A Cheshire cracker
A fine, dry afternoon greeted us as we arrived at the idyllic setting of Shrigley Hall for the final BDOVELO North ride of 2017. Participants had come from across the region, including Manchester, Liverpool and Yorkshire, representing the legal, financial and retail sectors. After making introductions over coffee and sandwiches, we headed out along country lanes resplendent in the first flush of autumn colours.
For this ride we were joined by double Olympic medallist Bryan Steel, but initial nervousness about the effect this would have on the overall speed proved unfounded. Paced and guided by our ride leaders, the riders settled into an easy spin and the air filled with lively conversation.
After an easy first half, the ride entered the hills around Macclesfield Forest. Despite a short-cut being offered, everyone opted for the full route, and so we dug in to climb a stiff 1 in 8 hill and were rewarded with some proper Peak District scenery, with a fantastic flat-out descent to the finish.
Then after a quick shower and a drink at the bar, we were treated to a light supper and a talk from Bryan. An engaging and passionate speaker, he regaled us with stories from his four Olympic games, sharing rooms and podiums with the likes of Chris Boardman and Bradley Wiggins, as well as his current work as a mentor and coach.
The ride was a fantastic way to round off the 2017 programme of BDOVELO North rides, and we’re already looking forward to next year.