As an alternative to the standard ‘Tempo Tuesday’ ride, this week we took the opportunity of an exceptional ride to meet our new club sponsor; Black & Bike Mons. Meeting for a grand depart from the freshly re-branded Black & Bike store (previously Espace) in the zoning Mons Cuesmes gave us the first opportunity to get the club together for a group photo in our new kit, that has finally arrived. Warmly welcomed by the charming and delightful duo of Sébastien and Camille, and after a quick snap under the store’s sign, we split into 3 groups – one for a 68km route, one for a 45km route (although slightly further for those that couldn’t navigate back through Mons!), and a third group who couldn’t spare the time to ride because of other commitments, back into their cars for their homeward trips.
Riding through some unfamiliar territory, and following courses plotted by Nils, both rides were soon out of the hustle and bustle of Mons and along the ravels, into unspoiled rolling countryside. Navigating some testing road surfaces at times, a couple of punchy climbs, and a particularly challenging section of pavé for the 68km group, we soon found ourselves into slightly more familiar surroundings close to the French border. Stunning weather again, and exceptionally empty roads, made for a really pleasant ride.
Warm thanks from the SICC Committee to all those who were available for the team photo opportunity, and a special thank you from the whole club to Sébastien and Camille for hosting, riding with us, and confirming the continuation of the club sponsorship. For those that haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit Black & Bike, I’d certainly recommend that you do. Not only do we benefit from a club discount, but there’s a real sense of community coming from the new management team – plans for weekly local rides from the store to replicate those from the sister store in Charleroi, and a solid focus on building local relationships. Plus an exceptionally warm welcome from a clearly very professional team – thanks again Sébastien and Camille.