Thursday, 12 September 2013

Too Wet To Rain.

Last night was not for the fair weather riders like Gary, (who I believe was having his vajazzle touched up). Only the toughest and burliest of men were brave enough. Those magnificent heros were me,obviously....kind of goes without saying actually, I can't believe you asked really. Others included Wet Suit Sam, Crusty Crab Kyle, Scuba Shim and Nautical Dan.

lighting up time

The rain had started well before the strictly adhered to 7:30pm start rule but our set off was delayed by the salmon crossing The Royal's car park to get into the snug where it was a bit drier. The route was to be another jaunt into Chinley but via Roych Clough this time. 
why do we do it? I dunno

As we ascended towards South Head I put my attack plan into action. By leading the ride from the back I could dictate the pace and bide my time before an explosive finish. However, I needed a cover and also a cover as the rain really wasn't letting up. I deployed my legendary tactic of looking totally knackered and falling off the back. It worked a treat and the others were soon miles in front of me. They were playing right into my moist and clammy hands! To keep up the pretence I made all sorts of grunting sounds to add to the illusion of a rider completely out of condition. I'm a method actor like that. Visibility was at best, piss-poor and the mog and fist were so thick that Shim found it easier to aim his light backwards just to see where he'd been. 
The descent into Roych Clough was a twitchy bum affair. It's got really loose in places and slippier than an eel in a grease factory. With so much sideways-ness I stopped midway down just to check my tyres were still inflated. 
Climbing out of Roych I accidentally pulled the pin and passed Kyle and Dan who had started in front of me. I glided up the hill like a meth-fuelled mountain goat. This made Kyle maaaad and he unleashed so much torque that his chain snapped. Rather than face a long wet walk home I stopped and fixed his chain and agreed not to embarass him on any more inclines. Once gathered at the top, Dan borrowed my pump to make his wheels float better. It didn't work and we tip-toed down to the road into Chinley. Gravity favoured the foolhardy and Sam's 'muddy gully pinball technique' was as audacious as it was unintentional.

just take a moment to absorb the vista
With trench-foot now much in abundance we rode through Chinley towards Green Lane and the back breaking climb to Overhill Road. Once again I feigned a lack of fitness and mock-gasped for air as the others departed my view.

Several years later I got to the top and headed back toward Peep-O-Day Farm. It was here that my cunning plan was suspected by former roadie Dan. He contemplated a similar plan and falsified a crash by throwing himself over the bars in the biggest puddle he could find. This counterfeit stack was very convincing and I've no idea where he got the fake blood from. From here on in it would be me and Dan at the back waiting, waiting, waiting for the right time to pounce, or should that be ponce? Either way, the trail was running out and I planned in my head (for a change) the Campsite Run as my explosive finish of opulent magnificence. However, Dan's light had the final throw of the dice and packed in just before the start of the downhill. Rather than certain death, Dan opted to take the road route back to the car park. Shim, Sam and Kyle had now cottoned on to the fact that I was about to unleash a mountian bike fury of awesomeness in their faces! and that they were piss wet through. So instead, we all surrounded Dan on the road and lit him up like a 6foot plus fairy on a Christmas tree, with me heroically leading the way.

Vital stats: a snip under 11 miles, a vasectomy under 1000ft of climbing, a light trim over 2 hours
Conditions: couldn't see the conditions for all the rain.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Second Coming.

Oh what a night! It shall be etched bold in legend wherever men revel and quaff. For tonight, I would be riding my bike in anger (and also the Peak District) for the first time since last October. It was time to commence "Operation: lets see what this wrist can do". Six brave souls braved the warm, dry and dusty conditions with immense bravery  to complete the bravest comeback ride of the century, Ben Creed's "Chinley Double". This was the ride that broke me all those months ago. The fearless immortals were myself, Rik Ety, don't call me digger Chris, Sam Timenextweek, John Walsh'n'dry and newbie Craig Bonanza.
behold their magnificents!

The Royal had never seen such pinnacles of men in its car park. We were apon steeds the likes of which have only ever been seen before in the most grandest of Halfords. The rigorously adhered to "7:30pm start" rule meant we were away at precisely 7:40 on the dot. With lights charged and brows furrowed we ventured forth towards the Sett Valley Trail. It had clearly been a while since the others had been in the presence of one so awesome as myself and I could tell straight away that they were out to impress me. They'd show off by sprinting up the trail, leaving me far behind. At each gate in the trail we would bunch up like an accordion and as I began to pedal away they would fly past me once again. I knew they were showing off for me so to save them any embarrassment I pretended to be hopelessly out of condition. I managed to sustain the act for the entire ride. I care that much!
The first climb up past the quarries was a slow affair and as the road turned to track it became obvious that the lack of mud had turned the stones into marbles. Once up to speed, stopping and turning would be ambitious at best. That would have to wait though. First we had the tarmac descent to Dolly's Lane and the near vertical climb back up to Overhill Road to deal with. Again I hung back giving the illusion of a rider who was totally knackered at this stage. When I did get to the top I discovered mutiny in the rank! Chris, Rik and Sam were scared of the marble alley that lay before them and were positively cacking themselves at the prospect of an all out full frontal assault to the top of the peak. They opted for a more leisurely route while the real men tackled the wheel slippage and back breaking grassy climb with nothing but a few cows to cheer them on.
yes Chris, you're not as manly as me!

Once at the top the only way was down, hurrah! and with the elegant grace of a moped on ice we pootled down to Peep 'O Day Farm. There was dust, there was a smell of burning brake pads, there was the warmth that only comes from glowing discs, there were squeals of brakes and squeaks from bums. It was romantic really.
However, next up was the descent to the campsite and then the campsite run itself. You could smell the fear!
Sam stealthily shitting himself

One by one we tip toed down.
suddenly the memories return *parp*

Half way down and the trench that had put me on biking hold for 11 months came into view.
this at speed, I don't think so

"Holy crap! no wonder I crashed" leaped to mind but there was no time to think. I had to use every single available inch of my skill (so about 29mm in metric then). It wasn't much but I navigated my way down without breaking any bones. Go me!! We then came to the final stretch, the campsite run. I'd not been down in a long time and my line choice reflected that. I accidentally took the harder left-line by the tree but somehow stayed upright and rode out the other side intact. *insert your hero comment here*. I even got some massive air off the bumps in the trail. I must have been 3 maybe 4 inches off the ground, both wheels and everything! A steady stroll back to the Royal ensued and we all agreed on how awesome I'd been. While this is true, I can't take all the credit, just most.
home sweet home

Roll on next week!