So What Is a Leisurely Ride?

This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 17.

We run regular countryside bike rides on Sunday afternoons, just for the sheer pleasure of cycling, for the change of scenery, and for the fresh air. At the moment, we go on the second Sunday of every month, though later in the year we’ll probably add one on the fourth Sunday as well.

We stick to minor roads, byways, cycle paths and bridleways – nothing too muddy, and nothing too busy – the quieter the better.

And we absolutely always take a break, a little way from home, for tea and cakes, or whatever refreshments take your fancy.

How fast and far do we go?

Well, that depends. We always try to judge the pace according to who comes along. We guarantee not to lose anyone along the way. We set off with a tea stop in mind, and pick a route that gets us to tea for about 4 pm or 4:30.

We tend not to advertise the routes ahead of time, because, um, we often don’t plan the routes more than a day or two in advance! A different person leads the ride each month, and it’s up to the leader to pick a tea stop, and a route to it. As more people volunteer to help run the rides, we’ll hopefully start advertising the tea stops ahead of time. (If it seems like I’m emphasising the tea and cakes a lot, that’s probably true!)

On the other hand, if you find our rides aren’t strenuous enough (and they definitely aren’t strenuous) you might want to get in touch with the Cyclists’ Touring Club local District Association. As well as local and national campaigning, they run a large number of regular local rides and are always keen to welcome more members. Their phone number is at the end of each issue of our newsletter.

So where do we meet?

We meet on Lensfield Road, at its junction with Brookside, and we set off at 2 pm. If the weather looks a bit grim, and you’re not sure whether we’re going or not, do feel free to give me a ring ( phone 501050) on Sunday morning to check – though I don’t think we’ve yet cancelled a ride due to bad weather.

Should I bring anything?

Just yourself, your bike, some change for tea, a waterproof if there’s any possibility of rain, and your lights (for the winter rides, anyway). I hope to see you on a ride sometime soon. Everyone’s welcome – both members and non-members alike. Watch out, too, for extra publicity for the May ride, which we will be running in conjunction with the City Council’s Environment Week.

And finally, a plea for help

If you know of any tea-shops or caf├ęs within a few miles of Cambridge that are open on Sunday afternoons, we’d love to hear about them, to broaden our horizons!

Clare Macrae