I have kept in touch with Ronnie who has supported me in the world of racing over the last few years and as I had a local visit planned it seemed a good excuse to come back and ride on a Thursday night ride with Brighton Mtb.
Meeting up at Sussex uni it was nice to see such a variation of bikes, gear and riders, from flowery helmets to fat bikes they had it all. After a quick chat about bikes and riding with journalist Tom Gallagher and Jimbo (Sussex mtb/SouthDownsmtbskills/Quest) we headed out in Stanmer wood and we quickly hit the twisty single track Stanmer is known for and where I was promptly dropped by Ashley on his Jones, damn! Being fast uphill can’t help me here.
The Stanmer trails were sticky but still running well for January I thought; my local riding has suffered badly over the winter. With a high concentration of riders the best single track gets a hard time, with little maintenance the single track rapidly turns into double track.
I usually ride long countryside routes, linking forest areas together, this helps my general fitness, but riding more technical singletrack with varied trail obstacles like Stanmer would help me be a better all-round rider, even if we only managed 11miles in 2hours!
It was refreshing to ride with a group that managed to keep up a good pace, with stationary time kept to a minimum, riders could skip sections to recover or chase faster riders up the hills or through the single track.
Riding Stanmer with Brighton Mtb would make any keen or novice rider improve; it sure showed me that my technical riding skills need work before the summer season if I’m to ride efficiently.
Chapeau guys! keep up the good work and I’ll see you in the summer, if not before.
(link to Chris’s racing site is on the sidebar)