The afternoon took us from hill to dale throughout the Peak District linked by numerous pretty villages.
The next casualty was the 990. I followed Jim down the left hand rut of a narrow walled lane as he held his line and pace, brushing past the increasingly dense bushes. One particular thick woody outcrop knocked Jim off line and loosing traction on the front, he went down against the wall.
The KTM held up well with the strong aftermarket carbon screen taking the brunt of the impact. A broken indicator was temporarily repaired using tape from Ian’s substantial tool kit.
Progressing on, the limestone bedrock proved a challenge where it formed a base of natural cobbles on one section of trail.
The surface was so polished, the heavy twins slithered sideways to a brief halt whilst Ian on his lighter sure footed single confidently picked his way along.
Ian’s confidence however was later dented when he lost the front end to grapefruit sized rock buried in the autumn leaves during a climb through a wooded area. Despite bruised fingers he remounted, gave it some gas and immediately hit another buried rock which knocked him off balance and with an unintentional twist of the throttle the DR launched into an uncontrolled and violent ‘S’ shaped donut with Ian clinging on for dear life.
The bike and rider suffered no damage and I cursed at not having a helmet to capture the best ‘off’ I’ve seen in a while.
Now we’d got our spills behind us, we cracked on, and eventually finished the last section of trail arriving in Bradfield at 5pm.
The head & tail lights were cleaned of mud to illuminate the road as darkness set in during the one hour ride back to the bunkhouse.
En-route, I reflected what a great 120ish miles of riding Derbyshire had offered that day with only one short section inaccessible due to a padlocked gate. Jim had done a sterling job navigating the route and I could never get board by the sight and sound of his 990 carving its way up the numerous leaf strewn, bermed gullies.
The day was rounded off with few pints to wash down the pub grub as the three of us recounted past travel stories and discussed future plans.
The bikes had performed faultlessly and the absence of any punctures had ensured swift progress (hence few photos) to complete the trails in one day leaving Sunday free.
After a morning brew, rear tyre pressure raised, we said our goodbyes and agreed to meet up again for the next section of the TET.
A free day ahead of me, I decided to ride up to the Yorkshire Dales to meet my old friend Darren (AKA Dazzerrtw) who was recovering from a recent bike accident.
He was giving a presentation of his world bike tour in the Victoria Hall in Settle to raise money for the air ambulance service that had rescued him.
The gig, equally amusing, inspirational and well attended offered a chance to catch up with a few old friends before leaving for the two hour journey home.
Rolling the bike into the garage, filthy after its 342 mile weekend, the combination of darkness and aroma of Sunday lunch put any notion of cleaning it out of my head. On seeing the grin on my face, the wife said “You cut that fine! Had fun?”
Cracking open a beer, I said; “Weekends like that remind me why I ride a big trailie”,
To which she replied "Oh good, because next weekend the bathroom needs painting!".