6:25 was the time the Captain and I arrived outside the legion to find only a small handful of moos waiting. The weather was perfectly clear with the temperature well above average and what it has been over the last few weeks. For this I was expecting a big turn out .... by the time we left for the ride it was fair to say that it was a little bit below average of a turn out, 13 to be exact; obviously the word went round that it was my ride so everyone decided to give it a miss this week!
Once off, we went straight up the hill on the fire track to the top in the woods with no name. After a quick collection at the top there was a big strip off as some of the moos were physically dripping with the warm temperature of the night. Then it was a quick downhill down around the quarry and onto the road. A quick blast up the road and past the Maenllwyd Inn and you could see the water marks on the road where the boys were salivating on the thought of drinking in there later; this was more so than every because Ricey had finally been allowed back into the pub after several years of being barred, the reason for this being for .... lets so 'tom foolery'.
Past the pub and back on ourselves up onto ridgeway. Once over the gate all seats were slammed down and it was a very short lived downhill section down the steep and very slippery steps. The next 30mins consisted of uphill, with the reward of a new and exciting trail once at the top. This route was discovered / rediscovered by Jock on the weekend so it turned into a joint operation to drown out all the moans and groans of boring uphill and to find the new trail. The loudest of the moans and groans were none other than the Captain and Newbs complaining of time of the month pains all the way to the top! Once the trail was found, to say it was wet and boggy would have been an understatement - however this didn't stop great amount of fun basically sliding down the hillside forwards, backwards, sideways and everywhere in between with many of the moos shooting off in all different directions through the bracken and into bushes.
Quickly back up the top again via the forestry track and down the 'bone shaker' section of downhill which again proved to be just a wet and slippery but still large amounts of fun. At the collection at the bottom, the boys were already getting excited about the prospect of a cold beer in the Maenllwyd which meant they were off as quick as you like! A quick run up the steps, down the last part of the ridgeway and pilling straight through the doors to the pub. As this was a special occasion with Ricey being allowed back in, a longer time than usual was spent in the pub with Rob ending every sentence to the bar staff with 'yes sir', 'no sir', and 'three bags full sir'.
Out the pub, which by now felt a lot cooler than inside in the warmth, up the road to the top of the hill in the woods and straight down the fire track back into Machen and into the TA; where as usual an assortment of fine foods and snacks were laid out before us, with each moo being very courteous and only taking a small amount of food leaving lots spare for his other fellow riders.
The rest of the night was spent the usual way of drinking beer and talking b******s.