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Club Hard Man Goes Rigid, Gets Wet

Wednesday MTB

Another wet, windy and unpleasant day in this coldest spring for 50 years.

That might have had something to do with the turn out being just The Club Hard Man.

At 7.10 it was looking promising. Heavy rain for most of the afternoon had turned to dark clouds.

At 7.15 a car pulled up with two old ladies in. The CHM's initial thoughts were "At least I won't be the slowest rider out tonight." However, as the pair emerged it became apparent that they were not dressed for cycling but for a night out on the tiles. They looked in the CHM's direction and stared. He began to feel very vulnerable being on his own. To his mind they were out looking for a good time and the CHM was on the menu. To their mind they were thinking "Poor lamb. None of his mates have turned up." They then wandered over to the Arden Arms so it was a case of "See you later girls!"

After about a 100 laps, or 1.2 miles of the car park (check on Strava) it was time for the CHM to head off and test out his skills on a fully rigid single speed.

Initial impressions...must let some air out of the front tyre and avoid roots.

The options of one gear or hike a bike meant the plan was to stay low and follow the canals.

No sign of rain through Woodbank. The coat was getting wet from the inside. It had to come off. This could turn out to be a dry night.

Emerging from Woodbank onto Dark Lane it poared down. There is a segment from here to the top of Clapgate so "ride fast-coat later" saw CHM equal his best time. The coat went on top of a now dripping jersey just about 30 seconds before the rain stopped.

Now for the canals and off came the coat. Through Marple, down to Strines Station and then along the valley back to Marple.

But when the CHM got to the foot of the Fox Climb he got a daft idea about creating a new segment from past Lilly Bank Farm, down Linnett's Clough and up Lakes Road, so up The Fox he went. He is the CHM after all.

At present, three Clarion riders are on that list, headed by Rod Mason. Paul Whittaker currently gets the bronze.

Paul: Feel free. Go for it.

Climbing up towards Lilly Bank Farm the heavens opened up once again.

Going down Linnett's was a joy. Never a comfortable ride when the the front end is soft and bouncy, the CHM was getting blurred vision with the vibration.

On the ride back to the Arden Arms there were two thoughts, three really, on the CHM's mind: sandwiches and old ladies!

These plans went down in flames as the pub was empty of Clarion riders (I say riders...) and what of those two old ladies? No sight or sound.

They ate our butties and scarpered.

However, the good news is that the sandwiches are on order for next week at no (extra) charge and the CHM had a great ride!!!

Report by: Billy No Mates