Sunday 19th

Sun 19th Jan 2014

Alun recalls his day for posterity:

A Reasonably Big Kielder Ride.

Riders: Alun, Mark A, Dan W, John R, Arnaud and Paul H (new boys)

6 hardy souls set off from the Cave in somewhat unpleasant weather.

This weather did not change at all until we parked up. 6 degrees and drizzly. or cold and damp.

We set off at a reasonable pace round the lakeside way. Marks recently 'fettled' Orange making some funny old noises as a new chain jumped round an old cassette. It made it all the way to the start of the lonesome pine trial before the chain snapped, taking the front mech out with it. 5Km in. Nothing could be done trailside to remedy the situation, so we did what all good teams would do in that situation.

Left him.

Gave him the van key though.

Normal service resumed as we blasted through the trail. The warning of a slippy bridge fell on deaf ears as Dan became the only rider of the day to part company with his bike. No harm done though. Once we finished the climb out of lonesome pine, there was a mutiny. Apparently 15Km/h average is just too fast. So the pace was reigned in a tad.

Simons Tester, Capon Hassock and the bloody bush north shore all passed without any issues until we came across another bunch of riders. They graciously pulled over to the side of the trail to allow the MAC train through. Apart from the front pair. they panicked, veered and almost crashed. The descent down to the bloody bush toll was cold and rough. The sky looked full and there was quite a stiff breeze. I'm positive that trail gets rougher and less steep each time I go down...

Into Scotland!

The climb from the Bush to the mast was nowhere near the slog I though it was going to be. Ground was hard with plenty of grip, despite all of the rain. From the mast down is a fast, very fast, fire road descent with a couple of tricky corners. Alun and Paul set off on fire, with an aim to better the KOM time which has an average speed of 45Km/h. Unfortunately a blown over tree put paid to that effort, but still big smiles and giggles all round.

A quick bait stop on the final climb to Newcastleton refreshed some tired legs. A splendid view only marred by the bitter cold.

Once into Newcastleton some options were presented. Take the Pouter Lampert trail or the fire road. The majority took to the trail. It was a speedy run down until some inconsiderate walkers lost control of their mutts. The 2 dogs narrowly escaped injury as they attempted to chase 4 flying MTB's. I reckon these were the type of folk who would complain massively if we were riding on a footpath, yet there they were, walking on a designated bike trail. Nothing was spoiling Arnaud's fun though as he came out the end with easily the biggest smile of the day.

We climbed up from the Newcastleton carpark to the start of the Hidden Valley trail. By the end of this, there where even more weary legs. Paul, Arnaud and John head off on the fire road climb, while Alun and Dan continued on the roots, mud and sloppy north shore. 

Another brief stop at the Stane, some gels were consumed, coffee was asked for, aye right.

Sometimes when you ride along the river back towards England, you get a good tailwind. Not today. A steady podge along was the order of the day. This part always seems to go on forever. Its fantastic on a fine summers day!

Regrouping before the border crossing, spirits rose when we realised we were almost back. The decision to cut out the 2nd climb of Simon's Tester had already been made so once over the border, it was a nice fire road blast all the way back to the Lakeside Way. The final 2 miles were taken at a leisurely pace, and we made it back to the van after 5h 23m covering 37 miles. Mark was in the cafe making good use of the free wifi.... A very quiet trip back 

*************************************************************************

Terry says - Bienvenue à NMBC Arnie, nice to meet you at last. And the same to you Paul, nice to have you along, even though I couldn't be there. And a reminder to all members - if you can be arsed, a nice write-up like this one from Alun would be more than welcome to add to our Ride Diary if I'm not there to record it - all contributions welcome.

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Next Sunday Ride (plus other odd days) - See our Facebook page.

Next Night Ride: Thursday as usual.

Thursday nighters are 10-25 milers, 7:00pm start at ASDA East car park, Benton, 3-3.5 hours and generally OK for fit new riders but you need decent lights you can see with, NOT CANDLES. You MUST wear a cycle helmet.

Sundays are generally much longer, 8:00am to 10:00am starts from ride venue ending around teatime, and much harder rides.

Other ad-hoc rides are always being organised, see our Facebook page. Gloves, waterproof coat, snack and drink recommended. Carry basic tools.

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