Forest tracks, grassy bridleways, and quiet lanes were the backdrop for Richardsons CC’s guided off-road bike ride for family cyclists and beginners on 5th June.
CTC-qualified trail leaders Dave Simpson and Dan Joyce led 13 cyclists aged from three to 53 on an 11-mile loop from Sawdon back to Sawdon, via Wy Dale, Troutsdale Brow and Wykeham Forest.
There was plenty of time to stop to top up the sunscreen, admire the views and eat lunch before returning to Sawdon Village Hall for tea and biscuits.
A few weeks ago we had an earlier family day at Dalby, starting from Jingleby Farm & Tea Room. About 20 people of all ages and abilities turned up for a morning with the club. We offered a choice of routes.
The family ride was an opportunity to learn a new route away from the main trails, ideal for mums and dads with child seats or trailers. This ride was led by Anna and Julian, ably assisted by Anne and Pete Blood and Pickering Dave. The star of the group was Clair Ferguson, Brendan’s better half. She was able to cope with pulling the trailer, even on all the technical parts of the route. They whizzed round and were first back for a feast at Jingleby.
The next group, led by Debbie, followed the same route. We had a mix of ages and eventually split into three groups. Ian Squires and his daughter Ellie took care of our youngest rider, even sharing cake when they finished.
Lorraine and Debbie took the middle few. We encouraged them to try a few sections of the red. Though there was little pushing, they all rode beyond their previous abilities. The faster part of our group was led by Rich of Pickering Three fame and Carl. Rich even had time to do a trailside maintenance course as he had to repair a broken chain. They were last back, though.
Finally Nigel and Brendan took out the group who just wanted to improve their skills. Most of the group were beginners but Nigel and Brendan got them riding over some fairly tricky sections of the red route with no injuries. All in all, a very successful day.
The next guided off-road ride for families and beginners takes place from Sawdown Village Hall on Sunday 4th July. It’s open to all cyclists, not just club members, and cost £2.50 per person. The week after that it’s the Family Fun Ride and BBQ, also based at Sawdon Village Hall.