7th September 2010
Route: WP, Long Ash, Denham Bridge, Fishacre Wood, Lopwell, Roborough Down,
Riders: Paul, Keith, Sam, James, Stephen, Paddy, Colin, Martyn, Greg, Nick & Simon.
Arrive HQ: 22:15
Distance: 15 miles
Weather: Mild, no rain, but surprisingly wet!
Dive! Dive! Dive!
Eleven gents started out from W.P. Someone had the great idea to
head for the wood above Denham bridge?? Peculiar, considering we
had plenty of rain, and the wood is boggy in the driest periods.
James made it as far as Yelverton playpark, due to mechanical complications,
0.7 of a mile or 1 km if he prefer. The plan was to get to Long
Ash and proceed down to Denham bridge AS A GROUP. It quickly became
clear that this was going to be a fragmented evening of miscommunication,
accusations and rumour. There were more stoppages and false starts
than the Monty Python incontinence Olympics, (remember that sketch)?
As a series of flashbacks, this
was my own experience:- After getting separated from the main
pack (Martin had already been
abandoned at this point), Paul and I found Stephen repairing
a puncture and watched on bemused as he succeeded in freezing
his fingertips to the rim of his wheel when using his newly purchased
gizmo, intended to inflate the inner-tube. At least we could
now rest easy, the Routemeister would now get us back on track
and probably arrive before the others. Stephen was not feeling
himself, on a number of occasions, offering “I’ve
never been here before” or “I am not familiar with…” We
did eventually find our way into the afore-mentioned boggy wood,
which was erm..... boggy. From here the tide was right, so we
could head down to Lopwell dam. Paddy’s evening began to
take a turn for the worse here, traveling at speed his first
was caused by a shelf of granite. He picked himself up and continued
again at speed to the waiting dam.
Greg was first to mount the
dam wall 2’ wide, slippery
as hell, the water 5 foot deep up river and 5 inches deep the
other side. Being just behind Paddy again, I had the best view,
as he slowed to a snail’s pace on the wrong side of the
wall, inching ever-closer to the watery abyss, caught between
trying to unclip or take aversive action……………stationary,
then, falling sideways, Yes, fully submerged for a few seconds,
re-emerging, trying to haul his bike from the depths. On account
of it being the single funniest thing I had ever seen, I was
in no position to assist!!
The rest of the ride after this point
was a blur and quite honestly insignificant, it included a bastard
hill, Nick and Simon taking a diversion via Roborough, Paddy
taking an early shower and a couple of well earned pints. After
an unpromising start, a most enjoyable evening. Cheers Paddy!
President's Footnote: We welcomed Simon back
into the fold this evening, one year and three days after his
last ride, and that was the Brewery Tour! He had also attended
the Christmas and Annual Dinners as a way of keeping his
membership intact! It was good to see him back with that familiar
slow cadence style
was commendable, despite tiring a little towards the end.