Sheffield District CTC is a friendly non-competitive cycling club which covers South Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire. Riding bikes is what we do. And yes it is hilly round here, but you get used to it (eventually).
We also do a lot of visiting cafes, drinking tea and coffee and eating cakes. Our policy is that ‘no one is left behind’ If you come out on a ride with us and have a mechanical problem or are struggling to keep up, someone will always stay with you. Come and join us.
And if you are wondering why we ride – the answer is lots of reasons, the best explanation we have come across so far comes from Rob Penn:
I ride a bicycle for many reasons: to get to work, sometimes for work, to keep fit, to go shopping, for a moment of grace, to bathe in air and sunshine, to stay sane and to hear my boy laugh. It is a broad church of physical, practical and emotional reasons. But at this time of year, when I’m staring down the barrel of a long winter, one reason is paramount: I ride to escape.
I ride for the silence; I ride to empty my brain; I ride for the void. Random thoughts do fall into this void — a line of poetry, an overheard comment — but they are like snowflakes falling on water. After an hour in the saddle, I’m mentally far, far away. There is some pain, but the brain has an antidote: endorphins — neurochemicals more potent than Prozac, which suppress pain and induce a feeling of wellbeing. Melancholy is incompatible with cycling.
As the American poet Diane Ackerman wrote: “When I’m on a bicycle the world is breaking someone else’s heart.”