I went out to meet up in South Manchester for the club run on Sunday morning. I was late and just got to the first junction as they were rolling through. That was cutting it fine.
Nicer weather resulted in 25 of us including 3 or 4 new people, so we split it into two groups to allow safe overtaking etc, separated by about 15 seconds on the road. We set off just after 8am via Cheadle, Mottram St Andrew and Gawsworth. Despite the new riders needing to adjust to the use of two lines etc, I noticed that we weren't beeped at or given any abuse once. The split into two groups probably helped with that.
We stopped for a brief chat and a snack at the top of a climb on the northern edge of Rookery Wood, and a few guys chose the quick route North through Macclesfield to be home for 11:30 and continued domestic harmony.
That left I think 15 of us (I think) to head South through the woods, then West over a few more cat4's before starting the usual intense fast run-in back to Manchester. The new guys were fit enough to stay with the group and smart enough to hang back while they worked out the myriad of hand signals etc, except for one lad who was an ex-racer so fitted in straight away regardless.
As the pace went up, the line strung out with everyone tucked in behind the guy in front. It had shaped up to be a long ride and I was digging deep to stay on the pace above 24mph. It was clear I wasn't the only one, because it would have ended a bit quicker on a shorter ride. Still no car horns or abuse.
I had to opt out of the coffee shop stop in Didsbury as I needed to be home, so I split as we reached Manchester and on the last mile or so could barely overtake a lad on a mountain bike, so heavy were my legs.
Large chocolate milk, hot shower, into Didsbury with my wife and a nice bacon and egg ciabatta with ketchup, then roast dinner later at my parents. Perfect!