Ride Report – Ladies who … ride !

29 09 2007

15 September saw our first Muddy@rse Ladies Ride (partners welcome) and how lucky were we ? The weather was stonking, just perfect for riding. Ladies came from far and wide to try out what Friston Forest had to offer, I don’t think they were disappointed.

But first a trundle to the sea, why ? Because it’s there of course ! Oh and it was a good leg warmer for the singletrack to follow. A few of The Boys decided to ruin their bikes by cycling through the fast flowing estuary (we girls are much more sensible) and even after getting very wet feet on the return were still laughin like kids (erm and so were we J ). So it was back into Friston and off onto the purple signed mountainbike trail.

The group were mingling and chatting well, hoicking bikes over low walls (why are they on an MTB trail ?), tackling the rooty trails well so I decided we’d take a dip onto the loose, off-camber singletrack that so easily washes out and is lethally slippery in the winter which upped the concentration levels and reduced the chatter, well for a bit anyway. It was challenging but damn good fun on today’s totally dry trails. A blast and tested the group’s skills without incident.

We meandered onwards on easy trails where we split, those who wanted a bit more thrill continued higher to then decend on a loose/steep flowing section and the rest of us took a less demanding (but still interesting) route down to the valley floor. Re-group and pootle along til we dipped in the woods again, this time gaining height, slowly but surely, on the singletrack through the trees. Punctured by a quick blast down a fast chute then it’s time to grind your way back up again. A quick munch stop with lots of chat about tops and pink brakes and we were off for more climbing. This one a steep little blighter that definitely gets your heart going, especially on cold legs. Re-group at the top then gradually climb to the bombhole, here we went undercover for a bit of secret singletrack.

Going for about 2 ½ miles downhill, it twists and turns through the trees at times becoming a bit vague due to leaf coverage, but we managed to stay together. There were slimey logs to hop over, stumps gardens to avoid and narrow bar grabbing tree sections to clear with the odd little drop off thrown in for good measure. What fun, we decended on singletrack right into the valley of West Dean then about turn and made our way back over the hills via more singletrack trails eventually coming out by West Dean Pond. Very pictureque but unfortunately heralding the end of our ride, quick spin back to the cars and we were done.

Bikes in cars we took over the last remaining table in the tea room and recounted our exploits with lots of laughs and cake. The most infamous being a crash over the bars landing squarely on top of a big tree stump why….. because of an itchy leg – we’re naming no names J

It was great to see so many ladies out on the trails and proves that yes we are the minority but we still love to ride… there will be more Ladies rides in the future but if you are a lady considering joining a ride please don’t be put off by our mixed rides in the meantime. They are always at a sociable pace, always have other women there and I pride myself that (so far) no-one has ever got left behind so just come along and give it a go….

Cheers

Lisa

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