Usually a May event, this year’s bike ride was rescheduled cleverly to clash with Angus Whyte’s 30th Wedding Anniversary staycation. Put to the ultimate Ramblers Loyalty test, he failed. It was a better excuse, though, than Handley, whose fields surely could have coped without him for a few hours.
Anyway enough of the absentees. There were virgin cyclists in Rogers and Bagpuss (bringing new concepts of both the selfie and drinking half-pints, more of which later), together with Murf”s son-in-law, put on a child’s bike to avoid showing up the old man, and yet more McNay acolytes. The traditional meet at the club at 11am was brought forward to 10.30am as this year the Guinness on the ferry had to be taken at the terminal. A surprise but very welcome fangirl trio of Stuart Keppie, Willie Hall and Degsy Coalter (not in the picture as he took it!) turned up to share in the drink, kindly brought over by the advance party of Lazarus and Hodgson.
Ferry trip negotiated, aligthting at an unusual Wirral landing stage meant a slightly more inustrial route to the Traveller’s Rest, where enough sandwiches had been layed on for double the numbers. News that Bagley was self-isolating in Northern Spain had not got through. The only downpour of the day was avoided by most, and it was on to the Thatch. The approach is not universally known to be one of the most dangerous routes in cycling, but what will now always be known as Howat’s Corner nealry brought the paramedics onto the scene.
Frightened by the heady combination of White Rat and elite sport, Bagpuss reduced his own rations, Oracle Lazarus not able to recall any previous purchase of half-pints. Do not be misled by the photo, the long-time 1st XI Number One actually has tiny hands.
The Peleton assembled (sort-of) for the descent from Neston Cricket Club to the Red Lion, not quite the Champs-Élysées at the end of the other great cycling event in the calendar, but you get the drift. Another fine day had by all.