Making the most of the sun before the storm hits us for Bank Holiday Monday a tidy group of old and new faces met at the Bocketts Farms top car park.
Original Karl was there, collecting brake pads from me to finish off his steed for the ride, New Karl who joined us last week, JamesS arriving at 08:39 ahead of schedule, Kev, Matt, Elliott (The Giant of Horsham), Nicola from Old (by which I mean way before this iteration of the web site!), and a returning Ginny. All in all a mixed bunch of old faces, steady faces and faces who seem likely to be with us for many rides to come. Dandy has set off 40 minutes earlier to meet the DoMTB crew who were doing trails at Peaklake.
After the usual chit chat we headed off towards Ranmore taking in Pamploma at which point we ran into Graham and Nick, who insisted they were going the other way under the twin Bridges! Dust was in evidence for the riders at the back as the more intrepid and care-free kicked it up on the way down. Yew Trees rounded out our ascent to Ranmore.
From there we headed to the top half of Wire in the Blood, a quick resume for the riders who hadn’t done this before and then on down Badger Run and Collarbone before another fast run down White Down. A certain odour was present for most of this section but it wasn’t as apparent when we got down White Down. Elliot was absent at the next regroup and I went back to find him with a side wall cut from the White Down flints. A tube was fitted and we moved on through Abinger Roughs. Nicola bailed at this point with a lunch date on her mind and getting just out of her safety zone for local knowledge. It was great to see her again and hopefully she’ll try to make a few more rides soon.
Across the A25 and towards the Volunteer pub we climbed up the road to the YHA car park and Elliot showed us a new route. Well that was his story and I’m making no further comment but the route was quite freshly cut and certainly an interesting downhill at the end! As Elliot put it, as long as there are no U-turns in the GPS track BigAl will never know he made a wrong turn!
Then it was fire road to the top of Yoghurt Pots which was also dry and dusty. James left us here as he was also on the clock while the rest of us headed to BKB via Jesses’ Trail which is a corking little trail in today’s dry weather. Not so good in the wet as there are a lot of roots. BKB seems to have suffered in the dry from poor braking at the beginning as there is a lot of erosion before the roll-in and quite a serious little gully has formed. Regrettably there seems to be no chance of repair, ironically as health and safety and risk assessment mean no one wants to do it. Consider some of the great Tattoo Dave trails out there that are not sanctioned but get regular repair and probably less erosion because they are only ridden by the better riders and maintained by the same. Ah well, that’s the world we live in.
Two cakes were eaten today, a rather nice chocolate banana cake as well as the triple chocolate shortbread. The DoMTB crew turned up sans Dandy and I chatted with Lee about trails and life in general. Dandy then turned up and stripped off. Time to go we all thought and off we headed down the road back towards Abinger.
Normal fare on the way back with a climb up Low Med and then a run down Golden Nugget with New Karl going spectacularly wide in front of me as he carried too much speed into a turn. Easily down on this trail and I set a PR according to Strava. Which brings me to the a thought that I might get the walkie talkies out and buy a stop watch so we can do some trials on what Strava really mean… which I suspect is not very much in reality!
A final run up through Polesden showed some 28 miles for me at the car park. Great to see Ginny and Nicola back in the saddle with us and good to have Karl with us for his second ride. If all new riders can use one our existing riders names it does wonders for me being able to remember everyone! Super!