Sunday Morning Social Ride

Seeing as I can’t swim at the moment and therefore don’t go to the pool after my early morning Sunday bike ride, I thought I’d try for a Sunday morning social ride instead. There are a few groups that ride around here on a Sunday morning so rather than leave the house at 5:30am and ride on my own I thought I’d have a lie in and meet up with other cyclists for a change.

Lying In

I still woke up sometime before 5am, but I knew that would happen and had planned to have a lie in. Trouble is, I’m not very good at this ‘lie in’ malarky, I just don’t get it – what do people do when they are ‘lying in’? I gave it my best shot, I lay there for a while kind of doing nothing, but it’s just so boring lying there doing nothing, what a complete waste of time. After a while I could bear it no more so got up, did some chores browsed the Internet had some breakfast, had a coffee, had another cup of coffee, browsed the Internet again, did a few more chores and twiddled my fingers. I’d had enough of waiting around already and did contemplate just going for a ride on my own after all but I hadn’t charged my lights as I was expecting to ride later so had to wait for it to get light anyway.  It was now 7am so I got my cycling kit ready and started planning.

If they leave the leisure centre at 9am I’d better leave here at 8:15 so as to give me 45 minutes to have a nice easy ride into Aberystwyth. That wasn’t too bad, just over hour to waste until I could get on my bike and by then it should be light as well. I checked the Internet again and then noticed that the ride doesn’t actually start until 9:30am, not 9:00 so I had an extra half an hour to wait around on top of what had already felt like half the day. Oh well, time for another coffee – anyone would think I was getting impatient in my old age!

Off on my Bike

Finally at 8:45, I left the house on my bike, over three hours later than my usual start time. At least it was light now and the rain had stopped. I arrived at the leisure centre just before 9:30am where Tim, Danny and Derek had just arrived too. Soon, John, Alex and Rhys arrived as well so it looked at though with just the 7 of us there would only be one group today. Usually the Aberystwyth Swim Bike and Run Group meet here on a Sunday morning and split up into two fairly large groups, but I think the high winds and pretty bad forecast must have put most people off.

Magical Mystery Tour Social Ride

It was decided that we would head to Tregaron but Derek was going to take us on a tour of some back-roads. We started off cycling through Aberystwyth and then out along the cycle path to Rhydyfelin, from there we took the back road to Llanfarian and then headed out on the Llwyngwyfron road for a little while before weaving our way along loads of little country lanes that none of us (except Derek) even knew existed. We emerged in Lledrod and then headed out along yet more lanes before coming out on the main road into Tregaron. We stopped here in the Talbot for a coffee before taking a more straight forward route back via Trawsgoed, llanfarian and then back along the cycle path from Rhydyfelin into Aberystwyth. I had my GoPro attached to my TriBars but there wasn’t much worth photographing or filming, so here’s a quick clip that I took just for the sake of it on a typical section of road during our magical mystery tour.

It was a pretty windy day and it never got fully light, but at least it never rained. My watch split the ride up into two thanks to the stop in Tregaron. I was going to combine the GPX files, but then I noticed that the exercise and lifestyle reward schemes that I joined recently were counting both rides and giving me points for them both so decided to leave it as it was!

Time Efficient

By the time I’d ridden back from Aberystwyth and had a quick shower it was gone 2pm. so there wasn’t a huge amount of daylight left – not there there had ever been much daylight today with the low grey cloud hanging over us. That’s what I like about my usual early morning rides, if I start somewhere between 5:3o and 6am I can easily get in 60-70 miles and still be home and showered by 10am leaving me with almost the whole day to do something else. These social rides on the other hand take all day. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to ride with other people, have a chat and go somewhere new, it was also a lot less taxing than a ride on your own as riding with others just makes it easier, but ti does take most of the day. Now, riding my bike is never a waste of time and riding it all day long has to be a good thing, but early morning rides are just so much more time efficient for me. I think I should probably plan to do a group social ride a little more often though as it was nice to be out with other people.

Catching Up and a geocache FTF

Back at home and there was just enough time eat some delicious homemade mushroom soup that Anna had been cooking. Then I sat down with a mug of hot chocolate topped with squirty cream to do the Big Garden Birdwatch. After that I popped out to attempt an FTF on a geocache. The geocache was located near to the church in Tre Ddol so it was only a 3 mile drive away. I was a little worried that we may have missed out on the FTF seeing as I’d left it so late in the day but when I got there the logbook was bare so we did get the FTF.

A quick trip to the shop and it was home once again ready to settle down for dinner and an evening in. Another weekend full of activities and I’m looking forward to doing it all again next weekend already.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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