14th & 15th March – Ride Reports.

As we reach the halfway point in the month of March, cyclist in our region have been lucky enough to have ridden two weekends on the trot in fantastic early spring weather. Dry roads, a little wind and bright days. As close to perfect as you would hope for at this time of year. With Longer rides on the cards for the back end of the month and one of our feature rides; ‘Ronde Van Anglia’ in early April, let’s hope we haven’t used up all our good fortune.

By design we offered up a pair of shorter rides to the collective this past weekend. 85km and 63km respectively. Mixing up the longer rides with some shorter outings will be the case all year. It’s not always 150km upwards! We love a 50km roll for coffee and a pint as much as anybody. Variety is indeed the spice of life!

Saturday saw a solid turnout once more, buoyed by recent good weather. Many were watching the forecast closely as the week rolled on. As is often the case at this time of year it was changing daily and at last glance we looked to be in for a soaking at some point on Saturday morning. Fortunately, the rain never materialised and we rolled on dry tarmac the entire day, licked by the wind in places we made steady progress with the larger than usual group stretching out and coming back together as we progressed thorough the route. Both Loops this weekend had their halfway markers in the vicinity of hadleigh which meant a stop at the much loved Crabtree’s café. With strong coffee on offer, this is always a favourite amongst the collective. One rider was lost to a fairly severe mechanical early into Saturday, but with Rich back at Velo! ready and waiting, our rider should have his stunning classic bike back on the road and rolling ready for next weekend. No lengthy work shop waiting list for riders with the Collective, Rich works hard to make sure our members don’t miss out on the rides we plan. We finished Saturday in bright sunshine with arm warmers and gloves being removed for the final push. Some nice quick sections, some more sedate. A great morning out for all that turned up.

Sunday was the shortest of the weekend’s outings, and very much a relaxed café spin. The pace never ramped, sedate yet steady progress as a group for the entirety of the ride. The shorter distance, (which was an abridged version of our Saturday ride with a few tweaks) saw us get a little creative with our route to Hadleigh, and we weaved and wound our way on some brilliant new roads that are just yards from our familiar rat runs. This was a lovely way to spend the morning and all riders were then afforded ample time to get back and do their mothers day thing!

A doff of the cap to one rider from Sunday who made the trip all the way from north London to ride with the collective. Having kept his eye out for a shorter rider, he arrived ready to roll for the 0830 depart. Now that’s commitment! This has us thinking, and we’re going to open up the membership bracket to ‘Country’ and ‘International’ members. Details to follow.

Keep your eyes open for rides coming this weekend. A 160km club ride on Saturday, and a quick CX blast on Sunday in the region of 50km. This will ensure you’re home with plenty of time to settle in for La Primavera… Milan – San Remo is the first ‘Monument’ classic of the season, and one favoured by the sprinters. At close to 300km for many this ride signals the start of the spring classics proper. Coverage on British Eurosport from  13:30. It’s all set to be a cracker.