Sunday 3rd

Oh, the Shame!

Today was a landmark day for NMBC/Midaircrisis. The Club reached a milestone in its history.

In attendance – Ian B, Ian M, Steve, Justin, Neil, David, Francis and Terry.

We’ve done (at least some of us have) Cross Country, Downhill, 4-Cross, Enduro, Marathon, BMX  and Cycle Speedway, but today we extended our expertise into something new, something exciting, something different –

Seven Stanes Armchair Racing

Here’s a pic of just some of the action:

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Actually, the day was NOT a total loss for the non-riding quintet, because we grabbed this stunning opportunity to stage our AGM in the café and several important items were discussed.

  • The first item was very busy clearing away dishes and cleaning tables so didn't take an active part in the meeting (a disputable statement).
  • The second item is potentially the most interesting – we are planning a long weekend’s riding (on bikes this time, not like this one) over August Bank Holiday commencing on Friday 28th August when we’ll be staying at Stevie’s house in the other Newcastle (under Lyne). We’ll be riding at Cannock Chase on the Saturday and the Peak District on Sunday and Monday before returning that night. If you fancy this you may need to bring a sleeping bag!
  • There was no third item, although Justin tried to introduce some sort of donkey ride.

The trail consisted largely of extensive tabletops, step-ups, step-downs and the infamous “Galashiels Escalator” with a tight switchback at its peak. If you haven’t done this section of trail then it can be found right in the centre of town, straight through the double glass door at Tesco. The arrow-straight incline draws you steadily upwards at breakneck speed making it very hard to stay upright  until you navigate the hairpin and reach Level One at which point you’ve almost gained Expert status, but until you’ve tail whipped through “The Checkouts”, completed the scary “Freezer Run” and laid your hands on “Tatty Scones” you won’t have mastered the full course, just the main course. Before you loop around “Fishy Fingers” for the return run don’t forget to try “Broon Sauce” as you’ll be very glad you did.

Welcome to the Square Sausage Club.

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If this all sounds a little, well - crazy, it’s supposed to be, and the reason for that is to try and hide my feelings of utter guilt after travelling 200 miles and returning with nothing more than Monday’s dinner and memories of Juicy Joanne of Jedburgh. I’m almost distraught as I write this (not quite though) because of my treatment of David in particular after I’d goaded him into “manning up” when he hadn’t been too keen to make the trip due to the weather both at home and further north. We did take a vote outside the Peel café and just one more hand in the air would have had us all riding as planned. Instead, however, one too many of us chickened out.

It went a bit like this:

We dismounted from Stevie’s car and Ian M’s van to be met by frozen, driving rain and sub-zero temperatures. There was immediate concern as we stood there staring at each other, waiting for a miracle.

Then Neil appeared. No miracle.

Then Francis appeared. No miracle.

Then Davey appeared. Truly a miracle.

The consensus was to take shelter in the welcoming café for an hour and see if conditions improved. We’d already seen on Googlie that there was sleet up top of Spooky and riders returning to their cars confirmed this. It was cool. Francis stuck his bike back in the boot for the time being while Davey and Neil took theirs down to the Peel. We stepped inside and joined the queue for a cuppa.

Did I mention this was our second cuppa? No? Well we’d already stopped and gorged ourselves on sausage and bacon rolls at Jedburgh where it was also freezing, nasty and horrible. Apart from the view.

It’s only courtesy to mention a canny little quip by The Godfather (Ian B, who else?) who, when retorting to Terry’s remark that it must be a miracle that no parked cars ever had their windscreens shattered due to the immediate, incredible proximity of Jed Thistle RFC’s rugby posts, without any hesitation he pointed straight at the forlorn Abbey just behind us and spluttered “No, but that place surely did!” at which point we all cracked up. Unfortunately the old bu@@er cracks me up more than most and I almost went into labour, doubled up in agony and couldn’t stop groaning for ages, ending up with very sore guts.

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We continued northward.

Did I mention we had our third cuppa when we pulled back into the same spot in Jedburgh to have yet another gargle and use the loos.?  And blow me if the Glentress God didn’t get me here again when yes, trying to ignore the rugby goals and not even glance in their direction for fear of repeat punishment, I headed straight for the stalls. When I came back out I held the door ajar for some incoming Japanese tourists. So far, so innocent. However, who should be standing just a few feet away with an evil curl on his lips than Himself. And of course he had something to say, didn’t he?

“Hope you didn’t mention Pearl Harbour”.

You can probably guess the outcome. More severe pain and a fresh opening of my old hernia due to another massive bout of uncontrollable guffawing causing tension in the abdominal region, all down to this lunatic’s sense of humour and immaculate comic timing.

After the others had waited for me to calm down and start breathing properly again we decided it was too cold to stand outside like we had earlier, so in we went and pulled up a chair or five. The manageress came over and announced quite loudly “We’re Shit”. Well I thought the tea and rolls we'd devoured earlier were quite canny, and served beautifully. I think she meant it was closing time in her brilliant Borders dialect, as she then turned the sign on the door to “Closed”. Thankfully she recognised us (or Ian’s dulcet tones) from a few hours before and allowed us to stay for last orders (at 3:00 pm).

Stevie and Tommy Cooper’s dad had soup while Justin, Ian M and I made do with a cup of tea, and we set about trying to ignore the waitress we’d been agitated by on the way up. It was hard. It was also difficult.

Thank goodness the Ians were travelling together in the Berlingo, although things were no better without them in the Evoque where the discussion continued to be based on something Jed described as a “donkey punch”, interspersed with various descriptions of stuff he, Stevie and myself had suffered by way of bodily intrusive instruments at the hands of sadistic NHS staff. I was glad to get out.

So yes, today I was on another trek, but this one wasn’t a bike.

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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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