Ride leader Simon Bird


sbAfter a period of time without riding a bike I got back into cycling first by doing part of my commute by bike.  This saved me a ton of money which was handy as I had to re-stock the wardrobe with slimmer clothes.

I was having a lot of fun re-discovering bike riding, I’d been a member of the CTC in Essex as a youth, and so I added to my commuting by riding at the weekend.  But there was something missing.  I recalled how fun it could be riding with others.  Climbs and distances that were tough become less effort when sharing the work with others.

So I sought out my local club, Reading CTC and will never forget the first ride I did with them.  I was nervous, didn’t know quite what to expect but found a warm welcome from the group when I arrived at the start.  It was a 20 mile leisurely and included a lunch stop at a pub.  I then tried a 50 mile moderate but turned back home after 30 miles, unsure that I’d be able to do the distance.  More rides followed and I gradually gained more confidence in my abilities.

But it’s not about the speed or distance, it’s about the camaraderie and the social side of going on a club ride that makes it special.  Soon enough I felt I needed to give something back.  It’s great being led on a ride with no worries or concerns about where and when and how long.  But could I be a ride leader?

Five years on and I’ve led over 20 rides a year.  Most are of a regular format on a Sunday or a Wednesday evening.  I do also like to strike out a bit further.  Some of my rides have involved a train or car for part of the way; and once a year I like to ride through the night starting at midnight – just to experience virtually traffic-free roads.  I also organise mini-tours at weekends staying at hostels or hotels.  Yet to go camping but it’s in my plans.

But beware!  I do have a reputation for not always getting the direction of travel right, I’m usually too busy chatting, so u-turns are often a feature when riding with me.

Contact me if you want to know more about one of my rides and I do hope to see you on a ride soon.

Simon Bird
07846 219114