Saturday, 5 April 2014

Beaters, Fish and Bikes!

Hello blog lovers.

My lovely hubby was invited to a days fishing at Bewl Water, it was with his sea fishing buddies, who he usually goes fishing with on a boat out in the sea, but today they all wanted to do this fresh water fishing. So while they were busy getting all tangled up in their fly fishing lines me and a couple of the other wives who came along decided to hit the trail on our bikes.

I had no idea what sort of state the trails were going to be in, or indeed how long it was going to take us to get around around the lake, especially if the trails were all wet, muddy and impassable.  We arrived at Bewl Water for our 9 am meet up, and I met all the other fishermen.  It turned out there was only 3 of us wives who were going to do the cycle route around.  The Old Boy introduced me to his fishing buddies, who incidentally all go 'beating' together as well, for one of their fishing buddies who is a game keeper, I believe.  Beating is what they do to get the birds up in the air when there is a shoot on!

But their particular fishing today was also a friendly competition, it was for the 'Beaters Trophy', and who could get the biggest trout using the fly fishing technique!  I guess it all adds to the fun for the day.  But us ladies, well, we will not be sitting in a tiny boat, in the middle of a lake freezing our asses off! Oh no, we shall be hitting the cycle route around the lake.  It's approximately 13 miles around from beginning to end, so we should be back way before the boys get bored of catching no fish!  But there is a rather nice cafĂ©/bar there, so we shall make ourselves very comfy in there while we wait for them.

We started off, going clockwise around the lake, after a quick pit stop for me tho,  I have been on this route before and I know there is no toilets anyway!  I do think there is a pub half way, but I am not quite sure of where, as you have to make a slight detour to get to it. But still, it's only 13 miles around, the pub may not even be open by the time we get to it.

When we arrived at the reservoir the chap in the ticket office warned me about the trail being a little churned up by the tractor, and enquired whether my bike is a road bike!  When my bike has got not quite road tyres, but still pretty skinny!  I shall just have to hang on tight and hope for the best! 

Over the top of the dam we cycled, and then through the first of the gates along the way,15 minutes into the ride.  Pat, one of the ladies, put on her 'Map my walk' app on her phone, just to see how far we will ride today.  Going around through the gate, in the opposite direction was about 6 ladies walking.  I wondered if they had actually started their walk or was nearing to end. 

I was out in front of the other two ladies, Pat and Shirley.  I wasn't sure of their cycling abilities and was worried that I was going along to slow for them, but they assured me it was a perfect pace.  We wasn't going out breakneck speed, this ride was all about just being out here because I other half's were here, so why not get out and enjoy the day together as well! 

This route is a very, very undulating route, with long upwards and long downwards and everything in between!  It turned out that the other two ladies last cycle ride together was sometime last year!  So they were please, very pleased that the pace was a very slow one, and I could relax a bit, thinking that I was going to fast for them, because it turned out that I was in fact leading!

How on earth I ended up doing that I don't know, by sense of direction is useless.  I guess you are all wondering, 'How can you go wrong, as long as you keep the lake on your right Old girl, you should be fine!'  Well, there was a couple of in land bits to go on to go, so that's how I knew I would go wrong, somewhere, probably on the road section of the ride!

Guess what folks, I did get a bit ahead of myself, and I actually missed the sign to get back on route. after we had to do a little bit of road riding!  I am not good at the whole orienteering thing, but between the three of us we circumnavigated the reservoir successfully and had fun. No pressure, just full out enjoyment.

Oh yes, the winner of the beaters trophy this year.......was The Old Boy!  Most chuffed with him!

This is some of what we saw en route!

Gorgeous display of flowers along a driveway
We saw so many pretty flowers today.

The sun shone throughout the morning

Pat and Shirley by the flowers

No countryside ride is
complete without the lambs!

The winner of the beaters Trophy!

Some of the other chaps who went fishing

Just a fantastic day!