We went cycling with the Stonehouse Wheelers yesterday. It was a picnic ride and not to be missed. I almost did miss it though, as it was a double hilly ride and I wasn't feeling well that morning. I just didn't think I could survive cycling down and then up and out of the valley, but I didn't want to miss the picnic. I went anyway, grumbling all the way to the starting point. To myself mostly, though I do think Peter sensed my desire not to be there.
The ride started strait up hill and I was thinking, oh dear, what have I gotten myself into. I knew this hill, it's a long hard climb up out of the valley then across the windy top. I got off to a great start in the wrong gear! Had to stop and set my gears as the hill was too steep to set them while cycling. I had to get off and walk a couple of times but I made it! At the top was the ice-cream van as expected and Peter treated me to a fruit pop. At this point I noticed what a beautiful day it had turned out to be. I thought for sure we'd be rained upon and I didn't bring my camera. I was really wishing I'd brought it now.
After a short rest we took off again. I think Bill, our leader, was hunting for more hills to climb as he sure was finding them! The downhill bits were fun though. :-D
We finally made it to the picnic spot and everyone got comfy, some pulling out picnic blankets and everyone pulling out food to eat and share. We got our picnic blanket out and set up our little picnic. We brought sandwiches for us and enough fruit to share. We also brought a couple of plastic wine glasses to drink some Pimms in, which amused everyone. Others brought home made cakes and biscuits (cookies) to share. A few brought out flask filled with hot tea, they must have their tea! :-D
After a bite to eat some of us went off to explore an old abandoned church that was near by. I always find places like this fascinating, so much so that I risked the sting of stinging nettles against my legs to get a closer look, both legs taking a hit. Again I wish I'd brought my camera! The grounds were all grown up and the church all boarded up. It was quite an old church and it was a bit in ruin. Around the backside of the church we found a window that wasn't boarded up that we could peak inside. There was no glass in the window and it had bars and wire like stuff across it. Oh and Crime Scene tape! I peaked into the church through the window and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Too bad I hadn't brought a torch (flash light) with me! Couldn't see much, looked like it was being used to store junk. Will definitely have to investigate and see if I can't locate who's got the key to the place, I'd love to go back for further investigation and photo taking. Did I mention the place was for sale? Anyone wanna buy an old church with me? Complete with cemetery?! :-D
Back on the road our leader felt the need to find a few more hills for us to climb. Luckily he couldn't find any huge ones as we were already quite high up. The decent down into the valley was oh so fun! It didn't take us long to get back home. Well for most people that is, we still had a hill to climb! Oh the joys of living up on the side of the Valley, at least the view is worth it. ;-)