Gentlemen of Willowby Cycle Club
No hill too steep, no beer too dear!

Date: Tuesday 7th December 2010
Route: WP, Meavy, Greg's Leat, Handrail, Deancombe, Boneshaker, Crazywell Pool, Leat, HQ/Home/Nun's Cross.
Riders: Keith, Paddy, Colin, James, Stephen, Nick, Rob, Greg, Sam & Alex.
Depart: 19:40
Arrive HQ: 22:15 - 22:25
Distance: 16 miles
Weather: Sub Zero, Icy.

Freeze Your Bollocks Off!

When the Routemeister proposed his usual type of trip, I didn't expect a turn out of ten brave men, one very brave as it turned out! We welcomed a new gent, Alex, a colleague of Colin's. Most noticeable about Alex was that he obviously doesn't own a pair of long bib shorts, (or even a pair of 1980s track suit bottoms, Paddy) for he was sporting shorts! And the same can be said for Sam as well. Christmas shopping by their better halfs should be easy!

We tentatively set off for Meavy and as I climbed the first hill in the wrong gear all I did was spin my rear wheel on the frosty road! We climbed up to the Dam, a nice way to warm up. Onwards to the Handrail and through Roughtor Plantation to Deancombe all relatively unscathed, despite many patches of ice.

Down Deancombe to Norsworthy then up the Boneshaker to a frozen Crazywell Pool. We picked up the Devonport Leat and headed East along a very tricky section. So tricky that there was lots of stopping and the Routemeister came within a nanometer of having a dip.

Not so lucky for Nick. Riding right behind him time didn't stand still, but it definitely went into slow motion and my memory seems strangely vague. As I remember it, Nick looked like a tight rope walker having a wobble. I don't recollect the words, there were some, but eventually he ended up falling into the fast flowing icy leat right up to his neck! I recall shouting 'man over board', the first words that came into my head! Nick was trapped under his bike (thankfully carbon) and was shouting to me to get it off him. At this point I asked Colin to hold my hand, not in some strange sort of clandestine moorland ritual, but so that I could get the bike out without following Nick into the water!

With the other six front runners returning to help, Nick and bike were extricated from the evil leat. At this point I had a vision of Martyn at home (because of a carol service, take note Al) in front of his fire, slippers on, pipe in mouth, sipping a glass of mulled wine! The cold was starting to have an effect on me and I then had an image of a naked man begging for dry clothing off the rich passers by!!!

Within no time Nick was all dressed and desperate to get home. Rob and myself blatantly broke the GOWCC rule of 'showing no sympathy' and set off with him as the remaining seven just carried on as if nothing had happened. It was only now that Nick realised that his bike was freewheeling, no drive to the rear wheel! Rob proved to be the real hero from here, somehow negotiating the Boneshaker and pushing Nick at the same time!

Once in sight of the Raddick Plantation I felt we were nearly safe. Now just as the granite rocky track changed into a nice relatively smooth surface, the cold penetrated Nick's brain and he veered off line, hit the only bit of granite in sight and took a trip over the handlebars! Now it was time to phone for help, but Nick's mobile isn't made by Exposure, and thankfully I just had enough credit on mine to call Mrs Nick. Protestations of having had two glasses of wine were thrown out by Rob and myself and a rendezvous point made.

Once on tarmac, I swapped bikes with Nick so he could try to warm up a little. Ironically we met the rescue vehicle just where the ice cream van normally resides. With the bike rack frozen, the back seats went down and in went bike and Nick and off for a steaming hot bath.

Rob had to forego HQ due to Nick's sodden kit dripping then freezing all down his back and legs. I arrived at HQ not that long before the group arrived. There was lots to talk about apart from Nick's adventure, I had cycled into a wall and had two offs, Colin had two offs on the ice, Paddy went over his handlebars twice and that was just the bottom end of the Committee table!

In conclusion, a great route, but maybe we should give water a wider berth during the winter months, or we may all end up in the same predicament as Nick, the dreaded withdrawal of the priceless Pink Chit!!!! We're all looking forward to seeing you again in the summer Nick!

Reporter: Keith
PS Rob is only the purchase of a GOWCC jersey away from full membership of the GOWCC.

<<Previous ride

December 2010

  Date Route
Meavy, Greg's Leat, Handrail, Deancombe, Boneshaker, Crazywell Pool, Leat, HQ/Home/Nun's Cross.