John visited Southampton for the Easter Monday ride and sent this report:
I live in London, but I cycled down to Southampton at Easter and joined
the SCC led ride on Monday morning. I really enjoyed it, so I definitely
recommend those rides to any local cyclists. I didn’t know anyone else
there, but they’re a friendly bunch and they all made me feel welcome.
There was a range of abilities, so it was a nice relaxed pace, averaging
12 km/hour. There were a few steep hills, but nothing too strenuous.
We went out to Westwood Local Nature Reserve, cycling on quiet roads and
through the woods. The off-road sections were flat/solid enough that I
didn’t have any trouble on my touring bike, i.e. I didn’t need a
mountain bike. This ride was specifically timed to fit in with the
bluebells flowering, and they made an impressive sight. I used to live
near the Bluebell Railway (down in Sussex), but I haven’t seen them in
years. Similarly, I saw some dandelion clocks, and I can’t remember the
last time I saw one of them. I live surrounded by concrete, but things
like this remind me that I’m still a country boy at heart. I should also
say that the Westwood cafe sells very nice cake!
A couple of people had mechanical problems while we were out: a puncture
and a broken chain. So, it’s a good idea to bring tools with you, e.g. a
pump and a spare inner tube.