Yesterday saw the first Total Women’s Cycling social 60-mile ride take place. A resounding success, it marks the first in a series of monthly road rides.
Talking with John, the acting editor of Total Women’s Cycling, I mentioned I didn’t have any other females to cycle with. Getting straight on the case, he posted a Tweet to see whether any other ladies had the same problem. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’. We decided to take the bull by the horns and get organising. With the date and route set, we spread the word on Facebook and very quickly had a group of ladies wanting to take part.
Sunday arrived and although the weather was not in our favour, three lovely ladies met me at Wimbledon, Emily, Helen and Issy, ready and raring to go. We met John, in the role of Token Bloke on platform 7 and took the train through to Cobham and Stoke D’Abernon in Surrey. It was nice to see a further three ladies waiting for us at the other end, Charlotte, Jen and Jo.
Once we’d all had a chance to meet and greet, we set off into the cold wind. I was immediately struck by how quickly we all connected, there was something supportive about being surrounded by women – no egos, no elitism, just a bunch of girls out for a ride.
The first 30 miles or so saw us trying to familiarise ourselves with the nuances of riding in a group. Once we’d warmed up and refueled at the halfway coffee stop we settled into more of a rhythm, working out a pace that was suitable to everyone so we could cycle in a group.
There were a fair few other riders out on the roads and when two blokes shot past: Issy, Helen, Charlotte and I eyed them, deciding to take them on. Something clicked, the four of us worked together in a chain gang to chase them down. It was rather exhilarating; we clocked up some pretty impressive speed to catch the guys. Needless to say, we soon blew a gasket and decided to re-group with the rest of the ladies.
Over the final 10 miles we had found our group’s rhythm and even though the snow had begun to fall and the wind was howling a gale, the camaraderie we’d built up kept us going.
We reached the station with minutes to spare, with hourly trains back to Wimbledon we had to sprint to the finish line. Luckily everyone had enough left in the tank, otherwise it would have been an hour spent in the pub round the corner, which wouldn’t have been all that bad.
Cycling along Surrey’s stunning country lanes with a bunch of fab women was an awesome end to my first week at Total Women’s Cycling and definitely the first in a calendar full of social rides.
SAVE THE DATE
Total Women’s Cycling social rides will be back on the following dates, with location, route and times to follow:
Sunday 21st April 2013
Sunday 19th May 2013