Who would have thought that November would have been so mild and who would have thought that so many would turn out on a cloudy, windy afternoon for a leisure ride around a couple of local parks. But they did!
Fourteen people of all ages and cycling experience: 9 adults and 5 children on 13 bikes (one child had her own seat on her dad’s folding bike).
We met at Sidings Community Centre at two in the afternoon and started with a bike inspection. Tyres were inflated and a saddle raised to make for a more comfortable and safe ride.
The aim was to judge the route depending on the weather conditions. Despite the wind everyone wanted to try to visit both Gladstone and Roundwood Parks.
We set off and crossed the Kilburn High Road into Brent, up Chatsworth Road and across Willesden High Road to Gladstone Park.
Pausing for a photograph under the “Cycle Responsibly” sign and to remind everyone that pedestrians have priority, we set off on our circumnavigation of the park. Getting to the top of the park presents a challenging uphill slope. Several chose to walk the steepest bit.
After a breather by Gladstone’s House we continued downhill past the tennis courts reminding the boys to use their brakes to stay in control of their bikes.
Before we left the park we visited the Pavillion Café where we warmed up with cups of tea and coffee. The children chose ice creams. We’re thinking of renaming the ride the ‘Winter Ice Cream Ride’. I’m not sure it’ll catch on.
Through quiet streets and safely across the quite busy Willesden High Road again, we proceeded down to Roundwood Park.
After another quick circumnavigation we again stopped at the café there. Little Iéna played in the sand while the boys shared their chips.
By now the light was fading so we switched on our lights and headed back to Sidings as fast as we could.
Some people pealed off in the direction of their own homes as we got closer. Others took the responsibility of back marker and a smaller but happy group arrived back at Sidings.
One of the boys asked if there would be another ride next week and several asked when the next ride would be. They all had a great time. There is definitely a demand for short leisure rides like this, even when it’s not bright and sunny.
One of the main difficulties with organising rides is the number and availabilty of ride leaders. If you are a keen cyclist with some experience and would like to lead an occasional ride, get in touch with Camden Cyclists. We can get you trained as a ride leader and provide you with the opportunities to gain experience on our regular rides.
What you said about the ride:
It is really nice that somebody wants to set apart his time and look after others. Thanks Geoff. I did enjoy Sunday’s ride The organisation was good. Our community needs more activity like this especially where old and young are united no matter how much we know each other. Your purpose is great. Once more…thanks.
The family ride is a great way for the different generations to get together & mingle; it also gives the kids a great opportunity to explore parts of London, honing their cycle skills whilst being in a safe training environment. It also helps enormously, in their transition from riding in a supervised environment to riding independently.
I and my two year old daughter, Iéna, enjoyed the ride. The route was well planned along quieter roads, was just the right length, and had two good stops – essential when riding with children. I found it interesting and enjoyable to cycle alongside children a few years older than my daughter, riding their own bikes. It was a real family ride with people of all ages. Thanks for organising and leading it, and thank you to Jenny and Will for marshalling it.
Finally, thank you for listing the ride on the LCC website events list, which is how I found it.
I was a little nervous about this ride because it was Rex’s first real time on the road & he is only eight years old so I worried he wouldn’t be able to keep up. However I felt a lot more confident riding with the group, as did he. The ride was great for parents like me who want to cycle more with their children but are feeling a bit nervous about getting them on the roads.
Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon.
Excellent ride, and I enjoyed going round the parks, which are local (for me).
Thank you very much for organising the ride on Sunday. Jamie and myself thoroughly enjoyed it.
Marzie and Jamie