Well, it was a splendid weekend up at Melrose. There was a bit of riding, and bit of skills instruction, and lots of wine tasting…..
We turned up on Friday afternoon, set up our tent, and headed up to the Northstar for a bite to eat. It was great seeing loads of new and old faces at the pub. A nice little amount of beer and wine was ‘tasted’ to check
On Saturday we rose to find the weather was not too bad. Most riders were busy waiting for one of the rides to go off- the Over the Edge guys had managed to find loads of willing guides this year, so there were plenty of options. However we were running a few skills sessions instead, and had a good turn out for them. We also had a few experts come thru and show us how to do the skills…… 😉
After that, it was time to check out the Clunker Crits. There was a mixture of old and new bikes, and some people had made more effort than others- I had totally forgotten about it, but decided to join in anyway. But it was Michael Chaffey’s baby costume (well we hope it was a costume!) that won the day…..
The racing was anything BUT fast and furious, with lots of cheating, short-cutting and ridiculous challenges thrown in- Downing a tequila and jumping back on your bike immediately after hula-hooping a tyre is NOT recommended….. 😳
And then again, it was time to head off to the pub! Or go get ready for the night ride, if you were game enough. Unfortunately it started to rain just prior to going out, and then my light packed in after 2 minutes, so I was forced to ride the whole ride using a commuter bike light…. 🙄 It was cold, wet and slippery, but Hellrose and Greener Pastures were a lot of fun, and I was rather pleased I had packed my waterproof shorts!!!
Next day saw a colder start, and Deborah had roped me in to lead a ride, as all the ones she wanted to do were full, so she created a new one for me to lead. It was a fun morning of riding over to Bartagunyah and a few secret trails- loads of fun. Of course, I forgot to take the camera, so no shots of that!!!
Then the official last event of the Festival was the Escapegoat Olympiad, with lots of challenges such as a slow race (one-handed for the guys!) and other comps, with great prizes from Shram, Dirtworks and others. Of course in typical fashion it absolutely pissed down just in time for the last event, ‘Last Man Standing’, but this didn’t cool the enthusiasm, even if it did mean the competition ground became a river!!
And then of course it was off to the pub again……!
If you haven’t been to Melrose you really should- the trails are great, and the guys at Over The Edge have been working hard. The town is so friendly it’s worth going there any time, but why not plan on coming up to the Fat Tyre Festival next year, if a relaxed, sociable weekend of riding and drinking sounds good to you!!
More photos here…..
See you next time!!!