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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:59 am 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Got back home eventually after a very steady journey back down the M6.

Great day out though with all the usual superlatives. Despite monsoon like conditions on the way up, the clouds magically parted as I hit Moffat.
By the time I had finished an epically sized breakfast at a cafe in Innerleithen, the sun was almost shining.

After the prerequisite amount of faffing and last minute bike fixing, it was time to haul said breakfast up the first climb. It's fair to say that this seems to go on forever and it was unexpectedly warm. The cool air in the woods was a welcome respite as we steadily winched our way up to the top of Minch Moor. There were only two broken chains...
Then our guides seamlessly fed us onto the Southern Uplands Way for some stinky bog hopping and slippery slide descents.
The natural trails were a perfect antidote to the sometimes predictable trail centre terrain.

Our seventeen strong group laughed, huffed and puffed along the ridge heading to a distant promise of a buried barrel of ale.
Our lunch stop was a distant speck on the horizon, something to aim our wheels at.

We continued leaving Radoslaw squatting in a gateway, and reached our goal of the Three Brethren for a well earned packed lunch.
The barrel of ale turned out to be an elaborate ruse to spur us on. We had to make do with water and generous handout's of Tunnock's Caramels, Haribo and strange meat flavoured snacks.
Chat turned to Rob Atkin's apparent nine year incarceration in a room without doors or windows for the incorrect use of an adjustable wrench. This amongst other unmentionable things I may have misheard or paraphrased...
We soaked in the fantastic panaromic view, picking out long distant landmarks and scanned our return route.

Moving on we retraced our tyre marks, avoiding any Polish poo on the way. "It was radioactive" claimed Rad as he passed it's forgotten coordinates.

There was a brief test of technical climbing ability on a loose section of path. I failed twice but Geoff Apps proved that the Cleland position on his Aventura was perfect for the job. A perfect demonstration of the design before retiring to recline in the heather and watch the rest of us fail.

After a good few hours we returned to the top of the Innerleithen trails. An optional extra section of the Minch Moor descent was eagerly taken by some, resulting in a lovely ribbon of sculpted trails dropping down from the wonky summit cairn in now glorious sunshine.

The descending continued, following the usual format of flowing trails interrupted by rock features and slabs. Great fun I'm sure on a modern bike, but slightly jarring on a fully rigid old machine.
The brutal body pummelling was still awesome though, as long as tyres were kept on inch perfect lines to avoid the almost inevitable pinch punctures.
We all made it down with varying degrees of success despite the unexpectedly long climb in amongst the "95% downhill" final few miles.
It was really great though all the way down to the finale at Caddon Bank, a vertiginous drop back down to the car park.
John got there first with me in hot pursuit and then a steady trickle of happy smiling retro riders emerged from the woods. Shaking out rattled fingers and forearms.

It took a while before everyone returned after several punctures, a couple of crashes and a troublesome (modern) crank arm.

Cans of cold 'Sweetheart Stout' were broken out as promised as we all basked in the afterglow of a great day out on the trails.
It was 6:30pm by the time we'd all returned; a long day out.

Great to meet several new faces and several I'd met before.
It was also a real pleasure and an honour to have Geoff Apps along on his prototype Cleland Aventura. Really fantastic bit of design and engineering and a really nice person to chat with. Pretty handy on a bike too.

Well done and thank you to all the ride organisers and guides.
Superb stuff!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:01 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Rob Atkin wrote:
My hands are killing this morning. I do appear to have some sort of itchiness on my shins. This might be from the heather, who knows???

Did you spray them with 'Eat my Dirt' bike cleaner...?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:19 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:03 pm
Posts: 11796
Location: Returning
some quotables to be going on with
"if i squeeze my helmet all the liquid goes sideways "
"she went outside the bus station ,lifted her skirt and whooosh , didn't even take her knickers off , all down her legs "
"i like bradford"
"i do have a good tool kit now tho"
"bullet bros chain tensioner" several times
"my bird made me some nice baps last night"
"hows the bike ?" " shite ,but its okay"
" HARRY ,you bastard dog ,come here "


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:34 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:00 pm
Posts: 5611
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
:lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:38 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:39 pm
Posts: 170
Location: SE Scotland
Quote:
It was also a real pleasure and an honour to have Geoff Apps along on his prototype Cleland Aventura. Really fantastic bit of design and engineering and a really nice person to chat with. Pretty handy on a bike too.


Thanks for those kind words, Paul, it was a most memorable event for me; I just don't seem to get motivated to ride on my own. So, a group ride was just what I needed, and what a pleasant group, too boot.

I'm feeling my age these days, as you will all have heard my laboured breathing, and I experienced leg cramps while riding for the first time ever. I just wish I could get the weight of my 40lb bike down somewhat. Either that, or invent some way of converting ascents into descents!

Transport is a bit of an issue for me, so let me know if you want to come and sample some Berwickshire routes ~ I never see any but my own tyre tracks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:07 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 4977
Location: Edinburgh
At the top in the gale force winds that were up there, Kaiser bravely standing up against the force of the breeze. I attempted going for a pee up there, first time I've ever had the "flow" coming out at a 90 degree angle

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But it was OK as we were looking at this

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Then back down the way, which oddly included lots of ups, but the the descent proper starts, our one lady rider tearing it up down the first part of the red descent.

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And then the view from the top of the final drop down. A lot of descent distance in very little distance if that makes sense. I happily minced down the first part as the big drop offs gave me the fear, especially as my arms felt dead by then. Cadon Bank was a hoot though once past them.

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A grand day out for all. From collecting Velo on the way to the first cold sip of beer when I got home. Lots of mud, lots of loose stone tracks, lots of puddles to take childish pleasure at splashing through. The car park was the usual round of wandering about introducing yourself to people and looking at some gorgeous bikes that people actually use as they were intended to be used.

I managed a glorious 50 yards before the first crash of the day I'm proud (ashamed?) to say. It then proved to be a tough day to reintroduce myself to the joy of clipless pedals, having fooled myself I was back up to speed with them after a few half hour commutes without mishap. The main improvement being I got better at emergency dismounts as the day went on, landing in heather? Check. Landing next to a puddle? Check. Landing on my side on a rocky step up? Check. Thankfully always uphill.

The muddy sections were soupy to say the least, some of them were more like school dinners custard. And It looks like Ritchey ZMax tyres are a fantastically unsuitable weapon for it. Straight line being next to impossible to maintain as they let the mud steer me as opposed to me steering through the mud.

A good ride with a few vital lessons. The main one being that by the time you get to my age (46) even two months without meaningful time on the bike destroys any fitness you have at all. The long drags killed me to be honest but you can't have the fun of down without the pain of up. The upside was I got a few chances to chat with Geoff and hear some of his fascinating ideas about cycling techniques. Everyone that tried his bike were quite taken with it, Mikee in particular.

And the weather was deceptively sunny it appears as I have very pink arms today, which isn't a good look when you have been wearing gloves all day. A real farmers tan going on now.

The chip stop on the home was a great idea and I got home via the shop to get a cold bottle of beer. Drank after a long shower that included having to use a nailbrush to scrub the mud off my legs.

I then fell asleep in front of the telly until 2 in the morning. I think I deserved a nap.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:14 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:11 pm
Posts: 8700
Location: DUNDEE
Great day out, and good to see some old and new faces.

Brilliant old and new school route too, a long exhausting day full of fun descents. Never ceases to amaze me how much energy some people have, most noticably Rado who in the last few miles shot off never to be seen again, you'd think he had a rocket up his arse or something.

Thanks to Paul for building my bike at the start, and to Geoff for some fascinating insight into bike design. ZZ kaiser and Velo for route finding.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:43 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 11:02 pm
Posts: 5252
Location: Falkirk! But I am a Fifer so that's OK...
The Horn of Destiny! It calls us. To the hills
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Rollercam loveliness on mikee's Fuji
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Superb paint and decal work on Rob Atkin's Dave Lloyd's stem
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Kaiser's parts box special - Team Fat Chance
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TheKen's Raleigh Burner looking for a new home - no takers yesterday
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First chain needing fixed before the ride even began... drystonepaul's turn to fettle TheKen's Xizang
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boxxer and his dug wanting nothing to do with it though
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Everybody signed in?
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Radek worried that the hills will not be steep enough
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First stop after the initial climb up out of the car park
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Geoff Apps floating over the trail - this would turn out to be a theme for the day
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Rob tries to get used to his bike after a shot of the Cleland
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Leaving the trail and heading for the Southern Upland way
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Out of the trees at the Point of Resolution with most of the initial climb out of the way
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And then onto the rolling hills
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Radek's 'tummy trouble' face
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Final push to the Three Brethren lunch stop...
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... Where the guv was not convinced by the lamb BBQ
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TheKen prefers his dodgy meat from packet
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Fun and games on the Cleland
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TheKen ignoring the catastrophe looming in the background...
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... as the guv wrestles manfully with the Cleland
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Return leg pics later this evening...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:55 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:00 pm
Posts: 5611
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
:? Gutted I couldn't make it, when I collected my bike I was thinking of the trip....hence I went out on mine as soon as I collected it.

Great pics and great selection of bikes....would of like a shot of that cleland but I'm disappointed no one took that Raleigh burner around :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:20 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:03 pm
Posts: 11796
Location: Returning
lord apps ...
been thinking of how to word my apprasial of sir geoff's bicycle
went thru the engineering slant then the flowery prose
in the end i thought id tell it as it is
i caught up with geoff on one of the early climbs ,i complimented him on the bike , and his reply included the words "want "and" go" in it
jeff looks a bit smaller than me , but it seemed to fit fine , so when i mastered the technique of mounting the steed i was off (geoff later gave a demo of the moving off bit)
as an engineer i'm not a sceptic with most things ,including this bike
but i was not prepared for the experience
the nearest i can get to is , you know that time when you've packed up
your rear wheel drive car in the wet field and your trying to get to the exit road slippy slidey no traction type thing
then some idiot in a landy is driving about up and down thing just because
they can ?
thats what the clellands like ,i rode it up the trail a bit then rode over a grassy bit between 2 trails , with no problems , very little body shift is required you just turn the pedals and it goes up ,well anything
the (i assume )chris bell egg rings went un-noticed until someone pointed
them out , obviously done right ,like the rest of the bike
as for speed on it ,well i dont know as geoff wanted it back for the down bits , but he looked smooth and fast on the bits i saw
and the "lovely hill" as he called it ,i missed him out climbing everyone
all in a lovely fella and a cracking bike , i hope you make some more sir

so i met a legend , rode his bike ,and found a new hero
top day out i'd say

mike


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