Turned up for the November Sunday run and Justin was wearing a tent but without guy ropes. Ten of us set off in the wind and rain over Stanage and New Road. We were still hopeful of getting all the way to Longnor and Sally was planning to meet up with us in Smalldale.
Rode up Stanage in wind , rain and ever increasing gloom. We could see better weather around but never in the direction we were going. After a while got Justin and his tent in the front, suddenly no wind.
By the top of Stanage it hadn’t been raining for about a minute so Justin took his tent off, we slowed to wait for him. A minute later he stopped to put it back on again and we decided to wait for him at the bottom of the hill out of the wind and rain. At this point we decided to head for the Woodbine and it’s log fire. Was Sally by now cold and very wet somewhere out near Smalldale?
I chickened out of following Thom down New Road, has he never fallen off on wet leaves? By now several riders with numb fingers descending slowly to get less cold. Up Thornhill and over to Aston only to be blocked by a fallen tree. No-one good enough at cyclo cross to Bunny Hop it. Shame we didn’t have James with us we might have been able to persuade him to try.
Made it to the cafe and crowded round the fire. Radiators not on but the kind cafe owner took lots of our wet stuff and put it in her tumble drier. Except for Tony’s leather gloves. That’ll teach him for being retro.
Sally phoned just as we got to the cafe, she was doing loops round Bradwell waiting for us and getting cold and wet. But instead of going into her house for a warm shower she came down to the Woodbine.
Once we retrieved our warm gloves we decided to ride up through Bradwell, well eight of us did, two headed straight home. Agreed to go up Hungry Lane, not sure why, it’s as steep as anything and with lots of wet leaves no standing up. Sally again ignoring the option of home and warmth to stay in the rain.
From Windmill it was a joy, tail wind, tail rain all the way home except for Sally who had to turn left at Fox House for more headwind home. We even got sunshine coming up Padley Gorge although it was looking a bit dark up the Hope Valley.
So was it worth it? Absolutely, still a million times more enjoyable than sitting on a pair of rollers and weather is just an ever changing experience. It’s not really cold until you start to feel sleepy.