Rough with the smooth…

What a difference a week makes.
I wasn’t at all surprised to see rain make an appearance on the forecast. It was my birthday yesterday after all! Plus, a week of fairly glorious weather in May will only ever end one way.
 After such a wonderful turnout last week it was inevitable that our numbers would be down a week later. A mixture of commitments and logistical obstacles means we can’t all be out riding together all of the time but myself, Steve and Nick were all free and raring to go come 7pm. Forecast be damned!
The usual excellent service at the ‘Wing Wah Delight’ had us snarfing down our dinner in no time, although after a few too many bouts of indigestion for poor Steve I think we may be in need of a slightly less greasy alternative for future outings.
Despite the slightly gloomy skies it was actually quite pleasant on the way to our first pub stop (the Vine Inn at Dunham) where we lazily supped and caught up with the weeks events. Tales of work and minor frustrations for myself and Nick with reports of mountain bike fun in Delamere Forest, and a sun drenched solo ride on Anglesey for Steve. By the time we’d finished our first pint the sky was starting to fill with ominous dark clouds, so we decided to get back on the trail and head to pub number two (the Barn Owl Inn at Lymm)
 Due to the balmy temperature and the impending rain the trail had by now become thick with midgies, requiring mouths clamped shut and eyes at a squint! We arrived at the Barn Owl as the first spots started to fall. A quick rummage for saddle covers… orange Sainsbury’s for Steve and I, with Nick opting for a natty green Tesco’s we made our way quickly inside and promptly tucked into a pint of Wainwrights each. No free chips & gravy this week sadly. Had we arrived 10-15 minutes earlier I suspect we may have gotten some of the chips & chicken nuggets everyone seemed to be tucking into. Our timing for such delights obviously requires further refinement!
Well, the evening ended as expected…
It was however, a lovely way to end my birthday. Riding with friends is always the perfect tonic for life’s ups & downs. Here’s hoping for some sun next time.
Words & pictures- Paul Rance.

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