The day started badly with me getting lost on the way despite using sat nav and everyone waiting around until I eventually found the car park. Within a minute of arriving we were off and instantly into the first trail. With less elevation that our home ground everything was flat and twisty and ideally suited for a short thrash bike. My Mojo was over kill but some locals had brought out bigger rigs for riding and wheelies and balancing and even the odd fall in front of watching motorcyclists.
We rode trail after trail with friendly folk keen to show us the best of their area which felt generous every time you turned into another new trail. Dry conditions showed it well but flat ground meant pedal all the way.
Carl had to stop to fix his saddle then Carl had to stop to fix his saddle then Carl sheared the bolt. Amazingly a spare bolt was carried so the saddle was refitted but only a temporary repair. Several more stops, some playing with zipties and Carl headed off to find a shop with a seatpost never to be seen again. Joplin is being replaced under warranty.
Lots and lots more trails and a stop for a puncture. Usual problem but Ashley does not have usual tyres. Several attempts to refit the tyres on to tight rims and loads of volume of the giant tyres eventually got us going. He needed to top up the volume a little but when fixed it rode like a short suspension bike with the combination of the Jones fork and giant tyre. It did not seem to lumber as the mary bars helped the steering quicken and it is lighter than it looks. It was interesting to ride alongside and realise that less suspension will definitely improve your riding skills.
The locals had all started at a brisk pace but when we found a rhythm Brighton’s hills paid off in the endurance stakes and the last section of the ride included the odd slope up and down to vary the workload.
A couple of stops were included for drinks and lunch but with the mechanicals we did not cover the ride as planned but what we rode was delightful. Finishing at the end of the afternoon in the carpark it felt a shorter ride due to the number of stops but all of the visitors seemed to have enjoyed it thoroughly.
There was a final trick in the day when most of the two groups of the day ( around 50) trundle into the nearby pub. Literally into the pub bikes and all. Park your bike at a table on the carpet and order a drink. Final flourish is that the pub provides free food – locally called beige – to all the riders. Chicken, sausages and chips were laid out in large platters so everyone stayed. And stayed. And stayed.
A great day out with super friendly locals and hundreds of twisty trails. I look forward to another visit when I will arrive on time due to my NEW sat nav.
Many, many thanks to Miles and co.