Saturdays ride had three missing, Gadge knackered, Q bruised ribs and ego after the previous days tumble and Will who was banned as it was a none ginger ride, but we gained a rider in Skippy who managed to prize himself from his mattress, though he wished he had stayed in bed as there was no black pudding at breakfast, Skippy without food is like a banker without a bonus.
We set off towards the village of Hope, a proper gated community which had a busy main road running through it which stopped it from being as beautiful as Foxdale. A left turn off the main road and the climbing started past Cams family manor house and onto the trail into the fresh air (which was in short supply due to the barf brothers Skippy and Bazaar). The track was surprisingly dry considering the forecast, after a couple of gates that Seamus managed to open with no trouble having recently taken a Open University course on the subject. It was then onto a Roman Road which was in a bad state considering the millions he’s spent on Chelsea, he should spend some on the road (incidentally Chelsea were to win the Association Soccer Cup later in the day beating Seamus and Pete’s team 2 nets to 1).
At the top of the Roman Road tragedy struck, Bazaar managed to snap his rear mech and didn’t have a spare one (what a tart) luck was on his side as I did have one and after some intense negotiations a price was reached, (his black pudding at breakfast, his wife’s recipe for ratatouille and some money), the next problem was to get the broken mech off, luckily Bazaars multi-tool comes with a 7lb stone hammer which he bashed it out with, whilst bent over doing this repair Bazaars arse went into overdrive, what can only be described as an unprovoked attack that Al Qaeda would have been proud of, the four Duke of Edinburgh walkers that appeared behind the one man gas cloud without him knowing were stunned, not content with gassing the students Bazaar threw his rock hammer down into the path of a rambler who then tripped on it, with the bike now mended it was time to move on; we wished the DoE walkers well and Bazaar apologised for his flatulence.
After a short climb it was onto a great descent where you had the choice of staying on the rocky path or the single track alongside it. At the top of the next climb there was a short break while Skippy, still seething about the missing black pudding at breakfast dreamed of the lunch that lay ahead. The next descent brought us to the edge of Derwent Reservoir, nobody was taking any risks knowing that one slip would lead to spending the night and next day with the ‘rut slut’. Skippys nostrils started to twitch which could only mean one thing…. food was nearby, sadly for Skippy we didn’t stop as the tourist cafe didn’t serve alcohol, no good for us. ‘Seamus Hornblower’ sounded the muster and we moved out, another climb ‘there’s a surprise’ up a flag stone path brought onto some superb single track that provided stunning views overlooking Ladybower Reservoir, where the dambusters practiced their bombing runs, if they had Bazaars arse it would have saved a lot of trouble, the cheese board and Enigma real ale from the previous night a potent aroma, birds were dropping from the sky.
We regrouped at the end of the trail to look at the map to find the nearest pub, The Ladybower pub was spotted and it was everyman for himself, the trail to it was strange terrain a mixture of sand, peat and rock, Bazaar hung back sensing these could be his last minutes with his inflatable friend just as he was wiping a tear from his eyes (though this could be because of the mustard gas he was still producing), a horn could be heard in the distance right on cue Seamus took a heavy tumble, he lay motionless with a dint in his horn, Skippy sprung into action and rifled his camelbak for any food, once we realised he was okay we gave him the news the ‘tart’ was his, Coops set off with Pete in tow, a school boy error never follow Coops’ line with both of them nearly finding the hedge, it was a good attempt but the ‘Rut Slut’ was already spoken for.
The ride back was on country lanes stopping off at a bike shop (Eighteen) in Hope, well worth a visit if only to be insulted by the owner, Skippy asked “Do you sell shin pads” the reply was “ No they’re for tarts, I can order some but they will come wrapped in Fat over 60 Slags magazine to avoid embarrassment”. Skippy’s day was now complete.