Sunday 19th

After a decent list of definites and "Maybes" had appeared on Facebook, we probably expected more than five to turn out for this one but as seems to be the habit, several posters were talking cac, and not for the first time. The whole point of posting on a Club Facebook event is to say you ARE going, not you're NOT! What a set of pricks.

I do love a good old whinge.

Anyway, leaving the children aside, the five started their ride around 10:00 am under cloud, and even had a few spits of moisture falling on them at the top of the Crags. I'd almost forgotten the sheer joy of parking in the dip and riding up to the highest point but it all came flooding back and I was completely stuffed by the time I reached the top gate. And from then on to the upper reaches, either the Forestry Commission or some other wealthy landowner had made normal progress a bit less straightforward than it's been for the last 15 years by dumping a few hundred tons of random broken house bricks up the fireroad. Oh joy, and me with a bulging sidewall on the back of the Trek. Somehow it didn't burst.

Having zero energy up there doesn't help much but we tackled the top ridge as spritely as ever, although Ian B's fat bike seemed a bit more of a handful than the normal mounts. We cut to the right at the highest bit to avoid the gorge, now almost impossible to negotiate with any fluidity after years of abuse and rushing water. And very shortly after we'd entered the top singletrack, Thrunton took it's first prisoner of the day when Terry failed to notice the two foot drop-off Justin had just sailed over and went a over t above the bars, headbutting the tree immediately ahead of it but thankfully in very slow motion. That got the first giggle but not from TK after his saddle tried to create a pocket in his inner thigh. Shed a few tears there if the truth be known.

This particular trail is a wee bit tricky for your average MTBer (like me) so it took a few minutes for us all to get down. The lower section down to the fireroad beyond the foot of the old Gully wasn;t quite so dodgy but Justin still had to stop once to allow me to see where he went, and after that we playedf on the little take-off rock for a few minutes before dropping to the fireroad for the first time. That of course means a climb up the hill, where we passed a couple of the drops including the Death Drop in favour of one a little higher up the trail. From the end of this one we circled around clockwise doing a couple more of Justin's favourites before hitting the same fireroad again for our second ride up there. This time we took it almosy to the top, sticking in one drop that proved too steep for four of us and having to find something a little tamer!

That left us with the anticlockwise rise up to the Memorial Bench climb where a stranger interrogated Ian about fat bikes in general before we made our way down HP Sauce (the only long run I know by its name). Following on from that, and under Justin's expert directions, we dropped and climbed five more super singletrack sections on the way back down to the cars. And of course it had to be the last chunk that claimed a victim, this time poor Mark TWICE burying his front wheel in gullies on the same run, only moments apart. Far too trusting of a hole in the ground is Mark!

So there we were a hundred metres from the vehicles once more, but someone decided we may as well do the parallel singletrack i9nstead of the fireroad, so we ascended to the start pint to follow Coe Burn over those tortuous roots and gullies (yes, again) and yes, again one of them caught Mark. They come in threes, you know. Hard work as it is so pedally and technical but great fun and a proper blast on the flat-to-downward sections. 

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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.

The Best Bike in the World arrives at ASDA!

Well, not actually in the store, but outside in the car park on Thursday night, and it was John Rivers who turned up with it, lucky s**! And as if to prove it's pedigree it resisted all of Matt Holmes' attempts to wreck it on a sharp-edged, very high kerb!

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The bigger the group, the louder the laughs!

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