The pink vest was passed to me for this week's ride. The last occupier was Scrippsy - which probably explains the stench of piss, biscuits and mint imperials.
22 of us met at the usual place, passports, visas and E11s all to hand as this ride was headed for the bright lights of the capital city.
Obvious absentees were Gaz (last seen running after Transit vans shouting obscenities), Bernie (still up the woods trying to find his chain), Kev the Plane (being questioned about the fuel lines he fitted to the 737 in Singapore last week), Scrippsy (Alzheimers) and last but not least, Option (still under investigation by the CSI - photos coming soon).
There was an air of anticipation as we headed towards the woods. The pace was good (I knew it was going to be a long ride) and then Slug had his first puncture. By the way, did anyone see Dai fall off his bike when it was stationary? Priceless.
The ride went straight past the Maenllwyd, up to Lower Ridgeway where we hit the fast section before the Travellers Rest. We had arrived in the city, passports at the ready. Passports stamped, we were ready to go. Up onto Wenallt where we started fast flowing downhill through the forestry. At this point, we had ten of the herd go walkabout ( thanks to Crock). After several phone calls and a quick "recky", the herd were reunited. Onto Neddy's field and panic set in when I introduced them to the insignificant "jump". I went first, followed by Captain (good air). Russ seemed to like it, he did it four times.
After an hour waiting for the herd to pluck up more courage, we made it safely to the bottom of Rhiwbina Hill, at which point Tom (who shall henceforth be known as Victor Meldrew due to the incessant moaning) seemed to be suffering from serious beer withdrawl symptoms. So, it was straight up to the top and down the single track jump path and onto the main road by Castell Coch (Victor still moaning).
Then past the Black Cock onto Ridgeway Walk by the burger bar, Bedwas loomed seductively on the horizon. At this point, Ryan the Steam decided to see if he could pass the land speed record on a mountain bike down Cardiff Mountain. Only later, did he confess to almost soiling himself.
The pelliton headed through Caerphilly. past the Kings at break neck speed. Chris learned the hard way that mountain bikes don't have to stop at red lights and we continued along Van Road (I think) to Lansbury Park. I'm sure I heard a distant cry of "hold onto your teeth, lads, the scuffers round here will have your fillings out". By this time, I think Victor's moaning had subsided to a gentle whimper. We (somehow) made it past the Fishermans onto the main road with a mad dash back to HQ lead at warp speed by the new lad (sorry, didn't catch your name - I shall call you Lance), where I had unwarranted verbal abuse for ten minutes. After a pint of the TA's finest and and some of the usuall gourmet food, I even managed to squeeze a smile out of OBE.
Conclusion: The ride was called "different", but lads, variety is the spice of life.
Next weeks ride is taken by Knotty - let's hope his wife is wearing her little black number while she serves us the Pimms and cucumber sandwiches...
It's been a pleasure (all yours)
P.S Drug test compulsory next week as Johnsy (aka Floyd Landis) must be on something. Have you seen him ride these days??
P.S.S I don't think I'll be invited to take another ride for some time.