What a good day this one was. Despite missing some of the stalwarts of the club, DAS get well soon, we had another great turnout. The attendees were-

Myself, Beans, Nick Selibas, Goldy, Baywatch, Nick, Mark Wilkes, Bobby, Ian Keith, Steve Haines, James Peach, our four new boys ex-eclipse (Martin, Rich, Rob and Nick) and also a first timer called Mark.

Unfortunately Mark had not been on the bike for 6 months and really suffered very quickly as soon as the road went uphill.. He decided to call it a day after only 5-10 miles. Nick also turned back early due to a previous engagement. Son playing football or some other dubious excuse.

The run out was disjointed to say the least. Firstly Baywatch was having all kinds of problems with his gears. Clearly in need of a bike maintenance course. Then Martin Osman got a puncture, so after 2 stops for Baywach and one extended for Martin we eventually got some continuity in and worked our way down to the Shirehorse centre near Stratford. We were not the first who had chosen that location. A large number of the Solihull were already there. It was my first visit, and it is a nice place, though the thrash metal background music was a bit different.

The way back was more direct, and we also benefited from a strong tail wind. We did have to fight our way up Stratford high street which is always good for a laugh. An amnesty was declared until Ullenhall due to the fact that this was supposed to be an early winter club run, after which apparently anything could happen. There seemed to be some anticipation of this and things were kept brisk, the guys on the fixed wheels were praying for no further increase or they would disappear in a blur. Some people at the back were generally grumbling that it was all that Bob’s fault. After his pasting last week he seemed confident of going better this week (relatively at least) and was upto his usual tricks. Due to the large number of good class riders in the bunch a small plan was hatched. The idea was to have one of the “lesser” riders up at the front. Bob would of course not be able to take this effrontery and would come to the front so show how strong he was. Another one of these “lesser” riders would also make sure that the boot would be put in at the bottom of the hill out of Ullenhall then we would all drop back into a gentle second group leaving Bobby with the big boys where he would hopefully find things a little too hot and drop off. A devious and nasty plan for which I apologise for my part in.

Anyway 3 or 4 miles before Ullenhall it was me at the front, and though I can’t say I set a scorching pace, I kept it brisk especially on any small rises. True to plan the boot went in big style at the bottom of Ullenhall. Rob came steaming through to the front and just as quickly straight back out the back. Good attempt though. Then the big boys came flying past. Led by Wilkes and Beans. That was the last I saw of the front guys, but I still made it over the hill ahead of Bobby. As I slid backwards over the top I was happy in my lot. Mission accomplished. Bobby was chasing Rich Deeley, but was well back from the front group, shame. I made my way back to Becketts happy with my lot.

Back at the roundabout the guys filled me in on the rest of the ride. Wilkes and Haines had ensured that a ridiculous pace had been kept all the way back. Beans for his part was unable to stay this pace but came in with Rich Deeley and AN other (I have forgotten now). Rich having left Bob with the immortal words from the magnificent one “go on, I will only slow you up!”

On that note I leave you. Yours contentedly. Meg