There were several hats worthy of Indiana Jones in the small terrace last night, none alas worn by a heroic Hollywood actor, they were part of the Halloween costume choice of daughter and friends – not sure which ghostly tales cowgirls feature in but they were happy and looked amazing. My recollection of old Indy is that within the span of two hours he managed to conquer everything thrown at him and his sundry companions and inevitably emerge triumphant. So today minus the hats – we are good helmet wearing cyclists, two of us set off to conquer the Hill of Doom – well my companion has already triumphed over it but for me it was still there blocking the way to smugness.
We faced several challenges along the way – dealing with time slips due to my companion completely missing the clock change last night – battling mythical creatures – who knew Accrington was home the great metal Gekko? Every ankle biting dog in the area was rampant along the canal, and we drew several disbelieving looks as a result of the fact that we were both kitted out in identical outfits purchased from the local discount supermarket giving us the appearance of belonging to a team but without the speed of a tour peloton. Undaunted we hit our stride and even overtook a couple of five year olds as we ploughed towards our nemesis – the long hill from Accrington up to Baxenden.
The weather was brilliant – the sun came out causing us to melt in our bargain lightweight fleece jackets, but we ploughed onwards and upwards, fighting off more dogs, yet more dogs, and another group of cycling infants until there it was ……. the Hill of Doom. With gritted teeth we flew down the dip into the valley of my usual despair – my companion was up and pedalling hard and reached the summit in seconds, trailing in her wake I followed and with a monumental effort pushed to the top!
Now most people just whizz up and down this bit and don’t even give it a thought but it has been a bit of a bete noir for me and so I am basking in a feeling of achievement. I won’t mention that the other killer stretch – with a gradient close to that of the north face of the Eiger which requires a standing start is still defeating me – but that is for another day – it could possible be the last crusade. For now I am off to a warm bath with a glass of something cold, white and alcoholic to bask in a major sense of non celluloid created achievement.