Last week TonyD complained on our Facebook page about our complaints about mud. This week, we left nothing to chance and went somewhere much drier; Tunnel Hill.
The result was pretty much a re-run of our visit to Tunnel Hill in January, but without the biblical levels of water. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that January ride had never happened looking at the condition of the trails which were dry and typically sandy, with just the odd lake-like puddle to remind us of how bad it could be.
I’m not going to try and explain where we went. Seven of us set out and seven returned, although Mark collected a mis-shapen wheel and possibly a few bruises for his morning’s adventures. I also had a sudden departure from my bike, which stopped abruptly climbing out of a gulley on some steppy roots, while I continued onward. If I’d had a 29er (or better yet, a 27.5 Plus bike) perhaps it would have rolled easily up and over but as it was I was compromised by ‘old-tech’ in the shape of my Five. Perhaps.
So JohnR (this weeks’ ride-sponsor, who suggested the outing), D’Andy (mon chauffeur), Karl, Mark, Fat
boy bike James and D-Dub (our Tunnel Hill route-meister) all met up on what proved to be a sunny but rather chilly day at Tunnel Hill. Fine while you were moving, rather cold when we stopped.
As it was, we were moving for most of the morning, despite somehow only racking up 17.5 miles for our efforts. We dodged bullets at the Deepcut firing ranges, crossed and re-crossed the Basingstoke Canal and spent the majority of our time climbing short sharp hills or contouring through seemingly endless miles of lovely singletrack. One sensed that JohnR saw hills differently to the rest of us (John, to ride up; Us, to ride down) but it was a terrific morning of riding that in no way involved mud. Which is good.
The only regret is that the stop at the local shop for something like coffee – which somehow became magically infused with D’Andy’s brandy – wasn’t the kind of Spa(r) break that I felt I deserved.
Hopefully the accompanying pictures (thanks JR, and Karl for your Photoshoppery) tell their own story.