Saturday 20th January 2018
We puttered off at "Fred Whitton Training Pace" (copyright Phil) and didn't go anywhere near Whalley Nab, on account of needing to get back on the same day as we set off.
After three hours of stories about how the various places we rode through were better back in the day, the pace suddenly livened up when Phil spied up ahead a man on a funny-looking bike who he had never met before and therefore might still want to talk to him. It was a prototype electric Ribble, already discussed on these pages to the point of the wheels falling off. We went our separate ways after a jolly chinwag and started hacking over slushy dales, with various non-essential items such as chainrings and cranks repeatedly falling off Mick and Phil's exquisitely maintained bicycles, all in perfect weather conditions for roadside repairs.
Since the Rivington cafe can get a bit chilly if one is not by the fire, we stopped in a pub. As luck would have it, they also had coals in the grate, so wet kit was dried (or warmed), and Phil very generously covered the Ride Captain's forgotten lunch money (tuna sandwich, very good value) even though he knew he was going to get murdered in the eventual ride report.(Editor's Note: This amount remains outstanding. Never trust a short man with a beard who works at a University).
After about three hours of reminiscing about the same thing over and again, we finally left the pub in time for Phil to get outside then change his gloves, and noodled our way back towards Lancaster, copping a couple more hills on the way ("Honestly, how many more hills until lunch?" was the puffing refrain from about 30 yards back. "We've already had lunch, Phil," came the patient replies.)
For the final stretch, Phil called a halt so he could explain to me how sex works. That was helpful, because I have always wondered how he did it. Things then got a bit graphic, but Mick can recommend a good industrial supplier of cut-rate [censored] and [censored] which you can [censored] while [censored] [censored] in [censored]. It's the same place he gets his knock-off WD40. (I have some notes and a couple of telephone numbers if anyone wants them.)
It was a great ride and nothing like as nasty as the weather suggested. Thanks to Phil and Mick for braving the elements, and none at all to everyone else who wimped out leaving Phil with such atrocious company