Go Long, Bullseye

Go Long, Bullseye

Club Run, Saturday 3rd June, 2017          

My Ride (according to Strava)

Total Distance:                                  116 km / 72 miles with 1,183 metres of climbing

Ride Time:                                          4 hours 24 minutes

Average Speed:                                26.3 km/h

Group size:                                         40+ riders, 0 FNG’s

Temperature:                                    23°C

Weather in a word or two:          Warm and bright


 

3 june
Ride Profile

The Ride:

A quick look out of the window, early Saturday morning showed bright blue skies and the trees utterly motionless in the still air. It looked like being a good one.

Outside it was still surprisingly chilly, but I was convinced it was going to warm up and my “just in case” arm warmers stayed firmly in my jersey pocket as I made my way to the meeting point.


Main topics of conversation at the start:

Shoeless was one of the first to arrive for a very rare outing with the club. He explained it needed a precise alignment of weather, shift patterns, family commitments, lack of other “triathlony” type sporting events along with his own personal inclination and motivation for him to make a ride these days.

It was so hot that … oh, sorry, I’ve done that one haven’t I. Nevertheless, it was warm enough once again to encourage Szell in another general disrobing and the removal of unwarranted base layers. I think perhaps he’s developing an exhibitionist’s streak – he certainly seems incapable of finding a reliable weather forecast.

OGL turned up with a new seat clamp for Szell’s “fat lad’s bike” and fitted it while we waited. Now that’s service for you. Meanwhile Crazy Legs urged Szell to make a careful examination of OGL’s new, custom-painted Orbea as this is what he’s likely be inheriting in the near future.

The Orbea is supposed to be highlighted in club colours, but both shades of tangerine and green look a touch off to my untrained eye. To compound the issues, OGL was wearing a sample pair of customised shorts a new potential supplier had sent him to review. These too were meant to be in club colours, but they had been matched from nothing more than a photo on a web page and were also quite subtly, wrong. the colours yet again different from both the club jersey and the bike.

The overall effect was like a kids drawing  where they’d been forced to change pens halfway through and got bored with too precise colouring in.

Sneaky Peter sneaked up, back on his beloved, impeccably fixed and restored De Rosa. Where OGL showed us the perils of mismatching colours, the repair work on the De Rosa was so accomplished that not even G-Dawg’s hyper-critical eye (able to spot the difference between a 3mm and 2.5mm spoke at 30 paces) could find fault or discern where the cracked chainstay had been repaired.

Taffy Steve likened this to his own patch job on his favourite sunglasses, having snapped an arm off these while polishing the lenses the previous week, these too had been restored to fully functioning order by the liberal application of superglue.

He suggested there was little difference between the job done on his glasses and the De Rosa, while I suspected he’d used probably twenty times the amount of superglue for his small repair, which seemed functional and robust, but was perhaps lacking a little in artisanship.

Talk turned to football, with the Garrulous Kid announcing Germany would win the next World Cup and he was so confident he’d put money on it. If anyone wants to take him up on the offer, let me know and I’ll forward his details.

Ridiculed for suggesting Phillip Lham would be a driving force (he’s apparently retired) – Crazy Legs was unfazed and unbothered by the criticism and declared he’d be happy and content as long as Joachim Löw was still in charge of Germany, so he could once again entertain with his nose-picking, testicle-cupping, anus-fingering and hand-sniffing exploits.

This week’s route had been conceived, pre-published and would be led by Aether and with over 40 cyclists crowding the pavement, it’s never been so obvious we needed to split into at least two groups on the road. Aether outlined his plans for the ride and led the first group off.

Perhaps simply to sow a bit of confusion and discord, OGL wondered aloud who would lead the second group, but whatever point he was trying to make was lost when the Red Max instantly stepped up to the mark and volunteered.

As the first riders pulled away, Crazy Legs suggested a few of us hang back, so there were no complaints about the two groups being unbalanced or all the stronger riders disappearing up the road. He certainly needn’t have worried on the latter count as super-strong riders, Benedict and Den Haag were still behind and they set off at the head of the second group.


Three of us were delayed at the first set of lights and we were joined by a few latecomers as we started to slowly converge on the back of the second group. By the time we were negotiating Brunton Lane several groups of riders had all merged and our small group became a peloton in its own right.

One moment Szell had been riding with half a dozen others and the next he’d been surrounded by over 20 riders swooping around to form up behind him. “Bloody hell,”  he declared, “It’s just like Taras Bulba!” Cossacks Hourra! Hourra!

As we cleared the city traffic, Benedict and OGL became involved in a very intense conversation about the structure of the club runs and how best to organise them so no one felt left out, disadvantaged or held back.

This left Den Haag ploughing a lone furrow on the front of the group, so I moved up to slot in alongside him for a chat about the Giro, Dumoulin’s Dump (or defecategate as one Internet wag dubbed it) the Hammer series, time-trialling, cyclo-cross and other such things, all the while trying to keep half an ear on the increasingly animated conversation behind.

Through Dinnington and up past the Cheese Farm, OGL and Benedict kept at it, until the clamber up Bell’s Hill splintered the group apart and offered some respite for both parties. I’m still not sure anything was resolved.

I called a halt at the top of Bell’s Hill so we could regroup and also because we’d started to close in on the first group and needed to give them a bit more space.

“Is that the fast group, up ahead?” Facebook-postin’ carbon-stress-loadin’ Guiness-slurpin’ pie-chompin’ platter-spinnin’ real-ale-swilling curry-gobblin’ all-azione Thom-Thom suggested, tongue lodged firmly in his cheek and blatantly fishing with an apparently irresistable lump of bait.

“There is no fast group.” OGL snapped.

“Are you sure?” Thom-Thom asked, deliberately misunderstanding, “That looks like the fast group…”

Oh, dear. Moving swiftly on, we set off again and I had a chuckle with Taffy Steve as we first determined that if Bugs Bunny rode with the club he’d doubtless refer to the Kia Sportage as a Spore-tadjee and then compared OGL to Foghorn Leghorn.

The strangest sight of the day had to be a dog owner taking their small, very young puppy for “a walk” by dragging it on a lead behind his mountain bike. I couldn’t help thinking if he went too slow the excitable pup was going to wrap the lead around his forks, get caught under the knobbly tyres and bring him down, but if he went too fast he probably end up dragging the luckless pup behind him and wear its legs down to stubs. I’m not utterly convinced the kennel club or Canine Defence League would have approved of his training methods.


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A long looping descent dropped us off at the bottom of the Mur de Mitford and up we went, with Taffy Steve messing up his gear change and storming up it in the big ring, while I messed up in the opposite direction and ended up in the granny ring and twiddling my way to the top.

Again we regrouped and pressed on with Benedict and Den Haag re-united on the front and keeping the pace decidedly brisk as we closed in on Netherwhitton. We stopped here for some respite and to split the group, with half taking the left turn to track their way up the Trench, while the rest of us pressed on to Ritton Bank, still at speed.

Ritton Bank is one of the first real tests on the Cyclone route, but today we would take a sharp left just before its rather gnarly summit. Nonetheless it was a decent leg stretcher and strung us out into a long line.

Regrouping at the top we followed a twisting rolling road just below the top of the fells, flanked by dry stone walls that were lined with thoroughly disinterested and somnolent shaggy black cows. Crazy Legs gave them a rather desultory “Moo” while, riding up behind him, I unleashed my own imitation of a bovine greeting, which was apparently so realistic he visibly flinched and looked back in panic like a sweating fat lad tripping over his own feet on the Pamplona Bull Run.

Crazy Legs was so taken with my “cow call” he had me repeat it several times and then again to a visibly unimpressed Taffy Steve, who I think only responds to sheep. Luckily there were no locals around to wonder about the strange, randomly mooing cyclist riding down their road.

A long, screaming descent down into the Font Valley saw Benedict and Den Haag open up a gap at the front and then we were onto the Category 4 Rothley Lakes climb, 3kms at an average of 3% with the sharpest ramps of almost 13% at the bottom.

Working out of the saddle, I overhauled Taffy Steve and then Crazy Legs and as the slope eased, I plonked myself down, found a good rhythm and started to work my way upwards, managing to hold the distance on the front two and opening up a gap to those behind.

Topping out the Rothley Lakes climb led to 5km of mixed climbing and descending on rolling roads and the front pair started to pull ahead. Nonetheless I pressed on in solo pursuit, indulging in a rather grand bout of chasse patate and thoroughly enjoying myself. Twists and turns on the route conspired to keep my quarry out of sight through Scots Gap, but as they took the sharp turn for Middleton Bank I saw a flash of red that was Benedict’s jersey.

As I approached the climb I could see a long stream of riders disappearing over the crest, which included the notable, shocking-pink jersey beZ was wearing that morning. I reasoned Benedict and Den Haag must have caught and joined up with our first group and found I had something else to chase now.

Up Middleton Bank, I passed a labouring Richard of Flanders, detached from the front group and pushing on alone. I tried to give him some encouragement and thought he might be able to hold onto my wheel, but I’m not even certain he tried and I was off solo once again.

With the front group winding up for the final sprint, there was no way I was going to catch them now and reasoned the gap was going to grow. Sure enough, I caught only one or two further glimpses of the pack and it wasn’t long until they were well out of sight and my ride to the café was completed in splendid isolation.


Main topics of conversation at the coffee stop:

As I parked up the bike and made my away indoors, the BFG called me across. “Where did we drop you and how far off the back must you have been?” he asked, glancing at his watch.

Ha ha, everyone’s a comedian.

I tagged onto the back of the queue inside and was soon joined by Taffy Steve, Crazy Legs and the others as they arrived in in ones and twos.

The Garrulous Kid appeared to buy a can of Coke and to tell us of another epic failure of his cornering skills. This had seen him engaging, not for the first time, in a little cyclo-cross riding, off the road and up an embankment. He said that it had looked so dangerous someone had apparently called him a stunt rider.

I naturally suggested he may have misheard the actual comment, while Taffy Steve wanted to know if they might perhaps have included the word cunning in their appreciation of his off-piste skills.

Collecting his coffee and cake, Taffy Steve carefully made his way to the table outside on jelly legs, or what he perceptively described as baby giraffe legs, the special feeling you get after a hard, intensive effort on what had proven to be a fairly demanding route.

Later, Szell would make his way to the table, wobbly and stumbling like the town drunk.

“You see,” Taffy Steve declared, “Baby giraffe legs.” Couldn’t argue there.

Enjoying our relaxation and recovery in the sun and against all accepted protocol, we sneaked two refills of coffee, which caused the Garrulous Kid to declare, “I’m not allowed coffee.” while he bounced around the table like a chipmunk on speed.

“I’m not surprised, I can’t begin to imagine you loaded on caffeine,” I offered, looking pointedly at his Coke.

“Yeah,” he giggled madly, “I’m not supposed to have Coke either.”

Amped up like a toddler overdosing on E-numbers and a blood-boiling sugar rush, the Garrulous Kid returned to a recurring complaint, the fact he doesn’t like the particular moniker I’ve bestowed on him.

As before I listened patiently and then told him he had been given numerous name suggestions he could choose from, Crap Gob, Fresh Trim, Jar-Jar Binks, Zoolander or the Garrulous Kid. In fact, I’m not sure anyone in the club can claim more potential names, which I think is quite an achievement in so short a space of time.

Receiving very little sympathy and with his attention span stretched way beyond capacity, he bounded away to another table to repeat his complaint and in the process apparently admitted to hating his middle name too.

“What’s that then?” was the obvious question.

From all accounts – and I’ve gathered these from numerous independent witnesses and reliable sources – the answer that came back most closely sounded like “Helen.”

So, one more choice to add to his options, Crap Gob, Fresh Trim, Jar-Jar Binks, Zoolander, the Garrulous Kid or … Helen.

All good things must come to an end, so three coffees’ later and with our brief sojourn in the sunny garden coming to a close, we gathered together, formed up and rode out.


Riding along beside Zardoz, he nodded his head at the Red Max’s back pack and whispered conspiratorially, “Do you think there’s actually anything in there?”

I assured him it was like Felix the Cat’s magical bag of tricks and the Red Max would reach into it whenever he was in a fix. I could only begin to speculate to its precise contents, but had seen him pull tools such as pliers, spanners and screwdrivers from the bag, complete sets of clothing, rain jackets, spare bike components, chains, assorted nuts, bolts, screws and brake blocks, food, drink, snacks, gels, sun creams, spare specs, hats, socks, gloves, bike spares and repairs, inner tubes, tyre shoes, patches, gaffer tape, zip ties, chain links – the list was almost endless.

In fact, I suggested the only time Red Max’s bag of tricks had let him down was when someone snapped their gear hanger. Red Max didn’t have one and to his everlasting shame was mortified when OGL produced one out of his back-pocket. I’m fairly confident his bag also includes a spare gear hanger now.

Descending Berwick Hill and perhaps in appreciation of last weeks splenetic, Mr. Angry the cyclist, we had Mr. Angry, the splenetic RIM, over-taking at high speed and bellowing “Ride in single file!” out of the window. We all gave him our biggest, friendliest, cheeriest waves and I’m not certain, but I think G-Dawg may have even have blown him a kiss.

Moments later and another RIM in a massive 4×4  was cutting across into our lane to overtake a slower car and came powering straight at us. Thankfully he swooped back at the last instant, just before we started hurling ourselves off the road to escape the brain-dead moron.

Still even these incidents couldn’t sour what had been a good, long and testing ride over some less travelled routes and challenging climbs. I’d gone over 72 miles by the time I made it home, grinning from ear to ear and looking forward to doing it all again next week.


YTD Totals: 3,442 km / 2,139 miles with 37,377 metres of climbing

Swept Up

Swept Up

Club Run, Saturday 27th May, 2017       

My Ride (according to Strava)

Total Distance:                                  113 km / 70 miles with 1,069 metres of climbing

Ride Time:                                          4 hours 27 minutes

Average Speed:                                25.4 km/h

Group size:                                         38 riders, 0 FNG’s

Temperature:                                    24°C

Weather in a word or two:          Hot and sticky


 

27 May
Ride Profile

The Ride:

Saturday morning found me smeared in Factor 30 and dropping down the hill under pale skies that were only slightly marred by a few, high altitude, chalky-gauze clouds. The real start of summer? Doubtful, but it will do for now.

It was actually considerably cooler than it had been mid-week, when early evening commutes home had been like riding through a sauna. Today we were even promised some sharp showers, possibly punctuated by an occassional thunderstorm, but hopefully we’d all be home and hosed by the time they arrived.


Main topics of conversation at the start:

The ride across town was pleasant and uneventful and I pulled up at the meeting place to be instantly greeted by a happy, bouncing Garrulous Kid, who announced rather ominously, “I’m Back!”

Lord, help us.

He then proudly told me he’d managed to fix a puncture last week.

“Did you do it all by yourself?” I asked.

“Yes. I was with the Prof and he just rode away and left me …”

“Ah, yes,” I explained, “He does have a habit of doing that…”

It was so hot … that our even our delicate, Dutch flower, De Uitheems Bloem had arrived in shorts and a short-sleeved jersey, revealing limbs that might not have seen the light of day since last July.

G-Dawg rolled in to proudly show off the yellow spacers in his cassette.

“Did you manage to source some, then?” The BFG enquired, a hint of jealousy creeping into his voice.

“Nope, I made them myself.” G-Dawg replied proudly, explaining how he’d visited a model shop and started quizzing them about the different paints they had and what they were suitable for.

Apparently he had the entire shop staff around him, intrigued by his request for hard-wearing, gloss paint in bright canary yellow and wondering why he needed it. Was it for the ailerons on a B17 perhaps, or the propeller tips of a Focke-Wulf 190? I’m not sure they would have believed him if he’d ‘fessed up.

I wanted to know if he’d gone for Humbrol or Tamiya paint.

“Hah!” the BFG instantly pounced, “I bet you used to make models. Is that when you were young, had no personality and couldn’t talk to girls?”

“What?” I countered, “As opposed to now, when I’m old, have no personality and can’t talk to girls?”

“Ah, so that’s why you became a cyclist?” Son of G-Dawg declared.

You see what a cruel and heartless bunch I’m forced to ride with?

We then learned that G-Dawg had made his own paint rig from a toilet roll tube and fully prepped and prepared his cassette spacers, before giving them two full coats of paint, because, as Son of G-Dawg confirmed: “he’s not an amateur you know.”

Of course, everyone’s a critic and Crazy Legs wanted to know why he hadn’t gone for World Championship rainbow stripes (“There’s only 3 spacers.”) while I thought a bit of creative painting could have produced a hypnotic Zoetrope effect once the cassette was spinning – perhaps galloping horses or something similar.

I then, jokingly suggested G-Dawg could paint his brake blocks to match and was quite surprised when this was duly taken into consideration and he started planning how he could do this without actually ruining the braking surface.

It was so hot … that the Garrulous Kid had filled his bottle with water, stuck it in the freezer to chill and forgotten to remove it. He was now carting around a solid block of ice in his bottle cage and hoping it would melt before he became too desperate for a drink. This led to some discussion about the efficacy of insulated water bottles, which I suggested could also be useful if you wanted a hot drink of tea midway through a winter ride.

“Oh, I can just see it now.” G-Dawg laughed, miming drinking from a bottle with his pinkie finger ostentatiously raised. Son of G-Dawg suggested he could spread a crisp, white linen tablecloth over his handlebars too, just so we were compliant with all the rules of etiquette.

You see, utterly heartless. All of them.

It was so hot … that our mindless banter was interrupted by the unseemly sight of Szell disrobing, after he had decided that even a thin base-layer was too much insulation. It was not a pretty sight and the local residents hate us enough already without that kind of provocation.

Sur-reality was restored by the Garrulous Kid arguing that the black, sticky tape on his handlebars wasn’t black, sticky tape at all – I’m not sure what he actually thought it was and no one was brave, or foolish enough to ask.

It was so hot … that the fine weather seemed to have drawn just about everyone out and we formed a massive block of 38 riders. As the clock ticked down to official Garmin Time, a couple of groups were agreed and we managed a reasonable two-thirds, one third split as we pushed off, clipped in and rode out.


I started out in the first group alongside Taffy Steve, had a chat with Slim Michael (who doesn’t often ride with us much anymore) and then slotted in beside the Garrulous Kid. As we dropped through Dinnington, the group split behind us and a Colnago riding, Mr. Angry infiltrated our ranks.

“Do youse lot never single out when there’s a car behind?” He demanded aggressively.

Oh dear, this wasn’t a conversation I wanted at this time and in this place. Truth be told we were on a fairly twisting road with reduced visibility and there was no safe place to pass, even if we’d all been in single file. (Notwithstanding the fact the line would have been at least twice as long, with the head disappearing around the next corner even as the tail reached any semblance of a straight.) So, no, we weren’t going to single out and ride in the gutter so some motorist could try and squeeze past, too fast and too close, in order to save a few seconds on their journey.

I muttered something non-committal, along the lines of “No, not always,” only to be castigated with, “It’s no wonder cyclists get a bad name with motorists.”

Perhaps expecting some kind of reasoned debate was probably too much at this point and anyway, Mr Angry seemed to succumb to a sudden attack of Tourette’s as he sat behind, frothing at the mouth and proving he had a quite remarkable and extensive vocabulary of swear words that he could direct at us.

It’s bad enough dealing with indignant motorists, but abusive, splenetic fellow cyclists too?

Sadly, much as I was enjoying Mr. Angry’s apoplectic and foul-mouthed diatribe, he obviously decided we were too amateurish, selfish, arrogant and egotistical to ride with and turned off at the first opportunity. Hopefully he found some misplaced inner calm once he was riding solo and only had to deal with the demons in his own head, while he could give way to motorists to his heart’s desire.

Our own ride returned to its former peaceable state and we pressed on. As we swung through Mitford we were greeted by a hearty “Good morning, chaps,” as OGL bridged across with our second group, who’d taken a different route to get to the same place at around the same time.


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A bounce through an unexpected pot then jettisoned my tool-tub and I swung over to the side of the road and pulled to a stop to let the long, long line of cyclist’s whirr past. I rode back down the road and retrieved my tub, turned around again and set off in pursuit.

Sneaky Pete, having seen me pull over and stop, had sneaked off the back and was soft pedalling, waiting for me to catch up  to provide some company for the chase. As the road started to twist and rise up to Dyke Neuk, we worked together to close down the gap and catch back on.

Up ahead, the second group had called a halt at the junction to regroup and we were able to tag onto the back, which was perfect and saved a much harder and much longer chase. I had in effect been swept up.

Off we set again, dropping down, then scrambling up through Hartburn. Here a bit of dithering and indecision about which way to go, left Moscas almost doing a track-stand half way up a sharp rise, his bike parallel to whichever direction we decided to take and horribly stuck in the wrong gear.

OGL and a few others decided to set off for Middleton Bank, while the rest of us pushed on for Angerton. With a route finally determined, a grunting, straining effort from Moscas somehow saw him turn the pedals over, swing his bike around and  finally accelerate away up the climb.

We pressed on with the BFG and Laurelan a mismatched, little and large pairing on the front, climbing up toward Bolam Lake, where we stopped to regroup and wait. This wait proved a little longer than expected, as the back-markers had stopped when the group heading to Middleton Bank had become engaged in an altercation with a RIM in a black Volvo, who seemed incapable of grasping the meaning of a simple Give Way sign and markers.

The driver had cut in so close that one of our riders had been able to deliver a hefty thump to the side of his precious car. He’d reversed for a confrontation, only to back off quickly when he found himself up against half a dozen pissed-off cyclists, all of whom seemed to have a much better grasp of the Highway Code than he was able to muster. I think the fact one of them was blatantly videoing the entire episode didn’t help either.

Back together again, things stayed that way until we swept through Milestone Wood and the BFG unleashed a powerful attack at the foot of the first slope – a move about as unexpected as the room going dark when you turn off the light.

I was already accelerating up onto his wheel in anticipation of the jump and trailed him up and over the first two ramps, before sitting back in the saddle and drifting to one side where he couldn’t miss me. Despite the effort, I took a moment to control my breathing and composed my face to look as calm, reassured and as at ease as possible.

When the BFG finally looked back over his shoulder he found me sitting there, seemingly comfortable and smiling benevolently back at him.

“Oh, you’re still there!” He exclaimed in surprise, before swinging aside and ceding the front in disgust.

I nudged ahead over the last rise and soft-pedalled a little as we dropped down the other side. As the road started to ramp up again I waited until the sweeping left hand corner and then started to accelerate. Slowly, slowly the BFG pulled alongside, nudged his wheel in front and then with a long, loud hiss like a deflating tyre, he blew and dropped away.

I pressed on and could hear other riders rattling along behind in pursuit, but no one seemed to have either the legs or the inclination to come past as I rolled through the junction and onto the café.


Main topics of conversation at the coffee stop:

The BFG explained that Gardening was the new Cycling, or at least it is for him in terms of his most recent obsession. It’s all very well and good him slipping new bikes and bits of bikes into the house, but I’m not sure how he’s going to cover up buying another garden. Perhaps he can smuggle it in shovel load by shovel-load, shaking it our from secret pockets inside his pants like a latter day Great Escapee?

Part of his current plan of expansion by subterfuge (if a massive, hulking, scary, Kurgan looking feller can ever do anything by subterfuge) is to subsume land at the back of his garden into his own plot, stealing it from under the nose of rightful owners RailTrack.

He revealed that if he could secure this land he could then fulfill a long term ambition of dressing like Jenny Agutter in the Railway Children and skip down the tracks waving a white flag to stop approaching trains. It takes all sorts.

Meanwhile Sneaky Pete was pacing all around the table like an expectant father awaiting for news of his firtsborn. The reason for his anxiety was the impending return of his beloved De Rosa after he’d cracked the chainstay on one of the Orca tank traps that line the Great North Road Cycle Maze and Deathtrap and had to have it sent away for specialist repair.

Soon incessant pacing was coupled with terse phone calls to find out of delivery had been deemed successful and without complication. The denouement was all positive and a smiling and much relieved Sneaky Pete was finally able to relax and return to the table, although I was disappointed he didn’t hand round celebratory cigars.

Buster was suffering with pollen allergies and regretted not having wrap-around shades. A divers face mask was offered up as the perfect solution, perhaps even with the addition of a snorkel with a cotton wool filter. The face mask was deemed a strong possibility, but Buster wasn’t sold on the snorkel idea – unless he could get one about 70 foot long that he could use to draw in air from above the tree tops.

The conversation about face masks led to Sneaky Pete testing us to name two films where the main character wears a divers face mask – the answers he was looking for were The Graduate and Notting Hill.

Laurelan was slightly taken aback when the BFG revealed he would much rather watch Notting Hill, Love Actually or some other standard Rom-Com, than a testosterone-fuelled, action thriller like The Fast and the Furious 32 or Die Hard with a Zimmer Frame. Then again, what can you expect with a man who feels the need to dress up like Jenny Agutter in the Railway Children.

OGL wandered by to announce tomorrow’s club ride would be longer than normal, maybe 70 miles or more.

“What about Monday?” Crazy Legs asked.

“Oh, you should be back long before then.” The BFG quipped. Ba-boom! It made me laugh anyway.


It was, if anything a too quick jaunt home from the cafe and I found myself at the river before 1.00 o’clock had even rolled up. I decided I had time to tack on another loop up to Westerhope and back, padding my totals with a few more miles and metres of climbing.

This got me home at about normal time, but also gave the rain a chance to catch me as I climbed the Heinous Hill. It wasn’t too unpleasant though and luckily I was well indoors when the real storm arrived and unleashed a fusilade of stinging hailstones the size of marbles, that rattled and bounced ominously off the windows and roof. I can’t imagine being caught out in that while on a bike would have been a whole heap of fun.


YTD Totals: 3,216 km / 1,998 miles with 35,288 metres of climbing