Yesterday, (Friday 6th March),t was my honour to be invited to accept a Community award from the Mayor of Kingston, for continuing to lead Rides on behalf of the Kingston Cycle Campaign, (KCC), I have to say a huge thank-you to Derek for nominating me, then listening to the citation as to why I meritted the award, although it should be noted that the reason I started leading Ride’s was all due to John Dunn, who had the original, unique idea of Baking a Bread pudding to bring along to be consumed at the afternoon Tea stop.
A brief history of the KCC rides: In the early days of 2000, the co-ordinator of the KCC, (Matt Schutz), decided it was time for some fresh thinking on the Rides front, he asked 3 guy’s, (John D, Chris W & Ned), if they could take on the job of organising the Rides program, but within a few month’s, it was John on his own, he thought, ‘how can I make it more appealing, he remembered that his Sister used to make a Bread pudding for her Son, (John’s Nephew, Gary), & it seemed to have helped to make him into a very good Cyclist, so he found a cook book, (Cooking for Blokes, I believe), and Twenty, (yes 20) Years later he is still bringing a fresh Bread Pudding on all the ‘Sunday rides’. Meanwhile, having joined at least one of Chris & Ned’s rides, particularly a very enjoyable ride to Pyrford Lock, on the Wey navigation I thought, maybe I can come up with something similar, but little did I realise, that after leading a few Rides, any other leaders had mysteriously vanished, soon, it was expected that ‘Roger must know a route & a Pub for lunch’, & mostly that works well, although we have had minor hiccup’s when the chosen venue has no Chef that day, or the Pub says it too busy because of Mothers day, (we now try to avoid having a ride that particular Sunday).
In 2006, having always run an Evening ride during ‘Bike week’, each year, we decided to expand things a little, so for the 6 months, April to September, we started once a month, Evening rides, again to a Pub for refreshments, before returning via a shorter route to Kingston.
In 2018, having retired from work a couple of years earlier, & at the prompting of a few regulars, I agreed to start organising monthly Midweek rides, mostly Wednesday’s but occasionally Tuesday or Thursday, to suit work patterns of others who can’t make Wednesday.
I have to say it has been an absolute pleasure to organise & lead all these rides, & as long as a few people continue to turn up, I’m very happy to keep doing the same, for a few more years yet. I often think to myself, ‘we must have used all the possible route’s & Pub’s in North Surrey, & West London’, by now, oh but what about that old wreck of a Pub, that’s recently had a makeover, or similar ideas.
I look forward to seeing many of you on a ride soon,
KCC Ride leader