group to assist any stragglers in the group to get back onto the group should a split develop or to give a shout to the group if a puncture or some other mishap occurs. With proper ride leadership though a split should not happen if a reasonable steady pace is maintained.
Once we were ready, bikes assembled and us with plenty of warm clothing on we rode down to the meeting place to find we were the only ones there, not only from our group but the other 3 groups as well. There was still ten minutes to go until departure time though. Some other riders slowly appeared but not very many and no more from my group. Steve and I entered into discussions about what we should do in the event of nobody else showing up. We decided as we were all dressed and ready to go we would go for the ride anyway Steve said he needed the ride because he had just had two weeks away skiing and needed the miles but wasnt sure how he would cope with the distance. By this time about twenty other riders had appeared for the other group rides, normally there would probably be about sixty plus altogether assembling for the various rides. We were just about to set off on our duet when Nadine, one of the female riders arrived and was asking where the ‘C’ group was. Steve and I said we were IT so we became a trio!
We three set off, probably vying for the record for the smallest turn out on a group ride, although it barely qualifies as a group, more of a trio. A bit heavy on admin too, two ‘management’ and one other. A bit like most government departments are run I think, a little top heavy. Normally, on a nice day there would probably be between twenty and thirty riders!
As the ride progressed so the weather got better, not warmer but the sun came out and everywhere looked better. Because it was so cold we elected to not stop for a coffee and cake break. It was felt it was better to keep moving rather than have to go through the warm up procedure again after restarting. Nadine parted company with us at Newport Pagnell in the way back and Steve and I made our way back to the car park. It had been a very nice ride as it turned out so I am glad Steve and I didn’t decide to abort before we started. I will have to seek advice on whether we have the record for smallest group ride for Team MK.
Having said all that I cant really say that I blame those that didn’t come on the ride, I probably wouldn’t have made the effort if I didnt have to. But like most rides you don’t feel like making the effort for, once you do are out its fine and enjoyable , mostly!