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Cycling (Social)

Meeting details

Meeting DayMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday
Frequency3 -4 times a month for each Group
Co-ordinator(s)Ed Mason, Peter Deaville and Phil Gordon

What we do


We meet several times a month on weekdays (except Thursday)

Lead Co-ordinator: Phil Gordon

Anyone interested in joining any of the following 3 cycling groups should contact Phil.

Following member agreement in January, the Cycling Group has been restructured for the 2020 cycling season in order to provide programmes of rides that better meet their requirements. The Co-ordinators of the three subgroups will be responsible for compiling the programme of rides and sending out ride details to their members. The new structure and details are set out below and will take effect from 4th September 2019.

Cycling (Gentle)

Co-ordinator: Ed Mason

Rides of 15 - 25 miles; moderate hills; leisurely pace (average 6 - 8 mph)

Cycling (Moderate)

Co-ordinator: Peter Deaville

Rides of 20 - 38 miles; some steep hills; steady pace (average 8 - 10 mph)

Cycling (Strenuous)

Co-ordinator: Phil Gordon

Rides of 35 - 50 miles; longer and steeper hills; faster pace (average 10 - 12 mph)



Cycling in Memory of Mark Bailey - Update

Unfortunately, Phil Gordon and John Doffegnies have had to postpone their cycling tour of the Hebrides as reported in March due to Covid-19 but all being well they hope to complete it in May 2021


Following a poll of all U3A Cycling Group members, informal cycling groups have been set up on WhatsApp. These are outside the U3A umbrella, are for the ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Strenuous’ riders and will operate whilst social distancing rules remain in force due to Covid-19.  This arrangement is more flexible enabllng rides to be arranged at very short notice and is much easier to administer.  Guidance has been prepared to help people stay safe, including limiting rides to 6 people.  Even though the formal programme has been suspended anyone thinking of joining the Cycling Group should still contact Phil Gordon.

Best wishes

Phil Gordon


Phil, Ed and I have been following the rapidly developing virus outbreaks across the UK and the advice being given.

As recently as last week we hoped to be able to run the planned Cycling programmes on the basis that Covid-19 does not survive so well outdoors.

However after the announcement of enhanced UK Government guidance on Tuesday you, like us, will have already been deluged with emails announcing suspension of activities and facilities in many organisations we individually have links to. 

We anticipate the announcement of more steps in the next days and weeks and since Covid 19 is not expected to peak until June there seems to be only a slim chance of the Government relaxing guidance before then.

U3A nationally are advising that local groups should follow government advice and we consider that the SLU3A Cycle groups cannot continue with rides under the U3A brand.

Therefore the three of us think the sensible and responsible thing to do is to cancel the cycling programmes of all 3 groups until the end of June whilst keeping the matter under review.

We are grateful to everyone who has offered to lead rides and hope to continue a programme of rides later in the season although exactly when or even if this can start in 2020 is not yet clear.

In the meantime and since the whole point of the cycling groups is that it's social and helps us keep fit and healthy, please do look for creative ways to keep in touch with others.

Given that many of us are over 70 and some of us have health problems there is opportunity to help any who have social & practical needs during this time e.g. shopping, texting, phoning.

For those who wish to, it is still possible to cycle individually and maybe in small groups for exercise and to maintain social contacts although cycling a safe distance apart. However, please avoid café stops, sit 2 metres apart when having breaks and do not car share - it is these limitations which underpinned our decision.

Meanwhile we urge all members to take care to minimise exposure to the virus by following the latest advice given by the UK government.

Peter Deaville, Phil Gordon, Ed Mason

March 2020

Cycling in Memory of Mark Bailey

In May, Phil Gordon and John Doffegnies from the U3A Cycling Group are embarking on a two week, cycling tour of the Hebrides, Skye, the Ardnamurchan Peninsular and Mull. In total, they will cycle about 500 miles and climb about 27,000 feet.

As it will be the first anniversary of their friend Mark Bailey's untimely death from an aggressive brain tumour, they have chosen to raise funds for St John's Hospice in Lancaster who cared for him so well in the last weeks of his life. Many of you will remember Mark as he was an active member of our cycling, discussion, walking and philosophy groups.

If you would like to make a donation towards Phil and John's fundraising challenge you can do so online at You can also follow their journey on their blog site,  which also includes a map of each day's route.

February 2020

In 2019 there were 53 rides (29 Group 1, 24 Group 2) attended by 494 members (compared to 610 in 2018). The reduced number of rides and participants was due to some poor weather and the absence of several regular riders due to health and other reasons.

At our December meeting, Paula and Martin Hudson were warmly thanked for their sterling work in coordinating the group over the past 5 years.

Following our restructuring in September, most riders have joined more than one group. The breakdown is as follows:

Total membership: 127, comprising 53 women and 73 men

Cycling (Gentle): 77 members, coordinator Ed Mason

Cycling (Moderate): 103, coordinator Peter Deaville

Cycling (Strenuous): 47, coordinator Phil Gordon

A programme of rides is in the process of being compiled in readiness for the start of the 2020 season at the end of March.

A car sharing initiative has been introduced to reduce our environmental impact, save members’ fuel costs, reduce the pressure on parking at ride starts, and allow those group members who aren’t able to transport their bikes to an out-of-town start to participate.

Our annual lunch took place at Kendal College on 15 January.

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