Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A Sheep's Tale...

Saturday gone I had an invite to ride part of the "Ronde van oost Lancashire" with Alan Dorrington. I was the sheep and Alan would be my shepherd for the day. I would spend the whole ride completely lost. A fresh perspective.

He didn't know me, I didn't know him. How would it go?

I arrived and was met on the doorstep - I expected him to be pixelated. He wasn't.
He expected me to be a cartoon with wobbly legs. I wasn't.

It's funny but I had no apprehension about turning up and riding. We all probably get a sense of personality from our writing so I didn't feel totally in the dark. It was also refreshing to meet new people and see new places, I was excited about the prospect. A micro road trip for me.

We rode and talked and talked and rode. We have some interesting times ahead - keep watching our spaces, they could be your spaces.

The "RVOL" goes up - alot. Some of the climbs, while not Alpine are brutal. The cobble sections range from brutish to joyous. I even felt like a semblance of float over one section. I just need more revs.

The streets of Colne reminded me of the working/mining areas of Roubaix. The streets were paved with cobbled gold though. We were told our tyres would "pop" by a small boy in the middle of the road.

On the descent (I call it 'the' as I only remember going downhill once) we saw a sheep's tail. The tail was in the middle of the road unattached to a sheep. I thought about going back to get it but we were going uphill again. I couldn't stop.

We continued to talk and ride. Alan talked going uphill, I tried to talk going uphill.

We rode for around 3 hours - I forgot to set my trip but my heartrate read 190 max. I should be dead.

After our ride I now had wobbly legs and laughed as much as a cartoon.

Post ride we ate some great food and had some more great conversation - interspersed with a four year olds view of the world, which wasn't far off from my own.

Alan's a bad man. He took me to his cellar to see his Uncle John (he has a XL) and collection of rubber. Alan now blogs from his cellar as I took all his rubber and Uncle John. Now I'm a bad man. No Serious... Alan has a great tub collection (of the cross variety). I'd like to see them framed in an art gallery, white space and all that. No scratch that, they should be ridden to destruction on Belgium soil.

So to summarize (as they taught you in science class) a great day of riding, new friendships made and a healthy dose of respect for the East Lancashire landscape.