Mud, Sweat & wished we’d had Gears

Six Flyers ventured out yesterday despite the bleak forecast of torrential rain & weren’t they well rewarded for their efforts?

The sky was grey, cloudy & light drizzle fell upon the four starting out from Kings Cliffe riding up Wood Lane & onto Top Lodge, Fineshade where they met the other two riders. Moving forth & within minutes they were at the start of trail in Wakerley Woods where the real fun would begin.

The trio of youth riders, Harry, George & Thomas, shot off down the ‘easier’ route missing out the slippery tree rooted descent & subsequent tree rooted climb. Already there were shrieks of laughter, oohs & aahs as Peter’s less than knobbly tyres were reluctant to stay in contact with the tree roots. Regrouping the youngsters set a rapid pace & we were soon at the switchback climb.

A shool boy error of not looking were you want to go saw Alison hit the deck as she rode towards the brambles she was looking at all too late to rectify her mistake. Harry thought the climb would never end & Paul was suddenly regretting the lack of gears on his single speed MTB. As with all good climbs the reward was a descent, albeit a muddy one. A muddy pool of water greeted them at the bottom almost catcthing Harry & Peter out. The shrieks & laughter continued.

Someone seemed to have cotton wool between their ears when everyone was cautioned prior to riding the dodgy off-camber, tree rooted, small ditch section edged with barbed wire topped fencing. By the time we returned to the cafe the ditch would be redefined as the ravine that George nearly fell into.

The real adventure was about to start as we headed onto the newly formed tracks missing out the tiresome long draggy fire road. The climb up on soft, loose mud was playing havoc with Peter’s bike as he slid around & by the time we’d reached the descent he’d found a get out route to the adjacent fire road. George was the first to descend…but not for long…another rider down… & another…& another…& so it went on all the way down. The usual smooth flowing slightly bermed section was just impossible to ride. Instead the bikes were just getting clogged up with mud & sliding around haphazardly. Regouping at the bottom Thomas was going nowhere as his bike wheels were firmly cemeted in mud. The rest of the bikes weren’t looking too good either & everyone was filthy.

A few Haribo sweets shared out, mud cleared & we were off again for more. The final giant berms were upon us & adverturer George wanted to have a go at riding down. And so he did until the penultimate corner when,  “Aaargh. oooh”. We’d all followed & were echoing his shrieks & laughter as we found another unrideable section.

All too soon we were at the end of the trail & heading back to Fineshade cafe for hot drinks, cakes, & choclate ice cream aplenty. As the sunshine begin to shine we recounted the experience which would no doubt become an epic tale in years to come. A great day was had & all agreed another adventure should happen soon. Watch this space!

Alison Lilley