Dusty is the word that best describes last nights ride. It's not often you get to say that in the UK in the last week of September! Six of us rode from The Fox and Hounds as the sun set with Baz leading us towards Cauldwell Dam.
Looking back through this diary it was 17th March the last time I rode some of these trails! We took a different route last night but still took in all the excellent bits of singletrack and of course, The Dam itself. I had rebuilt my old Cove Hustler the night before and this was it's "shakedown ride".
Initially we rode tarmac to get to the sandy descent to Harlow Wood. With the dry weather this was comedy fun as we hit deep sections of loose sand at speed. When we entered the trees at the bottom I regretted not having turned my light on and did so as soon as I was on firm ground.
I was very surprised on the next section of singletrack to find a few damp spots! Don't know where they have come from? After a couple more sections Baz stopped to add a bit of air to his rear tyre. While he did so The Show Onion moved a toad off the fire road and the rest of us chatted.
A short while later it was obvious the slime wasn't working and we stopped to change Baz's tube. Initially the team operation was looking slick with me supplying a tube from my Camelbak whilst Baz and The show Onion were doing the actual change. Then the comedy began! First off the tyre wasn't seated correctly and Andy didn't notice until the tube was bulging out. Next, having inflated it correctly he removed the pump and snapped off the top of the presta valve. Another tube and a whole lot of p*ss taking later we were under way again!
When we got to the The Dam only half of us took on the tricky, steep, loose climb that has to be done to get to the highlight and steeper and looser descent of The Dam itself. Baz, Medium steve and The Show Onion skirted round to the bottom while Stu, Jamie and I headed up. We all cleaned the climb. I was pretty happy with that as it was tough despite its shortness.
Jamie rolled into The Dam first and I followed. As I did so I swallowed a fly! Luckily it was before I was committed so I stopped for the usual choking and spitting before having another go. The steep gulley is now really deep in soft sand and the descent was easy. I went down it slowly and controlled. Years ago this steep roll/slide used to cause me problems.
Baz took us back via Rainworth and Blidworth before a last fast loose descent down Beck Lane. I was towards the back and could hardly see a thing for dust! Having my light helmet mounted didn't help. Steve was having a proper comedy sliding session in one of the particularly sandy sections as Jamie and I passed him laughing.
I always enjoy these trails and last night was no exception.