Retro related memories from 2011? The following will remain with me for a while:
- for the general bonhomie, the light show, the borderline abusive heckling, riding only a single lap on my own bike and riding my first geared laps on my 6th year of participating. But the real standout was riding a night lap in a bear suit on Prof. K's Hamdale and, on passing someone on the long grassy climb out of the arena, hearing "I'm giving up cycing, I've just been passed by a ****ing bear". Do cycling memories get any better than that?
Well, maybe, as that leads on to an ss ride in the FoD
in April. Picture the scene. A bright sunny day but with a bit of chill still in the air. Pine needles littered the ground with the trails dry, dusty even. No one about, apart from the 4 of us big dogs. Well, 3 big dogs plus me (some of you will know Del and know that he is pretty quick. Jason is as quick, possibly quicker ss. Then there is Dan, quicker/fitter still, who set off at 5 a.m. to ride to the Forest before dishing the hurt). A pattern to the ride soon developed - ride up the climbs together, get dropped on down or flat, chase like mad to get back on at the foot of the next climb, blow out of my **** up the climb, then reprise. After an hour I felt like I had been expertly beaten up by the Romanian Secret Police - I was aching all over but there wasn't a mark on me. By two hours my legs felt as though they had been slowly, almost tenderly, pulled from my body and then re-attached with baling twine. Clearly my only hope was to unleash the artisan pork pies on the group - take that you fast ****ers! Bellies bulging with processed, expertly seasoned pork product, the pace slowed momentarily before picking up again. We covered all the classic trails - The Widow Maker, The Follow Through (I almost did), The Velvet Garden (I wanted to sleep on the moss), The Skull, Dungeons and Dragons (yes, you did have to roll a 10 on a d12 to start). Finally we reached the car. We'd seen no-one all day, not even any walkers. My legs were smeared with a sticky combination of dust, sweat and abject fear and felt as if they had been hollowed out by a blunt, titanium spork. My face was salt encrusted and deeply lined. But my heart was light and my soul was singing - a great day out in superb weather on perfect trails with great company. Really, do cycling memories get any better than that?
Well, yes and no, although The 3 Peaks
was memorable for slightly different reasons. For those that can be bothered, more details are at http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... ight=peaks
, a day that will remain long seared into my memory and surely the highlight/lowlight of 2011.