Sunday, 29 June 2008


It doesnt look steep on the telly

It doest look boggy on the telly.

"Look at me.I'm on the telly !"

I'm not anti-society, society's anti-me
I'm not anti-religion, religion is anti-me
I'm not anti-tradition, tradition is anti-me
I'm not anti-anything, I just wanna be free
I'm not anti-Reagan, Reagan's anti-me
I'm not anti-government, government's anti-me
I'm not anti-politics, politics is anti-me
I'm not anti-anything, I just wanna be free*

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
Ronald Reagan.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for every thing I do.
Robert Heinlein

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

We, like you, are staunch believers in the freedom of the individual and the rule of a fair and just law. These principles are shared with our European partners and with the wider Atlantic community. They are the bedrock of the Western World.

Life is holy, and every moment is precious. Jack Kerouac


Minor ,not even worth mentioning spot of bother on the ride today.
I dunno.
I guess we all just want to do our own thing.
You just cant win.

Bit busy right now . I'll write up the near perfect ride later.

* *

Right ,I'm back . It's like becoming unstuck in time.And so it goes.

Picked Jeff up at his house round the corner.I was thinking about riding up Rivi ,but Jeff was pushed for time ,and the weather was threatening ,so ,hey ho.

Didnt park at the usual barn rd,instead parked just out of Horwich opposite the school.Almost immediatly bumped into a stricken biker.Andy.He was parked next to us and was already on his way home due to a broken rear derailleur.Hmm.That's MTBing.

We set off up the boneshaker climb behind the school.A tough warm-up,made harder by extreme mugginess,and now we're briefly joined by the guy with the pimped out airborne ,only today he's on a pimped Whyte PRST1 thing.Bonkers bike . The jury's out.We get to the top bridleway under the pike ,have a blow,and go our seperate ways.I've got my leggings on and I'm regretting it.Jackets off.
We head towards the pidgeon tower ,Matt on the 29"er passes us ,no gassing today,and we swing to the right ,avoiding the 'Ice Cream Run' ,sneaking round the back of the mast on it's blindside along Catter Nab.Only a few weeks ago we were on this bridleway when I was out on the Muddy Fox.Today I'm riding the Commencal .Slightly different. It just kind of floats over this stuff.Is this a good thing?Not if you're into masochism.Arent all cyclists just a bit masochistic?

The weather was just full of idle threats in the end.It was a cracking day.Not mad hot ,a bit muggy,a bit cloudy ,but OK.We'd had a lot of rain in the night . It woke me up about 5am.Bouncing.As we passed the bottom of Hordern Stoops ,the mast now behind us,we had to go through a big puddle,swollen to pond like proportions right across the trail.I was having a few doubts about the next bit.

Spitlers Edge.

What the hell. It's only mud.

It is notoriously gloopy up here.It wasnt as bad as I've seen it though.The first bit kids you.Theres an initial climb that flattens a touch and up ahead you can see the top.Still a way to go.Then you get there , - and there's some more.Not easy when in places your wheel sinks in up to the axle. We make OK time ,considering ,and soon get to the start of the 'slabs'.4' long pavers ,laid end to end ,snaking across the moorland like giant dominoes.A bit easier.Just before we hit them though ,there's a short ,not too steep downhill.Loose and cobbly rocky.I set the flux capacitors on the meta and try to get it up to the magical 88mph ,leaving Jeff in a trail of nuclear waste from Mr Fusion.

I dont know what happened next . I think the terrorists got me.It was all over by the time Jeff got there.Some kind walkers had put traffic calming measures into place. They must be getting better at it because the front wheel was eaten up by a huge gap. I stopped. Well ,the bike did.88-0 in a heartbeat.I didnt need to time travel to find out if my knee would be hurting later.It is.THIS is MTBing.It's OK ,I have another one on the other side.

After flapping around like a one legged turkey at christmas,i eventually managed to get out of the SPD.It was all going so well.Jeff crested the brow just as I got up and missed the whole thing.You snooze you lose.

We hit the slabs .Proper flying now.Stopping only to 'yeild' to a few walkers.More of that later.We see only one other runner up here.It's poles apart from the 'Saturday afternoon at the Trafford centre' Chinese Gardens.

We get to the shelter at Great Hill and 'choc up'.Great views all around.Darwen Tower is clear as a bell and further over towards Ramsbottom we can see Peel Monument.We went there once.I blew up my back wheel.How we laughed.It seems like another life.

Great Hill has a great downhill. Well it would ,wouldnt it?I try for 88mph again .Flying down the first bit to the fence and then on the bridleway heading west(gazing :)towards the moorland that will take us down to White Coppice.The meta's great at this type of thing.I dunno.Maybe too good . If that makes sense?There are a couple of tricky ditch crossings on this bit ,but set the speed on Mr fusion to medium and just unweight the front end and it'll manual over them with it's eyes closed.It's good. But I like to be a little more involved. That said ,on the next bit ,the downhill proper ,it is in its element and really comes alive.It is a load of fun,but the masochist in me misses having my eyeballs shook out.I just end up going faster than I really want to.It seems without limits.And it's not a big heavy bike.How do they do it.It'll turn into a bike test if I tell you how good it goes up .I think with a wind down/ETA style fork instead of just the extended lock-out it'd be perfect.Maybe for 09?

We ride out of the Goyt with big grins ,hopping the bridge like little gambolling lambs.

At the bottom of that killer road climb up to Anglezarke ( yes ? ),we bump into Paul ,who bizarrely worked with Jeff ,but on another floor.Small world. I wouldnt like to have to paint it ,mind.

To avoid aforementoined ,Paul tags along with us on the highly illegal FOOT path between the reservoirs.We yeild to some more walkers and exchange pleasantries.Theyre cool. All very civil.Heading back now just chilling.We pass a hiking scout troop.More of the same.I guess we're all just like minded.Enjoying it.But there's always one.

Passing the Yarrow reservoir on the highly legal bridleway,a good fast open downhill at times,we come upon a horsey type creature.Big thing .Like a dog,but weighing 800lbs with a spade on the end of each leg.Now ,the last time i happened upon one of these devils beasties i slowed right down and dingled my tiny dingler at it.Well,not tiny.Anyway ,it startled the defenceless fire breathing thing,and I was chastised by the pilot for breaking protocol ,ssssssssooooo,this time I slow right down and do nothing ,passing very wide.And it doesnt like that .More chastisement .I apologise for my part in this ,and the lady,although Very middle class ,was OK with it (she says " make a noise next time " ? )and we carry on,but some guy walking along the reservoir edge just cant leave it at that and calls us "babies" and cant we ride some "proper " routes.I'm not even dressed like Jane Fonda this week. What is wrong with people?Everyone just wants to do their own thing.It's a comment on society that I cant (thankfully for you ) be bothered going into.There's two sides to every story.Read this if arsed.

Ok ,back to the cars .Paul's parked at the same place as us.Crazy.Hope he comes again.And the other guy ,and the other .....

You just cannot mention Ronald Reagan enough times in a ride report can you?

*Suicidal Tendencies.Two sided politics. Mike Muir ,punk rock poet.
**Time ,being abstract ,may appear less to you at this point than it did to me.


  1. Great ride report Tim. Could you write ours up for us from t'weekend? I can't be arsed.

    I fell off as well.

    I laughed at the 'babies' jibe. WTF goes on in some people's heads??