He’s packing for something. The Wildcat gear and sleeping equipment is laid out on the workshop floor.
Its adventure time.
It’s been a while since he took me out for a good ride. The Winspace and recently the Rose have been treated to the miles for smiles. He even swanned off to Flanders with the new shop kit for a dirty weekend with friends and to top it off he has been flaunting around with a full suspension Rocky Mountain.
I’m now strapped together like the Pulp Fiction gimp. Harness and strap-on bags. Fuel pods and water bottles. I have gone fat up front with Mr Chronicle and I’ve even been treated to a new chain. The E Trex has been zipped tied to my handle bars and I’m wheeled me outside. Doors locked, padlocks secured and we are off. The trail awaited. The blue skies and warm sunshine is stocking the generators, I’m ready for my first serious ride of the year…….bollocks, the bloody railway station.
“The next station is Garsdale”. Free at last. Try hooking your lip to a metal spike with a heavy rucksack on your back for 45mins and see how you feel. The sun is out but there is a nip in the air. He has his arm warmers on and his poncey Jaw breakers. He has spent too long with the roadies.
It’s great to feel the trail under my wheels. The crunch of dry dirt and the gentle slide as my Maxxis search for corner grip but alas it is dull tarmac all the way to Staveley. 25 miles of it. Some down, some up but he must be enjoying it as he is singing to himself without his iPod on. Bless.
We roll into Mill Yard and before he can unclip he is meeting and greeting. He has never met most of the riders but they all behave like they have been best buddies for years. Internet friends and social media groupies haggling together like giggling school girls whilst WE are propped up against a post “Mind the bloody paint why don’t you” and ignored. No wait he is talking about me, he is even promoting me, now they are all looking at my forks, pointing and deliberating. Ok maybe I am a big thing.
He’s been in there for some time now and if I’m not mistaken that’s his 5th beer. Looks like tomorrows ride will be a steady affair. meanwhile me and a few buddies have been abandoned outside having a bit of a chat about our passengers.
“Hi. I’m Indiana, you know Indiana JONES Ha ha ha”.
“Good one. Did he come up with that”.
Bed time was a field next door. Left to shiver he climbed into his warm bag. Me, well I was left to my own devices with Marks steam train snoring next door for company. There is nothing like the rhythmic snore of a middle-aged man to KEEP YOU AWAKE ALL NIGHT.
Sunrise and sun rays, singing Black birds and snoring. Its game time. I’m strapped up again with the bit in my mouth. He is tucking into a Cumberland sausage and eggs and has two cups of coffee on the go. The yard is filling up with fellow adventure seekers and long-lost friends. Handshakes and selfies. Last minute faffing and “bugger I knew I forgot something” made the Yard a bustling excited environment. The fact we were going on a 100 mile off-road ride in the Lake District was yet to hit home. All I could see was smiles and excited riders.
It wasn’t long before everyone gathered outside the Hawkshead Brewery. A fat tyred beard gentleman introduced himself along with Tom Hill. Some emotional words where spoken and a round of applause broke the moment. We were off to ride the SouthLakes100 in memory of our friend Jenn Hill.
I imagine this is the point where you go put the kettle, turn off or go search the net for some Amazon deals. How can you put into words 16hrs of stunning bike related shenanigans without boring you all to bits. Simple. You can’t. Like a Vietnam vet “You had to be there man”.
Got to say I am proud of the old chap. He soldiers on. He is no whippet and he may creak and groan but he keeps the pedals turning. We spend some time with Bruce from Skipton and we share a sing-song that Stu has conducted whilst putting me front wheel first down a rocky rutted steep descent.
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Marzocchi fork
My arms hurt like crazy, my eyes are on storks
I do love my Truss fork, but I’m getting older
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Marzocchi fork.