Inaugural Night Ride – A glowing success !

30 08 2007

girls night ride too...28th August witnessed the first Muddy@rse night ride starting at Sussex University on the outskirts of Brighton – apologies to those who don’t live local to Brighton these will be at variying locations over the coming months.

We set off just as the last rays of the warming sun were setting across the Downs. As usual we started with a climb up onto the Downs and then headed for Blackcap and on towards Lewes. The descent towards Offam was punctuated by a detour through a section of hidden singletrack that skirts around the hillside. Lots of twisty stuff with pot-holes, tree stump holes, low hanging branches and narrow bar grabbing tree gaps which all added to the general fun.

A slight climb and yet more woodland singletrack this time adding a mass of roots and yet more pot holes to the mix – we got a bit spread out here and a few of us followed the lights through the trees rather than the trail. We all made it through unscathed and the whoops and shouts disturbing the woodland stillness indicated a good time was being had by all.

We regrouped at the quarry edge and the shouted warnings ensured that no-one ended up ‘going over the top’. Ironically we had the first ‘off’ just after we emerged from the twisty stuff and were riding along a chalk path. Complacency must have set in.At this point we decided to head back to the Uni via a rocky climb and a badly rutted descent. Our second tumble was dispatched, a complete 180 over the bars – luckily no harm was done so we regrouped and continued. As we blattered down the rutted descent we could hear a ‘something’ running through the bushes parallel with the trail no more than a metre on our left. We suspected ‘The Sussex Panther’ but it turned out to be a badger – the first of many we encountered in the final mile back to the carpark. There were two choices for the final run in – the steps down through the Uni or the hidden singletrack that runs around the edge of the campus. We split to take our preferred option before regrouping in the carpark where we rode over a couple of boulders, one of which was just the right shape to catch on the outer chainring of a borrowed bike resulting in the inevitable ‘domestic’. Hot chocolate was drunk and flapjack was munched – everyone had a great time, all our batteries lasted and we agreed that another night ride will be on the Muddy@rse calender in the near future so keep your eyes peeled. Want to whet your appetite, then check out the photos in the right hand column…

Cheers Mike

 

 

Mike Rock Hopping

 

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