It’s been months and months since I rode over on Pitch Hill so with not being able to ride this Wednesday I suggested a Pitch and Pint ride. There were many Moles expressing interest but come 7:45pm last night our ride was a rather bijou 2 riders. Although this did make for a flowing non-stop ride on a beautiful and un-seasonally warm evening.
At 7:45pm yesterday I arrived to find Andy C waiting at the Peaslake ‘Walking Bottom’ Car Park (# 2). I don’t think that he’d been waiting long but in the short time he’d been there he’d spotted 20 riders in 5 groups in the woods. In fact we never saw another rider apart from the occasional lights, but you knew that there was something out there in the woods….maybe it’s close to Hallowe’en or something…
From ‘Walking Bottom’ Car Park (# 2) it was the leg warmer climb to Pitch Hill Car Park (# 3), then up to the Windmill and down Two Headed Dog. At this point I suddenly realised that I couldn’t remember the lines of the trails very well so whilst Andy sailed off the left hand line on Two Headed Dog, I went right and stopped just before the drop off. Almost a big mistake! It made my riding for the rest of the night a bit more circumspect.
With his recent spate of bike testing Andy has ridden this route 5-6 times in the last few weeks and it showed. He was hitting the right lines and knew where to go at (almost) every junction. It was like having my very own guide – thanks Andy!
Next followed the climb to Judges Seat on Reynards Hill. We both cleared the Judges seat no problems… only kidding… Then on to the descent to Jelleys Hollow. Back to the Bomb Holes and Gone in 60 seconds, before a return to the Windmill and back to Car Park # 3.
At this point we were coming to the conclusion that Pitch was displaying a schizophrenic characteristics. Most of the trails were either bone dry or fairly solid hardpack. Beautiful to ride and fast. But once you got into the trees the roots had a sheen of moisture on them that made them super slippy.
More than once did I see Andy’s rear wheel ping off in the opposite direction from his front wheel. Maybe it was a hartail thing since I was on my Trek Fuel Ex and Andy was on his trusty On-One and I didn’t get bounced off line half as much. I think that Andy can’t wait for the final build up of his impending full susser.
Next the climb up past the quarry, which I let Andy have a go on first. “I’ll let you know if I clear it” followed 20 seconds later by a “Oh Bugger” off in the woods. Neither of us cleared it. Then contouring round Pitch Hill to Roller Coaster and onto the T trails back to the car park (# 2).
It was a bit early for the pints so it was the Radnor Road climb up to Holmbury Hill before Yoghurt Pots, which are only just starting to clag in the bottom. Finally the climb back up to Holmbury Hill before checking out Barry Knows Best, where we found the entry to the Barry Know’s Better changes.
The new route is surprisingly early into BKB but the spy shots of the new bermed end look great. I think that it’s opening next week. The final – for Andy and I – descent down the waterfall was easy in the conditions. Although I’m not sure I’ll miss it in the middle of winter.
So all in all a great ride, on a beautiful evening, with the trails still holding up well. Finished off with a good pint. You other Moles on the sofas watching trash TV really missed out.