I’ve gone and joined a cycling club!

I was playing about on Swift, looking in some of the darker corners of this app when I came upon Group Rides. These are organised events where a group of similarly experienced riders get together and ride a course together.

There is a group leader and all the other riders are expected to stay with a certain set time of the leader.

This particular group ride was organised by the interestingly named Wobble Cycle Club.

The club have a Facebook group and after successfully joining the fb group I was able to ask a few questions and was reassured that I’d come to the right place and that I would be looked after.

The ride was scheduled for seven p.m. so I got everything ready in plenty of time. I ‘borrowed’ the Apple TV from the living room and got that running Swift into my 28″ computer monitor. Swift can be further enhanced by running a companion app on another device so I arranged a big of a Heath Robinson affair (a piece of wood and some velcro) to hold my iPhone within easy reach of the bike.

About five minutes before the start, I joined the ride and introduced myself via the in-app messaging service.

As the start approached, the countdown timer ticked down to zero and we were off ! Well, actually, everyone else was off and I just sat there !

I checked the screen, only to see that the Apple TV (ATV) wasn’t connected to the trainer. Great start !

I tried to pair everything up but to no avail so there was nothing for it but to restart the ATV. Once the app was back up and running, everything connected and I was able to re-join the group (luckily, the app just plonked me into the middle of the peloton so I didn’t have to ride like the clappers to catch up.

I needed to keep close to the leader and after a while got into the hang of pedalling a little faster of slower to stay with the bunch.

AN interesting feature of riding in a group is that you benefit from drafter other riders and the app encourages you to “Close the Gap” if you fall too far behind.

As we all settled in the leader started a few ‘games’ over the messaging asking silly questions like “would you rather have pancakes or crepes?”. By sitting up in the saddle I was able to message back without loosing my rhythm.

After about half an hour, the app announced that there were only 10km to go and this gradually reduced as we neared the finish line.

Fifty five minutes after starting (should have been an hour but for my technical problems) I cross the finish line and was congratulated on completing the ride.

This was only me second ride on the trainer but today’s ride did illustrate some of the features especially the difference the inclines made. I had to work a bit harder going up but on the downhills I had to slow my cadence right down so that I didn’t get too far ahead.

I really enjoyed the experience and have put a reminder in the diary for next week’s wobble !

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