After getting up early and eating a nice breakfast consisting of porridge we headed off down to Stratford and parked up before peddling to the Box Brownie Café to join the Stratford Club Run. Daddy had a coffee with the other grown ups. I was the only girl there out of all the people going on the A and B rides. Then we joined the B-Ride (supposedly for those who are slower or new to club runs).
Daddy chatted to the other riders as we peddled. I was the youngest there and told people about our LEJOG plans whenever I had a chance.
On group rides you use special signals because you can’t always see the road in front of you for all the other cyclists. I like calling out, or making, the signals because people can’t see Daddy’s hands for me. In case you want to join a group ride these are the signals:
Left hand just behind your back means “Something on the left that needs avoiding” which could be a pothole or a parked car.
Right hand behind your back also means “Something on the right that needs avoiding” which is generally a pothole rather than a parked car.
“Car Up” means a car is coming from behind you so it warns the riders to tuck to the left, or at least be prepared for a car. Other cyclists taught me to remember it as “Up Your Bottom” Because I can look behind to see what is coming I like to give more information so I might confuse people as I say “Van Up” or “Lorry Up” as appropriate.
“Car Down” means a car is coming from in front and is most important on narrow country roads as it warns the riders to tuck to the left to avoid the oncoming car. Other cyclists taught me to remember this one as “Down Your Throat”
We also use the standard signals of Right Hand Out for a right turn and Left Hand Out for a left turn.
There was one downhill where we were coming along, unfortiunately we haven’t moved the bike computer so we don’t know eactly how fast we wre going, and we think we reached close to 50 miles per hour which felt very fast and scary. We overtook everyone else in the group to their surprise (because we had reached the top of the hill last as we are slowest uphills) and then had to give the new brakes a good test as the hill ended in a T-junction and we didn’t know which way the group planned on going. Lots of people said “Those brakes really do work” when they joined us at the bottom of the hill.
There was another downhill where we were going very fast and there was a sharp left corner with a man going slowly round the corner and WHOOSH we shot past him on the corner and he was really surprised because we had come from a slow uphill again.
We stopped halfway at Broadway Tower where Daddy and I have been before. I tried one of the new energy gels that Daddy thinks will help me on LEJOG; it was Raspberry Ripple flavour and I thought it was alright but a bit sweet. Daddy pointed out that sugar is a way of giving me energy so I’ll try it again on another ride. I also had a Millionaire Shortbread (shortbread topped with golden caramel and chocolate) at the Morris and Brown Café Daddy had something to eat too but I wasn’t really paying attention to him.
At the end of the ride Daddy and I went back to the Box Brownie Café and I tried one of their brownies. It was a really tasty brownie so I told Daddy that we should go on more club runs in future. It was a brilliant first ride on our new tandem (now called Double Trouble)!