Day 7 Friday, 14th September, 2018

Distance today 102.6 km and 1,529 metres of ascent. A day of two halves and two mechanicals. First the ride: A coolish morning but dry and clear. Great riding through flattish Shropshire rural countryside, just lovely. Made for Stone, where Chris had told us about the cafe in the Arcade. Nice mid-morning stop for snack (tea and two cakes £3.50!).

 Onward and upward, in fact very upward with some of the hardest climbs so far. Be prepared is the motto here, because the right gear is needed early, or things become breathless - literally.

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We were making for Cauldron Low and the Cross pub for lunch. At about 1200, the rains came and boy, didn’t they come on. Very heavy and thundery with wind gusts. At the Cross Inn Chris consulted his magic rain radar app and pronounced that the heavy rain would pass through in an hour or so. So . . . . . . an extended lunch was indicated. The forecast was spot on and we resumed in lighter rain and a clearing sky, towards which we had to propel our cycles yet again at completely unreasonable angles to the horizontal. You know those which are pretty hard, then you turn a corner and the real climb appears? Several of those. Any road up, as they say around here, (d’y geddit?)  the rain gradually cleared and we were treated to a ride with sensational Derbyshire views. Wonderful! Into Bakewell and the Rutland Arms Hotel (I don’t think we go anywhere near Rutland). Arrived 1620-ish, however . . . . .  there is a however.

The mechanicals for the day. I am totally incredulous about the series of potential show stoppers, which Chris sorts out!! Rick broke a crank. Has anyone out there ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t. Then John broke a toe clip. Both sorted by or intrepid leader.

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The early arrivals had to wait a bit for the bags to arrive and have a shower but I’m sure Susan, Martin and Phillip didn’t mind - I didn’t anyway. I had an electronic of my own making - pressed the left-hand button and stopped the Garmin. Ah, but, I am now so technically savvie that a restart and course reload was nae bother. So the Garmin records for today are in two halves - roughly mirroring the weather.

Now drying out nicely courtesy of the hot water radiator system and a hair dryer for the shoes.