With the remnants of storm ‘Brian‘ still lingering,a strong turn out for the Leek CC club run was looking unlikely.But as always it would be case of how many and not, if any would show at the market square. Sure enough, five brave souls(fools) had made it to the shelter of the ‘Yorkshire Trader‘ shop front.
And so to the register and in no particular order
Destination- As brave as we all felt, we still held onto our common sense and were all in agreement that we should stay away from the hills as the winds were still strong and unpredictable.The undulating but low route toward Eccleshall was agreed
The route would take us out of Leek heading south east via Cheddleton towards Dilhorne and to our surprise the drizzle%appeared to be stopping but still the winds continued.
The speed was quick down Dilhorne bank before a Van in front pulled up very sharp and all had to react quickly,avoiding a collision.
The hold up was what appeared to be single vehicle accident involving a youngish man and his high performance Japanese car. He was outside the car and on his phone, already arranging recovery. The shaken chap assured us he was ok and didn’t require any help,not that a spare 700c inner tube and a couple of chain links would have repaired the damage. Seriously though, the guy was fine and so we continued.
Considering the high crosswinds, the pace was comfortable for all. Riding well as a group and rotating ‘through and off’ nicely.
The ride took us through Moddershall and Stone before arriving at the ‘Artisan‘ Cafe along Eccleshall, High Street. A well earned Coffee and snack was ordered by all except for Stu, who was apparently fasting on this ride. He was hoping to lose a few ‘All Inclusive’ pounds gained in Greece. Rich Coghill made up for Stuart by ordering an extra Tea Cake(shame on you!!!!!)
Continuing on after the Stop we headed out of Eccleshall along the Stafford Road before taking a left turn for Sandon. The crosswind that seemed to hamper us going out, turned into a slight ‘cross tail‘ heading back and so the pace was lifted. The odd punchy break from Stuart and Andy occurred more than once or twice, trust me!. Heaven knows how Stuart was fueled but he rode strong throughout.
From Sandon we rode to Bramshall where a ‘Mr Kipling’ stop was required. The pace seemed to lift again riding through Leigh and Tean before Andy B churned out a huge turn on the front along Hollins Ln,Kingsley.The rest of us holding onto his wheel for dear life, our faces must have been a picture and usually only seen in a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.And so after 71 and a bit miles we arrived back in Leek. Surviving the onslaught of Storm Brian
‘I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don‘t quit. Suffer now
and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ - Muhammad Ali