Ragstones: Forging Bonds
What are the primordial experiences that underpin the steely Ragstone bonds? One such was in 1994 - an NSPCC ride from London to Paris - extended by the embryonic Ragstones to include the return journey.
The Ragstones started at Tower Bridge and then fought a galeforce head wind to Portsmouth - a mere 85 miles - to catch a ferry to the North French coast. There were then three days of rides to Paris. Despite chaotic organisation, the ride was character-forming, Judith showed her capabilities on her new bike - the now very elderly Dawes, and a good time was had by all. And, for those that don't know, this was the first time that we met Robert - Ruth had coyly mentioned that she was bringing a friend!
We returned to Portsmouth and rode back home, stopping overnight at the Youth Hostel in Alfrestone. It could have been a teetotal experience but for Peter's heroic efforts in cycling up the hill fully laden with luggage and carrying bottles of wine for the evening. He was delighted to find that the Youth Hostel Warden was Susanne - a charming lady who was not there and who he had narrowly escaped from knowing in a former existence - and who has tantalisingly avoided him ever since apart from mysterious appearances in his Wood and at Rotary meetings.
Life never returned to normal afterwards. Those affected by the experience were: Ray, Judith, John, Peter, Robert, John, Ruth, Melody, Alex. If you have their email addresses, please forward this blog to them.