Thursday, 20 November 2008

Peak Riding

I finally managed to get away for the weekend and spent a great couple of days around Ladybower Reservoir in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire. It was to celebrate the occasion of an old university friend turning 30 and as such he'd gathered a group of his cycling friends together as well as a couple of old faithfuls Mike (aka Miggy due to the confusion of two Mikes being best friends) and Tom who I also met at university.

Laura and Lisa on the dirt track to Mike's parents.

Sadly Tom couldn't make it as he's off making his fortune. And sadly, Miggy almost didn't make it either with a rather lucky escape involving the dark, winding lanes around the reservoir, a missed turn, some slippery roads and some poor judgement. But we've promised never to speak of that again. It's not the kind of story a wife wants to hear in detail. So moving on swiftly...

The weather wasn't great on Saturday and I haven't ridden for a while so decided to go on the easy ride with the ladies, rather than the testosterone fuelled gnarl-fest I sensed was going to occur with the boys. I don't often get to ride with a group of women, actually I don't often get to ride with a group of anyone, but hey ho. So a gentle trundle around the reservoir sounded like a good way to spend a dreary Saturday afternoon in November.

I couldn't believe how many groups of riders of all ages and abilities we bumped into. In some cases, literally. (Ahem, Laura!) Whilst me, Kirsty, and Lisa played 'child dodgems', Laura was still using the old novice excuse and playing 'child bumper cars'. The three of us all managed to negotiate our way through hoards of weaving, unsteady children, then there's a "ooh, ah" doof! I turn around to see Laura standing in the middle of a group of stationary, confused and annoyed looking children. 75 beer points to Laura! (Bloody beginners luck if you ask me... ;-)

Kirsty above the reservoir close to the house.

Lunch stop at Mike's parents overlooking the reservoir was all very civilized and then it was back to the fantastic Ladybower Inn to scrub up into my Sunday Best for the birthday dinner and less civilized consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.

Much laughter, fun and mickey taking was had with friends old and new. Even though Mike, Miggy and I only get together once every couple of years, (and I have to point out how much we were all missing Tom!) I've known them for 10 years now and we soon slip back into the old student ways. I should see them more often and we should really get together more often; busy lifestyles, different interests and separate groups of friends seem to prevent it though. But we all understand this and make the most of it when we are together (Tom! Where the hell were you?! Why weren't you there?!)

Still, great friends, great riding, great digs, great food and great beer. Great weekend all round.

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