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I love Matlock in the springtime
by Tunguska, pictures by Plastic Scouser

Bikers shuffle out into the Big Blue Room, blinking in the unfamiliar sunlight. Their leathers straining over their post-Christmas paunch, they blow the dust off their lids and try to remember which way round it goes on. Exup1000.co.uk was there to point and laugh.

Matlock thumbnail 1
Well, it's a Yamaha!

"Is anyone coming out to play on Sunday?" cried Exup Freak. "Might be the last chance I have for a while, and I'm going out even if I have to ride around on me own!"

As usual, Exup1000 rallied to the cause to provide Le Freak with some company. Junction 27 of the M1 at 11am, then a quick blast up to J28 and the A38 towards Derby, aiming for the Fshpond car park at 11:30. There was even a reasonable weather forecast.

Unfortunately, 1040Exup was an early faller. All kitted up and raring to go, he made it a whole 35 miles from Reading before his bike started to sound like a tractor (and he wasn't even riding a Harley). Pulling over at the next layby, he found the exhaust had gone pop round one of the header pipes. By 10am he was back home with a total of three non-working bikes in his garage and vowing to throw the lot on Ebay at the earliest opportunity. Yeah, right - like your garage could stay empty for long, Si!

Plastic Scouser brought along some mates - he set out with four but only three arrived in Matlock. Presumably there's a ZX6R circulating on the M60 still looking for the Stockport turnoff...

Fzted's bike was the next casualty - the battery wasn't holding a charge and his bike kept conking out. In the end, he had to be recovered home by his Dad.

Stig and Freak had a little "moment" of their own caused by the Boys In Blue - you weren't being naughty, lads, were you? Surely not! Freak was somnewhat anxious because of his, erm, "non- standard" exhaust, titchy numberplate and total absence of tax disc, it having gone AWOL on the M62. Fortunately they were able to hide behind Fzryam until the scary men were gone.

After Matlock the boys took advantage of the spring sunshine for a run up the Cat and Fiddle before peeling off to go their separate ways. Spookily, a new member (Pitbull) decloaked the following day who'd seen the crew in the Fishpond car park but was too shy to introduce himself. There again, looking at these photos, do you blame him? He's made up for it since, mind.

Oh, and no sooner did Freak get home than his bike was in bits again because he thought it was running a bit rich. You know that thing they make soldiers do, stripping and reassembling an assault rifle against the clock, whilst wearing a blindfold? If there was a similar exercise for bikes, we think Freak would win hands down...

Matlock thumbnail 2
"Shit, hope the wife doesn't see this - she thinks I've quit!"

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Pretty maids all in a row
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Tells you all you need to know about this bike's owner
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The boys look longingly at the pub and wonder if there's time for one last pint
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"If we don't look round, he might get bored and put the camera away."
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The now-obligatory promo shot for the Derbyshire Tourist Board
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Looks like everyone thought it would be a nice day for a run up the Cat and Fiddle
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That looks scary... The exhaust looks downright dangerous
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I didn't know you could get leathers to fit stick insects
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Ted's bike gets a good coat of looking at, but still won't go
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"Eee - I remember when I were a lad - I 'ad to push me fuggin' bike fer fuggin' miles to deliver t' bread fer t' fuggin' lazy baker."

Roll-call: Exup Freak, Fzryam, Fzted, Plastic Scouser, Plastic's mates Ade and Fester, Plastic's bruv-in-law Robert Redford (we don't believe him either), Stig, Teego

Unsung Hero Award: Ted's dad

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