Sunday, 21 May 2017

Patriotic Ride around our Glorious Countryside

It has been decided that all blog posts to be published henceforth must include a picture of club members saluting the beautiful and triumphant Yorkshire flag. Not doing so will be considered an offence tantamount to treason and those found guilty will be reported, Gestapo like, to Sir Gary of Verity, High Lord of the Kingdom.

I'm crying with pride

A small selection of available Imps had arranged a ride this Sunday, to meet at, (where else?) The Halifax Toy Emporium, at the lazy time of ten am. My reputation as Mr Punctual, early bird and catcher of worms, was once again dented as, for the third Sunday ride running, I was five minutes late. My teammates had read the memo and were wearing club colours. Of course, I had to break all sorts of Velominati rules by wearing a Dimension Data jersey mismatched with multicoloured socks. At least my shorts weren't white.

Joining me and Holly on today's adventure were; Ed 'Barry White' Jandzio and Mathew 'Please Don't Call Me CockyCocks' Cockerham. At a prompt 10:07 we were off on our way. The first part of the ride took us along Burnley Road to Hebden Bridge, before we may or may not have taken a cheeky U-Turn at the Fox and Goose.

Matthew Cobbleham

After negotiating the cobbles of Heptonstall we turned off to the right, towards Widdop. ahead on the road we came across a horse and rider, and we slowed down to pass. As we were still within a five mile radius of Hebden Bridge, there was barely a double take when we noticed that riding shotgun on said horse was a rather satisfied spaniel, accompanied by what appeared to be a former member of The Grateful Dead.

The celeb spotting continued, as shortly after this we were passed by a motorhome being driven by non other than David Hasselhoff, complete with string vest, bronze skin and blonde perm.

Jandzio puts his game face on for the hairpin

Other than that, the road past Widdop Reservoir was gloriously quiet and we stopped to take in the view. Here we took the opportunity to take some moody action shots, fit to grace an advert in Cyclist magazine.

Is that a hill? 

Hydration is the key to urination

There are Imps on them thar hills (if you zoom in)

From Widdop we made our way to Colne in search of a cafe. We trawled the high street and just as we were giving up hope we discovered, like a shining light, a Greggs bakery. Stocked up with baguettes and buns we seated ourselves outside the public library and chowed down. Dismayed to find a complete lack of egg custards in Greggs, Holly couldn't stop herself from checking the Tesco metro opposite. Imagine our surprise when she emerged with four.

Imps Skeleton photobombing the shot


Sexy tubes
Suitably fortified with egg custards and suitably cold from sitting outside in the wind, the four of us resumed the ride. We managed to join the route to Cowling which Hoppy so kindly introduced us to when we did the Clarion House ride a few weeks ago. This time, however, we didn't stop at the Back Lane Ends for a pint.

Bottoms Up!
After much debate we decided to take the lengthy descent from Slippery Ford to Keighley and tackle a debut climb for us: Park Lane and Glen Lee Lane to Cullingworth, from whence Ed took over navigation duties and proceeded to wiggle us around the landscape in order to bring our grand mileage total to a respectable 50+ miles.
A windswept ruin - perhaps Hoppy has slept here?

Pottering along the cycle routes of the grandly named 'Great Northern Trail', we began to get attacked by various insects, which reminded Holly of my ladybird phobia. When in the merchant navy, and working on the Immingham-Rotterdam ferry, my ship was overrun with the black and red dotted git flies, to the extent that they'd be in my bedsheets at night and crawling in and out of the sleeves of my boilersuit throughout my shifts. I used to rather inhumanely blast them from the car decks with a fire hose. Ed commented that 'Ladybirds on a Ferry' could be the underwhelming sequel to 'Snakes on a Plane'.

Poseur of the year award nominations still being accepted

We climbed up to Raggalds and drifted to the Golden Fleece for a refreshment stop. The pub was filled with fans of the football which was being televised at the time so we sat outside and sang 80s tunes. It was then a case of zooming to Halifax and enjoying a club evening of beers, homemade burgers, The Human League, and Alan Partridge all whilst writing a blog of ever decreasing quality. A-ha!

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