Friday, November 23, 2007

Chronicles of the Knight Riders (part 2)

The story so far:
A storm is brewing, familiar trails are rutted and new, some new unfamiliar trails were added to the mix. The knightriders started from the new centre, and are about to descend down Big Dipper.
The Mummy was bombing down the singletrack at almost the speed of green light. Suddenly the red taillight disappeared. Could the drop-off at the bottom be this close already? Could they really have gone that fast? No, it was just the first of many spectacular falls for the night.
Singletrack: 1. theMummy: 0.
The Mummy was found a good few metres from his bicycle. The red taillight and parts of the green handlebar-light were more difficult to spot, but after they collected all the missing bits, pieces and breath, they were off again.
The erosion and new ruts made the drop-off at the bottom of the hill considerably more technical than during winter.
Drop-off: 1. Oupa Gert: 0
Quick responses learnt on many nightrides prevented the Drop-off to claim a bigger toll.
So, forwards and onwards our Knoble Knightriders went. Forwards and onwards to the Dark Side.
Aaah, the Dark Side, where Alonzo thought he could ride over The Pipe. The Pipe, with its metre-high stakes on the left, and its 2-metre drop on the right. A less able ride would have fallen over to the left.
Pipe: 1. the Pied Piper: 0.

Add Break
Tired of your straight backwheel? Need a new Pringle on your bicycle? Need an excuse to replace your back rim?
Come ride the PipeTrack with the PipeMan himself!
Every Thursday night from the new D&D centre. Bring your helmet, your buddies (for spectators and eye-witnesses), some plaster, and plenty of tools.
On they went, to QT's drop-off, down the Long, Sexy Seductive singletrack. By now all the knightriders learnt a healthy respect for blood, mud & ruts. So they all walked down Kamakaze drop-off.
But wait! Stephan haven't had his customary fall for the night. Not to be outdone by any of the other entertainers, he waited for all the spectators to gather around before he bailed in a ditch. Man and Bicycle unite in one Cool Koeksister. Untangling them proved to be quite a challenge.
Ditch:1. Coolsister: 0.
There were a 30-second-sprint, and then, sadly, the shopping-mall came into sight, signalling the end of yet another beautiful night.
As quietly as they appeared out of nowhere, our knightriders disappeared again, back into nowwhere. Some went in for hot chocolate, others drove off into the starlit night, some others cycled home with the weather-goddess' displeasure still visible in the distance.
It would be a whole week before they could come out to play again, before they would feel this alive again.
The end.

Based on a true story. Names and places were not changed, but the summer-weeds growing all over the tracks might have taken its toll on the geographically-challenged scribe: Was it on this ride that they were joined by the D&D virgins who did VO2max hill with them, took pictures at the top, and then disappeared? Was it on this ride that the knightriders went through End of the World Singletrack?
The scribe accepts no responsibility for names of places, trails or downhills that are mentioned totally out of order, context or dimension.

There were a few other wannabe-falls. If you feel that your fall were spectacular enough to warrant a place in the annals of the ride, contact the scribe directly or on the mailing list. The scribe's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

chronicles of the knightriders

It was early November. The erosion caused by the frequent summer-rains meant that familiar downhills were suddenly far more rutted than they were on the last few dusty winter-nights. Fresh new summer-weeds grew merrily all over the familiar trails, hiding the track in general, and the new potholes & ruts in particular, from the unsuspecting rider. The old familiar trails were new and exciting once more.
There were also the new single tracks, new challenges & new obstacles that came with moving to a new venue.
The scene was set for a few spectacular falls.
The knightriders were not disappointed. If there were an award for the most spectacular fall of the year, then the finalists would probably all come from the same ride.
Our story begins with a few intrepid cyclists, and then some more, greeting each other and chatting away as they were getting their bikes and lights ready for the weekly ritual that changes ordinary mountain bikers into exceptionally cool people. The weather-goddess put on a feeble attempt to scare our 20-odd Warriors of the Dirt with an electrical power display on the horizon. But by now they were used to her unpredictable whims, and like true Conquerors of the Dark, they all just ignored her. She sometimes does go away if you do that. And it was going to be an intro/xtro ride anyway, so if she does get grumpy later, the riders could just all opt out of the xtro-ride.
So, off they went. Hardy showed them an awesome playground with some short turns, drops, jumps, everything a dirty warrior could want :)
He allowed them to play a little, and then they were off to new challenges –
Up someone's single track, down someone else's route, up this way, down that way – and then suddenly something would look familiar again.
Big Dipper was coming up. The ideal spot for the Mummy to test his most recent acquirement: the custom-built green light that dims and brights with the speed of the bicycle. So down they went, a mad dash of single file-bikes, down to the bottom of the hill. Faster and faster. Will the light be bright enough to handle the Mummy's famous downhill-speed? Will the light be bright enough to reveal the ruts and rocks hidden under weeds, dust & starlight?
Stay tuned for another episode of the chronicles of the knightriders.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Flying is Fun

Samantha's got lots of 'other lives'. Shy sometimes cycle with me, i sometime paddle with her - we've done an adventure race or 2 together. One of her other lives and loves is flying - so one weekend she took me with. I did a tandem-flight with one of her friends. Lots of paragliders in the air; they physics similar to parachute but you'r in the air for a lot longer.

The most impressive part of the day was where Sam drove her 2x4 up a really technical 4x4 path - well done

a brilliant day out in the sun.