All posts by Joy Forrow

Limited resumption of group rides

Following announcements by the UK Government and Cycling UK this week, we are resuming a limited form of group ride we call 'Pop-up rides'.

What are Pop-up rides?

Rides of up to a maximum of 6 people, including the leader, any day of the week. Click here to find out more about the background to Pop-up rides and how they will work. If you are a ride leader, click here to find out how you can register and manage Pop-up rides.

They are open to all and as time goes on I hope there will be a good variety of rides available. Leaders may want to start with limiting the ride to 3 or 4 people until we all get used to this idea.

Why start up rides again?

Despite the absence of all of our usual rides for almost 12 weeks now, many of us have been able to enjoy cycling and keep fit by riding alone, with household members and lately with one other. However there are people in the club and those interested in cycling (e.g. who signed up to the Cathedral Challenge) who are not able/willing to ride alone. They are desperate to ride but don’t have a cycling buddy and want people to ride with. It is arguably safer to ride in 2's or 3's than on their own, particularly if they are less confident. It is to give all an opportunity to ride with others we have decided to start these rides.

Is it legal?

Yes – the government changed the rules from 1 June and rides of up to 6 people are allowed. However we must stick to the social distancing and hygiene guidelines at all times.

Is it safe?

The bottom line is that you have to decide for yourself as leader or rider what risk you are prepared to take, particularly if you are in a vulnerable category. The virus is still with us and the risks are real.  However, in my view, our role as a local cycling club is to facilitate rides and not to try to second guess the advice we’ve been given. If you’re happy to give it a try, do go ahead and enjoy but don’t feel obliged to lead and/or join rides.

Can only leaders set up a ride?

Like all our rides you have to be a leader registered with Cycling UK to lead a ride (and therefore set up a pop-up ride). However if you’re not a leader and want to find one or more people to ride with, members’ contact details can be found on the website if you’re logged in. Alternatively, Andy will help if you contact him.

Joy Forrow
President, Portsmouth CTC

Help with route plotting and GPS

At the ride leader workshop in August we talked about running a further workshop to help ride leaders and members build confidence and independence in using GPS for planning routes and riding.

I believe that we have a lot of expertise within the Club that we could share but the workshop model may not be appropriate as there are many different systems and everyone will be at a different starting level. In order to take this forward could you e-mail me and tell me if you are interested, and what you would like help with. For example:

  • how to plot a route
  • finding and downloading routes – general
  • as ride leader, adding GPS to website
  • as ride leader, editing your ride on the website
  • advice on choosing a GPS
  • practical issues with using GPS
  • common GPS problems
  • other

We will need to know what system you are using. For example: Garmin or Phone.

For those who are already fluent with one or more systems, are you able/willing to help others and, again, on which devices, phones etc?

Once we know what help people want we can work out the best way to take this forward.

Thank you.

Joy Forrow

Stuck Seatpost

The seatpost on my Dawes Galaxy had been stuck for over 2 years. I couldn't move it and neither could the bike shop. At first I wasn't too bothered but when I was fitted for my new bike I realised that the saddle on the Galaxy was too low making it less comfortable and inefficient. I searched the web and methods of sorting it looked rather extreme and risked damaging the frame. Then a club-member suggested the Seatpost Man. He (John Lee) is based in Chorley, Lancs so not local but on the way to the North. He was very good at agreeing a time to suit me. I left the bike with him and in 2 hours it was done. Cost £60 but cheaper than a new frame and the bike is now a pleasure to ride (as well as being easier to pack up for touring!).

I'd definitely recommend him to anyone who has a similar problem. And what an excuse for a trip up North - cycling or otherwise!