Steady… there are several ways to interpret this seemingly innocuous word, as an adjective it could mean constant or changeless etc, even fixed, firm, fast. One could also use it as a verb or noun. In seafaring terms it is used to advise the helmsman to maintain the same heading. I’m not sure what meaning was applied on this occasion but ‘constant’ and ‘fast’ spring to mind. In terms of speed, what defines a steady ride will differ depending on whether you are a Battleship, Cruiser or Frigate.
Five “Frigates” turned up for today’s “steady” ride to Sledmere proposed by Pugwash in the absence of our chairman. It was a lower turnout than usual for a Sunday so no opportunity for a split group ride. The “flotilla” set off towards Cherry Burton and Etton, not quite “Full Ahead” but a bit more than the “Half Ahead” that was expected.
As the day began to warm up there was no slacking off in the pace as we cruised through Bracken towards Southburn. The wind in our faces while heading through Tibthorpe to Huggate was very pleasant, keeping us cool as we maintained the pace. As we got nearer to Huggate, Dave 💦🏡 got a call from the “Engine Room” “Scottie here Dave, we’re having a wee bit trouble with your back. I’m not sure we can take it any more”. Unfortunately it was enough for Dave to bale out and he returned home under his own steam from Huggate. The remaining four Frigates then continued onwards to Thixendale.
“This doesn’t feel like a steady ride” said Olivier, during a brief stop, who’d been looking for a gentle recovery ride after completing a hilly 90 miler yesterday. “No it doesn’t” we all agreed but at least there’s a long downhill giving us a bit of a rest. The run along the valley bottom to Burdale with the wind now following meant the pace remained “high” but without taxing the engine too much. After a “little” blip at Fimber Ramp it was a wonderful zoom downhill until the roundabout before the final slog up to Sledmere.
After refuelling at the Stables takeaway cafe it was time to head home. For the return journey we decided to forgo the Wetwang option and return via Garton-on-the-Wolds. After tackling Limekiln Hill we enjoyed another long downhill to Garton. Getting onto the main road to reach Kirkburn proved a bit of a challenge as we faced a constant stream of traffic in both directions.
While cruising from Southburn to Bracken Pugwash noticed the first signs of cramp in the thigh. “Captain, it’s the Engine Room here, your pistons are faltering. Think we need more salt”. “OK Scottie, I’ll ease off a bit and spin our way home, meanwhile here’s a gel to get on with”. Despite that, by the time we reached Etton it was clear Pugwash could not complete the rest of the way home without an intake of salt. After a short delay, JamesG volunteered to ride off and return with something salty. Eventually it was agreed that the others would finish their ride and James would return in his car. Thankfully by the time JamesG returned, the salted peanuts had the desired effect. An ignominious end to what was a wonderful ride and a huge thank you to James for the rescue.