Long(er) Hard(er) Fast(er) Lost(ier) Hurt(ier) Hungry(er) Ride

19 08 2009

Now that’s a mouthful, which is more than can be said for what we had for breakfast thanks to a dodgy KFC the night before, we hurtled into the CP  bang on 10.30 with a bunch of bikers hungrily waiting to hit the trails.  Within 10 mins we were out on our bikes; the 3 Peaks Challenge underway 🙂

Starting in Peaslake we headed straight up onto Pitch Hill taking in the steep, impossible climb by the quarry.  Today was going to be a ride of technical, tight, twisty singletrack with mileage totalling approx 25, it promised to be a killer. 

Now, some of these trails we’d only found 2 weeks beforehand and, ahem, resulted in a few lost(ier) moments but we found the right tracks in the end.  We’d promised to keep everyone together and with the odd retrace, we did just that.  It was warm and sultry as we snaked our way through the trees; being suddenly spat out into the daylight we were greeted by our first viewpoint from Peak No.1.  

“You lead the next bit”, “OK”, so off I went.  Leading, as it turned out to be, fresh air as Rick and the rest of the gang went in the opposite direction!  Apparently I’d dipped into the trees so quick they lost sight of me in seconds (that’ll be a first) but we soon met back up and were merrily on our way down Pitch. 

Haha, thought that was it did you?  Oh no, we’d planned numerous circuits of each hill to live up to the LFH namebadge, so it was back up again.  Turning off left into (don’t know it’s name) a real blinder section of technical singletrack; after a few words of warning from folks who knew it.  Rooty off camber and narrow, pumping our way up and over the dips and crevasses, crossing fireroads onward for more and more as the terrain became steeper and steeper, finishing with Al’s Step.  A sheer drop off at the end of the very steep final descent.  It’s where newbie Al lost his Muddy@rse cherry and went flying over the bars.  Ouch that had to hurt!  Valiantly carrying on we all climbed back up Pitch for the 3rd time to descend again on the singletrack that leads to Graveyard Shift.  All of which were riding fantastic and with little stopping, linked together beautifully.

Snake, what snake ?  Magpie-eye Rick had spotted a snake while pelting off the final trail at wharp speed.  Personally, I was too busy concentraing on the trail ahead but a retrace to find Rich allowed for photographic evidence.  OK, it was dead, but there was a snake!  

We were getting plenty of bang for our buck and still only one Peak down.  Here comes Holmbury. 

Heading up the road from Peaslake, skirting underneath the final decent of Barry’s (Bob!) to turn sharp left, into granny gear, cos here comes a loose steep climb.  Leading the way was Rich on his singlespeed, displaying the strength and skill needed to ride one of these beasts round here.  Grinding his way up, and being unusually quiet at the top as his heart came back to earth.   We waved goodbye to Rich & Donna who had other plans for the afternoon and headed on our merry way. 

Singletrack, singletrack, singletrack all the way to the top.  Nothing too technical, but energy sapping as we steadily climbed.  At 5 Bar Gate we headed towards The Steep Blip and dipped right into ‘Dendron Heaven.  An overgrown, tight trail that meanders its way towards the exit of Yoghurt Pots; where we continued straight up to bag Peak No.2.   Quick munch stop to try and fuel my dead empty legs and we’re off again.  Yoghurt Pots was just amazing to ride today, a rollercoaster trail of banked berms and dips, absolutely brilliant we carryied straight on into Telegraph Row.  There’s lots of trail erosion now which is a shame but it’s still good riding.  Flying round one of the concrete stumps, arms waving in the air, Guy’s had an off.  Front wheel caught in a root, up and over the bars no. 2.  Quick dust off and all was well.  So that’s Guy’s Root and Guy’s Log into the M@ Hall of Fame (she says cheekily) 🙂

Waving farewell to Guy & Al we remaining four muskateers headed on over to Peak No.3: Leith Hill.  Steady climb up the Greensand Way it was getting hotter and muggier as we plugged on to the Tower for well-earned tea and cake.  I decided to dip out the next section to conserve what energy I had to get back.  The rest carried on to Summer Lightning and a communication error about fallen trees saw a return up the very steep rooty climb back to the Tower, led by HelsBels the boyz had to follow, apparently it’s something to do with testosterone!

Peak No.3 bagged, the return leg beckoned.  After a play on Leith’s trails we checked out a bridleway I remembered from years ago which used to be a technical run into Holmbury; we found it, but also found it had been ‘revamped’ into a nice flat run.  Shame but we enjoyed the view and empty trail all the same.  Through Holmbury, up to the Youth Hostel we then climbed the gulley running parallel with Telegraph Row.  Back down ‘Dendron Heaven and The Blip and over to Barry Knows Best.  Although tempted to rerun Yoghurt Pots time was pressing so with words of warning about Barry’s final run, we headed off to for our last blast.

Where I became victim no. 3 going sideways over the bars, landing square on my knee (why do I always land on my knees?).  Luckily I’d decided to wear my veggie pads today, thoughts of a looming holiday and stitches still in my mind from last year.  They worked a treat, no cuts, only an egg sized lump making hot sweaty knees feel like a good choice all of a sudden.  Treating ourselves to an ice cold drink from the new bike shop in Peaslake (Pedal & Spoke) we made our way back to cars and cake from Mark. 25 miles, 950mtrs climbing and a shed load of singletrack.  That was the ride that was the ‘LHFLHH’ ride.  Roll on the next one…




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