Saturday, 11 May 2013

Leading from behind

It is true that to lead a group, to be followed, means that you are usually up front, ahead of the riders.  And that is where I have been, for every ride in the last five years.  And that is fine, I know where we are going, and what the road ahead is like.  So it was a very pleasant change when we only had enough riders for two groups this Saturday, and I was able to follow Jo-anne with her planned route.

Moira leading a small select social group

Blossom and black clouds

With a forecast of rain and more rain, wind, and temperatures dropping below the previous sunny bank holiday weekend, it was delightful to have 16 riders.  I set off with the faster group, wearing my new waterproof.  However, with the wind behind us it can feel a bit warmer so off came the waterproof.  We could see rain clouds over Delamere (glad we changed the destination!)

Our destination was Manley Mere - it felt like a good distance with short bob home afterwards.  So we followed a route round the lanes between Barrow, Ashton and Manley, before dropping down the steep Manley bank to the cafe - just catching up with the other group as we arrived.

Sandstone cutting at Manley
Riding at the back of the group enabled me to see everyone and to see if there were any gaps. Hopefully Jo was reassured when she saw me that we were all up, no-one was left behind.  That is why I have usually appointed a 'back marker' in any group I lead, and although I have six named leaders, there are other riders who,over the years, have also taken up this back position.  Very important - and thank you to you all!

Anyway, back to the cafe.  The preferred table (ie the one around the fire) was slightly taken, so some ladies started to take other tables - till there was a whisper that the table was now free - so most of us re-located to the big table (and I secured the big silver chair!).  I passed my camera round - too many pics to post them all - but they are all on the facebook group page (apologies if you are not on facebook - so here are a few)

There they go.....

In the end, the time had come to head back out into the wind.  We managed to pick a dry spell, but no-one fancied a long route home (quit while you are ahead), so we set off down the driveway, to the lanes.  We sent the first half ahead - but the rain was starting so we left too...

...and into a big wet cold windy shower!  Not good in shorts!

Believe it or not, the sun was back out before we got to Mickle Trafford, as evidenced in the final photo of Kath on the Greenway (before another big black cloud - hail this time!)

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