today’s prizes


no longer orange enough

Steve (steveW rather than steveA) seems to have usurped the orange prize of the day. He nearly won the really awkward little jumps but was beaten to that by John (F that is) who popped everyone to be the only success. Rob wins the “I know I can do it but you think I will die prize ” on the big jumps but only managed the first couple. His back wheel wins the strength prize of the day.

I did think a big fall could result in injury and death and Rob was the only trier however Lou was there and had already won the photographer prize despite her protestations that her expertise is blunted by people moving and she is only expert in the dead people category. So Rob would have had a great photo at least.

Mark (P that is) won the best big jump of the day eclipsing Rob in the success stakes by jumping high, jumping long and landing perfectly softly. Andy (L that is ) wins the most lives lost in a single jump (eight out of 9) as he landed completely flat on his hardtail and shot sideways off the trail in an upright but pedal free position. Bravely he attempted the same jump several times using the novel technique of landing with the brakes on. His justification was that it reduced the walk back up the hill.

Luke (T that is) , David (B that is) and John (F that is) vied for the hesitation prize but all lost when they all managed a first jump missing the hole of doom. Luke wins the overcoming uncertainty prize as only he thought he lost all his jump skills. John also won the somersault prize earlier and Rob awarded him the yard sale prize when he surveyed the helmet, glasses, bike and body spread all around. Rob at the same time won the “lack of sympathy” prize.

The mountain bike climb secret weapon prize was won by David as he has the biggest beard as it seems that climbing prowess correlated directly with beard length. Andy argued colour (beware ginger content) but Laurie (absent that is) proves the negative so his theory was shot down in flames (reddish). Everyone seemed unaware of the Andy Hamilton (old harry’s game that is) reason for ginger hair.

Mark also won the ” do not practice what you preach” prize by not wanting to remove his gloves for the sweet share. His justification as an expert in how to poison yourself he was sure he would be fine as my hands would be clean and he may be right but leprosy is not that obvious to some. Lou won the cake prize easily again.

My strava signal was lost in the aether so started at the tail on the first run through the bombholes and won the “when you change fork settings and hurtle foolishly into a bombhole as if you are invulnerable and about twenty five then you will almost certainly wheelie out the other side so fast that you will take about a year off your life” prize.

I will never do that again. I do not have nearly enough years to gamble a day now.

Good conditions, good trails thanks to Friston Fairies, good weather and great company.


Thursday Night Lights

Since discovering them online the BrightonMTB Facebook group and forums have proven to be an incredibly useful resource. Plenty of great tips on places to go riding and all things pedal powered. But it wasn’t until Thursday night that I actually had a chance to join the group for a ride. And was I glad I2015-03-05 20.42.00 did.

There’s always something equally exciting and daunting about heading to a ride you’ve not taken on before. Despite riding around Stanmer Park on a number of occasions since becoming interested in riding trails rather than going cross-country all the time, I’d never been out on a mountain bike in the dark.

Oh well, there’s a first time for everything. Continue reading

Introducing the Surrey Hills to new riders

Last Sunday I led a “slow paced” ride in the Surrey Hills, specifically aimed at those who perhaps only ride with the club during the week and never join us on our away days.  This was also an opportunity for those who had gone into hibernation over Christmas to emerge from the sofa and get back on the bike. Surrey Hills 2

The Surrey Hills are one of my favourite places to ride and subsequently I’m up there with others from the club most weekends. If it wasn’t for the local trail fairies, the Surrey Hills would just be a network of fire roads in some pretty stunning countryside. Fortunately, since the early days of mountain biking the locals have been gradually building up a forever-expanding and forever-evolving web of trails in the woodland and heathland between the fire roads. Continue reading

The unlucky badge

Some riders think that thirteen is an unlucky number and as Carl led out and Toby ran sweeper I looked around to spot the likely candidate. Straight into the first trail and then a quick push up the the incline, change down ready to restart and chain jumps off and jams firmly. As the other riders rode off ahead I had found the unlucky rider of the night. Continue reading