Ride Reports

Saturday 14th September 2019

A-Ride report - Lythe Fell via Grindleton - Paul Whaley
The weather forecast promised a last gasp of summer, so a route was planned to take willing A-riders on a gentle tour of the views over Lythe Fell, taking in Smalden Lane out of Grindleton rather than the more regular grind over Waddington Fell. (110km / 2000m elevation.)

Unfortunately, on the descent between Jeffrey Hill and Birdy Brow, Mick's rear wheel locked up at (checks Strava) 55 kph (32 mph in the old money). He went down like a sack of the proverbial, if one discounts all the bouncing and the yelling. It was quickly established that he had suffered a small graze on his right knee, so we asked him if he would like us to call him an ambulance. He said yes.

We said: "You're an ambulance." Mick, in spite of being famed for his good sense of humour, somehow failed to see the funny side of this. So we actually called him an ambulance.

"You really are an ambulance." Nope, no better.

So this time we actually called him an ambulance and had the usual bugger of a time explaining where the hell we were, what with the moaning of the wounded ("Shush Mick, we're on the phone!") and the confusion being generated by Simon Thompson's smartphone being considerably smarter than either of us trying to operate it.

Like all good cyclists we eventually decided the best thing to do would be to direct the emergency services to the nearest pub, and sent Mr Thompson to meet it - who was mysteriously enthused about the prospect of a pint and some lunch in the sun instead of standing around on a bleak hilltop for the foreseeable. We must all do our bit when disaster strikes.

This left yours truly and Peter Heyworth to stand around looking useful every time a car went past for however long it would take.

"I'm cursed," said Peter.

"I know," I said, "with your face like an Indonesian monkey-god."

"I mean I keep breaking people's collarbones."

A slightly awkward silence.

"I thought he was making a lot of fuss over a scuffed knee," I said sheepishly, wondering about whether the Professor could be convinced to do a refresher of his first aid course.

After much waiting and being supplied with useful goodies by ever-helpful passers-by, including paracetamol and a chewed dog blanket to keep Mick warm (for the record, one particularly handsome, alert and well-prepared young man had a space blanket in one of his pockets), it became apparent that the "emergency" services might need to rethink their branding a little. No ambulance had been dispatched, and none was forthcoming due to high demand. "I've got pretty high demand!" said Mick, foolishly demonstrating his condition had very much not deteriorated.

By now Pete's ever-suffering better half had turned up to collect Mick's bike. We cancelled the ambulance, tossed the bike in the front seat and Mick in the flat-bed, and sent them off to Lancaster General. Pete went with, leaving your narrator and Mr Thompson to trundle off on their own.

Much chat was had in the sun, the views and roads were indeed stunning (the conditions permitting little-used, somewhat rattly detours), a slightly outre understanding of bar position was corrected with a view to preventing future accidents, and by the time we had both knocked off a ride that might slightly have exceeded our conditioning we were plain knackered.

Mick was still in A&E, poor chap. Please send grapes. Accident photo courtesy of Pete the Pap; rubbing-it-in-later photo courtesy of myself.

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