Saturday, 26 March 2016

Blustery Saturday

Today's club ride was an absolute cracker. This route showcases everything that's good about road cycling in Northamptonshire and indeed included some of the roads that have been used by the Ladies tour in recent years. It had quiet roads, ups, downs and fast flat bits. So chapeau to Andy Brown that's top quality planning.

The only downside of today was the weather. As I said yesterday Friday was predicted to be the only nice day of the Easter weekend and so far the forecasters have it right. The wind was horrible at times. It turned downhills into uphills and I was very glad not to have aero wheels because side-winds were already unpleasant to deal with.

Group wise it was a case of natural selection. Those who could go quick did. The rest of us did what we could! The exception was Steve who wins second best quote of the day for:
"I'll be like dogshit today...everywhere!"

By the time we got to Brixworth even our big ring maestro had enough of the strong winds. Probably also because we'd just fought our way up Station Road into Brixworth. I had to sing the woodpecker song to keep my spirits up as I ground away on the granny ring.

Steve does love to say hello

Yes we were all knackered

Neil shortly before winning quote of the day

The only disappointing part of this route is starting and finishing in Kettering and having to endure simply awful roads. As we were finishing the ride the lights went red on a pedestrian crossing. That atrocious attention seeker Pete Squires did the unthinkable and failed to unclip in time. As he crashed to the floor we all began to wonder if he was okay, except that is for Neil, who just called him a wanker. Concern quickly descended into delirium as I laughed so hard I nearly hyperventilated. Pete was of course fine with nothing damaged apart from his pride. Bike clubs, like all sporting organisations are overly resourced with piss takers. We are no exception!

Karma decided to pay me a visit a hundred yards from the shop. My foot slipped trying to clip back in and my quad locked with cramp. This left me helpless for a few minutes where I could neither clip back in or put weight through the leg. When I did make it back to the shop Andy F was way too keen to give me a rub down but hey I was in no mood to play hard to get.

Karma wasn't finished with me though. I bought a couple of bits and when Andy inquired if these would go in the book (a fantastic service to us club members allowing us to buy now and pay later if there are bits we need in a hurry such as inner tubes and bits like that.) I replied no, I have my card on me. Then I searched my zip pocket, which was unzipped, where I found no card. Two options; I hadn't brought my card or my card had fallen out of my pocket on the ride...well thankfully I found my card in my wallet at home. It's still not a nice feeling though is it? Conclusion: No Pete I shouldn't have laughed so hard!

I love my Giant Propel. That's not it in the picture above. That is Danny's new ride and I'm very pleased for him. They're fantastic. Unlike me, Danny has the engine to make this thing really work and many KOM's are now in deepest peril.

I've got the standard Giant road wheels on my Propel. One day I'll upgrade those and when I do it will be something similar to those American Classic beauties that Danny has gone for. Wow! They really finish the job.

At the shop we were treated to cake courtesy of one of the workshop lads who is 18 today. Happy birthday Jordan. When I got home it was one better in terms of recovery cake. That little cracker is a chocolate and peanut butter cup cake with  cream cheese and peanut butter icing. I'm so lucky to live with the Queen of Cakes!

So what's the verdict on today's ride? Great route. Great to be out with the club. I'm happy with my progress following manflu but I want to be quicker, much much quicker!

Happy Pedaling

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