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TOPIC: Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014

Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #989

  • Mr Incredulous
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It's still dry, it's still dusty and it can't last but along with Kaff, Julie, Her Madge, Glenn, Tom, Si, Richie, Sam, Neil, Jim, Baz, Mike, Ivan, Alex and new rider Matt we did our best to make the most of it while we can.

Unusually, I had a beer free Friday. This obviously contributed to my general lack of mojo (won't be doing that again) as I felt pretty knackered after riding to the car park. After a good deal of milling about in the car park we eventually headed north east with the Theydon area an intended destination.

The lower trails all came and went without due incident until TT had a fairly big off at the exit from The Swamp. We made it over ENR and up to Strawberry Ponds where Baz got everyone doing loops of The Bridge of Si's, no doubt in the hope that someone would eventually get it wrong enough to provide some proper entertainment. We must be getting too good at this because it was all to no avail.

After crossing Earls Path we made our way down the fast rooty trail to The Clearing. Due to some quirk of the road crossing, Her Madge found herself in the unenviable position of pace car. Nervous as she was about being thusly placed, she called our her instructions regarding where she'd like to be passed but her subjects were revolting and she was dealt with fairly mercilessly on the next two corners! All in good fun of course. At The Clearing TT, for reasons we still don't really comprehend, decided to suggest we do the big rooty climb up the southern edge of Loughton Camp. It was a bit every man (or woman) for themselves as the list of ramblers started to grow but we all eventually re-grouped and Julie lead the way towards The V & W. Neil made his customary attempt at conquering The W but, after nearly falling off the bike of his bike, left it to The Kids.

At Wake Valley, TT succumbed to his recurring bad back following his earlier fall and we headed up towards The Wake Arms. Her Madge, also suffering from a dodgy back, headed off too and the rest of us crossed the roundabout with the intention of riding south through Deershelter. There followed a bit of a screw up which left Alex and Matt not knowing where we were headed. We managed to retrieve Alex but Matt, despite a search party, was nowhere to be seen. After Glenn, Richie, Alex and I re-joined the rest of the group at The Boggy Valley, I had a little moan but it was apparent that it was just a breakdown in communication for which Sam was blamed by everyone!!

With Glenn on lead, closely followed by Si and myself, we headed fast down The Rooty Staircase - such an awesome trail. We re-grouped at the bottom and you could see that everyone had enjoyed it too. We all agreed that, like lots of things in life, if only it were longer!

We then climbed up to Golding's Hill Ponds and then back towards Broadstrood for a reverse tilt at Secret Squirrel - energy wise, this was my all day low point, I trundled into Jacks Hill car park wondering what had happened to my legs. but after taking a big swig on my camelbak then headed over the road and through the ferns to 5 Logs. Sam lead the way and we were soon counting down the successfully negotiated obstacles. Too soon we arrived at the nasty diagonal and Sam didn't quite make it over. I waited a couple of yards back for my go but from a standing start I was always in trouble and ended up toppling off the back of the bike and face planting on a sawn off sapling, which bloody hurt. Thankfully my glasses took most of the impact, otherwise it could have a bit nasty. I blamed Sam for that too!

After some love and attention from Baz and Alex we rode down to the Sleeper Bridge where Julie had the only refusal, before climbing up behind Ambresbury Banks and returning via The Ridges to ENR.

After crossing the road, Baz took us through Golden Naked Ladies and onto a navigational mystery tour of St. Thomas' Quarters (!). We eventually broke cover adjacent to The Woodcutters and headed down the bridle to cross Woodridden Hill and ride the singletrack from Big View. After making it back to the path, Ivan had a flat and most of us, spurred on by the proximity of lunch and the excuse of helping Si sort his dodgy gears, showed very bad form and left him to it!

There was quite a race for the front of the queue at Bradleys. Baz cheated and hit the road but Jim, Neil and The Doughnut Queen were carving one another up so badly that I thought I'd better stay clear. Jim, owing to his whirlwind cadence and devil may care attitude, nipped through a very skinny gap and won the day.

The group filtered into the car park and Glenn came in with the lost Matt in tow, which made me feel better. The sun came out and it got very warm sat under the trees, After a bit of prompting from me, Si brought his sticky geared steed over for a workshop session and with no further ado Alex and Matt were all over it like a rash.

Si sat and observed and in no time at all they were huddled in deep discussion. The body language hinted at a growing mood of Russo/Manco conflict and we awaited the outbreak of SRAM Wars! Alex was insistent that working on the bike upside down was the doings of beelzebub whilst Matt, in a very stoic and un-flustered way, smiled patiently every time his fingers got trapped in the drive train. It was clearly touch and go there for a while but I am pleased to say that after some fine work, all was entente cordiale and Si rode away on a fully functioning hard tail.

After all of the nervous tension we decided it was pub o'clock and the Andy's Log downhill was selected as the start point for the dash home. Fueled by my doorstep of chicken and bacon I felt almost good again so took the lead on the way down to the bottom of Lippet's - the log rides are all so well made that you can ride them without worry and in no time we were re-grouped at the bottom with cheesy grins.

At that point I remember muttering something about, straight on, straight on, beheading tree, left, Graveyard and home, so with Neil on my tail, that was what we did. Maybe I only spoke to myself because after calling every left, right, heads and straight on, we arrived back very much on our own.

The debrief was good fun. Matt and Alex, after a good bash at the beige and refreshed by Si's thank you ales, resumed Operation Boardman. Julie was being very eastern northern. We also discussed the various options for the Christmas do that Tommy is organising and the small collection of Mods discussed with us the possibility of an inclusive night ride, which I'll be more than happy to take out.

Guest beer of the week was Birdies and Eagles - which was sunk alongside those of the European Team at The Ryder Cup.
Never cease to be amazed!
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Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #990

  • uggski
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Nice report Miles. Keep em coming
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Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #991

Great ride report Miles.
Big thanks to Alex and Matt for fixing my stead, I must admit, I like Miles was a little surprised no-one lost a nail or finger, as the the cranks were being freely spun with fingers hovering on or near the chain and rear cassette - gambling with the inevitable, however no yelps or cries of "stop my fingers stuck in the f***ing chain"......... so no harm done.
I hovered manfully on the peripheral, in case either Matt or Alex requested my encyclopedic knowledge of bike maintenance, but it was not required.

Things that stick in my mind:
1. Slightly strange jumping man at the end.
2. Matt asking to borrow Julies rose scented deodorant.

Thanks Tommy for arranging the Christmas party, its a thankless task, a bit like organising an away trip to Long Minge, but well done for stepping up to the plate. Everyone was in agreement it will be the best ever. I for one are giddy with excitement!
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Re:Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #992

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Tommy, organising the Xmas do? Is there a typo in the report?

Yes, awesome report.
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Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #993

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Yep, and he's collecting the money!
Off with their heads!
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Re:Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #994

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How do remember all that Miles?
PS have 2 punctures from Saturday!
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Re:Saturday Rads Ride - 27th Sept 2014 3 years 3 weeks ago #995

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Good luck with the Xmas party Tom :P
Last Edit: 3 years 3 weeks ago by Dangerous.
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Ride Info

Place

The rides always start from Chingford Plaines car park (see map below) which is opposite Chingford Golf Course and 5 minutes walk from Chingford Overground Station.

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Time

Be bike ready at the meeting point at least 15 mins before ride start time. Pedals turning at 11am every Saturday morning or 7pm most Wednesday evenings

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Ability

Saturday: medium/fast pace, distance approx. 18-25+ miles, duration approx. 4-5 hours. Wednesday evenings: fast sprint, distance approx. 10-15+ miles, duration 2-3 hours.

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Tools

The forest is full of hazards that can bring an end to your ride, so bring a mini pump, spare tube and multi-tool so we can all spend more time pedalling.

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Essential

It's simple NO helmet, NO ride. Other than that you can wear whatever keeps you warm, dry and happy. But, be warned some days the forest can be extremely muddy.

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Under 35?

No problem, we have regular riders who are 25 years young and some who are 50+. As long as you can keep up you are more than welcome to join us.

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Directions

M25, Junction 26 (Loughton & Waltham Abbey). From roundabouts, follow signs for Loughton A121 & Epping B1393 for 1.3 miles. Take 4th exit at Wake Arms roundabout for Woodford A104 for 2.8 miles. Turn right onto Rangers Road A1069, follow for 1 mile past the Royal Forest Hotel and down the hill. Take the first right onto Bury Road, continue for 200m and turn into the car park (see map below).

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About

MBRO35 (Mountain Bike Riders Over 35) are a social group of riders, not a club. As you may have guessed we are mostly over 35 years of age although some that ride are younger so don't let that put you off.

The group ride on a Saturday morning at 11am in Epping Forest which is to the North East of London. A lot of us have lived around and cycled in the forest for a good number of years and we are lucky to have some regular riders who know their way around the miles of singletrack very well. We ride all year round and usually get a pretty good turn out in all but the foulest weather. We are a sociable group and the emphasis is on enjoyment rather than speed or the mileage travelled. Having said that, the rides can be fairly quick at times and whilst we welcome riders of all abilities you will need a good level of fitness in order to keep up as well as a mechanically sound mountain bike. We ride mostly on the forest singletrack, the narrowness of the trails and exposed tree roots make for some challenging technical riding.

In addition to the regular Saturday rides we also do forest night rides on a Wednesday evening at 7pm as well as occasional away days or weekends. If you prefer your wheels on firmer ground, there is also a strong road contingent within the group that often rides out into the Essex and Hertfordshire countryside on a Saturday or Sunday. The road rides usually leave earlier in the day and head out via High Beech for trips of anything up to 70 miles. Most local rides are followed by a debrief in The Station House pub in Chingford where thanks to a very amiable Landlady we have a place to wash the bikes and store them in safety while we have a few beers and discuss the events of the day. You can also read about some of our most recent rides in the Ride Reports section on the forum.

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