Back in the saddle for our first Discovery Ride!

After months of lockdown – and weeks of planning – it was pure delight simply to be back running a group ride on Sunday afternoon, especially given the gorgeous weather!

Smaller group sets off from Dock Park

Although we’re now under the ‘rule of six’ in Scotland – with only two households only able to meet at a time outdoors – organised rides can still go ahead as long as they follow the guidelines set down by Sport Scotland. This has meant a lot of changes to how we run our rides, not least requiring people to book in advance, but fortunately it hasn’t put people off. Indeed, with 25 people turning out on Sunday we probably had one of our biggest days out ever!

Group being briefed on the other side of the crossing (no word on when there will be any changes to make this crossing safer for social distancing!)

In order to manage everything safely, we actually ended up running three group rides, with each smaller group setting off once enough people were assembled, in order to prevent too big a group setting off (and to prevent people from getting bunched up at the Dock Park crossing which, predictably, is also not working properly for pedestrians and bikes at the moment. We also had to maintain social distancing during the ride – fortunately, at around 1.8m long on average, a bike is a handy guide to keeping people 2m apart.

group of cyclists at the destination
No group photo but this was one of our smaller groups.

It all felt a little strange at first, but once we were riding along – and especially once we’d reached the 12 Apostles and could take the time to explore – it quickly felt like just another pleasant bike ride in the afternoon sunshine. It’s always a pleasure to introduce people to new routes and new places whatever else is going on in the world!

group approaching the stones
Approaching the stone circle

We had some familiar faces and some new people, including a few who have returned to cycling during the lockdown, and it was actually a benefit to have multiple groups as this meant people could ride at their own pace without feeling they were inconveniencing the whole ride. Two of the groups took a longer route back, via the Hardthorn Road, while one group was content to enjoy the magic of how you can go down a steep hill into Newbridge on the way there … and somehow not have to cycle up it again on the way back.  It also allowed group two the chance to hang out and chat to their heart’s delight – but all in a socially distanced manner.

All in all, it was a fantastic day out and most people seemed keen in coming out for our next ride, which is up the Glen Road. Numbers are once more limited so if you’re interested in joining us please do book your free place as soon as possible. You can also see all our planned Discovery Rides here, including links to book yourself on.

view from the bench
The view from the Glen Road, next week’s ride

Thanks to all our ride leaders for helping out – and also to all our participants for being such a fantastic bunch and bearing with us while we managed all our coronavirus procedures.

See you all next week!

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