Take a chance on me

Photo: Just as it should be.

Life, as they say, is a game of chance. That summarises today.

It started last night with the weather forecast. WhatsApp messages and the ICC Forum were alive with how crap the weather was going to be. Rain all day in every direction from London. I was planning on riding with a new group to me called “The Raiders”. A group of friends I had never met but will be riding with in September from Geneva to Nice via every Col they can find. By late last night The Raiders had abandoned the idea of a ride today. I decided to set the alarm for 7am and take a chance.

At 07:05 WhatsApp sprung to life. A Raider posted “Where’s the rain? Anyone up for a ride?” No takers. I headed for Whittington Park for 08:30 to join any intrepid ICCers. The nine of us decided to split into two groups, one aiming for 85km, the other 65km. I joined the four guys for the longer ride. As at least two of them, possibly all of them, were younger than my eldest then I nicknamed them The Youngs Ones (in my head of course).

After climbing Swain’s Lane it was obvious that The Young Ones were much stronger than me. I decided to drop myself and leave them to it. They would be better off without me and a neat group of four.

Stopping to plan a route for myself WhatsApp interrupted  “10 am at shorters in potters bar if anyone interested (for long loop)”. The Raiders were resurrecting a ride. I had no idea what the ‘long loop’ would be but if I can cope with 200k on my own in January surely I’d be fine. I could get to Potters Bar for 10 am easily so I headed off.

300m from the rendezvous I stopped at a junction. I confused the hell out of The Young Ones as they rode past. What were the chances of that?

There was me thinking “Shorters” would be a trendy coffee bar. Not quite:


I had ridden past this bike shop many times but, by chance, had never spotted it.

I rode with N and S. They too proved to be stronger than me. I had to work hard to keep up. When I did take my turn at the front they didn’t let me stay out there for long. The first time for me that 41km/h was too slow! Hard work but an enjoyable loop to Watton-at-Stone. 111km for the day. My luck ran out as I approached Barnet. From there back to London in the rain. I was soaked by the time The Barbican came into view.

By chance, I might have been better off staying with the original group, but who knows? If I had I wouldn’t have met N & S.

Year to date

3,357km / 33 rides / 101.7km average per ride

29,887m elevation gain (3.3 Everests)


  • Well done Colin. Some of my best rides have had an unplanned element, a chance meeting with riders not ridden with for too long, a diversion due to closed roads etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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