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Group Ride Sherwood Pines Sun 14th Apr'19

steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
edited April 2019 in MTB rides
By popular request, an off-piste ride at Sherwood Pines! :D

Sunday 14th Apr’19. Ready to ride at 10:00am by the Cafe veranda. (start & finish point)

Feedback from previous rides support that this is a good outing and very enjoyable. Look up the previous outing on 30th Sep'18, read the comments, watch the vids from Billy Cool. 8)

It’s here! viewtopic.php?f=10014&t=13094429&p=20394901#p20394901

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: https://weather.com/en-GB/weather/tenda ... 7838d8c0b7

Anything from 40% precipitation and less, and you won’t even notice it as we are in the woods, not out in the open.

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, 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. If you have been to the last one, I’ve got some new stuff and a new route. For part of the route we will be outside the Forestry Commission controlled area.

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 is at least one descent that even very good riders say that it deserves respect! There will be frequent stops to admire each other’s technique and bikes, and to do head-counts.

Distance is a variable, but assume 14 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: Typical time from start to finish is 3 hours (allowing for all the bull-shitting that goes on).

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 some of the best bits of the red.
Because people like it, we will continue to visit the trenches and other defensive features left behind by the World War I troops, who were being trained in trench warfare over one hundred years ago.

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 practice your 360’s, depending on the level of interest.

The brambles, nettles, and bracken that can be a problem in Summer when riding off-piste will be growing strongly, and they can be a nuisance, which is why I will still be wearing my knee/shin pads and eye-wear. 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! :)

Posts

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    So far I think there is 4-8:
    yonny,
    898kor +2 (his sons)
    Billy Cool +1 (he normally brings someone)
    me + 1 (maybe more)
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    An appeal for those thinking of attending:

    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!

    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 Group Ride is free, gratis, no charge, no tips or gratuities required, nor will they be sought. Smiles are accepted though. :D
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Hi Steve,

    It's in the diary - I'll have to confirm nearer the time. Hope to bring +1.

    Saw your car at Pines today (assumed it was yours). Nice colour.

    We rode the red and watched some of the XC racing. Great day for it.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,828
    Sods law, I'm busy but will be there Friday with a mate. Another time hopefully.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    My son decided to be born early so all plans of any kind are out of the window for the time being.
    Have fun people.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    yonny wrote:
    My son decided to be born early so all plans of any kind are out of the window for the time being.
    Have fun people.

    Congratulations to yonny and mrs yonny! :D
    Once the first 4 months are over, you will have so much fun! :lol:

    I almost wish that my child rearing days were not over!
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    I almost wish that my child rearing days were not over!

    Ha ha!

    Many thanks Steve!
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    edited March 2019
    oxoman wrote:
    Sods law, I'm busy but will be there Friday with a mate. Another time hopefully.

    I'd be there on Friday, but I'm out with a bunch of mates on Sat. I no longer want to do two strenuous days on the trot, especially since I banged myself up last Sunday. :(

    Next time you want to go, send me a PM. :)
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,828
    Take it steady Steve and congratulations yonny.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    No responses! :(
    I thought I'd be fighting you off! Is it something I said? :lol:
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    Was there today and the trails were perfect.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,828
    I went yesterday and it was good including the cross country bit from Ollerton with my mate
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    I was there today and despite the rain we've had there recently the trails were in good condition.

    I also found a new section of trail! Well actually an old bit that had been made inaccessible by tree felling. It is now no longer blocked, but by the looks of it hasn't been used for a few years. It makes the trail I will be doing on the 14th Apr flow better.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    So far there are 6-9:

    Definites
    me +3
    Billy Cool +1

    Possibles
    898Kor +2

    The weather forecast for the day is 12 degC, cloudy and with 20% precipitation, so you won't even notice it. The weather between now and the ride is forecast to be pretty much dry, so the trails should be in great condition.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Steve - it will probably only be me as my +1 is losing his negotiations with the wife.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    billycool wrote:
    Steve - it will probably only be me as my +1 is losing his negotiations with the wife.

    Oh dear! Probably best as his mind will not be on the task. :(

    I've crashed at Pines three times since last Sunday. Quality testing so you don't have to! (You know what they say, if you're not crashing, then you're not trying hard enough!) :lol:

    No, not really, the first was bolts insufficiently torqued on the stem so the wheel went in the wrong direction when I landed after a jump (that was a hell of a bang!). The next one was me attempting to climb something too steep for my skill and energy and I rolled off backwards and sideways into a hole. The last one was me thinking about the next obstacle instead of the one I was actually on! That did not end well. :shock:

    Looking forward to Sunday. Unless we get a surprise thunderstorm, the trails will be dry! :D
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    It wouldn't be the same without the odd unplanned dismount. :D

    I'm looking forward to seeing the new stuff.

    Don't care what the weather does.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    The day started with two guys phoning in sick (I know them both, so it was genuine). As we have seen, another was having divorce problems and cried off. Another just didn't turn up. So that left three of us. BillyCool, me, and one of my mates from another Forum. The weather was a bit cool, but dry and with grippy trails. It was an excellent ride and only I fell off (just the once). I was trying to avoid a fast moving rider coming up the off-piste trail that I was about to turn down. I managed to stop OK, but when I put my foot down there was nothing there and I ended up upside down about five feet down the hill. My bike was on top of me, foot trapped between front wheel and frame and I was enmeshed in brambles and small saplings that had broken off, a bit. It was a proper comedy fall. BillyCool says he got it on his GoPro, so we shall see.
    BC was suitably impressed by the big descent that I wanted to show you all. So much so that he went first without checking it out on foot on the basis that if I could do it, so could he! (Cheeky bar steward!). He almost didn't make it. :lol: My mate did it in style. :) I did it with a total lack of style! :oops: But without falling off, or even looking as though I might. :)

    BC demonstrated that 26ers really are better at twisty stuff in the woods than 29ers by making the rest of us look like amateurs. :lol:

    BC has some pics that he will put on the thread. I doubt he will post any vids as they will look like the ones he's posted before of the rides. But I'm guessing that he will find time to edit the one where I fell off. :)
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Thanks for another great day Steve.

    Just to confirm/clarify a few things:

    Steve did actually undertake 2 un-planned dismounts. I feel that the first was just a warm up for the big event though. I did catch it on video but need to edit it first and add some super slo-mo, to capture the moment in its' full glory. The person you think you will hear laughing on the video wasn't me at all. It was in fact chimpmunks in the forest canopy.

    The new descent was interesting. I have complete faith in Steve (after all, he is the preverbial mountain goat and never falls off...)

    Braking was challenging and I was merely having a close inspection of the silver birch that Steve told me to stay away from. The correction and subsequent detour via the brambles was just another deliberate action. Honest. I have it on video and I'm pleased with the tree avoidance. Enough said.

    John rode it very well and Steve did a good job as well.

    26" do indeed still rock. Love the twisty stuff and puts smiles on my face.

    I'll got a couple of decent pics of John and Steve, so I'll stick those up soon.

    I will do a very short video, even if it just contains Steve's dismount and several slo-mo replays. :lol:

    Shame more people couldn't make it. It's always nice to see bits of Pines that aren't on the main routes.

    One last thing to mention - which Steve seems to have glossed over. Both he and John were on e-bikes. I didn't think much of it but OMG - they just cover the ground so well and very annoyingly they accelerate UPHILL. Everytime we crested a hill and you try and catch your breath, they zoomed off again. There wasn't a moments peace! I worked so much harder to try and keep up than I usually would. I had a go on Steve's bike at the end of the ride and wow, it really does pick up when you pedal and add some torque just when you need it. No wonder I felt so slow.

    Anyway - a great ride out, average company :D and now I need to buy an e-bike.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
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    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    billycool wrote:
    .........
    One last thing to mention - which Steve seems to have glossed over. Both he and John were on e-bikes. I didn't think much of it but OMG - they just cover the ground so well and very annoyingly they accelerate UPHILL. Everytime we crested a hill and you try and catch your breath, they zoomed off again. There wasn't a moments peace! I worked so much harder to try and keep up than I usually would. I had a go on Steve's bike at the end of the ride and wow, it really does pick up when you pedal and add some torque just when you need it. No wonder I felt so slow.

    Anyway - a great ride out, average company :D and now I need to buy an e-bike.

    Some e-bike critics say that they are for the sick, lame or lazy! I'm in the "lame" category in that after four years of struggling, I have finally given in to osteo-arthritis in my knees. It was either an emtb or giving up riding with other people. I spent a lot of time choosing before going for the Focus Jam2 9.6 NINE, which is a carbon framed 29er full suss. I love it and now I will be selling my 2017 Whyte T130 C RS (low mileage, large size in black, in case you are interested). :)

    By the way, thanks to BC for the pics, above. That's me at the top on the blue bike, about to drop about eight feet after a very sketchy descent to that point. The pic below is of John on a total descent of about 40' across the face of an old railway cutting. It is steep, very loose and has a couple of steps on it and a change of direction 2/3rd of the way down, unless you want to go over a 9' drop into brambles (BC just managed to avoid that fate).

    BillyCool may have felt that he was struggling to keep up, but the other rider (John) and I are sensitive to the fact that we have the power of a large light bulb (250W) at our beck and call, so in due deference to clockwork bike riders, we both kept our uphill speed down considerably. But I agree with BillyCool, when first experienced it is an OMG experience! :D
    Normally I stop frequently for the column to close up and to allow for headcounts, but to be honest it was usually for me to give my knees a rest. With just the three of us my excuse would not have been valid, but I didn't need it anyway because of the emtb. I actually stopped more frequently to allow BillyCool to catch his breath and to pass on instructions as to where we were going next (as I can't give him too much to remember at one time). :P
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    billycool wrote:
    ..........

    One last thing to mention - which Steve seems to have glossed over. Both he and John were on e-bikes. ..........

    One last thing to mention - which BillyCool seems to have glossed over is that both John and I are 67 years old and BC looks to be in his early 40's. We both need that extra 250 Watts!

    You give me 25 years and you can have my emtb. :lol:
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,828
    Steve looks like you all enjoyed it, I'm one of the many ebike critics around I'm afraid. However you fall into the category that I agree ebikes are for. Good mate of mine who introduced me to Sherwood and cannock amongst other places started with quite an aggressive type of OA and had to stop riding completely for a bit. He's recently started commuting to work using a gtech ebike, the hope is he can still do Sherwood on something a bit better if his body lets him. You go for it and keep biking. Hopefully I can make it another time. PS still waiting for the video clips.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    billycool wrote:
    ..........

    One last thing to mention - which Steve seems to have glossed over. Both he and John were on e-bikes. ..........

    One last thing to mention - which BillyCool seems to have glossed over is that both John and I are 67 years old and BC looks to be in his early 40's. We both need that extra 250 Watts!

    You give me 25 years and you can have my emtb. :lol:

    So rude!

    I'm 46, so I'll accept `early 40's` :wink:

    Either way - you just didn't get the natural pauses that you usually get when riding, where you can catch your breath. Despite my Strava saying we were only moving for 90 mins of the 3 hours, I still managed an average heart rate of 133. It spiked more and was a lot higher for longer than usual.

    No complaints - I love the exercise but it was hard(er) work than usual and it made me feel really slow (on the uphills anyway!)

    I did also add some more air to my rear tyre which seemed to help. I'm not a big fan of running super low tyre pressures when tubeless but probably ran around 30psi. I found the tyre squirming around a bit on fast bends (quite unsettling) and quite draggy on the drier/sandy trails. When I added more air (c.35psi), it rolled quicker and the grip was back where I wanted it. Sadly, my legs were pretty ruined by then but I'll know for next time.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
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