Sunday, 26 February 2017

26 Feb: Sunday afternoon ride to St Ives

David S writes: Today I led my first CTC Cambridge ride. I have been riding with the club on Sunday afternoons - and joining the occasional all-day Sunday winter ride - since September. Although I have lived and cycled in Cambridge for fifty years, I have learned routes I never knew, and covered distances I had never attempted round Cambridge. I like the format and the company and I have definitely got fitter! So when a call for new leaders came round, I thought I should volunteer, even though I don't do anything to bring the average age down!

There were only four of us at Brookside at 1pm: Simon, Mike K, Ian B and me. Having experienced riders with me meant that I had no worries that we might get lost if my Garmin failed.

Our destination was St Ives. I had modified the route that Rupert suggested by going via Barton and Bourn, but my email had somehow not reached the others and I think they were a bit surprised when I set off from Brookside going south instead of north!

Despite a strong headwind we had a good ride to St Ives. Keeping to 12mph average was a challenge in the wind, but we all dreamt of a strong tailwind for the return along the busway.

Our tea stop was in the about-to-be-refurbished River Tea Rooms.

More photos below

By the time we returned the wind seemed to have swung round to the east and we battled home along the busway too! For this part of the ride we were joined by Ian W, en route from St Ives to Fen Ditton. Despite the wind we managed 11.6mph average. It is nice that the afternoon rides now finish before dark.

After the ride Simon told me that my variation was a new one for him and submitted the .gpx file for the archive (see below). Until then I had thought I was just copying a ride I had done with the group before.

Leading gave a new perspective to the ride. Before and during the ride you can weigh up the pros and cons of different variations. I expect there were things I did wrong, but my co-riders were all too polite to mention! There were no punctures or incidents, so it was a very gentle introduction and I would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a leader to do so. I look forward to leading another ride - perhaps in South Cambridgeshire next time! David Secher

Download GPS track (GPX).

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