Finally,​ I got to do a Nova Raiders club ride – I’m only the Chairman after all!


I’ve been the Chairman of the Nova Raiders Cycling Club for a good few months now but with all my busy sportive commitments and then training midweek, along with a very busy day job, I never seem to get chance to go out cycling with them.

This week I knew I needed a mid-week ride of about 50 miles so was thinking of a cafe ride to Dearnford Lakes on Wednesday but wondered about riding with the Raiders Tuesday evening instead. They normally do 30-35 miles and with the extra mileage of from and to home, that would top off around 50 miles. Perfect!

I rode down to Newport from home and arrived in plenty of time for the ride. In fact, there was only one other person before me! In no time at all about 60 or so Raiders arrived ready for the ride. Great to see so many friends and to briefly catch up before the ride.

There were so many Raiders that we ended up with a steady, steady+, 2 intermediate and a fast group. How many clubs can boast 5 different rides to choose from and on a Tuesday night too? Not many, I’d guess.

I went with one of the Intermediate groups lead by Dave Wright and we headed down towards Lilleshall and up Lilleshall Drive out of Newport. I have an issue with mind games and this gradual but longish climb and today was no different. You’d have thought it would be dead easy after all the way more brutal climbing I’ve done on sportives, but no.

The route then took us down through Shifnal, to Ryton, then over to Albrighton, Cosford and up the gradual climb to Boscobel House. Then a nice easy ride back to Newport through Blymhill.

Back in Newport, we all said our goodbye’s and I headed off home.

A really good fun few hours cycling. I’m still totally in endurance cycling mode and not used to faster and shorter rides though.

I’m absolutely fine on the flats and descents but a little too slow for club riding on any climbing. Not to worry though, as mixing it up with training is never a bad thing.

Route: click here