Home Forums Sunday Rides Sunday May 15th Ride Re: Sunday May 15th Ride


Well the gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down by my gently perspiring fellow club member. Yes I am gutted, the mighty Hammers relegated to play with a bunch (one or two?) of second rate Welsh teams (will I have to eat my words I wonder….) in their magnificent new stadium. But back to the cycling.

Clearly today’s ride didn’t quite have the drama of the Carten and I was struggling to find a suitable analogy to give a sense of the day. The plan, in as far as we ever have a plan, was to complete the short course of the Tour of Pembrokeshire, a distance of 63miles. We all, Andrew, Dave, Dylan, Graham, Leighton, Matt, Kim, Celia and I met at Bloomfield at 0900 as usual. Not everybody was up for the full distance and various groups pealed off with a poetry of motion that would put the Red Arrows display team to shame.

Led by Wing Commander Rees and his Wingman Dave ‘Sweaty’ Edwards we launched in perfect formation into the morning mist (OK so it was a clear morning but there is nothing wrong with a bit of artistic licence) setting the compass for Clunderwen. Sadly, for some reason only know to himself, Dylan ‘Biggles’ Harries decided to bring his ancient sopwith camel biplane rather than is normal steed which immediately developed a squeak in the undercarriage department and nearly shed a tyre ruining the early formation.

We regrouped and were briefly joined by Mark (until he ran out of leash and had to go home) and had a nice leisurely ride in a generally westerly direction via Clarbeston Road into what was developing into a bit of a breeze. When we hit the A40 just north of Haverfordest the first group of Leighton, Kim, Celia, Graham and Dylan pealed off with a wiggle of their wings and headed for home.

Wing Commander Rees then decided to open the throttle and we adopted a line-astern formation heading for Broad Haven. It was clear that Matt was not back to his top form still suffering from waiting for us on the Carten/Over indulgence on holiday. We swept down into Broad Haven and after a brief comfort break headed up the hill where Wingman ‘Sweaty’ took his leave shortly followed by Matt. And then there were two.

Crossing Nayland Bridge Andrew asked if I could lend him 50p for the toll, er, no I said, Kim had the money. Right said Andrew, we will just have to blast through the toll booth and hope we get away with it. I saw my future collapsing in front of me; the appeals on Crimewatch, the door crashing in in the middle of the night, dragged naked into the waiting van (by Paula Smith?), hauled before a judge and sent down, redundancy, Kim running off with a wealthier and/or younger man to end up destitute selling the Big Issue outside Rees Butchers. Head down, tucked up on Andrews wheel the adrenalin kicked in and like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde we swerved around the closed barrier at close to 30mph and shot off down the road. Do you think we got away with it I asked? With what said Andrew, I was only joking, there is no Toll for cyclists. 1 – 0 to Mr Rees.

The tale of the next 20 miles was me yo-yoing on and off Andrews back wheel as I desperately tried to hang on for dear life as we headed for Tenby at some speed. At a brief fuel stop at Tenby Andrew commented that our average speed had risen from 14.5 mph at Broad Haven to 15.6mph; something I think my screaming legs were already telling me.

Andrew did his best to drag me back to Narberth but I was getting slower and slower up the hills all the time thinking why an earth did I signed up the Long Course weekend! Still, I won’t have to follow Andrew as he is doing the Dragon Ride….

Until next week then.