The Purple Peril spun back into action last night, as with a collective shout of…. Thank God its Friday! a small portion of Team Daft and Determined propelled their machines onto the canal tow path for an early evening 13km. We bravely ignored the rain, telling ourselves that on the great day of Cycletta it may well be monsoon conditions and we need to be prepared, a deep breath and we whizzed off over what was blessedly flat terrain.
Five minutes in and the clouds began to clear, something of a relief as I had chosen rather stupidly to wear glasses rather than contacts deciding that a last minute change could prove problematic on a narrow tow path by a deep canal. However the rain and lack of wipers on the glasses (designers take note; there could be a niche market here) meant that vision was becoming slightly blurred giving rise to the odd palpitation – not from me but from the random ducks and dogs not to mention a fellow cyclist, that I failed to notice as we bowled along. And bowl along we did… through a part of the world close to home but totally unknown to me until now, a world of narrow boats and canalside gardens and what I initially thought were rather wonderful steel art installations, until it was explained that these were some form of canalside traffic control requiring the compression of self and machine in order to squeeze through. On reflection a thoroughly sensible preventative measure ensuring we did not either a) mow some unsuspecting pedestrian down or b) in our over enthusiastic pedalling shoot out in front of a law abiding motorist who quite possibly would be scarred physically and mentally for life from a close encounter with the Purple Peril.
The Peril performed well and has had a treat since the last outing, with the addition of a squishy gel seat, which as you can see is capable of supporting a baby elephant, so it just about coped with me and made for a smooth and untroubled ride. And before the comments start… I work in sexual health and have already identified its potential use as a mobile condom demonstrator.
Only one glitch, in that having prepared thoroughly, and filled my rather lovely girly pink drink bottle with a homemade concotion of energy drink, I discovered in a parched moment that rather than nestling in its designated spot clashing with the purple of the bike frame, it was residing comfortably in the boot of the car. Hence a raising of hopes at the half way and turnaround point when it appeared that the canalside cafe may still be open… alas it was not to be. However, undaunted and ignoring the prospect of major dehydration – unlikely given that the dry mouth was more to do with the non stop chatter and gossip going on than the intensity of the excersise – we returned in excellent time in what was now glorious evening sunshine, to our start point. Here the wharfside cafe and bistro were more than happy to supply us with great coffee and scrumptious cake. Clearly I shall not be admitting to the cake when I present myself at Fat Club this week having decided it was well earned and could easily substitute for an evening meal. The cake was not only delicious but gluten free and came complete with an informative and interesting discussion from the proprietor regarding the increasing need to ensure they catered for coeliacs.
All in all a brilliant and lovely few hours with not just the pleasure of the ride but discovery of new world, new places to visit, and the knowledge that customer service and regard for meeting clients needs is still strong down on Foulridge Wharf.