Look at that sky! Pretty much the story for today’s launch of the new ‘Easy Riders’ group starting out from the Guildhall at 0930.

The idea was for folks who had not previously ridden with a group have a go at 30 miles of the prettiest villages to the South East of Bath. As it turned out, a good dozen brave souls shrugged off their cosy duvets for near-zero temperatures but brilliant sunshine under the steady direction of Jonathan Arnold.

Some of the lanes beyond Whitley were quite literally frozen; indeed it soon became apparent that the riders on hybrids and cross bikes had made a good call as we crunched though an inch of ice into what would be more accurately described as a stream. Only one of us provided entertainment by slithering into the rubber-side-up position but fortunately he bounced back up again with an ‘I meant to do that’ grin and no harm done.

We’ll post something on Facebook shortly to gauge the response but it seemed like a lovely ride and we’ve already agreed we’ll do it again in two weeks time; Sunday 16th December. Now everyone has had a chance to gauge the pace, you’ll hopefully feel like coming again.

Personally (this is Nick posting) I didn’t see anyone on the ride that wasn’t fit and competent enough to quickly progress to the ‘rugged relentless’ group, if that’s their ambition. However, as we’ve said from the outset there’s a lot to be said for a group ride at a friendly pace, with stops to admire the view. At this sociable time of year with the quieter back lanes in such a shocking condition, the mental boost you can get from a bike ride even on a heavier bike can have a greater value even than the physical workout.  Especially if the sun shines like it did today. Hoorah!