What started as me going out on my VStrom looking for some more trails to ride in the peaks , and asking if anybody else fancied a couple of hours ride, turned into an overnighter.
So from solo bimbler to 8 or 9 at one point riders, looking to ride their VStroms round great roads in the peaks, cos I invited them. No pressure then, eh. Oh, and forecasts of dire rain, outstanding. Wtf have I done! Pressure.
Friday afternoon, arranged to meet Gasoon off the A1, as he was kipping at my house.
I got to the exit of the A1 just as he was riding up to it, perfect timing. We dived round to Clumber Park and got stuck into our flasks, all the while sizing one another up, and trying to remember how to behave. 5 minutes and we were best pals.
Rode some nice VStrom roads back to my house, where Gasoon had to do my path as an offroad experience (it is a bit mental, OK)
Tucked the bikes in for the night, sat down and talked utter pish till 2 am. (Interrupted by a cracking chilli from Mrs Me)
Night Night John Boys out the way, it was kip time, praying for decent weather.
Sat morning, didn’t wake up, because I hadn’t slept. I don’t know what happened, but I literally poured sweat off all night in my bed, and knew if I even rolled over I’d throw up. Mrs me actually wrang the sheets out in the morning. Fkn outstanding eh. Eventually I managed to find enough strenght to go and apologise to Gasoon that I wouldny be able to go. I couldny even stand straight.
I’m sure he saw from the look on my face, and the state of me that I was a wreck, and a gutted wreck at that. Soooo, it’s done before it started. Well, lets just see how stubborn I really am.
Water, lots of it down me, then fags and coffee fags and coffee.(Oh, did I mention I hadny packed yet, no pressure, eh)
Talked it over with Gasoon, decided to load the VStrom and ride to the A38. I knew I’d perk up once on the bike, but I didny know if I could get my stuff on and all that, without exhausting myself completely. Bit of a blur that bit, seriously . The plan being that at worst I’d get to meet the blokes, and at best I’d go as much as I safely felt I could.
Well, you know, there are times in your life when you just have to do daft stuff. This was daft, I shouldny have got on the bike, I’m not telling people that this is a good idea. I am a bit daft, OK, there.
And there was a parting of the clouds, a VStrom under me, fully tooled up for camping, my new pal and a gorgeous orange VStrom fully tooled up for camping riding along with me. Yes, thank you Jesus. Let the trip begin…
Arrived late (at all was more than enough) and met the team. wild, trying to work out names and remember faces and stuff, and who’s bike is who’s and who’s helmet colour is what (so I’d know while leading who was where etc.)
Couple of initial thoughts on the blur of names and bikes and faces and helmets and then real names or forum names, I tell you what , it’s not easy this gay dating.
1 Jstrom was not like about 19-20 (me and gasoon were expecting a young lad with no idea, but who would enjoy it)
2 Meeting Juvecu, who is so useful on here was great, like we already knew each other
3 Gasoon’s lovely bike might never look so lovely again if I picked the wrong trail
4 Wasabi’s riding gear he was looking like being fkd if the weather forecast was right
Right, tally ho, Me at the front, then Jstrom then Juvecu at the back. That was the rules. No sweeper things no stuff. I explained that like it or lump it, I’d explored and made notes/maps all sorts, but that I really just wanted to see what we found, ride more my ‘normal’ way rather than following any route or anything. Everybody was like yum yum yum please, so all the pressure and pish was gone. All the shivering, sweating, gone.
We headed off over across by Wingfield Manor, an old abandonded castle thing, that looks great but they chase you if you go near it (don’t ask me how I know 😉 ) Hung a left into single track roads, heading towards Critch (all roads lead to Critch eventually, that’s all that is in my head). Got carried away and ended up in Ripley, Hello ho, fk it, this is how I ride, I was enjoying myself, other than having to really really plan traffic lights and crossings and all for 7 VStrom’s. But I ended up really enjoying that, gave the old brain a real workout.
Took us through Belper, as I decided to go down a couple of nice bits I remembered. Got to East Mill in Belper (which is where I work) and made sure everybody was a bit tighter together, cos we were going to be hitting twistier roads, and probably lots of last minute left or right turns, cos I make it up as I go along. Went up the hill out of Belper and round the wee single track over and round to Ambergate. I could feel in my bones that everybody was loving it once we hit the wee roads properly, Jstrom was just spot on behind me, so I just relaxed and had a cracking ride on my bike. We were all fully loaded for camping, except Ptarmigan, who had better things to do than stand around a field with 6 sweaty bikey boabs. The lanes were perfect for the bikes, twisty and damp in bits, but never slippy. I started chasing the sun, cos we seemed to be able to ride into or out of the rain.
Stopped at the Sherwood Foresters Monument, so everybody could say they had been in a lighthouse in the peak district and take in a wide look at the area from dead high up. The bloke told us to park together in the disabled bit, super cold and happy to see folks.
Flasks out, photos done, touristy bit of the weekend nearly over. 1 more coming up then we’re off properly….
We have to ride through Matlock Bath, 7 VStrom’s, loaded up, but I want to get a bacon sandwich at the Via Gella green hut. Brain ticking ticking. Head over to Holloway, and hang aright up the hill, eventually we’ll hit Tansley and come in from the other side (Matlock). It worked, cracking roads, you can see on Juv’s vid where we turn up it, quite early on.
We navigate the chaos that is the roundabouts at Matlock pretty well, then bimble through Matlock Bath, riding past a police bike bloke who waved back to me , nice one. Lots of canoey folk , not a load of shiny bikers (weather forecast put paid to that, ha, we spit on weather forecasts)
This is where Juvecu decided that the forum blokes would like a little momento of the trip, and filmed a lady cyclists tight bum for us all to enjoy, hurrah!
On to Cromford, past the big hotel on the right coming out of Matlock Bath towards Cromford, which was plastered with Harley Davidson banners, guess their equivalent of standing about talking pish in a field)
Turned through Cromford, some steam festival thing was going on, was perfect, millions of folk out enjoying themselves. Turned right onto Via Gella. bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend bend aha, Bacon Buttie place!
Stopped at the green hut cafe thing, and had some man fuel. Jstrom had the ‘mother of all breakfasts’ , making me wonder, cos he told me he was a vegan.
Gasoon stole Ptarmigan’s butty, I mean ffs, that is as low as a man can get, pull Your socks up mate, the cafe food is practically sacred when on a run
We saw a Jay and ducks while filling our faces and talking pish.
Off we went again, turned left off Via Gella, to make more of a explore out of the journey to the camp site, rather than heading in the direction of it. Worked a treat, although we did do a kind of a loop at one bit, but it was a loop worth doing anyway Ended up stopping for a minute at Carsington Water, then headed over to Tissington, to ride through the Ford. Did some nice wee bits to the Ford, but the Ford was like as low as it was possible to be, so we just all blatted through it without even bothering to hardly notice it
Rode over the top there, where the cows and wild beasts just wander about onto the road and all that, I like that bit, good views as well from up there.
Rolled down into Tissington and had a 1 min stop at Tissington Hall, to make sure everybody was still there, and bunch us up again………….
Do a search on the UK Vstrom Forum and im sure you will find more. You can see it without being a member, but they welcome traitors riding other bikes too.
I Dont have many pics from this one but if i find some ill post them. there are in Stromtrekkers 2 and 3 at least.
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