Lark ride to Church Minshull, 15 June 2019

The Lark ride to Church Minshull can only be described as nothing short of magical. Only three of us; but that doesn't matter. Maybe it was the anticipation of many of the coming crappy weather, or perhaps taking part in other more pressing activities, or, dare I say, the absence of the pre-warned esteemed regular and ambassador of leading, Chris C. Anyway, advanced warning of me leading the ride, of course, was out the question as a reason.

We embarked in good spirits, and not even dampened by the absence of a team photo at that start, or the frequent reminder that that's what Chris would have done. The were gaps in the field over the first 15 miles where hills were there on route to warm up the legs. Gaps in conversation too, well, from me anyway, as I paced at the speed of the slowest rider, watching the other two make it look easy whilst I was pushing well past threshold performance. Still, I thought - even on the flat bits - it allowed an effective 'mop-up zone' should one of the other two not keep up at the heart racing pace we were at pretty much most of the time. I did bridge the gap though many times over the course of the ride, though maybe perhaps possibly due to the two ahead waiting at junctions. No, I bridged the gaps each time with putting-the-hammer-down degree of almighty efforts... *ahem*

Feedback, as ride leader was overall positive, praising and warm, with effective permissions given by myself to re-routes due to aarrgghh a gravel section on the route - a poor error on my behalf to not have thoroughly checked the route beforehand. Phil K would have been pleased with those though. I think I also heard the words awesome, amazing, inspirational; but with the blood rushing through my ears, it's tiny bit possible my ego was just trying to be nice to itself. We joined the Larklings at the café. There was some intermingling, but not much as they had got there first and were looking a bit smug. A great ride. Thankfully though, we missed the rain. Ride in the high 50s in terms of miles covered, and an average 16.1 mph, which is pretty good considering the first half was hilly.

Simon R.

Simon Robinson