As rain lashed my bedroom window this morning, I was glad of an extra hour under my duvet. Meeting in Hebden Bridge meant that I had struck it lucky being the closest to the start. 5 riders, Pete Horne, Single Simon, Vicar, Nigel and Myself huddled under a bus stop at the park gates as we planned our route. It was decided that nothing too adventurous would be sensible in the high winds and ever increasing rain.
We struck up towards Todmorden, turning to climb over Mankinholes into a direct headwind which left us floundering to keep a tight formation. Through Walsden we climbed over Calderbrook avoiding heavy traffic. Coasting around Hollingworth Lake we dropped to Milnrow and Shaw to take the long and more than gradual climb over the Black Ladd. We used the old road to drop to Delph. From here we took some lovely back lanes around Diggle.
We shouted "CYCLISTS" to 3 ladies horse-riding to warn them of our presence. The leading animal we found out was the tallest MULE in the UK named Napoleon! Onto Marsden and Standedge Tunnel to find the cafe soggy and shut. Onto Slaithwaite where Richard decided to head it alone without a cafe stop! We thought it wise to climb Scapegoat Hill to the very busy but exceptional Bolster Moor farmshop cafe.
Here we dripped dry and fine dined as Storm Clodagh whipped up to a furious rate through the conservatory window. Trees bent and people were nearly blown clean off their feet in the carpark. Sorrily we had to leave the warmth to brave the eye of Clodagh. Bikes steered uncontrollably as we dropped from the high ground towards Outlane.
We had an appointment booked at The Cross Keys, Siddal with the Imps, post free wheeling comp. The boys from Batley continued their reign of terror, winning the non pedaling discipline.
Leaving the heavies to cause chaos, we took the sensible option, with Peter showing me the delightfully steep Rosemary Lane.
Wet and Wild.
Cheers chaps! Chris.
This weeks Best Buy