Sunday, 23 April 2017

Back on it! Fantastic group ride in Northamptonshire's leafy lanes!

We've been back from Awesome Australia for just over a week and whilst almost everything there is better, there are some things that make life in the UK feel great too. Perhaps the biggest back to blighty bonus is getting out with my mates from C&D Cycles CC for a Saturday road ride. (Other clubs and types of riding are available, they're all good too!) The other bonus is that there's no risk of attack from a snake and even if they did you'd need 8 litres of their venom to feel a little bit out of sorts!

For one reason and another I had not been on a club ride for a very long time. In fact Christmas Eve was the last time I had been out on the road with C&DCCC! There are various reasons for that, not least my broken ribs from Cannock the day before New Years Eve. When I'd recovered it was cyclocross on Saturday's for a few weeks. Anyway my post holiday resolution is to get to as many Saturday clubrides as I can.

wait for me!

Today's route was decided democratically by Andy Brown offering a set of options and going with the majority. A little ironic given the current state of play in Brexit Bound Broken Britain. This poll was successful though as a lovely route was selected along the leafy quiet lanes of East Northants which are perfect for group rides. Mr Brown was unable to join us as he was racing at the NCRA Road Race at Old. Good skills Andy!

C&D's power couple

Before setting off we split into fast and banter. Clearly the majority valued fun over performance as only three volunteered for the fast group. Also decided by general consensus, we sent Bairdy to join the three magnificent specimens in the quick group. Too right too, he's the most improved rider in the club over the last year (as long as it's on tarmac.) The banter bunch was also swelled with people wanting to know all about Ken's holiday adventure's which make even our trip to Queensland look a bit standard! As per usual the laughs flowed and if the hedgerows could talk they'd have a lot to say about those rowdy Lycra Loonies!

Ken and Andy P discuss worldwide adventures

I felt great for about 20 miles and then my legs started to complain. True to the values of the club I was assisted by mates who were very tolerant of me being a big wetty for the last ten miles. I've done plenty to keep myself fit with running, MTB rides and the plethora of activities we did in Australia but at the end of the day the only way to be road bike fit is to follow the advice of the great Eddie Merckx. Anyway the truth is I need to put the miles in and also sweat out the month of beer, wine and great food that it would have been rude not to indulge in whilst away!

Image result for eddy merckx quotes

One of the advantages of having Andy from C&D out on the ride with us is that he get's to hear our bikes. Since I bought it my Giant Propel has had an annoying clanky noise that has proven to be a mystery. Anyway Andy heard it, diagnosed it and when we got back to the shop fixed it. I can report that my dawdle back home was the smoothest and quietest I've ever experienced. Great service as per usual!

For today's ride my holiday bike jersey got it's first outing. I was delighted to find Giant bikes in Mooloolaba. I really like this jersey, it goes with our club kit and it goes with my bike and it says Sunshine Coast on it and we had a great time on the Sunshine Coast. So it ticks almost all of the boxes!

However I'm also aware that buying a jersey from the big boys is a bit of a sell out! To balance that I should tell you I visited Bike Obsession in Brisbane which is a family owned business. I wanted the jersey above but they were out of stock. They took my email and did indeed let me know they were back in stock but unfortunately it was after we came home. I also visited Cycle Zone in Mooloolaba but again they were out of Jersey's.

On our return from Oz Sam had one last birthday surprise waiting as his new BMX was sat waiting for him! It remains as important to me to promote Sam's riding as much as my own. We didn't get any pics of him whilst away in his KCC Cyclones top because our big day on the bike was ruined by Cyclone Debbie (more irony, the Cyclone prevented the Cyclone from riding!) I'm looking forward to him getting back to Cyclones as I'm sure there's lots for us to catch up on.

Right then. I'm back. SuperSam is back. The blog is back. Let's get riding!

Happy Pedaling

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