Slowest aftermath ever...
Well, just to add thanks to Martin (Harry Crumb) and Gav (Easy_Rider) our chaperones, it was a day of close calls but we mostly escaped intact(ish)!
I'd been looking forward to this one for a while, having had a lot of fairly 'serious' (all things are relative
) riding recently I was picturing a family picnic ride in the sunshine ... which isn't quite how it worked out!
A head-on gale made progress hard going up the first long climb, but once on top and in the shelter of the trees things improved rapidly. We split into two groups just for a brief section and I'm sure Lee called the absurd phrase 'if you want to do the extra bit, catch up with Martin...'. Now many of you will have ridden with Martin and will realise what an absurd idea catching him is!
So we flew round the first fun section and regrouped at the easily-missed 90' left. Which Colin (Bhill) would have done well to miss! Unfortunately he 80% made it round and landed up entangled with Martin in a strange embrace of chainrings and rims. Turns out that his rear brake cable had pulled through, eek! A bit of leverage soon had them separated and mrlee flatted down the gouges on Martin's rims - now where's dsp and his travelling manicure kit when you need him?
Whilst all this was going on I nearly got away with a slight loosening of my crankarm, but the eagle-eyed of the group did notice. Possibly when I was wandering around shouting, "anyone got an eight mil' key?"
Normally I'd have been well equipped for such an occurrence, but the strap tore off my saddle bag in the carpark! Thanks Colin
Whilst all of this nonsense was going on, it gradually dawned that Sarah was sat beside the trail a little way ahead, clearly something was not right and it transpired two rocks had ganged up on her front wheel and taken a firm hold of it, leaving poor Sarah airborne and deploying the traditional - and despised - face brake
helmet and safety specs took the brunt of the impact (take note!) but a nasty gash to the thumb needed some trail-side repair and meant a long walk home. Happily she's well on the mend now
Our depleted group (well we didn't make her walk back alone did we?!) rolled valiantly onwards and for a few miles all was well, we briefly lost Jeff (videojetman) to a puncture, but in looking for him found Chris (rampage) lurking in the woods as well, so that was a result!
Shortly afterwards we nearly lost him of a cliff, but that was on foot so doesn't count.
Some evil climbing showed up Ben (Colin jr) as a ridiculous whippet, flying up some brutal gradients until he wore out his chain altogether and it just gave up! Some more really fun stuff, a close call nose-dive over a tabletop and a flat for me, while Kiran (my good lady) binned it on the off-camber and all too soon/just in time the cafe was in sight again.
Never a dull moment on a RetroRide!
Tea and cake was well earned on this one, but as everyone else headed home happy to be alive and the clouds rolled in, Kiran dragged me back out for a flapjack-fuelled lap of the blue route. Well worth a whizz round - goes pyoing pyoing pyoing all the way round, constantly popping you just slightly into the air, brilliant fun!
Can we have a quieter one next time though please?