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Captain's Corner

15th June 2005

For the second week in a row it was disappointing turnout of only eight hardcore Moos riders that assembled at the Legion. It is mid June and there is no excuse not to be ‘out on the trail’ and ‘shredding the proverbial gnarl’ at this time of the year! Lets see more out next week.

One of the Moos was overheard saying ‘It’s their (the absentees) loss,’ and this was definitely true as we set out to what turned out to be a familiar ride on some favourite trails that we haven’t covered for a while. ‘More miles equalled more smiles’ as we headed up to Caerphilly Mountain via the Ridgeway, on to Van Road via some new wooded singletrack and a few new jumps, and to the Maenllwydd via that old chestnut of the Rudry Common descent.

In the midst of the ride the Moos even had the time, and decency, to help a distraught young lady who had lost her dog called ‘Red.’ Tom was the most helpful Moo offering his undoubted dog finding expertise, suggesting places to look that none of us had thought of.

Following usual ride refreshments at the Maenllwydd, there was no stopping the ‘magnificent eight’ as we continued unabated over the infamous Blips jump (carefully avoiding the small crater where the large-bottom-lipped big-air impresario landed), and onward to some sweet singletrack descending through the increasingly darkening woods towards Rhyd-y-Gwern Farm. The rolling singletrack was interrupted however, on two occasions. Firstly the Captain, by snagging a tarzan-like creeper in his handlebar, hit the deck much to the annoyance of the ex-Cap Scrippsy who was heard to say ‘C’mon man, what are you doing down there, you idiot!’. A few minutes later Scrippsy was ranting once more, when we all stopped to try and help Harty whose rear mech-hanger had snapped leaving his chain and rear-mech tangled. Thinking more about his empty gut, and the usual culinary delights of the Royal Oak, Scrippsy’s new tunnel-visioned racing attitude, astounded the Moos contingent, who were left shaking their heads and tutting, as he ripped into the hapless Harty by saying ‘I’m peckish man, c’mon, what’s the bloody problem now.’ This is a real turnaround for Mr Scripps, from happy-go-lucky team player to self-centred Lance Armstrong-esque blinkered racer, which I can only presume has come about because of his entry into the Grand Vets category of the Dragon XC event at Cwmcarn (Sun 19th June). Remember there is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’ Gordon!

Following a quick call to Johnny the Mechanic’s out-of-hours service, Harty’s rear-hanger problem was sorted, his mech zipped-tied to the rear-stay, as he enjoyed the ‘push’ from fellow Moos, across the rugby fields, to the Oak.

One of the more noticeable absentees recently has been the Gollum lookalike Crock, who has stated that his lack of appropriate head gear has been the reason that he has not been ‘out on the trails.’ He is rumoured to have the forsaken Moos rides in favour of showing his Lord of the Rings comrades, Frodo, Sam, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn, some of the downhill’s in Middle Earth. Even Gandalf’s flowing white locks were seen hammering down some switchbacks on a hill overlooking Gondor recently!

As can be seen by this recent picture of Crock in full downhill regalia in his bedroom, not only does he own a full-face helmet, he also owns another helmet (bottom right), so there is really no excuse for his absence. This was forwarded to me by the chocolate manufacturer Nestle who are trying to track down the ginger-topped dweeb to be the next ‘Milky Bar Kid!

Crock's better built replacement

Ryan the Steam (Ant) made the riding numbers up to a grand total of nine, as he waited for the main party at the Oak, after putting in some miles with a work colleague. Apparently he missed the Moos start time of 6.30pm after falling asleep in his orange ‘Guantanamo Bay’ overalls, after underestimating the relaxing qualities of the new Twining’s Pineapple and Rooibus Tea. If you are not aware Rooibos (which literally means red bush) has a naturally sweet, soothing character, which creates an ideal complement to the fruity pineapple flavour. It is great for a midday burst of refreshment, but also has soothing qualities. Did you know? The Rooibos plant is unique to the Cederberg mountain region in South Africa and was discovered by European explorers over 300 years ago?

Finally good luck to Gordon Scripps in his race. This weekend’s ride will commence at 10am Sunday, from the Ffwrrwm to incorporate a detour to support Scrippsy as he attempts to push-off, spit-on and general abuse all other competitors in his category, such is his new one-tracked winning attitude. Hopefully this race will be a normal ‘clothed’ one, unlike the last race Scrippsy entered at the Biffins Bridge Nudist Camp, which can be viewed below (Scrippsy can be seen resting at the back of the group, right, in his usual style fixated on holding the wheel of the rider in front!).

Scripps in his usual attire

I will finish by re-iterating that it would be good to see more riders next week.


See you next week


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