Saturday, 24 October 2015

Satisfying Soggy Saturday

Following a virtual meeting of the C&DCCC ride leaders it was decided that we needed to get a bit more organised to help Andy with the organising, particularly with the 'banter bunch,' the slower of our two Saturday social rides. The problem being that the majority of the ride leaders were regularly riding in the fast group. We've decided to take our turn for 1 in every 4 Saturday's in leading the Banter Bunch. Today I took my turn and Neil Hickford volunteered for tail gunning duties. 

Now the clever bit here is that today's route was designed by Andy Brown, It's an atypical route for him because it really was quite flat. However it was a cracking route leaving Kettering via Deeble Road and then going through Cranford, Woodford, Islip, Thrapston, Titchmarsh, Clopton, Lilford, Achurch, Aldwinkle, Twywell (that should've been Slipton but I lost control of my group at this point,) Warkton and back to the shop. Mr Brown's organising doesn't stop there because he's started a spreadsheet to keep track of who has done what. There's even a pie chart, however a cake chart might be more appropriate as will be apparent later.

So off we set and jolly nice it was too. The heavy rain held off and there were some good examples of considerate and safe group riding. At Clopton we ran into Neil Howarth and Bruce. No need to distinguish which Bruce as we only have one but the excess of Neils in our club is now rivaling our excess of Andys. I thought they must have had a crack at the fast group and dropped back but no, we'd left them behind! How could this happen I hear you ask? Especially as our Rule #1 - no one gets left behind! Well as we cleared the lights in Montague street I shouted back to my tail gunner Neil who told me 'all through,' so we pushed on. However other Neil and Bruce had dithered. They didn't see which way we went so they followed the route as they remembered it from the FB post but went the wrong way by heading through Warkton, when they'd been riding hard and not seen a sight of us for ages they muddled their way to Clopton and then we appeared so they joined us. All of which leads me to suspect that tail gunner Neil is planning a short career of helping out using the age old technique of making a Monkey's Breakfast of the job. For those of you not familiar with the phrase, a Monkey's Breakfast is deliberately doing something wrong to get out of doing it ever again. A good example of this would be doing the ironing in an incredibly shoddy way meaning your husband insists for ever more that it's his job and he'll do it on Sunday*

* This is a made up example and any resemblance to a true story is purely coincidental (ish) 

Bruce and Neil didn't like being left behind

Once we were all together as a group the good riding continued. It was obvious we were in a race against the weather as dark clouds gathered and light drizzle started. I was glad I'd left my Giant Propel safely in the shed and brought my winter bike out today. That bike has served me well for over 7000 miles so there's no reason why it's not good enough to keep me going.However having experienced my carbon dream machine other bikes feel lifeless by comparison. 

Over the shoulder shot, observe Ian's magnificent helmet

It was good to see some regulars out today who've been missing for a while. Mark who almost disproves the spitting image song 'I've never met a South African that I like,' and Rich are at different stages of injury recovery and they both did well today.

I'm pleased with my ride too. My nemesis when out with the fast group is hills and that wasn't true today. Also the false flat section back to Warkton almost always sees me drop off the pace. Today I was so determined not to let that happen that I sat on the front all the way to Warkton and managed to set a PR for the segment. No doubt that feeling of self satisfaction will be slapped off my smug face as soon as I try to keep up in the fast group again.

Back at the shop there was a cake mountain. Both my lovely Queen of Cakes and Nat's Mum had provided for our recovery baked goods needs. Nat's Mum's chocolate cake was very good. However Nat was very impressed by Lee's apple cake and Steve described the coffee & walnut cake as 'the dogs dangly bits!'


Better than ?

Delirious on Coffee & Walnut cake

Great Chocolate Cake

A little bit too keen on cake

Neil or Monkey as he's now known made an observation. He said I was a lucky man because I get cakes of this quality all the while, I make my own beer and I get to ride my bike when I want. He's right, life is good. After I rode home in heavy rain the Queen of Cakes informed me that she needed to take Niamh's iphone to an apple shop because despite being two days old she'd already broken the screen, kids eh! Ooh there's a apple shop in MK isn't there? I then cheekily suggested I could go to the Saints match whilst they sorted it out...and that's what happened. That's right, not only did I get a good bike ride today, with lovely cake after, my amazing wife dropped me off at Stadium MK so I could watch the Saints beat Newcastle 42-16. It meant dropping everything to dash down there and I made it with minutes to spare. What a brilliant life!

Happy Pedaling

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