Met up with Anthony Ashby,Phil Simcock, Stuart Poole and first time rider (with us) Jane Dracup who hails from Longnor. Plenty of activity at our usual meeting place due to the Totally Locally Market. It felt much warmer than the 2 degrees forecast. Planned to have a fairly flat ride as Jane explained that she is not particularly fit at the moment and so planned a ride that would take in Cheadle and Uttoxeter. Stuart informed us of a fire at Milton and instruction for locals to stay in. We headed off to Cheddleton but it soon became apparent that we were riding straight towards the massive plume of toxic smoke and so a detour towards Basford and Ipstones was made – so much for a flat ride! Unfortunately Jane struggled a little but battled on. We had a great view of the scene at Milton from Ipstones. I was very impressed with the way in which Stuart flagged down a couple off approaching cars that were going way too fast- the drivers were most taken aback by this display of assertiveness and just whimpered in response! Jane decided to return back to Leek and so took a left at Ipstones Edge. We headed on to Oakamoor and through to the cafe at Denstone where we had gastro bacon baps (Phil of course had brown and red sauce) and Stuart had beans on toast, the latter arranged in a stack! All very nice if a little expensive. Quite a few other cyclists about. We returned via Wooton and back to Ipstones Edge where we came across two former Leek CC members- Paul Whiston (Wizz who has replaced cycling with dry stone walling) and Mark Poyser who was out on his winter bike – a De Rosa. Over Bottom House x- roads and up to Morridge. Stuart was not going to let recent minor surgery prevent him from fartlek training and so he would periodically shoot off and then wait for us – he’s looking very fit. Back via Bradnop and left at Sera. Good 33 Mile first ride of the year, with everyone safe and sound. Not a drop of rain or hint of road rage.
Written by Club Rider Andy Bain