Lets see what google searches a post title like that brings in…
So, I arrive home on Thursday and go bike mad. There’s a vague plan to swap bits over from the DH to the XC bike, in order to create some sort of burly XC bike with gears and enourmous disc brakes. It comes grinding to a halt quite early on, when it becomes clear that an 203mm disc brake rotor blatantly doesn’t fit into the back of the Cove. In the end I settle for just sticking a spare disc brake on the front – I’ve had the bits lying around forever and just never got around to fitting them to the bike. Unfortunately, a quick test ride around the block reveals that it quite blatantly doesn’t work anymore. So I spend quite a lot of Friday morning bleeding it, which is always a fun operation. It seems to work now though, which is a bonus.
So why am I doing all of this? Its the inaugural [and ambiguously named] Cumfest this weekend! Friends, bikes and all manner of other things all weekend up at Andy & T’s house up in Garrigill, Cumbria.
Mike D spent most of Friday afternoon driving myself and Rich up there in his absurdly practical Peugeot Partner (holds three people, four bikes, all of our kit, some food, drink and a big box of choccy chip cookies easily) with Green Day, the Chilli Peppers and The Pixies blasting out of the stereo. We make it fine despite driving up through some full on millenium falcon style blizzards on the M6, and begin to party in earnest. It goes a bit wierd at one point when a somewhat inebriated Bez puts a beer bottle between his bumcheeks (probably best not to ask – mainly because none of us can remember bquite why he did it). Comedy injury of the weekend occured during the bicycle-pursuit races around the inside of the village hall. Rich managed to fall off of his bike and onto a radiator, puncturing one of his bumcheeks. There’s a slightly disturbing trend developing there isn’t there? I should probably point out that both incidents were entirely unrelated and even happened in separate buildings, but that might calm some of your fears so I don’t think I’ll bother.
Saturday brought one of the best bike rides I’ve had in a long long time. A group of about thirty of us headed out of Garrigill into the hills. The amount of bike porn on offer was silly – there were at least three pairs of the rare-as-hens-teeth Maverick SC32 forks and a mad variety of machinery going from Shaggy’s fixed-gear rigid Spot all the way through the spectrum to Lee’s Orange Patriot 7+.
Within half a mile we hit snow, but carried on regardless – we’re hardcore like that. About a mile into the ride we’re all walking through knee-deep snow and its snowing, hard. I’m wishing I’d brought the snowboard instead. Most of the group turn back at this point – bunch of jessies. However, about ten of us continue upwards and onwards – some have scampered off into the distance, leaving myself, Mike, Bez, Dr Gray and Grant in the chasing pack. We never did catch up, though we did discover that you could ride through quite a lot of the snow, and when you did fall off it didn’t hurt. This meant that riding back was one of the all time classic descents, with all five of us flying over the handlebars into snowdrifts countless times and laughing most of the way down.
We finally got back to Garrigill just in time for the pub to stop serving food, so Mike and Timmah went off to Alston and returned about a pint later with ten rounds of fish and chips! Rocktastic! Cue another evening of eating, drinking and being merry – this time largely without injury.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny. A small part of me wanted to go and go and attempt to climb that hill again, but it was outnumbered by the other 96% of me, which was only really up for being downright lazy. I settled for riding around the village on Mike’s Dialled Prince Albert. It was far too big for me (even though it was about half the size of Phil “Nightfire” Tonkin’s ludicrous Ferrous 29’er), but I loved the huge handlebars on it. About three feet wide with much the same rise on them. Meanwhile, Make, Bez, Drac and Timmah competed in the Tour de Garrigill -a five lap race around the village. At the end of each lap all of the competitors got pelted with snowballs. I think Tim lasted one lap, Lee did two, Bez managed three and Mike romped away to a crushing (if a little hollow) victory.
With the riding over it was time to pack most of our kit into the car (I seem to have left my shorts on the radiator in the village hall – D’OH!) and head for home (this time with a soundtrack from The Damned and The Beastie Boys). A fantastic weekend all in all.
Big big big ginourmous thanks to Andy and T for hosting it, Mike for the lift up there and back, Matt for being mum and cooking a couple of fantastic large-scale meals, and to everybody else for making it well worth making the trip up there. Roll on next time…