drystonepaul's official ride report: Part Two
Enduring the queue created by twenty odd (very odd) retrobikers in the cafe was arguably harder than some of the climbs. Unfortunately I was at the very back.
Now I feel I should address those who have cast doubt on how incredible the girl in the cafe actually was. Mark's photo has captured the exasperated expression of a women who has once again seen a freaky bloke in lycra secretly trying to photograph her. To be fair to her she didn't make a fuss as she probably had a backlog of more serious restraining orders to deal with.
She was very beautiful in the flesh. And my what flesh she had...
I must admit that we did exchange 'a moment' at the counter when she got a little flustered and forgot to prepare my coffee. It was clearly just so she could steal a few more precious seconds with me.
Oh how we laughed together...
Of course being last in the queue meant I was also the last one still eating when in it was time to leave. I did feel a little pressured when five fellow riders stood around my table, bullying me into eating my pannini more quickly, and taunting me with "You can't climb on cheese" jibes.
I did consider using the facilities before leaving too, but the combination my personal welfare being ridden rough shod by the retrobike lunch gestapo and the realisation that doing a big poo is hardly considered good form when flirting with a beautiful woman, meant I was soon back outside with my bike.
Waving goodbye to the staff at the cafe we rode on along the Edale valley, losing a couple of riders at the station for their early return on the train.
"Use the beard"
The 24 'survivors' tackled the next climb out of the valley. With cheese based taunts still ringing in my ears, I found some speed to counter the old adage and sped over the next climb to re-convene everyone at the foot of yet another loose, steep and challenging climb.
With his puncture repaired, Longun bounced into view on his full suspension Trek 9000 pogo stick to complete the safety head count.
This was Mr Ship's chance to get the monkey of his back with the last of our hill climb challenges. With riders scattering left right and centre I again tapped into the cheese reserves to catch up with HarryCrumb. If he hadn't had to stop to open a gate half way up the climb, the monkey would've been his, but sadly I ended up with that faux furry critter strapped back onto my pack. My reward for having a beard and trying too hard.
With the sun lowering in the sky, and streaming through the scattered clouds, the views down Edale were spectacular as we rolled down along the wide ridge towards Win Hill.
Monkey receiving position
Sinnett177 announced that the next crash, puncture or mechanical would award the rider with the much coveted 'NWA Bike of the Ride' sticker, so everyone crossed their fingers and threw themselves with gay abandon down the next short rocky drop.
Kaya's self separating Pace forks meant that he snatched victory of this increasingly randomly judged competition. All the other riders cleared the section unscathed, although I later discovered a loose spoke in my rear wheel...
The last slight ascent brought everyone to the top of a fitting finale down the side of Hope Brink.
But not before another group photo and a breather.
Back row standing L to R: HarryCrumb, rc200ti, mr ship, Gravy Monster, P20, kaya, ?, longun, saltyman, BIBBY, ?, ?, Sinnett177 (hiding), Woody, Antiquekona, khane, ?, John, slmracing
Middle row standing in a hole to the left L to R: mrlee, nayfinesse
At the front: Imnotanumber-06 (reclining), drystonepaul (squatting)
Apologies to those whose names/forum names I can't remember. Let me know and I'll update/edit
The last downhill was a descent that just kept on giving. A truly fitting end to a great day's riding. Everyone easily sped down the trails and back down to our starting point in Hope.
After a few farewells, a slightly diminished group retired to the pub for some food, reflection and to experience perhaps the most insincere waiter in the UK. The service was a vast improvement on last year's though.
A huge thank you for everyone who could make it to ride with us today. It was a real pleasure to meet you all and great fun too.
There's plenty more rides happening regularly too so keep an eye on those area group calendars.
See you soon.