|Happy Birthday to ME!|
There was only ever going to be one way to mark the completion of my fourth decade on our tiny planet, and that was to go and ride the bike which earlier in the year had had built to mark this occasion.
When we realised that the 2012 edition of the Rourke Cat & Fiddle Challenge ride was scheduled on the actual day of my 40th, it was a done deal and the entries were in. Routes were planned, hotels were booked, and loins girded. To make it a bit more of a challenge we’d decided to add the small matter of Mow Cop into our challenge to spice things up a little. We were also planning on riding up to the event the day before and making a weekend of it.
I’ve never considered myself to be righteous, but the sun certainly shone for us, and after a murky start the sun broke through and we were treated to a glorious day. The views were as spectacular as the route itself, and we enjoyed an awesome day in the saddle. This route provides plenty of climbing, along with some quite banzai downhill sections on the A53 running into Leek. Just about as fast as I want to go clad in lycra thank you very much.
Our second metric century ride of the weekend, it was time to head back to Shifnal for some much needed malted recovery beverage consumption. The curry which accompanied was as well deserved as it was delicious. It was a full on party as over 30 of us crammed into the Royal Bengal. The cycling theme was even in evidence on my birthday cake, as Julie P had decorated it with little bikes!
In what can only be described as another co-incidence perhaps my favourite local band, Hot Rod 55 were playing at Odfellows that evening too. So kids despatched to the babysitter, it was time to time to enjoy some excellent Salopian Oracle watching Rockabilly music at its best.All in all, a truly outstanding day. Thanks to all those who helped to make the weekend such a memorable one, and especially to my long suffering wife, @ASL191, for working so hard to bring it all together……