I took my 10-year-old son, George, and his friend (also George – gets very complicated) to see the Tour Series cycling http://www.tourseries.co.uk in Colchester town centre a couple of weeks ago. The series of short, fast and exciting criterium races around UK town centres is well established and is building to a climax, with highlights twice a week on ITV4.
We arrived early enough to see the women’s race. This was our first glimpse of Team CTC, the women’s team in the middle of a busy first year, and they rode well. It was a shame we hadn’t been able to participate earlier in the day in the CTC-organised Tour Series ride. I met Martin, regular in our Chelmsford group, ride leader and Vice Chair of Council. He told us about the success of the ride and there is a report here from CTC Local Cycling Development Officer, Richard Monk: http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/richard-monk/140-families-join-big-colchester-tour-series-ride-0
Thanks in no small part to Richard’s drive and enthusiasm, there is a lot going on this summer in towns across Essex, with the emphasis on inclusion and participation. Chelmsford led-rides are now well under way. There’s one every Thursday and Saturday. More details:http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/chelmsford-gets-cycling
Thanks to Richard (again!) and Maldon and District Cycling Club http://www.madcc.org.uk/ (where professional Movistar rider Alex Dowsett, no less, was introduced to the art of time trialing) gentle rides have been organised for Mondays and Tuesdays from the town centre: http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/cycling-magic-in-maldon
These led rides are an ideal introduction to the friendship and fun of group riding. If you try one and enjoy it, you may want to go a little further afield (but still at a steady but relaxed tempo). Our regular Sunday rides leave each week at 9.15am from the centre of Chelmsford and more details are available on our website: http://www.chelmsfordctc.co.uk or on the Chelmsford page of the main Essex CTC website: http://www.essexcycling.co.uk/chelmsfordmg.htm
Wherever you live in mid-Essex, if you have a bike, there really is something for everyone this summer.