South Lakes U3A banner

Cycling (Social)

Meeting details

Meeting DayMonday, Tuesday or Wednesday
Frequency2 - 3 times a month for each Group
Co-ordinator(s)Paula Hudson, Phil Gordon and Martin Hudson

What we do

We have 2 Groups and separate programmes are issued for each of them.  Details of the type of ride that can be expected for these Groups are indicated below.  There is no restriction on anyone being a member of both Groups - in fact a substantial number of existing members fall into this category.

CYCLING (Social) 1  - Co-ordinator:  Paula Hudson  - email:

Easy Rides:  15 - 20 miles - mainly flat with few hills - leisurely pace

Moderate Rides:  15 - 28 miles - more hills (some steep) - steady pace

CYCLING (Social) 2 - Co-ordinators:  Phil Gordon and Martin Hudson

Moderate/Strenuous Rides:  25 - 35 miles - longer with more hills and climbs - steady pace

Strenuous (for fitter riders):  35 - 50 miles - longer hills with steep climbs - fast pace

Both Groups' programmes of rides roughly coincide with the period of British Summer Time (i.e. the months April to October inclusive) - many rides start from somewhere in the Kendal area but in order to increase the variety of areas we are able to explore, quite a few start from places such as Appleby, Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancaster, Orton, Sedbergh, Ulverston and Windermere Ferry - this naturally requires bikes to be transported to the venue in members' cars.

Each Group has a ride several times a month, alternating between Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays as far as possible.  Many rides are planned to incorporate a cafe stop part-way round the route and sometimes also at the end.

The programmes are issued to Group members at the beginning of the Season, followed by fuller details of individual rides about 7 to 10 days before they are scheduled to take place.


July 2017

At the time of writing we have just completed the first 3 months of our season – numbers on rides are slightly down on 2016, although the experiment of giving members more choice of rides by including Fridays in our programme appears to have been well received with Friday rides attracting similar numbers as for other days. During June we had to postpone a few planned rides due to adverse weather forecasts – however, all of these have now been re-scheduled for later in the season.

Thanks are due to members who have planned and led rides so far this season and to those who have offered rides between now and the end of October.

Eight members enjoyed a few days of fairly strenuous touring in the western Peak District in June, which mainly coincided with a spell of warm, dry, weather. Thanks to Steve Buckley and Tony Richardson for organising this trip.

Finally, congratulations to Phil Gordon who successfully completed the Lands End – John o’ Groats ride in May.

March 2017

Membership of the Group(s) has been steadily increasing over the last couple of years – about 100 members have expressed a wish to continue their membership for 2017.

At the time of writing we are still in our ‘closed season’. During the winter we held our usual end of year meeting, at which we discussed the rides we’d done during the 2016 season, and considered any possible changes to the structure of the programme for 2017. These have included the introduction of Fridays into the programme – the plan is for Group 1 & 2 rides to be on a Friday (rather than a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday) in alternate weeks, so as to lessen the likelihood of clashes of dates between rides, which had sometimes occurred in the past.

Over 30 members enjoyed a successful lunch at Kendal College in early January.

Programmes for both Groups 1 & 2 are currently being put together - so far we have a mixture of existing ‘favourites’ but also several new venues/rides. Our first ride, which may have taken place by the time this Newsletter is issued, is the traditional Joint Ride with both Groups riding to Staveley with the option of a longer ride, usually up the Kentmere valley, on Monday 27 March. Our rides will then continue at regular intervals as indicated above until about the end of October. Members will be kept up-to-date with additions and alterations as the season progresses.

Many thanks to those members who have already offered to lead rides for 2017, particularly in respect of Group 1 where, in previous years, we have had difficulty recruiting leaders.

Finally, a 5 day cycling trip to Derbyshire is planned for June, moving on each day – at the time of writing about 10 members have expressed interest, but further places may still be available.

November 2016

At the time of writing we have just reached the end of another successful and enjoyable season. We’ve had an overall total of 50 rides (both Groups), on which there were 494 ‘riders’ (both being considerably higher than the figures for 2015). Membership of the Group(s) has also been steadily increasing over the last couple of years – now totalling around 100 members. Because of this, and the increasingly varied interests of those in the Group(s), during the current ‘close season’ members are being asked to consider whether a further re-structuring of the Group(s) is desirable.

Thanks are due to those members who have led rides for either or both Groups during the year, in some cases introducing new starting points and previously unfamiliar routes to ride. We are always ready to welcome new leaders; in particular it can be difficult to recruit them for the Easy Group 1 rides.


August 2016

We have just completed the first 3 months of our season (as at the end of June). During this period, 11 Group 1 rides took place (with numbers ranging from 6 to 19) – there were also 11 Group 2 rides (with numbers from 4 to 14). Compared with the 3 months to June 2015, we have not only done more rides, but the average number of participants per ride has also being higher. This is probably due to more favourable weather than in the Spring of 2015.

Thanks are due to those members who have planned and led rides so far this year, and to those who have offered to lead later in the season – provisionally we already have around 20 rides (both Groups combined) planned for the next 3 months of our season. Throughout this season we have several new leaders and new venues, giving us the opportunity to ride in different areas.

About a dozen members enjoyed a week’s cycling holiday in France, which I understand was quite challenging, only partly because the final couple of days were abnormally wet. Thanks are due to Norman French for organising this trip.

Top of Page