Sundays’s rain dictated that we’d keep it short and local. Billed as a ‘Knackered Old Farts’ ride, I kept the pace deliberately slow, mainly ‘cos that’s the only pace I have at the moment 🙁
We had a few unexpected arrivals at the Bocketts car park at 9am, with Tim making a rare appearance in the mud, Jon V riding with me for the first time since a silly ‘off’ on an evening’s ride back in the summer; and finally Paul901 putting in a cameo appearance on his road bike just to wish us a ‘Happy New Year’ before heading back to the black stuff. Also riding were DaveC, MarkyMark and Karl.
We headed over to Headley via Alsation and LoM the ‘wrong way’. Autumn’s ‘Dusty rivers of loam’ have now morphed into the familiar ‘Greasy slicks of chalk’ as demonstrated by my uphill ‘off’ on Alsation. Jon attempted a gear change in front of me and everything locked up on him, so he decently moved over to the left of the trail to sort it out. I tried to pass him on the right, but having moved off the central strip, the downward stroke of my leg just caused my Trailraker shod rear tyre to spin and slip sideways. Must’ve been the awesome power I put down 😉
LoM the wrong way was another muddy challenge, with a few having to push as their rear tyre gave up the battle for grip. At the back, no one saw my embarrassing stall on one of the logs that cross the trail.
Someone (militant walkers?) had attempted to put the bomb holes at the edge of the Heath out of action by dragging branches and even bending and damaging a healthy tree. It only took a few minutes to clear, so we were able to put on our awesome display of big air, as usual.
We then headed off down Gear Selecta, before circumnavigating the Heath and heading back to Ali’s Tea Hut. We had a sighting run on Secret Singletrack, before returning to Ali’s for a hot Eccles cake and a cuppa. We restarted with our second run down SS, with DaveC showing his taste for the singletrack by setting a fair old pace down the trail. I was lucky not to head straight into the tree that follows a few roots snaking diagonally across the trail.
LoM was a lot more fun ‘the right way’, and Alsation was it’s usual blast, though we had to slow a couple of times for dog-walkers, which in hindsight was probably a good thing seeing as I fell off on the way up.
I said goodbye just before we dropped down to the River Mole, leaving the remaining 4 (Karl had left us just before the tea stop) to head back to Bocketts. No doubt someone could supply the stats, but I was home shortly after 1130. A good winter ride, muddy trails but in sunshine. I’d take that any time for a UK ride in January. Here’s to some great riding in 2012.