Hundreds of different people took part in Stevenage and N. Herts CTC's rides, helping to improve their health and well-being; see the local countryside; get some fresh air and enjoy good company.
Every ride has an accredited leader and sweeper. Often they are linked by radios. No one gets left behind.
The programme includes:
- A Saturday Starter every week. These gentle afternoon rides are an ideal introduction to riding in a group.
- An evening ride every Wednesday all year round. These rides of 15 to 20 miles are very popular.
- A variety of rides on Sundays.
- During the warmer months, Friday Evening Flings – slightly more adventurous evening rides going a little further away from town.
- A series of challenge events:
- Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials
- Stevenage Circular Cycle
- Emitremmus Desrever (Summertime Reversed)
- Off Road Challenges
- Cecil Cooke Trophy (which includes a hill climb and freewheeling)
The SSoSS and Emitremmus challenge rides attract hundreds of entries locally and bring visitors to the area. In 2013, the furthest travelled rider came from Tokyo!
- Lots of extras, particularly during Bike Week, Teddybears' Picnic ride, the Spring Rides and in connection with local events such as the Health Action Day.
Stevenage and North Herts CTC devised the route and helped in other ways to organise the new Baldock Cycle Challenge in 2012-2013 and it is planned again for 2014. They helped set up the award-winning Beginners' Biking scheme, which expanded to run across Hertfordshire starting in 2013. This year, they will be looking at ways to get even more new people into cycling. They have re-equipped with new radios, banners, signs and other equipment.
They have a light-hearted year-long competition called the “Blazing Saddles” with prizes for the leading lady/man and juniors.
The group have 21 accredited ride makers: the leaders, sweepers and event organisers comprising seven women and 14 men. There are five cycle instructors (three women and two men) linked with the group.
Regular riders range from 4 to 70 plus years and come from many backgrounds. A Stevenage CTC rider was first junior in the national CTC Tourist Competition and received her trophy at the National Dinner in May 2013. This is the second time this has happened in recent years.
The group works in partnership on projects such as the Health Action Day and the cycle route map. In 2014, the group hope to start the initial work needed to set up a ‘satellite club’ in conjunction with a local special needs school to provide disability cycling within the town. In 2013, they assisted with the East of England ITO cycle training conference held in Stevenage and will be doing so again in 2014.
Cycling is fun! Stevenage and North Herts CTC are all about participation. They ride with each other, not against each other. Come and join them.
You can find out more, including an extensive gallery of pictures by visiting www.stevenagectc.org.uk