The start of the mid-week rides – Leaders Lowdown – Gerrit Hagen

The start of the mid week rides

I happened to run into a small group of cyclists who were riding on a Wednesday, this was run by Bob Chambers through BikeNorth. 

Leigh Gibbons took over with Tuesday rides on a regular basis, this was not done through BikeNorth and was run as a mates’ ride.  A number of riders took turns to lead a ride.  In those days only four or five people used to turn up.  The number seemed to increase over time and we decided to make it official and put it on the Bike North calendar.  Regular ride leaders in those days were Leigh Gibbons, Phil Burge, Alister Sharp and later on myself.  These rides have been done on a very regular basis for the past 9 years. 

The most important thing for the Tuesday rides were the social aspect, the chats on the ride and the discovery of few coffee shops and keeping fit at a certain level was also important.   As a ride leader it is great to see people enjoy themselves.  Also people started to take in interest in the other riders with them and everyone looked after everyone and made sure we all came home safely.

Over the years as more people retired more ride leaders came on board and there is now a choice of different rides, as most leaders have their favourite rides and time available.

So this is how the bike addiction started on the Tuesday group. 

Five years ago Willemina and I decided to retire and after a year of finding our way decided to start the Friday rides, which sometimes can attract a high number of riders.  The maximum riders on one ride was Bay and Foreshores with 45 riders, surprisingly it was a good ride to lead as everyone seemed to be on their best behaviour in this very large group. 

On weekend rides we hear on a regular basis “I am going to retire shortly and I will be joining you on …” Friday or Tuesday, or of course any other day of the week that people have available and is their fitness level.

These days it is not all retired people that ride during the week.  There are a number of people who work part-time, are between jobs or work shift work.

The easiest ride I have lead was the Wisemans Wander.   Park the car at Wisemans Ferry, take the ferry across the river and then to Spencer, all of 25 kms, have coffee and return the same way.  If anybody is keen to become a ride leader, have a go!!

I like going to different places at different times of the year and I enjoy detours because they give the brain a bit of a challenge.  I am lucky I have a regular sweep down the back.

Ride leading can be very rewarding, but also very frustrating.  Every ride is different, with a different group of people, different attitudes and different fitness levels.  We all have one thing in common a passion for cycling and we come from all walks of life.  All in all a nice bunch of cyclists.

Gerrit Hagen