Spadgers Ride and Winter Cycling


Sunday 13th October and my new racing team Alba Rosa Cycling Team rode with about a 1000 other cyclists for ‘Spadgers Ride.’ I cycled with Lewis Barry a few years ago but I can’t claim to have known him well. He was brought up in Garforth and was very well known in the area. I wish I had known him better as he seemed to be an incredible young man whose live was sadly cut short when he died entirely unexpectedly on 29th June 2011 aged only 15 from SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.)

Spadgers Ride is now a yearly event to mark his passing and has been supported by some of the biggest names in cycling. The ride raises funds for two charities, The Dave Rayner Fund (a charity dedicated to helping budding talents achieve their dreams) and C.R.Y (Cardiac Risk in the Young – a charity dedicated to raising the awareness of SADS).


Starting line for Spadgers Ride at Lotherton Hall 13th Oct 2013

The event is an untimed thoroughly enjoyable 80 kilometer round trip which this time began and ended at Lotherton Hall. It’s a great way to end the cycling season and congratulations to the organisers for putting on such a great event which I’m sure will be a regular fixture in Leeds for years to come.

So winters round the corner, we’ve had a busy season at Kings of Cycling and just because the clocks change and the hours of daylight become less, it doesn’t mean I and many others won’t still be on our bikes.

However without sounding like a health and safety bore, I would advise all cyclists (especially novices) to take care and keep warm and safe… there’s no point in catching hypothermia or having a nasty accident if it can be avoided. With this in mind we’ve a selection of accessories such as arm warmers, leg warmers or ‘Meggings’ (mens leggings!)as they’ve been called as well as shoe covers, helmets, torches, micro-lights and head-lights. Winter puncture protection tyres tyres will give you extra grip in snow and ice and try to store your bike indoors but still cold (a shed or garage is best) a bike stored in the house at ‘room temperature’ is more likely to be prone to brakes and gears seizing up when it hits the cold. Also, keep your chain and gear cassette lubricated, this is important at the best of times but essential in the winter months. If possible use a winter bike – sand, salt and grit can destroy suspension and gears. I have an an older bike for cold    weather use and I’ve added bright lights,  mud guards and winter wheels.

I’m writing this as I got caught out a few weeks ago as I’d underestimated how long a ride would take me and it was just turning dark. I was pulled over by an unmarked police car and given a stern but friendly warning. The copper recognised me from this column and the shop and if he’s reading this now, I’ve not only heeded his advice but am trying to pass the message on to others!

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