Starting at the carpark with over 20 riders was a bit daunting, but fear of getting left behind was soon alleviated once we got going.
The pace was fairly relaxed and there were plenty of stops (with headcounts) to make sure everyone had caught up. It was great to ride with such a big group and there were smiles all round.
The trails were amazing, and different from my normal haunt of Friston. Stanmer is much more ‘pedally’ throughout the ride, and many of the corners are tighter. Friston tends to be a long slog up – get your breath – hurtle down – repeat (though his is changing with new trails such as Dave Knows Best / Fearnes Creek). If you ride Stanmer at night I’d recommend a helmet lamp over a bar-mounted one (or both).
The conditions tonight were surprisingly good. Much drier than I expected. This meant that the tree roots were not slippery. Stanmer is VERY rooty, so this ride would have been tougher in the wet.
I never felt hurried and never got lost, even though I ‘felt’ lost for most of the ride.
I’ll certainly come back for more, but next time on my rigid singlespeed.
Thanks guys. Epic evening!