The aim was to make it truly ' All Inclusive ' from youngsters up to Old Age Pensioners like myself, and, as an addition hold the picnic at a place where mothers with babes in arms could also easily reach. And so I chose as the Picnic Destination, the Tara Centre at Etwall, a place with spacious grounds and, if some weight weenies decided not to carry their own food, a good cafe serving all the essential nutrition that a cyclist could want.
I chose three routes:
a) a 12km ride along traffic free greenways which Nick offered to lead.
b) a 45 km tortoise ride at around 20kph which I would lead
c) an indeterminate fast route for the road warriors
In addition there was a further option
d) a car ride with a free car park at the Tara Centre.
In the event there were a lot of good things that came out of this ride and it is difficult to choose the best one.
We did manage to attract around 40+ people to the picnic and the main peleton certainly managed to span the entire age range with the youngsters especially impressive on the racing hill climbs. Mums and OAPs took a more ' measured ' approach to these mountains but one of the seasoned cyclists always went with them to ensure safety.
No one got dropped and Neville very kindly acted as Lanterne Rouge and mechanic though his only maintenance task was to fix a couple of dropped chains and rescue a flying water bottle.
The good thing about being ride leader was that I could set the pace; the bad thing was that I was always head into the wind.
Being at least 20 years older than any other rider I always worry that my tortoise pace for them ( race speed for me!! ) is spoiling the ride for others but no-one complained.
Another great thing about the ride was that we attracted some new people to group rides who were tempted by the short distance ( 45km to the picnic and 20km back to the start point ) and so felt confident to bring their children along too.
It also turned out to be a family event as mothers and toddlers did join us and the Divas were out in force
as well as some of the seasoned cyclists
It was good to see a mixture of current and future cyclists
All in all a good day out...and as I had ordered a good sunny day that made it even better.
Thanks to everyone who came and kept me company