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Rain forecast, but not precipitating 15/05/2024

There were plenty of Easy Riders who assembled in Weavers Park today. 15 riders went out with the long group, including our recent recruit, Amanda: 9 with the medium and about half a dozen with the short ride.

Health & safety tip for the day comes from Julie G, who got me out of a situation in 2023. This is the time of year to make sure you have some anti-histamine cream, and maybe some oral tablets, in your bar bag or saddle bag. It’s very easy to get stung by a random insect and start reacting to it before you get home to your supplies in the bathroom cabinet. Julie’s tablets last year gave me virtually instant relief from itching and swelling (and I felt fairly stupid, as a regular ride leader, for not having my own supply!).

I rode for some time at the back of the group with Lawrence, our support rider. He has excellent observation skills and was often the first to shout a warning of ‘car down’ when a vehicle was approaching our group. I think we could also improve our identification and calling out of potholes, as while it is easy for the front rider to avoid them, it’s much more difficult for following riders to see them and take avoiding action.

As ride leader Peter S had found us a marvellous route, on quiet lanes out to Oliver’s Garden Centre. Plenty of hills to demonstrate my lack of fitness, as I changed down my gears to spin very slowly up Nightingale Lane amongst others. I sagely observed that sensibly, Claire had dismounted and was faster pushing her bike up the steepest part of the hill than I was cycling! Claire is obviously cleverer than me!

On the way back, our group regularly separated for a few minutes. At one stage Lawrence (our observant bird-watcher), Bill and Claire stopped to listen to and watch cuckoos and swallows flying in the area. I find my attitude to cuckoos quite puzzling. I’m quite ok with birds of prey feeding on other birds’ young, but the life story of the cuckoo, laying its eggs in other birds’ nests and the cuckoo chicks pushing out the host bird’s young, seems totally unfair. Just not cricket, you might say! My attitude is totally illogical!

Great ride, Peter. Ace support ride, Lawrence. Fun was had by all! And we didn’t get wet!

25 miles, average 8mph.

Cathy MacTaggart


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