Our previous Wyre Forest trip was voted as one of the top three events from our 2010 ride calendar. The reason for this is that the Forest offers a lot of natural single track, several steep descents, rocks, drop offs, rooty sections, narrow paths along steep hill sides and swoopy bits.
Once again we were not dissapointed.
We set out from the Old New Inn (previously the New Old Old New Inn) at 10:30pm. Our host for the day was Sarah Peters from the Wyre Forest riders group, ably assisted by Graham and Tony. We had 21 riders in total.
The first interesting challenge was a two plank bridge over a river that had a perfect wheel sized gap between the planks.
Sarah was keen to take us down all the good bits whilst we were fresh due to the really dry conditions. After crossing the road we were treated to a lot of twisting single track with a gradual descent.
This then took us to a really good downhill section (Camber). Some of the group did this twice.
About a third of the group then had a play on the three bears section. This starts out as a really narrow track that traverses the side of the hill above a large drop. Our tour guide inconsiderately decided to crash at this point, landing on her head.
Whilst Sarah collected her thoughts then the volunteers continued to the steepest section – this drops down off some rocks and onto a steep mud descent. There were various combinations of attempts and successes on this.
Sarah decided that it was best to retreat home, leaving the deputies Graham and Tony to keep the show on the road.
Next we climbed back up the hill towards the caravan park and followed another great traverse. This ended up with the steep section back down the to track.
After that we crossed over the river and followed the old railway line before climbing up to the visitor centre. We stopped there for water and ice creams.
The secret garden section was tackled next. Riders were so keen that they hit the first rock step really hard and collectively we had about 10 punctures. Some people had snake bites front and rear.
The route continued back to the old railway, along a bit and then down over the concrete foot bridge. The steps off the end of this were another entertaining challenge.
Ben collected a pinch-flat on the steps – see the photo.
After the climb back up the group split slightly, with the sprightly members opting for a longer option. Tony was not keen to visit the helipad (really good rock gulley and steep bit onto track). It turned out that he’d broken his finger there on a previous visit and had places to go during the following week. Fair enough, it saved us a descent and the 1 mile climb (a climb that’s, er, 1 mile long).
The return route retraced the outward route. This time someone did put their rear wheel through the gap on the 2 plank bridge. I could hear the laughter from a fair distance.
We finished off with a food and beer session at the Old New Inn.
Thanks to Sarah, Graham and Tony for another great trip. We’ve been invited back later in the year.