Luckily, Storm Hannah was on predicted schedule, and came through on Saturday. However, it left a cold, brisk North-Westerly, which had club members searching the back of the cupboard for the winter gear that had been put away. Rather naively, I assumed that the strong headwind would keep the group together as we set off along the A40, and so didn’t check as we turned off at Birdwood. By the time I had made my way to the back of the group, it was too late to look for the two missing riders. A ‘phone call confirmed that they were heading to Tintern via a different route.
Once in the Forest, we were sheltered from the wind, so the hills became the defining moments. Some grumbling on the long climb from Park End to Sling was soon forgotten as everyone enjoyed descending Stowe Hill, and arrived at Bigsweir Bridge with a smile on their faces. The return passed without notable comment, save for the large numbers of other cyclists on the lanes south of Berkeley. As someone who just likes to see people out on their bike, this was very encouraging.