Sunday 15 May 2011

Plagued with Punctures!

13 at the cafe, puncture No.1 fixed
It is bad enough to experience a puncture when out of a ride, but to have one (or two) before you even set off is just darned unlucky!  So began our May ride, with a first timer and her flat front tyre.  Jean leapt to the rescue, and I left them to find and fix the hole while I attended to the next mechanical question - Angela arrived mudguard in hand!  It had 'fallen off', so we just took it off and left it with the cafe to pick up at a later time (good excuse to come out to the cafe!).
After the puncture was found and fixed, we set off - but most unfortunately Jean now had a flat tyre.  She waved us on - but in retrospect I should've told her to meet us in Waverton - just didn't think - so this is my public apology - sorry Jean, I will buy you a cup of tea next time to make up for it!

Joining the canal near Vicars Cross
I had a plan b and c in case of rain, and the wind was strong so was not sure how we would get on. We set off up the canal, and followed it out past Waverton (joining the road at Eggbridge), until Jane (another one!) also had a puncture.  I sent the ladies ahead with Marvellous Moira while we attacked Jane's puncture.  As we crossed the canal at Golden Nook (I love the way all our canal bridges have names - is that just a local thing?) we found Emma, Jane and Jo attending to Jane's second puncture.  (We have had words about this!!).

It was just getting so complicated, as now the other 7 girls had pedalled off into the distance of Tattenhall.  I left the four with directions to 'stay together and follow the road!' while I bombed ahead to find them.  With the tailwind I was averaging about 21-22 mph!  However, I was also conscious how strong the wind was (that we would have to head into to return), and that the time was getting later, so I ditched plan a (we will try that another time) and reverted to plan b which was to head to Old Ma's.

Finally we all landed at Old Ma's, and enjoyed a variety of refreshments before some headed back.

Heads down into the wind at Gatesheath

...and on towards Bruera.

We, the main group - now 8 of us - returned via crossing the A41 and into Bruera and Saighton.  Stopping at the top of the hill by Abbeygate College there is a lovely view across to Eaton Hall. And the sun was out!

View to Eaton Hall across the fields.

21 miles.  4 punctures.  No rain!

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