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TOPIC: Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015

Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1208

  • Mr Incredulous
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New Year, same old physical and mental abuse. Joining me were, Kaff, Baz, TT, Sam, PK, Jim, Greg, Ollie and eventually Omar.

The MBRO35 Drinking Clubs AGM at the Wild Card heralded what I can only describe as the worst possible preparation for the swamp like conditions we had to endure on Saturday. The beer was fab but meeting the other 'retiree' at 5.30 was a mistake for sure. Drinking beer inside the fridge wasn't enough to keep me in good order and after inexplicably also finding myself looking at the grey interior of The Royal Oak at Highams Park on the way home, not even the kindness of Carly Cabs door step drop off service could save me from the total indignity of being overtaken at least three times on the day by Kaff - and we all know how old she is!

Thinking a ride and some fresh air would clear my thumping head, we made our way down though The Graveyard and up to No Name Corner. From there, due to the conditions, the route kind of looks after itself at the moment give or take a few tweaks, and we crossed ENR towards Strawberry Ponds for the climb uphill.

Jim, who had not been out all night due to a habit of getting drunk on half a Babycham, was in annoying spritely form and with his legs spinning like a catherine wheel, he sped past everyone. Only TT, who was at this point quite strong, was keeping anywhere close to him. Obviously the Bridge of Si's was out of the question so Jim, now on point and feeling chuffed, led us into the pond side drop-off and there his fabulous reign as leader ended with Sam and I both nearly crashing into his rear end as he failed to negotiate the hump on the way out. More shame on the family.

We made our way up to The Robin Hood and re-grouped at Bradley's where consideration of an early cuppa was on a few minds I'm sure. Baz led a scummer mutiny up the road to The Church Trails and we eventually made it to the back of the Conservation Centre, just in time to spoil a nice family photo shoot, and then up to the loos at High Beach.

TT spurned all established protocol by visiting the tea shop and buying something that looked like a massive choc 'n' nut cookie. After a quick pee I was suddenly feeling a bit more chipper and for some reason I left the car park through a gap in the hedge which had a small drop down to the grass. TT's enormous elevenses obviously caused some temporary weigh imbalance as he went OTB in the gap.

We were making our way towards our off-piste playground at Sunshine Plain and for a full ten minutes I actually felt like my body had forgiven me for the night before. The adventure continued right up to Wake Arms and we crossed Woodridden Hill and carried on through St Thomas's Quarters right up to Golden Naked Ladies - about an hour’s riding, all on very dry trails!

On the way we found a badger sett and Ollie did some baiting, unsurprisingly the place was quite a good area to ride and we found a few nice drop-ins that we'd never been near before. Crossing ENR again we made our way down to Jacks Hill and over to Secret Squirrel which was again fairly dry. A short way in we bumped into Omar who had been too hungover to make the start and was only here in search of a recuperating sausage. Baz resumed our progress and TT said something to me about catching him before the twisty bits but my legs were soon in lactic meltdown and by the time I got to Broadstrood I was finished.

We crossed Golding’s Hill and made our way through some awful goo down to The Boggy Valley. I can recall Kaff saying to me at one point that she had never seen me in such trouble before – she wasn’t going to have to wait long before she said it again either. After Baz had done some extensive maintenance, we gave the Stream Logs our best shot and the push up the hill was really tough.

Next was the climb out of The V and it was impossible and there was rambling. Back at ENR we had a discussion about our crossing point and decided to continue down to just before The Camber. The crossing, followed by the short but steep climb up to the bridleway is not so much fun now they have put the fence in the way but we had a good go at it. On the Ups and Downs Kaff chuckled as she left me in her wake and I was very last in the queue when it came to tea time.

Baz left us to make his way straight back and he was replaced by Ron who was walking better than I had seen him in a while, better than I was anyway. Even though lunch was a bit of a reviver, the call straight after was pub, and we bypassed the usual discussion as to which way to head south and made for the bridle. TT, PK and Kaff headed the singletrack rebellion but Sam, Omi, Jim and I were not to be denied our flat track home.

The debrief featured an appearance by Mikey who openly admitted to having done a solo tow path ride. Their is no doubt as to the rejuvenating powers of a hair of the dog but the beer by no means flowed. Omi and I did our best to keep up the tradition but it was a pathetic effort by usual standards.
Never cease to be amazed!
Last Edit: 2 years 8 months ago by Mr Incredulous.
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1209

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Not only am I an ancient relic but I was also in awful form on Saturday so you should be doubly ashamed of your performance Miles Gouch.
You forgot Sams over the bars but you were probably too far back to see it
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1210

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Yep, head hung in shame. I did miss Sam's OTB. When did that happen?
Never cease to be amazed!
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1211

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It was when we were off piste. There was a ditch and I said "that doesn't look rideable" and Sam said "yes it does". The rest, as they say, is history.
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1212

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Aah, got you now, just before the climb up to GNL. I remember TT and I getting to the same spot and looking a bit concerned.
Never cease to be amazed!
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1214

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Funny enough when I looked at it I thought I would have given it a go, but then Sam had his moment.

This was when I was sweeping at the back Kaff, making sure we didn't lose Miles.

Also Kaff forgot to mention I was so drunk at the debrief I put her at 2 years younger than she actually is!!


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I can't believe scummers are allowed on this site!
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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 24/1/2015 2 years 8 months ago #1216

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Oh yes you did and you were cold stone sober :)
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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