So it was, in the absence of an organised experienced ride, that I was pushed to the fore. But I’m the new boy? It’ll be fine Jim said, just pick a route, MAKE SURE THERE’S A TEA STOP, and show us some trails.
Ok, I could rise to that challenge – many years of riding Pitch Hill week in week out should see a good fresh route. So we found ourselves, all 9 of us at Walking Bottom car park, worrying about just how muddy it was going to be. It became clear in the first 5 mins of climb that we had the answer. Really sloppy and wet. No matter, the trails are good in any weather. It also became clear that I wasn’t going to show anyone anything new, but some old favourites not ridden in a while. Double Drop, Evian, Northern Monkey, Charles Bronson, Flytipper. I headed for the quality downhill trails, and all the fun. 100m into Charles Bronson an embarrassing moment as the debut ride leader’s chain snapped, but whilst the mechanically minded swooped in to bodge a fix (thank you!) the cheese sarnies were out for others – no wasting time here…
After a missing out a few closed off trails, we got the ‘all important‘ tea stop in a Peaslake (hmm pork and leek slices!) and then headed up Holmbury for the old favourites of Yoghurt Pots, Crackpipe, Telegraph, and finally BKB. (Always park at the bottom of a hill, so you finish with a down…) 24ish kms, 782m climbing.
The ride finished at the same time as our local Surrey Hills MTB professionals, so as we packed up, we were star struck at the car park skills of Olly Wilkins, Brendan Fairclough and friends (but not quite brave enough to ask for selfies eh Jim )
Big Daddy’s debut lead, done.