Recollections from Kevin Rourke

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Paul was a friend, and will be best remembered for his videos and his humour.
Paul enjoyed helping others, and as a Ride Leader he always put extra effort into trying to come up with fresh & original routes, such as Appletree & Cropredy.
In August 2015, Paul led a ride to the Hare & Hounds at Wardington, near Banbury.
Either, everybody was on holiday or there must have been a bad weather forecast, because Paul & I were the only two riders to continue from the coffee break at Draycote Water.
When we eventually reached the pub it was just beginning to rain. To me, the pub seemed a bit grotty & smelt strongly of ‘damp’ dogs, but Paul quickly struck up a conversation with the owner of the dogs (the landlord).
Paul was never a big eater at lunchtime, I was okay, as I had some food in my rack bag, Paul made do with a packet of dry roasted peanuts (and shared them). After we’d finished our drinks it was still raining, we decided to sit it out for a bit, but it didn’t stop and it was still raining when we decided to leave. When we got outside the rain was torrential (like standing under a drainpipe). Paul was soon ready to go, but I dropped my keys and had trouble finding them, then I had a problem undoing my bike lock. Paul waited patiently, but we were thoroughly soaked before we even set off.
Firstly, we had to do a short stretch along the A361 Banbury Road. The A361 is never pleasant, it can be busy and the road surface is rough in places due to crazing. But there was so much standing water, you couldn’t even see the road surface or where the potholes were, and the constant spray from the passing cars made it even more miserable. So we just put our heads down and pedalled as fast as we could to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. We were glad to reach the country lanes near Cropredy, where we felt safer, the rain eased off and we could relax a little. We were due to go to Hunningham Hill Farm for tea, but I think we went straight home.

Paul repeated the ride about nine months later, and on that occasion the weather was kinder and the ride was better attended.

Kevin Rourke

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