Sunshine welcomed the Mods back to the Forest and a large group eager to get back to the old routine made for some early laughs in the car park, nice to see everyone especially those who don’t make it to the SH.
New rider this week, Etienne joined Jane, Caroline, Berenice, Gentle John, Elliott, Paul P, Graham, Martin, Pete, Duncan, Ian and myself.
Left the car park via the new track and 30 yards in my welcome back was complete with a “Thanks for ripping up the Forest” said by some t**t trying to show off in front of his family and dog. I held back the obvious reply and instead replied, “you’re very welcome, is there anywhere else you want ripping up, oh and while you’re at it wind your neck in and pick up your dogs shit!” Not sure if he heard it all but I think he got the main thrust of it! Good job he didn’t have wing mirrors!
Down through the graveyard and a detour to the right at the new bridge as there were about 50 small people dressed as scouts blocking the trail. After crossing the river at Roy’s Leap, we stopped to let the cub scouts pass, they move very slowly! Up to no name corner and along some pretty dry trails before the climb up to Dawn’s log before going up and over the road to continue along the trail behind the church. On to the Wellington downhill then over to High Beech to meet Tracy and friend who were running late, and were not there, a quick call and they will meet us at the lunch stop.
Over to Mecca for a quick play then over to Woodridden and up to the wood yard where Etienne leaves us to see off his partner. Over the roundabout to the Theydon Road and on to the Long Running tussock field leading to the ridges. This field was bone dry right through to the end of last year, but today it was very soggy indeed.
On to the FG and an amazing welcome from the mad waitress who had obviously missed all our cheesy grins. Caroline left us for a quick trip home and we were soon back to numbering 13 as we were joined by Tracy and Jackie both looking remarkably fresh and clean. A slightly longer lunch than usual as we wait for Tracy and Jackie to finish their sausage and onion baguettes.
Back to the ridges and over to Jacks Hill then down through Indian Summer, up to the swing bomb hole, over Golding’s Hill past Carly’s pond, through spooky wood and then down under the beheading tree to Baldwin’s pond before the climb up the gravel track to Loughton Camp. Around the camp and over ENR and on up to High Beech for an ice cream stop.
Behind the church, across the road and down Dave’s descent with an impressive crossing of the stream at the bottom by Berenice. Second trail off the bridleway as we head back to the car park before losing most of the group to an oblique right-hand turn on an obvious left-hand trail! Sorry Tracy I now realise it was totally my fault as we probably did turn right there once a couple of years ago! At the top of the graveyard we met Steve and Fiona who continued back to the car park where a photographer wanting photos of tired bikers for his portfolio met us! I only hope we looked tired enough.
Over to the SH to join the Rads and Scummers, later joined by Ged and Ted, Helen and Charlie.
A great return to a drying forest with not too much mud! A great group with a great many laughs and cheesy grins.
Well done Berenice for your first time in the forest and well done Jackie for ‘no fear riding’ Tracy’s tuition is paying off!