Monday, 19 December 2011

Fasties and Pasties! - The 4th Annual Christmas Ride

My 100th post! Woo hoo! I'm suprised I've managed to keep this going for this long. But as it turns out, writing this blog is quite good fun and a nice place to stick my pics. Plus some things are worth continuing with. Including the Annual Christmas Ride! This year was the 4th year we've done it. The line up changed a bit, and the venue was different. But we kept the traditions alive by getting in some quality blighty style riding, some (Thai) curry and plenty of cups of tea and biscuits.

This year we decided to hit the Forest of Dean trail centre. After a decent full english carb load and mug of tea we geared up and hit the M4 in convoy. I've been eagerly anticipating a ride here. From what I'd seen on the googletube the trails looked amazing. Plus I was excited to dust off my English Rose hardtail and take her for a spin.

The UK is getting spoilt with some amazing trail centres. National parks are embracing the business mountain bikers bring and providing epic trails and fantastic facilities. As awesome as northern Cali' is, we have to fend for ourselves and fight for space with hikers and the like. At places like the FoD you have miles of beautifully manicured trails, bike shops, showers (for you AND the bike) and somewhere warm to get a chip butty and a hot brew before the drive home. Lush!

We managed a couple of laps of the centre's XC routes. Mellow climbs intermingled with some swooping, flowey descents kept everyone grinning. The Rose is such a joy to ride. As much as I love the Nomad, it is a bit of a barge... Having something shorter and twitchier made for a nice change. After a few miles of rolling singletrack, we hit the final descent for a spirited run back to the car park. Full of burms, whoops and really satisfying jumps, the mud wasn't enough to stop us from shredding hard and finishing feeling knackered and happy. Great fun. As ever, I can't wait for next year's!

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