Ordinarily, I would have liked to spend another day in the sun lounger, maybe sipping tea and eating biscuits, possibly standing up just long enough to deadhead a daffodil, before sitting back and having a gentle snooze. However, I have two children. They had surpassed themselves yesterday by leaving me pretty much alone while I wallowed yesterday. To expect them to do that again would be asking too much, especially as today was supposed to involve a cycle trip and picnic with @accidentobizaro and her Boiz, the prospect of which had my two climbing the walls with excitement. So, I hatched a plan – I would survive the morning bike ride, and hopefully burn enough of their energy off to allow me to spend the afternoon back in the sunlounger, mainlining lemsip.
I fortified myself for the ride ahead with a selection of drugs from the medicine box, and off we went in the glorious sunshine along Route 66 to Sowerby Bridge Speedway track. This is an extended version of our Day 3 ride. The official route from Luddedenfoot goes along a short stretch of road, and takes in a slight hill, only to come down the other side again and join the canal. I find this section of road busier than you might think, and with small children the only reason to go up the hill is to keep them out of sight of the park (thereby preventing a campaign to stop and play when you’re actually trying to get somewhere, or save energy for getting there). With the eldest child firmly focussed on going as fast as possible, and the other 3 pedalling like fury trying to keep up with him, I don’t think any of them noticed the park as we sped by, taking the canal side route.
After a few dismounts to get under the bridges (riding under them risks a) clipping a bridge and falling in, or b) riding headfirst into an oncoming cyclist and both falling in), we joined the road briefly and then turned off through a dusty (though often very muddy) builders’ yard, over the white bridge, and onto the speedway track. We all did a few laps, then unpacked the picnic (which included ice-cream – the ride was worth it just to see the children’s faces when that came out of my rucksack!).
If you don’t fancy the return trip, or haven’t got a picnic, pedal on into Sowerby Bridge, avail yourself of ale, cake and coffee at the rather fab Jubilee Refreshment Rooms at the train station, and then get the train home. @accidentobizaro’s Boiz looked like they had plenty more energy left to burn, and I needed my two to be well and truly worn out if I was going to get to sit in the sunlounger, so we headed back along the canal for home. I’m pleased to report that my plan worked: not only did I get to sit in the sunlounger, I managed to stay there long enough to turn myself a bit pink. Or maybe that’s just the fever coming back?