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The Retrobike Rides Monthly Newsletter – December 2010

December 24th, 2010
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EdEdwards downhillHello and welcome to the very first Retrobike Rides Newsletter.

Each month we aim to enlighten you of all the goings on around the country that have occurred in the previous month and let you know what’s going on in the coming month.

Ridebike Rides have now been going strong for many years. At first these involved a couple of dodgy looking characters in lurid lycra meeting up in the woods to ride their retro pride and joys.
But now meetings have evolved to groups of up to 40 enthusiasts meeting up to enjoy their bikes, company and trails.
In doing so a friendly atmosphere has been created and good riding manners developed, giving Retrobike Rides their unique qualities and infectious banter.

Everyone is welcome to join Retrobike Rides and everyone is made to feel welcome when they do. All abilities are catered for with the rule being we only get round as fast as the slowest person, with short cuts and chicken runs being planned into the routes.
Retrobike Rides are non competitive with the emphasis on socialising, having fun and exploring the best new trails with people who know them well.
And of course doing it all riding old bikes.

If this appeals to you, please come and join in at one of our National or Local events.

The Retrobike National Events Calendar 2010/11

With support from

Rd 1 – Cannock Turkey Twizzler – Dec 27th (BH Monday) – POSTPONED
Rd 2 – Thetford – Jan 23rd (Sunday)
Rd 3 – Forest of Dean – 14th May (Saturday)
Rd 4 – BDW – July 22-24 (Weekend, main ride Saturday)
Rd 5 – Drumlanrig – August 14th (Sunday)
Rd 6 – Mr. K’s Day in the Peaks – Sept 10th (Saturday)
Rd 7 – Final Round (TBC) – Oct/Nov*

With the usual annual Retrobike attendance at:

- The Hell of North Cotswolds (Sunday April 10th 2011)
- Mountain Mayhem (Weekend of June 17th-19th 2011)

*The final round has been opened up for all regions to submit a bid to organise and host it. We’ll then post up their plans and every Retrobike member will have the opportunity to vote on the most popular idea. The event with the most votes will become the season finale for 2011.

Bikefood have been hugely generous in supporting our series, the opening round will be at Cannock this month. All Retrobike rides are free so get yourselves along, you’ll along be able to sample a few freebies courtesy of Bikefood.

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Around the Regions

Of course along with the National Series the Area Event Coordinators and Deputies work hard to plan and organise a variety of rides across their local regions.
Here’s a round up of what’s been going on and what’s in the pipeline in the next few weeks.

MacRetro – Contact Kaiser, The Ken, Clockworkgazz or Big Eck for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
MAcRetro headed back to Carron Valley, site of one of the first Macretro meets. Quite a shorty and simple trail centre but retro friendly and enjoyable nonetheless….mostly enjoyable that is…..aftermath here.

This month:
We’ve started the ball rolling on a ‘fun’ build a budget weight weenie bike for the Dunkeld ride in January, thread here.

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North East England & Yorkshire – Contact Dr S, chrisV40 or Kaya for more details.

Area PoTM

This month:
Dalby and the RAC. The recent weather decimated the number of riders for the last national of the year. However, a few hardy souls did make it. Full report here.

Last month:
Two rides for December. First is the long haul to support round 1 of the 2011 national Series at Cannock. The second is an informal run around Dalby for our traditional Christmas Pudding Run on new years eve. Details are in the NE&Yorks area section board.

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North West England & North Wales – Contact drystonepaul, mr_ship, Harry Crumb (North West England) mrkawasaki or Sidewinder (North Wales) for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
The onset of winter didn’t stop a great ride around the Rivington Pike area with a good turnout and some fantastic trails and scenery. Read more about it here.

This month:
We’ve got a short ride early on in the month starting from Roman Lakes near Manchester. After that many of the NWA regulars will preparing for the Turkey Twizzler at Cannock on the 27th.

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East Midlands – Contact Orange71 or rc200ti for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
There used to be a time we feared the approach of winter: the failing of the light, the rapid drop in temperature, but now with good lights becoming affordable and proper clothing we say ‘bring it on!’. So, weekly night rides carry on into their second year in the East Midlands, usually on a Tuesday night for a 2 hour ride with banter in the local pub after. See our rides/chat section for more details.

This month:
As above the weekly night rides will continue, additionally short early morning weekend rides may be announced at short notice depending on availability. We have a Christmas ride and meal on Tuesday 21st. Most of the regulars are hoping to attend the Turkey Twizzler at the end of December at Cannock which is not far from our patch.

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South and West Midlands – Contact Chris or Ededwards for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
Local riding for local people.

This month:
Prepping for the annual Cannock Classic that is the Turkey Twizzler. Get 2011 off to a good start in 2010 with mince pies, mulled wine and muddy men – what are you waiting for? Full details here.

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Anglia & Lincolnshire – Contact Pickle or Andy B (Lincolnshire) Cannondaleking or Average Mark (Anglia) for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
Sunday 14th of November, Remembrance Day was my very first ride as deputy AEC, the route started in Binbrook near a disused RAF base which opened as a Bomber Command station in June 1940. A cool crisp Sunday morning greeted the riders who gathered in anticipation for what the ride might bring, find out more in the aftermath thread here.

This month:
I’m thinking of holding a nightride in December in North Lincolnshire. No date has been set as yet. If enough riders have lighting suitable for off road riding and would like a nightride please contact me. (Andy B)

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South East England – Contact TheGreenRabbit for more details. (WTD: Deputy AEC)

Area PoTM

Last month:
The South East took a well earned break from a busy 2010.

This month:
The South East springs back into life with Beer & burger Xmas drinks in Brighton on the 4th and last ride before Christmas at the South Downs on the 19th.

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South West England – Contact Jonnyboy666 or Heathy for more details.

Area PoTM

Last month:
As it’s the winter there hasn’t been as much in the way of meets in the past month, but there is a thread of a recent IOW ride here.. There was also a meet at Haldon near Exeter, the aftermath can be found here.

This month:
We have Makster’s winter wonderland meet! Get along and join in, details can be found here.

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South Wales – (WTD AEC and Deputy for South Wales area)

Please contact sinnett177 if interested.

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Now for something a little bit different:

Each month we’ll give a retrobiker the chance to contribute something a bit different, it might be comedy, poetry or just complete nonsense.
We’ll let you decide which category this months post falls into, entitled ‘Bloody Poetry’ by Mr Ededwards.

… John Donne, the 17th century metaphysical poet, memorably wrote “No man is an island, entire of itself”. Which got me thinking about to Retrobikers – are they men (and women), entire of themselves? Or do they gain more, much more from the presence of others? With that in mind, or at least in my mind, we arranged to meet up for a ride in the Forest of Dean ride in July 2010.

The day dawned warmish and clearish as a small group of familiar and not so familair faces congregated at the Pedalabikeaway Centre carpark. We might have met at the start of the waymarked FODCA trail but we were going off piste, immersing ourselves in “the best singletrack in the UK” (trademark application submitted by the owner of the phrase). But why the hyperbole? Let’s give an example – one continuous section of tight, twisting, rooted singletrack through quiet woods takes about 6 minutes if ridden at speed (10 minutes for me, obviously). Couple that with evocatively named sections such as ‘The Velvet Garden’, ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, ‘Superman’, ‘The Skull’, ‘The Followthrough’ and ‘The Widow Maker’ and the Forest has it all.

Anyway, I digress. We trundled off up the fireroad, nine riders with a tidy collection of old metal on show (it seems churlish to only mention only a selection but I’ll do so anyway – a NOS 1988 Gary Fisher Mt Tam, an 86 Raleigh Maverick, a Breezer Sky, an Orange Vitamin T). Once the climb was over, and legs and lungs warmed, we plunged off into ‘The Velvet Garden’, so named for the emerald green moss that carpets the hillside. Roots, twists, turns and then, almost too soon, we were spat out back onto some doubletrack, exhilarated and babbling (and in my case stung by the wasps that the riders in front had stirred up). And so it continued for hour after hour – ride along some doubletrack, lurch suddenly through a gap in the bushes or ferns and what opened up was singletrack as if described by JK Rowling. Each section bought wide smiles and the steady accumulation of happy dust that spells, simply, ‘win’.

Naturally, after three hours or more of relentless fun we were all feeling parched. Fortunately, as if by magic, a pub appeared and we repaired to the garden to slake our thirst, refuel and engage in some good natured banter. All too soon we had to leave and, although legs were initially beer heavy, the suppleness soon came back and a further 90 minutes of chilled singletrack completed a grand day out leaving bodies humming with good humour and warm memories.

To be honest, bar the specifics, I strongly suspect that the above report could apply to pretty much any Retrobike ride in any part of the country (except, naturally, the ones in the Midlands are the best).

But what has it all got to do with John Donne? Now, although my years are advancing, I never met John but I imagine that if he was a contemporary he’d have lined up in Sport Class in the early 90s, likely on an orange and white Clockwork, probably with RC30s fitted. And he’d have had a great time. He’d probably also have rekindled his love for older bikes recently, have grown a beard and have joined us in the Forest in July, indeed I reckon he did as I could certainly feel a spiritual presence guiding me subtly over the tricky sections, helping, guiding. (Although that could have been the 750ml of Red Bull before the off).

So I’ll leave the last words to John Donne
…. send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”

I said last words, but not quite – think about what John said next time you’ve got a chance to go for a ride and it’s a bit inclement, or you really need to finish that DIY. And then get your kit, saddle up and seize the day.

All the best and have fun out there!

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