Monday, February 17, 2014

Mini NWP Report

Must have been something good on daytime television this Saturday as there were many DNS's at the North West Passage. I admit that weather did look pretty grim as my brother-in-law, Rob, and I drove over Blackstone Edge into the driving sleet towards the start. Rob was visiting for a few days from his home in Scotland and had had the good sense to resist my suggestion that we should ride the 200k event but did agree to ride the Mini NWP, at a mere 75 miles.

As we drove west from Littleborough towards Rochdale I was quite impressed, considering the weather, at the number of riders being blown eastwards along the A58, almost 50 starters. Rather illogically considering the weather conditions, there were only twenty odd riders for the shorter event, I was pleased to see that Simon and Cragg Vale's  Jonathan Emberton were there and we soon formed a disciplined quartet at the head of the field.

A lot more west in the wind than had been forecast gave us plenty of variety, tail wind to Tod, head wind up the valley over Cornholme, tail wind over the Greystone climb then a head wind through Bolton-by-Bowland and on to the Waddington check.

The cafe was unusually quiet, we loitered there for an hour or so sitting on chairs that the staff had quickly  bin-bagged upon first having sight of us. After a leisurely lunch and tea drinking session the cheerful staff armed themselves with mops ready for our departure .

It took a while for the cafe legs to get going again with Simon and Rob beginning to pay for a lack of winter miles but their prayers were answered when we picked up helping breezes over Oswaldtwistle Moors and Old Betts.

Rochdale was looking as good as ever on the long fast descent from Owd Betts and although we spent what seemed like about half an hour at red traffic lights through the middle of town we were back at the Spring Inn 20 minutes before we were due (due to the lower max. average speed requirement on the Mini).

Well done to Mel, Chris and the VS lads, only 10 or 15 minutes slower for the 209k than what would have been likely in good weather.

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