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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:05 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Location: Cumbria, England.
Well what a day!
Dr.S organised the route, Old Ned, P20, M-Trax, Reanimation and myself turned up to tackle it. Incredibly all the machinery was fully retro with Dr.S on his awesome Fat Chance, Old Ned on his 'mystery bike', P20 on a gorgeous Ritchey (not sure what model), M-Trax aboard a lovely Raleigh M-Trax with mint RC-35 suspension forks, Reanimation on his stunning and finished Muddy Fox and me on my Raleigh Dyna Tech.

The Mystery Bike
So the waiting was over and the day was upon us, but what would Old Ned produce from under the blanket's in his car? The tension grew as we surrounded his car boot, finally the blankets were peeled back to reveal a mint full suspension :shock: DBR Dual Response! Probably the bike I least expected Old Ned to produce.

The Weather
The day started with warm sunshine and gentle winds. Mid ride the clouds gathered and the rain poured, we feared the worst as the heavens opened. However just minutes later the weather improved vastly to glorious sunshine. I think we all caught the sun and were spurred on in moments of tiredness by the beautiful day and breath taking scenery.

The Route
Alarm bells soon rang when Dr.S brought out his map, cut from a recent issue of mbr, a 'killer loop'! From experience these maps are a bit vague, thankfully M-Trax had a proper map and some local knowledge.

The route lived up to it's 'killer' title, it was a beast. Arm busting downhills, long climbs in the saddle and long climbs where the bike required carrying. With the exception of a few forest tracks and service roads you just couldn't switch off and relax for a minute. For me this is probably the most difficult mtb ride i've ever taken part in.

Retirements
Sadly we had two retirements on the ride. Firstly, Old Ned who sadly just couldn't get along with his full suspension bike, a real shame as he'd teased us with it for so long and it looked great. He took the long and winding road back to the car park (quite a ride in itself). Fantastic to have you there though Old Ned, just stick to the Scott next time.

Secondly, we lost M-Trax at the half stage, the Ladyblower Inn. A wise move if you ask me as the second half turned out to be the killer. Great to have you along though M-Trax, hope to see you again at the next meet.

Accidents, Losses and Mechanicals
A part from me testing the depth of a ditch early doors there were no accidents or mechanicals to speak of. Testamony to the spannering skills of all who rode, from looking at the terrain you'd have put money on a few flats and bits falling off.

We did however loose M-Trax and Reanimation for a short time. Whilst they were studying a proper map Dr.S, myself and P20 sped off down another killer descent. When they looked up from the map we were gone!

Modern Astonishment
Along the way we came in contact with many of the great unwashed (aka modern riders). Many of whom were astonished to see us in such terrain, on retro bikes, in retro clothing (in some cases) and roaring past them in some cases also. One of them past judgement on my dayglo Raleigh rompersuit calling it 70's, which raises the question 'how can someone so badly educated be able to afford an expensive Specialized'? This Labour government has alot to answer for!

Two modern riders needed treatment for shock when Dr. S and I blew them away on route to the pub (Like I say we were on route to the pub)! They did try to respond but their soggy 6 inches of suspension and 2.5" tyres just weren't a match for our retro rigid bikes and retro tyres. :D

Pictures
If viewing pictures of retrobikers, on retrobikes, hanging out their backsides and occassionally testing the depth of ditches are your thing, your in luck! P20 and Dr.S both took enough photo's for 10 retrobike meets. I'm sure they'll both post up in due time.

The Longest Day
We set off from the car park a little after 1015 and arrived back just after 1830! Without doubt the longest RB ride i've encountered. The pace early doors was a bit slow and there where plenty of stops for slower riders to catch up, filled with stories and banter a plenty. We also stopped for a good lunch at the Ladyblower Inn, the smell of salt and vinegared chips led each and everyone of us a stray.

The second half of the ride was gruelling. Firstly, due to our heavy chip filled stomachs and then because of the bloodly great hill between us and the finish. This was the very same hill we'd been shaken to bits by earlier that day as we descended it, now we had to climb it! With bikes on shoulders for most of it we concoured it eventually and then greeted by the rocky, bumpy, rutted singletrack we'd climbed at the very start of our adventure. A can of Red Bull later and Dr.S was unstoppable as he powered through this technically demanding section on his full rigid Fat Chance. P20 was flying too on his fully rigid Ritchey, stopping occassionally to take more photo's. Reanimation and myself bringing up the tail on our full rigids, with arms and legs fit for the scrappers.

Conclusion

(Please add any of your own)

1. Cancel Dr.S's subscription to mbr magazine.
2. Take a proper map.
3. Whilst reading a map keep an eye on the other riders.
4. Full suspension is not for old men.
5. Front suspension looks good on girls bikes.
6. Modern riders need education.
7. That ditch was big enough for one adult male, but not with bike.
8. Chips are great, but sit heavy on your stomach whilst riding.
9. Be prepared for a long old day.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:01 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Nice one Mark! Thanks for doing the report and big thanks to all who came along- ace to meet some new faces, and what fine company. Have to agree that is the toughest thing I have ever done on two wheels- an absolute killer, to which my battered and bruised body will testify.
I'll add a few reflections on the torture myself and post up some pics later. I'm going back to bed now.

Si


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:50 am 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Nice one Mark, good job I cut short, the home would have been shut when I got back and the nurses would have been annoyed :wink:

Actually I changed my mind about coming back on the road and returned over Cut Gate as I figured it would be the shorter of two evils. You're right about the climb back up out of Slippery Stones, it was a real killer.

At least I've sorted out my fascination with the route!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:46 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:59 pm
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We were looking for you on the way across Strines - no wonder we didn't see you. Shame you had to leave early.

I am now more determined to go out and do the full circular route again - much faster and quicker.

I was actually thinking it would be good to start out from Strines - ride across down to Hagg Farm - across the route I have done before (back when I was much fitter! 10 years or so ago) Hagg Farm across to Edale. Camp and then ride back the next day. Perhaps when I am a wee bit fitter!

Looking forward to seeing the photos.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:50 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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great report sounds like a mamouth ride, one which will get better and better with time. looking forward to the pictures, really beautiful part of the world 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:53 am 
retrobike rider
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sinnett177 wrote:
We set off from the car park a little after 1015 and arrived back just after 1830!


WOW, how long did you spend in the pub?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:57 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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toons wrote:
sinnett177 wrote:
We set off from the car park a little after 1015 and arrived back just after 1830!


WOW, how long did you spend in the pub?


:lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:21 am 
retrobike rider
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Wow, I'm really proud of what we achieved on Saturday, I think it was the technicaness of it all and the potential danger of head butting one of those big boulders, or losing it on that bumpy sandy downhill. :o :lol: That all coupled with some serious milage!

I really think the angels were watching us, no mechanicals to report of, luckily no offs apart from comical ones like Sinnett falling in a rut at 1mph, and me endoing off as i rode into quikpeat taking my wheel 8" under! :lol: either that or losing concentration and wit and wolloping a rock and fly off into the heather or whatever it was.

Some proper knarly stuff no time to take ya mind of the trail.

Started off nice and laid back, a nice nimble group of 6, my fist outing was the overwhelming busy peaks do last year.

DrS was the cool rebel rocketing about on the oldest bike of the day downing Pints of beer/redbull/odd energy bar (not 58 per day though) when needed oh and the odd ciggie and a cool story or two to get his breath back, but some serious blasting from this chap. 8)

P20 made it all look very effortless, he was flying with finesse, the bike is a perfect fusion of old with new, still on rigid, after taking DSLR photos and holding gates he'd come flying past while I was looking for brakes. Entertaing nice dude too. 8)

Sinnett AKA 70's man was another great companion, undefeated by anything that came our way terrain or strain wise, including the cheeky twunt carrying a all bells dinging Lapierre or Specialiszed 4 figure jobbie up a steep section. What could have been banter was turned into sheer cheek, 70's! FFS! :roll: we'll take Choppers Strikas and Grifters next time to really show em how its done. It was such a buzz to be on modest old special loved bikes.

Ned as mentioned was still getting used to the suspension and stuff always a pleasure, pity he had to go.

M-Trax, great to meet her, she took it all in her stride I was surprised she left at dinner as she seemed to be doing well. Fair enough, knowing another dose of what ya done was coming is a bit crazy i realise.

And my bad self. Well After my last peaks adventure, I made a balls up on all counts, diet, sleep, training (lack of) planning (just about). This time i was slightly more focused, I completed two bikes last week and did some reasonable exercise last week even if just shopping on the bike (7m) amongst other stuff plus a short daily commute over the last year. Big spaghetti meal on friday sorted out pre fuel, and oats, bananas, Gatorade and natural trail mix sorted me out fantastically this time, not sure how nutritional the chips butty was but we deserved it and it got us the next 16 miles. 8-)
Bike wise the XC nose down got took a bit of getting used to, like a sidecar man hanging out the back, forth, and sides to avoid being bronco'd off one of the surprise obstacles. The 45psi had to go too, eventually some tyre suspension happy medium was achieved, still didn't totally trust those old megabites but they did well. Very very happy with teh bike its sturdy, it will climb (all 21 gears) and is quite playful too. 8) really got into by the end.

All in all it was a bit killer the size of it and the mind and body needs. Rain and wind would have made it more challenging there :? :? but we were very lucky 8)

I loved the last bit drinking the last 500ml of water after carrying the bike up De Ja Vu hill where we met cheeky boy and a splash of showers, the morning felt like the day previous. sat there it was like sheep and hills IMAX, soo peaceful, geeky wise crack hikers and lifstyle bikers all having their sunday roast just us left with the hills and its beauty. Another lad was spotted with the same idea, A guy steaming down the hill towards our tea break area looked like he was on a full susser, but no it was a On One HT with big forks, the same lad we saw at like 12pm, awesome. 8)

Nice one, enjoyed that and so happy we all made it in one peace. 8) 8)

cheers :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:55 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Pictures Part 1

Had time to recover from Saturdays epic. Great reports from Marky and Reanimation.... Heres the story in pics.....

Firstly a few words on Cut Gate. Its a trail I first rode in 1987. Last year it was freatured in MBR as a killer Loop. A quick search on Singletrack brough forward arguements on what bike was best- 4 inch travel XC or 6 inch all mountain. Conclusion was that these new 5 inch rigs would be best with big brakes and stout tyres of a minimum width of 2.3.
Rubbish I thought- lets see if a collection of middle aged guys and gals can do it on old skool bikes. The above imformation was only mentioned at the start. The look on your faces! :lol:

So Rigid forks, Canti's and amberwalls to the ready.........

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Reanimations lovely Muddy Fox makes its debut and rightly heads the line up. Weather is dry and lightly overcast. Lets ride!.......

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A mile of so up the first climb and I'm suffering! Man Flu is still with me and I cough my guts up for five minute or so. This is not good.
Thats Langsett Res'r in the background- our starting point. It will be over eight long hours before we see it again.

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'Get back on your feet and back on that **** bike Private Sinnett unless you want my boot up your backside!' Reanimation does his best Sergent Major impression as one of the troops fall. This is amazingly the only fall of the day.
This is one of the smoother sections of the Cut Gate path although the deep rut makes pedalling difficult. Its granny gears all the way for the next 2 miles of climbing. Luckily it is so rocky and technical that ones mind was focused away from burning legs and lungs. The 'Dab-o-meter' goes off the scale today!

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Sinnett ploughs on and up......

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At the top at last after what seems like hours. Saddles are lowered for the descent that is laid out in front of us like a ribbon across the landscape. The mouth goes dry when you think about having to climb it in another 4 or 5 hours time. This is going to hurt.

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Roll over the edge and try and find a line. Rocks the size of Hamburgers bounce of shins and bottom tubes. Clouds begin to look threatening.....

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Halfway down and Mark ponders over how many of those hills behind him we have to climb and wether he can be seen from outer space. The answers wereA yes, quite a few and B yes

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Smooth and flowing it ain't! Almost down now but only six miles in.

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P20 splashes his way through the stream that leads down to Slippery Stones. First time we encounter water all day as the trails were bone dry. Within minutes we were looking for shelter as the heavens opened. It was only a few minutes long but was enough to make the trail greasy and treacherous.

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He might be 'Old Ned' to us but he's still got the rebel within! Ned and M-Trax make it to the side of Howden Res'r. A few welcome miles of smooth fire road ahead to spin along and rest tired legs and arms.

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Brighter weather ahead as P20 considers roast duck for lunch.

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Out comes the sun at last. Layers are removed before the days next Killer climb back over the top to Hagg Farm. Ned calls it a day at this point as his DBR is not to his liking.

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FAT enjoys the view of Howden Res'r before the big climb. Amazingly there has not been a single mechical failure all day so far, especially considering the tough treatment they got up on Cut Gate.

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Which way now? Straight on to Edale and Mam Tor or left for the pub? Easy- mines a pint!

END OF PART ONE


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:03 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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PART 2

The story continues.........

Image

16.6 miles in. The Ladybower Inn. Me and Mark recount the tale of blasting the two modern riders a few miles back. They asked if we were on some kinda Vintage bike ride around Ladybower. The look on their faces when they were told we had done Cut Gate and were heading back for another go was priceless.
Beef and roast onion sarnie, chips and a Fosters for me please squire :wink:

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And then there were four. M-Trax opted for the uplift option after lunch. She said that she had only just got back onto bikes at Christmas. Makes me wonder what the hell I've been doing the last few years as she had kept on our tails all day. Glad she's on our team for Mountain Mayhem!

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Afternoon draws on into golden evening. We almost have the place to ourselves now as the last few tourists wander and ride in the opposite direction.

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The Howden Valley narrows as the killer Cut Gate looms in the distance. Here beginneth the pain.

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British engineering meets American craftsmanship at the final dam. This is the dam that was used by Lancaster crews as practice for the raids in 1944. The horrors of war seemed a million years away on such a peaceful afternoon. A thought was spared to all those poor souls involved on both sides.

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Time to catch a last look at the Res'r as the road steepens again toward our destiny.

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Glorious Peak landscape towards Slippery Stones

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The bottom of the big climb. Its bikes on shoulders for the next 70 minutes. Stops were frequent but the views were spectacular. There wasn't a breath of wind by now and the silence was sureal.

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A sight for sore eyes, legs, arms, shoulders, feet etc as the cairn looms into view. It will be 5 miles of rocky technical singletrack from there. Oh and downhill too! Just summon the strength to make the last few hundred yards and I'll be in heaven.

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Reanimation and Sinnett are cheered to the top where snacks and refreshments are taken. Right guys, see you at the bottom- I've been savouring this next bit all day- all the pain, blood sweet and gears. Paydirt time- this bitch is mine!! The spirit of Steve Peat and Kaiser's Big Ring are summoned, gloves are tightened and I'm away. YES!!!

Camera did not come out for the next 30 minutes as I didn't want to stop- this was the best bit of riding I have ever done- pure joy. I can only decribe is as taking a riverbed, removing the water and then draping the whole rocky mess over and down the hillside for over a thousand feet. My headset came loose eventually and my arms and legs pleaded for mercy but I wasn't going to stop for anyone. Awesome 8)

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Down at last. Everything now bathed in beautiful evening light with just the birds in the trees for company.

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Just a little short sharp climb to go and a mile through woodland fireroad back to the car park. We did it!

Conclusions

Singletrack readers ain't as tough as your average Retrobiker.

Retrobikers are great company when the going gets tough.

Chris Chance made the finest steel bikes on the planet. She stayed true to whatever line I chose and never once made me skip a heartbeat on those treacherous decents. 22 years old and an absolute pleasure to ride. Cheers to all at FAT City.

Suspension is over rated!

Thanks

Thanks to all that rode with me on Saturday, it was a blast and an honour to spend a day with such fine folk. For those who missed out- please join us on our next adventure, you'll love it!

Cheers
Si


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