Ride Report: Telscombe & the Hidden Valley, 30 Sept 07 (armchair version)

30 09 2007

Gutted, gutted and treble gutted.  That was me this morning because I’d been quietly harbouring an injured calf muscle from my walk up Scafell Pike in the Lake District last week (which saw me being mountain rescued and extreme-sledged all the way down to Wast Water, very embarrassing !!).  Today though we had to put on a Muddy@rse ride and I couldn’t … enter stage left Rick my knight in shining armour.  We had to have a ride the sun was shining, we had a great group together and this ride was one of my fav XC routes around here, so the show must go on.

After all the ribbing you lot gave me I waved farewell and watched enviously as 25 Muddy@rsers (great to see so many new faces) snaked their way up to the beacons at Firle for 18 miles on lovely dry autumn trails.  Me, I popped round to the parents for some tea and sympathy!

From what I gather the pace was quite brisk today, especially for such a large group but with the big open climbs it was OK keeping everyone together.

From Firle there’s the big decent straight into the valley, over the railway line at Southease then a bit of unavoidable road up to Telscombe.  Past the YHA and turn right onto bridleway trails.  It’s offroad all the way now, eventually dipping down into ‘The Hidden Valley’ via a flint boulder strewn trail (they lurk in the grass honest !).  The Hidden Valley is a place of peace and tranquility, not very well used by folk and always has a serene hush to it usually without a breath of wind, magical .. except for today that is when it was quite busy with walkers, bikers and horses.

How do you get out of a valley, erm by going up, up Castle Hill through the nature reserve and onto the SDW in this case.  From what I gather hereby lay puncture alley, slime tubes not spouting the gospel with their usual ease.  Punctures sorted you decend into the farm and then ‘the climb by the tree’.  Gates held open meant many made this steep little ascent via the rooty step under the tree out onto the road and retrace steps.  Saving the best for last… Southease Hill.

Back over the new SDW bridge and there it looms.  Begging to be ridden.  Yes it’s a toughie but in a weird way a nice challenge to finish off a good ride (well I would say that wouldn’t I from my nice warm armchair!).  More punctures sorted and it’s back to the cars for coffee, maltloaf and shortbread – are there no end to the Muddy@rse culinary talents 🙂

Everyone was buzzing when I returned to pick up Rick and hopefully you all really enjoyed the ride. 

The next ride is our 1st Anniversary Ride.  I can’t believe Muddy@rse is one year old, or how staggering well it has been received.  I started the Club not knowing if anyone would be interested in it but knew I had to give it a go because I wanted to meet likeminded people and ride new trails.  With no MTB Clubs for me to join I decided the only way forward was to start my own…. Muddy@rse was born.  I hope you agree it ticks all the boxes.

See you on the trails in a month, leg permitting !





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