Dunmow Velo: New group ride for beginners as RideLondon due

Dunmow Velo cyclists with a cake for a previous birthday, Great Dunmow, Essex

Dunmow Velo is about to turn 6. Members are pictured with a cake at a previous celebration - Credit: Dunmow Velo

Dunmow Velo members will celebrate the club’s sixth birthday at The Swan Inn, Great Easton on Sunday, May 8.

And in recognition of the increasing interest in cycling, including the upcoming RideLondon 2022, the club is adding a new Group 0 which starts on the club's birthday.

This is for people who want to ride socially at a slightly more relaxed pace over a shorter distance, who want to get back into riding, or who want to start. Riders will never be left behind.

The Group 0 ride will meet at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre at Parsonage Downs at 9.30am on Sunday mornings for a 10am departure. 

Ride Leaders are all trained. Speed and distance will be adjusted to suit the ability of the group but it is envisaged that Group 0 will ride at approximately 12mph for around 15 miles with a coffee stop along the way. 

Participants can be on road bikes with dropped handlebars, however hybrid bikes and electric cycles (not mountain bike style) are fine for Group 0 rides. Helmets are mandatory.

Dunmow Velo cyclists in cycling gear with bicycles, ready for a group ride, Great Dunmow, Essex

Dunmow Velo members gathered for a ride - Credit: Dunmow Velo

As participants progress there are other Sunday groups that leave the Leisure Centre at 8.30am. These are Group 1 who ride 28-30 miles at approximately 14-15mph; Group 2 riding 33-36 miles at approx. 17mph; or Group 3 riding 36-38 miles at approx. 19mph.

These speeds and distances are varied to suit the conditions and rider ability. The club has a ‘no-drop’ policy so riders are never left alone on a group ride.

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From mid April to the end of August there are Wednesday evening rides for Groups 1-3, starting at 6.30pm and finishing usually at a pub just before it gets dark.

How Dunmow Velo started

The club began following a long-distance cycle ride to Belgium which raised money for Blesma, the military charity for limbless veterans.

After the charity ride, Dunmow locals, Bill Williams and Steve Eccles wondered if there were any other cyclists in the area who would enjoy riding in groups.

At an inaugural meeting at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre, the club was formed.

It has since gone from strength to strength, providing a multitude of rides for many abilities on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with a team time-trial format around a circuit.

Dunmow Velo: Group shot of cyclists with a banner and a birthday balloon in the number 3. Essex

Dunmow Velo members celebrating their 3rd birthday. The club is about to turn 6. - Credit: Dunmow Velo

Dunmow Velo: cyclists gathered outside with a cake for a celebration, Great Dunmow, Essex

Dunmow Velo members at a previous celebration, as the group is about to turn 6 - Credit: Dunmow Velo

Dunmow Velo cyclists gathered at Cammas Hall, Hatfield Broad Oak

Dunmow Velo members gathered as a group at Cammas Hall at Hatfield Broad Oak on the Hertfordshire and Essex border - Credit: Dunmow Velo

The club is a friendly road cycling club that puts safety first and encourages new members.

Further information is available via www.dunmowvelo.co.uk

Membership is £15 per year however participants can have up to three taster rides for free.

RideLondon 2022

Thousands of cyclists and fans are expected for RideLondon.

The 2022 RideLondon-Essex 100 takes place on Sunday, May 29. It sets off from Victoria Embankment in central London and into Essex, covering Ongar, Fyfield, the Rodings and Great Dunmow, before joining a section of the 2014 Stage Three Tour de France route.

Riders will go through Felsted, around Chelmsford, Writtle, then back to Ongar and central London. 

This year is the first year that RideLondon-Essex 60 takes place, on Sunday, May 29.

Starting in central London on Victoria Embankment, riders will head to Epping Forest, then Ongar before turning around and heading back into central London for the Tower Bridge finish point.

The RideLondon-Essex 30 on Sunday, May 29 starts at London's Victoria Embankment, heads to Woodford near the Essex border and returns. The ride is designed for those who are new to cycling.

There is also the RideLondon FreeCycle, a traffic-free eight-mile central London bike route on Sunday, May 29.

The three-day UCI Women’s WorldTour road race, RideLondon Classique, takes place from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29 across London and Essex.

Stage two's RideLondon Classique route, on Saturday, May 28, starts in Chelmsford and covers Felsted, Finchingfield, Great Sampford, Thaxted, Little Easton, Great Dunmow, Leaden Roding, North Weald and finishes at Epping.

See more at https://www.ridelondon.co.uk/

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