As an occasional attendee at St Chrysostom’s, I was delighted to join the parish assistants and friends for this year’s cycle trip to Lymm and back.
We set off from St Chrysostom’s School. I suspect the last time I was in a school hall with a bike was when I got my cycling proficiency certificate over 45 years ago. The children sent us off in fine form by singing us the Heather Small song Proud with the line “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”. At that point in the day the answer for me wasn’t that much, – by the time the day ended we all had cause for satisfaction.
The route was mostly on cycle tracks comprising part of the Trans Pennine Trail and the glorious weather made for easy cycling. My ancient machine seemed to come to life, didn’t seem too rusty, and nothing fell off or squeaked too much. My bike coped too!
Despite several snack and drink stops the 18 miles to St Peter’s Church Hall in Oughtrington was covered in around 2 hours 40 minutes. It was an hour before we finished off the food provided by the folk of St Peter’s and it was only as we climbed back on our bikes, that some us realised the extent to which the outbound ride had tenderised parts of us!
The return journey took even less time, probably as we’d eaten our way through many of the pieces of fruit and sugary boiled sweets with which we set out in the morning and we hoped to be back in time for 5 pm Mass. I can’t speak for others but I know that for me, worship was going on at various points during the day and long before we were back in church. The event provided a great chance to get to know people I normally see only in formal situations. Although Neil and Bobby had other duties to attend to, after Mass the rest of us gathered at the Rampant Lion for continued fellowship and great conversation over food and drink. Not forgetting that we were gathered as a church group, the informal banter ranged far and wide and it even encompassed an oblique look at certain of the psalms! Having sat at an outdoor table for some time, I needed the assistance of Tracy’s aerosol of Deep Heat to get me moving and into my car but I arrived back in Ramsbottom for a very solid night’s sleep.