The training is in full swing for members of Wyggeston Lodge who are participating in the Tercentenary Centre Ride in June. This is a 300 mile bike ride over 4 days (8th-11th June 2017) visiting all the masonic centres in Leicestershire & Rutland including riding down to Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street, London as a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of England. The riders will also call at the site of the former inn, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul’s Churchyard where the Grand Lodge was formed in 1717.
The Centre Ride is looking to raise £20,000 split equally between the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Rainbows Children’s Hospice for Children and Young People.
As part of the training Bro. Richard Jennings suggested the Watt Bike “No Excuses” Sportive around Nottinghamshire on Sunday 5th March 2017. The “Epic” was 70miles with nearly 3000ft of ascent starting at Southwell race course heading out towards Sutton on Trent, Tuxford, Ravenshead, edge of Arnold, Lowdham, back to Southwell. Many “Sportives” are organised in the cycling community throughout the year. A Sportive is a medium to long distance organised cycling event along a pre-determined route, it is not a race, although they do have a cut off finish time.
The Wyggeston “team” Bro. Richard Jennings, Bro. Chris Panteli, W.Bro. Simon Oldfield and his wife Toni, sporting the winter Leicestershire & Rutland Masonic Cycling Association jerseys met at Southwell at 7:30am ready for the off at 8am. The weather during the week had indicated that Saturday was going to be wet, windy and cold, and the Sunday forecast was to be dry, overcast and mild, all very pleasant. Needless to say Saturday was a lovely day, not a good omen for Sunday’s weather.
Simon recounts the day: “So off we went at around 8am, a happy band of 4, the weather initially being dry but very cold. That was not to last as by around 9:30 it started to rain, so it was now cold and wet and only 15 miles covered. But true to form we pressed on with many others, far fitter and faster than us. It started to become a tough day, the bad weather was very energy sapping, but in true Masonic spirit we supported and helped each other along. Thankfully the first 25 miles of the ride was relatively flat, and we were all surprised that we seemed to be getting along at a reasonable average speed. The tougher sections were ahead between 25-45 miles distance, we managed to cope with those without too much difficulty, but at around 50 miles the weather seemed wetter and colder and we were struggling with the elements. At around 55miles a couple of short steep hills really pushed our limits. Thankfully the last 10 miles was relatively flat, by which time we were totally soaked through. As we were approaching the finish at Southwell racecourse the sun was starting to break through. Clocking off our Garmin Cycle GPS’s we were surprised and pleased to see we had managed 70miles at an average moving speed of 13mph. The drive home was in glorious sunshine with the car heater on full blast. The medals we received were a nice reminder of the terrible weather.”
He continued: “The ride was excellent training, we all learnt that bad weather makes it much more difficult and saps your energy. The other lessons learned were that it’s vital to drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry; the Garmin’s reckoned the men burnt off something in the region of 5000 calories. The other useful lesion was to carry an external battery pack for when the wet weather saps the charge on your Garmin.”
Apart from the weekly training rides they are all looking forward to the next sportive – the “Rutland Circle”, over a 1000 riders, taking in 79 miles around Rutland, and 3600ft ascent.
You can sponsor the team here or you can support one of our lodge members individually: