Sunday, 8 June 2008


"Everyone around
love them, love them
Put it in your hands
Take it take it
There’s no time to cry
Happy happy
Put it in your heart
Where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine" *

Todays ride was a classic . In every sense. A good ride starts the night before . Prepping.A tweak and a prod ,a squirt of lube.I was a bit apprehensive/excited.Not done the long haul up to Rivington and back for a while and to make it even tastier I was doing it on the old bike.


Set out about 7.45 and rode from ours up to Hindley lights .Met Jon.Didnt seem too taken aback by the fact that I was 'full retro',trackies tucked in socks ,big polystyrene lid ,the lot.Strictly speaking ,we didnt have camelbaks in the '80s.
We went up the beautiful Hindley high St ,past the swanky restaurants,and on through Borsdane woods ,up to Rivvy .Fairly chilling.Not booting it anyway.The heat was already picking up.Trackies and big polystyrene lid probably not a great idea.
Met the gang. Gareth ,Rick ,and Andy.Also not overly phased .Are they used to this type of behaviour from me?Usual climb felt a bit tougher than usual. Not quite romping up like on the Fisher.You'd think a basic steel MTB with no suspension and minus all the extra modern accoutrements would be lighter than a 5" travel XC trail bike. It's not .And the gears are tougher.Much taller.
Life was so hard in the unremebered '80s.

Up through the gardens to the pidgeon tower,usual dance,Pike,saw Tim up there with the kids.Not me ,the other one.
Off the back .Used to it now on the muddy fox.Dry and easy.Past the pike cottage ,Wilders moor,slog,saw Craig Burrows,mast , proper toasty now ,on to ,Hordern Stoops .

Now this is a downhill.The first 'proper' downhill i ever did on a mountainbike.A Muddyfox courier ,would you believe?If anything shows up twitchy wack geometry on a bike,this will .And it did. I never thought Cove handjobs had such wack angles but the way Rick almost implanted his face down a bunny hole on the top section ,there can be no other explanation.Unless he just had a sudden urge to perform a 'superman'.Hmm

At the bottom my arms were PUMPED.Big 4 finger levers work well and the brakes are good enough within the bikes limitations ,but compared to a modern disc set up or even a Vbrake they are so hard .Tiring in a good way.Not.Ah well,just dont go downhill as fast.The bike's so short it's a doddle getting your arse off the back.

Onto the lane at the bottom,turn left back up to the Pidgeon tower.More hard work.Feeling it a bit.Getting a pounding on the trail.This is where ya 5" trail bikes excel.As hard as it is ,it's still OK to downhill on an old klunker ,but on this type of bumpy path it's so counterproductive.This is where a susser is actually better.Uphill ,not downhill.Controversially this flies in the face of every 'hardtail Vs Full suss'article i've ever read.So there. It's Alans theory . If it proves to be wrong I'll conveniently remember that.

Pidgeon tower.What's next. Ice cream run.What else?Another killer downhill that will show up a bad bike.So them Soma's aint too hot either. Dont know what dance Andy Rudd was doing down there. Break dancing ?It couldve been worse. He couldve had those silly shopping bike handlebars on too.He'll be sore tomorrow.Hope it's not too bad.Them rocks bite.

I nearly had second thoughts about dropping off the slab ,but seeing how it was actually the second time on the courier ,that'd make it third thoughts,which dont seem right.So I just went for it. Hell of a knock . Is this what mountainbiking was like?I dont remember it being this hard . And the brakes are proving tough again.At least I've got my polystyrene hat on.

Luckily ,Jon got a pinchy flat halfway down . Fixing it gave us ample opportunity to use the Ice cream run to it's full extent.


Not quite the end of a perfect ride. Not for Jon and I at least.

Went past the cars with the lads ,kissed goodbye,and headed home. Down through Blackrod ,Aspull ,through haigh hall ,classic,and then jumped on the canal in Wigan.Split off from Jon at the canal bridge.Few more miles for him.Couple for me .Dinners ready. Bacon butties.

*REM. Shiny happy people.
More betterer pics at:
oh ,and a video at:
Midweek post script.
Still fairly 'orf me napper' with this ride. What indefineable 'thing' is it that you occasionally get from a ride.Fairly normal route.Bit more mileage.Vit D over load .Mid-life crisis time travel aspect of recreating one's youth .I dunno. Good though.

1 comment:

  1. Vintage indeed. Beaming sunshine, icecreams, 2 stacks, 2 punctures, old bikes, lots of laughs, great stuff. Interesting observation that the two singlespeeds were the ones that bit it. Hmm. Be aware: riding 'big bikes' can cause over confidence.

    Reet, 'til the next one...