Monday 11 March 2013

Meet and Greet ride blog from Les Filles RT

Kate Sloan from Les Filles RT kindly wrote up their Meet and Greet ride which took place a couple of weeks ago. 

On February 17th it was Les Filles’ turn to lead a LWCR ride. As I’d not planned a ride for more than 2 people before and wanted to help introduce more women to cycle racing, I volunteered to help out with the ride. After considering my list of potential routes that I knew I wouldn’t get too lost on, which pretty much boiled down to either a nice flat ride to Windsor with plenty of potential café stops, or a six hills route down in Surrey that usually leaves me needing a 12-hour sleep, I decided the former was probably best for an introductory ride. All the details went up on the LWCR facebook page and I kept checking who had said they were attending. As the date drew closer, I got a little concerned that no-body wanted to come as we hadn’t had many people signed up at all! There was no point in all the worrying, however, and on the day we had 16 women and 2 men (including our DS in his pink Les Filles Gilet) turn up, as well as our new mascot, Marcel the Marmotte, who had been transported from France by Anna’s parents. It was also the first time I’d seen our team in our new kit, and I thought we all looked super smart and ready to race this season. 

Marcel the Marmotte

We were really lucky with the weather that morning, as the sun had also decided to show up, having hidden away behind the rain for the previous few weeks; a perfect day for a ride. It was great to see such a variety of women cyclists out, from last year’s league winner Lydia Boylan, to new racers, a first time road bike rider, and a lady training for a summer charity ride. Our numbers slowly dwindled along the road to Windsor, with girls having to go to work or do some other training, with those remaining warmly welcoming the arrival at Cinnamon café in Windsor arcade. Quite a revelation to me, as for the whole of last summer I had been going to a different, and much worse coffee stop! I’ll know where to go in future now though! After a nice natter and some food (including some free cake, thanks to the lovely people in the café), we set off for home. A few girls preferred getting the train home, so Nicole and Vikki took them to Virginia Water train station (as the Windsor one was closed) and planned to 2-up TT it back and meet us somewhere en-route. We had a good ride back to Richmond, arriving back at the park at about lunchtime, but never managed to find Nicole and Vikki along the way. In all, a good fun ride and hopefully encouraged some of the new girls to try out racing.

The Café Stop

All the rides have now taken place and hopefully a few women have benefitted from them. Lots of clubs have regular weekend rides which are a good introduction to group riding so do look up your local club and find out what they're up to.