To heck with sophisticated computerised models - I prefer the window test, a much more reliable approach to our mercurial British weather. Look out the window on the day and guess. So, today at 6.45 am there was a significant amount of veiled blue sky, some cloud and mostly dry roads, and that for me was a good indication of a decent cycling day. I wasn't wrong.
Sue and Anna, champions to the cause, were taking part - so Bryan Richardson told us - in the celebrated CTC Birthday Rides. At the start in Plympton were myself, Andy Prideaux, John Durham, Andy Easton and Yolande Bériot. Trevor Bradshaw joined us at the Hunter's Inn. Graham Black meanwhile is wisely sunning himself on Minorca. Bryan told us to go on ahead. His electric motor kit should be arriving soon, so with a bit of luck we'll be seeing him on the A rides soon.
Elevenses were by popular request at the Railway Café in Buckfastleigh. Trevor and Andy Prideaux left us there. Rather than stop at the Fox Tor Café. John Durham suggested that we have tea at his house. The pace was pretty quick and Yolande suffered climbing the hills from Holne to Princetown and threatened to take the quick way home via Princetown and Yelverton. We were able to smooth talk, and cajole, her to doing the extra mile and we all enjoyed an excellent welcome by Jennifer when we arrived at John's home in Tavistock.
Graham Reed rang while we were at John and Jennifer's. He was at Princetown, having left independently of the main bunch. As luck would have it, we met him just as we were turning left on the A368 to rejoin Drake's Trail.
Graham made his way back home on the main road, while Yolande, Andy E and myself went down the Trail. I didn't fancy going through the tunnel, which is far too dimly lit, so I took them on an alternative route towards Shaugh Bridge to avoid it.
I had 57 miles on the clock when I got home. 12 mph was the average speed, so thanks to my electrified bike, I guess I gave everyone the workout they were hoping for. But honestly, I couldn't have done it on my own on a conventional bike. Call me a cheat, if you like, but electrification has transformed the Club and changed my feelings about cycling. Can't be bad, can it?