This ride started out as a near disaster with a chance of me not making the start. “The Toy” broke as soon as it hit the tarmac and a pedal was pressed. The problem I had with shifting on the Steve Cummins ride finally manifested it’self in the cable pulling out of the nipple and me being left with a bike with no gears. The ride up the close had me listening to strange noises on a Sunday morning but I was more concerned why the rear mech wouldn’t shift.
The Iceni backup bike is pressed into service after about 10 minutes of frantic effort to set it up and pump the tyres up. This means I’m running late and set out to the Eureka at a fast pace. Fast forward to Hadlow Road and I pass John who is stopped but on enquiring is OK. Next stop Eureka and breakfast.
There were plenty of people enjoying the sun outside the Eureka and it turned out there were two groups going to Loggerheads Janets group doing a more challenging route and Bobs group taking a different route. After nearly getting left with Bob,s group it was off to Woodbank with six others.
The route took us to the rail/cycle crossing across the Dee and down to the Garden Centre behind the College. Here we had a bit of a setback, the Cafe was closed. I ended up buying a can of Organic Cola for it’s novelty value. Tasted much the same as a normal Coke. Now leaving the garden centre there is a running event that is just about to finnish. The chap coming home first having a good 75 to 100 yards on the guy in second place. Marshalls let us through and further up the road our turning has us like salmon swimming up rapids.
There is a constant stream of runners coming down the hill. I’m behind old George as we go up the steepest part of the hill with a 14% gradient trying to take a picture on the move but it just isn’t happening. I can’t overtake as runners are streaming down the hill, pity it would have made a great photo. A lot of the runners looked very stressed but a couple of the women had it in them to smile at us. You have to wonder which was the madder group.
Sorry to hear about the Accident Ray, I haven’t had time to mail you, trust you are OK.
The above pictures were taken as our group was still climbing the hill with the field of runners still coming through. It was a unique experience, I’m glad I got a picture of it.
I really like this picture as it captures what a CTC ride is all about, quiet roads and a challenge. Taken on the move it it came off, a lot of the pictures haven’t due to the limitations of digital cameras. I compress the pictures on the site so dialup viewers don’t have to wait an age for a page to load and get bored. This was near the top of the run out to Loggerheads after this it was all downhill so to speak.
Now the Iceni was trying to shake it’self to bits, somewhere I lost a mudguard mounting bolt and the clip on the chainstay bracing was loose and rattling away much to my annoyance and I suspect everyone else,s, these are not silky smooth roads. A stop gave me the opportunity to fix it. You need decent brakes on this ride, the winter bikes are half worn and hard compound, I’ve got used to “The Toy” so these feel wooden. They are going to get replaced by a set of Ultegra blocks.