After a week of glorious spring days, today was a bit disappointing weatherwise. Blue skies, warm breezes and milky sunshine had been replaced by heavy clouds and light rain. But hey as we all know there is no such thing as the wrong sort of weather for cycling, just the wrong sort of clothing. Today in spite of it being mother’s day (if it is permitted to make one criticism of the organisers then the date of this ride is it, today cost me not a few brownie points), I wonder if this was the explanation for slightly reduced rider numbers. It is ironic that as I sit post ride to write this report the clouds have cleared and there is bright sunshine. There was a cold wind which added to the wind chill and seemed to get chillier as the day progressed.
Setting off from Panagua I had 4 riders in my group. All of them had been on other rides with me so there was no need for complex rider briefings. Just a matter of saddle up and go. It was immediately clear that there was more traffic on the roads than usual. At Croydon road we were held for a long time by a steady stream of cars in each direction until two thoughtful drivers allowed us to cross. The standard of driving was questionable too, I have had two or three close passes today. Anyway that enough moaning, any day is a good for a bike ride.
In spite of the grey damp conditions on the day when the clocks go forward to BST spring was in the air. The hedges were bursting into leaf, full or chirruping finches, covered with blossom: fresh green and young.
The route today included that beast called the Hogtough. It isn’t really a hill it’s a bloody mountain. Anyone who tackles the Hog without ropes, carabiners, crampons etc. is probably verging on certifiable. My answer to the Hog question has been for a couple of years now: avoid it completely, there is a very pleasant alternative where some of my riders saw a deer last year. As we reached the top of Washpond we were overtaken by the youngsters, so you can imagine there surprise when they found themselves overtaking us for a second time in Main Road. It’s called ‘Ride Smart’ kids; when you’re our age you’ll understand it’s entirely permissible if not absolutely obligatory.
Time out 4.5
30 mins refreshments at The Cock, Halstead
Dist: 29.5 mls,
average speed: 9.6 mph,
max speed: 27.3