How much longer can it continue? Well there is mud out there now but not as much as there could be, next week looks like it’s the end though…
We gathered 11 riders at the start today. Joining me was Nick, recovered from his collarbone, Mark, BigAl, Andy, BigTone, Karl, Colin, Ray, Lee and Elliot. The hardware was as varied as our names. Colin was on his Crosser, BigAl on his Phat Puffin, Lee and Andy on 26″ Cotics, Nick on his new 27.5 Kona full susser, actually I think there was possibly more 26″ wheels than 29er for a change!
The plan was to head to Leith Hill so off we set up towards Ranmore, avoiding the twin bridges descent for now. BigAl and Andy lead the way in the glorious sun and despite the initial chill in the air things were now starting to warm up.
We soon hit LandRover and sped on down finding that speed was our friend and there was still enough grip after Saturday’s rain. The Rookery Climb lay ahead and BigAl and Andy showed us the way on their singlespeeds, both 26″ but one 4.0″ and one 2.1″. At the top of Wolverns we turned right and down passing Wobbem on the way up. By the time I got to him he was up the bank as I suspect BigAl thundering down on his Phat bike is enough to put even Wobbem off.
Al then took us on one of his magical mystery tours which initially took us to Deliverance 2 which Colin decided was a step too far for his Crosser so I followed Karl down dodging the fern on the way. Plenty more trails in the category of “a little bumpy but no jumps” and that suited us all fine. I even spied some Dorking Cocks in the woods or at least Charlie’s Stooge
It all got a bit too much for Tony and one point and he had to sit down. I’m sure he blamed the jet lag which was fair enough. The Tower was reached soon enough and we enjoye dthe tea, coffee and assorted fare. A couple of gheezers also asked us where the best jumps were. Only time we’ve seen a Rockhopper with 8″ travel forks on it. JR appeared after securing Glasto tickets for the return leg.
Summer Lightning provided us with a route home and it was interesting to ride it again after missing it out for most of the Summer. There’s a lot of wear on it in places and no doubt it won’t get much maintenance, which is a shame.
We climbed up to Ranmore of Lower Med and then took in Golden Nugget which, luckily for me is where my camera battery ran out, missing my multiple “off the racing line” incidents but allowing me to laugh at myself and then listen to many similar trails.
A cracking ride with no injuries, few offs and glorious weather.
Check out a quick edit of some video clips to get a flavour of the ride