The first rule of riding (at least for me) is don’t venture outside the house when it’s tipping down. So when I ventured into the utility room to fetch some gloves and it was tipping it down I almost went back to bed.Instead I checked the forum to find signed commitments from BigAl and Karl that they would be at the start. So I ignored the text from the Grand Mole stating his intention to baton down his burrow and got dressed and headed out into the, by then, mist.
Chris was also at the start so after a few choice words from BigAl about the non starters (you know who you are!) we headed off up Admiral’s track to head towards Leith Hill. BigAl and I set the pace from the front on our one geared wonders while Chris and Karl on bouncy geared bikes kept pace at the back.
We took in Pampaloma (not Paloma as Al called it) and soon reached to the top Ranmore so we could slide down Landrover and into Westcott. Landrover was slowed by a walker near the bottom and the top was a bit sketchy anyway so probably not a bad thing. The Rookery climb was conquered by Chris while the rest of us threw the towel in early deciding it was a long ride ahead.
Soon we were on Leith Hill proper and BigAl began to show us his legendary trail knowledge which lasted for a good 30 minutes before he hit a bit of “making it up as I go along” phase which somewhat interrupted the smooth flow. A group did try and hang on the back of us at one point but I don’t think they lasted long in the twisty undergrowth.
Tea at the tower meant that the way home on most of the new Summer Lightening was just ahead of us. It’s all quite pedally as trails go but I’m starting to get the hang of the tight turns at speed. It’s almost as good as the stuff that used to be there anyway. In fact one bit might be a tad better! ;o)
The recent rain had softened the trails up and one corner on the new section was already really cut up while some of the natural stuff on waggledance had its bared roots waiting for the less confident rider to fall on. All in all though not too bad grip wise.
By the time we got home I’d managed some 26 miles and 848m of climbing.