I needed to collect some brake levers from Darlo, so I vaguely thought about riding there... but then I woke up a bit later than expected and it was raining and I had some Stuffs to do so I thought, sod it, I'll just get the train and baked a cake or 8 instead of setting off. But then I got the Stuffs done and cheered up a lot as a result and the sun came out. So, despite it being nearly one o'clock by the time I'd tried to top up my tyres, discovered the track pump is bust, called in to the corner shop to borrow theirs and deliver a cake, and finally got on my way just a bit late to ride the 50ish miles I set off anyway, with a vague plan to call in to THoFC so say hello to Tiermat and beg a cup of Fine Coffee before bailing to a train. And a mighty fine ride it was too. I stopped for crisps and pop at Tollerton and had to stop a several of times for phone calls and texts and stuff, partly because I was running quite late and adapting or indeed making plans on the fly. And I still covered the 36 miles in about 3 hours 20 minutes which is only five minutes slower than when I rode it, without the stopping and texting and stuff, last year on my way to a pub run when I was actually reasonably fit and had a working bike computer to help me keep the pace up a bit. By my standards that's really not hanging about. A natter and a coffee with Tiermat, to whom I delivered a cake, and a bonus LindaG in attendance who didn't get a cake this time because I hadn't known she'd be there.
Then onto a TPE for the ten minute train journey instead of riding the last 18 miles so as not to be horrendously late in Darlo. Tickets for the return bought while I was at the station, and although the pooter wouldn't let the nice East Coast lady book my bike on various staff made assorted commitments to getting me on the 23:18 one way or another when the time came. Then off for a bit more cake delivery, brake collection, slightly silly Comedy Off Roading (altho I declined a quick spin round the bmx track) then nosh and a couple of pubs, all with that Deano. A 5 minute trip back to the station to see my train pulling into the platform necessitating a quick sprint to the back where, happily, a guard was indeed waiting to let Valencia into his van. Hurrah! 2 trains, 50ish miles ridden, 3 forumites spotted, 4 cakes delivered, one lentil shepherds pie and portion of chips eaten and a couple of pints drunk. Sushine, miles and smiles. All good.