I’ve been riding for years and when I first really got into it I found that I was a bit of a sado and no one wanted to ride like me so I ended up riding on my own. It wasn’t a problem because riding was really just about me, the hill and what my body could achieve. Over the years I found a few that felt the same and we all rode together. However, with the passing of time we’ve taken different routes and I was riding alone more and more often.
A year or so ago I found a few like minded riders and soon had a regular bunch to ride with. In a group our speeds went up and Sunday mornings were fun, even social. I’m not against socialising but that is what bars, restaurants and mates houses are for. Riding is about concentration and effort.
The group has grown and now I can count on up to ten willing to rise early on a Sunday when others dorm and speed around the lanes of Sussex. But what was I to do during the rest of the week? Once the racing season gets under way I’d be fine but that’s a month away. I’ve often looked with envy at other towns with riding groups and chain gangs but we had nothing that I knew of in sleepy Worthing. There might be runners on every street corner and mountain bikers roaming the hills every night but there didn’t seem to be much road bike action.
Then I heard that Glyn of Blazing Saddles had a gang riding round Worthing on Tuesday evenings. I went along. I passed the word around and now there are fifteen plus riders doing the loop. Worthing town centre might be dying before your very eyes but one advantage of its tumble weed evenings is that the streets are deserted after 7pm. In fact the town’s roads, including the problem A27 trunk road are all but empty: perfect for a bunch of keen roadies.
It’s a fun ride if you like going fast and hurting during the chase. Its even social, good for a chat. Whilst the town might be very small, (that’s why it’s popular with cycle commuters) our lap around town is just over 10 miles. It can seem a very long way when chasing a young gun like Will. You may even think that it is flat too but at full tilt even the bridges feel tough.
Riding flat out trying to keep up with the bunch I started to feel that my new tyres, 25mm
Continental GP400s, were rolling quickly. The head of R&D at Conti told me that 25s would be faster than 23s. I was skeptical but I’m always looking for a way to make riding easier. I am sure that they are rolling faster. I don’t have the tech-testing equipment that Conti has but I’m beginning to believe it. And,as you know, what goes on in your head, if it’s positive, is as important as anything when cycling.
Roll on next Tuesday.
Here’s the route/ride: Strava