Ok, so since yours truly tried really hard to relieve OG of the task of again writing a ride report, here goes….
It was to be a really great dark and dirty outing, for many reasons.
Firstly, it was Thursday at last.
Then, it was the Dark and Dirty group’s 8th birthday. This ride, started by Hardy 8 years ago, has been taking place with smaller and larger groups every Thursday evening for that long, and became so famous that I originally heard about it in Windhoek back in 2007, when I started mountain-biking!
Also, it was an intro ride, that first Thursday of every month when the ride distance and particularly the route choice is selected to introduce newbies to the fun that is the Dark and Dirty weekly ride. And a number of us felt like newbies, not having been in on the action for so long!
These reasons brought together a good many old DnD faces: Nico (aka Stealth), Carine (aka Cat-i), Francois (aka Francois), Leon (aka Vortex), Gerrit (aka Oupa Gert), Kobus, and myself (Duct Tape), as well as some newer (to me) faces, Rudolf, (and another whose name I lost during my wipe-out) although having been on DnD sabattical since the Jingle Bells ride in December, this may not be entirely accurate. And then there was founder Hardy (aka The Hard) and Tersia (aka QT).
Oh, and there might possibly have been another reason for the gathering of so many old familiar faces: The promise of cupcakes and “Save the Rhino” florentines. Knowing why most of us ride, I guess the good company and sweet munchies was probably it.
So Hardy was asked to lead us out into the night, and straight onto the trails. Our plan was to ride to Xtacy Park, Ezekiel’s drop-off, Wash-N-Go, Python, Quad Buster, Look-Ma-No-Brakes, Bat Tunnel, Blairwitch Forest, Shebeen Queen, but somewhere along the line we managed to miss Python and Bat Tunnel. Nevertheless, we spent a lot of time playing at the dumps and riding off Ezekiel’s drop-off, until someone decided to dare me to ride up the dump instead of just using gravity to traverse it. First attempt found the gears jumping and the speed to low, so big blade came out, and a longer run up used to produce the necessary speed to implement a proper tumble down the hill from near the top and earn me the right to pen this report 🙂
Speed zones: For those who want to try their hand at going faster than the generally social pace, there are always the speed zones, which those who feel up to it can try and compete for while the rest watch their lights vanish from the comfort of their easy-paced ride. Three speed zones last night. One answer: Stealth!
A stop for cupcakes and florentines next to a road generated a lot of quizzical looks from drivers passing in the night. I had no doubt there were some concerns that, considering the amount of eating we were doing while standing in a circle and chatting, a new group of sugar-whorshippers had moved into the area and were carrying out an Insulin rite.
About 3 hours later and tonnes of chats, smiles, single-track, munching, trail-squeaking (the practice of trying to stay on your bike by sqeaking loudly while traversing the ruts in Look Ma No Brakes, an art QT clearly perfected) and toe-chilling, we were back at Moo Mall for the obligatory “kuier” at the Spur.
An awesome ride, even better company, and some good dirty fun that no doubt had all of us crawling into bed early this morning with a smile of satisfaction and contentment and a feeling that life really is good. As it is. Enriched by all the great people who have ridden with us in last night’s and previous DnD’s.
It was great to be part of the celebration of the 8th year of awesome good innocent dirty zero-cost fun, thanks to Hardy who stuck with this for so long, and OG who has been making sure the fun never ends. You guys are true heroes!