After the trials and tribulations of last weeks near death experience, I had not ridden all week. Partly due to shagged legs, partly to do with general day to day life shit. In retrospect though it was probably a good thing as it gave me a chance to recover properly. So today came around and I have promised to lend the Brownbacks guys a hand and Marshall again for them. Racing really doesn't appeal to me, I ride for fun and the social aspect of the sport, sure I like to go as fast as I can, but racing has never really floated my boat. However, marshalling offered the opportunity of having a good crack as well as a bit of good karma lending a hand to a group of lads working hard to promote the sport.
So 8.30 comes around and I wander over the the briefing point as bump into Mart who was already there. Andy and Graham were already up in the quarry setting out the course and had been there since 7.15! We made our way up for the briefing and then got alocated our Marshall spots. To my horror, Neil, on of the organisers mistook me for Hora! Soon put him right there :p. Furthermore horror was presented to me when i got my Marshall point. It was a split point where the Racers & Weekend Warriors went one way and the Have a Go Hero's went another... holy shit, I would have to actually think about this for once, instead of my usual marshalling technique of just standing there and heckling the fuck out of the guys labouring past!
It worked out quite well actually, fortunately most of the guys had bright colours on their number plates so I could point them in the right direction easy enough, whilst still managing a torrent of abrasive northern heckle. Some proper quick lads up there today in the racer class, most impressive, but what made standing in the freezing fookin cold wind worthwhile was the smiles and high fives from the lads and 2 lasses that came past. Was a good crack.
After the last rider went through, we cleared down the course and headed down hill to get our free scran and brew, and I had a poke through the Marshall's goody bag. A free buff, food, drink, Hope key ring... all nice stuff. Then the highlight of the day... I won the Marshalls draw of fifty of your finest English pounds! Brilliant. thats the beer money for Coniston sorted. Prize giving was soon over, with some very tired lads getting some pretty decent prizes, I asked Graham if he had brought his bike. Yep! So wandered over to the car and got kitted up. Unexpectedly, I got stopped loads of times by guys who thanked me for the barrage of heckle fired at them... seems it really helps when your on your chin strap lol!
Gray and Steve donned their official Rangers outfits and we set off up the Hill towards Cragg. The Brutal climb up Rooly Moor Road was hard as ever and Steve was soon pushing, having the sexually deviant singlespeed bike. Up past Cowpe Upper Tank and we hit the new stuff. The Headwind was utterly savage. Blowing a fucking hooley on the leg out, took all the flow out of the trail. It has bedded in really well since my last visit and I reckon on a good day with good legs, it would be a cracker.. proper balls out pedally fun, not dissimilar to Penmachno 2. At the head of the trail we turned and with a tail wind it was a different matter, we were flying back! Graham was right up my chuff along here, Since I started riding with him last year, he has got faster and faster every ride and he really is flying over the techy stuff too.
The last section of down on Cragg with a tempest behind us nearly caught me out on a double, I just let go of the brake and flowed down, but sailed straight over it, almost a FULL 3, yes 3 inches of air!
Back along RMR and the rangers got thier official heads on and gave a 4x4 driver the hard word, however it turned out that they had a proper excuse for being up there... they were both called Ray and were bumming each other.
Moor over to Lee was much dryer than last time and when we hit the quarry, we went the wrong way to the new trail head and then nailed all three routes into the skills area. Bumped into Mark from Singletrack, out with his wife and kids I think. After a sesh on the jumps and berms, we went out a did a full lap of the red.
Have I mentioned how much I like Lee Quarry...no ? Well I really like Lee Quarry. Especially at the moment, the surface is just sublime... loads of grip, but its predictable when it does let go... 2 wheel drifts just when you expect them and you can just push them into a berm and then pedal out... .lurvely!
Back to the car for 4.30 and the end of a cracking day out. Spent the morning giving a bit back to the sport that gives me so much and then an afternoon taking it back.