Peter Bayles went on this ride and reports:
Philip G’s steady to Leicester on Sunday was a very pleasurable and interesting day’s riding. It was justifiably popular, with 11 riders taking part, nine of whom started from Brampton Valley Way.
The weather was favourable for us yet again with, after the initial morning chill, a dry, warm and mostly sunny day.
The group was delighted to have Brian and Ian, both sporting Bromptons, join at the first coffee stop at Wistow, having adventurously arrived there by bus. We gained two riders, but we also lost two others, Alex and Milton, both deciding that an early Sunday lunch was just too tempting.
Much of the route through Leicester was on good cycleways, taking us to our next stop, Leicester Cathedral, where Richard III is buried. Always keen to give a speech, Philip treated us to a very informative historical talk about the discovery and re-burial of Richard, occasionally enhanced by Ian.
Whilst we didn’t have time to go into the visitor centre, we were able to take the opportunity to go inside the Cathedral and see Richard’s new place of rest, topped with a huge cut and polished slab of Swaledale fossil stone. I think we were all moved, not least by the photographs of Northern Ireland, taken during the troubles, which were on display as part of a temporary Bogside Mural exhibition there.
Our lunch stop at the Riverside Café at De Montford University provided welcome rest and sustenance.
We set off on a different route home, following the canal and then using a number of cycleways roads and then smaller tracks which, Philip admitted, were a little bit rougher in places than he’d expected. Of course, this pleased Alan, with his tyres ideally suited to gravel and Peter S, a mountain biker at heart, who continually gave whoops of delight and flew down the inclines.
Eventually, to the relief of the rest of us, we emerged onto proper roads, and almost immediately Philip announced that he had a puncture. The group, suppressing thoughts of Karma, helped get Philip back on the road, only for Hartley to find that he too had succumbed to the same fate. Hartley repaired his in record time, however, and we were quickly on our way.
We arrived back tired, but having had one of our most rewarding days riding this season. It was especially pleasing to have Alex, Brian and Ian join us again. Also a special well-done goes to Alan who joined us for only the second time, but rode the full 71 miles, having only started to ride again in August. Respect !!
Many thanks Philip for organising and leading the ride, and thanks go to all who joined and made it a great day.