It was an icy, cold morning as I met up with a dozen of the lads on Saturday morning for breakfast at The Fox & Hounds. Unfortunately I hadn't been able to make the annual Xmas do the night before so I was feeling better than some sat around the tables waiting for their fry ups.
I was keen to hear tales of the night before and who had taken a trophy home but the hangovers made everyone fairly quiet! Eventually I discovered Baz was "Rider of the year" and had got "The Trophy". Mick had got "crash of the year"; more for persistence and repeated attempts than for serious injury!
After an excellent breakfast with only a few managing to clean their plates it was time for a quick spin round the woods to cure those hangovers before the main event later in the day. Baz led what was to be the slowest and shortest ride of the year. We did an hour and a quarter in Haywood Oaks and Boundary Wood but everyone was a bit livelier by the finish so it had had the desired effect.
Back at the car park most folk rushed off to get ready for the afternoon but Baz, Robbo, Big E and I managed to squeeze in a quick pint before we did so. When we got back to Baz's Steve was sat on his doorstep waiting for us. There then followed the usual rushed showering and adding of lights to bikes before we set off (late!) on the pedal to Oxton.
Despite the still freezing temperatures we all had a sweat on when we got to The Bridge. I got a round of sherrys with pint chasers in and we were off! There was an excellent turn out. I'm not sure exactly how many but probably around 20? After a couple more rounds we set off for The Four Bells. Most bikes were well decorated with fairy lights and Shakey had converted his bobcat into a tow along sleigh.
On arrival we were most upset that despite prior warning they didn't have any sherry! We got the beers in and settled in anyway. The landlord did however sort us with a mountain of chips with cobs to accompany :-) We had some port due to the abscence of sherry but then found they did have some sherry after all!
From here on in things gradually got messier and people gradually sneaked away as they saw fit. We headed to The Woodlark next and then The World's End before finishing in The Nelson. Our journey to The Nelson was hampered by Baz falling off every few yards. That didn't bode well for the final journey back to his house on which despite all of us being worse for the wear Steve and I had to talk Baz along for most of the way. Apparently riding a bike isn't "like riding a bike" when you are totally tea trollied!
The pictures probably recall the day better than I can?