A venue with some 500 cyclists, all enthusiastic pedallers, many boasting more than 50 years turning cranks “in anger”, is going to throw up some surprises.
I love strolling around the venue checking the huge variety of machines. Unlike the world of racing and time trialling, where bikes and equipment tend to conform to commonly-held styles and standards, not so in the world of social and recreational cycling.
At the CTC Birthday Rides, you will encounter anything from trikes and tandem trikes (see above), to childrens’ machines. In between there will be recumbents, semi-recumbents, tandems
small wheelers designed for many hours of comfort in the saddle
Then there is the curious phenomenon of what people put on there bikes. Some (like me) like to ride bikes with minimal fittings and extras, whereas others like to make their bikes a “living environment”, like this bike
which tells me the owner likes to travel with an abundance of familiar home comforts, bedecking the bike with all kinds of nonsense that will improve the bike-riding experience for them. I would be aggrieved at the useless extra kilos preventing me from climbing those hills at a moderately fast pace.
But then, that’s me…….and we are all different.