After today's ride, G5 riders Peter F, returning to a first 50 miler after a spell off the bike with a broken collar bone declared that all G4+ riders should occasionally sit in with a lower group to rediscover the joys of sitting in at a comfortable pace, chatting and enjoying the company/scenery without ones eyeballs out on stalks. Mind, he did pick a particularly pleasant morning and teastop...
A tidy group headed out to Rudgwick. Home of the greatest cheese on toast the planet has to offer. No massive hills, no targeting Strava segments. Just gentle undulation at a 15mph average. We chatted about club matters, cycling matters, the environment, the weather, the price of nutty slack... and that is one of the joys of a G3. No chaingang, just relaxed base miles at 60% MHR with a few intervals to test the legs.
In fact one of the discussions concerned 'what is a club run?' As the author of this report, I can use the space to give my view. A club run is not a training ride unless those on the ride agree that this is its purpose. In fact, the club run represents a social base miles type of ride where the leader can designate certain intervals for people to have a little dig if they fancy. Those might include hills ("wait at the top everyone...") or segments of a mile or two where folk can open up and treat it as an interval ("wait at the end everyone..."). This sort of ride - mostly 60%, occasionally 90% - is one that preserves the sociable spirit of the club run but allows people to 'train' during short sections should they wish to.
There are arguments that this approach is more likely to build adaptation than a 75 - 80% ride all the way without intervals. Thoughts appreciated!
Anyway, with Peter along and Roger having benefited from a winter of dedicated turbo training and other efforts, we had two engines to stick on the front most of the way and drag the rest of us along. Via Leigh, Newdigate, Capel, Ockley, Walliswood, Ellens Green and Cox Green, the legendary cheese on toast was upon us in a flash. Delicious... and then back again.
Coming out of the Brickworks, we turned right then left heading on a good quick section before turning left up the rise to Rowhook and back on to Ellens Green before Stane Street, Ockley, Capel and home.
The morning wasn't warm but it wasn't wet. Michelle raised her game to keep mostly in check with a strong bunch including David, Nick and Robert - our Septugenarian for the day who still rides like he's in his 30s! Nick earned extra brownie points by deciding to throw in his own extra loop via Henfold as we passed through Newdigate. And Andy G was the perfect backmarker as ever.
Lovely to have Peter along... looking smooth, strong and for all the world ready for Mallorca.
Thanks everyone. Great ride.