Peter Bayles led this ride and (slightly belatedly) writes:
This week, 13 riders joined the ride; Eleven riders set off from the Canoe Centre, joined by Tim and Elspeth at Wootton in order to enjoy a more leisurely breakfast. We were especially pleased to welcome Sally and Alan, who joined us for the first time.
The weather conditions were very pleasant, being sunny and dry, but not too warm. It did actually rain 20 minutes or so after the end of the ride, but most riders would have returned home by then. Except me, of course!
It was great to have two riders in the group with electric bikes, and also I am pleased to again report that they were both very kind to the rest of us on the hills, and resisted the temptation to casually chat to those of us struggling to breathe, let alone talk back.
Around 20 miles into the ride we had our first and only mechanical issue, with Alan’s chain coming off. This was quickly sorted and the group, after taking advantage of the short rest, were back in their saddles and thinking of coffee.
Our café stop at Castle Ashby took a little longer than usual because we had to order at the table, a luxury that we are not used to. But we sat outside chatting in the warm sunshine and the food and coffee was excellent, so nobody was complaining. Indeed, one or two of the group couldn’t resist eating more than was strictly necessary, with poached eggs on toast and cake going down nicely.
The return route from the café was a mere 10 miles, however the headwind, which of course had not really been apparent for the first half of the route when it was behind us, became quite noticeable. Nevertheless, the group made it back to Northampton in good time, with most riders peeling off towards their respective destinations, leaving four riders to finish at the Canoe Centre.
Finally, I would like to point out that the ride leader did not, for once, lose his way and blame his Garmin. Milton, if you are reading this, I think my mastery of technology has now matched yours, so I’m feeling pretty smug.