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.
It was cold, official, and braving the elements were Dawn, Sarah,
Emma, Glenn, Pat, Greg, Ollie, Sam & Dave, Jeroen, Kean, Alan, Mal,
Shelton, Roy and Meself.
It was not quite car park sniper weather but it was close. The frozen
mud had those solid, wheel sized, tramlines in that defy all your
efforts to go anywhere but where they point you, but at least we were
going to be spared another mud fest.
With Dawn leading the way we headed up Pole Hill to rendevouz with
Glenn and then followed the trail alongside Hawk Wood emerging at Bury
Road adjacent to Jubilee Retreat. On towards Woodmans Glade and the
stream crossing before following the trails through Ludgate Plain,
Round Thicket and Whitehouse Plain for a quick play at The Hump at the
bottom of Hill Wood.
Emerging from Hill Wood we crossed Avey Lane for the trails around The
Church and Speakmans Pond to High Beech before passing along Pillow
Mounds, behind Carl's and down to The Generals Ride, stopping at the
top of the Big Downhill. There was considerable discombobulation at
the bomb hole which appeared to be skirted by the rear of the group,
which is very poor form.
At Pynest Green Lane we turned north, crossing Claypit Lane, for the
long climb up to through Honey Lane Quarters to Big View. From there
we rode Verderers Ride down to Woodridden Hill, where after a long run
through St Thomas's Quarters we were treated to the sight of a big
herd of deer.
We turned north off Lodge Road and after some nice rollers, Myself and
Kean immediately fell foul of the infamous Lodge Road Bog, sinking up
to our axles. Crossing Epping Road we rode the Upper Ridges and
through the ferns of Thames Valley to the Five Log Ride which claimed
it's usual number of victims. At Wormleyton Pits Ride we headed back
through the ferns to the Lower Ridges, crossing Coppice Row at Jack's
Hill and heading south along Tipps Burn, where Roy fell into the bog,
to Fox Burrows and up to cross Goldings Hill at the Green Ride.
As you are probably well aware, we were now at the top of the long
trail that heads through the top of Deershelter Plain into Great Monk
Wood. Leaving a few of the group to R&R, the rest of us did the short
loop to the top of The Rooty Staircase and back before all of us
headed over to Epping New Road at Wake Valley.
Lunch was now high on the group's list of priorities so after The
Double Logs and a tour around the Ponds we hit The Up and Down Ride.
At this point Ollie and Greg decided they knew a quicker route and
challenged us to a race to Bradley's. They lost, miserably. Standing
in the queue, Pat and I spied Sarah coming down the road on her new
Santa Cruz Super Duper Light. It's great to see someone getting such
an obvoius buzz from a new bike and as she bunny hopped her way into
the car park it was inevitable that she would come to a stop with a
long skid, and she duly obliged.
By the time lunch was done the light and temperature were starting to
drop so it was decided that the only option was a non-stop bolt to The
Station House for a proper warm up. We rode the usual trails beginning
with a dash through Hill Wood lead by Ollie, into Almshouse and Black
Bush Plain and finally back through Woodman's Glade and home.
Our only technicals involved some running repairs to Glenn's
singlespeed which shed a chainring bolt. Bloody singlespeeds!
A lovely pint of London Porter (dinner in a glass) helped wash down
the three plates of beige in the SH, where proceedings looked well set
for a late one to say goodbye to Greg who's off for his winter season
Cheers everyone and thanks for a fun day.
PS Pat, thanks for the new map. I must have been so lost without it!