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

Date: Tuesday 7th September 2010
Route: WP, Long Ash, Denham Bridge, Fishacre Wood, Lopwell, Roborough Down, HQ.
Riders: Paul, Keith, Sam, James, Stephen, Paddy, Colin, Martyn, Greg, Nick & Simon.
Depart: 19:45
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 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 off 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!

Reporter: Sam

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 and his fitness was commendable, despite tiring a little towards the end.

<<Previous ride

September 2010

  Date Route
WP, Long Ash, Denham Bridge, Fishacre Wood, Lopwell, Roborough Down, HQ.
Tour of Britain, Tavistock, Princetown.
WP, Burrator, Routrundle, Princetown, Ditsworthy, Earthquake, HQ.