There was quite a turn out for the big ballot and voting with their knobblies on were Felons, Fiona, Wendy, James, Old Sid, Jeroen, Ron, Tommy, Barry, Dangerous, Sam, Greg, Michael, JP, Bruno and Myself.
In warm sunshine, Dangerous took the lead on a lovely run down to Whipps, taking us through some new trails and also through some impenetrable undergrowth. Just after Oak Hill the rear hub on James’ single speed converted itself into a fixie, refusing to budge without some severe persuasion and he headed for Bike Trax for a rebuild. Bloody single speeds!
The rest of us continued on to the Hollow Pond tea hut following the customary route through Dogging Wood, disturbing a few punters on the way.
Our quick tea stop was livened up by Michael attempting to ride the wall, which is a long way up when you’ve only got 8” wheels and while all this was going on Old Sid did a marvellous recovery job on Sam’s wobbly rear wheel.
We headed back north and around Water Works mislaying half the group until Tommy’s front wheel wash out brought us to a halt. While he fixed the resulting puncture, the rest of us embarked on a very interesting conversation about how long jelly babies had been an integral part of Haribo Starmix. Jeroen threw in his love of Randoms. It was gripping stuff!
Back together again, Felons headed for home and the rest of us made our way up to lunch at Bradley’s via The Swamp and The Hump where Bruno headed home and we were joined by Simon.
The post lunch loop saw us head up to High Beach and then out to Wake Valley, through the Boggy Valley and out to Golding’s Hill car park where Wendy, still suffering from her last lap crash at Torq, headed back to the pub for a pint of pain killer. From the car park we did a reversal of Matt’s trail back to Jack’s Hill car park where this time it was Greg’s turn to suffer a mechanical when a stick went through his back wheel, smashing his rear derailleur.
After some wrestling and some nice work by Barry on his hanger we were off again, heading for the drop down through Indian Summer and up, after Jeroen’s puncture, to Golding’s Hill Ponds for the quick descent to Alan’s Bridge and then up to Lost Pond.
With Simon out front we completed a full circle of the pond and made our way out to The Bombholes where we picked up Neil, Jim, Minna and a few stray Mods who had halted for Neil’s puncture.
After crossing ENR we made our way through the Church trails, passed the rest of the Mods and over to Lippets for some downhill action. I lead into the top of the trail but realising I was being followed by Sheeney and Ago, I moved over and followed, I mean was left by, Simon and Old Sid as they flew down into the shoot through the trees. With knees and elbows at max width, Old Sid executed a nice around the outside overtake before the last s-bend which saw him just pip Simon to the log bridge finish line. It was good to watch and no animals or children were harmed during the action.
We regrouped and made our way along the final bridleways towards the last 5 minutes which was once again keenly contested through The Graveyard. Wendy’s earlier texts had warned of some nasty low slung branches adjacent to the car park and despite her efforts to clear them all some still remained and this brought a halt to proceedings while they were removed. There still remained enough time for me to have my only tumble of the day, going over the bars right on the edge of the car park! That sniper is still out there.
The post ride MBR design forum then took place at the SH. After some heated discussion, lively banter and some essential advice from sleeve style guru Jess Zaino at videojug.com, www.dailymotion.com/video/xgf26x_dos-and...ion-don-ts_lifestyle
, it was unanimously decided that capped, raglan, kimono or ruched sleeves where not for us. Next week we plan to tackle the sticky subject of buttoned, zipped or Velcro fastenings.
To a collective sigh of relief at this momentous step forward the beers flowed, accompanied by the usual lashings of beige this time topped off with some chips in spicy tomato sauce. There was still time for some disappointment when, despite our high hopes, it was still onion rings and not calamari. Maybe next week.
We were joined by Sze, Martin, Richie, Carly, Dawn and the returning Felons and James. A good day all round.