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TOPIC: Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014

Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1032

  • Mr Incredulous
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It was Downhill Sarah's last ride before her big Canadian adventure so it was nice to see a good crowd out to see her off.

She was joined by Sze, Kaff, Baz, Si, Little Ben, Jim, Richie, Hawkeye, Alex, Kean, Ollie and I for what turned out to be a fairly relaxed and glorious day in the forest. The trails that had been so swampy last Wednesday had dried considerably and there was even a dry line in lots of places if you were prepared to weave about a bit.

Led by Baz we headed down through The Graveyard, up to No Name Corner and round to Duncan's Log. We've seen some fairly pathetic attempts to ride the obstacle in the past but the Queen of Enduro put all of those to shame - to explain, It was a bit like watching a train gently rolling into a buffer!

Typically at the start of a ride at this time of year a few people were having issues with tyres washing out and on the way up to The Hump there was a bit of a pile-up which brought progress to a halt. At The Hump a few of us had a play on the log ride and I showed the group my newly acquired navigational aids. Who'd have thought that north is not really north and that Kaff has possibly been right all along?

We ride uphill via Andy's and The Church Trails and then with the plan of once again heading for Theydon we set off towards Wake Arms. At The Double Logs we realise we have lost Richie and Ollie and wait for them to catch up which Richie does in no time but there was is no sign of The Ewok. With it being very unlikely that he was lost we decided to re-trace our steps in case he has had a problem and he is located back at High Beech. His explanation is classic Ollie but, "I saw a girl laying on a mat being photographed and kind of lost concentration and then you were gone", was the gist of it. On the way back to find him we travel across some ground that has recently been cleared by The Corporation and we find the most amazing tree which prompts Sarah to test out her camera and her pull-up technique.

After averting another unauthorised tea stop mutiny we make our way back to ENR and cross into Great Monk Wood for the trail to Lost Pond. From there we make our way around Loughton Camp and cross the bridleway for the fast descent down towards the brook – the gap between the overhanging tree and the log ride half way down seems to be getting smaller and the sharp left turn is super slippery.

After a few diversions due to fallen trees we emerge at Diet Coke Corner and traverse the hill taking in the various log rides. Next is the technical climb up to Goldings Hill which starts with the ride over the bridge and up a steep section of roots. I go first and with a clear track, make it up ok. Looking back though, there is carnage, Baz is off the bike and his long stride is taking him uphill quicker than people can ride it. Si boxes clever and waits for the road to clear before attacking the roots and making it look easy.

We continue the climb up to the ponds, cross the road and bump into Dean & Co. Baz, who is appearing in outdoor theatre in Tufnell Park, heads for home to get into character. The rest of us ride the downhill to Indian Summer and head up through the ferns towards Jacks Hill. Jim gets a bit racy on the uphill but goes way too far and needs a shout to bring him back.

At the car park Sze and Si start the call for lunch but I’m not really listening – we head along The Ridges and through the bracken to ride 5,6,7 Logs. Jim, who is renowned for his log riding capabilities, shows Sarah and her Go Pro the way round. All goes well until the arrival of the dreaded diagonal where we have a refusal. Si takes over and sees everyone safely over the next and biggest obstacle.

We cross the bridleway and run parallel with the trail through the trees but the usual route is blocked by a pond that has appeared in the last week. After a bit of off-piste we make our way back through the ferns to Jacks Hill car park and onto Secret Squirrel where a bit of a race develops. Hawkeye leads the way with Kean, Jim and I in hot pursuit. Nearing the log ride Hawkeye slightly misses the trail and Jim and I make up some ground on him and Kean. The leaves strewn everywhere make navigation, even on such a well ridden trail, very difficult and just before the end Hawkeye heads left as the trail goes right and it’s game over. Jim sums it up as a victory over age by experience, which makes me feel just grand! Kaff, who’s bad back seems to not be hindering her at all, joins us very soon after. Such a good trail.

Further appeals for lunch from the same parties are this time heard sympathetically and we head for Bradley’s via The Boggy Valley. At the W, Sarah is requested to re-ride the drop to ensure she gets some air on the kicker – no slacking allowed on her last ride. We ride the Stream Logs, V and then carry on across towards The Camber which is very slippery and takes a few victims. We ride up alongside the Drop-off before crossing ENR again and making our way onto The Ups and Downs for the last sprint to Bradleys.

The queue is fairly long and lunch takes a while for those at the back of the line. Everyone seems keen to ride some more but there is a lack of agreement as to how much longer we should stay out before it’s pub o’clock. Si is suffering withdrawal so heads straight for the pub and the rest of us head for the log rides down Andy’s. The descent is mainly dry but the bends and the ditch crossing are super slippery and require some care - it takes a while before we re-assemble at the bottom.

The final trails back to the car park from here were fairly predictable but rather than heading back to The Graveyard we head towards Sewardstonebury and ride the trails alongside the golf course, surprising a guy who’d thought it a safe place to head for a leak. At Bury Road Ben heads for the car park and the rest of us carry on along the golf course trail to Pole Hill. Having stayed fairly upright all ride, I take a tumble on the final section of downhill avoiding a small brown puppy that’s off its lead and doesn’t know it’s left from right. Kean and I have a final blast down the trail before we head for the bike wash.

The debrief was a fairly lengthy one and we were joined by Madge, Ron & Mel and Wendy. Teresa came to see us and we discuss options for the possibilities of The SH hosting the Christmas do which looks like a done deal for Dec 20th.

Kean took lots of photos during the ride. See www.flickr.com/groups/mbro35/
Never cease to be amazed!
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Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1034

  • johne
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You are a slave driver.

Everyone bring lunch with you next time!
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Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1035

  • Mr Incredulous
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johne wrote:
You are a slave driver.

Everyone bring lunch with you next time!

John, you'd have thought that Sze at least could have brought some kind of take away.

Anyway, everyone knows the score when it comes to me and lunch stops - I even pretend to not be hungry when the beige comes out!

Food is so overrated.
Never cease to be amazed!
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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1036

  • Richie
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Hence my habit of bringing an entire soreen loaf with me
Fitness is cheating
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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1037

  • Richie
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Great ride, great report!


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Fitness is cheating
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Re:Forest Ride - Saturday 1st November 2014 3 years 1 month ago #1038

  • TommyTank
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Richie wrote:
Hence my habit of bringing an entire soreen loaf with me

As a pre lunch snack


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I can't believe scummers are allowed on this site!
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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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