Ride Report: Whiteways, 19 Aug 07

19 08 2007

August 07 Muddy@rse ride was from Whiteways carpark just north of Arundel. This was meant to be our Summer return, riding the excellent singletrack in the dry. Woke at 7am rain lashing down and Rick had a migraine. Was this an omen for the day ?After waiting to see if Rick got better (er, no way !) had a mad dash to the start, just about got there in time. We’d also lost our sweeper and with new trails on the cards I was a bit worried about keeping the group together….(drumroll & enter stage right) …Guy (Mr HelmetCam) saves the day. He’s local, he know the trails, phew !No messing about straight into the trees and down a section of singletrack covered in wet roots. Safely down we headed through a section know as ‘The Jungle’ for reasons that immediately became obvious, noses on the stem and @rse on the back wheel to get under some of the low hanging branches while simultaneously avoiding the handlebar grabbing foliage.

A quick whiz along more established singletrack and across the road for the climb up to Rewell Wood. ‘Pig of a Climb’ (fondly named by Mike) was on a ribbon of wet chalk that demanded concentration in order to avoid wheel spin and biting the dust HR 186 all the way. Unbelievably we all made it up with no incidents and proceeded along the increasingly muddy trail through the trees. The first log was attempted by most and nearly everyone made it – the first of a few personal nemesis conquered on this ride. Down the twisty singletrack and across a couple of more fallen trees and we came to the largest obstacle a large diameter fallen tree. Again almost everyone tried it with 99% success rate – next time hopefully 100% success rate.

At the bridleway intersection we had a puncture stop. I start spouting the gospel according to Slime Tubes (I would highly recommend every Muddy@rser uses these ‘cos they save you time & money in the long run). We then headed south along ‘Tony’s Ridge’ (did someone really ask Mike to dry the roots off with a tea towel lol !), the rocky sections were pretty slippery but we all made it without incident including the small drop at the end. A quick regroup and it was down ‘Work in Progress II’, we arrived at the bottom of the valley which surprisingly was not a mud bath.

On we went over all the fallen tree obstacles to the dew pond where we witnessed a youngster having great fun on a mini ATV – go man go! A very overgrown but badly rutted section caused much laughter as Lisa told us all about the bush between her legs! This was the birthplace of inuendo bingo 🙂 After a descent the only way is up. Well done to those who made the loose gravely climb. A quick munch that resulted in yet more laughter and we were off around part of ‘The Rim’ section and straight into ‘Panda Garden’. Again it was noses on the stem and @rse on the rear wheel in order to avoid the overhanging plants – great fun and with Mike’s wise words of ‘go wrong and you’re lost for a forthnight’ ringing in our ears we ventured in…and all made it out laughing J A gentle trundle through Slindon Woods with a detour through some hidden singletrack to arrive at ‘The Tree’. Most of us had a go with only a couple of comedy falls – we weren’t quick enough with the camera. Then it was out into Slindon itself.

At this point we opted for the most direct route back to Bignor Hill ensuring that we could include the long singletrack sections through Houghton Woods as a finale. The climb was a slog and everyone was pleased when we made it and had a rest before the final trundle down to Houghton Woods. The last fast, flowing singletrack sections were despatched including THE final drop -in where both Sally and HelsBels conquered their apprehension as they rolled over like seasoned professionals. What a buzz to finish off a fantastic ride. Chatting we gently rolled along the fireroad and were back in the carpark enjoying tea, coffee and malt loaf in no time. A great day out, some new faces and lots of fun at a relaxed pace – Muddy@rse summed up perfectly. Maybe it is summer after all !

Hope you all enjoyed today as much as we did. Big, big thanks go to Mike for leading today’s ride and sharing his fantastic plethora of singletrack trails with us once again and for bringing along the now infamous maltloaf! Big thanks also go to Guy for helping to keep the group together today, really appreciated. I’m sure I overhead Guy & Mike chatting about other exciting trails in the area so keep your eyes peeled because we will back …

Our next ride will be on 30 September, it might be at Telscombe or Dallington. We’ll confirm asap but in the meantime have a great Bank Holiday weekend.

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