Tim went on this ride led by Phil L and writes:
Five riders set off from East Hunsbury on Phil’s “mainly off-road” route. The conditions certainly lived up to the wet and muddy prediction so much so that one rider decided to inaugurate his own mini-triathlon with an impromptu fall in to the canal followed by a quick run to warm up before resuming cycling. Maybe water wings should be added to the list of essentials on future rides.
“Chapeau” to the water baby for insisting on riding on, despite everyone’s concern lest exposure set in. The lure of an open fire at the Boat Inn at Stoke Bruerne proved a stronger draw than an instant abandonment.
Suitably warmed and refreshed with flapjacks and cups of coffee we decided to stick to the road and forego the planned canal tow-path to Cosgrove. Our return via Ashton, Hartwell and Salcey Forest was a welcome anti-climax to the morning’s trials.
Despite its diminutive 16 miles, this was a ride that will live long in our memories (if falling in to the canal wasn’t enough excitement for one ride we also suffered multiple punctures, with our leader accumulating a winning total of three) and one that has reminded me of a couple of things:
- If you’ re going to fall off your bike, it’s best not to do so alongside a canal!
- Hawthorn hedge trimmings & liquid mud do not make for a good bike riding surface!