A Soggy Sausage Sizzle
I've been quietly gloating, hearing about all these rides in the pouring rain. Until this week we've had no significant rain since May. The lawn gave up growing a while ago, so thats one less job to do, although the weeds in it need hacking down occasionally. When the morning of the Wayfarers' Breakfast Sizzle dawned grey and misty I was not unduly concerned. Certainly not concerned enough to pack a decent waterproof. Instead my saddle bag was stuffed with Trangia, plate, mug, cutlery and ample food for a good vegie fry-up. A wafer thin windproof top was my only concession to inclement weather.
The mist turned to drizzle and, as I cycled the 10 miles to the rendezvous at Newport, it settled into proper wet rain. I've recently bought a new waterproof jacket and was starting to question the wisdom of leaving it hanging in the cupboard, especially as I'd justified the purchase by telling myself that it was so much lighter and more compact than my existing jacket that it would never be left behind! Only four other hardy souls had ventured out and they were all wearing full waterproofs. I was feeling rather damp now, as well as rather foolish!
Its a pleasant ride to the appointed sizzling spot on Mottistone Village Green but as I rose out of the saddle for the only hill I had the unpleasant sensation of water sloshing to the toes of my shoes. As I sat down again it sloshed back. 'Is it possible to get hypothermia in July?' I wondered. The unpleasantness of wet feet was nothing compared to the next unpleasant sensation, my back rim grating on the road. A puncture, thats all I needed to make my joy complete! I found a little shelter under an overhanging tree and proceeded to change the tube, trying not to shiver as my warm dry clubmates looked on. I'd only thought the day before what great tyres these had been (Michelin Krylion) – not a single puncture in more than 4000 miles, but now a small piece of flint was clearly visible with the escaping air forming little bubbles in the wet. As we continued on the rain eased and by the time we reached Mottistone it had virtually stopped. The depleted numbers meant there was plenty of room for everyone in the nice dry bus shelter, fortunately no one was waiting for a bus this early on a Sunday.
Huddled over my Trangia I quickly started to warm up, and as I shovelled down the resulting fry-up life began to look quite good again. I was half way through stuffing my face when I remembered that Mick always posts a very appealling photo of his lunch. This doesn't look quite so appealling and there were originally 3 Quorn sausages but I'm afraid I was too hungry to worry about niceties!
The Trangia is generally the stove of choice for fry-ups but Mike's set up was more like a mini aga complete with whistling Kettle and a very natty apron. He did however need a special trailer to carry it all in!
By the time we left the sun was shining, I had dried out, was pleasantly replete and all was well with the world. And thanks to the club's professional artist Alan Rowe we even got a certificate.