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You don't have to be
mad, but it helps...

Well, Friday 2nd August 2002 was very wet here in the North West of England, but I cycled to Lancaster anyway. Once the first three miles were done the rain had soaked me through (waterproofs? the word was meaningless...) and it couldn't make me any wetter than that! Fortunately it wasn't cold and so the journey, whilst not being the most pleasant experience, was at least tolerable.

The journey (50 miles) took me five hours, which seems a little slow, but included some stops for stretching/refuelling. A few things of note:

The road conditions were bad enough that perhaps I shouldn't really have gone. Having said that, I set off before 5am with the express intention of getting beyond the worst traffic areas before the rush hour. I was through Preston and out the other side before 8am, and from there it's a matter of staying on the A6 for the rest of the way.

The hard part for me was the A675 over Belmont, a moorland A-road. Whilst not tremendously high, the bad conditions made the climb seem worse than it actually is, and across the high ground the water was pouring off the moor and the road drains couldn't really cope. Again this was early in the journey, and other traffic was at a minimum. This meant that the journey was do-able, although I think I shouldn't really have been there.

Coming down towards Preston the trike had a tendency to go way too fast for the conditions, and I found myself consciously braking to a more suitable speed. The hub brakes really do the trick in the wet, and control was never a problem.

Race pic

After such an awful Friday - John greeted us in the evening with "Welcome to Aquafest..." - Saturday turned out to be a scorcher, and the races at Salt Ayre were well attended. Sun cream and photos were the order of the day for me, whilst others were exercising their right to...well...exercise!

Sunday we decamped to the Promenade at Morecambe for the fun sprints. There was a hill climb up the driveway at St Martin's College, but I'm afraid I preferred to spend most of the afternoon sitting in the sunshine outside the Cafe on the jetty, just enjoying the conversation and the company. Evenings were spent in much the same mode in the Social Bar, and when the conversation drifted away from bikes there was usually some other common ground to be explored.

I haven't had so much fun in years, and when Graham said "York next year then...?" I sort of agreed by default. After all, I've got the best part of a year to bottle out...!