First ride out of 2017 and I was volunteered to lead, 10:00 am seems a late start but it’s a bit like catching a plane, you have to get there, you have to get there early, and there seems to be so many things you need to do before you leave. So it was an early start for me out with the dog long before dawn, the weatherman was right for once and it was pouring, but neither my dog nor the fisherman I spoke to seemed to mind.
Back home and change cloths, oil the chain and off I go to meet Paul at the petrol station, passing two Lycra clad runners on the way, Paul arrives and we exchange banter, I suggest the rain is easing and give the time honoured sign of an open palm turned towards the sky, to which I’m informed I am still sat under the canopy, we chuckle and depart.
Arriving early at The Jolly Boatman, we park were the bikes can be seen from the road and point them in the direction we intend to go, then take shelter under the porch and indulge in conversation, 10:00 am passes with nothing other than a text from Ted, the pub cleaner comes out and offers us a coffee and we have a three way conversation for another twenty minutes; it is now decision time, forward or back.
Forward it is, through the conurbation of Kidlington and out into the countryside, hump back bridges sweeping bends slippery railway crossing and we arrive at Yarnton nurseries, hot tea, warm bacon butties and more conversation was the order of the day; just time to purchasing exotic beers from the extensive selection on offer, load the beer on to the bike’s and onward again, we walk round the corner to the antiques shop. Sometime later after looking at lots of recognisable item that we had once thrown away – it was slightly sickening to see the prices they were now fetching.
Time to go home? But the rain has slowed and I can see the sky was lighter, I suggest we could go for a ride, Paul’s look said otherwise, so back to Banbury it is and the heavens open again, on us and the small children that were playing rugby in a muddy field.
Yes it was wet, but we had a good time.