Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Inaugural All Inclusive Social Derby Mercury Audax

2 July 2017
 Remember this day.
This was the day of the Inaugural All Inclusive Social Derby Mercury Audax.
A 100km cycle ride in the sun around the lanes of Derbyshire and Leicestershire

And it WAS inclusive and it WAS very social.

Around 40 cyclists with ages ranging from 9 years to 70 years gathered at Derby Rowing Club for the Grande Depart

and soon we were off..on a typical Nigel start which involved off road rocky paths up a very steep incline with bike barriers every 50 metres..we were told this was ' necessary' as otherwise the course would be 200m short of the required 100km target..hmmm

As the peleton sped through the centre streets of Derby all were resplendent in the club colours with a wide range of styles on display reflecting the long tradition of the club.

Initially the course was flat and it was easy for the group to stay intact but eventually the road began to climb and the peleton began to string out..imagine the TdF but at a 'slightly ' slower pace

Of course with the hills came the pain to an old body like mine could soon be easily dropped. But this was a social ride and any stragglers were shephered back into the throng by the experienced and stronger cyclists. In my case Martin, fresh from his hard work towing the pro cyclist from Raleigh, Adam, up Hedge Climb in Mickleover

now had the task of bringing me back into the bunch

But one of the great things about this ride was no-one would be dropped and as the peleton waited at the top of the climbs to regroup, there was no rushing off once the last man ( usually me! ) joined so that I too could rest and recover

Though my natural domain on all rides is Lanterne Rouge, there can be exceptions and after a coffee stop at the bottom of Breedon Mountain, I shot ahead to capture a picture of the group as they resumed the chase ( A bit, well a lot really ! of poetic licence here :-) )

We were on the homeward stretch now, heading back to the Derby Rowing Club for tea and cakes and a little liquid refreshment

But a brief stop for a group photo at the Weeping Poppies

For me, it was the best Social Ride I have been on. I only started cycling when I retired at 60 years which was 10 years ago but here I was made to feel welcome, looked after on the climbs and generally people made sure that I was included.

Truly an All Inclusive Social Ride and thank you to them all

A great day in the saddle.