Quad-Bike Grannie – 70th Birthday part II

November 2014

Here I am two days after my introduction to quad biking. Injuries: none as such. Twisted my left knee slightly at one point and it is complaining today when I’m walking. Didn’t realise that the accelerator was controlled by the right thumb. Fine. It’s just that that is the thumb which is painful with arthritis. It was very very sore when I’d finished but it didn’t stop me. It is still pretty sore today, I must admit.
However, to my tale. Had to wait for ages because the leader, hereafter referred to as HE, was still out with the previous group. Was able to look around and savour the windy conditions though fortunately no rain. It was a great day for being out-of-doors.
Then the time came. The returners had obviously had a great time, were wind-blown and enthusiastic. There were five of us setting off walking to where the bikes were waiting, past the tanks retired from active duty, avoiding a large muddy puddle and over the grass to meet the vehicles. Got myself onto one. Felt comfortable, sort of, though the helmet provided felt a bit big, was damp inside and was very smelly. My bike would not start, so off the blue one onto the much smaller looking white one. It looked at me very oddly as if it were saying, “Come on then, let’s see how brave you really are.” Then it was off in convoy and I’d got myself in the middle. It was a case of doing a practice route, up, down, round, up a rocky narrow pathway round again this time down the narrow rock pathway. That was scary. It appeared that I had accelerated a touch too much, hence the breakneck descent.
After a couple of circuits we were considered competent enough. We set of in convoy again, leader followed by one of the girls , me and then the others.   HE went off very fast and shot through a huge puddle at the bottom of the slope, water flying everywhere, especially it seemed, over him. No I didn’t go through it so fast. Was a bit lady-like, even genteel.

Now another day further on. Someone, not me, said I was on the wrong place and tried to copy and paste to the proper place…..and lost what I had written. However, he found it again just as I had to leave to go and get the Jedi from school, so here I am again.

Back to the circuit. I was still trying to get used to the steering and accelerating but confidence was growing. That is until I realised we had to go through deep muddy ruts. Made it. Didn’t like the rocky road places very much but, hey ho, that’s what this was all about. As we travelled upwards, short stops to let me and then the others catch up (no I wasn’t the coo’s tail) the view began to pan out. By the time we were at the highest point of the circuit, the panorama north south east and west was fantastic. Just before we got to that point, for some reason my bike decided that I wasn’t gung-ho enough and took off, all on its own initiative I may tell you, heading down hill…straight downhill! OOPS. Couldn’t let the thing get the better of me. Turned the steering crossed my toes (fingers were occupied) and headed back up the hill onto the track. Yes! Made it.

What I hadn’t noticed was that HE had turned back to come to my assistance, his drive shaft hit something, buckled and rolled his bike. By the time he was back onto the bike, I was happily sitting on the path having rescued myself.  There were a few more hair-raising wet, very wet and very rocky places to cross. In some places I was brave enough to encourage the bike to do what I wanted, to go round the horrible looking bits but that wasn’t always possible of course. In one particularly rutted part, HE had to come round, lift up the back of the bike so that the front wheels could pull us up the slope.

By this time my thumb was really wanting to give up the whole thing but no options, onwards and downwards. Now the views were  shrinking to the rear of the bike in front when I caught up with it. One of the blokes who had been close behind me had gone in front of me and the girl I had steadfastly kept up with. Now they were fully confident and were racing off at a toot. I was still well in front of the other two, in case you’re wondering.

As we hit the home “straight” they took off, so did I, went through the large puddle (at the start) with water going everywhere.  At that point the bike and I decided we had had enough and instead of the correct route to the parking area we shot straight up the hill again and parked facing the correct way.

An adventure enjoyed and relished but unlikely to be repeated. Took the helmet off, unzipped my outer layer just in time for Derek to take another photo which cannot tell how smelly my hair was, thank goodness.

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