Monday, 29 March 2010
STW Rivi ride - Bikes Beer and Mates!
The latest STW ride was being organised by Nick. He arranged a start from Botany Bay and promised a good route from over that neck of the woods. Weest had rather flippantly suggested that as mid point was Belmont, we could park up there for the afternoon and have a sesh. This was instantly latched upon by Jase and Me and before you could say "piss session" we had hatched a plan. We would have an early start, head over Winter Hill, meet the guys at BB then ride as far as Belmont and get leathered.
So we agreed a meet time of 7.45am. Made even earlier by the clocks going forward the night before. A little too early for some it would appear, as while Me, Toss and Jase arrived at Weesters, he pokes his head out of the front door in his Dressing Gown!!!
Off up Horrocks Fold, Coal Pit and straight into the mist and wind. It was blowing a hoolie on top, so we flew over past the mast and straight off the Shoulder. I had arranged to meet Mark from STW at the bottom here, and apparently he heard us coming down before he could see us, yelping and whooping at the great, slippery mad descent that is the shoulder. Along Belmont Road to the Pigeon Tower and we hooked up with Donk who had come over Barrow Bridge and up the Dentist. The ICR was a hoot as ever, then we took the road to Anglezarke. It was early enough to chance the Headland and Singletrack to Watermans Cottage and it was great fun. I really love this little bit of trail.
Met the group at BB, loads shied off and we eventually set off with about 20. Nick took us up to Healy Nab and a nice little loop around the hill before we picked up the main bw. In this short space of time we had already had 2 punctures and the Nick snapped his chain. Luckily Dave had a spare powerlink amongst his extensive toolkit :)
Over to White Coppice, we took the techy singletrack to Wheelton plantation, the path claiming Jo who toppled over and couldn't unclip, and hilariously, Nick, who's front wheel washed out and pitched him down like a sack of shit :) Up through the forest then up to the doubletrack to Great Hill. My legs were starting to feel the distance a bit here and Toss, Weest and Jase stopped us at Drinkwaters, before the plunge back to White Coppice to say that they were going to head on up and over to Belmont via Spittlers Edge. I was a bit torn as I really didnt want to miss the DH to the coppice and also didnt really fancy the Bog that would be the Edge, so I decided to bail at Lead Mines and then join them at the pub.
The DH was brilliant as ever, Grant nearly wiping me out on the rocky chute at the end when his unexpected line choice nearly pitched me right up his chuff. Everyone made it down in one piece although the mud at the top claimed a few.
Bastard climb up to the Manor House really started to burn my legs and I bid the guys farewell at the top. Labouring up Lead Mines was fookin hard work and the path past the ruin was just an unrideable bog. At the top I spotted freash tyre marks through the gloop and figured that the guys had beaten me and were probably already in the pub. So straight down Sheep Houses and into Belmont. Had a comedy off in the narrow ginnel, I clipped the wall with the bars and fell to the right. No worries, I'll just stop myself by gripping the top of that fence panel, only for the whole fookin lot to collapse and me twat my arm on the gravel board. Shifted myself pretty sharpish before anyone noticed and hit the pub.
Sure enough the guys had beaten me by about 20 mins, however while I locked the bike up Weest did the honours and got me a pint in.
We retired into the welcoming Bosom of the pub where Al did us proud, producing a big vat of chips and some buttered oven bottom barms. Heaven. Mark joined us after making his own way home from the Plantation.
The rest of the crowd turned up about 2ish, pretty good going really. Tony declaring that San Marino was one of the best descents he's ever done. Praise indeed. The guys all tucked in to a pint, but then had to shoot as they still had a fair way to go. I couldnt help but gloat a little as they all saddled up and we supped our ale.