A start of sorts…

Club Run – Satruday 25th April

My Ride (according to Strava)

Total Distance:                  69.6km/43.2 miles with 316 metres of climbing

Ride Time:                          2:32 hours

Group size:                         25 cyclists at the start. No FNG’s

Weather in a word or two:        Monsoon

Main topic of conversation at the start: How the weather would hold dry until at least 1.00pm (Ha!)

Main topic of conversation at the coffee stop: Bear Grylls (consensus = nutter), the Darwin Awards and the (very) contentious issue of “the club jersey”. Don’t ask.

The Profile:

25 26 April

The Waffle:

A mix of 25 brave lads and lasses met up at our rendezvous point, under the high white clouds and intermittent sunshine of a typical northern spring day.

The usual meeting place is a bus station, or to give it its more fanciful name a “transport interchange centre.” Here we can take a last breath of therapeutic diesel fumes to harden our lungs, before riding out to the clean, clear air of the countryside. As an added benefit we also get to annoy the bus drivers (although to be honest it doesn’t take much – it must irk them seeing us laughing and joking while they sit in a cramped glass cubicle, entombed inside a diesel spewing bus, engulfed in miles of traffic all day). We also seem to take a perverse delight in blockading the pavement with thousands of £’s worth of shiny carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium, sort of a polite bourgeois street protest or cycling flash mob. What’s that all about?

The weather was chilly, but bright and every last forecast assured us things would be dry until after midday. We set out with high hopes, waving a cheery goodbye to the bus drivers and finally releasing a backlog of pedestrians to flood across the footpath. 10 minutes in and everyone was diving to the side of the road to pull on rain jackets. 5 minutes after and with nary a mudguard amongst us (the winter bikes were put away weeks ago) my shoes were full of water, gloves wringing wet, and icy cold water had enveloped me from the waist down. My brand new, pristine-white socks had turned a dull and grimy shade of grey, a particularly difficult test-case I challenge any detergent manufacturers to accept.

One of our number on a vintage Ciocc peeled off shortly afterwards to head home, complaining his brakes and wooden rims(!) weren’t the most effective stopping combination in wet weather. I don’t think he appreciated one wags suggestion that he needed wet and dry sandpaper on his brake pads.

Through rain clogged specs I spend the next 30 minutes swinging from side to side, vainly trying to avoid the geyser of filthy, freezing water spraying off the wheel in front, and failing miserably as it seemed to follow me across the road with unerring accuracy. By the time the rain stopped everyone was pretty much soaked through and cold, but, as ever the ride went on.

A short sharp climb and general re-grouping was followed by the usual suspects making a long break for the café, and a mad chase ensued to guarantee everyone arrived wet and overheated at the stop.

Coffee and cake fuelled the ride home, and perhaps made the task of pulling on cold, wet gloves, caps and helmets slightly less unpleasant. Yet more torrential rain returned just to decrease comfort levels, but I guess once you’re wet you’re wet, so naturally everyone agreed it had been a good ride.

Until next week…

YTD Totals:         1,613km/ 1,002 miles with 16,889metres of climbing

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