Up early got my and Nick's bikes in the car and drove to Sheffield
via saturdays guest house in cannock chase so Nick could get some clothes
dropped off. After some difficulty navigating in Sheffield we got to the
riverside court hotel and dropped the car in the ncp car park. Set off for
a recce ride and covered about 30 miles doing quite a bit of climbing, stopped
at a post office for some ice cream in a plastic coffee cup, then knackered my
bikes gears by going off road around a reservoir. Back to the hotel met John Lane
and went with him to weatherspoons, to meet, Pete, Lucy and Nick pope, after beers
there we set off to the walkabout pub. We had to sit outside because of Nick's shorts,
and were joined, by Jo, Ann and jeremy and Paul at this point. After a few drinks
back to the salubrious hotel bar for a few beers and snooker and after the others
went to bed I watched the laureus awards till 2.30 am.
Up and off only slightly later than expected. Stopped at a garden centre
for a very good sausage and egg sandwich. After a shortwhile Nick, Paul
and Pete left us to go off road, due to some difficulty with my gears I
didn't join them and continued with the on road crew. We stopped at a pub
the bowling green for lunch and were able to sunbathe briefly afterwards,
We pushed on and did a little off road ourselves, before we hit a disused
railway line, and myself, Nick Pope and John Lane popped into the Royal Oak
for a few pre dinner drinks before arriving at Hartington Hall a flagship YHA.
We got some good food and some good leatherbritchs beer, and were joined by
Roger and Caroline for the ride, and Chris O Donnell for the evening. After
a few drinks the hardier souls set off to a pub in the village at which Nick
dosed for the second night in a row. Made it back safely and had drunk enough
not to be bothered by the loud snoring in my dorm.
Up reasonably early and departed after a photocall for the group. Bit chilly
compared to the previous day, but not so much climbing or distance. About
50miles but we all stayed together with no off road option as such. We stopped
and ate the YHA Packed lunches in a pub that had very good pints of pedigree
and we also took a teastop in ahbourne at a big bakery. In the evening we split
the girls to a mansion and the boys to a humble townhouse. Luckily I had a bed
to myself though. We met the others at the large pub in Cannock Chase and then
Half our number departed to the Rayliegh 21st birthday party. Those of us that
stayed in the pub enjoyed a rather over abundant meal. This time Nick and
John Lane did slightly better managing to stay up till 2am before returning
from the party.
Off reasonably early despite the late night to meet the girls. My knee was
a bit stiff and bruised from a stationary fall onto it the previous day
but seemed to work fine, we pushed along cycle route 68 on the way to Derby
for about 35 miles, and although it always looked like it might rain it never did.
We got into Derby dry and John and his dad gave me a lift back to Sheffield and
the NCP to pick up the car and drive back to derby to pick up Nick.