Every year Keith and I seem to having at least one ride with just the two of us and with the more intrepid Moles giving it large on the DH course at Rogate we were left to enjoy a shorter, steadier XC ride.
Given this will be a short review here’s a video Erick shot a few weeks ago!
So with mud being a concern again given the steady rain throughout the week we opted for a shorter route. We headed down away from Admirals Track to avoid the muddy hell that it’s become since it’s “improvement” and opted for the “parallel” loop where we ended up back on course heading to Polseden Lacey.
Under the wooden bridges and up Yew Trees we kept a steady pace as Keith and I discussed important topics of the day. OK, ok, I was trying to work on his desire for a full susser but it was important at the time and although maybe not so convincing with me aloft a rigid singlespeed.
Once on top of Ranmore we turned and headed down my descent through the vineyard and here we encountered a fair bit of mud until we made it to the track section. This cleared the mud!! From here we headed to the front face climb of Box Hill and Keith stated he wasn’t looking forward to it!!
It is a hard climb but one that more of a psychological challenge for me especially as I cleared it last week. Teeth gritted I made it to the top with Keith still in sight so a good effort and reward enough although the real reward came in the shape of flapjack and drinks.
After a little fettling to sort a loose stem out we took on Juniper Bottom which was clear and fast today. A brief road section and then up Juniper Hill and on to Stane Street to meet up with the top of Alsation (or Alastion if you’re Tony) and start the descent home.
Alsation was not too slippery but I treated it with a degree of respect and was slow enough to see two very placid and quiet Alsations sitting in the door of what must be the kitchen just watching us go by. A marked difference from the descents of the past that named the trail. Grinding on the road from now on we arrived back in good time and now doubt earned a few extra points because of it!