Gary Palmer’s ride report: –
This ride came about after Ed led a certain rough bunch of mountain bikers called the DirtySaddles around 50 acre wood on a cold wet spring night earlier in the year, I thought this would be great for the MB Swindon guys, but the chance of me finding my way around those dark woods again were pretty remote, any way Ed came to the rescue and agreed to show us around. Brilliant.
Date was set
Picked Ed up early-ish Saturday morning and off we went, Ed told me he hadn’t been on the bike for a few months so was going to be a bit rusty, brilliant I thought, I’ll be able to keep up with him at least to the end of the car park.
Arrived at North road a bit early, wasn’t long before Rich and Caroline joined us, nearly ready to go and then Henry turned up, fair play to his commitment, got the train from Swindon to Bristol and then rode to the start.
Small briefing of what to expect and off we went, straight into some tasty single track, this went on for about 10 minutes and it bought us out on to the Yer Tiz trail which we did a lap of, from here we shot of into Bluebell woods (I think), I got left behind a little bit here, when I caught up everybody was waiting on top of this ridge, I thought Ed said lets go down here, so of I went, luckily the old brakes were working well today, no Ed hadn’t said lets go down here he was just pointing out a right gnarly decent full of wheel grabbing roots, there was young people present so I declined the opportunity to go down there.
Off we went again, more rooty single track, few bends ahead I managed not to stop and drove my head into an impenetrable hedge, man that hurt and put the glasses at a strange angle, never mind, I think I convinced Caroline that those drops of water on my cheeks weren’t tears J
Another great decent, I went around the corner and the traffic was stopped, Rich was on the floor and not moving, bloody hell I thought, I haven’t bought the chewing tobacco to spit in his wounds, There was life there, after a bit of Mickey taking Rich was back on his bike, fair play I couldn’t compete with those grazes, they were proper.
On we went to 50 acres (nearly said 50 shades then), a big well done to Caroline for doing this, this was well out of her comfort zone and it was completed without one sit down, not that I saw anyway, 50 acres is a great natural section full of roots and rocks that need to be ridden fast and hard, rode it a couple of weeks before and it was totally overgrown, got whipped heavily with the old brambles. Bristol trails group had been in there and cut it all back, its big thanks for them for giving up their spare time to keep these trails clear so we can all enjoy them.
Ed and Henry flew through this section and made it look pretty easy.
Back towards Ashton court now, Ed took us through what I think is called snaked head woods (well it’s something to do with snakes). Another great section of woods to ride which bought back into Ashton Court where we rode up past the café to start our lap of the Nova Trail, although there’s nothing to testing on the Nova trail if you put maximum effort in you’ll get maximum enjoyment out, we all regrouped at the top of the red section and decided to go down it, I’ve never known so much uphill in a downhill section, after us all getting a bit lost at the bottom and we made different ways back up to the top took a few pictures and headed back to the cars.
A big thanks for turning up and a big thanks to Ed for leading us around this great route