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What was my my first ride with the club like?

simonsaunders's picture
on Fri, 07/02/2014 - 23:03

What is the fun in being a lone wolf? Isn't it more satisfying to run with the pack?

I can't remember exactly when i joined HMCC, about 4 years ago I think. But I can remember my first ride with the club.

I'd not been cycling long before i moved to Ormskirk, maybe 3 months or so. I didn't know anyone who lived in Ormskirk, I'd never even spent any significant amount of time in Ormskirk  before. You may be able to tell, the move here was not my idea- I was happy with it, just a bit out on a limb. My wife had told me there was a cycling club, but well.... I didn't know anyone so......

So, I cycled alone. A lone wolf.

Hey i was a big man, I could cycle. I did 10 mile loops every Sunday, hey not easy ones, I included Cleives Hill (downwards). After a while I extended my range, I thought I better push myself, I started venturing out towards Crank. I even took in the MAMMOTH CLIMB  that is Crank road by Fairfield Hospital.

During my solo epics I was occasionally passed by small groups of be-kitted riders moving at speed. I distinctly remember being passed near Rainford, I was head own into a head wind, pushing as hard as I could go and a group of 8  passed me at speed,chatting and laughing. Chatting and bloody laughing, I was tongue out and blowing for tugs. I'd had enough of this, I wanted to be quick(er) and having fun, not flogging a lone path. I wanted to run with the pack...

I joined the forum and was told to just turn up on a Sunday and ask for Mick. And that's where i started.

I turned up on a Sunday morning at the shop, about ten to 9. There were about 30 people there. Clearly I knew no-one. I asked if Mick was there, knowing what I know now, that was a stupid question- The General was surrounded by the troops. I mentioned i'd been on the forum and this was my first ride out with the club, Mick said he'd look after me, to join the C group and enjoy the ride. He also commented on the cycling top i was wearing.....

I don't remember the route, but i do remember some hills, working hard and chatting a lot. Everyone was friendly, offering advice on how to ride, reassuring me that we weren't going too far and that there would be a coffee stop soon. Indee there was - the old Fettlers Wharf. Coffee was had, cake was eaten and we returned home- via Cleives Hill!

Mick said I had a questionable Livestrong top on. He was, of course, correct.

I'd ridden 45 miles that day, probably at an average of 15-16mph. It was the longest cycle ride I've ever done. I ached for days.

I was totally hooked. 

No longer the lone wolf, i was running in the pack.

So if you are thinking of joining, come along, you'll love the group experience. you 'll go faster and further than you've gone before, speak to the other cyclists, introduce yourself - no one bites. 

Except, maybe Mick!

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