Why did we do this?
The weather report was grim and, as usual these days, accurate. Alan decided to head over to the Lakes with Phil and Rach to go and test ride some bikes so after I dropped him off in Melsonby I drove over the Stang in driving rain and wind in the faint hope that everybody else would have stayed in bed and I could head straight for Dales cafe. No such luck though, six people ready and raring to go. Oh well, nothing for it but to (wo)man up and get on with it. Mike, Liz, Ian, Yvette, potential new members Paul and Jenny plus me plodded our way up the Stang Road to the bridleway up to the top. This turned out to be the easiest bit of the whole day as we had the wind behind us. The rest of the ride over Moresdale Road to Hurst was fairly wild as we had various very gusty cross winds to contend with as we whizzed along some quite lumpy tracks. We found a bit of shelter behind a wall for a snack and then made snail-like progress into the absurdly strong wind back across the moor to the top of the old quarry descent (the same as the wind we had for the first 'Ard Rock Enduro for anybody who was there, but with buckets of water in your face at the same time). The quarry was way more difficult than usual owing to the strong cross winds down the rocky sections near the top, everybody was careful though and I breathed a sigh of relief when we had all made it down the slippery grassy hairpins near the bottom unscathed. It was like a different world down by the river as we wended our way back to the cars. We finished the day off in the traditional way with cake at Dales cafe, though the Friday Showstopper was all gone (partly due to our efforts the day before). Thanks everybody (I guess) for coming out to play.