I came across Bike Town’s Guided Rides on their Meetup page, I was looking to get out on my bike again but reluctant to go out alone. Only one or two other members had RSVP’d so I was concerned about the size of the group and whether the folk who did turn out would be regular cyclists and I would be lagging behind.
I arrived at the meeting place to a friendly welcome from Mel and a few regular cyclists with the group. I didn’t bring my own bike as the tyres were flat but I was able to borrow a bike as I live within the G73/G72 area. As it was a Wednesday it was an ‘easy’ graded cycle, just as well for me as I hadn’t actually been out on my bike for years. We headed for Glasgow Green, along the way we frequently stopped as one of the leaders is a keen wild food and fungi forager. I was told this isn’t the norm with the rides but everyone who turned up that day was happy to stop and talk about plants and mushrooms we came across rather than continuing straight on our planned route. The dangers of what not to eat and what to do if stung by nettles were talked about and we had a good laugh but by now the rain had started so we donned our waterproofs and moved on. I did slow down a few times for a bit of a rest but found that someone always circled back and casually started a conversation so I didn’t feel my lack of fitness was too obvious or holding the group back.
We arrived in the Glasgow Green and went into the cafe in the People’s Palace for a hot drink/soup to warm us up and of course a well-deserved slice of cake. During our break everyone chatted, the ride leaders made everyone feel at ease.
On our cycle back to our starting point I chatted to a few of the others who had went along for the cycle. It was a mixed age group and one person had cycled from Johnstone direction to join the group that day as he really enjoys the Guided Rides and meeting new people.
Meetup.com is one way to check times and keep up-to-date with Bike Town but you can come along anyway without being on the meetup website. You can subscribe to the newsletter or check the website for dates and times. Since I last went out with the group they have moved location to a spacious warehouse at Thompson Court just behind the Aldi in Rutherglen. Compared to the storage container they worked from before it is pure luxury. I even went along to a Bike Maintenance class hosted by Andy in the new premises so I can sort out my own bike. I plan on joining the group again and hope to build my confidence with cycling and also to have some more good conversations with new folk.
Written by Gemma Baird.