Brixworth Velo…. Where have you been all my cycling life?….
Becoming this accidental cyclist also required one more commitment from me. And that was to join a cycling club. T had been suggesting for a while that I should join a club so I can find and ride with like-minded individuals. However, and this is a big however, I always saw cycling clubs as pretentious and clicky.
The amount of times I would be ignored by club riders when I waved, said morning, or nodded a greeting in their direction, was hundreds (and I am not even sure this is an exaggeration). They all seemed self-absorbed in their own little “gang” to not worry about the lone man. This seemed even more obvious when I was adorned in baggies and enjoying the ride on the knobbly steeds.
Then last March Ego said that there was a post on Facebook about a new group ride meeting in Brixworth. Just a few people new to riding who wanted to see if there were any other like-minded individuals who were up for a social ride.
Ego, Chris (the northern bearded warrior) and I decided we would give it a go. And if they all turned out to be a bunch of idiots (think I did use another word) then we would make our excuses and cut our ride short….. Yes we really did say that.
Well as it turns out we are all still riding with Brixworth Velo as it transpired none of them were idiots and in fact they were all sound fun people to be around. A lot of them I can now call friends.
It was started by Simon Fowler (The Captain), and he has been fundamental in helping the group grow and to attract all sorts of riders – from the novice to the expert. The Captain has managed to make this group grow beyond his wildest dreams and I like to think the group have achieved this by being different from the usual “clubs”. We are welcoming. We do greet other riders on the roads. We are friendly. We have a laugh. And most of all we all just enjoy riding our bikes; wet or dry – calm or windy – cold or warm – slow or fast – competitive or fun.
You will also notice that I keep referring to ourselves as a group, because that is what we see ourselves as. A group of like-minded cyclist enjoying the freedom this great sport gives us.
I am sure there are many groups and clubs out there that are like ours. Unfortunately local to me I never had that impression – and if you live anywhere near Wellingborough then you may know the club I am referring to most of all…. 🙂 So I feel I have to apologise now to all the GOOD groups/clubs out there like ours (although you’ll never be as good 🙂 ) that I tarred with the same brush.
They say riding with a group will improve your riding. Make you a better bike handler, quicker, fitter. Something I didn’t believe until I found Brixworth Velo.
I am now fitter than I have ever been on a bike, and more comfortable in a group riding situation and that is in part down to the group. I will normally cycle the 14 mile from Wollaston to Brixworth to meet with the group on a Sunday morning. Then we hit the
smooth tarmac, sorry typo, the pot holed roads of Northamptonshire and beyond.
Naturally no social ride is complete without a coffee stop and what we have found is that Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties have some hidden gems of a cafe.
Then I have the journey back, which is sometimes made shorter depending on the direction we rode in when leaving Brixworth.
The base miles this gives me, especially at this time of year is invaluable to my training. And ignoring the base miles, I just have a bloody good laugh every time I go out with the Brixworth Velo Crew. Sunday has rapidly become the day I look forward to the most.
We now have custom Jerseys and Gilets from Milltag – which are constantly getting praise from fellow riders when we are out on the road. We even have a sponsor in Boodhist Fitness (http://www.boodhistfitness.co.uk).
Decemeber we had our first year awards where I was honoured with the Club General award (humbled, very humbled), and The Old Forge Cranford Tea Rooms won the inaugural Cafe of the Year awards – we take the cafe stop seriously, very seriously – Eggs Benedict is a favourite amongst the crew. (https://theoldforgecranford.com)
The clown of the group Marc does a Facebook match report every week and is the resident photographer – a highlight of a Sunday evening for me.
The group is ever evolving but is not losing any of the elements that makes it so special.
If you have never made that leap and joined a group ride then I would say do it. And do it today. You will get so much more from your cycling, more than you ever thought would be possible.
And if you are local to Brixworth then go one better and come and join the best bunch of cyclists in the UK (maybe the world) at 8.30am on a Sunday morning outside Brixworth Library. I am not being paid for this promotion…… but hopefully The Captain will read this and buy me a coffee next Sunday…….
#BXV #BXV4LIFE #BRIXWORTHVELO #BXVCREW