Our next winter ride is coming up on Saturday 16th January – but this year we thought we’d try an experiment to increase the number of winter rides – called Any Fine Sunday. The principle is simple enough – during the winter months (until the clocks go forward again, basically) – if you wake up on a Sunday morning and it’s a nice day, and you fancy a wee cycle, then turn up at Dock Park at 11 am (note an hour later than our Saturday rides) to see who else is there. And then whoever turns up can go for a bike ride.
Because we have no idea whether there will actually be any fine Sundays between now and the end of March, we aren’t planning anything more than that – no routes, ride leaders, set distances or anything like that. Whoever turns up can decide on the route, agree the distance & pace (bearing in mind that we aim to be an inclusive group, so overall it should be something everyone who shows up can manage). We have no idea whether it will work or not, or if anyone will be interested, but we thought we would give it a go. After all, whether your resolution this year was to lose weight, get more exercise, spend more time outdoors, or just have more fun – this should have it covered.
What counts as a ‘fine Sunday’? – Originally we were going to call this “Any Sunny Sunday” but it had a rather unfortunate acronym, and besides, ‘sunny’ is a bit ambitious for Dumfries so we decided to choose any morning when it’s not forecast to rain/snow/sleet/hail or not actually raining/snowing/sleeting/hailing, and not too icy or there are no actual weather warnings in force. How many of those there will be remains to be seen.
How will I know if it’s on or not? – the easiest way will be to turn up at Dock Park on the day and see if there is anyone else there, but if you like a little bit more certainty, then keep an eye on our twitter feed or Facebook page. We’ll tweet/post a final decision on whether it’s on or not at about 10 am on the day. Sometimes we can’t guarantee that someone from Cycling Dumfries will turn up because of other commitments, in which case we’ll let people know – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t turn up anyway and go without us!
Will there be a café stop? Cake? – We’re very keen on cake as a rule but it’s quite hard to plan routes out of town that go via a decent café, especially on a Sunday, so if people fancy a coffee/tea/cake/bacon roll/vegetarian equivalent then we would probably have to go on after the ride – Kings is generally open on a Sunday from about 1, but we’re open to alternative suggestions. If someone does know of a good route that takes in a café, we’ll likely stop, so bring some cash. If anyone knows of a coffee morning or cake sale going on locally we may well make the detour…
How long/fast/difficult will the rides be? – That will depend on the preferences of those who turn up on the day. We haven’t worked out any routes but we do know a few nice 20+ mile routes on quiet roads from our winter rides – but if people have a favourite ride they’d like to do we’ll be open to suggestions. On the whole we’d aim to avoid busy roads and a very fast pace – if you want to ride hard, there are road clubs that might be more suitable. And the speed will be dictated by the slowest, not the fastest, with nobody left behind. These are social rides, not training rides, so we’ll aim for the ‘speed of chat’.
What do I need to bring? – Apart from yourself and your bike, that’s up to you. We can’t guarantee anyone will have the tools to fix a puncture or sort out a mechanical problem so if you don’t have the basic kit for getting yourself back on the road, then we suggest bringing a mobile and enough money for a taxi as a last resort for getting home. Although we’ll aim to only do this on nice days, it will still be winter and this is South West Scotland, so bring enough clothing that you will be comfortable even if the weather changes.
Do I need to do the whole ride? – No, but do tell the others if you’re peeling off early so they don’t worry if you disappear.