Monday, 12 May 2014

Wet and Windy

In my last post I wrote about how conditions can affect how easy a bike ride is. Sunday's ride proved the point. Eleven members assembled outside the Delaval Arms in conditions which were a lot better than expected. The plan was to ride to Hauxley and back, a round trip of fifty miles, and the hope was that the ride would be completed in dry conditions.
Heading north through the dunes into a fairly strong head wind presented the first test. Once through Blyth conditions eased and the route up to Ashington was fairly sheltered. 
The group's arrival in Lynemouth was interesting and two problems were encountered, one familiar and one totally unexpected. Firstly, a member of the group had a puncture.
Secondly, the residents of Lynemouth appeared to be holding an impromptu rodeo in the main street.
Once those two obstacles had been negotiated the route continued north up to Cresswell and the head wind returned.
It was hard work along the road to the Drift Cafe and even harder work to pass it. Worse was to come. Just beyond the Drift Cafe the rain arrived so it was a bedraggled group which made their way through Druridge Bay and into Hauxley.
The return to the cafe was accomplished in quick time as the cyclists attempted (but failed) to outrun the rain.
The bright spot of the day was undoubtedly the break in the cafe. The bacon and egg sandwiches were so good that the Gaiger Gauge has had to be recalibrated.
The return was much easier now that the wind was blowing from behind. Two further incidents are worthy of note. Firstly, the only female representative in the group failed to stay rubber side down whilst negotiating an obstacle and to add to her embarrassment only scored 8.6 for style. Secondly, another puncture resulted in two riders being abandoned by the group and having to negotiate their own way through the badlands of Blyth.
A tough ride, but fifty miles were successfully completed.