Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Second Coming.

Oh what a night! It shall be etched bold in legend wherever men revel and quaff. For tonight, I would be riding my bike in anger (and also the Peak District) for the first time since last October. It was time to commence "Operation: lets see what this wrist can do". Six brave souls braved the warm, dry and dusty conditions with immense bravery  to complete the bravest comeback ride of the century, Ben Creed's "Chinley Double". This was the ride that broke me all those months ago. The fearless immortals were myself, Rik Ety, don't call me digger Chris, Sam Timenextweek, John Walsh'n'dry and newbie Craig Bonanza.
behold their magnificents!

The Royal had never seen such pinnacles of men in its car park. We were apon steeds the likes of which have only ever been seen before in the most grandest of Halfords. The rigorously adhered to "7:30pm start" rule meant we were away at precisely 7:40 on the dot. With lights charged and brows furrowed we ventured forth towards the Sett Valley Trail. It had clearly been a while since the others had been in the presence of one so awesome as myself and I could tell straight away that they were out to impress me. They'd show off by sprinting up the trail, leaving me far behind. At each gate in the trail we would bunch up like an accordion and as I began to pedal away they would fly past me once again. I knew they were showing off for me so to save them any embarrassment I pretended to be hopelessly out of condition. I managed to sustain the act for the entire ride. I care that much!
The first climb up past the quarries was a slow affair and as the road turned to track it became obvious that the lack of mud had turned the stones into marbles. Once up to speed, stopping and turning would be ambitious at best. That would have to wait though. First we had the tarmac descent to Dolly's Lane and the near vertical climb back up to Overhill Road to deal with. Again I hung back giving the illusion of a rider who was totally knackered at this stage. When I did get to the top I discovered mutiny in the rank! Chris, Rik and Sam were scared of the marble alley that lay before them and were positively cacking themselves at the prospect of an all out full frontal assault to the top of the peak. They opted for a more leisurely route while the real men tackled the wheel slippage and back breaking grassy climb with nothing but a few cows to cheer them on.
yes Chris, you're not as manly as me!

Once at the top the only way was down, hurrah! and with the elegant grace of a moped on ice we pootled down to Peep 'O Day Farm. There was dust, there was a smell of burning brake pads, there was the warmth that only comes from glowing discs, there were squeals of brakes and squeaks from bums. It was romantic really.
However, next up was the descent to the campsite and then the campsite run itself. You could smell the fear!
Sam stealthily shitting himself

One by one we tip toed down.
suddenly the memories return *parp*

Half way down and the trench that had put me on biking hold for 11 months came into view.
this at speed, I don't think so

"Holy crap! no wonder I crashed" leaped to mind but there was no time to think. I had to use every single available inch of my skill (so about 29mm in metric then). It wasn't much but I navigated my way down without breaking any bones. Go me!! We then came to the final stretch, the campsite run. I'd not been down in a long time and my line choice reflected that. I accidentally took the harder left-line by the tree but somehow stayed upright and rode out the other side intact. *insert your hero comment here*. I even got some massive air off the bumps in the trail. I must have been 3 maybe 4 inches off the ground, both wheels and everything! A steady stroll back to the Royal ensued and we all agreed on how awesome I'd been. While this is true, I can't take all the credit, just most.
home sweet home

Roll on next week!


  1. Nice ride, and good to get pics in the dark .... we never think of that (!) It's sure dusty up there huh ?

  2. Well, 'Wheels on Fire' eh ? That's one way to get confident ! make sure you don't 'peak' too fast.