The First Annual Rat Race Ross-on-Wye 2004

    July 2004. Johnny Payphone arrives in the Uk On the way home from his tour of duty in Ghana. What do we do to celebrate the arival of a real live legend in our septic isle? and show him that the brits know how to enjoy themselves.

    We know thinks Chunkolini and M23 we can have a 'race'. A APB is issued to Bikehotdog and Clunker league, all allies in the battle against mediocrity.

    The plan. Friday Camp on the cider farm, funny how we seem to end up here all the time, barbecue, try the cider. Saturday go Up the woods for an 'observed trial' Ie a group ride where we all see the crashes, and give point scores. A cool idea. just remember kiddies, dehydration is a killer.

    A drink in the cider cellar, a top intro for Johnny to Herefordshire

    Friday evening, hmm not so much food. Along comes Rich, with his gun and a couple of bunnies, (dead). off go M23 and Rich and The Gun. Hmmm Bang, Bang, Bang. A few minutes later, hey lots of food. This seems to suit the Payphone.

    Next morning after copious rehydration we set off. 3 miles cross country we come to the local army rifle range, check out the weird sign, were they expecting us? From left to right, Bmart, Gareth,Mark this guy turns up on a £4500 Moulton, respect is due, Tallmartin, Neighbourhoodwitch, Boneliker, M23, Charlie Hobbs an eternal 12 year old, Chunkolini POD. ( pic group shot)

    Then we hit the first hill.

    Just remember kiddies, Dehydration is a killer, luckily we were prepared and kept hydrating ourselves.

    Then came the downhill. 400 yds of steep single track with no runout, I have seen 'serious' mountainbikers refuse to ride this one. We all made it down, Boneliker had a beautiful crash, recorded on film and photo.

    At the bottom of The Hill is a swamp. A very wet swamp and it stinks. M23 has a brainwave, throw The Enemy into the swamp. Hmm Boneliker goes into a crouch, Chunko recognises this move. Push M23, push. Boneliker has done this before, Oh look he has a hold of M23's leg. Oh dear M23 ends up on his arse in the mud. did we laugh? Mr Boneliker did judo as a kid. Ho Hum.

    Cue more rehydration, fighting is thirsty work

    Johnny Payphone is so pleased to see two grown men fighting in a swamp he has to go ride nice Dr hannibal into the swamp; There is always one! But check out the focus on that bow wave!

    Back on the bikes. Pedal pedal pedal. Charlie looks well hydrated and happy.

    Back to the farm. For more rehydration, just remember Kiddies dehydration is a killer.