This year saw good numbers as 17 in total met up at The Harboro Hotel. I had a route we've done a few times this year selected as it includes plenty of trails that would be new to many of the riders. We started by picking our way through town to the country park and then onwards via the old railway to Scalford. With so many on the ride the banter started early on as more failed to clean the short, steep climb out from a missing bridge on the railway than cleaned it. As this trail isn't legit it has a few fences and locked gates to lift bikes over so some "automatic teamwork" kicked in to get all the bikes over each obstacle.

At Scalford we had a brief stop while Victorian Dad pumped his tyre up before we picked up the Jubilee Way to Goadby Marwood. Despite dodgy weather in the week the ground was bone dry. There was a strong gusty wind but it was behind us to start. I was concerned it would make life difficult once we started returning?

Near Hose I put it to the vote to see if we were going to have a pub stop? You'll never guess..... yeah! We were soon sat outside the Rose and Crown enjoying a pint or two of Harvest Pale :-)

After the pub stop it was time to turn into the wind for the journey back. It wasn't pleasant but wasn't as bad as I had been expecting. Once we got to the hill at the end of Pasture Lane my lack of fitness kicked in and I was soon overtaken by nearly everyone!

After a re-group at the top it was time for some rutted, slightly muddy fun. One advantage of leading the ride was I could have a clean run at the relatively tricky rutted section. Those immediately behind me all cleaned it but further back there were dabs causing plenty of "you dominoed me" comments between various parties as we re-grouped again at the end.

The sprint started once we were on Scalford Road for those that were interested. I certainly wasn't and couldn't have kept up if I was! I cruised back with a few others.

As usual the evening involved plenty of beer, takeaways and plenty more beer. Ten of the 17 riders from the afternoon stayed for the duration.

The next day it was only Robbo cycling back to Notts. As has become traditional I accompanied him as far as Scalford where we enjoyed a few hours in the Kings Arms before the weekend was over. We were joined briefly by Simon and Victorian Dad who had opted for motorised two wheeled vehicles to get there.

A cracking weekend focusing on the more social aspect of our sport. Cheers everyone!

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