Gary Smithson of Stevenage Cycling Club tests Virgin Trains route by bike
A small group of cyclists who work for Virgin Trains have been testing its route by bike recently. One of Stevenage Cycling Club’s own, Gary Smithson, is in the group. They aim to cycle from London King’s Cross to Newton Aycliffe, near Darlington, to promote the launch of Virgin Trains’ new fleet coming into service from this December. Their plan is to visit all the stations along the route which will benefit from the fast, modern fleet of trains.
On Saturday 24th March, the team rode a test of the first part of the route from King’s Cross to Peterborough via Stevenage. Gary was joined by a pair from Sidcup CC and one Otley CC rider (of the Le Tour De Yorkshire fame). Gary said:
The first hour of the day was spent negotiating the traffic and traffic lights of north London, but once past Potters Bar, the beautiful countryside of Hertfordshire opened up before us and the pace picked up. We averaged around 15.5mph and made steady progress through Stevenage, off to Walkern and a lunch break at Ashwell. We weaved our way into Cambridgeshire getting a little bit damp shortly after our second stop at Godmanchester. The whole day was a great test run and we had some fun along the way. We are really looking forward to getting a date in September to make the attempt for real over the three days we have planned. It will be a tough challenge but I am sure it will be a great success. We are looking forward to seeing the new trains in operation throughout this area