Home  ::  Forum  ::  Resources  ::  Recruitment  ::  About                             

The Gathering
by Tunguska, pictures by various and sundry

On 17th May 2006 1040exup had the idea that we should organise a group meet at Matlock, since it was roughly central. Sunday 4th June was the day, and everyone was invited. Little did he know that his suggestion would spawn the longest thread in the forum's history (all eight months of it, at this point) and set the standard by which future forum meets would be judged.

Matlock thumbnail 3
Easy, Jasegee, Rich and 1040 meet on the M1 shortly before buzzing some Gixxers at about 160mph

Stig volunteered to chaperone a group coming in from the M1 and set off in bright sunshine. Two miles later, he copped a fly in his eye at 80mph, in spite of his visor. Undeterred, he made it to the layby by Junction 27 on the M1 to collect his flock. Who were already lined up waiting for him. Stig reckons he was punctual and they were all early, but we only have his word for that.

Introductions made, by 11:15 it was time to smoke. Stig was nominated to show the way, and headed for the A38 singing some Gary Glitter tune in his head (something about the leader; we worry about that boy sometimes). Traffic into Matlock was a bit of a nightmare. A combination of slow speed and few passing opportunities meant it took about 20 minutes.

They headed for the meeting point at the Fishpond car park, and met up with Easy, Yoda, Nismo, Plastic Scouser and others. Soon the rear of the car park was colonised with Yamahas. Folks mingled and introduced themselves, bollox was talked and the michael was taken, before the whole meet turned into a car boot sale. Everywhere you looked people were swapping stuff and wrapping parts. Then it was time to retire to the pub to settle some debts.

After a quick pint, the sight of King Rossi whupping ass on the TV was too much. Chris (Teego) asked if there were any takers for a run up the Cat & Fiddle. Stig was straight in there: no pillion today and he'd never ridden the road before. Teego led out through the back roads known as the Via Gellia and as the pace picked up the group started to spread out. Sweeping bends + quick straights = biker heaven. They'd agreed to meet up at a petrol station for folk to gas up and let the tail-enders get past any traffic; once they'd regrouped it was back out to play.

Stigs says: "There has never been such a spectacular sight as looking in the mirror to see a row of bright headlights of fellow Exup1000.co.uk members... until we got to the bottom of the pass at the traffic lights. I asked Kev (Yzfkev) to count the following folk as I wasn't tall enough, and it appeared that we had gained an extra set of lights - it was plod!"

Messages were passed to Chris faster than Stig getting to a full skip. Chris wisely headed for the next petrol station to give plod a chance to clear off. As they pulled in, there was a YZF750, so since it would have been rude not to make introductions, Stig gave the rider a card.

The Cat & Fiddle passed without incident, with some good speed and beautiful corners, even though the pace was steady due to plod and nuisance traffic. The group stopped at the pub for a while and the chance for some to take their smokes. Five riders including Stig carried on to Congleton, a further 10 miles. The pace was... let's just say enjoyable! Rendezvous back at the pub, then it was time for some to peel off and head for home. The remainder headed back to Matlock. Over the tops there were a few spots of rain, and Stig was starting to struggle to see due to the amount of roadkill on his visor.

"I had a choice, to wipe or not," he recalls. "So yes, I wiped - much to the amusement of Dave (Dave 59), who was behind me. I now couldn't see a damn thing, and he knew it."

Nonetheless he made it back to Matlock and set about cleaning his visor properly - to the accompaniment of helpful commentary about cleaning and polishing (wonder why that was). At about 4:15pm it was time for everyone to go their separate ways, resolving to do it all again as soon as possible.

Big thanks to everyone who turned up and made the day what it was. You can find all the pics from the day here.

Matlock thumbnail 4
Thank goodness Easy was riding a nice comfortable sports-tourer today...

Matlock thumbnail 21
Yamaha-san's finest, all in a row - ain't that purty?
Matlock thumbnail 29
What did a sleepy Derbyshire market town do to deserve this?
Matlock thumbnail 33
"OK, I'll get mine out but only if someone else goes first!"
Matlock thumbnail 31
Several of the regulars are swept up by a low-flying pub.
Matlock thumbnail 9
After a brisk run up the Cat & Fiddle pass, our heroes pause to replenish those valuable electrolytes.
Matlock thumbnail 13
"That contact lens has got to be here somewhere..."
Matlock thumbnail 35
"A tenner says he can't get both feet down."
Matlock thumbnail 14
"I thought that burger was a bit dodgy."

Roll-call: 1040exup, Dave 59, Easy, Exup Freak, Fzryam, Fzted, GazzaB_R1, Jasegee, Nel5on, Nismo, Plastic Scouser, Rich, Stig, Teego, Terryuk22, Thunderacemalc, Yamahagirl, Yoda, Yzfkev.

Numb Bum Award: Easy, 508 miles. The man's clearly not well in the head.

Conspicuous Bravery Award: Yamahagirl, for coming out to play with this lot!

Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
Matlock Bath webcam
 Click for map   Link to Streetmap.co.uk

www.exup1000.co.uk is owned and run by EXUP enthusiasts, for EXUP enthusiasts
Hosted by Digital Picsel