Introducing the RideIt! series

, May 22, 2012

I’ve recently started training for a triathlon later in the summer, but living in London have struggled to find decent cycle routes to train on.  Cue the RideIt! series, a selection of organised mountain bike and sportive bike rides that take place twice a month around the UK.  Arranged by Evans Cycles, the series offers a variety of distances to cater for all cyclists.

The RideIt! format

Each event provides a number of distances to choose from; fun (~15m), short (~30 miles), medium (~60 miles), long (~90 miles).  The routes stick as much as possible to quiet country lanes and are marked with bright arrows attached to road signs.  They are well patrolled by both participants and the odd support vehicle, allowing a lone cyclist to feel comfortable crossing unfamiliar countryside.

For those of us looking to take a morning ride that little more seriously, all participants are issued with helmet stickers that act as timing chips, tracked at the start and end of the ride.  Times are e-mailed directly to participants on finishing the route.

The Hatfield Cycle

The Hatfield cycle took place on a truly horrible April weekend.  With the UK having been subjected to non-stop rain for over a week, my cycle partner and I were contemplating giving the race a miss and going halves on an ark instead.  However, the conditions provided an ideal time to test out my new pair of Seal Skinz gloves and socks and so we took to the road for what would be a wet few hours.

As expected, the event was well organised and sadly under-attended (a lot of fair-weather London cyclists had apparently signed up).  We arrived at a local school, the host venue, where we were offered kit to test out on the ride.  After a bit of advice, cyclists were sent off in waves of ten people, with the earliest leaving at 8am and the latest at 10.30am.

Owing to the weather, the ride was pretty grim.  The rain had washed a lot of debris onto the road, resulting in us picking up two punctures in the space of ten minutes.  There was then a great moment when it nearly stopped raining.  However, putting our poor luck and weather aside, the event acted as a great training ride.  The route was well marked and took us through some beautiful country back-roads with almost no traffic.  Had it been sunny and dry, there would not have been a better way to spend a Sunday morning.

Upcoming events

There are numerous upcoming rides including in Reading, Dorking, Liphook, Brighten, Thirsk, Lake District, Epping and the Peak District.  For details on upcoming events visit the RideIt! website.