Eleven riders out today. We are accustomed to not getting any rain but today we rode through a Sahara sandstorm. Well, not sand but certainly very dusty and blown from the Sahara.
As you might have guessed, all that dust blew up one heck of a thirst that we had to quench at the Bradgate Park cafe, Wheatsheaf and with refreshements from Jan.
Embers On Tour, Morecambe
Lock up your grandmas, the Embers are on tour to Lancashire.
On Monday afternoon the Embers/wives/partners (and one furry toy to make our party up to 14) arrived in Morecambe to a wet start. We unloaded our bikes and ten of us set off for a circular tour of the Lancaster Canal, Lune Aqueduct and Lancaster, mostly via cycle paths. The rain lasted about 10 minutes into the start of our cycle trip and from then on it was dry, with days of wind, cloud or lovely sunshine.
First day 12 miles covered.
Day two was our longest cycle ride of 29½ miles with some difficult hills which was completed by all except furry friend. We cycled out to the Bowland Forest and then to Glasson on the Lune Estuary for tea, cakes and a view of Blackpool Tower on the far horizon.
On the way back a bit of a sightseeing in Lancaster with more tasting of food and non-alcoholic drink brought our cycle ride to an end.
Day three we cycled up the Lancaster Canal to Carnforth and its railway station where they filmed Brief Encounter. After a brief look round the visitor centre we decided to stick to our diet of cakes and tea/coffee in an extremely friendly cafe. Well, the guy behind the counter was but not the other customers as they seemed to disappear when we walked in. Strange as we are so quiet!
In Carnforth we split into two groups. Some returned to Morecambe for a bus trip to Lancaster and a bit of shopping. The rest cycled to Leighton Moss RSPB reserve where Mick and Helen stayed to do a bit of bird watching. The remainder cycled up to Yealand Redmayne and then back to Carnforth to meet up with Mick and Helen for - yes - more tea and cakes at Carnforth Station. Poor guy behind the counter had a double dose. Pays not to be too nice, friendly and cheerful because people only come back.
Mileage: Group 1 12 miles, Mick and Helen 20½ miles, Old codgers 25½ miles
Thursday and what was to be a short 12 mile trip turned out to be 21 miles completed by all. We cycled south to Heysham visiting Sunderland Point and Sambo's Grave. On what was a lovely sunny day we met some interesting local people, one of whom had refereed a Leicester City match in the 1970s. For most the return to Morecambe with the wind behind them was the best part of the ride. Think you would have enjoyed that bit Ben, plus the stop for - yes - more tea and cakes.
You may think that our time was all tea/cakes and cycling but no. After an excellent three course dinner at the hotel, a walk to Wetherspoon for the odd drink and a chat about everything and nothing ended our days. Some stayed at the hotel to watch the nightly entertainment.
Thanks to Mick for organising the Strathmore Hotel (great choice) Dave and John A for planning cycle routes and navigation., Leon C the guy who waited on us at table and made our stay enjoyable.
Lastly a big thanks to you all who came on tour. You all made it enjoyable and cycled from 62½ miles up to 88 miles over the week.
Mick Ayriss posted a daily diary and more photos on our Facebook Page.
Red Lion, Gilmorton
In search of a new hostelry hidden on familiar roads. We welcomed Richard Sleath to our ranks and then twelve riders set off from Fleckney on another sunny day.
Nick decided to let discretion be the better part of valour shortly after consuming his last energy bar near Foston Church. The rest continued into the wind and up the hills, peeling off layers of clothes at every stop.
This week we sampled the fare at the Red Lion in Gilmorton and made a note to return there soon.
From Gilmorton we cruised home the "flat" way through Arnesby with a following wind (must have been the baked beans) for a coffee at Fleckney Baptist Church.
Blue Bell, Desford
This week we welcomed Velo club members Kathy and Nigel Lines who gave up a day's leave to whip us into shape. (Didn't work.)
The group before we joined up with Nick Reeves at Thornton. Roll your mousewheel to zoom in.
Left to Right: Ian Bower, Mick Ayriss, Nigel Lines, Kathy Lines, Richard Clark, Helen Ayriss, Richard Sleath, John Muschialli, John Ashworth, Grahame Billington, Ben Crossley, Dave Parry, Derek Jordan and Peter Wright.
We stopped sooner than expected when John Ashworth had a puncture. We all chipped in to provide advice that would help him.
Our second and third punctures were at the side of Thornton Reservoir. Plenty of water to look for inner tube bubbles.
When we arrived at the Blue Bell we could only just get in as they had a funeral party there. We hoped it wasn't for one of us.
We do a kind of steeple chase but instead of going between churches we go to pubs.
Here we are tackling one of the jumps.
When we came out of the pub it was bright and sunny. Usually we take so long by the time we leave it's Christmas.