Monday, 25 June 2012
The Real Ale Wobble 2012
I always agonise over the route and still worry that people aren't going to turn up. This year I was up against it because not only was heavy rain forecast but England were playing too. As KO time neared the crying off texts began. Never mind, the show must go on.
At 6.30pm I was at the Sunnyhurst for the start. Jonathan B kindly bought me a pint and so I was in the mood from the get go. A few others joined us and I knew we'd be meeting more at the first stop so at 6.45pm we set off. Reaching the A666 the heavens opened. It was like a monsoon. I'd already decided to cut one bit of off road for the sake of speed and now as we regrouped at Greens Arms I opted to ride straight to the Cheethams Arms. Already we were pretty much drenched but it wasn't cold. Always a bonus!
A quick soggy blast down the road and we reached the Cheethams. Budge, Phil and Jase (aka Team JMC) had all ridden over from Rammy/Prestwich to meet us there. It was Budge and Phil's first time on the Wobble. I had a feeling that they'd enjoy it. A few more stragglers and late comers arrived too and we were up to full strength - about 16 or 17 if memory serves.
Another big round in and a throng formed in front of the telly to watch some more of the game. It was 1 -1 when we left the Bull but Sweden got in front while we were in the Duck. Was this going to put a dampener on the evening? We drank on. Suddenly cheers as Walcott equalised! Game on! And so we jumped on our bikes and headed for the penultimate pub - the Greenfield back in Darwen. I was feeling pretty good now and was putting the hammer down a bit. There was a line of merry riders in pursuit, their tongues flapping as we charged along Edge Lane. I stopped for a regroup and while I was explaining to somebody that if 24 hr races had compulsory drinking then I'd win 'em (ahem) word came through that England were winning.
Gradually people began to disperse. The JMC boys set off on their long ride home. Jonathan B was picked up by his Mrs and amused passers-by by dropping his bike off the roof rack... Eventually (and inevitably) there was just the hard core 4 of us left - Dave Billi, Livsey, Will and me.
By 2 o'clock I was showered and tucked up in bed, grinning to myself as events from the evening came back to me. Oh yes, I was pissed.
Thanks to everybody who turned up despite the weather. I don't need to say I hope you had a good time - I know you did! Bring on next year!