This Saturday. MODS in FOREST and RADS OUT and IN the Forest (Long 30miles ride). 11.am we LEAVE from Bury Road car park. If you cannot join us pop into the Station House pub for a chat after our ride.
By Mr Incredulous
Today's privileged few were Dawn, Sze, Sarah, Madge, Kaff, Roy, Ollie, Omar, Alan, Rob, James, Tommy, Jeroen, Kean, Sam, Richie, Chris, Michael, Paul K, new rider Pete, who did really well on his first ride and Myself.
There are some days when there are moments that you know are instantly going to become legendary and to have been right there when it happened you have to feel truly blessed. Not that Roy set out this morning with the idea of providing most of us with the funniest sight we have ever seen on a bike but we'll take it cos we were there.
So, after a fairly routine start, we are coming to the stream at the bottom of The Graveyard and I choose to go right at the bridge to go around to the log crossing that's been built where we normally ride through. First thing we notice is that the stream is full to the brim with fast flowing water but we go for it anyway and Myself, Jeroen and Kean make it over in advance of the main group arriving. Being smug, dry and on the other side already, we start to give a few people some verbal encouragement to give it a go. Ron gets very lucky but the majority find other ways to get over.
Roy, who at this point is sizing up one of his trademark jumps over the water, decides to give it a go too and after slipping on his approach hits the log at a slower speed than the assembled row of judges would have said was ideal and as a result his front wheel got nowhere near making it over the rooty clump at the end. We can all see the inevitable unfolding. He stops, wobbles a bit and then falls to his left, back first into the drink and then he's swimming. A few run to his help but most are crying with laughter.
Roy has only one thought and standing up to his thighs in water, immediately searches out his brand new i-Phone which, wrapped in plastic, thankfully seems to survive. After some offers of a return to base for a dry out, he decides bravely to continue and heading for Connaught Waters we ride another stream crossing before hitting the trails around the lake.
The lower trails were predictably sludgy so after a trip over Duncan's Log and in an attempt to keep us moving we head quickly for Fairmead Road and up to High Beech to meet Helen, who couldn’t get up in time & Simon who broke his new year resolution and is running late.
After a quick loo stop we head north for a 100 yards before Michael loses two chain ring bolts and despite his vast and very heavy tool kit the emergency bits bag once again comes to the rescue. All sorted, we ride north via the Double logs with Richie providing the entertainment after falling on both parts and then out to Old Orleans where Helen suggests we ride the bridle towards Copped Hall. This trail us usually a swamp in winter but we give it a go and are rewarded with the sight of a big herd of deer at close quarters.
We head back up The Avenue, turn left onto the trail that takes you past where the Golden Naked Ladies were and across ENR to The Ridges which once again provide a great test before the dash begins to The Forest Gate for lunch. We get there to find we’ve lost Tommy to a case of slipping cranks which Ollie seems to find really funny.
After lunch and warming up in the room in the pub it was important to get going quickly when we ventured out into the cold again but before we get to Fork Handles Ron’s chain breaks and then James’ chain lets him down twice so we had a bit of standing around before heading over the Five Logs and then out through the bracken to Jacks Hill. We take the very slippery lower trail down to the bridle at Goldings Hill and as we climb up to the car park we are joined by Old Sid, looking very clean after his late start.
We make our way back to Wake Valley before heading once again over the Double Logs to drop Helen at High Beech and then the rest of us head via different routes to the top of Lippet’s for the run down to the stream. Part way down, M4 Sarah is buzzing Alan’s back wheel, Roy completes his perfect day with an off before the bridge but other than that the descent goes off without any major incidents.
With the light beginning to fade we head into the back of Connaught via The Swamp which lives up to its name in great style before we finally get back to the car park.
Roy, who has just about dried out, opens his van and pulls out a high powered jet wash which gets some good use from those of us who wait around and then it was off to the pub for a few pints and a big pile of onion rings.
Considering how bad the conditions were we had a great ride and managed to find a few places that were not yet knee deep. It’s definitely much better north and east of High Beech so anyone thinking of riding in the week would do well to head over that way.
Hopefully see you midweek.
Comment from Forum
Has to be up there as one of the best rides I've been on good to switch up the tow path ride with the forest.
I thought the conditions were preety good considering the amount of snow and rain recently.
Big White Marin
Roy's unexpected bath was hilarious (if you were watching), top marks for keeping going Roy - I would have gone home!
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