Happy new year !

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Well, where do I start ? So much to catch up on ! I get nagged every week to update the blog, still it makes a change from the Mrs nagging. (it's ok, I don't think she reads this!). So here's what you've missed.
Once upon a time, back at the beginning of December, all was rosy in the world.<BLOG_BREAK> We were all looking forward to xmas and all the tat that it brings. The first ride in December was possibly our best attendance of the year, with nearly 20 keen(ish) mountain bikers turned out on a cold damp evening. What was the attraction?, I hear you ask. Well it may have been the word had got round of the quality and enjoyment of our rides, it could have been that we were starting from a local pub with a good reputation, but I would tend to go with the fact that our xmas 'do' was organised for the following week and only those that had ridden with us more than once were eligible to attend!
The ride went without any real incident or accident, so preparations began for the following weeks festivities. The idea was that we would meet in Weymouth, ride to a couple of (very local) pubs and then spread some xmas joy and glad tidings at an award winning Indian restaurant. (as it turned out glad tidings weren't the only thing that was spread about, but more of that later!) The difference this year was that we had agreed to ride anything we wanted, the more obscure the better.
After many prototypes and some slightly concerning looking contraptions we all assembled in the car park amazed at each others creations. There was an elf on an elfs bike (I can't remember discussing fancy dress but whatever floats your boat I suppose, Gary!), a 'Yamaha' easy rider ( could soon be released onto the market) various kids bikes (I hope they were getting new ones for xmas) and the piese de resistance, Robs superb cycle and sidecar. (or old bike and upturned wheelbarrow!).
So the night went well, to a point, the rides between the pubs were some of the funniest I can remember, it seemed T.P and Rob had some difficulty in judging the width of the bike and sidecar which led to some 'tight' moments. But we all made it to the final hostillery where Tim and T.P decided to test the trialing skills of the sidecar down a flight of stairs. Paul, in his own strange twisted logic, decided it would be safer to sit in the sidecar rather than control the bike, so that job was handed over to the always willing (to perform doggy stunts) Tim. All stood with bated breath, including the gathering public audience wondering what all the drunken hysterical laughter was all about, and after a small wheelie (nice touch!) performed a stunning, if slightly out of control descent. (this can be seen on the 'training video' section).
The final destination of our xmas adventure was the Indian restaurant, all arrived, some a little worse for wear but all keen to sample some fine cuisine. Unfortunately our esteemed colleague Rob tasted the food more than once. I don't want to go into any more detail than that, I will leave it to your imagination, all I can say is I hope you have quite a 'sick' imagination.
So with Rob obtaining a new reputation that will, quite frankly, be very hard to beat, we entered the new year with hopes and promises of lots of training and healthy eating. (well didn't everyone!) The first event of the year being the Salisbury plain challenge which 5 of us hardcore riders entered on a chilly but clear Sunday. The ride went quite well, everyone seemed to enjoy it, even though Russ grumbled once or twice, but that is standard fair for a Sunday ride. Rob did superbly, seemingly haven gotten over his xmas occurence, finishing 3rd. But we all did well and had a good ride across the plains, loving the final never ending climb!
The weather has been what could be described as 'varied' in January, but we have ridden every week, well some of us have! We have ridden through snow drifts, over ground that seemed to be 'cracking' beneath us, some would call it ice, Over frozen ground that seems drier than during the summer and this week through some good old Dorset mud. Least I hope it was mud, it did smell a little and the taste was slightly obscure.
A couple of falls have occurred but nothing that qualifies a mention, until, that was, this week when on a slippery but superb grassy descent T.P got into a 'situation' and tested the ground conditions up close and personal.
No injuries were apparent other than a 'sore arse' and he seemed in a hurry to get home, maybe for his other half to apply some 'lotion'. I forgot to mention that a huge achievement was made during the ride, I took a wrong turn and, wait for it, sat nav Rob made a good call and went the right way! Maybe we won't be so quick to dismiss Rob's directions in the future, although one good call doesn't make up for years of mis-direction. Good start Rob, keep it up.
So, thats it, your pretty much up to date. Lets hope this year brings plenty of good riding, health and maybe not quite as much beer, hey Rob!
P.S Just a note to wish Tom P Smith all the best and to a speedy recovery.

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