Forum home Mountain biking forum Routes, rides and holidays MTB rides

MBR Forum Ride - Sherwood Pines, Sun 24th June 2018

Matty2BMatty2B Posts: 62
edited August 2018 in MTB rides
This week it was announced that the venerable MBR forum would be closing, allegedly due to concerns over data privacy and the new GDPR regulations (hmmm.... :roll:). Steve Sordy was in the process of organising a forum ride in June, so as he is currently away on holiday I am transferring all the key content from the MBR thread so we don't have to recreate it here from scratch. Here goes...
Getting better slowly, one crash at a time!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Marin Hawk Hill 2 2018
Kinesis Tripster AT, SRAM Apex
Specialized Crossroads 2000
«13

Posts

  • Matty2BMatty2B Posts: 62
    edited May 2018
    "By popular request, an off-piste ride at Sherwood Pines! 8)

    Sunday 24th Jun’18. Ready to ride at 10:00am by the Cafe veranda. (start & finish point)

    Edit: Note, there is a concert at Pines in the evenings that weekend. The gates will close at 3pm, so we have to be out of there before then.

    Feedback from previous rides support that this is a good outing and very enjoyable.

    Eyewear is recommended, helmets mandatory.

    Use NG21 9JL for your sat nav. Car park all day is £6. There is a full service bike shop, bike wash, bike hire, good cafe, toilets.

    Use this for the Weather Forecast: Weather .com site

    Expect fast flowing sections, narrow winding trails through the forest, with lots of angled roots and overhanging branches. There are no rocks except in the Bike Park and where the FC has put them on the regular trails to add interest. There will be logs to ride over, sections of trail where you won't be able to see the ground, and short steep features, up as well as down. Some descents are high and steep (relative terms I know, but there has to be some mystery). Lots of technical features of varying difficulty.

    Note: Every single drop/feature on this route is either rollable or avoidable if you don't like the look of it. You might have to carry your bike up/down some bits. If you have ridden a red trail pretty much anywhere, you can do this. There will be frequent stops to admire each other’s technique and bikes, and to do head-counts.

    Distance is a variable, but assume 13 miles, plus any sessioning of any features and/or the bike park. Sessioning is standard practice. There is usually lots of chatting and urine extraction. You will never be more than 2 miles from the car park at any time if you need to leave before the group has finished. We will finish at the cafe. Of course you are free to tack on a 10-mile red or a 7.5-mile blue, as you wish before and/or after! :lol:

    The objective is to maximise the of-piste trails and avoid the recognised trails, without being silly about it. So we will be using parts of the red, blue and green trails to move around. Also it would be such a shame to miss out the best bits of the red.

    Because people like it, I have extended the use of the trenches and other defensive features left behind by the World War I troops, who were being trained in trench warfare one hundred years ago. I have cleared some zig-zag sections that have not been ridden for years.

    For those that have been on previous Forum rides at Pines, I've got some new stuff and some of the old stuff in the opposite direction all blended into a nice flowing route. The recent forestry work that destroyed or blocked access to off-piste trails has either recovered, been cleared, or new trails have been found.

    The route includes the bike park, and we will be rolling through the dirt jump area on the way to elsewhere, but we can pause a while if you want to, depending on the level of interest

    The brambles, nettles, and bracken that can be a problem in Summer when riding off-piste will be rampant. I normally keep on top of them, but I will have been away for about four weeks and I will have got behind. I will still be wearing my knee/shin pads and eyewear. Consider yourself warned!

    Oh and finally, I don’t want to be school-marmish about it, but it is very easy to get lost in these woods. So pay attention when I give directions!"
    Getting better slowly, one crash at a time!
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Marin Hawk Hill 2 2018
    Kinesis Tripster AT, SRAM Apex
    Specialized Crossroads 2000
  • 898kor898kor Posts: 81
    Im still in!
    Bossnut V2
    Levo FSR Comp
  • Matty2BMatty2B Posts: 62
    "I've done quite a few of these guided rides over the years and they depend upon a few essentials for their success.

    Come prepared:
    We are going off piste, so expect to be riding over brambles and shattered wood from time to time, so bring a couple of spare inner tubes.
    It might only be 13 miles + sessioning, but you could be out for three hours, so bring plenty of fluid.
    Injury through accident will be responded to as required by the group. I am not a first-aider and I will not be carrying any kind of first aid kit. Note: We haven't had any yet.

    Be realistic about your abilities:
    Do not be jollied into attempting a feature that you believe is beyond your abilities. None of us want to be your stretcher bearer.

    The group moves at the pace of the slowest, that is a given. Whenever possible, where there is an easily recognisable feature ahead, I let the fast boys loose and they wait for us slower guys. Nobody objects to slower riders in principle; one day you used to be the slowest, and you will be again in time. But if someone is really slow (for ex. we had one person turn up with a basket on their shopping bike - they just could not keep up at all), then please be sensible and call it a day and avoid holding everybody up.
    If you have a medical condition that is unpredictable and if it strikes will bring you to a halt, then bring a riding buddy (or buddies) that can look after you as if it was just the 2-3 of you on a ride. It might seem harsh that the rest of us will leave you (after checking you have all you need), but most of the group only get one ride per week and today is the day!

    Pay attention to directions:
    It is no good just relying on following the rider in front. If you are slower than them, then a gap can open up that can put them round the corner ahead. They turned off the trail at the correct place, you missed it and everybody behind you follows you! I try to reduce the chances of this happening by giving clear instructions, but also by distributing amongst the group riders who know the way, or most of it at least.
    Look out for the rider behind, make sure that they are aware of the sharp turn off the regular trail that you are about to make.

    Frequent headcounts:
    Because we are going off-piste, the trail and the turns are not marked. Some turns are almost invisible to the casual eye. All the trees look the same and so do the forest roads. I have lost people from time to time (we did find them eventually), which is why I stop at intervals to allow the group to bunch up again so that we can do a headcount and minimise the time that someone can be roaming about out of contact. I say we do a headcount; I don't mean I will do a headcount! I have discovered by experience that I will be too busy working out where the hell I am, where we need to go next, can I let riders go ahead, what are the stopping points, what lies immediately ahead that the group needs to know about.... and so forth. Depending upon numbers one or two people will be asked to do headcounts.

    Keep me informed:

    If you have run out of time, or have had enough and want to call it a day, please do not just leave - even if you know the way! If you just leave, we have to assume that you are lost. Please tell me before you go. I also may be able to give you a short cut back the car park.

    One of my mates referred to me as "Scoutmaster Steve". Hmmm. I can see what he means ( :D ), but I have discovered through things going wrong or wished I had done differently, that someone has to take responsibility for organising the group. Err, that would be me.

    PS: The Forum Ride is free, gratis, no charge, no tips or gratuities required, nor will they be sought. Smiles are accepted though.
    :D"
    Getting better slowly, one crash at a time!
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Marin Hawk Hill 2 2018
    Kinesis Tripster AT, SRAM Apex
    Specialized Crossroads 2000
  • Matty2BMatty2B Posts: 62
    "The forum ride is always good fun and you get to ride some of the Pines that a lot of us don't get to see (and can never find).

    Steve is Mr Prepared and puts a lot of effort into it. The riding is fairly straightforward, with some quite steep drops, fast flowing sections and slower technical stuff. 13 miles doesn't sound a lot but due to the nature of the terrain, it's qui te tiring by the end. Bring a few snacks and fluid. By the nature of a group ride, it can be a bit stop start, but that's not a bad thing.

    It is unlikley there will be any major dramas (unless Steve does one of his customary slow motion dismounts....) I do carry first aid stuff and can use it. The last 2 incidents in the Pines that required outside help both took 45 mins to get people on site and double that to get them out. You are much further from professional help than you realise. Most of us carry basic tool kits so minor mechanicals can be dealt with. As Steve says, we're only ever 2 miles from the car park so it's not that far away.

    I'd recommend at least knee pads, partly to protect from the undergrowth more than anything. The bracken and brambles will be in full flow and you literally can't see the bike in front of you at times. Long sleeves can be useful as well.

    It's always good fun, you meet some new people and there's a fair bit of banter.

    And having a sausage roll at the end is a legal requirement.

    Steve - I'm happy to help count people or be a tail end Charlie. I'll try not to get distracted by other peoples misfortune this time. I'm also +1 now as well please.

    If anyone wants to have a look - this is some previous forum ride footage:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZsZhajKJVA&t=1s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTr0uCKmDbk&t=52s "
    Getting better slowly, one crash at a time!
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Marin Hawk Hill 2 2018
    Kinesis Tripster AT, SRAM Apex
    Specialized Crossroads 2000
  • Matty2BMatty2B Posts: 62
    "So we now still have 15 definites

    Me +2
    Billy Cool+1
    898kor +4
    Zagora
    Foxynjr
    Kash
    tizdaz
    Sparrowhawk

    and 2 possibles.

    Blokie
    Son of tizdaz

    If all turn up that will be 17, only 2 less then the record turnout."
    Getting better slowly, one crash at a time!
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Marin Hawk Hill 2 2018
    Kinesis Tripster AT, SRAM Apex
    Specialized Crossroads 2000
  • FoxynjrFoxynjr Posts: 10
    I may have one or two friends coming along if that's ok. will confirm nearer the time.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Foxynjr wrote:
    I may have one or two friends coming along if that's ok. will confirm nearer the time.

    I'm sure that will be fine. Steve is abroad at the moment with limited internet access.

    Can you just post up on here nearer the time to confirm yes/no and numbers?

    Please remember that it is £6 to park all day (£1 coins is easiest way to pay) - they have a new barrier system going live but not sure when. We usually wait 10 mins for folk who may be delayed but we can't/won't wait forever.

    Bring your SOH. Banter is essential :-)
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • zagorazagora Posts: 11
    I'm still coming, I guess it will be an early start as we have to be out for 3pm
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Zagora wrote:
    I'm still coming, I guess it will be an early start as we have to be out for 3pm

    The start time is already set. We start at 10am and looking at previous rides on my Strava, we were out for 3 and a quarter hours. So finished and back at the visitor centre/cafe by about 1.30pm.

    Plenty of time for the obligatory sausage roll and cup of tea before we get turfed out.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    An update on the PInes ride

    IT IS STILL ON!

    Be ready to ride for 10am, meet by the cafe veranda overlooking the downslope. It is a bit congested there at the moment with barriers and suchlike, but I'm sure we'll sort it out. I rode the whole route yesterday and it was in fine fettle. I'll do my best in subsequent trips to remove the worst of any brambles that might strangle a rider, but no promises!
    By the way, I have now found a better alternative for those that might not want to attempt the 20' steep descent from the railway embankment; the diversion will only take a few mins. :)

    The numbers!

    So we now still have 15 definites. (Sorry about this Mr BIke Radar, but these names are all from the MBR Forum)

    steve_sordy +2
    Billy Cool+1
    898kor +4
    Zagora
    Foxynjr
    Kash
    tizdaz
    Sparrowhawk

    and 4 possibles.

    Blokie
    Son of tizdaz
    Zagora's 2 mates

    Anyone from the Bike Radar members are more than welcome to come along, this is not an MBR Forum reunion! :lol:
  • MapcaseMapcase Posts: 5
    censored , I'd really like to join in but once again I have a diary clash. Enjoy the ride gentlemen.
  • I may not be able to get there for 10... If I showed up around 1030 would I be able to find you ok? Don't know my way around the place.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    I may not be able to get there for 10... If I showed up around 1030 would I be able to find you ok? Don't know my way around the place.

    I think you've answered your own question.

    I've been there loads of times and still lose my bearings really easily, and that's on the marked red route.

    Whenever we do the off-piste stuff with Steve, I never know where we are as we dip in and out of the red route and change direction on a regular basis.

    It would be almost impossible to just head out and hope you bump into us.

    The other option is to try and make sure we are at a certain place at a certain time to meet you. There are marker posts on the trails so we could *theoretically* meet you by one of those at an agreed time. Would be a shame for you to miss out.

    It's up to Steve as he knows the plan and it's his show. I'm sure he'll post a reply.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • A clarification on the closure times. Sherwood will close at 3pm to NEW arrivals if you’re already in don’t panic you won’t be frogmarched to the gates and given a good moral talking to.

    What you will see on the day, on arrival, parking attendants, a company called CSP who may guide you to a parking area, they are not there to ensure you leave at 3.

    Bear in mind though staff from the cafe and Sherwood Pines Cycles work at the concerts so generally speaking both businesses will close early, in all likelihood before 3pm. Enjoy the ride, leave when your ready.
    Ranger, builder and overseer of all things trail at Sherwood Pines.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    Thanks for the clarification Gandalfsdad.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    I may not be able to get there for 10... If I showed up around 1030 would I be able to find you ok? Don't know my way around the place.

    I will be going to Pines again this week. What I will do is to time myself at various points where the route meets the red or blue trail to see if any could prove to be a good rendezvous for someone setting off at 10:30. I'll get back to you asap. I hope we can make this work. :)

    I think it is too late in the day now to start asking if anyone minds moving the start time back by 30 mins, especially following the disruption of the move of Forum.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    @ Sparrowhawk:

    Well it's doable. :)

    If you set off and go where I say (send me a PM and I'll send directions), we can meet up at 10:50 am.
    I have allowed you 20 mins to do what I did in 15 mins. We will meet you there 50 mins after we set off. We might be 10 mins late but we are unlikely to be early if everyone turns up.

    If by chance we miss each other, wait until 11:05 and then it would be best for you to go your own way. I will send you directions to get onto the red trail quite quickly at an early stage.
  • Great, thanks :) Hope to see you then
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    So that's Sparrowhawk sorted!

    I was there again today, clearing the brambles that seem to erupt from nothing into half inch thick strands of barbed wire in half a week. I broke my slasher today. The coil pin broke on the hinge and as a result the blade came round and nearly cut my little finger clean off! Thank heavens for gloves! Now I need a 2x12mm coil pin, but I'm sure that I'll have to buy a pack of them. :shock:

    The 25-30 foot high steep drop from the railway embankment has been bothering me for a while. Not because I can't do it, but because I know it is the sort of obstacle that puts people off. The entry is blind and through brambles; you can't see the bottom and so it is like descending into a black hole. The exit at the bottom is on loose gravel, so the rear wheel takes over the steering if you pull too hard on the rear brake. And then you hit the trees! I had found an alternative go-around about 140 yards before that took about ten mins to reconnect with the group. But I've found a much better one now that will allow those using it to reunite with the group much more quickly than the previous go-around. This will mean that every single obstacle on the ride now has an alternative and easier route, which I'm very happy about. :D
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    So that's Sparrowhawk sorted!

    I was there again today, clearing the brambles that seem to erupt from nothing into half inch thick strands of barbed wire in half a week. I broke my slasher today. The coil pin broke on the hinge and as a result the blade came round and nearly cut my little finger clean off! Thank heavens for gloves! Now I need a 2x12mm coil pin, but I'm sure that I'll have to buy a pack of them. :shock:

    The 25-30 foot high steep drop from the railway embankment has been bothering me for a while. Not because I can't do it, but because I know it is the sort of obstacle that puts people off. The entry is blind and through brambles; you can't see the bottom and so it is like descending into a black hole. The exit at the bottom is on loose gravel, so the rear wheel takes over the steering if you pull too hard on the rear brake. And then you hit the trees! I had found an alternative go-around about 140 yards before that took about ten mins to reconnect with the group. But I've found a much better one now that will allow those using it to reunite with the group much more quickly than the previous go-around. This will mean that every single obstacle on the ride now has an alternative and easier route, which I'm very happy about. :D

    Great sales pitch! Can we do it twice? (just in case I don't fall off the first time) :o
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    BillyCool wrote:
    ............

    The 25-30 foot high steep drop from the railway embankment has been bothering me for a while. Not because I can't do it, but because I know it is the sort of obstacle that puts people off. The entry is blind and through brambles; you can't see the bottom and so it is like descending into a black hole. The exit at the bottom is on loose gravel, so the rear wheel takes over the steering if you pull too hard on the rear brake. And then you hit the trees! I had found an alternative go-around about 140 yards before that took about ten mins to reconnect with the group. But I've found a much better one now that will allow those using it to reunite with the group much more quickly than the previous go-around. This will mean that every single obstacle on the ride now has an alternative and easier route, which I'm very happy about. :D

    Great sales pitch! Can we do it twice? (just in case I don't fall off the first time) :o

    :D
    No problem, the go-around can be used the other way. It might even be faster than pushing back up!
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    BillyCool wrote:
    ............

    The 25-30 foot high steep drop from the railway embankment has been bothering me for a while. Not because I can't do it, but because I know it is the sort of obstacle that puts people off. The entry is blind and through brambles; you can't see the bottom and so it is like descending into a black hole. The exit at the bottom is on loose gravel, so the rear wheel takes over the steering if you pull too hard on the rear brake. And then you hit the trees! I had found an alternative go-around about 140 yards before that took about ten mins to reconnect with the group. But I've found a much better one now that will allow those using it to reunite with the group much more quickly than the previous go-around. This will mean that every single obstacle on the ride now has an alternative and easier route, which I'm very happy about. :D

    Great sales pitch! Can we do it twice? (just in case I don't fall off the first time) :o

    :D
    No problem, the go-around can be used the other way. It might even be faster than pushing back up!

    You mean there's no uplift??
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    edited June 2018
    The numbers!

    So we now still have 16 definites. (Sorry about this Mr BIke Radar, but these names are all from the MBR Forum)

    steve_sordy +2
    Billy Cool+1
    898kor +4
    Zagora
    Foxynjr
    Kash
    tizdaz
    Sparrowhawk (starting 30 mins later)

    and 5 possibles.

    Blokie
    Son of tizdaz
    Foxynjr's 2 mates
    One of Steve's mates

    Anyone from the Bike Radar members are very welcome to come along, this is not an MBR Forum reunion! :lol:

    Based on previous experience, I'm expecting about a dozen to turn up on the day. Some wake up with a hangover from Sat night, some wake up to rain beating against their window (even though there is no rain at Pines), some will have a domestic emergency, or the car won't start. Whatever the reason, not all turn up. But every single one of these rides that I have done have been great fun.
  • zagorazagora Posts: 11
    Foxynjr wrote:
    I may have one or two friends coming along if that's ok. will confirm nearer the time.

    Hi Steve, I'm still planning on being there but I think you're confusing me with Foxynjr regarding having two mates coming :)
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    Zagora wrote:
    Foxynjr wrote:
    I may have one or two friends coming along if that's ok. will confirm nearer the time.

    Hi Steve, I'm still planning on being there but I think you're confusing me with Foxynjr regarding having two mates coming :)

    Eh! When did that happen? Sorry about that Zagora. :oops:

    I will change it now.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    Whoever actually turns up on the day, provided there are enough of us, I have a task for us all!

    I was there yesterday and a tree that fell across the trenches about 6 years ago (and has been steadily getting lower every year) had finally fallen too low to ride underneath. So, in the absence of a chainsaw, it needs dragging out of the way. It is not a big tree, just too big for one person. Easy job, previous guided ride teams have done similar. It all adds to the fun! :)
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Whoever actually turns up on the day, provided there are enough of us, I have a task for us all!

    I was there yesterday and a tree that fell across the trenches about 6 years ago (and has been steadily getting lower every year) had finally fallen too low to ride underneath. So, in the absence of a chainsaw, it needs dragging out of the way. It is not a big tree, just too big for one person. Easy job, previous guided ride teams have done similar. It all adds to the fun! :)

    It was hard enough to duck under last time so removal sounds like a good idea.

    I could bring my chainsaw if you can carry it Steve :)

    I'm sure that between us we can move it. Can't have it cramping our style!
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,391
    I rode there again today and it is amazing how fast the brambles have grown. Some parts of the trail have neck strangling brambles now that were no problem at all only three days ago. So I produced my folding slashing tool and cleared them! I have left one section of trail untouched, just so you can see what happens when it doesn't get touched (well, not by me at any rate).

    The tree I propped up is still there, still propped up and still needing removal. :D

    One short descent I've been doing has a dog-leg right half way down. I realised today that if I fail to make the turn, it's a 6' drop into brambles and nettles! No pressure! :)

    Overall, the tails were bone dry. It is going to take a lot of rain between now and next Sunday to resore the mud. But there is none forecast.

    https://weather.com/en-GB/weather/tenda ... 7838d8c0b7
  • So we have...
    1. A blind brambly descent on loose gravel
    2. Neck strangling brambles
    3. A tricky turn with a 6' drop into brambles and nettles

    Sounds fun!
    What's next, a hidden pit full of sharpened stakes to hop over? :D
  • 898kor898kor Posts: 81
    What's next, a hidden pit full of sharpened stakes to hop over? :D

    I best get some slime into the tyres then :D
    Bossnut V2
    Levo FSR Comp
Sign In or Register to comment.