Sunday, September 09, 2007

Woburn Wootyness

Last wkend Chekov visited Westoning with a plan to ride the FNC (Friday Night Club) and then take in the delights on Woburn the next day. Although I wasn't able to sample the Friday night action the crew were full of tales of adventure. Amazingly Chekov had never ridden off road at night and I trust his "experience" will inspire him to explore his own local trails under cover of darkness. Night riding rocks !

Saturday morning arrived and the Westoning posse pulled up at CMK looking only slightly worse for their evening consumption. Once Darren pointed out my missing brain bucket :blush we headed off for a gentle warm up over to Woburn to the south of MK. With the posse splitting into two groups I then noticed that DD was only running a single chain ring, so we eased back off the gas.

Whilst Uphilla fixed a puncture we casually inspected our own rubber, checkout the carcass of my rear boot looking decidedly *ahem* "tyred" :p Thankfully it stayed in one piece throughout the ride, although I was careful not too abuse it too much.

The "lights out" climb was Chekhov's first turn of a knobbly within his lordships back yard and the dry sand kept more than just the noobie alert :p A fast descent of the rooty climb was greeted with plenty of grins but not from our "Sickers" who's freewheel died, he resigned himself with a walk into Woburn where he arranged for his misses to collect him. Now a man down, Twister was dispatched in a flurry of twists and turns before heading over to the jump arena.

The cross camber drop has an awkward jump at it's exit so I opted to guide the posse down a bermy chute and rapidly through the two bomb holes before crossing the road to fullers earth. The trail down to the sheep dip was doubly fast and furious and with a gaggle of riders on my heels I cranked the big ring down and rested up at the bottom.

After a steady crank up the "singing wheel" we had our first faller (me) with a face full of foliage on a techi descent. I managed to deftly disappear into the undergrowth so as not to get run over - not that I had much say in the matter :)

Cranking our way back up the long rooty climb, Chekov commented how much better the trail was in reverse (t'was the opening descent) which is fast becoming a familiar comment. At the top of "stumpy" I thought Darren was yelpin' with joy as he recalled what was ahead so I dropped my head and snaked as fast as I could thru the roots'n'stumps only to later find that I was alone. Apparently his clever new fork failed to notice the remains of a post, immediately stopping his rig and causing a dramatic "superman" face plant....which I sadly missed ;)

Finding a large group of stationary riders at the top of the swoopy DH we didn't waste anytime heading finding the big ring. I believe Darren incurred another "nap" whilst trying to hang on thru the turns and the track was so good that we quickly looped back for another try. The other MTB'ers were still at the top and frankly looked like they were there to stay so we hooked around all the abandoned rigs and dashed down again. This time DDave was in pursuit and staying upright we both had big grins. The last crank along the roots had us ducking and diving in between ever narrowing gaps with the odd baby bomb hole thrown into the mix.

Although I'd originally intended to exit the woods from the west and pick up the Grand Union back to CMK, other commitments intervened so we headed directly back to Ye Olde Swan for a quick bite and a pint. After which we only had a short blat alongside the canal and we were back at the trail head where Darren and Dozer were happy to find they hadn't needed to negotiate any low canal bridges.

An urgency to finish meant our legs knew we'd been crankin' but the route seemed to flow all the better for it. Thanks for the company guys, until next time.

Posse; Darren (Heckler), DDave (Chameleon), Chris (OnOne), Dozer (Rockhopper), Sicknote (Rockhopper), Uphilla (5Spot)
Weather; overcast, a little humid but a good riding temperature
Mechanicals; Uphilla punctured less than 2miles in and Sicknote's freewheel broke after the initial climb into the woods - the long walk might teach him a lesson here (it'd been dodgy month ago).


dahnhilla said...

Good ride! Very much enjoyed, and surprised I managed to keep up the pedalling!

I'm getting better in those SPuDs soon, I'll be up to my dangerous levels soon!

uphilla said...

Great ride thanks, and great that the weather was Ok for us to enjoy a pint and lunch in the fresh air!
Darren's new rig was looking very flash, love the colour especially, not sure why it kept throwing him to ground though :-)
25 miles felt about 5 miles too long for my poor old legs!
Now feeling enthusiastic about the Gravity Dropper, it gave much confidence in that drop into the jump area. Just need to get used to it, I guess.

Farqui said...

The height gain wasn't too shoddy at 1,669ft, just more than Dalbeattie Red's 1,589ft.

Glad ya's all enjoyed it.

dahnhilla said...


Darren said...

sure footed stead, inept rider. Must try harder.