The SW Rouleur quarterly club rides have been upgraded to monthly club rides as of January 2014 and this seemed like as good a chance as I was likely to get to stop eating for a few hours and roll the bike out of the shed for the first time in a couple of weeks. That the shed hasn’t just floated off down the hill to Balham taking the bike with it is a surprise in itself such has been the utterly miserable weather that has been the feature of this Christmas/ New Year as wave after wave of storm fronts dump more and more rain and the garden turns into a quagmire.
By some happy coincidence Sunday morning was actually a rare window of winter sunshine, albeit coupled with low single digits for temperatures, and so it was with the optimistic and misguided enthusiasm of the novice that I set off in search of the Putney meeting point. It was an impressive turn out of 13 Rouleurs which made for a smart peloton decked out in club colours and as we set off it was all pretty relaxed. To quote our club captain the emphasis on these rides is very much on the social… “they will be social rides (not training rides) and will aim to be inclusive for all the varying abilities in the club, waiting for mechanicals etc.”
A January, post Christmas blow-out ride then would be expected to be pretty steady …and to start with it was. But eventually testosterone, competitiveness and just a generally misguided sense of ones own fitness meant that the ‘rules’ were forgotten and to be fair, it was our captain leading the charge through the Horton roundabouts as the speedo reached 50 km/h (on the flat!) and I clocked up pb after pb on Strava! By the time I rolled home, some 83 km later I was definitely not feeling spritely! All the usual stats here on strava. Next month the delights of Essex via Hackney … SW Rouleurs – they’re a glamorous bunch!