Ride and Stride 2021 – Back in the Saddle

A personal reflection by Nick Perry

Having spent most of the early summer recuperating from a broken collar bone, I was keen to get back in the saddle to prepare for this year’s Ride+Stride event.

Having visited 52 churches during last year’s event, I lowered my ambitions and targeted 30-40 for this year. However, by the time I had planned out a pleasant route (without too many hills!), I found I had included 45 and would end up covering the same distance as last year.

The day dawned warm (but not too hot!), dry and sunny (but with patchy clouds!) making for perfect cycling conditions. I set off from Colston Bassett to Langar, Granby and Elton before heading west towards Bingham and then completing the parish tour with Tythby and Cropwell Bishop. In this part of my trip, I seemed to have a matching itinerary to a group from Doncaster Rowing Club (although I assume they had swapped boats for bikes for the day). I then headed in the general direction of Loughborough, before turning back towards home at Stanton-on-Soar, from which point onwards churches were much thinner on the ground.

With the easing of lockdown, it was pleasing to find more churches open this year than last, with many of them providing much-appreciated refreshments. The day even coincided with the annual church fête at Normanton-on-Soar. It was enjoyable to chat with enthusiastic welcomers and I spent time at several churches, discussing their recent ‘re-ordering’ (unfortunately, not St Giles!).

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and hope to have raised around £1000, to be shared equally between Notts Historic Churches Trust and our own parish. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who sponsored me. If anyone would like to make a donation after the event, you can donate online at JustGiving or catch me personally round and about.

If anyone is thinking of taking part next year, either as a rider/strider or a welcomer, I would strongly recommend it. The more who take part, the more enjoyable and the more successful the event.