So the rain was forecast to die out thankfully, good job as all my "waterproof" gear was sodden. So I kitted up grabbed the singlespeed and rode to the train station. Mr Sparkle's (Simon) Real Ale Wobble was happening and finally I was going to attend....without actually partaking of any Ale obviously, bleurgh. After the rough day I'd had I was going to catch the train to entwistle catch up with the group there, ride the rest of the route with them ending up in darwen and then get the last train home at 23:10, my legs should be able to cope with that. I spun down to the white horse in edgeworth, still drizzling slightly, grrrr. There was diesel all over the road. Got to the cross roads at the white horse to see a broken down bus with a guy trying to mop up the fuel, aha so that's the source. Somehow there was diesel all over the cross roads. Was locking my bike up opposite the pub and watched a car slide around the corner, hmm don't think I'll leave the bike here. Got in and ordered a pint checked my phone the group were running late just arrived at the first pub, damn. Downed my pint and went to meet ehm, caught up with them near chapeltown. By now the rain had finally stopped and it was dry for the rest of the night. We headed back over wayoh damn to the white horse. Got chatting to the group, they were mainly Darwen Dashers (running group) some were full time runners occasional cyclists, others closer to 50/50 like simon. Friendly group anyway. A short cheeky run over to the Duck where they had a couple of girls singing/playing guitar. A couple of iffy song selections (IMHO) but they were good. The next bit was hard work, climbing up Edge Fold to cadshaw but my legs weren't working too bad actually, dabbed when the rider in front stalled near the bottom but once I got started again I cleaned the rest of the climb, quite happy with that. At somepoint I realised I'd lost my bike lock, must have been at a pee stop near wayoh, oops might have to look for that tomorrow. Bit of road followed by the singletrack through dog shit woods and around to The Greenfield, couple in there then down to the final stop at the black horse were several of us rode through the pub to the beer garden out back (the landlord is a very accommodating chap, held the door open for us) It was 10:30 by now so after the group photo I started saying my good byes. Simon was telling me what a cracking night it was going to be, offering me a bed for the night or just house my bike if I wanted to get a taxi home later. I said I really had to go so he thanked me for coming especially as this was likely to be the last one, so it was going to be a big etc etc OK OK you've twisted my arm. I text the mrs, "mr sarkle made me stay" and sat down for a few more pints and a good blether. A good craic was had.
At 1 o'clock Budge and his mate (associates of terrahawk) were heading off for ramsbottom, figured I'd tag along for a while. We did the road climb out of darwen, at a fair old pace too considering the state of my legs and sobriety (or lack thereof) the lads weren't sure which way to head back, I suggested dropping through cadshaw to wayoh then they could climb crowthorne or take the road route through hawkshaw - and I could check for my lock at wayoh :-) You may have noticed I have a bit of a thing about riding late at night when everyone else is asleep, well tonight speeding along, offroad in the dark, tanked up, it was lovely. A clear still night, perfect for riding. I took edge fold descent probably a lot faster than I should, don't think Budge and his mate were quite as squiffy as me, passed the duck then we split at wayoh, looked for my lock but no sign. I headed back over to the white horse (again) to check there, couldn't see it outside but they were still open so I called in and asked and yes someone had handed in my lock, with my house keys attached - didn't notice I'd lost them. Result. Spun home taking easy offroad routes, feeling good. Called in to town for a kebab and rolled home just gone 2. Up with the kids at 7 and unbelievably considering I'd been supping cider all night, no hangover! I shall have to try 12 mile ride home next time I over indulge*.
What a cracking day, leg burning, balls out descending, bike breaking mileage and then fun and games bimbling with good banter all round, good job I had a whole weekend to recover from it. Apparently the black horse didn't chuck out til 4! After such a successful event it turns out it may not be the last Wobble after all. Lowey take note!
*only joking kids, lots of drinking and riding is not a good idea. /serious face