Forge in a month of Sundays

Forge has so much going on. So, what does a month in the life of a fast-growing, fun, and friendly bike club look like?

This May has been a busier month than any other for our still relatively new Club. We welcomed more new joiners, celebrated racing successes, rode some top notch sportives, held our annual general meeting and even travelled to sunny, sunny Spain. Not to mention our Thursday evening training rides, Sunday morning club outings and lots of impromptu cycling get togethers.

F1 for all

First up our welcoming F1 group, ably led by Father of the House Simon N and Pete S, who introduced more than half a dozen new joiners to their first Forge ride experience in May. Typically, a Sunday morning 60km affair to Windsor or Box Hill, Simon and Pete patiently explain to all new joiners how we ride, always considering safety first and the huge benefits of group riding.

“It’s great to see new people wanting to join Forge”, explained Simon. “If someone has never ridden in a group before, or they haven’t for a while, Pete and I guide everyone through the ride, ensuring we develop the best of habits and make the group ride fun.”

Ride Captains Simon and Pete have years of experience to ensure everyone has a fantastic first Forge foray. “The mid-way coffee stop – or over a drink in the pub after – is always a highlight too,” said Simon. We’ll drink to that.

And onto our F2 and F3 rides, led by seasoned and experienced characters like Andrew L, Andrew T, Rachel G, Gabor T & Julie S, who pushed on to pastures new beyond Surrey into Kent and Oxfordshire, discovering new café stops, roads less ridden and novel ways to fix the odd puncture or two.

Pacy racing

Then there’s our slightly faster and flightier Forge racers among the F4 & F5s. The race season is in full swing with Forge riders competing across Category 4 (entry level racing), Category 3 (getting more serious now) and Masters (they should know better by now).

From Hillingdon Circuit to Lee Valley and the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, Forge racers have been picking up race points, placings, podiums and even wins. Lewis C is making great strides towards becoming a Category 2 racer (hang on, this is getting silly fast now) with a race win, a podium and top 10s. Newbie racer Max H made a fantastic debut at Hillingdon, with an awesome 4th place, backing this up with a top 10 the following week. In total nine Forge racers took to the tracks in May, with three more planning their first outings.

But the real star of the racers in May was Bex C. She not only won her first race but bagged a second victory at Hillingdon the following week. That’s called form.

Bex gave Forge our first female win and sees her skipping at lightening-speed not only to the chequered flag but onto Category 3, with Category 2 firmly in her sights.

The only way is…

Next, how about onto one of the world’s most popular Sportives, RideLondon 2023, now in its second year since heading out Essex way. The flat and fast course enjoyed glorious weather as 15 of Forge’s finest completely the 100mile jaunt through Joe Essex’s home turf. A speedier group set off at 6:30 completing the course in 4hrs 15mins, while a larger entourage left at 7am for a 4hrs 40mins time. Amazing what speed we can achieve with a great group, closed roads and some decent training.

And wait, we’re not finished yet. In May we also held our Annual General Meeting, and like all serious-minded gatherings, we insisted this was held in a pub. Upstairs at the Norbiton played host for the all-important election of our 2023-24 nine-person Committee and our shiny new Club Captain, Matt G. The AGM is important work, the ideal showcase to demonstrate Forge’s dedication to being open, transparent, fair and inclusive. And there was free pizza and beer too.

Calpe capers

And let’s not even get into our trip to the land of sangria, sombreros and raffia donkeys. No, not Southend but a most awesome week of riding in the bike hot spot of Calpe in eastern Spain. Click here for more and our full ride guide to the best routes, amazing roads, lovely food and even our fantastic beach-side hotel on our dreamy week in the sun.

So, yeah, there’s a lot happening in a month of Sundays at Forge. Why not join us and become part of the fun.