How long will it last? Make hay whilst the Sun shines they say. So we did, metaphorically. Although my arse was twitching a bit at 6:35 pm as there were ten riders at best waiting to hit the trails, and one of them was Sam who seemed to have dismantled is bike on the side of the road! I was starting to suspect that there had been a mass defection to the ‘new’ club. Thankfully, moments later the herd was 28 strong and so it headed off up the woods to Ade's trail. The dry weather has made this single track fast and sweeping and a great taste of what was to come.
Typically however, great plans are often dashed by unforeseen events. Firstly, gaps had appeared between riders and as the masses turned back up into the woods at the end of Ade's trail a number of riders missed the turn and went for an impromptu dip over Broke Back. Secondly, Spindles stopped to fix a puncture. The resultant wait at the next turn down to Rhyd y Gwern lane turned out to be a blood sucking one as the mosquitoes took chunks out of the waiting riders being blissfully unaware of the wrong turns and mechanicals behind them.
Finally, the herd became one again as we headed for Ochyrwyth, or so I thought. But no, Spindles had punctured again! Poor tube choice must be a learned trait in the extended Howells family as f**k me if future Brother-in-law Richard had fallen foul along punctureville as well. Concerned that these things occur in threes I escorted the now tail-end-Charlies up to join the crowd that now included Sam and Tom at the cross roads.
The plan was to introduce the boys to some fresh trails on the Mojo side of the mountain. The first, a flowing single track littered with enjoyable little jumps, seemed to go down well. In contrast, following a push back up, the next downhill track was tight and technical. I chose to push on ahead at this point as I felt the herd required a short fluid replacement stop. Each rider was rewarded for their efforts so far with a can of cider. I hoped this would act as a sweetener as I broke the news that the climbing trauma was not over as Mynydd Machen was our next objective.
Having reached the summit (most of us that is... a mutiny had occurred, you know who you are!) a very dark and dusty Front Trail took us back to Headquarters. Unfortunately, a number of 'offs' caused multiple abrasions on this final decent. Sorry to the bloodied few.
Injuries were soon forgotten as we made short work of the sausages, chips and Glanmors' finest. There were also Guinness's to be raced as OBE was given a drinking lesson by Manon who, along with dad Jason, downed their reward for achieving the 10 ride milestone before Geoff saw the bottom of his glass. No one was more impressed with Manon's drinking than the Tony Schlong Appreciation Society.
It didn't go unnoticed that with their tenth ride Manon and Jason are added to the Moo rogues gallery along with their likes and dislikes. The collection of this information was Scrippsy's job. The dirty old sod had a smile a mile wide as he imagined that Manon was a young impressionable boy that he could take under his ring... I mean wing.
Time to sign off now