Saturday, 12 January 2013

Here's to another year...

January already, Christmas and new year quickly behind us (that was last weekend!) and thoughts turn to plans for the coming months.  The dates are plotted, and ready to go; and Thursday saw a meeting of the selected volunteer leaders for the ladies.  Numbers have grown since we started, and we clearly need to split into more groups - whether they are 'further faster' or the usual social pace.

It has been rain rain and rain for what feels like months now, and the weather watchers among us noted the thick fog we had locally late in the week preceding the first ladies ride of 2013.  But Saturday dawned at least dry, not foggy, not icy, and not windy - about all you could ask for really from a January morning.

But it was still very cold.

The ladies piled into the warm cafe from 9:45, and signed in to the rides.  I had to bring a third sheet out.  I have made new sheets for 2013, and only 8 people can sign in on each sheet.  At that point that makes one full group, and with up to two leaders it is plenty for one group.

Then I got a bit muddled and confused.  It is 10 O'clock - time to make tracks. I mentioned the leaders met on the Thursday, but we had not clearly defined who was doing what specifically, so it took us a few moments to clarify routes and groups - then I had a few moments literally juggling ladies and bikes (please stand over there!) - but soon we were underway and heading out across town via canal and river to Lache Lane, and on into the countryside.  The chaos meant no time for start up pics.

View from Borras Head towards Beeston
I was leading the further faster group; we went via Dodleston to Rossett, back road at Rossett to return to the B road, then halfway up Marford Hill.  We circled Marford/ Gresford, to the top at Borras Head, then it was downhill all the way to the cafe.

The sky was marvellous - it can be such a blanket grey in the winter, but today there were banks of peachy orange, and specs of blue, among the white and grey wisps.  Not really sunny, and a biting wind that could drive people to tears!

The other group was not quite so lucky.  The third group, a small gathering of just 6, suffered with a couple of punctures, meaning one had to even go home (she was so close it was not too bad, although very disappointed to be missing the cafe, cake and goss!)

22 ladies made it to Bellis's at Holt; a bigger establishment to hold us all.  Took my photos in between chatting, supping my coffee and devouring a quite nice bacon brie and mango chutney panini.
'Rossett Girls' and new starter - welcome (she is at least still smiling!)

Group the third - puncture experts already

Three leaders and new thumb

final FF group - before we headed back out

As we were about to leave another unfortunate puncture had to be rectified; and two groups headed back to Chester via Churton, Aldford, Bruera and up the hill to Saighton.  Then home via the bike factory for a stock up of inner tubes!

Not far now! at Saighton.
Many thanks to the leaders!

23 riders, (30 FF miles)

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