It was a less than encouraging forecast and as I pedalled through developing rain towards the start at Halton Station I wondered how many would turn out. Two. Three if you count Ruth who appeared at the beginning and made a dash for the cafe by the shortest route. Wise!
Len, Patience and I rode up through Halton Park with wintry conditions under our wheels as well as blowing in our faces. Reaching the top we didn't take long to decide to take the shortest way onward to the cafe at Wray. However a certain amount of caution was evident on the descent towards Gressingham, the icy road of the Park fresh in our minds.
At the Cafe we were greeted by Anne and Gilly as well as Ruth. It was very pleasant sitting there by the stove but all good things come to an end. At that point everybody decided on the option of going home. Well, I thought, if I just set off in the right direction I can make up any story I like.
The party of one set off up the good old Mewith Lane route as planned. The wind-borne sleet continued in my face until a left turn after Mewith crossroads led steeply down and up, crossing the railway and river. This part was reasonably sheltered but as I worked my way up, across the A65 towards the top Clapham to Ingleton road, things became frisky and bracing. Turning left downwind on this road initiated a turbo-charged descent to Ingleton. In the cafe I met two young men from Burnley. They appeared to be equipped and dressed for a pleasant spring day. Oh well, each to their own.
Anyone who knows the area will be able to guess the route back to Lancaster, and with a fair amount of following wind it went by quite quickly, though not exactly dryly. As I passed through Halton Station again. I reckoned the ride distance from there to be about 60km. It was one of those rides when everything goes straight in the washing machine because it will come out dryer than it went in.
Len and I have just got back from today's ride, feeling a bit damp, but glad to have been out. There was only the two of us and Ruth joining Andy at the start and Ruth chose the direct route to Wray. We three cycled up through Park, crossing a few icy patches, but all staying upright. We met Gillie and Anne at Wray and thawed out with coffee and cake or a scone. We then returned home, having seen the forecast for heavy rain or snow from 1pm, but Andy soldiered on towards Ingleton on his lonesome.