It was good to see lots of riders at the club, all enthused no doubt by the Tour and the Olympics. A large group of 18 set off on the long run to Eccleshall, led very ably by Kris on some lovely quiet Cheshire lanes which I for one didn’t recognise. We were promised a flat route, but it was not without some fairly challenging “undulations” which kept us strung out. After one quick descent, as we reached the bottom, a sudden slowing down of the front group on a gravel-strewn corner led to a nasty off from David. I nearly came off myself but Chris B kindly managed to break my impending fall (proving that he does have some use on club runs!) Anyway, both bike and David seemed OK and as John K was worried about lactating (yes that’s what he said) if we stopped too long, we moved off, wending our way briskly to Eccleshall for a good lunch at the cafe.
Mention must be made of the much talked about KOM. It was interesting to see Titch racing up the wrong hill taking an uncontested win, to be informed that the big hill was yet to come. Needless to say his ambitions were frustrated again as just as everyone started to wind up for the right climb he slipped his chain and had to watch his nemesis Kris disappear into the distance once again!
We set off on the return leg in rain, which wasn’t much fun, as most of us were suffering from the “boil in the bag” effect of wearing waterproof jackets (sorry I must learn to call them “capes” or I will have no credibility in road cycling circles). Luckily the sun came out fairly soon and we had a fantastic and swift ride back home – although it would have been even more fantastic if the front group had listened more carefully to our leader (who was busy looking after backmarkers) – which resulted in them unwittingly going off route. Sorry Kris! From this point we decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and rather than ride 5 miles back again, we accepted Kev’s offer of an ‘adventerous’ route back as he typed “home” into his Garmin and set off blind. However, it wasn’t too disastrous as we took a fairly direct route home from there, via Warmingham and Middlewich. Anyway – a great ride, thanks to Kris for the route, and to Kev U, Kev C and son Jack, Julian, Chris G, Chris B, John K, Titch, James R, Rob, Tony, David, Derek, Gareth and new riders Bruce and Andy for great company. Carol – we missed you on those hills!!!