Bike Thursday

By: 
Eli Post
Bike Thursday
A CRW Program offering Slower/Shorter Rides

 

CRW offers a wide selection of ride opportunities, and is likely best known for its weekend rides, notwithstanding the current Covid-19 curtailment. At the same time the club offers programs for sections of the membership where a different mix of route and pace is desirable. One such program is “Bike Thursday” which was initiated three years ago by Susan Grieb to offer shorter/slower rides.. Barbara Jacobs now runs the program. There are 87 members on the group’s email list, and they average 14 riders overall, but the last few rides had closer to 18 riders. This is a leader-led, no-drop, operation. Photo below shows group getting ready to ride.

Bike Thursday ordinarily runs during the warm weather season, but this year its first ride wasn’t until early August due to Covid-19 restrictions. It had 13 scheduled rides through early November, and Barbara reports that “all went smoothly” with ride leaders and riders fully cooperating wearing masks as appropriate and practicing social distancing. In fact, instead of departing as a single group, multiple leaders were used and groups of six departed at 5-minute intervals. Participants self selected their group giving the opportunity to ride at a faster or slower pace and select ride companions if desired.  The middle group usually averaged close to 12 mph so it was a great opportunity for those who cannot keep pace with the 14-20 mph rides.

The rides are announced on the CRW Calendar with the general area the ride would be happening. An email was sent to regular riders saying the registration was open. On Wednesday before the ride a notice went out to registered riders with the exact start location and the Ride with GPS link. In some cases, the ride filled up in a few hours.

The ride starts were geographically wide spread and included  Lincoln, Wellesley, Bedford, Sudbury, Newburyport, Lexington, North Reading, Chelmsford and Concord. The group takes care in checking out the routes so riders can anticipate a safe ride. In one check out case the road was being tarred and the riders had to bushwhack through the woods, but by the next week’s ride the road was perfect. At the end of the Bike Thursday rides, the group usually had a socially distant picnic, and  in a few cases it was held in the leader's back yard.  Who is that masked man in the photo?

The group has many repeat riders and there is a friendly spirit on rides. This writer led a Bike Thursday ride in Groton last year, and can speak directly to the camaraderie. We proceeded as a single group with all respecting the pace and the regroupings. At the finish we enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant. Photo above are riders on a country road, and below they are taking a beach break.

Barbara was highly complimented by members of the group. She was credited with organizing the rides so that they could resume under Covid-19, and for mentoring ride leaders who were not savvy with GPS. If you would like to join this wonderful group when it resumes riding in 2021, contact Barbara at nyder.jacobs [at] gmail.com