Tuesday, 29 June 2010

It wasn't a race, but it was ace ...

A report by Polly ... Sunday 20th June dawned warm and sunny for the Bike Week Family Ride. We hadn't heard that anyone was definitely going to join us but had quite a bit of interest in it from families talking to us at the Cycle Sheffield stall at the Cycling Festival on Devonshire Green the day before so Tony and I, plus my sister Sue who was staying for the weekend, set out full of optimism. Passing Devonshire Green a 3 generation family were unloading bikes from cars and soon joined us in Barkers Pool. There were Grandad Bill, his son Steve and wife Catherine plus young Jack on a tagalong behind his Mum. They had read about the ride in the paper and then checked the details on EventSheffield.

By 10 past 10 no one else had appeared so we set off at a gentle pace back along Division Street, down the Green and over the road to pass Springfield School and the new Gell Street playground, which Jack thought looked very exciting. We crossed the ring road and climbed steadily up Broomspring Lane, turning left down Gloucester Street to wend our way throught Lynwood Gardens (Catherine pointed out another new playground to Jack, planning to visit it soon with one of his friends who lives in Broomhall). Another short climb up Park Lane brought us to Clarkehouse Road, which was fairly busy, but there was a fortunately long gap in the traffic for us to cross comfortably to Endcliffe Vale Road and a quieter cycle to Bingham Park. Here we were joined by Cath and her son Edward who is nearly 8 and rides proficiently on his own. Cath had seen a Bike Week leaflet at her work at the Northern General and had come all the way from Midhopestones to join us. We were just about to set off again when a very impressive triple tandem with rear luggage basket as well appeared riden by Scott but aided by 2 of his daughters. His wife and older daughter, Lindy, were riding solo. The family had also seem the ride advertised on EventSheffield. Now we were 14 and all enjoyed the off-road route up to Forge Dam. We carefully stopped the traffic at the road crossings but everyone managed the stepping stones or ford ably without help.

We had just (about 11:20) settled down with our picnics plus lots of Bike Week balloons, stickers and holographic spoke decorations when Sophy, Karl and family appeared. They had been waiting by Endcliffe Park cafe although did remember that I'd given Rustlings Road entrance to Bingham Park as a pick-up point. The children romped in the undergrowth, played in the park and had lots of fun with their balloons. Sophy and Carl didn't wish to lose the hard-won height they'd gained so set off to return home via Bents Green while the rest of us retraced our route; Scott's daughters anticipating ice-cream reward at Endcliffe Park cafe (they had come all the way from Dore/Totley). Everyone had really enjoyed the ride and it was great to have 3 new families with us. I must make a big apology though, as I have mislaid the piece of paper on which I collected everyone's email addresses. I do hope you're reading this though and please email me if you are so that you can be added into the families' rides list (polytone@doctors.org.uk).

1 comment:

Purple Sue said...

That sounded like a really nice day - I love the idea of the kids frolicking with the balloons. How did you get the balloons back? they are a nightmare on a bike (we had some for our ladies 'pedal it ink' last April)!!