Saturday, 29 September 2012



 Welcome dear reader , to this , the first ever ' Flat Tire Fry-up flyer '. 
Charlie Kelly , famous piano mover , once said ,the biggest problem with having an issue one , is there has to then be an issue 2. 
 In this first issue I'd like to include some bits and pieces of our local MTBing history , a few bits in-between , and then a report on the latest ride we just did as a group . I'd also like you to contribute with any pics , or write ups of your rides , that will hopefully go on to motivate other riders. Contributions should be sent on a plain postcard to : PO MTB BOX 4130 . Wigan . I'm sorry , but we cannot return any items.

BMX came first.

 I've been MTBing a while . It's a grey area .I'd done BMX as a kid . Just on the streets . 2 bricks and a plank was our skatepark . Some time in the mid 80s , I'll say 1985 then , I read an article about this exciting new sport from over the water in a Monthly BMX mag , BMX Action Bike . I kinda remember the test rider , Mark ' Sid ' Salisbury doing some jumps and generally hooning around his local BMX track . The bike had these crazy one-piece bullmoose handlebars , and looked radically different . Or ' Rad ' . That weekend , probably , I went mountain-biking . It was a ride , with no real planning , or proper equipment , up onto our local hills , the West Pennines . I was with my friend Chris Green . We rode the 30 ish mile , with about 20p in our pockets , and little else . The spirit of adventure was obvious , me being 16 , and Chris ( what ? ) maybe 13 . oh , he was on a Raleigh Night Burner BMX , and I was on my Freestyle Pro . Yea , we were intending to mountainbike , which is what we did , we just didn't have MTBs yet . I can't remember if this was a one-off thing , or not . Either way it was towards the end of BMX . It's first death . We properly mountainbiked , though , riding our BMXs up Rivington Pike and off the back . Chris fell and snapped his brake lever .

 A relatively short time later , I was a young worker . My dad and I were on a properly local contract in the town centre . A refurb on the Queens hall Methodist building. Across the road in the old market hall was Alan's bike shop . Principally BMX , but skateboards and records too . In the window was a sticker , about 8"x3" , easily missed , which said " Muddy Fox Mountainbikes Available Here " , or something .Thinking back , this was to be one of those points where one's life ' turns ' . I kinda knew Alan from when he was located out of town in his old shop . He's a few years older than me, so as kids , kicking tyres and squeezing brakes , we were probably more than a minor irritation to the BMX celebrity ,so we got more time from his dad Arthur . He was in the shop that day , and welcomed me warmly . I said I was interested in one of these new fangled MTB things , and with hindsight , I can see why Alan didn't immediatly order one , but after a bit of pestering over the next fortnight or so , he said If I wanted one , He'd get one also ,and that we'd " mountainbike" .
 In the meantime , whilst ordinary young men of the eighties were ogling the charms of Sam- Fox , I was ogling a poster advert of the Muddy- Fox . Hmmm. Self adjusting headset . Oh yea . 

    So we got bikes . Lives turned . I can remember that first ever ride . We met on the canal , fairly equidistant from our mum's houses . We knew absolutely nothing about mountainbiking . NOTHING . There was no information . Anywhere . So we just rode . For me BMXing as a kid had crossed over into riding offroad on the local tips . We all did it . Dropping down steep hills . The odd jump . Whatever . Alan had successfully raced BMX at the highest level . I could flick a bike around . We just applied these skills to the bigger bike , and just had fun with it . Local woods and homemade MX tracks were our playground .

Three sisters again . On the Axis . Very new .  

And then we rode some more . Over the next few years , new riders came and went . I met Andy , through Alan . Another BMXer .Martin was a local kid . Nigel was over from the states . A great rider . Dead strong and super competitive . Gareth was a cyclist . A roadie . He got on it too . A few years elapsed , more or less , and the scene dwindled , from those early vibrant days , into , well , the doldrums really . Alan was riding less MTB , doing more MX , that he'd done as a kid . Andy had gone to uni . Gaz was in the navy for a bit . I dunno . Still I rode .I got the Diamond Back Axis.

  There must've been times when I rode a little less . I got married young , and we had a baby , in that order , just , but I dont remember a time when I wasn't getting out on the bike .
Around that time , I got a jumper for christmas .

 Time marched on , and there was people I'd bump into , and ride along with . The internet happened , and I met a few that way . Jon , '96 ? I'd already done a decade's riding , more or less .

Anyone know where this is ? 

And then Andy's back on the scene , and Julian too . Old friends . So we ride . A little later , a mere heartbeat , and I had more kids . Another 3 in quick succession . And still I rode . There must have been times when I rode less . It was so hard then . But I never quite hung up the boots , Y'know . Andy had hooked up with a crazy gang of local riders , collectively the " 3 Flat Caps , and a Whippet " .Dave , Stu , Gareth , Trev ,Rick , John ,Andy ,Dave T, Phil , Steve . And more .Hope I haven't forgotten anybody . It seems like yesterday that I first rode with them . It was a nightride up Darwen Tower , with a pint after . Me in a pub . Blimey . In real money , this has been the best part of a decade that we've ridden together .Some great rides . " Epic " days out . Times change . Lives change . Marriage/ babies /jobs , whatever . In recent times it's been a slightly less structured thing . But still I ride . We all do . Sometimes together , just a few of us . Sometimes it's a solo thing . Tony is on the scene now , too . A friendship through Alan . We've been doing some good local spins. Jeff is a guy I bumped into on the canal a while back . We ride a bit .

Andy and I in co-ordinated wardrobe shock

 Andy ( above ) in conversation mentioned that it was now 25 yrs we'd been riding . We'd done a " First Big Ride" together , with Alan in 1987 . From the backside of Stockport to the Peak District and back , with a B+B stop in the middle . A Plan was hastily formulated , and here we are , right up to the minute . This Saturday just gone , 22nd Sept 2012 , will be marked as the anniversary of that ride . I'm not exactly sure when we first did it , but it's kinda right , so that's what we're having . Andy had suggested vintage bikes , too . Something I often indulge in anyway , so there was a few of them there too . It couldn't be all about that though . I was very pleased that on the day , we had 10 riders. A mix of bikes , from across the years . So , no big blow-by-blow write-up . The ' Flat Tire Fry-Up ' . No one punctured . We rode around Ladybower / Derwent / Howden reservoir , over to Win Hill , dropped through the trees , and then over to Stanage Edge . A new route for us all . The weather was superb , and the craic was too . Chris came , on the day my oldest friend , just recently properly mountainbiking .He's traded up his Raleigh Night-Burner . It's a ' pinch yourself ' moment . Cos he's still just 13 . It's not mountainbiking , It's time-travel. On the day , in no particular order . There's Dave , Stu x 2, Chris , Jason , Alan , Tony , Gareth , and Andy , and of course , myself , I'm Tim . Thanks a lot guys . Long may it continue . Here , some pictures .

Andy and Alan. Top of the first climb

Gareth took this . Me . Lockerbrook/ Rowlee.
I'm on a 1987 Muddyfox Courier , that has been slightly restored. 

Pushclimb up Roman Rd.L2R at the front , 
jason , Gaz , and Stu H

Stu took this. Heading up to Win Hill.
Alan + Gaz. Alan's on a Nishiki Alien ACX

Andy rode a 1990 Carrera , that I'd saved from the crusher . 

Tony + Chris
Tony Holland , on the DB Axis

Gareth + Dave


Me . Stanage Edge

Whinstone -Lee-Torr

OK , so , I just realised , I didn't get a definitive group pic , OR , a pic of the holy trinity of myself , Alan + Andy to commemorate the day . Duh . Get it the next time round.
All that I took are HERE , with some of Stu's mixed in . I kinda did a mass copy/paste thing . 

Definitely have a look at Gareth's here , cos they'll be better .

No comments:

Post a Comment

What's your fixation?