Monday, 24th Jan 2022

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The Covid restrictions have made group cycling out of the question, but cycling alone, or with a single ‘buddy’ has been the only permitted bike related outdoor activity.

Not only that, but cafés were closed apart from takeaways. So there was nowhere to sit down and refresh halfway through a ride and we all tended to keep our exercise trips short.

So, it was with huge relief that on 2nd December when the rules were eased that we were permitted, at last, to ride in groups of up to six.

Six is a nice number for a small group ride as it allows the group to keep together, and does not take up a lot of road space. Being compact we can keep together and nobody gets left behind. Not only that, although we all arrive together we do not overwhelm the café staff.
Portsmouth CTC have started to organise ‘pop-up’ rides which are announced in the club newsletter, showing a destination and a leader, and the first five members to apply have an opportunity to join the ride on the date stated.

The ride on the 2nd was billed as an easy ride, led by Andy Henderson, and took some fairly flat roads to Bosham  via Bosham Hoe and along the seafront just beating the rising tide in time for a coffee stop at Wendy’s. There they have plenty of outside seating, under cover so six riders spaced around two tables enable social distancing whilst still able to chat in the open air. The refreshments , once ordered, are brought out on a tray and the server withdraws whilst the customers help themselves.

A very neat solution, reducing exposure between both staff and customers.

Suitably refreshed and relaxed, Andy led the group back to Havant, taking most of them on a detour (or extension if you prefer) around Prinsted, whilst a couple of riders who needed to get back home for lunch or other appointments returned by the direct route along the A259.

A delightful break in the enforced stay-cation. Thanks, Andy.

Since then several pop up rides have “popped up”, to various destinations, at various levels of exercise, been ridden and enjoyed by club members happy to have the opportunity to get out with a few old or new friends and enjoy our local scenery whilst keeping a safe distance apart in the open air.

Not back to normal, nor even the “new normal” but how it is, and making the most of it.

Mike Skiffins, Portsmouth CTC
Posted on Wed, January 20 2021