Archive for March, 2010

My first CTC cycle ride

Yesterday I went on my first CTC cycle ride.

I was running late in the morning after giving the kids their breakfast etc. I new that the CTC meet at Brookside in Cambridge and I had looked it up on Google maps to ensure that I knew where it was. However, I did not know that part of Cambridge very well.

I  set off from my house 35 minutes before I had to be at the Brookside for the start. I would have like to have given myself more time, if I could have as it is a 7 mile cycle ride to Brookside and I did not know exactly how to get to it.

My ride into Cambridge seem long and slow, even though I was pushing myself as hard as possible, as strong wind was against me all the way. When I got into Cambridge I was exhausted. I had to ask for directions to Brookside from a friendly cyclist.

When I got to Brookside, I had 3 minutes to spare. I had time to take my helmet and Gloves off and meet some of my fellow cyclists, before setting off. everyone seemed friendly enough.

We cycled though some nice cycle tracks in Cambridge, into Girton, Histon, Milton, Waterbeach and finally stopped in Horningsea at a CTC member’s house (Peter).

The wind had subsided on the ride to Horningsea, However, the weather had turned drizzly. We were all pretty wet by the time we reached our resting point.

We were welcomed at Peter’s house with a cup of tea and a warm hot-cross bun. There was plenty of nice people and conversation going on. Even though I did not know anyone, everyone was friendly. I found out I was one of three new people on that day.

At the start I found out that it was the 80th Birthday of George Rich who is the CTC Cambridge President and Chairman. George was along on this ride, so a cake adorned Nigel Deakin’s pannier, who is CTC Cambridge’s Secretary.

Following our tea and hot-cross buns, we celebrated with George with a chorus of “Happy Birthday”, followed by George cutting the cake before we all had some chocolate cake.

Although I was only about 6 miles from home, I decided to take long route cycling with the other CTC members down cycle track by the river Cam into Cambridge. I then separated from the group and cycled the 6 miles home.

By the time I got to about a mile from my house, I was exhausted. I had enough energy to reach my house before my muscle power was spent.

I felt better after a Protein shake and a bacon and mushroom sandwich with my wife made for me.

During the cycle ride I spoke to Nigel, who told me that the Sunday afternoon cycle ride was about 35 miles. This would be just under 50 miles for me including getting to and from the cycle ride start and finish. I have been thinking about whether I should do today’s cycle ride or not. The way I was felling yesterday it was a definite ‘NO!’, I felt that I needed one day off cycling to rest my aching muscles.

Today I am feeling a lot better and the weather is lovely. I am sure that I will be able to make it, if I take me time getting to the start and I do not have to do another 7 mile sprint, against wind to the starting point.

Wish me luck.


Read Full Post »

Joining the CTC

A while ago I joined the CTC (Cycle Touring Club) which is a national cycling club which organises weekly cycle rides for all level of cyclists.

The CTC have a lot of benefits to membership, including 10% discount in many cycle shops and legal help if you have an accident. To see the full list of CTC membership benefits please see http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3367.

The CTC Cambridge is my local CTC group and they run the following weekly cycle rides that I would interested in taking part in:

  • Saturday morning cycle rides (for beginners) usually about 15-20 miles.
  • Sunday afternoon cycle rides (for intermediate cyclists) usually between 30-45 miles.
  • Sunday all day cycle rides (for advanced cyclists) usually 50-80 miles

Since I live about 7 miles from the starting location, I will have to add about 14 miles to these, to include getting to and from the starting/ending locations.

Read Full Post »

Since I wrote the last post about commuting to work, I have cycled to work every day since. That is 3 days last week and 5 days this week. With a distance of 12 miles return journey, that makes 60 miles cycled this week.

The weather last week was much improved, with some sun. It reminded me of why I was cycling in the first place.

I hope to keep cycling to work everyday from now on.

Read Full Post »

Start commuting to work

I have felt very guilty about not starting my cycling this year yet. I don’t mind cycling in most weather conditions, but I will not cycle in ice. I feel it is not worth the risk of injury. I cycled from January in 2008 and it was icy then, I did have a couple of minor accidents because of it.

This year the weather has been so bad, so far. Snow, ice, hail and heavy wintry rain. I got my break yesterday, when, for the second time this year, the weather was not too bad, in fact, it was quite nice, with a high day time temperature of up to 7 degrees centigrade. So I cycled the 12 mile round trip to work. That is all it took for me to be hooked again.

I looked at the weather this morning at it was very similar, so I thought I would cycle again. I looked out of the window and it was a little foggy, but not too bad. When I set off, I realised that it was freezing fog and I was a little concerned about ice on the road. however, everything was fine.

On the way home, my wife was driving and I was cycling. I saw her on the way and she was surprised that I nearly passed her about 4 miles into the journey home. Once she hit the country roads and left the traffic behind, there was no catching her. I arrived about 7 minutes after she did however.

I was quite impressed with this, especially since I am not used to cycling again yet.

My guilt made me sign up for 3 cycle rides this year, not including the minor ones. You can see this list, which will be kept up to date in 2010 bike rides.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: