Yesterday I went on the Team MK ride to Canons Ashby. It was at the new earlier start time of 9am. This was instigated to ease congestion around Cofferidge Close in Stony Stratford (See the header picture, taken some time ago before cycling became more popular). At the later time there were a lot of pedestrians walking through the meeting point as they go from the car park and the small supermarket back out into the High Street for their Saturday morning shopping. I think we were beginning to get in their way a bit with the recently increased popularity of bike riding generally and our club rides in particular. This was a good thing causing a bad thing.
I think the majority of riders were aware of the new start time. I know that every time I looked at club website recently there were reminders of the new start time. However in this day and age there are still quite a few people who don’t have use of the internet or even if they do they don’t browse it as avidly as some might ! In fact I have since heard that at least a couple of people were surprised to find nobody there at 9:30.
I am guessing there were about 25’ish people on the ride which was well led at a steady pace by Paul. If the ride is at a steady pace then it becomes a much easier ride. Much better than rushing off and dropping people and then have to slow down or even stop and wait for them to catch up, only to speed off again as soon as they do and drop them again on the first slight incline. It becomes a very staccato affair and not a relaxed ride at all. The average speed is always around the same regardless of the style. It all depends on the leader as to how the ride is conducted.
The ride was to the National Trust property at Canons Ashby Priory in Northamptonshire. It is a pleasant ride through rolling Northamptonshire countryside, not a lot of flat roads but nothing too taxing either.It was a far more pleasant day compared to recent times. It was still a bit cool to start with mainly due to the earlier start time. However as the sun got up you could actually feel some warmth from it for a change. It was just as well the weather was better as we were able to sit outside, there is more room there. I think we would have pretty much filled up the interior.
‘The bikes parked at Canons Ashby’
(I think they are plant display stands rather bike racks !!)
The return ride completed the loop and it was a well controlled finish to the ride as well. The usual break up towards the end as people try to get rid of any surplus energy they feel they might have didn’t happen and the group stayed together to the end.