Though still in its infancy, the Peterborough tandem group is beginning to form a solid core, and for those who venture out on a monthly ride, there is no shortage of enthusiasm. From Tallington (West Deeping) the pace out to Oakham was brisk (right into a strong cool westerly wind), but the body’s extremities soon warmed up when we hit the first of the many hills in the tiny county of Rutland. Our attention was frequently distracted by overhead buzzards and red kites. Then after the first 20 miles, who wouldn’t enjoy an all-day breakfast at the local greasy spoon?
The Irish prayer “May the wind be ever at your back” was invoked after lunch and, sure enough, it was at our backs on the homeward run, and the sun hailed the flowering snowdrops and crocuses that sprinkled the roadside verges. A great day to be sharing the company of fellow tandemists on this 42 mile route. And at the end, Jenny (who herself cannot ride two wheels) felt justifiably proud at having covered the distance.
Like a new-born infant, the emergence of a new tandem group will slowly take its first few faltering steps, gain a little in confidence and momentum, and will eventually find its feet (aka ‘wheels’) firmly planted on the ground, burning rubber at gently increasing speeds. Thanks to the initiative taken by John & Elaine Blackburn, the new Peterborough group is ideally situated to attract riders from a wide geographical radius, and four crews gathered at Orton Mere on July 23rd for a 38 mile ride out into Northamptonshire. The route took us through remarkable villages such as Fotheringhay (birth place of Richard III and where Mary Queen of Scots lost her head), and places with evocative names such as Bulwick, Blatherwycke and Apethorpe, through the picturesque village of King’s Cliffe and past the impressive estates of Elton Hall, family home of the Proby family. It was an excellent ride, new friendships were forged, and we had a tail wind to enhance the speed of the return journey (part of John’s careful calculations!). Interestingly, three of the four tandems were Dawes, accompanied by a venerable Jack Taylor.
To find out more about tandeming in the UK, click here.