It’s always good when Coops posts a ride that starts next to a licensed premises, as the inspiration to get back as quick as possible is easy to muster and so it was that seven of us met up at the Colby Glen for the Tuesday Loaghtan social spin.
Coops, Matt, Paul, Alex, Max, Roger and Séamus set off from Colby in the direction of Ballabeg. Turning off the tarmac up passed the church up what became affectionately known as ‘car wash’ alley as the old farm track is shrouded either side by gangly briers which reach out at knee, shoulder and head height from both sides causing surface damage to expensive neoprene, soft shell jackets and facial skin!!! Arriving covered in stigmata’s we travelled on up the tarmac in the parish of Ronague and down some farm tracks for a bit of fun. It was on the climb out of this wee leg warmer that I was becoming increasingly aware that the leading posse’s rear lights were getting further and further away from me by the second.
It was at the re-group at the top of the innocuous hill that I revealed to the assembled others that earlier I had, just that evening, replaced BOTH sets of brake pads on my bike !!! I’m sure Oscar Pistorius could have mounted that last hill faster than I did, without his prosthetics!!! Paul offered some tech assistance to my seized up wheels but no great progress was achieved. I vowed to battle on and hope the odd downhill would assist. We did find a short bit of downhill that got us into the south boundary of Cringle plantation.
Max took the lead and the rest followed, as fast as we could keep up, in my case. The ‘blue’ spot route was fun and new to a few of us. Eventually we found our way onto the cursed Whiskey Run climb, just what you need to ride in new pads!!! I think by now everyone realised that there was no point in rushing ahead as the weather was cooling rapidly and standing still in those conditions while waiting for me would not be anyone’s idea of fun! I sauntered on and was soon passed, again the rest disappeared beyond my horizon! As I reached the top the lads were in a tribal huddle trying to keep warm by sharing communal body heat and watching what appeared to be monkey porn on 3G.
I had a quick pit stop and took on some fuel and summoned the collective and we set off across the Round Table (which is still missing) and down the road towards the entrance to the Eary Cushlin track. I think this was a conspired plan to get me down some free peddle terrain in order to file the dammed brakes!!! Things were easing up a bit, but now my legs were goosed so the climb up Eary Cushlin track was a trial, I dug deep. This time the lamps ahead did not disappear too far off (was this a sympathy lead out!?).
When I got to the top there were a posse of the speed merchants again huddled at the top sharing body heat , but no 3G signal this time! I was beginning to get in the groove and the sniff of all downhill back to the pub gave me an extra charge. We set off over the Earystane moorlands where Max took off like Indiana Jones on a mission, we all followed with a freedom and smile that only downhill can give you. On into Earystane plantation and through the trees where the ground was beginning to ice over. Someone had rudely felled some trees over Max’s wee single track treat so we all scattered and made up alternative routes and eventually managed to meet up, all arriving from different points. Track back down to the road (more break pad action!!) where Coops had a bit of mud in his eye and it was not of the libatious kind! It was true Manx grit fella. Onto the tarmac and free wheel back into the car park.
A nice fresh evening for a 12 mile spin.
Honourable mention to Paul ‘Ned’ Flanders for offering to do the Car Wash Alley for charity while completely naked!
Unmentionable mention to Newshie for going to Bingo, fully clothed!!!
Lesson for the day ‘Never change both front and rear brake pads in the same day’