Saturday, June 19, 2004

Jim's Wedding Present 

Ever-so-slightly hungover exploratory ride and walk(!) near Llanberis with Crumbs, Rob and Rhian. Crumbs had a go at dropping his saddle for the descents(!!) and pretty soon got the idea of why it is A Good Thing to do. Best line of the day went to him too: "I wouldn't have chose to ride that!". I would like to tell you more about what we found but I'd have to kill you.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Jim's Birthday Present 

Rode ByC with Crumbs and Jim-the-40-year-old-get on the way down to the latter's birthday weekender in North Wales. It was fantastic fun (when is it not?). The weather was great again and the trails were decidedly dusty. I was on the mighty Redline and it was lovin' it big style. Crumbs (who was dressed in a very distressing Flinstones-esque sleeveless jersey) had an encouraging epiphany halfway round: "I'd forgotten how much fun this is!". Maybe he'll get out a bit more from now on, eh? I presented Jim with his birthday present (ultra top secret hidden downhill trail in the forest) and he proceeded to exercise a whole heap of Cotical Madness upon it - extra nose-manual points were awarded to him for his completion of the big drop. It was so frighteningly executed that Crumbs bailed it! (his SID's probably would've snapped anyway) Jim had to depart at the bottom (to kickstart that night's party activities) but me and Crumbs just had to go back up the hill and sample the official way down as well. It was still great fun (I still much prefer the secret way though) and Crumbs made an extra attempt to further entertain me by crashing on a jump at the very last corner and diving headfirst into a large group a brambles that left him with an unfeasibly large amount of scratches all over his arms, legs and face! Manmade trails are ace. So there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

This Site Is Temporarily Off-Line 

Jeez... I am sooooo tired...

Monday, June 14, 2004

Kool Kirroughtree 

Went with Craig to the Press Launch for the new 7stanes project: Kirroughtree. Wasn't expecting much (thought it might be like Dull Dalbeattie). I was wrong. It was fabulous. Probably best to read all about on Singletrack's front page...

Go on then :o)

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Peaks Monster Ride 

60 miles. In the Peak District. Me, CrazyLegs, Sex Midget, SteveM and Craig (he only rode for 30 miles though). All The Gates covered in one day. Started at 7:30am. Finished at 6:15pm. Awesome. Great weather again (too hot really actually but you can't complain can you?). Cut Gate was fantastic and my recent fearless form continued as I navigated the Bonty successfully down the more mental route down to the stream at the end with Jon in a similarly groovy form too. But then I felt really down after a ridden-far-too-fast road section and threatened to pull out at the top of Chapel Gate. Thankfully I was talked out of it (there was no easy way out anyway!) and then the Chapel Gate descent and a fuel stop in Edale perked me up no end. This second wind lasted for the rest of the ride and I even rode Doctor's Gate pretty much as well as I ever have done. Somehow (probably the Bonty's new magic handlebars). Too describe the ride in detail would take all night so I won't bother. It may well feature as a Singletrack route guide soon anyway which will tell you all you want to know.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Broadbottom Rules 

Rode with Craig on his local trails. Percentage of Cheek was approximately 95%. Excellent. We took loads of photos (should have a few really nice ones I think). The weather was sweaty-as-flip. The beer was good. Asswhacker and The Poacher's Trail were great and twisty and most enlivened by the plunge-mungous performance of the TALAS forks on Craig's Spot (which I was riding) - eek! We then had an extended play in Broadbottom. I was getting slightly worried about how I was going to cope with the following day's intended epic ride after this day's large amount sweat-drenched fast riding so we brought the pace down a bit and pootled back to Craig's. The Sex Midget joined us later and we watched a "Drop In TV" DVD that seemed to last for several months. It was good at first but the percentage of riding to Canadians-acting-like-Beavis-&-Butthead was a bit unfortunate. We did learn several new terms though which will no doubt come in handy on the next Yorkshire Dales jeyboy ride.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Goodbye Stubbing! 

TimK: "Not too much to say about this Thursday night ride, apart from; i cleaned Horsehold for the first time on my SS, hurrah! [I cleaned it too - for the 2nd time - Benji] the beer in the Stubbing was fantastic, lemon and ginger, mmmm and Stanny pulled an old bird who liked the beer too, she liked it so much she licked it off his arm, eeewwww!! The only downer was that it was the last night of the current owners in the Stubbing :( Thanks very much for all the great beer you have provided!!!".

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Ripper Dipper (Slight Return) 

Started out from Tod with Chipps, Chris and Dave with the sole intention of riding Ripper Dipper again. Unfortunately it is a right bugger to get to from Tod. After an extended map consultation we finally decided to go up past the Golf Club and do Broken Litespeed Trail. Chipps and Chris have never ridden this undervalued rollercoaster trail and I think they were very impressed by how much fun it is, especially its unexpected hairpin dip in the middle. Duke's Cut was then the scene of two revelations: 1) after a bit of dry weather the wimpy left hand option down the field becomes a BMX-style swoopathon 2) The Man has surfaced the Hell out of the boggy bit at the bottom (which I'm in two minds as to whether is good or bad news actually). I can't tell you where we went next as it may contain clues as to the whereabouts of Ripper Dipper! Anyway, that trail was still amazing and Chipps and Dave were instantly classing it as one of Calderdale's Best Ever Trails. I won't tell you where we came out or what trail we did next (for the reasons mentioned above). Eventually we came to Slack Tracks and then Chipps repaid the favour and revealed Beach Nuts to us. What a great trail - super sketchy and claustrophobic at the top (especially in the dark!), rooty and midgetastic in the middle, rocky and droppy towards the end. How none of us went over the bars is a mystery. Whilst buzzing down a minor road back into Hebden mine and Dave's Cheeky Sense tingled and we both noticed an enticing ginnel off down the side of house above a stream. "Shall we have a look?" Dave pointlessly asked and we all set off gingerly down it, trying not to smash our handlebars on the narrow walls. I can't really describe the trail as it was too dark to see it! All I can say is that it is super narrow and goes alongside the edge of some just-high-enough-to-be-scary drops to your left and right sides. Gulp. Near the end I rolled backwards while braking after a group stall and my slip-in V-brake pads fell out (forgot to install the pins y'see). There was no chance of finding them which meant I had to ride the subsequent steep and invisible drop-in with only a front brake. I very nearly pushed down it ('cos if I hit a hidden bump on the way down I would've endoed and/or screamed off over the nasty fenceside) but I was feeling confident so I thought "fuck it" and rolled down it no problem. Cool.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Industrial strife 

People who publish unsparing detailed information about the whereabouts of delicate cheeky trails on the internet deserve to be forever more forced to ride Marins and Whytes. Tossers.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

An extra 2"... 

Replaced the 25" wide Syncros bars on my Bonty with some 27" wide Easton EA50's in an (assumed) vain attempt to put a bit of "fro" into its handling. Took it for a little spin...
I thought it was quite testy as it was but now it's a right little nippy hooligan. Leaning right over through corners and drifting the tyres nicely and other such silliness. Cannot wait to hurl it round the Peak District next sunday.

Pedalcar passion 

Spent the day tear-arsing around a playground in Leicester in a stolen pedalcar. It was for a future article in Singletrack btw. No doubt you'll read all about it there soon enough. Basically, it was ace!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ripper Dipper 

Went for a play in Calderdale with The Juicy One and had one of my top 5 Calderdale rides of all time. When you work out how many Calderdale rides I've been on (roughly 43,458) you'll know just how fecking good this one was. The route was heavily improvised as we went and it paid off handsomely because there's no way anyone would have plotted this route beforehand. The route in detail: Hebden Bridge, Crimsworth Dean, Lumb Falls, Limers Gate, High Brown Knoll, Pecket Well A, Hardcastle Crags, Widdop Reservoir, Ripper Dipper, Ali's Zig-Zags, Heptonstall, Blue Pig and Twisty Tunnel. We very nearly didn't even notice the entrance to our newly discovered trail (Ripper Dipper) and even when we did spot it we very nearly didn't bother riding it (I shudder with the thought). I ventured along the trail on foot to see if it was worth doing and was just about to say "nah" when I took one more step and saw a cool-looking footbridge over a stream. "Let's do it" I excitedly said. I won't go into detail about the nature or whereabouts of the trail as some of you will be riding yourself very soon... ;o)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Big Thrash ends at last 

My job for the day was guiding Mark Lister and Wendy Chant on the final leg of their long distance sponsored bike ride from Edinburgh to Todmorden. The start point was Waddington - which was near enough to cycle to - so I got up early and dug out the road bike in disguise Klein, pumped up its tyres for the morning's likely tarmac-fest and proceeded to get completely soaking wet during the pre-ride ride to meet Mark and Wendy. First half of the ride was pretty much just minor roads due to a few reasons (Mark and Wendy's tired states, the ground was very soggy and there just ain't many worthwhile trails round that area) but after meeting up with Dave above Sabden things picked up. Dave took us on an adventure through the unknown quarters of off-road Burnley and discovered a fun little trail with lots of entertaining stream crossings. A night ride return is being plotted as we speak. We ended up doing the usual Worsthorne-Whirlaw-Rodwell route into Todmorden which was great fun (after finally remembering to let some air out of my tyres!). We all piled into the Tenth Muse for food and beer too (which was nice).

The evening's night ride was quite hard work after the day's soggy efforts and the extended (beer-filled) rest stop in between but I survived. The route was quite a bizarre one as we had to start over at Stubbing Wharf (to pick up some riders) but also had to finish at the Staff Of Life (to meet friends). Thankfully Dave came to the rescue by offering shuttling duty back to the Stubbing so everything was tickety-boo. Special bonus "realness" points were awarded to New-Chris for riding a fully rigid singlespeed without lights on tricky trails in the dark (which resulted in a great comedy endo on some ridge-tastic singletrack).

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