Grey, cold, drizzle, rain and flippin’ miserable. Well that’s one way of describing the weather on the Woodside M1 cycling celebration event on 10 December. On the other hand it was a really good opportunity to take part in a unique cycling event on the new road being constructed.
Blow the weather. Life is what you make it. I was determined that this, this ride, was going to be a positive and enjoyable ride. Sure enough it was.
Once complete this road might be pointless for cyclists as it simply connects existing roads with the M1 motorway. However there seems to be some infrastructure going in for new businesses to base themselves. Probably light industrial units who can benefit to being close to the motorway. Their employees could be local folk, some might want to cycle to work, so therefore its possible there might be a case for cyclists after all!
In a way it was a strange event as there were relatively few cyclists. Sure Dr Bike was there (blog post to follow soon), some junior time trials had just taken place, Council Officers were present together with elected members and the chain gang (the mayor). These were the VIPs.
Arguably the real VIPs were the two cycling paramedics from St John’s Ambulance, a charitable organisation which is often called on to support events like these. We actually rode along with each other and it was fascinating hearing all about their two wheeled ambulances, complete with defibrillators and all kinds of other emergency first aide paraphernalia.
The VIPs were quite funny to look at. There they were, striding along in the increasingly heavy rain as it got heavier and heavier; they seemed unfazed by the weather in their formal collar and ties. They must have been soaked to the skin but all in the name of public duty.
I don’t think the road is anywhere near finished but at least it was easily rideable. Interesting to see that although it is a pointless road from the cyclist perspective, there did appear to be a cycling path alongside being constructed as well. I think this is helpful, though I’m not sure where it could take you.
Another couple of positives was seeing my good friend Paul there; we rode alongside each other for a while as we went up and down a few times. I chatted also to another cyclist on his old 1980s Raleigh team bicycle. He was from Luton and a budding triathlete, nice just chatting and riding together for a mile or two with each other.
In a quirky kind of way, despite the rain and cold, this was a good ride, perhaps even a very special ride.
Here’s the rest of the photos….