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Old 2005-10-03, 12:52 PM   #16
unicus
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Nice photos Joe, I see what you all were talking about now with that watersplash

Only riding Sunday meant that I missed Saturday’s rain as the sun shone most of Sunday. It was a great ride with some really technical rocky descents some of which I wonder how we did ride them. The scenery is great around the peaks though my eyes were mainly on the ground looking at the rocks. I’m not sure how far we rode as I haven’t looked at my GPS yet, I’ll look later. There were lots of comments from two wheelers with the theme that we must be mad, that may be true but we were happy

The bad part of the day for me was that I became quite badly dehydrated, starting about 2/3 into the ride getting cramp in my thighs then the last couple of miles I was in excruciating pain from it (sorry guys for going straight to my van but I needed to lye down). I guess the alcohol the night before didn’t help but I do sweat a lot anyway so I really do need to work on my hydration (I drank loads but that’s not enough as I also had a blinding headache that night). My legs aren’t as bad today as I thought they’d be so I should be OK’ish for hockey though I might still use it as an excuse

Thanks to Joe for organising it.
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Old 2005-10-03, 04:07 PM   #17
goldenchicken II
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Nice British muni fog. Beautiful landscape. Good looking mud. Must pop over some day!
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Old 2005-10-03, 09:35 PM   #18
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Recovering from PMT

The traditional start to a UK muni event: arriving at the campsite in the pouring rain, pitch blackness and knowing you have a tent to put up before you can retire to the pub. Sooner or later there will be a British muni event when it doesn't tip it down, and it just won't feel right. Thankfully in this case the nearest pub was a whole two minutes or so away, so we went to let our waterproofs drip dry over a pint or two.

First thing on Saturday morning it didn't look too bad; it was windy, but the cloud layer was fairly high, blue sky abounded and it wasn't raining. For some bizarre reason we ditched the normal bacon sandwiches and faffing routine and set off for a ride before breakfast; just a "quick trip" around a short loop up the back of Mam Tor and down for breakfast.

Four riders - John, Joe, Tue (from Land's End... that's a helluva long way to go muni-ing!) and myself set off as the skies darkened. The view westwards gradually disappeared under approaching cloud, and half way up Mam Tor the rain started falling.

Nonetheless we continued; after a push up to the road the track around the back of Mam Tor was good riding, and the descent from Hollins Cross started off with a fantastic length of tricky but rideable rocky track. We didn't find out about the next bit, due to taking a wrong turning which led us straight down the hillside rather than winding slowly around it like we had intended; the track was at the bottom of a steep gulley which proved practically unrideable to all but Tue, who remained glued to his muni as he bounced down the trail.

Next it was back to the campsite for breakfast in the cafe before meeting Sam (redwelly) at the station, ready for the big ride of the day. A spin along the road and a short, steady climb led to the bottom of Jacob's Ladder, an incredibly steep and technical track heading west out of the valley. Apparently only a few bikers have ever cleaned the whole climb; not wanting to show them up we decided to swallow our pride and walk up to Edale Cross, the first high point.

From Edale Cross it was downhill as far as the eye could see to Coldwell Clough; an unrelenting rock strewn trail at just the right gradient to be fantastic fun despite uncountable UPDs and a few ballistic trajectory dismounts.

On reaching the bottom the trail turned south and climbed again, winding down the west side of the High Peak along a wide trail at times unrideably steep or fast and swoopy. The trail gradually became more river like, water cascading down the rock steps towards us as we headed towards Chapel Gate.

This is a descent I've done before on the bike; long ago it was presumably a road, but the shifting peat and flowing water have turned it into a fantastic downhill with narrow strips of tarmac above rock filled ruts heading down into the valley. Riding the paved strips is the easy part; then the strip narrows and stops, leaving you to drop off the end with the choice of whether to stay in the rocky gulley or get back onto the next section of tarmac. This continues for over half a mile down the hillside and is excellent fun.

The track flattened at the bottom for a short run to the road. Here the rain had covered the trail in two places, opaque brown water covering an unknown surface with an unknown depth of water. While the rest of us reached for our cameras John and Sam took aim at the puddle and went for it; Sam got half way before getting a thorough soaking from a UPD as the water deepened. John picked a shallower line and, after a minor UPD near the beginning, made it through un-drenched.

The last climb of the day followed; a long road ride up to the Mam Tor trail from the morning ride. This time we took the proper turn on the way down, and the trail remained challenging but rideable as we were propelled onwards by thoughts of showers, dry clothes and going to the pub for dinner and a pint as soon as possible...

Sheer exhaustion made it quite an early night. Even before pub closing time we were back in our tents listening to the wind, occasional squeaking noises and a lone "pop!" from John wrestling with his home-made balloon bed.

---

The weather on Sunday morning looked promising, and turned out to be much better than the first day. Instead of waterproofs and fleeces we set off with such sensible muni gear as John's helmet adornment, an inflatable dog and rabbit made from his balloon bed of the night before. Apologies to those struggling to make muni a serious, respected sport for hardened athletes; we have probably set your campaign back a good year or so.

Gary (unicus) joined us at the campsite and the group of six sped along the road eastwards, pausing only to re-seat Sam's tyre after his innertube made a break for freedom after fixing a slow puncture earlier. Leaving the road, the trail made its way towards the first landmark of the day, the descent down to the Snake Pass road known as "The Beast" for its rocky, technical and injury-inducing properties.

This was definitely body armour territory; countless UPDs were in evidence as the descent was ridden in lengths of no more than five metres at a time, dropping off rock shelves, bouncing over loose rocks and sliding on rock slick from rainwater. It's amazing we haven't all got broken ankles; walkers with stout boots and poles were gingerly picking their way down, as we ran out of UPDs with thin, flat-soled trainers on. It made for slow progress but was an excellent way to cash in the gravity karma gained from the earlier climbing.

On the other side of the road one more ridge stood between us and the cafe next to Derwent Reservoir; a push up to the top was followed by a truly fantastic super-fast descent down to the waterside. The trail was straight and wide, but the perfect mix of gradient and lumpy rocks for descending as fast as you could spin while remaining right on the edge of control; Joe shouting "Faster, faster!" all the way down didn't help in that regard!

A cafe stop for lunch at Fairholmes marked the far point of the ride; from here it was a quick spin along the reservoir to a trail leading up through the forest back to the ridge, then tracing our tyre tracks back the way we had come. By now the weather was a far cry from 24 hours earlier; the sun beamed down and it was a beautiful afternoon as we rode along the sun-dappled track above Fairholmes to the top of the descent to the road.

The next section proved eventful, speeding down the steep and rocky trail to the road and on to the river. I had my only proper crash of the weekend, forcefully ejected from the muni and rolling to a stop on bed of rocks; Joe's innertube felt the touch of spiky sharp things, and Gary's legs started to complain. The stop on the bridge while Joe fixed his tyre was a most welcome chance to stuff down some snacks, inspect leaky body parts and get ready for a big walk back up The Beast - probably one of the few hills where it takes twice as long to ride down than it does to walk up!

Once at the top the worst was behind us, as the trail undulated towards the road and base camp, still with Joe shouting "faster, faster!" as we dropped towards the stream crossing at Jagger's Clough. Our good deed done for the day - we found a wallet on the trail, but caught up with its owner a mile further on - we rolled into the campsite to shower, pack everything up and visit the pub one last time before heading for home. The rain began to fall again as we headed for the pub; with the riding done and the tents packed away we were past caring.

Tue and I left just before 7pm as Sam caught his train; we arrived back at my house in Yeovil at about 10:45, transferred Tue's stuff and parted company. Given the late hour and the distance between Yeovil and Land's End he was planning to make full use of his Monday off by staying overnight on Dartmoor before continuing; some of us on the other hand had work to go to...

The two-day total; 37 miles along the horizontal and 2450 metres upwards. I think the extra large helping of sticky toffee pudding this lunchtime was well deserved.

Phil
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Old 2005-10-03, 09:38 PM   #19
phil
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For those with an inadequate attention span (or just can't stand my neverending waffle), the pictures that will save you having to read a thousand words can be found here:

www.flippet.org/muni/pmt/

The photos have been reduced in size; full size versions are available on request...

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Old 2005-10-03, 10:01 PM   #20
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I see no mention of a night ride, what's the matter with you people? Shame I couldn't make it, I just couldn't balance that time and distance equation, oh, and that nasty work thing got in the way, better planning may have helped, life's just too short to go around missing Muni Weekends, or even PMT weekends.
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Old 2005-10-04, 06:46 AM   #21
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Re: UK: Peaks Muni Trip 29th Sept

On Mon, 3 Oct 2005 16:35:41 -0500, phil wrote:

>a lone "pop!" from John wrestling with his
>home-made balloon bed.


Looks like a good hard ride. I found the balloon helmet but what's a
balloon bed? Sounds like a light weight if not very reliable variation
to the air bed theme.

>--
>phil


The ex-ex-studenty type?
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Old 2005-10-04, 07:05 AM   #22
roland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaas Bil
On Mon, 3 Oct 2005 16:35:41 -0500, phil wrote:

>a lone "pop!" from John wrestling with his
>home-made balloon bed.


.. I found the balloon helmet but what's a
balloon bed? Sounds like a light weight if not very reliable variation
to the air bed theme.
this should answer all of the questions http://www.balloonbed.co.uk/ - I thought this was just a fascination that john had in the pub good to hear that he's put it into practice
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Old 2005-10-04, 08:44 AM   #23
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Of course it wasn't just a silly idea! It's a highly practical, cheap (if done the shonky DIY way) and fairly comfortable sleeping mat. Sadly I have decided that for things where I'm only carrying my rucksack to the campsite, taking a proper mat might be a better idea. Having said that, I wasn't cold, it was comfortable enough and it is small and light.

Not only that, but how often do you get to make balloon models out of your bed while cooking power assisted super turbo adrenalin snacks for breakfast?

John
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Old 2005-10-04, 01:07 PM   #24
mikepenton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil
we set off with such sensible muni gear as John's helmet adornment, an inflatable dog and rabbit made from his balloon bed of the night before. Apologies to those struggling to make muni a serious, respected sport for hardened athletes; we have probably set your campaign back a good year or so.
Shame on you all. As penance, make sure that there will be enough for all team members to wear at next year's Mountain Mayhem.
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