Carla’s Birthday

Despite having a late night of pre-birthday celebrations we were still up early, and out on our bikes before the cock crowed. Well, pretty early. Conditions were excellent and we zipped along the towpath shouting cheerie salutations to all we met. Carla was in the driving seat, and just after the Stewponey lock we caught up with a couple of bloaters on full sussers. Carla stepped the pace up as we passed them to deter them from jumping on, but hearing her cheerie “hello” as we wooshed past must have affronted their machismo because jump on they did. Yeah, but not for long. I reckon they lasted less than half a mile. Carla was in wicked birthday mood, and anyway big groups on the towpath is naff for all.After stopping for a birthday piss we climbed into the Million and tested our skills on a new bit of singletrack we have found. It felt good, especially as I was riding a thoroughbred Stumpjumper Hardtail. Compared to the slug I had ridden yesterday the Stumpy was like a rocketship. We dropped out of the woods, and as there were some horse riders coming in the opposite direction we joined the road about 200 metres before we would normally. This was to have an important consequence. I caught a glimpse of something lying in the wet grass, a £20 note! We looked around to see who might have dropped it. We asked horse riders if they had lost anything. We asked a group of ramblers if they were short. No takers. Being the one that found it, and it being Carla’s birthday I gave it to her. Someone obviously wanted her to have it.

We followed our usual route home, pausing to take a couple of birthday pictures. I let Carla win the final sprint and congratulated her on an excellent ride. We spent the rest of the day bike washing, car washing, and building up an appetite. I made a special evening meal (with a little help), for the official birthday tea. It had been a great day. In fact it had been a great weekend, over 9 hours of bike time. Happy birthday.

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