A year with the club

Last weekend I celebrated my first anniversary with Weaver Valley Cycling Club. It certainly has been a rollercoaster. The ups and downs you go through are just incredible. My first year has been full of new challenges.

Your lifestyle changes (well mine has anyway). You watch what you eat. Saturday nights are now spent eating pasta, getting an early night before rising early on Sunday. Sunday breakfast is porridge before heading off on your bike in all weathers. You can return home strong and elated, other times cold, wet and exhausted just wishing it would all end. I remember once my body was so numb with cold that it took 15 minutes for me to get under the shower. Even so, you'll always be there at 9.30 the following Sunday ready to go.

I'm now completing around 100 miles a week (a club run can be 55-65 miles in one go), I've competed at the Velodrome in Manchester, which was awesome, and I'm now doing Club 10 Time Trials every Wednesday. I've marshalled and I've been lead car for the road races the club promotes. I also went away with the club to Llanberis in February. I was nervous amongst some really good riders: with a difficult route I only rode half way each day but loved the experience. The scenery was incredible and I'm building up to next year.

Dave Fearon was the man responsible. I had noticed the ads in the local Guardian promoting for new members, I had been building my fitness up over the past year aiming to join the club eventually and on one of my rides he rode home with me. He suggested I should come out on a club run. I'll always remember my first run with the club, a 60 mile round trip to Holt near Wrexham. A distance that I can comfortably deal with now but 12 months ago it was a distance which I saved for a sportive about 5 times a year. It was a tough run, I went off the back on pretty much every climb, I clung on in the middle of the bunch for most of the ride and was destroyed by the time I got home. Despite that I met a great bunch of guys.

I've stuck with it and I've only missed a couple of runs since then (I remember one run in December where only two of us met up on the Sunday morning!).

I've made loads of great friends. I need to mention in particular club run captain Al Silver who has been brilliant in offering support (we recently did a 25 minute 10 mile TT 2-Up) and I've really enjoyed supporting the juniors within the club, especially James Risk. It is hard to believe he is only 14 and he is certainly one to watch in the future.

If you are considering joining a club and you have a good year under your belt with training miles and sportives then get involved. It's ace.

No comments: