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Ride Leading

Ride Leader Adventures: 4th February 2017

I offered my Winter Warmer ride today for TeamGlow. This ride is designed to be a high tempo, fast paced 30ish mile loop to encourage women to get out over the winter months. No stops are built in to the ride because it can get so cold to stop whilst out riding at this time of year. Socialising is possible  providing you can still breathe and speak as you pump away. This is a training ride and it is advertised as such. 

I came downstairs to find a rear puncture on my winter bike. At least I could change the tube in the warmth and comfort of home. 

Puncture_with_caption.JPG

Moments later one of the riders signed up for the ride messaged me to say she was also punctured at home but she had further to ride to the start and wasn't going to make it. 

Good start? 2 punctures and no mileage!

The rest of the group met at 10 to set off on the ride. Before we left our meeting place there was a collision between two riders but no apparent harm done to either. The riders became acquainted perhaps quicker than they expected after their bikes became entwined. One bike came down on its derailleur side but superficially all seemed well. (You can guess where this is going....)

And then we were off. I wanted to test the pace and see whether the aims of the ride as advertised could be retained without amendment. TeamGlow do not 'drop' women on rides. It is a very safe and supportive environment to introduce and develop women to achieve what they want to achieve with their cycling aims. My training ride however needs to be a training ride and there are a few reasons for this - it is advertised as a training ride and everyone knows from reading the ride description that the tempo is high and the pace is at the fast end of rides we offer at Glow. Also, I am in training for an event in July and need to keep the pace up as part of my training programme. Glow offer other rides for different paces. The Winter Warmer series caters for a particular type of ride.

In the conversation thread on MeetUp (where we organise all our rides) there had been a discussion about the pace and an agreement was reached that one of our other ride leaders would lead a slower pace if there was a split in the group. There was a split and we continued as two groups.

 

At around 3 miles into the ride, the rear derailleur hanger on the bike involved in the entwinement mentioned above sheared and the derailleur block went into the wheel, becoming attached to a spoke. Ride over for that rider. The group stopped to assess the damage and take the compulsory pictures and I called a taxi to collect her and her bike. I  helped her to a spot in the sun to keep warm whilst she waited for her lift home.

The rest of the group went on. It was a beautiful day. Blue sky. Some wind. Some frost and some ice to keep everyone on their toes. We reached and maintained a good pace with no other issues. We bumped into other Glows out on the road which is always lovely. 

 

The real tests for today were:- 

  • a late arrival which delayed the group

  • an early faller

  • a catastrophic bike damage issue

  • and finally helping making arrangements for a return home when there is only one working wheel on your bike 

I finished the ride with a very expensive box of macaroons swinging from my handlebars as I navigated the bumps and defects of the Didsbury to Chorlton road. 

A great day out and home with the afternoon still available for all sorts of other good stuff - like washing!

 

For more information on Team Glow, you can contact me on nadia.kerr@jmw.co.uk

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