Sunday meet-up snapped by Google Street View

An eagle-eyed member of Velo Club Walcot has spotted riders on Street View assembling at Orange Grove Bath on a Sunday morning back in May 2017

 

It was actually Gail Armstrong wife of member Arran who noticed the distinctive green, white and pink kit while searching for something else on Google’s famous online mapping, but Arran is more than happy to take the credit.

If nothing else, the images will serve useful for anyone that asks where the club meets at 9am on a Sunday morning – not to mention the same time on Wednesdays and Saturdays. According to Club Secretary Nick Rearden,”No-one ever knows where Orange Grove is which is why we usually say it’s outside Brown’s Brasserie or opposite the Abbey. The postcode of BA1 1LP works a treat, too.”

Late to the club run: Google’s Street View camera car catches a member hurrying across the High Street to meet his club mates for 9am.

 

And how do we know this is a Sunday? Because the roads and pavements are quiet and the crowd of VC Walcot members is larger. On a Sunday the club divides up into at least four groups based on ability or inclination so that the faster and more experienced members can have a more demanding ride and the slower ones can enjoy the day safely and within their ability. “Although,” says Nick Rearden, “a faster, fitter rider will often choose to join in with a slower group just because they want to have a more enjoyable time or they’re on a ‘recovery’ ride after a more taxing session the previous day.”

When Bath Abbey’s clock shows 9am the groups scatter. The smart ones head into the wind.

 

Similarly, members who have ridden for weeks and built up strength and confidence with a slower group can step up to the next one for a more challenging ride. Which is never a problem as group leaders always endeavour to keep their little ‘peloton’ of 8-12 riders returning to Bath together.

There are countless examples of members who since the club was founded in 2006 have worked their way through the relatively sociable groups on a Sunday and gone onto success in bike races, triathlons and long-distance events at home such as Prudential Ride London, Velothon Wales and abroad at Etape du Tour and La Marmotte in France. “It’s good to have a target to reach for,” says Nick, “but ultimately the classic cycling club ride is a thing in its own right, a Sunday ritual and hopefully a joy for members who can enjoy some good company, great coffee when we stop half-way and of course increased fitness and wellbeing.”

The view from above Parade Gardens and looking towards The Empire building on the right.

The link to the Google Street View search is here