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Mud, Rats and half a Banana…

… not typical fare for a Saturday afternoon and indeed last Saturday afternoon my cycling companion was sunning herself in Spain and I was dining in a magnificent restaurant in Umbria with a view to die for.

This Saturday in a desperate attempt to convince ourselves we could go the distance for  Cycletta Cheshire next week we set off to check our ‘Endurance’ level.

Picking a route close to the distance that we did with relative ease last year,  hopes were high as we pedalled along discussing our holiday experiences – for me lots of spirit lifting sun

 with the ever present reminder of the impending cycle ride…

 Our gossip probably led to the lapse in concentration which almost pitched my companion into the canal… shifting balance to avoid  crashing her head (helmeted ) into a low bridge arch, she caught her  shoulder  throwing bike and rider to within an inch of the murky waters of the Leeds Liverpool!

Recovering from this misadventure we pedalled on until it began to dawn  that our memory  was playing tricks and this was a lot further than we  thought. Coupled with a miscalculation on the amount of liquid and nutrition required, inevitably we began to flag, pedalling became slower and teeth were gritted. The last 20 minutes to our destination was torture – biting  head wind, no canal path just deep rutted mud tracks more suited to providing shelter  for a passing anaconda than  our tyres but with no option we squelched on…. pedalling through the quagmire.

As we finally limped and hobbled into the coffee lounge it was clear  an alternative plan was required for the return journey… calls for rescue were considered, but over coffee, a lukewarm crumpet (sent back for re heating ) and a massively stodgy scone, Plan B emerged. Agreeing to take it easy, stop and ‘share the banana’  we remounted and a bit of road work later we made it back to the hard canal path having avoided the East Lancashire paddy fields.

We were, however,  marked women  as having got our second wind we were then thrown off balance by  a large rat  darting across our path – though I have to say it moved rather more quickly than the elderly lady who launched herself across the road as I came screaming down the hill on the road section of our ride.

Stopping at the pre arranged point for a final drink and rather pathetically to ‘ share the last banana’  – clearly we were  thinking of ourselves as the recreation of Captain Oates (I know… we needed to get a grip, but we were tired)  the final stage was completed in  glorious sunshine, which had brought out yet another rat  soaking up the last rays of sunshine.

Having survived Mud, Rats and near collapse we reminded ourselves why we are doing this – raising  funds for our local charity

We know that in these difficult times every penny counts and the grants we make, however small, really do make a difference, and we will get round the course – so thank you to all those who have already  generously sponsored Team JBT and for those who would like to you can do so at






About anneinmid

Ageing optimist still trying to make sense of life. New to blogging.

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