What a great day.
Well for most of us anyway. I don’t think Smithy was so happy when his newish Ford Ranger blew the engine upon arrival at Bute. But in typical Smithy fashion he was still smiling. No probs he says, Ford are going to come here with a flat bed truck and deliver another car to drive home and their going to take this one back to the dealer. Let’s go riding and worry about it later. Smithy…… what a legend.
Single trail, single trail and more glorious single trail. As far as the eye could see and in immaculate condition thanks to the weather the previous day which left the trails with the most perfect loamy surface could ever wish to ride on. Down the track it was good to hit some double trail so that we could twist the throttle a bit, with everyone on the gas, hooting along, banging bars down the double trail.
More single trail into Broughton where we stopped for fuel and lunch on the foreshore. Sadly we had another engine expire. Roger Kutchy’s Husky decided no more and Matt Foord donkeyed him back to Bute to get his car and trailer.
Bummer, as Roger is the original Bute master, and had kindly offered to lead a section out of Broughton down to Cream Puff corner that very few people know about. A quick mud map was drawn up on the back of a napkin and I led us off into the unknown. But what a great unknown, double trail sand at a good speed lofting the bike up and over every ridge. Everyone was smiling from ear to ear when we arrived at Cream Puff corner.
I tried a new initiative that went very well. At lunchtime I asked a new member if he would like to lead a section of the ride, explaining to him that AMTRA are always on the lookout for new rides and new ride leaders. Without hesitation he said yes, I’ll give it a go. We had a quick discussion on what to do, I handed over the map, and off we went. With our new ride leader, Daniel Curran, at the front he led like a seasoned professional following the trail, marking corners and hazards. He did a great job. We all owe him a big thank you and hopefully he will now, with the help of others, have the confidence to map out and lead a ride of his own. Or even better still, join up with another person to map out a ride and share the ride leader job so you can bounce ideas etc of each other.
Ripping down the trail we came across a nice sandhill begging to be climbed. So climb it we did, well almost, something happened to my bike I have never ever seen before. The sand was such the right consistency that it concreted itself between the rear sprocket teeth and chain rollers, hence effectively lifting the chain a mill or 2 off the sprocket, not easily visible by eye, but effectively pulling the chain that tight it looked like it was going to snap which also stopped the wheel from turning. And yes, it all happened just as I was about to crest the sandhill. There’s a picture of me crashed and burned at the top of the sandhill in the gallery section. It took 3 guys to turn the wheel, tooth by tooth, cleaning the dirt out of each sprocket groove so that the wheel would turn. First one to come up to help was Becky. What a great guy I thought, until he crashed straight into me and the bike laughing as only Becky does saying he was only coming up to get in front and fill me in. I gotta get some new mates.
With Daniel still leading, back into Bute we went for a carpark beer. I must say that went down very well indeed with everyone hanging around chatting for quite some time.
Special thanks to Stonie for doing back up to Broughton, and Smithy for doing backup back to Bute. Also Daniel Curran, our new recruit ride leader for doing such a good job.
Thank you to every rider for coming along and a warm welcome to the 4 new members who joined up on the day and the 3 more who joined us with the complimentary first ride now being offered by the club. We hope to see all 7 at our monthly meeting and back out on the trails with us again soon.
What a great way to spend a day.
See ya on the trails.