Sunday, 7 August 2016

Coventry SkyRide

Today was the event we've been preparing for over the past month, The Coventry SkyRide.

Dave cycles on a daily basis, but while I used to cycle to work a few times a week, I haven't done so in a LONG time. M has never ridden a bike, or rather she hadn't done so until last month.

With it having been such a log time since I've been in the saddle, M's complete lack of experience and adding in a new bike plus a tag-along to the mix, it seemed only sensible to practice a little before the big event. This is why we've been heading to the park with the tag-along a few times a week for the past month.

I am so glad we did, as I think we gave a good showing today, completing one full lap and then going around Coventry's Ring Road a second time. We cycled to the event (and home again), so we've spent a long time on the bikes today. I had M behind me on the tag-along, while Dave was cycling his own bike on his own.

We've had a good day. The weather was good with clear skies and a bit of wind, almost ideal really.
Here we are, just before setting off on the SkyRide.
We arrived in good time but hung back at the start as I knew we'd be amongst the slower cyclists.

The tag-along doesn't lend itself to fast cycling. M is also still a bit uncoordinated at pushing off and prone to wobbling at inconvenient moments. The main problem for me today was the tag-along having a huge turning circle, which proved tricky on the first part of the route where we were all crammed in together with too many cyclists in narrow streets with sharp bends. This is nothing like cycling endless loops around the park, where we have paths mostly to ourselves and the option to move onto the grass to avoid other park users.

There was a near miss just before we headed onto the Ring Road, as we were turning a sharp bend, going uphill and into a fierce crosswind I lost control, nearly falling into another cyclist in the crush. I only saved us by jumping off the pedals, forcibly preventing the bike from tipping but twisting my ankle in the process. Fortunately, M was OK and I don't think she realised how close we came to crashing.
M discovers a cycle powered bubble machine.
That aside, after a brief moment to recover we hopped on the bike and made it around the Ring Road with no issues. M was a champ, cycling without complaint and concentrating hard to wobble as little as she could. We didn't crash into anyone. We didn't fall off. We didn't need to stop or walk. We were happy.
M has a go at powering a racing track with pedal power.
We stopped for lunch (and first aid for my poor ankle), then as cycling didn't hurt in the way that walking did, we decided to try the ring road again before it was opened to normal traffic. It was much easier the second time as there were fewer cyclists and we enjoyed ourselves. I even managed to get some relative speed out of the tag-along.

Event complete, a bit weary but happy with our performance, we locked the bikes up so we could pose for the official photograph.
Our official snap at the end of the ride. We all have our eyes closed.
We stopped for a tea/coffee and a biscuit before riding home, via the same park we've been cycling around for the past month. Naturally, we broke the journey so M could have a run around, then pushed on home where ice cream was waiting. How else could we have ended such a brilliant day?

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