After numerous recounts by Dave (to be fair people kept coming and going), which did make it difficult, however, he cracked it, once he took his shoes and socks off.
One pair of cold feet later, Dave decides on 2 moderate groups, due to the pandemic restrictions :-( By this time, the fast boys were already leaving. I therefore offered to lead one group, as I had a route ready (to the Dusty Miller pub in Wrenbury)
So, off we pedal: - Fiona, Alan, Eric, Steve & a tearful Elwyn (surplus to requirement, from the fast boys)- he’ll gain some mates, one day -lol.
Photo by Alan
“Where are we heading to?” (from over my shoulder), to which I therefore enlightened my little ‘posse’ on our deliberate outward loop from Bunbury toward Oulton Park race circuit and back to Bunbury again, not repeating any lanes, which are some of my favourite bits of smooth tarmac.
I initially kept the pace down, as Fiona had informed me that she was still tired from her 100 miler on Sunday (well done by the way & Elwyn, who apparently took the wind, on the front, for 80% of the ride (that’s 80 miles for those still thinking) - Dave put those socks back on- lol
After a couple of minor overshoots, which, would you believe, were due to a Crane Fly! Landing on my Garmin screen. I had swatted it away, whilst maintaining my balance and not disrupting the rhythm of the ride-lol. That said and unbeknownst to me, a single leg got left behind on my screen, which looked just like a road on the map, as it would of course (could happen to anybody, I thought - not sure anybody bought that one)
Anyway, we arrive at the Dusty Miller pub. After a brief spell of musical bikes, involving 3 or 4 tiers of steps, we finally settle on an acceptable spot for the bikes and entered the pub. Somewhat disappointed, we discover they only had a ‘Pandemic sandwich menu’, of limited choice, but to be fair, they were good.
Lunch conversation was varied and understandably with a ‘pandemic’ slant, although the initial conversation was from Steve & Eric? Regarding the lengthy, slight incline, but directly into a wind. Suffice it to say, it took a bit of effort, despite Fiona calling Elwyn forward, in order for him to slice through the wind with those incredible legs (not really jealous of his power)
The most memorable conversation was the story about the annoying phone calls, during a recent visit to the ‘Lake District’. Apparently, somebody has a mother who is somewhat ’koo koo kachoo’ or words to that effect (something about, hearing voices in the laundry basket- sounds perfectly normal to me) So! no intellectual political conversations on this ride- lol.
After that sobering revelation, it was time to set off again, once the canal bridge was lowered of course, which gave the slow starters more time (no names-lol).
No sooner had we got started, when I realise I am ‘Billy no mates’, after only a mile. I turn back to find ‘the posse’ having a smoke break, while pretending to fix a puncture and basking in the sun. Elwyn proceeded to show us how not to use a gas pump (I believe I heard “bless him” from a concerned bystander guess who-lol))
To be fair he did have a crap gas pump, as was proven when Steve? eventually came to his aid, with a descent one, much to Fiona’s astonishment, although I had offered mine, but it seemed to go right over Elwyn’s head, much like his own gas pump - gasp! horror!-lol.
So! We finally get going for our 10 mile leg back to Alison's. I tap out a little bit of pace, as I was aware of the impending threat of rain, due at 3pm, which, unfortunately (I later find out), F&E caught in Holt, after leaving us at the top of Harthill. The rest of us went right to Burwardsley, just to provide a last little sting in the legs before the downhill run into Tattenhall-lol.
We arrived at Alisons, nice and dry, dead on 3pm, just in time for closing -lol.
Finally: well done all, as the average speed was unexpectedly quicker than normal moderate pace, at 15.5mph (Alison's, door to door at 45 miles)
Not sure the pace was my fault though, as I was simply trying to keep a safe distance from the bike behind- lol. Fiona must have been bluffing about being tired- lol.
Cheers everybody - Neil.