Ride Report: Jevington, 25 Feb 07

25 02 2007

WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY !

Don’t know about you but I thought today was great. OK so the theme for the day was yet again mud, mud, mud and a bit more mud but that didn’t bother us did it ?

It was great to see 22 Muddy@rsers meeting at Butts Brow Car Park on The Downs near Eastbourne in a very biting westerly wind with darkening skies looming (weather forecast dry with sunny intervals !) for a classic South Downs XC ride.

Mick, our leader for the day, loves climbing so guess what, the ride he put together included some pretty epic challenging climbs. To begin with though we all had to negotiate the 5 miles of mud. The rain over the past week had turned reasonably muddy trails into absolute quagmires and with that in mind we headed off down the SDW into Jevington. Even this non-technical trail was as slippy as hell but nothing compared to Pentlands on the other side. This really had been churned up by the horses into a complete bog…quite impressed though how many of us powered through to achieve the climb that followed on a rain-gullied chalky ascent to Friston Forest.

Quick re-group and off along the Gallops (do I need to say it was muddy!) and back down again towards Folkington on a nice (very muddy to begin with) fast doubletrack decent with a sharp left hander heading back upwards on another extremely muddy climb to the foot of the 1st challenge hill of the day, affectionately known as THE B’STARD !

The gauntlet was laid down and the challenge taken up by quite a few Muddy@rsers (erm, all keen to earn the cakes on offer at the finish J ), the rest of us mere mortals split off onto the ‘Scenic’ route. Now, I did say it was Scenic but I didn’t say was it was easy!! The views were fantastic, the sun had come out and the beauty of the day luckily took our minds off our burning legs as we churned our way along the foot of Long Man Hill where going down felt like you were going up ….

A nice drop into Milton Street on a sinewy chalky strip of trail, over the bridge to view the swollen river and into the tea room for refreshments. The Challenging Group had beaten us to it and the orders were in… we took over the place with muddy bikes & arses and lots of chat and laughter followed.

Once replenished the decision was made that the conditions were really quite bad so we all headed on the homerun on the Scenic route which meant straight up the SDW on cold legs to Jevington Holt argh ! A puncture and lots of wheel slip kept everyone on their toes. Oh and did I mention it now decided to rain L Waterproofs were donned with the age old saying ‘bet it stops soon as I get this on’ and it did !!! Jackets off to get up the Long Man climb on the SDW. Once at the top, nice bit of ridge riding and re-group at the top of Lullington Heath.

Here we decided to split into two groups, (the mentalists) and (only human!). The Mentalists headed off on an extended loop taking in a nice rutted decent into Lullington Heath, back up to the crossroads and then a hack into Charleston Bottom. On the way down I believe more than one crash occurred and blood was drawn L

Group two popped down the rooty decent to Jevington Church over the road and back up the Eastbourne Mile. You’ve guessed it, a mile of up on a nice gradual climb all the way back to the car park.

The chilly car park saw cakes & coffee consumed to congratulate everyone who completed The B’stard (and those of us who didn’t – always next time eh !). It wouldn’t be worth all the effort if it wasn’t for you guys so thanks. Just as it started spitting again our final two Mentalists turned up after doing the longer loop, bloodied but smiling and up for some cake !

So that was our fantastic day , extremely muddy but, did it bother us, did it heck!

Special thanks go to Mick for leading and plotting today’s loop, it was a corker (oh and did I mention he was in A&E the night before having axed his hand while chopping logs!!! What a star you are Mick for today, you’ve earned a beer on me mate) and to Ollie, Rick & Mike for helping out through the day couldn’t of done it without you guys.

Look forward to seeing you all on a ride soon, the next one is a road trip to the North Downs on 25 March. See above for details…

Cheers, Lisa

Clicky links for some fab photos:

Lisa’s Pics
Ollie’s Pics

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