Sunday 8 February 2015
We gathered on a bright cold Sunday morning for the first of the much anticipated Bigfoot 2 Brighton 2015 Training Rides. There were dozens of us; all over the pavements (both sides of the road) in the café, in the bike shop, in the carriageway. Everywhere were cyclists, chattering, nattering, gossiping. Comparing bikes, admiring bikes, displaying kit. The actual Brighton Ride isn’t until May but if today’s numbers are anything to go by it will be yet another bumper turnout.
There was a real happy cycling buzz; and in the midst of it all: Adam. Calm, serene, almost regal and magisterial, in full control of apparent anarchy. Wonderful!
Today I was with 22 other riders forming the adult 10 mph group. There were some new faces but mostly I knew all my fellow riders by face at least; all coaxed out of hibernation by the promise of the spring which might just have been in the air. (I spotted some snowdrops in Scottshall Lane – not quite daffodils I accept, but surely a harbinger of better weather).
We waited our turn to be called on to the start line and after a very quick briefing whoosh we were out of the starting blocks and on our way. Hmmm! Whoosh might be a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
There were cyclists everywhere in the lanes whizzing this way and that making the best of the nice weather. We were constantly being overtaken by fast moving groups, mostly with a friendly wave and cheery ‘Hello!’ There were horses aplenty on the roads too. The riders must hate us creeping up on them silently from behind but they never complain, are always polite and courteously pull over to let us pass.
As we reached the top of the downs what was a bright day turned into a beautiful sunny winter’s day. We bowled along in the glorious sunshine, which wasn’t particularly warm but enjoying soaking up all that lovely vitamin D. Our ride didn’t do much whizzing today we were more the noble and sedate ride; enjoying the sights, the scenery, the sounds, the birdsong, the smells; the English winter countryside.
The ride was mostly uphill all the way out and then, quite amazingly, uphill most of the way back too. Very strange for a circular ride.
The route took us through the Forestdale housing estate; this is a bit confusing and we had to stop and check our route several times but eventually after much upping and a little bit of downing we made it through and then returned to Hayes on the cycle path alongside the mad-mile.
All riders seemed very pleased with their achievement and rightfully so in my view. Many had not been on a bike since the autumn, so this was a very creditable start to the season.
And in 2 weeks time we will gather to do it all again, and if you haven’t signed up alreay then it’s definitely not too late. See the link to the Bigfoot Website on our home page.
2¼ hrs total. (which I thought was very respectable).