So that’s pretty much it for 2016 then I guess. Another riding year is nearly over, with the exception of the Jolly Boys outing on the 29th – beer, curry, mud – what’s not to like!
However even thought it’s dark, wet and cold outside we should remember that the winter solstice is round the corner (and we all know that is the start of summer…) AND looking back over the last 12 months I conclude once again it’s been an interesting and frankly hysterical 2016 with some absolutely cracking riding thrown in for good measure.
So simply for your general amusement (and just in case you’ve forgotten) I thought I’d review the ups and downs over the last year:
James G and Mark T both started the new year with new bikes, James on his YT Capra “Yellow Bastard” and Mark on his Specialized Enduro. That was followed by Matt W unleashing his very bling and very custom Transition Covert in March. Transition provided another joy machine in April when David D took possession of his Transition “Orange Beast” Smuggler to replace his “gone but not forgotten” Bandit 29er. Andy C then arrived on the trail beast that is his BMC Trailfox (Andy C with suspension? Still can’t get used to it). Lastly we even had a new bike from Malcolm W when finally the Boardman was replaced with a Whyte T-129RS.
Lows and Incidents and Accidents
Yes there have been some lows, some incidents and some accidents this year – as there are every year. Thankfully we all end 2016 (mostly) intact but there were some bumps along the way. It started (on the first TFIT of the year no less) with Matt W endo-ing into a freezing cold stream. We also had the crappest of news when David D’s Bandit 29er was nicked in January. Curses were made – Karma will sort out the justice. Matt W then also proceeded to break his Thompson seatpost but much worse in April, Matt managed to break his finger in three places at the Southern Enduro in Milland which after much shenanigans has mostly healed.
February brought massive storms with resulting “trees on the trails” and the deeply annoying blight of Green Laners trashing the PunchBowl trails.
I managed to stack in the WH carpark and smash up my elbow (it’s been a bad year for my left elbow..) failing to execute a post-pub manual and then in May I managed to massage a tree with my head knocking myself stupid.
Morzine 2016 also took it’s toll this year, with Buz stacking and knocking himself into next week and also Mark T having a massive tumble which tore his shoulder tendons and put and end to his Morzine riding. Mr F also had a big one on Serpentine at the end of the trip but thankfully that was mostly saved by pads
Events… there have been a few… and without a doubt many I’ve forgotten. However, Stephan F took a superb third place at the Southern Enduro at Milland in attrotious conditions. We were rewarded with “Pizza Pudding” in January (trust me – you need to try that). David D wrote the the funniest Blog in history – “Diary of a bikeless mountain biker.” in response to his bike being stolen and I discovered that Fell Runners are more miserable than militant ramblers – who’d of thought it. I also developed an an unhealthy obsession with Marbles in March…
It was all about the Witley Descent with Andy C KOMing and James G claiming an equal second as well as a very excellent Plaistow “Beefmaggedon” in April. We also discovered that SMS is dead (long live Whatsapp) as TFIT went all Whatsappy. Bob M also started to reclaim the love for his Transition Scout… maybe. April also brought dark times – specifically a (thankfully short) run of appalling poetry. This harshly but fairly got me banned from Whatsapp. Dark days, dark days indeed…
Summer then decided to turn up a bit early and the trails dried out like a vicar’s biscuit from April into early May and then the Mare Hill jumps started to form nicely
We were shocked to contemplate that the Barley Mow was off the menu from now on. This is TBC but by God it was disappointing for sure.
I did a jumps course at Swinley Forest in May with Leigh B and Buz. It was short but enormous fun. May also saw Matt W back in the saddle after his finger related fun and we met the most inappropriate Landlord and Landlady at the Merry Harriers. They lasted two weeks…
May also gave us the warmest TFIT ride of the year believe it or not. A full TFIT turnout, with Malcolm riding his Whyte T129 RS (and stacking to boot). On the same ride Steve F crashed on the 17th hole with a “tail whip too far”. That was without a shadow of a doubt a classic TFIT. Oh yeah, it all went a bit Gaayyyyyy!
Then we rolled into Morzine 2016. We had the chaos of packing the MVOJ on the 6th and then kicked off the Morzine 2016 “Chocolate Starfish Tour” in earnest. We had a cracking time (with a couple of stacks see above) and enjoyed staying in the dirtiest chalet in Morzine Oh yeah – that would be Chalet Morin then. Full English found under a bed and a curry of passable quality kind of sum that one up. Mark Tand James G pulled and all nighter with Mr G hijacking a very tolerant French search and rescue guy to give him and Mark a lift home. Quality blag. To round it off James then decorated the wall… and Pete’s shorts… and his wallet… (ewww) with vomit… nice. Andy T and Peter H were fantastic MVOJ drivers and got there and back in super good time. Morzine 2016 gave us mechanicals and PRs, dry weather and stacks, giggles and hangovers. I consider it “seized and throttled” once again.
July and August was the “Summer of Absence” – everyone was somewhere else, doing something else, There was no TFIT riding for pretty much most of August – shameful. This apparently caused consternation with the riding gods, as the next proper post-summer TFIT gave us the “Holy-F*ck-dive-for-cover-Wrath-of-God-stylee-near-death-electrical-storm” moment. Yeah, that was a close one
We sadly lost a LBC this year with Tamed Earth closing, but I was delighted to find Tom P anyway at Cycleworks in Haslemere
The end of the year saw a close encounter with a cow pretending to be a tree, Andy C with busted ribs (don’t go karting, it’s official) and me nursing a non-mtb related elbow injury. We’ve also see Mark T trialling a 27.5+ StumpJumper with “ambivalent” results. And right at the end of the year Stephan “Biggles” F has only gone and acquired a DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone. Now we can look at bit crap from a whole new perspective!
Most popular posts 2016
So the subjects have been diverse and the ranting profuse, but we’ve talked about a variety of things on the blog this year, but the top 10 posts this year are:
- Naughty, naughty On-One Codeine
- Bell Super 2r – Actual Crash Test
- Transition takes the Alps: Bandit, Scout and Smuggler
- Transition Scout versus Transition Bandit
- Back of the Chair
- Scouting the Scout
- Tricked out Transtion Smuggler
- MTB meme day
- TFIT 4th Feb (randomly…)
- This weeks bike review: On-One Inbred
So that’s about it. I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has paid any sort of attention to the ramblings/musings/drivel on this blog (including the visitors from 68 different countries!), to all of the TFITers who contributed editorially and if by any chance you’ve been mildly amused at any point – I’ll take that as a win.
See you on the trails in 2017