Lark Ride to Froghall

 

Comparatively easy ride to Froghall today; ie compared to the horrendous climbs I stupidly included the other two times I’ve been there.

Some beautiful lanes and delightful, good surface, canal towpath section on both the way out and the way back. Hetty’s Tea Shop has a delightful location, with tables reserved for us after I phoned both yesterday and today, although we opted to eat al fresco. But, and it’s a big BUT (almost as big as that belonging to the victorious male contestant in the 1983 Gawsworth Festival of Flatulence, won, as I recall, by a competitor-annihilating retort from Big John Jenkins), having spent probably 10 minutes queuing to order (as on last visits), I was not amused to wait, with my 10 patient companions, 45 minutes for my minimalist beans on toast.

At least they did have oat milk and vegan margarine but I cannot remember ever waiting so long in a retail establishment on a bike ride since I nipped down to Eric Brown’s the newsagent in Queens Road, Weybridge, on my red Triang tricycle to pick up The Beano and a penny’s worth of gobstoppers in 1959.

Very disappointing, but my ill temper was rapidly assuaged by a nice ride back (more rapidly than I rode actually), the high point of which was overtaking 11 Larklings at the Pexall Road / Shellow Lane interchange, closely followed by a bumper harvest of roadside dandelions for Pet One, helping me to remain within budget on that all-important animal-feed cost-centre.

My average speed, park to home: 12.9 mph. Stunning. Giro here I come (on my sofa).

Chris

Massed Start: 11 Larklings + 11 Larks = 22 Riders.

Massed Start: 11 Larklings + 11 Larks = 22 Riders.

Caldon Canal outward leg, from front: Monica, Andrew, Russell, Christian, Mike, Simon, Pete.

Caldon Canal outward leg, from front: Monica, Andrew, Russell, Christian, Mike, Simon, Pete.

Blood sugar dipping low on our way to lunch. Little do we know what lies in store for us at our cafe of choice. L to R: Simon, Andrew, Simon, Rob, Russell, Mon, Christian, A Rider who by process of elimination must be Pete, Ewan. Rider in grey ahead is on a shopping bike and has clearly already lunched.

Blood sugar dipping low on our way to lunch. Little do we know what lies in store for us at our cafe of choice. L to R: Simon, Andrew, Simon, Rob, Russell, Mon, Christian, A Rider who by process of elimination must be Pete, Ewan. Rider in grey ahead is on a shopping bike and has clearly already lunched.

Andrew looks hopefully at the door from which our food will emerge (eventually).

Andrew looks hopefully at the door from which our food will emerge (eventually).

Let the record state (1). I am prepared to share the last four digits of my card number in order to evidence the time I paid for my repast (and I wasn’t even at the back of the queue as usual, having hauled myself up to a respectable mid-table position, perfectly acceptable for a man of my age).

Let the record state (1). I am prepared to share the last four digits of my card number in order to evidence the time I paid for my repast (and I wasn’t even at the back of the queue as usual, having hauled myself up to a respectable mid-table position, perfectly acceptable for a man of my age).

Let the record state (2). Here is the arrival time of my baked beans (deduct one minute while I worked out how to use my camera as usual). Wrist-ware modeled by Ewan.

Let the record state (2). Here is the arrival time of my baked beans (deduct one minute while I worked out how to use my camera as usual). Wrist-ware modeled by Ewan.

Caldon Canal: The Return Journey, now a minor motion picture, starring, L to R, Russell, Christian, Rob, Mon, Ewan. Supporting cast of six. Director: Me. Await the sequel: Return to Hetty’s Tea Shop - The Final Reckoning.

Caldon Canal: The Return Journey, now a minor motion picture, starring, L to R, Russell, Christian, Rob, Mon, Ewan. Supporting cast of six. Director: Me. Await the sequel: Return to Hetty’s Tea Shop - The Final Reckoning.