|Paul and 'The Butcher'|
Suddenly we were overtaken again; another bunch of near-silent, stealth cyclists. Perhaps they weren't moving quite so quickly as the first group? - We decided to see if we could hang on to the back-end, we upped our cadence and found ourselves part of the peloton, sucked along in its slipstream. It felt good, they were travelling slightly quicker than us but the pace wasn't too painful. Soon they zipped off in a different direction to the one we needed and we were back to just the two of us.
We negotiated the bare, dry lanes towards Whittington, passed through the village and continued towards Elford - as we passed over the railway, standing at the roadside was 'The Butcher' - hardly recognisable without his cleaver, we stopped and had a chat - it turned out that he had set out early, promising his wife he'd be back by 10.30 to press on with the decorating - unfortunately a series of untimely punctures had delayed him! - Bad luck Tim!! - Soon we were off again, the homeward stretch; Elford, then up the climb to Wigginton, back round via Haunton to Clifton Campville then up the hill to Netherseal - by now it was glorious, the whole landscape bright and cheery, the effort of the climbs meant we were warm, toasty in fact! - it almost felt a shame to finish.
Mileage for this morning: 36