This was a big weekend for me .. I decided it was time to try out some of the local routes from here and have a go with a few inclines. It was great.
We peddled down to the canal to start with, so no hills there, and then we took off from Endon up and down the hills from there to Rudyard Lake. We then did a bit more flat along the side of the lake and came back the same way. It's a round trip of a little over 20 miles (don't know exactly how far cos my odometer has gone missing). The lake looked beautiful with quite a few sailing on it, and despite the dreary weather forecast the sky was blue and sunny.
It is a sentimental route cos we first used to do it 17 /18 years ago before we were a "couple" and used to cycle together after work. Since B got her job in Cheshire we've literally never done it, so it has been a few years "off" and it was fun to go again.
In the olden days we used to call in on J and R, a couple we know, who used to live in Endon. We'd often stop there for a chat with J, my friend, and her hubbie R was sometimes there. We'd have a cup of tea on their veranda and then finish our journey to our separate homes from there.
When B and I announced ourselves as a couple, J told me she wasn't a bit surprised, because R had once said that it was obvious to him that B and I were in love with each other. Obvious to him, before it was obvious to us. Clever guy!
Then things moved on, J and R split up, she went to live on the south coast, and I heard recently that he was terminally ill with lung cancer.
So what is the dynamic that suddenly brought all four of us together again this weekend, literally yards from where they used to live. There was Brigid and I out on our bikes together on that route for the first time in years, and there was J back up here to drive her ex-husband around in his final weeks on trips to places they used to go.
It was amazing.
It was good for me to meet him and hear how he feels about being terminally ill, and it was good or me to tell him he hadn't been wrong about B and I. We must have been in love then, and we still are.
And the hills still enchant us.