Saturday, 30 April 2011

the 5 go down to the woods ride

royal wedding day, congrats to Wills and other half etc etc, but never mind that, we got the day off work!! so Matt, Russ, Boz, Ian and i headed for the wyre forest, NW Alpers on tour! weather was just right, dry and sunny with a cool breeze so not too hot, we met in the usual place and hit the first trail from the car park, it's downhill from the start a winding trail twisting through the trees, over the stream of eternal stench, a few tight dusty turns along a forest track straight to the start of "camber". camber was a bit of an eye opener for the first timers on this trail but everyone was grinning by the end telling tales of near misses and sections they had cleaned. but with every excellent technical downhill there comes a price and the road up to goldilock's cottage was it, after grinding up that, stopping at the top to remove some layers so as not to over heat we did the trail skirting the cottage. there was a couple at the cottage filming or taking pics, she was dressed in a long red robe (little red riding hood??) and it was all very "readers wives" and bizarre. on the trail skirting the cottage came my scariest moment, the trail is very technical, very off camber and very near a long drop into the valley, as Russ reached the end where i was waiting he stalled teetering on the edge of a 7ft drop, still clipped in and leaning ever closer to the drop, i didn't know whether to cover my eyes or run over and try to catch him! but he saved it at the last second! it was a sphincter puckering moment for sure. the day continued in this vein with a circular route using some of the best trails the forest has to offer, conditions under tyre were perfect, Boz whacked his knee on a rock, Matt his testicles on the top tube after an almost over the bars moment but other than that incident free, Ian hasn't ridden for a while due to health probs but once on the trails he proved he hadn't lost any of his skills, popping the bike off any trail feature into the air and beasting the downhills! Russ was on a brand new bike and had some comfort issues with the saddle by the end. he also introduced us to the "mexican bandit" and we were thankful we weren't eating at the time! after riding what all the riders said was the best downhill trail of the day we made our way to the visitor centre where the seemingly always attractive girls (maybe this is delusion brought on by dehydration or lack of calories) served us Tea and Cake (rocky road and raspberry shortcake) suitably revived we started the return leg back to the start point managing to avoid most of the fireroads and sticking to singletrack such as "shin ripper". finally we arrived back at the cars after 3.5 hours of great fun. i was relieved all the others seemed to enjoy it as it's always difficult leading a ride to know if the routes that excite me will do the same for others.

no thanks to: GoPro cam mount slipping on all the rooty rocky bits
                    Getting lost once (all the trees look the same!)
thanks to:     Trail Gods for perfect riding conditions
                    Royal wedding for an empty forest
                   Great company and loads of smiles
ride 44
15 miles
total 627
commute 401
total + commute 1028

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