It started off as a regular Tuesday ride with Tom’s warning of gales and mud reducing the field to half the regular size. With Ash in puncture land somewhere on the SDW Tom re-jigged a route to allow a rendez-vous and avoid a headwind or the remnants of the travellers and their detritus. So tarmac, orchard, hill that hurts, horseshoe and another hill that hurts. Definitely not a Thursday ride but not getting dropped and not everyone else found the pace easy. Finding Ash we turned with the wind and rode the ridgeline. I mentioned an old standard of : tyre on gate at Ditchling Beacon, around Blackcap trig point and back to tyre on gate of 12mph. Open and closing your own gates is required so no holding and riding on your own. I will be checking Mr. Strava but anything massively over 12mph is immediately discounted as just plain showing off. True test is retro bike of thirty pounds rather than xc race bike of twenty but probably more rider than bike test. We dropped down and I found F=MA is true and as I win the mass race I avoided pedalling, tried to catch the wind and even braked to avoid revealing my generous mass advantage. A bumpy track bounced me almost out of the saddle but David just rode past on his metallic version of my carbon steed without much obvious difficulty and held the gate. Then we rode up a hill, but this time it was a Thursday hill so it hurt less. Tom then lead us up and down and around and it was all going so well. Then I followed David again down the bridleway to the right of Bluebells and clipped a fallen tree. He had ridden underneath it at full pace and I should have had space aplenty but I landed heavily and won the night’s sliding down the trail prize. Adam waited and rode behind me as I rode back to where the other’s were re-assembling. I then rode back again to the same place to find my broken lens as they ran a loop. Off down Buzz just as the adrenaline seemed to wear off and the bumps decided to pound me into reluctant submission. I cut to the fireroad but still hurting. I followed into Milkrun which was just stupid and it hurt. As they raced down the last trails with lights flickering through the trees I could just about match their pace on the fireroads. Eventually back at the finish they headed off to slake their thirst and I headed off towards the Ibruprofen. So nothing broken but lots of bruising and bashing as my recommendation to you to try a Tuesday ride. Less breaks, faster pace uphill, brisk pace downhill and a nice mix of xc and singletrack so everything to recommend it for a fitter, faster rider. But try not to fall off as it really hurts today.