Saturday 10th February 2018
Arriving at the Cobbles yesterday morning, I noticed not a single rider. With some relief I thought of heading home and straight back to the warmth of my bed until I spied Messrs Hodgson and Blackmore cowering in the sheltered passage beyond. Chris "too cool for Facebook" Berry arrived, completely bewildered by goings-on in the world of the B1s who were probably still at that moment trying to decide what sort of bike to ride, where to ride it, whether to ride it and indeed how to ride it.
Our ride coordinator, John Keohane, had already declared our destination to be Hest Bank but this thought appealed to none of us. Various forms of mutiny were discussed, including following John for just long enough to lull him into a false sense of security and then all buggering off. We settled for a more assertive course of action. When John arrived, we greeted him neither with the words "Hello" nor "Morning" but "Roots then". Somehow John believed this was said to him with the slightest hint of a question mark. It wasn't. We might have permitted him to choose between Roots and the café somewhere near Roseacre that he had suggested a couple of weeks previously on another cold, wet, windy Saturday. There was no way we were going to set off to Hest Bank with a southerly wind, knowing that the forecast was set for worsening conditions.
We ambled up Lydiate Lane and down Bilsborrow Lane to Guy's. We dodged the puddles that filled the left hand side of the road on Moss and Benson's Lanes. We kissed the wet rim of the Guild Wheel at Cottam and circled through Lea Town to Roots. Unlike our previous visit to the same establishment, there were other fools who had come out on their bikes. Larry-Grayson-like we called "Shut that door" to many an incoming and outgoing customer, each of whom had been born in a barn. Eventually, following discussion of waterproof gloves, black pudding shortages and the burning issue of whether it was possible for the sky to be any non-neutral colour on a Saturday, we set off for the return leg.
A Catforth pothole swallowed my front wheel but quickly spat it back out unharmed. Moments later, it swallowed Chris's rear wheel with such haste that his tyre forgot to deflate for a few moments. We admired the new shape of his wheel— perfectly assymetric. Chris wondered whether he could get a seal on it. Helpfully we pointed out that, in spite of the conditions (which, in case you had forgotten, were cold, wet and dismal), he was in the wrong place for seals. Further bad puns followed. Chris forgot to express his appreciation for this. He suggested we could leave him to be picked up. We didn't want him to miss our bad jokes so we accompanied him as directly as possible back to Garstang.
Thirty miles proved as much fun as we needed.