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    “It's by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them”
       Ernest Hemingway

Extended Rides:    Warning: these rides are not "Activate sponsored Health Rides" although they are healthy!

I don't ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.

Ride Leaders have agreed to plan a route and guide others round but each rider is responsible for their own and others’ safety at all times.

Please observe these safety guidelines

Anyone intending to join a MCG ride must notify the Ride Leader by the cut-off date indicated in the ride details. If last minute circumstances dictate that you cannot attend, please inform the Ride Leader. Lunches: are normally ordered through the 'leader'. If, for any reason, you are unable to ride that morning then it is your responsibility to contact the 'lunch stop' directly to cancel your lunch otherwise you may be liable for the bill.

Most rides start at 10:00 a.m. and are designed to last around 2 hours perhaps covering 15 to 20 miles. Rides are using mixed terrain: some road, some off road (bridleways) and with a mixture of small climbs but nothing a competent cyclist couldn't manage. As for any cycling, helmets are strongly recommended as is the provision of plenty of water to drink.

Level Terrain
1 Flat road/tracks, very few short hills, distance variable (escape routes back to base)
more demanding tracks and roads with a few more hills
3 level of fitness (distance) and competence required for off road trails
Straightforward ride. Gentle gradients. Relaxed pace. Manageable distance. Suitable for all MCG members
Occasional hazards, eg ruts or potholes. May have some significant gradients. Steady pace. Distance not a problem for most but confident bike handling required.
Contains challenges or difficulties which make the ride unsuitable for many. Somewhat demanding and with a brisk pace.
Demanding. Madness helps but a level of fitness (distance) and competence required for off road trails

Next Ride:

Monday 18th February - North Dorset - Colin P: This circular ride will start/end in Gillingham with a coffee break at Stourhead (bring your volunteer card for discount).  It is about 20 miles long all on road so whatever bike you choose to use.  There are a few steepish hills, it is North Dorset but I would rate it as a blue level.  Lunch will be available, no need to pre-order.  Please register with Colin

Monday 25th February - Colehill - Keith:
The ride will head out from the Colehill area, into Ringwood Forest returning via Verwood. The route is 21 miles, largely off road and, dependent on the amount of rain we have had, it could be muddy; a mountain bike is therefore essential. Lunch will be available at the end of the ride but there is no coffee stop. Whilst not unduly arduous, there are a couple of climbs and one tricky descent, nothing that a confident and careful off-roader couldn't handle. I think it is a Blue ride but towards the upper end. As always, if you are unsure it is suitable for you, please ask. Please register with Keith by Thursday, 21st Feb.

Monday 4th March - New Forest - Brian M: A steady ride on lanes and trails of around 20 miles. Starting/ending in Burley and stopping in Brockenhurst for coffee. If interested please register with Brian.

2019 - You can register for the ride two weeks leading up to the preceding Friday.
18 Feb - Gillingham - Colin - Blue - 20 miles
25 Feb - Colehill - Keith - Blue - 21 miles
04 Mar - New Forest - Brian M - Blue - 20 miles
11 Mar - Dorset - John S - Red - 20+ miles
18 Mar - Poole/B'm'th - Chris O -
25 Mar -
01 Apr -
08 Apr - New Forest - John R - Blue -

I never want to abandon my bike. I see my grandfather, now in his seventies and riding around everywhere. To me that is beautiful. And the bike must always remain a part of my life.”

Stephen Roche, Irish winner of the 1987 Tour de France and Giro d'Italia