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TOPIC: Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014

Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1021

  • Mr Incredulous
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A smallish group and yet another men only outing – not sure where all the ladies are and we didn't even have Baz and his luxuriant tresses this week!

TT, Ollie, Sam, Marc, Jim, Alex, Gary, Chris and I were joined by Glenn at High Beech.

It was a near perfect day for riding and the trails were in surprisingly good order apart from the massive leaf fall. The storm last week has taken it's toll on some of the already damaged trees and we had to undertake a number of new diversions. The Last 5 Minutes trail is unfortunately no longer navigable but as it's so close to base it won't take long for a new route to be established,

It's nice to get some help with the leading and TT took control of the early navigation. We have said many times that a trail can look and ride so differently depending on which way you ride it and Tom obviously had this in mind when we went twice up and down the same run into the back of Connaught Water - it was the leaves!

We made our way up to meet Glenn via Strawberry Ponds and then alongside Earls Path to The Robin Hood, Bradleys and The Church Trails. An impromptu tea break happened while Glenn sorted his chain tension and Gary took the opportunity to light up a fag - bodies and temples.

We made our way out to Wake Valley via the Double Logs where I reminisced about the old days when this feature was two sizeable obstacles tucked away in some thick tree cover, was a test of your ability and one of the highlights of the ride. Even though nowadays, due to the comings and goings of The Corporation 4x4's, all that is left is one good sized trunk in the middle of a clearing, for old time sake it still has to be ridden.

Via The Boggy Valley we made our way to Broadstrood and a reverse run of Secret Squirrel to Jacks Hill and onto The Ridges - if this is starting to sound familiar then you have read far too many ride reports.

Skirting Ambresbury Banks we made our way down to The Green Ride and onto the great descent to sleeper crossing where Chris had a very near miss. We climbed up to Fork Handles and around half wayGlenn had a major wash out on some big roots that looked really painful.

Ollie had suggested the run down the fence into Theydon but as we realised it is no longer really doable without a sizeable detour. We looked to pick up the trail to the berm but again due to new fallen trees it was a no go and the momentum was lost. Feeling a bit cheated we regrouped at The Church for the climb back up and eventually made our way through some fairly boggy ground to The Ferns and back to The Ridges which was lead in good style by Sam.

After crossing ENR we made our way through Golden Naked Ladies and after passing another big truck which was home to a film crew (Golden Naked Ladies - The Sequel?) we decided to do a bit of off piste to make our way back to Woodridden Hill. TT and Marc were soon heading into the undergrowth but Glenn, to me, looked to have the most positive idea on the direction and also how to get there by riding the most obstacles. I followed his line and really enjoyed myself.

After crossing Woodridden we made our way to Big View where the view was bigger than usual. After negotiation the singletrack back to the bridleway we arrived at the Bomb Hole Downhill where, with lunchtime fast approaching and a big climb up the inevitable downside, opinions seemed to be mixed as to whether we should give it a go. Marc seemed very keen so we did it, twice! First time down, Jim the downhill ace, nearly got collected by TT after stalling on the final jump but was skilfully avoided. We made a collective dogs breakfast of the climb back up with all sorts of routes being taken. TT, Gary, Chris and I eventually emerged behind Carls Tea Hut and I've never, ever, come up that way before.

Back together we made the dash down to Bradleys for lunch. A few cheated and took the road but dodging the boggy puddles made the ride down good fun and well worth the wait in the queue. While I waited for my roll I spoke to Bradley but he has no news on the future of the tea hut – In his opinion this is probably bad news but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

After lunch Marc and Chris left us and as the weather was so glorious we planned an extended route back to base starting with the long downhill to The Clearing behind The Robin Hood. The rooty section just before the bridge was super slippery but we eventually all made it down safely. From there we headed over Sze’s Bridge and then north to ride the new stream crossing and take on the stiff climb up to Loughton Camp. Gary had a moment on the roots on the way up which was undoubtedly due to the near 50 psi he was running his tyres at!

Heading east we made our way around the camp and onto the downhill towards Loughton Brook. The log ride was fine but the sharp left turn afterwards took a few prisoners and Glenn punctured, giving us all a breather. We emerged onto the Bridleway to be told by a couple of walkers that we were riding where we shouldn’t. Politely, we explained why they were wrong and then Ollie decided to prove them completely right! We emerged at Staples Road Pond and started the climb of the trail back up to Strawberry Ponds and over The Bridge of Si’s. More trees down meant yet another detour was needed before we emerged again to cross ENR.

Just over Fairmead Road we came across the bizarre sight of a woman and baby laying on a picnic blanket in an area we’d ridden through earlier and was wet and boggy. Her other half, oblivious to both the mud and us, was busying himself taking photos of his beautiful family – of all the places!

Heading for home now we turned west towards the bottom of Lippet’s. Half way along the trail something went pop in my already sore thigh and I called Alex past me to lead the way. None too keen on this idea Alex decided he’d give way to Jim – I mean, how bad can your knowledge of where we are be if you think Jim has a better idea of where to go!

Safely back on the bridleway, Ollie and I headed for home and the rest took on the singletrack back to base via the usual trails to The Graveyard. Proving my earlier point, Alex and Jim took a wrong turn and got themselves lost!

With bikes now hosed down and fairly clean we set up camp in the Station House for what turned out to be a relatively short but entertaining debrief. We had a chat to John about the possibilities for the pub hosting the Christmas do and that looks promising although he said we need to confirm with the boss, so over to the organising committee. Well done Tom!

Finally, and just to keep those who couldn’t make it fully informed, the beer of the day was Cottage Brewery, Medusa Ale. Not named, as would have been appropriate, after the very fine Maxxis tyres that Jim and I were both using, but after the snake haired female from Greek myth. Legend says that gazing directly into her eyes would turn onlookers to stone.

See you next week.
Never cease to be amazed!
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by Mr Incredulous.
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1022

  • sze187
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Whoarh, that was an epic write up and ride. I was exhausted after reading it.

However....i didn't understand what " bodies and temples" meant. Please elaborate.
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1023

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sze187 wrote:
Whoarh, that was an epic write up and ride. I was exhausted after reading it.

However....i didn't understand what " bodies and temples" meant. Please elaborate.

Well Sze, what else should I do with my time now I'm 'retired' ?

Think we did about 20 miles all up which isn't a bad effort considering.

My Body is a Temple - Urban Dictionary

An excuse to eat shit food, drink too much, smoke too many fags and still feel fine about it.
Never cease to be amazed!
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by Mr Incredulous.
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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1024

  • johne
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Great report Miles.

Thanks Tommy for volunteering to organise the Christmas party.
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1025

  • TommyTank
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Excellent report Miles. The time you have is well spent!
Some trails are so good you just have to do them twice, or three times until you find the route again.
A very good day again and some excellent mileage (even if Piston Legs achieved his with 50 laps of the car park!)
As chair of the YSFSC (Yuletide season festivities steering committee) I have delegated the task of approaching said hostelry owner to Mr Incredulous.


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I can't believe scummers are allowed on this site!
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by TommyTank.
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1026

  • Mr Incredulous
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TommyTank wrote:
Excellent report Miles. The time you have is well spent!
Some trails are so good you just have to do them twice, or three times until you find the route again.
A very good day again and some excellent mileage (even if Piston Legs achieved his with 50 laps of the car park!)
As chair of the YSFSC (Yuletide season festivities steering committee) I have delegated the task of approaching said hostelry owner to Mr Incredulous

Job done TT - Saturday December 20th with all in executive beige. Private area for eating and our annual awards ceremony and then a DJ until the early hours. This has the seal of approval from Her Madge so it looks to be good to go.

Further details soon.
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1028

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All sounds good.
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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1029

  • TommyTank
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Excellent Miles, especially as I was at the alternative over the weekend and advised that we would be best served by keeping our money.


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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1030

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Nothing like a bit of honesty from those in the know and only goes to support what we found out ourselves I guess.

Shame that they seem to be genuinely not bothered.
Never cease to be amazed!
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Forest Ride - Saturday 25th October 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1031

  • Madge
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I've booked my fake tan and hair extensions already! :sick:
Off with their heads!
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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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