What a top day out. Huge thanks to everyone who came and as usual made the day one to remember. Great line up of bikes to look at and all topped off by great weather.
Wish I could have stayed a little later but promised to be home in time to put the kids to bed. Looks like Saturday night was fun (apart from the food).
Extra large thanks for Mr K for putting on a fine show as ever and for riding back to Hope with me when I had to get off early.
So for a folk who were not there (and you really should have been, you missed out big time) here are some thoughts, highlights and pics...
The start opposite the Woodbine. Some hangovers and an off-song LGF about to swing into action. Nice to meet the faces- some old some new, but everyone to a man a top bloke.
A few minutes earlier I had been walking past the Cafe and sat outside were two old riding friends who I had last riden the Peaks with a decade ago- small world! These were the guys who you might remember wearing football shorts in the epic sub zero Dalby Snow Ride back in December.
So off we went towards our first climb with a gentle spin along the road in bright sunshine. A long line of gleaming colourful Retrobikes spreading out in front and behind is such a fine sight.
That first climb! What a taster of what was to come. Granny grinding and pushing had us to the top, chatting with new and old friends along the way. Thanks to Gonzales and his lovely E-Stay Saracen for keeping me company in the worst bits.
Up on the top now near the mast and a quick breather. Doubletrack but gravelly and rutted enough to keep you on your toes and fine views opening out in all directions. At this point we were passed by a few guys on Motorbikes- pinging stones out in all directions. The third rider was to have a bit of a shock as the track headed downwards though. I saw my chance and hit the big ring, hung loose over those rigid forks and gave chase. After a few hundred yards of being battered to death I started to gain on him and finally passed him just before the group swung through a gate on the left. He was not pleased
Now onto the first run of gravity aided singletrack and a brakeless plummet down into the valley. New Campy rims and Suntour pads do not get on at all and despite having 3 fingers on the lever and squeezing as hard as I could I just gathered speed all the way down toward 'That Gate'. Mr K looked up from his camera and barked 'TAKE TOUR TIME!' as I bounced past. Time to make a tactical dismount right in front of the lens of the Official Peak Park Photographer
Glad to see from K's pic I was not the only FAT Cog to make a balls of that particular section.
So onto the Quarry and a King Of The Mountains Challenge. P20 was the man to beat and tweeked his tyre pressures to aid traction on this rocky technical climb. Off we went, one at a time, some having more luck that others- myself being absolutely pants as usual
Jacky P20 started off strong and set the benchmark only to beaten by Ed Orange by half a wheel! The prize for his triumph was said to be a mankini to be worn that night in the pub
A long stretch now over open ground with a steady climb and into a stiffening breeze toward Mam Tor. I was struggling TBH but when P20 and Wu passed me I managed to settle in just behind Wu's Indy Fab and grind it out to the top. A little high speed road work followed on which I held my own until it pointed upwards at which point firstly Heathy and then the Guvnor blasted past at speed (What did they have for breakfast??). Another climb through the Mam Tor carpark past the pretty girls at the National Trust booth saw us resting just below Mam Tor's brooding summit and about to hit more fine singletrack. The view at this point was breathtaking.
A Room with a Wu
This stretch is quite busy with walkers and tourists so restraint had to be shown. What a responsible bunch we are; not so the pillock on a modern Specialized bouncy thing who thought he would look cool in front of all the oldies by hammering down the hill and jumping, landing inches away from a family taking in the view. Much piss taking and wagging of fingers followed.
Jango at speed.
Max and lovely San Andreas in cruise mode
So with Edale and the cafe stop sat down in the valley below like a painting, 25 pairs of shoes hit pedals for another cracking plummet down rough and rutted singletrack. A pensive Ned commented that he had been having nightmares about this section since last year and hoped his whopping one inch of eastomer travel from his Shockblades would aid his fight. I loved this bit, brakes still garbage but I got down in one piece managing to find lots of mud in the process (most bikes were spotless at the cafe stop??). Quick spin down through the head-on traffic of another cycling event along the lanes took us to the cafe at Edale and some well earned grub.
Cafe has got a little posh since I last ate there 12 years ago but we had a nice relaxing hour out in the sun chatting away whilst the world and his dog went past. During our break we had a large group of Morris Dancers go past. And we thought we were an odd bunch!
Well that's as far as my report goes as I had a long drive home ahead and had to make tracks. Farewells were bade and the group headed off along more singletrack climbing back out of Edale. Mr Kawasaki accompanied me along the road and we watched the troops strung along the hillside to our left like a row of busy ants. We chatted and put the world to rights under blues skies along the road back to Hope before K peeled off to intercept the group once again with camera in hand.
A grand day out indeed. Thanks again to all the superstars that made it a classic day in the saddle. Big thanks to Mark Sinnett, Jango and Neill for the Saturday morning hangover and Friday night company.
A few awards
Bike of the Day
- Wu's Indy Fab. Nice!
Quote of the Day
- Andy Nayfinesse 'One man's nappy is another man's chamois'
Man of the Match
- LeGrandFromage. Crazy bike, funny bars, looked very ill, smiled alot!
See ya'll next year!