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TOPIC: Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014

Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #436

  • Mr Incredulous
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A fairly big group made it out on Saturday with Julie, Madge, Fiona, Kaff, Sze, Helen, new rider Nula (?), Tom, Steve, Ron, Ollie, Lee, Jan, Big Ben, James, Alex, Alex, David and Myself gathering in the car park. Little Ben was there too, not able to ride but showing off his new wheels and waving us off with his good hand.

With a fairly dry line showing up all over we made our way fairly quickly down through The Graveyard and over Duncan’s Log which was an early test for some. Ron got detached and while I popped off to pick him up from No Name Corner the rest of the group made their way to the bottom of Lippet’s where we managed to re-join them.

After the climb up Lippet’s it was back to my original plan which was to ride downhill through Bradleys and onto the trails behind The Robin Hood. The trail down was great fun but a big chunk of the group didn’t hear the shout and turned off towards High Beech. After realising what had happened we got everybody back together again and made our way left of the pub to ride the trail downhill to Sze’s Bridge and then across the clearing to the bridleway at Loughton Brook.

The trail up to Baldwin’s Pond seems to change weekly due to new trees falling but what used to be a fairly straight and easy trail is now a much more interesting and testing way to make the climb. After coming across yet another big tree blocking the existing trail that required a dismount, Big Ben lead the way on the last twisty section up to the pond. At Diet Coke Corner the Cougars were typically animated but nobody obliged so we headed round the pond and uphill again onto the climb up to Goldings Hill.

It’s a nice technical climb up but it was a bit unnerving having Ben, Alex, TT and The Legend behind me all the way to the top. Not for the first time on the day I wished someone would overtake me rather than just freewheeling while I was blowing out of my arse!

After crossing the road we had a short chat with a guy on a nice fat bike. His description of the ride over bumps and roots did make it sound good fun but he was less enthusiastic about its climbing abilities. Via the nice rooty downhill we made our way to the bottom of Indian Summer with nearly everyone taking on the log bridge over the stream. Of those that didn’t do it, Madge was definitely the most vocal objector, although it was funny that she didn’t want to ride it but was prepared pick up her bike and run over it!

From Indian Summer we rode up to Jacks Hill car park via the lower trail that follows the stream through Copley Plain – it seemed like quite hard work and the group got really spread out. From Jacks Hill we headed along The Ridges and, after clearing the route with Kaff, through the ferns on the trail down to 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 Logs. I think James and I rode them all including the double after the boggy stream but you can call it by whatever number you managed to clear.

At Fork Handles Si rang me to find our whereabouts and as we waited to re-group we had the first mutterings of lunch so agreed to start heading that way. We followed the nice trail along the fence and made our way part downhill to Theydon before turning back towards the bridleway on a trail I spotted but had never ridden before. The Legend showed his technical prowess making it over a big fallen tree that blocked the way and after a short trip along the bridleway we made our way back through the ferns and into Jacks Hill car park again.

Secret Squirrel was next and once again I had the feeling that I was going flat out and still holding everybody up! Behind me, Alex was so in his comfort zone he managed to do the whole trail like he was on a pogo stick and Ben, Steve, Jan and TT got to see the whole display.

While we waited to re-group in Broadstrood car park Simon emerged from the woods on the other side of the road so after making it across I got him to lead us back towards ENR. After negotiating the Boggy Valley we turned left towards the W and came head to head with the most ignorant rambler in the history of ignorant ramblers. As we always do, Si slowed down and shouted out to let him know we were there and rather than make any attempt to share the path the dozy bastard, who had ear phones in, actually moved to close down the available space. Si moved aside and stopped, a few words were exchanged and for some reason the macho rambler didn’t like Simon calling him “sweetheart”, which I thought was really funny. He then started spouting off about byelaws and priorities like he was walking on a bridleway - some people get a compass, ruck sack and a North Face body warmer and think they own the forest.

We rode The W, Stream Logs, V and down to the car park to cross ENR. Kaff was now ready for the “Doughnut Dash” so we set off on the singletrack route back to Bradley’s. Sad to report that a few people cheated and headed for the Ups and Downs – Sze did her best to make out she’d just eaten the last doughnut but Kaff had spotted the contents of the cabinet from the road!

It was nice in the sun eating cake and drinking tea but lunch was soon over. Madge, Nula and Helen left us to head back and the rest of us did the Robin Hood/Strawberry Ponds/Bridge of Si’s loop before heading back up to Andy’s Log and the descent of a fast drying Lippet’s. Ben picked up a flat on the way down and while we waited for him at the bottom (maybe our only mechanical of the day), David and his 60psi tyres showed us 42 ways to fall off a log – fair play to him though, he made it in the end.

The group fragmented a little from there on the usual trails back to base and we got back in a number of small groups. It was weird hearing the music being belted out by the Fun Fair on The Plains before leaving the forest – like a fanfare greeting our return.

Helen, despite our best efforts, had done a great job out on the ride with us. She surpassed even that though by evicting a load of Spurs fans from the tables and setting them up for our return – ace priorities!

The debrief rolled on and the beige was demolished. James and Steve worked on how many drinks you can spoil by adding blackcurrant, Simon avoided drinking by walking up and down the road on his phone, Julie, after being bumped on the head by TT, locked herself out of her car, again!

Yet again the phantom bike washers appeared and then disappeared – brave, brave people!
Never cease to be amazed!
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #437

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Brave report mate the cougars will be after you next!

:cheer:
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #438

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Great ride, really enjoyed it! Thanks to Miles, Ollie and Ron for bailing me out of my no spare tube moment. My legs are in tatters today, thanks Steve!
Introduce the device Mrs. Dimpkins!!!!
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #439

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Best ride so far this season. Highlight was getting to ride secret squirrel down hill, after spending most of the winter trudging up it. Next time The Cycling Legend is out I won't hesitate to cut him down when he cuts me up!
Sorry to those who found themselves a few inches shorter on Sunday morning, I'll look out for riders under the next low hanging branch I jump onto.

Oh Si, don't forget the dirt track!
I can't believe scummers are allowed on this site!
Last Edit: 3 years 6 months ago by TommyTank.
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #440

  • Sid
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What a great day out on the trails. Loved every bit of it, well except for Alex smashing me to bits and jumping all over the place like a little kid on his new BMX.

Summer is on its way and that just equals more cycling smiles for more people.

Great report, made me laugh

See you Saturday.
I love mud really, especially in the summer when its BONE DRY

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Re:Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #441

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I really thought Dave was gonna be cropper riding that log or have his rear mech snap off. Amazing how his persistance resulted in him riding it in the end. There's a lesson to be learned there.
Lovely seeing the girls out and well done Helen for sticking with us.
Last Edit: 3 years 6 months ago by sze187.
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #442

  • Kaff
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Great ride Saturday, even though Tommy nearly decapitated me.

Miles, I still don't know half the places you talk about in your ride reports. I wonder if I ever will? Also it's not very nice calling Madge and Julie Cougars.

Helen, well done for sticking with it. Now you have got the first one out of the way there will be no stopping you.

Stop eating my doughnut - you know who you are!
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #443

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Kaff wrote:
Stop eating my doughnut - you know who you are!
It definitely wasn't me this time.
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #446

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Kaff wrote:
Great ride Saturday, even though Tommy nearly decapitated me.

Miles, I still don't know half the places you talk about in your ride reports. I wonder if I ever will? Also it's not very nice calling Madge and Julie Cougars.

Helen, well done for sticking with it. Now you have got the first one out of the way there will be no stopping you.

Stop eating my doughnut - you know who you are!

Kaff, don't worry, it's not a big issue as long as you can get to and from work!
Never cease to be amazed!
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Saturday Forest Ride - 12th April 2014 3 years 6 months ago #448

Great ride, great report! its getting lovely and dry out there, time to start pushing the miles, I'll meet you at Bradleys at lunch time again for the last hour.
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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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