Ride Reports

Saturday 3rd April 2021

Quite a chilly ride up the A6 to the Bellflower to meet up for the B2 group ride to Knott End. Just saw the B1 riders briefly before they set off on their ride. As there were 16 riders we split into three groups; the lead group of 6 led by Chris Jones, then two groups of 5, one led by the two peas in a pod (rechristened Sweet Pea and Petit Pois) Paula Mason and Annette Tucker, while i brought up the rear. This was a great route for the first group ride for ages, the small amount of climbing was all at the start and lots of quiet lanes. The crossings of the A6 were accomplished with ease and our first water stop was at Crimble lane where the specially organised entertainment of watching 20 parachutists descend into the field just behind us was much appreciated.
The meander from Cockerham to Knott End contiued happily, having kept visual contact with the middle group much of the time, we were pleasantly surprised to find the lead group still at our chosen pit stop the Knott End cafe. Very effecient takeaway ordering and despatch service here although i do beieve an outsider created a tense moment when they jumped the gun and took one of our groups orders! After much admiring of Ste Woodwards cockpit (some members actually resorted to stroking it) it was time to move on.
Chris Jones led the first group away and as Dave Corless was feeling chilly my group leapfrogged the Peas in a Pod group and left shortly after. It wasn't long before Dave regretted his haste as he hit a pothole and suffered a pinch puncture just before Elswick. On hearing the shout i returned to the group, who had rested their bikes against a hedge, to find the homeowner coming out of the drive! Faith in humanity was restored when he came out, not to berate cyclists for messing up his hedge, but equipped with a Joe Blow track pump which he let us use to help us on our way, i dont know who you are but thankyou! After a repair reminiscent of a Formula 1 pit stop we were on our way again and soon made our turn North into Blackleach lane and home. As we passed Roots Cafe i realised this route took us past many favoured cyclists' watering holes including Saswick Farm and Bonds of Elswick. With only a slight headwind to contend with we soon wound our way back past the Plough at Eaves (which looked like it was being refurbished) to Guys at Billsborrow. The official route took the A6 back to Garstang but i left my group here to head home to Barton. I think Martin and Jane fancied the country route up Billsborrow lane and then down Lydiate lane, but Chloe and Dave favoured the A6. My figures for the ride were: 53.5 miles, 1330 ft of ascent, 13.9 mph.
Great weather, great route, great turnout, great company, great cafe stop, great support from local residents, what's not to like!

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