Cycling in and around Birmingham England
In a similar vein to Mark Cavendish I joined Sky for a ride this weekend, No doubt he will find his more challenging in the year to come as mine was a mere 28 miles and a moderate pace. I cycled to the meeting point to add another 12 miles to the tally, which seemed more fitting for a Sunday ride
I didn't know what to expect from the experience. I hoped for a look at some new lanes in the area and meet up with similarly untalented and weighty riders. I knew the pace would be slow and seeing that a group of some 30 riders waiting for the start I did have mixed feelings about how it would be managed.
The Skyride leaders seemed friendly enough, even offering to pump my tyres up for me and roughly to time a ragged collection of road bikes, mountain bikes and hybrids hit the roads.
And then stopped.
We set off again and then stopped
At this point I seriously considered that it wasn't worth continuing, we had barely covered three miles and the likelihood of making a further 25 miles seemed unlikely. I asked one of the leaders if this was how things usually were, it wasn't. Apparently two people equipped with mountain bikes (one of which hadn't ridden a bike for over 30 years) was finding the ride a bit too much. After they had left the ride, things got onto a 11.5 mile an hour average. Although the slow start and the large group meant 4 miles were shaved off the planned route.
We stopped for a cuppa and a slice of cake at Kingsbury Water Park before wending our way back to Sutton Park.
My overall feel was that it was a good route, very flat, but a good one for a training ride. The marshalling and leadership was indeed excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to go on one again, in fact I am booked on another towards the end of the month starting out of Solihull.
I rode the route again this morning, with a slight trimming to avoid the morning rush hour and managed 35 miles in 2hrs 24 at an average of 14.5.
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