Twelve of us met up in Barningham on a dry bright day for our traditional Christmas ride - lots of Father Christmas outfits but also reindeer onesies and an excellent elf outfit sported by Mark R. After a photographic session on the grass we all set off up the hill past some walkers who were very amused by our outfits. Fairly dry underwheel for December so by the time we stopped by our usual gate in the wall for our traditional mince pie stop we were still fairly clean and unmuddy. Next up was the swoopy singletrack down into Stang Wood and I got some great photos of various elves and Father Christmases flying past. A slippy, muddy ride down through the woods and as we rounded a bend we met up with Rachel, Saskia, Leo and Skye coming out to meet us. Leo and I had a short race down the hill and then we all set off on the last stretch back. Skye and Leo made an excellent job of the final couple of off road sections, both of them racing through the puddles and getting splashed in mud. Leo attempted the stream crossing but got becalmed in the middle and ended up wet to his middle.
We all headed to Mainsgill Farm for tea and cakes afterwards and for Skye to share her Christmas secret with all of us (except Nev who is probably still wondering). Finally twenty seven of us met up in the White Swan at Gilling in the evening for a very good and noisy Christmas meal.
By popular acclaim The Most Improved Rider award went to Jenny, Contribution to the Section award to Mark R for his two years organising the section and Personality of the Year award to Karen. After a close fight I won Best Descent and Best Ride for our trip to Ballater in May.
Many thanks to Judith for organising a very good meal at the White Swan and to Mark R for sorting out all the awards.