Story for The rebellion will not be televised.
Sure - I felt bad, I saw the look of 'Et tu, Brute?' - but no - right decision for me time. I was off home for the planned 40 mile Sunday route.... even if that meant mutany. Mutany that was sweetened by being in the larger majority. Even if I did now have to catch them up for being a late decider. Nothing new there.
The day started in half light, wet roads, strong but not gusty Northerly wind, and a forceast that showed that was in for the day.
With two rides put forward this week for the social 40 - being 55 and 60 in length and 4+kft of climbing.... this alone was making me wonder whether I wanted to head out. However it would seem, as I arrived, that it, along with the weather had far from put people off. Even tempted out two of team Elite, and with the likes of Darren and Allan catching us up later. Happy days.
We set off - and headed up the beautifully leaf strewn cycle path to Dyserth, Alex and I on the front for a reason no more than wanting as much of a headstart as we could magine. This continued on to Bodfari where the ride leader took the front, and the group shattered as the first ascent took place.
Threading through the picturesque backlanes above Llandurnog, which I had never noticed as being uphill before - but my legs were burning and shouting this to me as we progressed. All the time the awareness that to get in the type of climbing the route was penned as having we would need to tackle the increasingly looming ridge of land to my immediate left - the Clywidian Range. While this was being put off I was a happy man.
Then came the defection. The group mostly pulled to the right with a handfull to the left. The "I need to be home for X" gang appeared to be over two thirds of the group. What the? This came together without discussion? Damn. The revolution will indeed not be televised... I barely got in invite! Decisive, cold, unified, harsh!
As they headed off I sat there. Aware we at 22.5 miles - and either had another 10 miles with big climbing, and then the matching 30 back... into the headwind... oh and the small matter of the mountain range.
"Are you coming with us Anthony?"
"That very much depends on whether we are going over that?" *gestures to the large green wall of elephant-in-the-room we are sat at the foot of*
*knowing we appeared to be missing 2000ft of climbing in the next 10 miles*
"No - we are going around it?"
*Unless this some kind of profound statement, this was a lie*
"The Shelf Lite or Nant Y Garth."
"..." *internally muttering that these were 1000ft climbs*
...and in a snap as the 8 or so riders slipped out of site to my left - my mind was made up. For those who do not know these names - The Shelf is in the top 100 toughest climbs in the UK - and the NYG probably should be (... especially in terms of descending).
Despite the expression of desertion I got from Sarah - who I am guessing would have also liked to have skipped the mountain. I think I made the right decision. People. The speed of the group that remained. They would have been waiting a LONG time, and I would have felt a lot of pressure. Short of riding to the start of the climb and heading back - this was the right call. I was afterall 'done' by this point already.
I headed off and left them there (yes I feel bad). Maybe it will encourage future 40 mile Sunday rides to be... oh I dont know... around 40 miles?
There was not much chat on the way back. Less guilt - more grovelling into the North Wind. Continually dropping off of the back and trying (and failing) to cling on to the back of the pace line.
Back and a mile or so short of 40 mile goal.
Two rides one weekend - returnign to battered legs on both occasions.
This stopping riding... it sucks. Dont let anything or anyone stop you riding - take it from me - it SUCKS to start again. Factual.