Sunday, January 30, 2005


28/01/05-30/01/05: Rob's Farewell Wales Weekender. Arrived late on friday but still managed to get right royally hammered and high as a fooking kite. Can't remember much of friday night except: the massive spun cannon; mini Creme Eggs; cheeky vimtos; Steve pouring champagne on himself; drinking from jugs; Rob repeatedly getting the teat owl joke wrong. Saturday we went up Snowdon. The weather was fantastic at the start but up near the top it went cloudy and snowy (which was equally ace really). The descent down the Rangers Path was fantastic - quite possibly my favourite UK descent. There isn't really space to go into detail, all I can say is "thread the needle, baby!!!" Saturday night was another (slightly less) messy starch-drenched affair. Sunday we played in ByC. My bike became shit so I borrowed Ernie B - which was most fabbo (cheers Coogletron). Top weekend, one of the best ever I thought.
MUSIC OF CHOICE: compilation CDR from SteveM.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Chase Is Ace 

22/01/05: Cannock Chase with Juicy Jim. It was supremely muddy for the first sections and I was really lovin' it. Jim was on his singlespeed (with its comedy tyres) and was struggling a bit. We started off trying to follow the Red Route but eventually got a bit bored of its seemingly random signposting so we managed to subtly blag an invite on to a group of local riders who showed us around for the rest of the day - result! I swapped bikes with Jim after a while so he ended up riding a swanky carbon fibre £3,400 full-sus Giant jeymobile that was 'on test' for the mag. Which he (surprisingly) really fell in love with! And I loved riding his dinky Kona Unit too - everyone's happy. The trails and the Giant have made me decide to get my Klein up and running properly again (all it needs is a rear wheel rebuild and I might put bouncy forks on it again).The guided part of the ride was excellent and we got shown some great hidden twisty stuff in the trees which wasn't so muddy. Can't wait to go back there in spring/summer and partner Cannock with the Wyre for a top weekend of cheeky forest madness.
MUSIC OF CHOICE: 'Analord 10 EP' by AFX.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Broken Biscuits 

16/01/05: Hebden ride. Just me and Crumbs. After being fed and watered by real life lesbians and a quick map consultation in Blazing Saddles we hit the dirt. Jack Bridge, Mary T to Egypt, Gorple Res, Widdop Res, Gorple Road, Hurstwood Res, Wind Farm, Whirlaw and Rodwell B (where I may have found a new trail). It was really muddy in places towards the end and this seemed to really sap Crumbs of energy. I was on an appropriate bike for once (singlespeed with spiky mud tyres) and was rocking along nicely. Convinced myself that I can get away with saggy 100mm forks on the Redline to help unleash its beastliness even further! All in all a great, demanding day out in the hills. We remarked on just how many times we've ridden this route over the years (when I used to be the one struggling) - it's a Proper Classic. Just realised I've not being doing my Music Of Choice selections since I resumed Blogging. So here goes...
MUSIC OF CHOICE: 'Shipwreck' by D'Arcangelo.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sick List 

Hecklay: shock bushings
Bonty: dinged rear rim
Klein: buckled rear wheel
Humu: front hub bearings
Redline: rear hub bearings
Matilda: not built yet

Bianchi: A-OK :-O

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stubbing Massive 

13/01/05: Calderdale night ride from Stubbing Wharf. Unusually large group of riders (12?). Jack Bridge, Angry Farmer's Wife, Bike Photo Shoot, Whirlaw Stones, Rodwell B. Weird combination of race-speed riding and standing around a lot. And I was riding a Marin. Kinda hopin' for a return to the usual next week!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Lieutenant Harris-Evans 

09/01/05: Riding t'other end of Calderdale with Craig, Craig's Dad Keith, Dave360, SteveM and Flexi Felix. Dashed hard work today due to the lack of freewheeling opportunities (either uphill or muddy!). Assorted highlights include: Craig arguing with his Dad over route choice; the flooded bombhole; Keith's rear QR falling out (like father like son!); Flexi suddenly dashing off to save the world; careering down the mud slope behind the Orange factory (God bless Kenda Knarly tyres!); dirty-mountain-bikers-in-MacDonalds incongruity; fantastic cobbled road climb; the tunnel under the road (yikes!); Craig nearly slipping off a slimy walltop. But the undoubted highlight of the day was Flexi showing us down Headless Chicken Run (so called 'cos it has the odd low branch in it). What a great trail! It was fairly similar to Pixie Woods in Hebden but a lot, lot longer with a bigger drop to your left at first, more twistyness, more low branches, carving bends, roots, jumps, drops and a nice rollercoaster section toward the end. It finished with a plummet down a mud slope to a kids playground which everyone fucked up royally (skidding down slope on backsides, slowly rotating) except Craig (who ruled the trails all day on a cross bike!) who just flew down it (I thought he was definitely going to spill it big style!). Apparently Headless Chicken Run is festooned with bluebells come springtime. Can't wait! Flexi has earned his Cheeky Wings at last.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Cancelled? No, Postponed 

08/01/05: Supposed to ride from Skipton over Embsay Moor (etc) with TimK, Kelvin and Cy but the ride was called off due to mental winds. Bugger. Particularly gutted for Tim seeing as he never gets to ride at weekends usually :o(

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Deep fried brie? 

06/01/05: Calderdale Thursday night ride from Stubbing Wharf with some Usual Suspects. Up Jack Bridge, taking it easy at the back with Kelvin and Fatbob. Along road to Slack Tracks, which was unusually muddy and slippy. Down Ali's Zig Zags, which seemed to be a bit clearer of obstacles than I remember but it still had me ditching it into the verge amusingly. Up Bastard Tarmac Climb, which was particularly bastardish. Then we spent a while sheltering behind a wall out of the noisy wind, eating Tangfastics and drinking Tim's hipflask. A decision was made and we then rode the first half of Midget's Pit (just can't get enough of the view that opens up in front of you as you emerge into the field) but instead of turning off into The Pit itself we kept barreling on down the straight open rocky track which was lots of fun indeed; jumping mini-rockeries and steering around tree stumps just about in control (the £1000 Specialized bouncy test bike I was riding was amazing!). At the road we turned left and headed up to do the last 2/3 of Blue Pig, which was even more fun than normal seeing as someone (or something) had dug out either side of the water bars making them very hard to leap over successfully (we all managed to avoid pinch-flatting somehow!). We finished with The Ginnel, Bolty's Steps (which I rode fully... on the 2nd attempt!) and Riverside Run (with Craig handily pointing out where a possible new trail may join it). Spirits were high and egos were up so a few of us had a go at riding along a wall and jumping off the end. Craig and Tim handled it no probs. I landed my shonky attempt like a bag of spanners (note to self: learn to wheelie soon). Back to The Stubbing for beer and deep-fried brie - yay! Same again next week please.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Boys keep swingin' 

03/01/05: ByC Marin Trail plus fruity additives with Juicy Jim and Air Manfield. At last - a bit of (almost) painless fun fun fun! Never had anything less than a great time when I ride ByC. Highlights of this trip: all of us arriving on time (wow!); Jim's once in a lifetime double-nose-manual-into-a-ditch manoeuvre which left him in girly riding mode for awhile and me and Steve in hysterics; attitude checks; Jim refusing at the Bus Stop Drop but being hectored into riding it by me and Steve; Jim not crashing on the Bus Stop Drop; the unfortunate set of lads struggling their way around on BMX's(!); those jumps on the middle section of the final descent (how good?); Steve saying that he wouldn't mind riding ByC every weekend; finishing in dry clothing for once! Just what the doctor ordered. Thanks again ByC.

Merry New Year 

31/12/04 - 02/01/05: Bunk barning in Kentmere in the Lake District with Rob & Co. Not a lot of riding done (more boozing and amusing ourselves in a power-free cattleshed for a couple of days). A swinging good time was had by all. Number of days consistently hungover now = 11. On the sunday SteveM arrived and joined Rob, Craig and I for his first (and possibly last) ride of the year. We went up Garburn Pass (which is ultra-pale shadow of its former bouldery self - boo!), then we went down Garburn Pass. Rob's new bike (an evil black Santa Cruz VP-Free called Ringwraith) just flew down the bugger with nary a worry. Quite impressed how me and my old skool Santa Cruz ("The Original And Still The Best") was performing too actually. Then we went along Low Track toward Ford Overend(!), turned right and climbed up some hill or other and then proceeded to fly down the other side at inadvisable speeds, jumping and bumping our way over scary-looking, black, polished-but-craggy rock. Fabulous descent. It even temporarily made up for the destruction of Garburn Pass! Getting back over to Kentmere involved a long, gradual, muddy slog (which was top fun and called on skills and manoeuvres that arguably UK bikers are the best in the world at!) and a fast'n'rocky'n'greasy plummet alongside a plantation. All-in-all an unexpectedly wikkid day out with some cool peeps triumphing against the odds and a thrilling amount of occasions where I scared myself right royally shitless. Bonus!

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