Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The off road club continues apace. We had no fear of reprisals this weekend from our skinny tyred brethren, distracted as they were by the heavy physical demands of coasting along some dual carriageway. Call me a bit of a stickler for tradition, a dyed-in-the-wool adherent of orthodoxy, a proselyte for the old ways, but doesn't cycling involve turning the pedals at some point? Descending from Ainley Top in the company of your own weight and the odd pull from the back end of a receding lorry until you simply stop, cease to move, grind to a halt, unwilling to work, might be a good metaphor for the Daily Mail wanting yet another florid way of explaining to its credulous 'readers' how our country is becoming bedeviled by a me too, hand-out culture where everyone wants to get everywhere without expending any effort, but is it a way to treat a bicycle? No. So we sticklers for real cycling went off road, that way avoiding any guilt by association. We pedaled UP and over old road, ALONG the water course, UP and over the top o'stairs and ALONG and OVER to Gorple, ACROSS to Heptonstall, down and UP from the Blue Pig, down and UP from Lumb Falls... oh you get the point by now. Snow, ice, sunlight and moor made a heady and occasionally upsetting mix (viz, Nigel's new hobby of 'static stacking', there are many different ways, evidently, of falling off your bike whilst simply standing astride it, or against it, he is beginning to go through them with a classificatory zeal). The food in Heptonstall cafe was as welcome and uplifting as it always is; sticking to long established ways serves as well for catering as it does for cycling.