The last Thursday of the year was a murky one but it was good to be back in the saddle again. Six of us met at Greyfriars Bridge for a ride to Church Stretton and looked in genuine amazement at the way the ice, at that point in the river, had packed itself together in a formation that I had not seen before in this country. It really was worth seeing.
A leader was required for this ride and Marian stepped in, leading us up the cycleway to Weeping Cross and then out through the familiar route of Betton Abbots, Pitchford and Acton Burnell. The thaw had taken the snow and ice away from the roads and, although the mist was thick and wet, the riding was easy. We took the Roman road down to Stretton which was very wet and in places thick with mud. It's never a very clean road at the best of times. Given that it was so damp and murky we didn't have a banana stop and so we arrived in Stretton relatively early for lunch, at the usual cafe.
The return journey went the wrong side of the A49 for me so I travelled back home up Sandford Avenue and into Hope Bowdler and then onward along the Edge. Surprisingly, after dropping into Hope Bowdler, the weather changed and I traveled home through dashes of sunlight.
After not being out for so long, it was a very enjoyable ride and I am looking forward to Longville in the Dale on Tuesday.