Monthly Archives: September 2011

Our second Autumn Get Together

Our second Autumn Get Together

We all enjoyed getting together so much last week that we thought we’d do it again on Wednesday. This time we decided to ride around the beautiful peak district for a change so all met up at a particular bridge just before we set off on our ride together. There was no beer consumption this week, just a punishing climb to start us off nicely; I think I would have preferred the pint. This steep hill climb kind of defeated the point of the ride together as the faster riders dug deep and pulled away from the rest, stringing us all out. Once at the top there was a very scenic ride looking back down the valley and, with it being such a warm night, it was really nice to be out. The descent down the other side was fast and loose with a couple of sharp corners to catch out the unaware. Thankfully we all got down safely and pedalled as fast as we could to get back to where we started from. Because it was such a nice night and it was still just about light, we all decided we needed a bit more exercise. So we carefully popped our bikes down and trotted off on a bit of a jog down the river bank. Being the competitive types we are some took it a bit too seriously and started to run, not waiting for anyone else. There’s always a few isn’t there. Anyway, by the time we got back to the bridge we started from and seeing as it was really warm, we all just jumped in to the river to cool off. This was much to the delight of our mates who were watching, Henry, Emma, Helen and John.  A lovely end to a great evening.

One of the lads, Shane, works over at Hassop station. They were kind enough to send a few treats over for a few of the lads who’d sweated the most on the night. Their gifts were very gratefully received and are much appreciated.

Richard Baybutt was kind enough to bring his camera with him on his ride over from Sheffield so all the amazing photos in this post are courtesy of him.

This was our mate Will Ockelton’s last (and second) gathering as he’s leaving Freecaster and going to the Dark side to work for the UCI. Best of luck Lad!

We’re enjoying all these Autumn get togethers so much we think we might do another one. But that will be another story.


# Name Bike Rank Bike Time Run Rank Run time Post Run Swim Rank Swim Time Finish Diff
1 24 Simon Choppin 1 0:24:22 1 06:09 0:30:31 26 01:19 0:31:50
2 5 Martin Baker 1 0:24:22 2 07:18 0:32:17 25 00:37 0:32:54 01:04
3 14 Dave James 3 0:24:59 11 08:33 0:32:55 18 00:25 0:33:20 01:30
4 8 Sim Hartley 4 0:25:01 9 08:19 0:33:20 20 00:28 0:33:48 01:58
5 3 Andy Waterman 5 0:25:22 12 08:33 0:33:55 17 00:23 0:34:18 02:28
6 7 Farmer Jack 6 0:26:10 5 07:58 0:34:08 16 00:21 0:34:29 02:39
7 6 Will Ockelton 7 0:26:24 3 07:41 0:34:05 23 00:31 0:34:36 02:46
8 25 Tim Pearson 9 0:26:26 4 07:44 0:34:10 21 00:28 0:34:38 02:48
9 1 Nick Hamilton 10 0:26:30 6 08:00 0:34:30 7 00:15 0:34:45 02:55
10 15 John Alexander 12 0:26:44 7 08:11 0:34:55 9 00:17 0:35:12 03:22
11 29 Ruari Hallam 10 0:26:30 16 08:48 0:35:18 11 00:19 0:35:37 03:47
12 17 Rob Jolley 13 0:27:21 8 08:19 0:35:40 22 00:30 0:36:10 04:20
13 10 Joe Bowman 7 0:26:24 19 09:14 0:35:38 24 00:37 0:36:15 04:25
14 28 Lee Hawden 15 0:27:58 18 08:50 0:36:48 3 00:07 0:36:55 05:05
15 20 Ol Cooper 16 0:28:20 10 08:25 0:36:45 15 00:21 0:37:06 05:16
16 9 Matt Beighton 14 0:27:24 24 10:04 0:37:28 8 00:16 0:37:44 05:54
17 21 Will Swinden 17 0:29:40 20 09:16 0:38:56 2 00:06 0:39:02 07:12
18 22 Matt Hockenhull 18 0:30:10 13 08:34 0:38:44 19 00:27 0:39:11 07:21
19 16 James Fuller 20 0:30:14 20 09:16 0:39:30 5 00:12 0:39:42 07:52
20 19 Luke Meridith 22 0:30:40 17 08:50 0:39:30 13 00:20 0:39:50 08:00
21 27 Alex Owen 23 0:32:12 14 08:36 0:40:48 1 00:04 0:40:52 09:02
22 12 Paul Turner 18 0:30:10 15 08:40 0:38:50 28 02:32 0:40:82 09:32
23 18 James Irwin 24 0:32:34 23 09:53 0:42:27 14 00:21 0:42:48 10:58
24 11 Duncan Philpott 21 0:30:20 26 12:53 0:43:13 6 00:13 0:43:26 11:36
25 4 Jody Vallance 25 0:33:58 22 09:21 0:43:19 12 00:20 0:43:39 11:49
26 13 Lee Smith 0:43:40 4 00:10 0:43:50 12:00
27 2 Shane Townsend 26 0:34:10 25 10:30 0:44:40 10 00:18 0:44:58 13:08
28 26 Chris Pearson 0:45:45 27 02:23 0:48:08 16:18
29 23 Dan Lomas DNF

Ruari and I tested the water the night before to make sure the jump was ok, cheers to John for the video

PhilPODS 7th POD… but who’s counting

Ruari Hallam at Wharncliffe. Photo: Duncan Philpott

PhilPODS 7th POD… but who’s counting

Duncan cracked out another POD of Ruari over at the roost in Wharncliife. His 7th to date.

Here’s what Ian Hylands commented:

nothing I need to say about this one really. Not only is he only a couple inches off the ground but the composition is great as well…”

Ruari Hallam at Wharncliffe. Photo: Duncan Philpott

If you went in to the woods today…

If you went in to the woods today…

And if those woods were wharncliffe… then you may have seen the SPS and myself larking about on bikes with Gee Milner manning the video camera. Well as time went on i decided to take a break and shot some nugs!

Here’s Josh Lewis and Tom Kelly shredding over some Wharncliffe rock.

And then…. the roost.

Oh and then Ruari turned up just to prove a thing or two…..

Time for some dinner i reckon.

Bin busy….?

Bin busy….?

Putting any contributions on the webpage recently hasn’t really been my priority, I’ve had a few things going on, working in a very seismically active city, the back country trails covered in snow….and most recently….this is Zelia, she’s my new life…and being a Dad right now is fucking awesome….2028 Womens DH World Champ. G

An Autumn evenings gathering


Last night a few of our mates got together for a bit of a ride and, as it was the first time we’d got together for a while, naturally we had a couple of pints along the way. We met up at the Norfolk arms first for a quick Ale with which we toasted the start of the Autumn season. Our good friend Rich Baybutt came up with his camera and took these lovely photos to record this momentous gathering. His Dad also came along and seemed to really enjoy the fun. Being thirsty we all drank it down pretty quick before heading off to our bikes for a bit a gentle ride. I say gentle, but being the competitive types we are it inevitably got a bit out of hand. Even before we’d sat on our saddles we were trying to elbow each other out of the way. Once we’d got on our bikes we peddled off down the valley on our pre-agreed route smiling and joking with each other and anyone we passed. Unfortunately it wasn’t really a very nice evening and it rained a bit and was bloody cold. As we made our way futher down the valley, we bumped in to a few of our other mates, Bilsey, Helen Taylor and Ginge’ who we were very grateful to see. Our final destination for this little ride was the Lescar, my local. Our really good friend, Simon Choppin had been kind enough to get the drinks in and there was a pint waiting for each of us. He and Tom Allen had done a wonderful job of laying them all out and, as we’d all ridden so hard, we were all really really thirsty so supped back our pints amazingly quickly. So fast that some of us were actually a bit sick afterwards. For a bit of fun, cos you know we like stupid little contests, we figured out who’d actually managed to finish their drinks first. Stupid but fun.

Anyway, we all had a lovely evening out and it was great to get together, because we just don’d do it often enough. But hopefully we’ll be doing it a bit more often. Thanks to everyone for making the effort to get together and all our other mates who we didn’t have time to stop and chat to.

All photos courtesy of Richard Baybutt.


All Friends Together again

That was a quick pint!

1 Ruari Hallam
2 Nick Hamilton
3 Tim Pearson
4 Will Ockleton
5 Steve Peat
6 Martin Baker
7 Farmer Jack
8 Joe Bowman
9 Luke Meridith
10 Oliver Cooper
11 John Alexander
12 Dave Camus
13 Simon Hartley
14 Dave Griffith
15 Rich Norgate
16 Chris Pearson
17 Robert Jolley
18 Cheggers
19 Ryan Ballantyne
20 James Fuller
21 Joe Howard
22 Paul Wain
23 Matt Beighton
24 Paul Turner
25 James Irwin
26 Lee Hawden
27 Oliver Green
28 Chris Palmer
29 Shane Townsend
30 Lee Smith
31 Danny Whitehead
32 Dean Dobson
33 Simon Bowns
34 Alex Owen
35 Joe Mallinson
36 John Horscroft
37 Duncan Philpott
38 Will Swinden
DNF Rob Campbell
DNF Chris Davey

Partying and Racing, HOBO Style.

More specifically, dual racing in Swinny’s field followed by the 4 B’s: BBQ, Bonfire, Booze and Banging tunes!

Aim: to celebrate the end of the Spring/Summer series or just summer in general and to mark the start of the autumn series.

Tim Pearson clearing the track.

We kicked off with the dual practice and racing. The track didn’t follow the normal layout of just weaving through electric fence posts. Well, it was partly that but it also included some other features; one berm with a PODtential kicker out of it on one line and a solitary kicker on the other. The higher, right-hand line was marginally quicker as the lower line had a long off-camber right which led slightly uphill into a tight left. The courses recombined near the bottom with the possibility of some carnage as a drifty left-hander on the inside line before the finish could have led to a collision if the racing was tight.

Copyright infringement?

Craig Evans of This is Stocksbridge.

So, the racing. I enjoyed it so I’ll try and go through my experience of it as best I can. Numbers were dealt at random as usual and I was pitched against Nick for my first race. Racing Nick always seems to fill me with apprehension, especially after the incident at the speedway where he used his foot to dislodge a local youth from an upright position. I made a slight balls-up braking too much in a corner where I hadn’t even touched them in practice so pushed on the bottom turns. Meters from the line, however, Nick went too hot into the drifty left-hander and his front wheel washed out from under him so I just had to finish my next run without crashing.
Next up I faced Chris Pearson after he knocked his brother out in the 1st round. I started on the inside line on this occasion and had an OK run. However, Chris had a pretty brutal and mysterious over-the-bars crash not far from the end so again I just had to not crash on my 2nd run.
Progressing into the final, I faced Swinny who had knocked out James Crossland and Craig in prior rounds (A TiSheff victory over TiStocksbridge). The pressure was on as Swinny was on home soil and had been looking quick all night, as always. I had a promising start with a then joint fastest time (set by Will Swinden) on the right-hand line.

Final run, the light was fading and the moon(s) was starting to appear. I pedalled as much as I could out of the start and had loads of speed round the off-camber right, back on the pedals and staying low over the jump and round the last few turns to the finish. I tried to stay tight and smooth instead of hanging it out as I just didn’t trust my tyres to grip. Crossing the line, Swinny had smashed the previous fastest run by half a second. After a bit of number crunching though, my run down the left line was 0.6 of a second quicker than Swinny’s time on the left line. I’d won (finally!) by 0.1 of a second, bang tidy.

Swinny and Ruari, finish line.

Tight racing!


Round by round.


Next up was an XC eliminator race titled “The Devil Takes Hind”, dreamt up by Nick in what seemed just a few seconds (he’s always sprouting ideas for a race). The idea was to have a mass start to a small loop in the field, however at the end of each lap the person in last place was eliminated. Starting from the front I went round the berm used in the dual, sprinted a bit but content with my win in the dual gave up and gooned across the line to be eliminated straight away. Swinny stayed in the middle of the pack to conserve his energy but powered away in the closing laps to redeem himself and take the win, followed by Nick in 2nd and Tim in 3rd. Everyone else knows where they came though.

WTF, Lee?!

Lee's attire for the eliminator was interesting.

Party time! The sun was fading so the bonfire was lit to provide warmth and light. Sausages and burgers were sizzling on the barbecue and thirsts were being quenched by cans of booze. Nick introduced another game, this time a bottle of rum was the source of the fun. Based on how well you’d done in previous rounds of the spring series you had to down a certain number of lid fulls of rum, 1 for 5th place, 2 for 4th, 3 for 3rd, etc. Unlucky for Swinny, he’d won a fair few so had at least 20 caps of rum although this went to waste after a tactical vom.
We are a competitive bunch of people so the games continued. Next up was a bunny hop contest to see who could hop the highest, simple although made difficult by the lack of light and the consumption of alcohol which impeded judgment (although lack of skill was more my excuse). Swinden senior’s use of lighter fluid did help to illuminate the bar. Swinny somehow managed to go over the bars, although he did clear the height of the bar so was allowed to continue. The eventual winner was Will Swinden who managed to hop roughly the height of his stem, so not a bad set of results for the Swinden family.

You're doing it wrong, Dunc...

Duncan's attempt

The next competition was not related to bikes, more your ability to lift a large log just using the palms of your hands. I’m not sure who the eventual winner of this was although I think Alex Owen put his arborist skills to good use to post a reasonable number of lifts. This didn’t impress me enough though as when asked by him if I’d marry him or Rob Jolley I plucked for Jolley… how could I refuse?
By 1am the fire started to die down and there was no more fuel to add to it. After a tough evening of being manly it was time for everyone to retire to the warmth of the Swinden abode (if you were lucky), or to your bivvy bag (if you were Nick). Not before a dip in a pond though.

Many thanks to Swinny, Alex, Jolley, Tim and Ol for their hard work setting up the track and the beauty of a berm/kicker they constructed. To Mr and Mrs “Swinny” for letting us use the field, not just on this occasion, and for bringing Will and James into the world… Also to Henry Norman and Martin Baker for timing the dual.

It wouldn't have been the same without fire.

Some more pics from Duncan here.

Until next time!

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