August is always the month I find myself reflecting on just how much my life has changed since I started cycling and joined the Glasgow Green Cycling Club.
The club was formed in August 2011 and it’s hard to believe that from 11 members on our first official ride we have grown to 143 in the space of two years. I have met so many people along the way – cyclists, commissaires, support crew, marshals, new riders, veteran riders and I have made so may great friends, but little did I know that I would also meet the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with and on the club’s second anniversary I would be 16 weeks pregnant!
Thus explains my lack of writing on these pages for a few months – my second season of sportive riding has somewhat gone out the window. The advice to pregnant ladies is generally to avoid any sporting activity with a risk of trauma or falling which could harm the baby and for experienced cyclists to proceed with caution but definitely hang up the cleats after six months.
In truth, for my first trimester I would have continued cycling if I was able – but I really didn’t feel like it. Getting up, going to work and coming home to collapse in an exhausted heap was about all I could manage. Thankfully I am over that stage and was delighted that I could join the club for the anniversary sportive last Sunday. It made up for the bittersweet trip to London the previous weekend where I watched thousands upon thousands of riders taking part in the inaugural RideLondon 100 event which I was so looking forward to taking part in – but I now have a goal for next season as my entry has been deferred until 2014. I’ll keep you posted on just how feasible that really is once the baby arrives!!
Last year as a club we embarked on a tour of the Isle of Arran for our first anniversary. We had a grand turnout of 36 riders and despite the weather had a thoroughly good day.
This year we headed for a smaller island off the West Coast which is popular with cyclists of all sizes and ages, the Isle of Cumbrae which is better known by the name of the town of Millport. There are few cars, it is nine miles of flat riding in total around the island and was an ideal location for not only club riders but also their families to join in the fun.
65 GGCC members turned up at the Glasgow Green Arch to embark on a 40 mile ride out to Largs to catch the ferry. I drove to meet them with my bike stowed in the boot and was quite envious when I saw them arrive, they all looked resplendent in their club kits.
A Strava section sprint had been created on the island and, having not been on my bike for three months I said to Euan I was going to take it easy for the gentle three miles into Milport as I didn’t know if I was even capable of that. Once my tyres hit the tarmac it was just too tempting not to – I was glad to know that I still had a sprint in me! I didn’t even have my Garmin with me, I just can’t resist a bit of competition.
It was lovely to have many long suffering GGCC cycling widows and children join us for a cracking buffet lunch in Millport where we held the infamous GGCC Oscars ceremony – Euan and I took home a certificate for the most fertile club members - I’m glad I have a good sense of humour!
Once back on the mainland the hearty cyclists still had another 38 miles to go until home and Euan and I felt a little smug that we were getting into the car as the heavens opened. Everyone made it home safely and a good day was had by all.
So I discovered that I can still ride a bike, I do still enjoy it and I plan to keep riding small distances on cycle paths away from traffic for as long as my centre of gravity allows.