Back in the saddle again
After four weeks out of the saddle I made an almost last-minute decision to get out yesterday. The forecast was promising. Within a mile of our start point we had stopped under some trees to shelter from a heavy rain shower. I had been too tired to put the wheels back on my touring bike the previous night, and scrabbled around in the morning to put together the things I should have got sorted out the night before. So I set off without sunglasses and with my Camelbak bottle still on the drainer. A bit later the batteries would die in my Garmin. And Dave's rear brake cable snapped. Was it going to be one of those days...?
Fortunately (?) there was no sunshine early on – so my lack of glasses wasn't really an issue; Sainsbury's Local provided some water; I replaced the batteries in the Garmin a few miles down the road; and – despite promising to be ruthless with my kit – I had a long enough spare brake cable in my rack bag for Dave to sort out his bike at our morning coffee stop.
We were rained on for most of the morning. I didn't mind; I was glad to be out with 'the lads' for the first time in ages, despite my coughing and spluttering for much of the day. Unusually, our late morning coffee stop was used by all of our little group – as well as more cyclists and others making use of the Reading Rooms at Londesborough. It was my first time there and very pleasant it was too.
Normal service resumed with our packup chaps; for lunch we crouched around in the bus shelter at the top of this post. (For a few moments I was frozen out of the conversation when the others talked about the merits of their free bus passes.) Earlier, I had thought of Hilary when we had a nosy at the two Roberts bikes below. And again when we were in the bus stop. No stoving for us, but as I'd eaten a sandwich, four sausage rolls, two cakes and drank two coffees I wasn't worried about running out of fuel on the way home.
We turned home in to a headwind, but by now the sun was out and we 'decaped' and twiddled south. There was time to shepherd some ducklings off the road and back in to the little pond they shared with at least three broods of goslings. (Continuing the ornithological theme I had earlier tried and failed to get a good photograph of a red kite we saw circling close to another around our coffee stop.) Nice to get out again.