Words by #TeamRutland ambassador Chris Teagles
Our Pitsford social ride group has gone from strength to strength, with a fantastic atmosphere and friendly bunch of local riders. Meeting at the store most Sunday's, the ride is a mix of local singletrack with a coffee stop midway. Find out more about our store events here!
The Importance of Local Riding
You can't beat local riding, wheeling the bike straight out the shed, cruising through the traffic and cutting off the beaten track and straight onto the trails - there's nothing better. I hate the faff of loading the car up, sitting in traffic and paying for parking before you've even swung your leg over the bike. Granted we don't all live in Wales or the Peak District, but it shouldn't matter. If you look hard enough there is some fun to be had, not far from your doorstep.
This is where local store rides come in, maybe you don't know where to look, maybe you need to guidance or perhaps you are just looking for some buddies to ride with. Rutland Social rides can offer all of that; with social rides to suit all abilities, showcasing the best of the local areas riding. You don't need a 160mm Kashima clad Enduro bike either- any mountain bike is fine; a perfect demonstration that you don't need to spend a fortune to have fun. The pace is relaxed and there are plenty of stops with opportunities to tackle new obstacles and improve your skills over time. It's a good atmosphere with opportunity to chat and learn more about local riding. We use bridleways and byways to connect the store to the local woods where we then explore the trails before heading to a local caf� for some well-deserved cake. From there it's a climb back to the store where you can head off home. A large chunk of our rider's commute to the store on their bikes so the 15-mile loop can be extended on the way home.
It's been a few months of organising local weekly rides from the Pitsford store and I am forever amazed at the sheer volume and variety of riders that come along rain or shine. We've had people on XC hardtails, E-Bikes, rented bikes from the store. Everyone takes away something positive from it. Even now the dry dusty trails and warm weather has been replaced with rain, mud and cold we still ride, almost every Sunday morning and you are more than welcome to join us!
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