From the Ridiculous to the Even More Ridiculous – in a week !

6 04 2008

THE RIDICULOUS – Last Sunday saw the Muddy@rse crew riding in some of the wettest, muddiest conditions I have ever ridden…Bedgebury, Kent.  The singletrack being compared to ‘The Somme’, so much so I was expecting trench foot to take a fancy to my tootsies halfway round, and that was with Sealskinz on 🙂

The Water Baby !

Not to be deterred, we set off on the singletrack with (literally) a river running towards us.  It just got worse from then on really and I think it’s safe to say Bedgebury has a bit of a ‘drainage problem in the lower field’ when it comes to its singletrack.  Mind you though once you got your head round the fact that you were gonna get dead muddy and wet, it made for real fun riding.  The 16 of us hardy souls were smiling all the way round, splashing in the gigantic puddles that were strewn throughout the whole trail and regrouping on fireroad with tales of our near offs/wet feet/chaffage.  Rick actually went over the bars and landed face first in a black sloppy muddy puddle, it even filled his ears with gloop – which was nice !

The mud made everything more challenging, especially walking, which unfortunately Ollie & Chris had a taste of as Bedgebury respectively took claim to their rear mech hanger and crank bolt in the space of about 20feet and saw the them taking a long (chaffing) walk home to the visitor centre – oh and cake / tea / clean clothes, etc.

The rest of us ploughed on through the slop being constantly chased by ‘The Kid’.  A little lad of about 6 who was out with his Dad.  Everyone time we stopped to regroup he appeared out of the trees and, not that we were bothered at all, we suddenly found ourselves sprinting off into the distance our egos not allowing him to overtake us 🙂  He was brilliant though, insisted on riding the whole trail (with the odd push from Dad) and he loved catching us up and (nearly) overtaking us. 

Back at the Visitor Centre we washed bikes, ate our cake (in stealth-like fashion) and laughed about the day we’d just had.  We’d managed to steer clear of the rain clouds that, along with Alex, chased us round the trail but with drops appearing we said farewell til the next time and congratulated ourselves on such a great day.  The clocks had gone forward, it was a hellishly early start but we dragged our @rses out of bed and all things considered, it was worth it.  Be warned though the parking charges went up 1 April to £7.50 and for that price I’d let the trail dry out a lot more to make sure you get your money’s worth…or, contact me direct and I’ll give you a link (for small groups only) to some free parking nearby 🙂   Clicky for photos: http://photos-by-lisa.photosnaps.org.uk/c1488429.html     Now, onto:-

THE EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS – Goodwood Spring Challenge, 6 April ’08

We woke up nice and early, the sun streaming through the window and we’re thinking great, the forecast was wrong (again), so started getting ready for the 1 1/2hr drive towards Chichester for the first ‘race’ of the season.  Quite a few of us had entered and I was looking forward to it, my Veteran Female (very depressing) 3 laps making about 15 miles total, should be fun.  8.30am mobile rings.  Kerry and Alec already there, sitting in van with coffee AND IT’S SNOWING !  Really ?  Yes, really … REALLY SNOWING !  The sun’s shining on our gaff, but we decided it couldn’t be that bad, only a flurry, so packed the car and off we set.

9.00am now at Lewes, phone rings, Kerry & Alec.  It’s not stopped snowing, actually it’s been a complete whiteout and the race has officially been postponed to another date.  Do we have numbers for everyone attending, er no, but I had quite a few, so texts were sent to save as many unnecessary journeys as possible and Rick and I decided to head home.  Although we still hadn’t got any snow so were feeling like we’d wimped out …give it 1/2hr we’d soon change our minds.

Stopped off at the shop en-route, fry up ingredients in the bag to console ourselves and we trundle off to home to watch the motorbike racing (Zzzzzzzzzz).  Then it started.  Within 1/2hr the ground was covered and it hasn’t stopped yet everywhere’s like a Christmas card and there’s kids in the street making snowmen.  Everywhere’s peaceful and quiet and I’m sitting in the conservatory looking at it in warmth and comfort.

Thankfully,not all of us were quite that sensible, 3 Muddy@rsers (Guy, Jim & Neil) managed to still meet up and went out for a ride on The Downs and here’s the pics to prove it 🙂  Spot Jim, he’s the one in 3/4 length tights !  Seriously though, wish I’d been able to go out with you.  I’ve never ridden in deep snow, I hear it cleans your bike up lovely.  There’s a ride report from Guy to follow soon…

Merry Spring everyone..here’s to a Happy New Summer !  Lisa

Clicky link for snowy photos (courtesy of Guy):  http://www.flickr.com/photos/9462794@N08/sets/72157604411406757/

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