Thursday 24 December 2020

December 2020 update

Well, the days are getting longer again and cycling is good for physical and mental health.  Not a lot else to say in this bulletin is there?  

Here is a seasonal picture to bring some cheer, from when we cycled over to the Birchwood Methodist Church Christmas Fair in November 2018.

Friday 16 October 2020

October 2020 update - still no scheduled rides

Unfortunately our leaders are not currently able to organise led rides.  Do look up 'walking and cycling' on the St Albans District Council website for maps to help you plan your own rides.  Also check out the St Albans Cycle Campaign and get involved in some cycle campaigning - click on the news button to see the newsletters with suggested campaign actions.
Meanwhile, keep your distance, keep your face covered (unless exempt) and keep washing your hands. And keep hoping we'll be able to resume our fabulous cycling sooner rather than later.
Update from July - the path through Greenwood Park has been fully resurfaced and the awkward gate has been removed and replaced with bollards.

Saturday 18 July 2020

July 2020 - Women's Festival of Cycling

Oops, bit late with this blog update, the #WFOC2020 began last week.  It runs to the end of July. Picture above is us in 2018.

We don't have any rides or events organised this year, but you can join in with online events - visit the Cycling UK website for details -

You can also join in with actual rides - solo or in a small group - and post them on social media, tagging @CyclingUK and using the hashtags #WFOC2020 and #BeYouByBike.  South Herts Cyclists is also on social media, so tag us in too!

The theme for this week is Olympics and on Friday 24 July Cycling UK is hosting a digital mini-Olympics.  They will be handing out medals - like we did after our sporting WFOC ride to Greenwood Park last year -

Speaking of Greenwood Park we have heard that a cafe is due to open next month and also that improvements to the track from Watford Road to Tippendell Lane are planned, including removing the kissing gate.  Getting through there is verging on being an Olympic sport - synchronised bike-wrangling.
For current café options and picnic spots, the South Herts home page has links to a café map and also a picnics places map.
Stay Safe, Protect Others and Look Forward to riding all together again.

Friday 19 June 2020

Mid-June 2020 update

Since the last blog update I have cycled around Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire with Mr Hoopdriver and the feisty Jessie Milton - courtesy of H G Wells in 1896.

Here in the 21st century, our national body has just announced that the suspension of club group rides has now been relaxed, so that subject to risk assessment, social distancing and a whole lot of other considerations, groups may now organise rides for up to six people. 

However, permitting and happening are two different things, as one this Coronavirus FAQ makes clear:

Q: Even though the guidance might allow for group rides, is it sensible to do so?

Cycling UK: We have outlined what the regulations and guidance permit, but riders and clubs should make their own assessment of whether they should undertake any socially distanced group ride, and if so, when, where and how.

Infection rates may vary regionally, some groups will have different demographics and members with different risk factors, and it may be difficult to maintain social distancing within a group on certain rides.

It is therefore important for people to exercise their own judgement and common sense if they are undertaking group rides, having regard to their own safety, other road users, and infection risk.

So basically, in a rather long-winded way, this is to say that no Five Miles to Fabulous rides are scheduled for the time being, but we are looking forward to resuming as and when we reasonably can.

Thursday 4 June 2020

June 2020 update

Since our last 5MTF ride in March, I have been cycling around the world with Jenny Graham:

And as far as the re-opened Simmons in Marshalswick to get supplies:

Bike Week starts on Saturday.  We did have a ride scheduled, but obviously, it ain't happening.  Bike Week will happen, online

Latest Cycling UK advice on latest government guidance can be found by clicking through from the links on our web-page, but includes a reminder for  'cyclists to use their own judgement when deciding whether it is sensible to undertake group rides.'
This ride leader's judgement is not sensible yet.  In carrying out my assessment I have considered the very real need to continue to limit the spread of infection, backed up by having friends and family working in health care and my own experience of how long it can take to recover from even a 'mild' dose of the virus.  So although I am missing the rides and longing to see my fabulous buddies, I am not rushing to re-instate group rides.  Thank you for your understanding.

The very good news however is that 5MTF participants have been going out solo or with their households, and more recently in limited and distanced sensibly-judged company. Hurrah!

Cycling UK's Women's Festival of Cycling is scheduled to take place 11 - 31 July.  Not certain currently as to exactly what will happen, but there will definitely be some online things, keep an eye on

Saturday 7 March 2020

Saturday 7 March - International Women's Day Ride

An equal world is an enabled world.
#IWD2020  #EachforEqual

Twelve of us gathered at Morrisons for our 2020 Fabulous season-opener.  Great to see the friendly faces again and to welcome a new rider to our group.  We are signing Each for Equal.

Teresa took the eight-strong Further Faster group along the Alban Way, through Oaklands and up Nashes Farm Lane.  "There were some grumbles but we all cycled up it. We then went past Osprey onto Coopers Green Lane, back up Hammonds Lane and down into Sandridge.  We met many polite car drivers who gave way to us, and some who held back while we negotiated the puddles across the road. We went up Sandridgebury Lane and down to the Ancient Briton where we joined the Green Ring to Verulamium Park, and met up with the 5MTF group at Inn on the Park. It was a short ride of 12 miles, but good to be out in the fresh air, with no wind or rain!"

Rona and Angela took the Fabulous foursome off up Woodstock Road, and gathered up a late-running fifth at the top of Homewood Road.  "We enjoyed a gentle descent along Jersey Lane, which is hugely improved already by having a Greenspace Action Plan.  Whole sections have had the verges trimmed back to expose long covered tarmac, so the path is twice as wide as it has been of late.
Through Sandridge, then we headed up through Sandridgebury - mind the potholes!  Along Sandridgebury Lane, then left and right at the Harpenden Road, a wiggle  down to Batchwood Drive and the Green Ring took us along the Verulamium Park.  Our group arrived first and we settled in for coffee, cake and chat, being joined in due course by the further faster group.  We had covered nearly seven miles."
It had been a bit grey to start off, but the sun was out by the time we dispersed.  Wonderful to have such a good start to our 2020 Fabulous ride series. 
Our next 5MTF is on Saturday 4 April, and we will celebrate Hertfordshire Year of Culture #HYOC2020  - the April theme is Go Somewhere Local - like we always do!  

Thursday 13 February 2020

Further Faster February

Last Saturday (8th February) four riders enjoyed the calm before the storm with a gentle season-opening relaxed ride of about eleven miles around Symondshyde and Sandridge, with a coffee stop at Carpenters Nursery.
For this Saturday (15th) the weather forecast is being scrutinised, liste for announcements
After that, our next scheduled Further Faster is 29th February and we start our Fabulous 2020 programme on 7th March.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Eight fabulous ladies met for a 'Christmas' meal last week and took the opportunity to present Teresa with the Jon Crosby Ride Leader Trophy.
Teresa came on her first 5MTF ride in October 2013 and her confidence and enthusiasm for going further and faster developed quickly. She began to develop ride leader skills, often taking up the back marker position on rides - an important element of ride management. She also took to organising her own informal rides with friends - this is actually the whole aim of 5MTF, getting women confident enough to ride of their own accord on rides of their own devising.  
In September 2016 Teresa and Angela completed the Cycling UK Ride Leader course.  Having three registered ride leaders meant we could start arranging Further Faster Fabulous rides, either splitting the regular Saturday ride into faster and not so fast groups, or as standalone rides.
Thanks to Teresa's efforts we have been going from strength to strength as a women-only cycling group, and it was a pleasure to present this award in recognition of her contribution to the expanding success of South Herts CTC women-only cycling.
This is an opportune moment to thank Jon Crosby for all his support and encouragement to Five Miles to Fabulous, not least in teaching me about blogging (and sorting me out when I get in a muddle) and keeping our web-page in good order.