Paul from Newcastle writes an irregular cycling blog, paying homage to the Great British club run, in all its idiosyncratic, compelling, colourful and entertaining glory.
Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne
Gosforth Road Club
What kind of riding do you do?
The highlight of the week is definitely the club run, typically on a Saturday, but occasionally on a Sunday or bank holiday and in just about any conditions the great British weather decides to throw at us. I try to capture my much warped, overly embroidered and fevered recollections of these club runs in a weekly cycling blog.
Club runs are supplemented by a healthy dose of commuting and a smattering of sportives and club competitions.
What do you enjoy most about cycling?
The mental therapy of de-stressing and clearing your head while riding solo, only bettered by the humour, camaraderie, encouragement and banter of a typical club run.
What’s your favourite ride?
On my own, it’s a loop from home around the Derwent Reservoir taking in Edmundbyers, Blanchland, Slaley, Whittonstall and Ebchester. Only 75 kilometres but with 1150 metres of climbing. With the club, it’s anywhere they take me!
What’s your top cycling tip to share?
Find a good club where you feel you can belong and get out with them – it’s the simplest way to go further, faster and get fitter and stronger while keeping you motivated. As a bonus it will also provide endless hours of priceless entertainment and amusement.
If you had a tandem, who would you like to ride it with?
I was originally going to suggest Jens Voigt, for the entertainment value, but figured it could quickly feel like being a slave chained to the oars of a Roman galley, with Jensie continuously cracking the whip - so maybe the super-smart, classy, thoughtful and very forthright Nicole Cooke.
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