Thirteen riders set out with the nine AM group. The eight AM group rode out to Whaley Bridge. We set out along Buxton road and turned off for Thorncliffe and tackled the other climb to the Mermaid which soon warmed everyone up. We passed the Mermaid and headed towards Warslow but turned off to head to Newtown, a surprise to some riders who thought we were going in to Warslow. At Newtown, we turned for Longnor and down the steep, descent in to Crowdecote where we turned towards Earl Sterndale. I waited for two riders but unknown to me, they had taken a short cut and were ahead on the climb to Brielow Bar! Karl and I managed to chase down the group at Harpur Hill and we carried on to Axe Edge. Riders had to battle a strong headwind along the road in to Flash Bar and we were all glad to pull over to the cafe. It was busy but we managed to find space and were soon enjoying bucket size mugs of coffee and beans on toast.
After a reluctant start from the cafe, we rode in to Flash and the Back of The Roaches before dropping in to Meerbrook where we tackled the Gun Hill climb. It was here that both groups of riders turned up along with family and friends of the late, Ray Trafford, a member of the club who organised many races around Leek as well as the Gun Hill circuit of 1967. Les west gave a small speech and was overcome by emotion at one point but managed to continue. Ray’s last request was that his ashes be strewn by Les at Gun Hill and this was duly carried out. His last resting place marked by a plaque and flowers. Thank you to all members for attending the ceremony. We returned to Leek via Rudyard and Bridge End at 12.38 after a 37 mile ride.