The massed bands of forum street riders went to Portsmouth in the pissing rain and hugely enjoyed getting thoroughly wet and miserable. ROBIN WILLIAMS reports
ys been a small bit of bickering between the MBUK forum and the southern downhill forum, so when I saw a Portsmouth street ride being organised on www.southerndownhill.com I thought I could help in rounding up troops and maybe show the southern downhill guys that we are “hardcore” just like them.
The day started with us meeting riders at Portsmouth station ahead of the main meet at Southsea’s pyramid centre. I was impressed with the 15-20 people at the station meet and I didn’t expect to see another 20- 30 people waiting for us at the seafront!
At 10.30 the weather was cloudy but dry with a slight wind. By the time we got to the pyramids on the seafront at 11, however, there was a downpour and that’s how it would last for the majority of the day. The turnout was impressive with riders from www.mbuk.com www.southerndownhill.com and www.ukdirt.com plus everyone’s mates, we had jump bikes, trials bikes, downhill bikes, BMX’s and even a unicycle!
The convoy continued, scaring such residents of Portsmouth who like to be scared by full faces and body armour, until we ended up in Guildhall Square. A lot of steps of all different sizes and lengths were just made to play on. But the square was like an ice rink with all the water and Adam Jones (arj256) was the only hardtail to jump the main steps which got him a big cheer.
The next port of call was the new outlet shopping complex Gunwharf. Normally you would be kicked out there in a matter of seconds – but either our perfect manners or sheer numbers meant we had no hassle whatsoever.
Next we headed to the steps of old Portsmouth and this is where riders eventually started to drop off as the cold sea breeze worked on their soaked bodies. Eventually we were down to a hardcore 10 and went back to were we started the pyramids where it was so wet no one wanted to try the infamous toilet gap. But as the rain eased off Colin Adams went for it. He’d never tried it before and after a cheer from us he was amazed at how easy it is and to made it harder he decides to hip over the corner of the pyramid! And after that mad bit of riding we decided to call it a day.
For the first ever inter-forum street ride I’d say it was a success and the majority of riders would agree. So when you hear of the next Portsmouth street ride (in warm weather) I’d expect the turnout will be closer to 100 than 50.