Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Hello darkness, my old friend

Once again it was Snakehips who doused down the mat, broke out the Sunny Jims and dispersed the single white puff…the smoke signals were in the air, the club run was on. Five of made the roll call; Snakehips, Digger, Sean, Mike and myself.
Before departure Bergmeister made a surprise appearance and supplied us all with our new snazzy club casquettes which was handy as we all had them to hide under when the bus driver threw a few disgruntled stares our way as someone had momentarily parked in the bus stop. Alfa drivers ehh..
With Bergmeister snowed under with Tour of the Glens duties his appearance was but a fleeting one and we departed with the route meticulously planned in the typical Castlereagh fashion. “Up the road or down the road?” “..Up?” “Right, let’s go”. We headed into a brisk headwind up the Saintfield Road, down the Belfast road into Saintfield and out the other side.
It wasn’t long before we decided we really should start considering a turning off point and it was Mike that called the left up the Carsonstown Road, where we were all grateful of a little reprieve from the wind and the pace was lifted accordingly. Having all swung left onto Station Road we found ourselves, albeit unintentionally of course, back in Saintfield. A 30s did present itself at this point but when I duked around to see where Sneaky-Snakehips had positioned himself I was met with a firm shake of the head and we all decided to sit up and sit in.
Through Saintfield (again) and onto the Ballygowan Road where Digger decided to up the pace considerably and stretch the legs. I don’t know how he does it while still recovering from his recent crash but it wasn’t long before his one good leg had completely dispatched both of my supposedly decent ones.
Snakehips worked hard and hung in at the back of the block, his recent trip to America still fresh as the words of Old Abe rang out in his head. “When you reach the end of your rope, just tie a knot in it and hang on!” From Ballygowan it was onto the Moss Road in the direction of Lisbane and it was at this point in proceedings where things took a drastic turn as we were hit with a sudden deluge of rain that no one had predicted.
Snakehips was best dressed for the occasion for it had not went un noted that despite his original bravado laden post, that he didn’t know what the weather was doing and that he wouldn’t be checking into the bargain, he was the only man to appear at Forster Green well hopped and in full kit! ..Not as slow as he walks easy that boy!
Somewhere along the Lisbarnet road in the deluge I forwarded a motion that was seconded by Snakehips and hence carried. It was official we had declared the evenings craic dead. Long live the craic, the craic was definitely dead.
We were not alone on the saturated roads however and we passed two decent size groups both looking as equally discombobulated as we were with the meteorological blitzkrieg that we had been lambasted with. With the rain receeding the final turn for home was made at Lisbane swinging past The Poachers Pocket everyman as wet as an otters pocket.
Here Diggers vast experience came to the fore and he unselfishly as always took the reins to lead the mothership safely home at a quick but controlled pace. The square was formed sharp and tight and with myself being the only one with a rear lantern I drifted back to take up the tail gunner position. Fading light again proved an issue and I think it’s clear to all that the 6.30 starting gun will have to be amended slightly if we are to extend the midweek run deeper into September.
Ride of the night will have to go Digger for his huge turns on the front in the headwinds and also for guiding everyone home at the end. Safe to say we are all glad to have someone up front that knew what he was doing and was able to lead us all home with a decent but measured effort.


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