The Daft and Determinds have finally hit the road… well a fire road and trails which at times did appear to be the boulder strewn aftermath of a major landslip. But 13 kilometers through Gisburn Forest proved that we can all function at various levels of fitness and can in my case just about stay on the bike. A motley crew, several of whom had never met before, fought their way through torrential rain to the sunshine side of the Ribble Valley and assembled at the designated time and place minus only one of our number who uncovered a minor glitch in bike transportation, But as we said that’s what the practice was for and who could have foreseen that a bike carrier would not fit either the car or the new bike? However, thanks to the intervention of Buddha inducing a state of zen she refused to miss out and arrived to take part by running and was there to greet us all on our return.
There were children and dogs and a true feeling of belonging and team work as the more proficient cyclists displayed endless patience with those of us (ie me) who having not ridden a bike for many years and certainly not one with gears caught up and at times walked up the sheer rock faces… sorry gently undulations.
But above all we had fun, spent two hours in glorious countryside, chatted, sweated, laughed, encouraged, almost cried but all made it to the end, though my face at the end was almost as purple as the Peril. The Purple Peril made it round, it has had a makeover worthy of a Channel 4 TV series and gleamed in the sunshine, though whether it makes it to the main event is slightly moot at this point.
At the wonderful pub at the end we all ate fabulous food in the open air, chatted with new and old friends and celebrated a birthday with a chocolate cake which reminded us that we are doing this for our charity wwwthejohnburytrust.co.uk . In fact it was the thought of cake which drove us on and got us up the short cut ‘Hill of Death’ where the possibility of a collective sob and strop was dissipated by the magnificent view and the knowledge we were only half a kilometre from cake heaven.
So we are off and on the way – next run on the road and by the sea, aches and pains faded in a long bath with glass of cold wine – all in all a jolly good Sunday out!