Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dozers Ridge Ride

We all met up with the "players" *ahem* in Westoning before starting off on route revision#5 which was already being changed and remained fluid throughout the day.

The first half of the ride up and over the ride was greeted with many, many punctures, so many infact that we spent 1.5hrs stationary over the first 3hours ! So we had plenty of time to checkout the views from atop the ridge. A brief play in a quarry saw Uphilla take a tumble but we've learnt that he bounces well :p The dash down into the springs at Barton-le-clay allowed some of us to top up their water and we didn't suffer from the dreaded deli-belly either.

At Pirton (roughly halfway) the sun was shining and gave the posse an opportunity to grab a pint and rest the legs. The second half was predominantly on/around the ancient Icknield Way, being much faster and far less prone to thorns. At around the 20mile mark, a couple of the posse were suffering with tired legs, especially DDave who mucked around at Chicksands the day before. Tired legs and a long ride to this point, caused us to bail out a little and hit the road back to the Chequers pub in Streatley where some of us rested up. The ride back over to Westoning took in the FNC's (Friday Night Club) "steep down" which clearly challenged the solitary roadie as the knobbly crew flew straight down.

Although the route was longer and less techincally challenging than say Cannock it was still good to checkout someone else's local trails, especially with such grand views of the rambling countryside. Many thanx to Dozer and Rob for organising and again to Rob who remembered his camera, you'll find some pic's here,

Posse: Darren, Brumster, DDave, Dozer, Uphilla, Farqui, Les, Roadie, Graham, Mark, Rob

Mechanicals: Loads-a-punctures on the ridge, only Uphilla & Brumster got away unscathed - the lucky Brummy was even running tubeless for the 1st time - without any goo either ! Dozer looked smug with his slime tubes holding up well. At the start, Brumster had metal2metal interference on his front brake/new wheel combo and rear brake rub towards the end.

Weather: Overcast yet warm and humid to start with a little drizzle at mid day, before brightening up into a fab sunny afternoon.


uphilla said...

Boy do my legs ache today :-( Interesting Ride, thanks Dozer and Rob.
Also escaped punctures somehow despite lack of slime in my tubes :-) , at times the frequency of 'flats' was beyond belief.
Has anyone read the article in MBR this month about Countryside Access?? Felt some slight unease about riding footpaths. Local Knowledge is all-important, I am sure, but it is a dilemma. Much as we may loathe the 'jobs-worth' attitude of horsey Landowners, we do have to humour them at times for long-term benefits.

Farqui said...

Hehe, my legs are a little tight but loosened up nicely this morning as I dodged the rain. Fortunately my back survived with just a slight ache/cramp towards the end of the ride. It's a little sore today but without any stabbing pain so I'm :D MsTurner looked after me well, in "cadillac" mode ;)

Ahem, yes you're right about the access dilemma and personally I'd much rather avoid any agro and stick to the legal stuff. I've never experienced so many "incidents" but then again I don't often ride in a posse that's into double figures. Perhaps we should confuse 'em and ride in smaller packs ? I'll have a read at the article later, does it make any useful conclusions ?

uphilla said...

IIRC it concluded that if we hope to enjoy better access in the future we need to behave ourselves now, this was in regard to bridleways as we obviously share these with other users.
With the increasing popularity of Off Road cycling and a Politicians trying to encourage us to exercise more, hopefully it will strengthen the case for more access.
Pleased to hear your back held up well - David commented on how hard he found it at times without rear suspension, BTW it turned out that DDave had had a very late night on Saturday aswell as all his downhill antics at Chicksands, so was almost asleep on his bike at the end!

Farqui said...

I was following Graeme at some points and was surprised to see his Klien h/tail skipping around whereas my "caddy" was wofty along without any fuss.

Poor DDave, he did look pooped the poor lad. What I want to know is "why weren't we invited to Chicksands?!?"

uphilla said...

I think he was worried that us 'Old Gits' might show him up ;-)

dozer said...

Never had any arguments with locals before over access on any of our local tracks. Could have been the number of us? That was a new track to all of us near the stables!

Dr Sludge rules !!! :-) (Chainreactions version of Slime!)

Dan Howell said...

Dr. Sludge indeed - you all need to learn to ride over the thorns on a cushion of hot air (expelled from my overactive gob) then you can run tubeless and gloopless like moi :D

Twas a lovely day, even with the jobsworths, and the spring water hasn't given me any gip either - apologies, Rob, for doubting you!

Rob said...

Punctures, Snails, Flies and Moaning Jobsworth's really was the theme of the day.

I had 3 flats but luckily all at the same time, I think we hit 2 patches of hawthorn, sadly you never really know where these will be, they're caused by the farmer cutting the hedgerows. After a month the thorns on the ground rot and the problem ceases, usually for 2-3 years.

In 15 years of riding my tracks I've been moaned at 3 times, once when I was the only cyclists for 20 miles thanks to cold weather, convinced the moaner was legless (actually) he was dispatched with 2 words. The other 2 were yesterday.

Mostly the farmers around Beds and Herts are very welcoming once they realise you're the 'proper' biker not the sort that starts bonfires.

There is no doubt we ride where we shouldn't but it's my experience that consideration and responsible behaviour more than make up for it. Even the horsey set react well as Brumster rightly says. The green tapes (illegally) across the path yesterday really gave away their attitude before we even got there.

Snails? Have you ever seen so many as on the glue? New one on me. I felt guilt with every pop!!

Flies, especially on the Icknield way, I think this was the still air but it's not unusual this time of year.

I hope you all enjoyed it, yes we ride a bit different over here, I'll claim this explains why I ride downhill like a new born foal!! FOUR inches good!!

DDave, sorry we overcooked you but I do feel better now I know it was self inflicted!!

Personally I suffered from power fade caused by lack of food, I'd like to start a blog on this subject as I know nothing about it. Recently on three (two) woods ride I had a really hard time thanks to poor preparation.

dozer said...

What a bit like, remember the series Kung Fu. With Grasshopper graduating when he could walk over the rice paper without leaving a trail??

Oh, and never doubt Rob! It's not worth it, he'll give you loads of grief!! Then again he can't understand me so it's OK for me to do it! :-)

See ya on the next ride!

Farqui said...

Rob's on one again, "only been moaned at 3 times in 15 years" I think not :p

Dan Howell said...

I can't really grumble at the minor problems I had - all brake related which, seeing as they were a fresh set of rotors, is hardly surprising. The front was whining away at the start of the ride and this turned out to be the caliper and rotor squeeling against each other - not much room there!

Towards the end of the ride the rear brake started binding - ah that's why I was finding that level riding such a drag - but a quick twiddle got that sorted...

Farqui said...

Snails, I'd fotgotten about all them gawd damn snails. Good job they weren't in me garden else I'd still be poppin' em.

uphilla said...

There were some cracking bits on this route, really nice piece if countryside. If you could link it all together on 'legal' stuff it would be well worth submitting to MBR or the like as routes in the South, specially new ones, are scarce!

dozer said...

We forgot the most important bit. Dan & Dave, what did you think of our local?

Dan Howell said...

I liked the scenery and, as always, the bunch of people involved is what makes it a fun day out - it often doesn't matter where it is provided you have fun doing it.

It was easier than the dedicated trails of Afan/Cannock, of course, and that's to be expected - but it managed to tax me by way of additional length. 18 hard miles over Cannock, or 30 relatively easier miles around Westoning equates to the same physical exertion for me. I could probably have managed the additional 5 miles, but slowly, and I would have been in for a bollocking when I got home :)

The interest levels wained a bit, I'll admit, but that's just horses for courses - the couple of faster, downhill stints where good high-speed blasts but were over all too quickly - aren't they always :)

It's not a negative criticism - it was just *different* that's all; no better, no worse. For a nice day out riding around the countryside, this was perfect - a couple of exciting bits thrown in for good measure ;)

Farqui said...

Here here, well said.

If you want excitement, check what Toons got upto at Chopwell, although it's defo not the sort of "excitement" I'd want on a ride...

uphilla said...

Dozer, the local looked like it was buzzing on Sunday, obviously very popular! Service was also much better than our other stop, David managed to get me a pint of Coke before I had loaded one bike on the car.

dozer said...

Just been talking to a colleague at work. She was out walking with her family the other day, back of Liley and came across a track roped off near a stables (she said they had also put plants across the track?). She was not happy, I have asked her to report it to the council! :-)

Farqui said...

Rob discovered the group shot. We're all smiling so it must have been before the thorns.