Chris Duff led this ride and writes:
The calm before the storm and the prospect of February sunshine later, brought out 14 riders, 10 for the Brisk Ride and four for the ‘Not so Brisk’.
Despite the challenge set by the ‘esteemed leader’ for the Brisks to catch the Moderates after the extra loop around Pindon End, they proved reluctant pursuers.
Conversation and contemplation characterised the group as, like reluctant volunteers, they kept a few paces behind the lead.
The short section of the 508 raised the energy levels, but only briefly.
The Moderates, led so capably, as ever, by Brian, easily outpaced the Brisks arriving at the café at a very credible 11.02.
It seemed the Brisks were determined to take it easy with Darryl providing the perfect excuse, with two punctures within two miles of the café.
Whilst this could be considered by some to be unlucky, others noticed that his tyres were worn and already full of holes inviting the comment that they looked like they were ‘painted on his inner tubes’.
Darryl was not to feel any reproach and magnanimously bought us all a Valentine’s heart from the excellent bakery with Milton accepting this graciously on our behalf.
Let’s hope Darryl remembers his wife on Valentine’s Day itself!
The café boasted outlandish cakes, good coffee and, given the Brisks late arrival, no queues – what’s not to like.
Drama was provided for some (out of sight of the main group who were providing moral support on punctures) when the ‘esteemed leader’ fell off his bike.
I was bruised and scraped but no real damage done except to my pride – easily hurt.
Thanks go to all those who sympathised and to Chris Holt’s quick reaction for not running into the incompetent mutt as he lay on the floor.
My only excuse was that I was enjoying myself too much – too much freedom clearly.
(I hope I will be allowed to come out again in future.)
The general sense of other worldliness continued after the stop with the sun shining in pure loveliness.
With the wind in our favour we cruised home with a sense of cycling joy not competition.
Both groups did not bother with the Gayton detour (it was only for the view after all).
The moderates, demonstrating effortless superiority, achieving a very creditable 13.7mph average on the way home.
The Brisks average overall was a rather sedate 14.7mph.
At least I hope it was!