Getting ready for small group rides 😁

Over lockdown we have had to put the rides group on hold due to the restrictions and social distancing. Some of our group have been getting out on Solo missions

We are looking forward to getting out again and enjoying the social side of our rides group. Thank you to the guys that have continued to post and share their routes and experiences.

The group was set up to encourage us all to get as much out of cycling as possible in and around our beautiful area. Of course everyone has different things that they want to get out of cycling. The competitive cyclist, The radonneur, leisure, fitness and family cyclists.

The aim of the group was/is to bring all these guys together and enjoy rides, both on and off-road but with a no drop policy. This is at the heart of out ethos. Cycling is accessible to all!! That’s as true now as it was 29 years ago when I bought my first Mountain bike with my own money. Of course you get out of it what you put in.

Cycles have become more advanced in many ways but the same classic design remains. The cost of such machines has gone up and up and continues to do so. When I bought my first domestique level road bike in 1993/94, I’m old I can’t remember quite which year I was a shock to be spending so much on a bike. As I’m sure many have justified it to themselves, friends and family- including the fibs about how much they spent- Yes, that’s you!!

Anyway, enough of my reminiscing. The important thing is that we all get more active to relieve stress on an overburdened health service. The finest in the world, so we’re told. A conversation that could be expanded on, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog.

Cycling has been part of my life for 35 years or more. It’s made me strong, it’s been a support when I’ve needed it. I’ve gained some really great friends from it. Some are scattered to the four winds, some close by. I’m looking forward to getting out with you all again. Cycling is both a solitary and group activity. I’m passionate about it. I fall in and out of love with it. But I always come back.

When the rides group restarts, I’ll be looking for a few reliable ride leaders. Mostly for the week day evening ride. These would be the same as before 1 1/2 hours using the network of Sustrans cycle routes. I’d hope that these would be suitable for most abilities, but depending on interest and numbers we could divide the group into beginner and intermediate for example The structure will develop over time. The weekend rides will be mostly on road during Spring/Summer. Duration and difficulty will depend on the group and will be tailored on the day. If there’s enough interest in these rides we’ll extend into autumn, weather permitting.

Finally, I want to tell you all that the reason that I started Steel Town Cycles was to be a hub of the local cycling community. A source of advice as well as the shop side of things. The very first bike shop that I went into with my dad as a kid was in Blackhill and years later here I am trying to bring a little tradition back into a fast moving world.

Thanks for reading. This is an ongoing journey for me and it’s cost me more than money. To my customers, friends and family I am truly blessed.

Spring is approaching.

I’ve been lucky enough this week to get out for a ride out on my own bike, and while servicing and fixing your bikes is important to us, it’s nice to get out into the air sometimes to recharge our batteries. It’s great to see our customers taking the opportunity to enjoy this early spring weather and do the same.

Since we started the Steel Town adventure two and a half years ago, our goal was to find a way to share our passion for cycling and pass on our years of experience.

Cycling is one of those activities that has a wide range of participants – those with a love of the sport, the machine, and the various disciplines; those who just enjoy the level of fitness that cycling has to offer, and then there’s the next generation of cyclists, kids, encouraged by their their families and peers alike. We believe that cycling feels the same for all those involved, and at its heart, it’s a simple and very rewarding activity.

At Steel Town Cycles we hope to become a trusted service to our customers and the wider cycling community. We’d like to encourage you all to take time to appreciate what we have around us in the areas we live.

We really hope you’ll get on your bikes this spring and enjoy some journeys of your own. It’s often not necessary to venture far, especially in County Durham, before you’re away from the main roads and noise. Perfect for getting out with the kids in school holidays and other times. We have a network of disused railway lines and traffic free lanes. For those wanting more of a challenge and altitude we have that too, nestled in between the north Pennines , Weardale and Northumberland; there’s also our local moorland at Blanchland and Stanhope. To me, Stanhope and Bolihope Common have some of the most beautiful scenery in our country. What’s more they’re right on our doorstep and there are plenty of routes in our wonderful county to challenge all abilities.

That’s the fantastic thing about cycling. You don’t have to be a professional or even a race participating amateur to enjoy its straightforward joy.

Steel Town Cycles Repair and Service all types of bicycles but the one thing that joins us all is the love of that simple, perfect, machine.