Today’s road ride went a bit ‘Goonies do cyclocross’. A leisurely ride around the lanes of East Lothian got blown off course by a road closure at Longniddry.

“Just turn left here,” I said with zero authority, “and we’ll soon be back on the right road.”

We weren’t.

Over the level crossing, along a single-track road. Single-track road became dirt track. Dirt track became field. Field became mud track (not sure if that was an improvement). Mud track became giant puddles and then finally – we’re saved! – back to dirt track, then single-track road, then proper road.

It was all good (muddy) fun and reminded me of Gavin, my friend from childhood. We used to do loads of off-road ‘adventuring’ on our 55lb Raleigh clunkers, following deer tracks to who knew where. Sometimes they would lead to exciting new rides, other times they would lead to being arse-deep in sheep shit or scrambling up a ravine dragging our beasts of burden, cursing and swearing in that colourful way only teenage boys can muster. On the rides that went wrong, just at the most-wrong point, Gavin was prone to stopping and asking,

“Whose idea was this?”

The gone-wrong rides were never Gavin’s idea, only the good ones.

So I was channeling Gavin this morning. As we crested the rise in the field to see another rise and no sign of road I turned to Mike and asked,

“Whose idea was this?”

It was his, definitely his.