Ride Report: Angmering Park Mid Month Pedal, 11 Nov

11 11 2007

This was our second attempt to put together a ride that was interesting but not too difficult to try and encourage some new Muddy@rsers out of the woodwork. We were not disappointed..

Regular Muddy@rser Guy offered to put together a 10 mile loop around Angmering Park, nestled between Worthing & Arundel. Tucked in just off the A27, if you ain’t local there’s no way you’d find these trails. Guy’s a local 🙂

It was great to see 17 of us turnout for today’s ride, many of you new to group riding and Muddy@rse, but with a nice smattering of regulars thrown in for good measure too. We Muddy@rsers just love to ride ! After the usual greetings & banter we were off to try and rid ourselves of the cold that was creeping into our (=my) bones. The blue skies were looking promising though. Hold that thought…

So, off into the trees we trundled the pace was quite brisk and the group soon split but we managed to get back together again and ducked into Horse Jump Alley. Log jumps piled high and in close succession. Quite a lot of them were do-able but some quite challenging, luckily all had a chicken run if you didn’t fancy it. After all this was a ride for beginners / intermediates so nothing too tricky was promised and I’m not too proud to push ! Although, mud was promised and mud was what we got. Luckily the rain gods had been smiling on us lately so the clay carnage wasn’t too bad but it still proved interesting in places with one front wheel disappearing completely in a hidden hole. Luckily the rider didn’t do an endo over the bars ! But gears and sprockets were starting to clag up or skip gears which is the usual annoyance of winter in the South.

All of a sudden though, what’s that wave of noise coming towards us ? The trees starting to whip in the flurry … RAIN ! Flippin ‘ell… it started lobbing it down. Jackets on – well if you had one that is 😉 – and then out into the soaking awaiting us over Patcham Common. Decend the wide and open, but slippery, track littered with huge flints all around then bang…first puncture of the ride. Remember the gospel according to Slime ? (check out the write up if you’ve not got any yet). Huddled in the gully everyone patiently waited & chatted while said puncture was mended then off again finishing the decent.

Now came the first steep climb of the day, nothing too horrendous, but still quite tricky and slippy, littered with big loose flints again. Good advice from Guy, take the left line. It was tough but achievable if you remembered to spin. My leg was holding up well and I was feeling good so rain or no rain I was having fun and just glad to be out on the trails at last. Quick munch stop at the top to reward our hard work and uh oh a wrongly placed foot (naming no names) resulted in a someone’s snapped mudguard.

More mud plugging although there was a nice hardpack line right in the middle for those who dared to venture there. Around the slightly off camber horseshoe trail overlooking Upper Barpham (scene of ancient Black Death) up the steep blip of a climb to the trig point (highest point today was only 141m) then downhill for a 2.5kms blast on a wide open grassy trail that huddled alongside the gallops. What fun 🙂

We decided to extend the ride by putting in another steep climb which gave payback of a rocky, lumpy, rooty decent. Nice ! Though what goes down must go up so another climb got us back up onto the plateau for the return to the Forest.

Here we took the ‘Pinball’ singletrack trail all the way back. Twisting through the trees pinging you left and right with logs aplenty to negotiate, green and slippy on the tops they took a few prisoners but no-one seriously hurt. This was fun all the way and ensured the ride finished with a good old fashioned buzz !

Back at the cars the usual coffee and cakes were consumed (thanks Guy for your WMB recipe Pecan loaf – yum ), the sun was now out so blue skies resumed and we were all suitably happy. Another great Muddy@rse ride in the bag.

Big thanks go to Guy for sorting and leading today’s ride, it was a cracker and for me, just what the Doctor ordered !

Maybe see you on 25 November for our North Downs fest. Be warned though the next ride is a technical one so really good offroad skills and fitness are needed to complete the route. Not right for you just yet, then keep your eyes peeled on our calendar as we’re in the throws of sorting out next year’s rides and there’s bound to be something in there for everyone.

Cheers, Lisa

clicky for photos: http://photos-by-lisa.photosnaps.org.uk/c1406174.html

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