This Sunday saw my first club escapade this winter. After riding the club track champs in Manchester I have been on holiday and not touched the bike for about 4 weeks. No I wasn’t on holiday all that time, but I can’t remember why I did not get on the bike. Oh yes I can, it was laziness. Anyway I turned up on time, I had driven to the meet as a precaution about getting kicked. I thought that should be enough.

The Warwicks were running their two day, 2up TT event at the time so I had a quick chat with one of their marshals while waiting to see if anyone else turned up. First to arrive was Beans, having driven as well he needed to prepare the bike for the off. Our party eventually swelled until the full start list reads as follows

Myself, Beans, Linda, Bobby, Ian Keith, Wilkes, Baywatch, Hannibal, Goldy (on a fixed), Nigel Woodward and one tall interloper who I am afraid I did not know. (Now positively identified as Chris Duffield). All under the guidance of our leader, Todger.

Sorely missed were Nick the Greek, Smithy because the sod was in Verona for the worlds, and China, no doubt working on that belly by sleeping on it.

Nigel is a club member who I did not know as he currently lives in London and is not often available. Nice meet him. He seems quite decent. Good job as I believe he is joining us in Majorca next year.

The ride was a quiet jaunt down to Wellsbourne through the lanes. The outward leg was quiet enough. We only had to rein in Hannibal a couple of times when he forgot in what context we were supposed to be riding. The general chatter soon stopped when he put the boot in on a small rise. On our arrival at Wellsbourne Ali and Bob had to leave us. No doubt afraid that the pace would be a little hot on the way back. After a brief discussion on which way to head back we started off feeling quite refreshed. I thought I was going to be OK. Despite the lack of any miles I was feeling OK and had eaten well at the cafe. Wrong

Ian suffered briefly on a long hill on the way back and I thought I would get away with it if he was suffering already. But then the sod put in a recovery and it was yours truly who disappeared very rapidly out the back. I knew I was in trouble when Ian turned off to take the direct route back to Redditch. Thanks to the lads for kind of waiting for me until I was on known territory, where they then buggered off at speeds I only see in my car. Even more thanks to Baywatch for dropping off and seeing me home. It must have been even more painful to watch me up the hill through Ullenhall than it was to ride.

Beans was still packing up his bike when I got back to the car. He told me that the pace kept increasing until he was dropped, leaving just Hannibal, Wilkes and our tall friend. On the cruise home, Todger caught Beans and helped the poor lad avoid the traffic.

Well hopefully next week will be better. Yours in suffering. The slow moving one at the back of the bunch. Meg