It’s that time of year when we cyclists really start to appreciate the long sunlit evenings.
The chance to head out after work for a ride with a group of mates feels like a luxury, and the long winter months are a distant memory; this is when all the hard yards start to pay off.
As a group of us met up at tea-time one night last week, all with our favourite evening routes in mind, the usual negotiations began:
“Right lads, where we heading?”
Someone suggested a climb up to Jubilee Tower, to take in the views with the sun low in the sky, whilst another fancied a jaunt out to Kirkby Lonsdale and a mid-ride stop at the Devil’s Bridge – both good suggestions – but this week it was my pick that got the vote; out through the Kellet’s, cut across at Burton-in-Kendal, and head for Arnside front.
Even having lived in these parts for a good few years, there’s something about a trip out to Arnside front that feels like a holiday, even on a non-descript Thursday evening in late May.
You get couples wandering up and down holding hands, the hum of conversation from outside the pub on the corner, and the smell of fish and chips hanging in the air.
It’s a secret little world that only those present know about.
I got the impression that at least half the group quite fancied the idea of mid-ride fish and chips as we sat watching the world going by, but no-one quite plucked up the courage to suggest it; a full meal half way through an evening ride isn’t really the done thing.
But as the weeks go by and spring turns to summer we’ll no doubt be back this way again and it’s only a matter of time before we all decamp to the chippy one night.
That might really open the floodgates.
What’s next? Mid ride table for five at the pub on the corner?
We rode back home that night in high spirits, playing cat and mouse along the high road to Silverdale, full of the joys of, well, spring I suppose.
Here’s hoping for another long hot summer, plenty of mid-week evening rides and, who knows, maybe even fish, chips and mushy peas on Arnside front.