So this week’s ride did go ahead after all. Once again Lee joined us, this time for his first ever night outing. Four hardcore gnarly types (!) wouldn’t let the foul English summer weather put us off and Lee’s determination to ride came from having just invested in some Ay-Up led lights (great purchase btw and hopefully Lee will add a review soon).
Whilst the summer has been pretty pants to date, the trails on the Surrey Hills have been dry recently so it was a bit of a shock to find massive puddles on every berm and VERY slippery exposed roots. Having only got to know Pitch and Winterfold recently in the dry, the wet presented a whole series of new challenges and many more opportunities for spills.
We all duly obliged with the spillages and Chicken Run was the first to catch us out. Dave P seemed to be in the mood to tackle anything and fair play to him, he was the first down, spurring us on and this set the tone for the whole ride, which wasn’t fast but was equally rewarding cos it was such damn hard work.
The singletrack through the woods down to Xmas Pudding was fun, a case of barging the rain-laiden foliage out of your way whilst negotiating gloopy puddles and hidden stumps. The jump between the trees (known as Ladies Legs I learned last night) tempted us in as usual, but I really didn’t appreciate being smacked in the face by a branch just as I was preparing for lift off.
After a bit more of Winterfold Wood we headed back to Pitch and ran down T0, 1 and 2, where I was very grateful for a large pile of brush the loggers had left behind – a fast crash saw me heading superman-style off-piste for one of the most comfortable landings I’ve ever had from a fall!
The final drop into the car park 2 saw Lee and I both fall again, quite hard this time. Thankfully we were still the only nutters to be out in such inclement weather so the car park wasn’t full of amused witnesses to our dodgy riding.
The crash count was won by Dave P with 6, with Lee and I joint second with 4 and Matt with a paltry one. One could accuse him of not trying hard enough but alas, the truth is our Matt is blessed with levels of balance and control we can only aspire to.