As we headed towards the woods the pace was very steady. I decided to take the lead. We don't have any arrangements for leading these rides - whoever fancies it can do it. If the followers don't like the pace / trails being picked etc they can voice their opinion or take over and do better!

The advantages of being leader include:

  • The pace is one you are happy with
  • The trails / route are your favourites
  • You get a rest at re-grouping points (last man hardly ever gets a rest!)

I was feeling good and my mood got better as I cleaned the railway line on the way out to Calverton Woods. I was back on my hardtail but had an upgrade on it in the form of my KS i750 seatpost which has now been passed on due to my new bike purchase. You don't need an uppy downy seatpost in the woods but as I had it I put it to use as I lead into "The Qualifier" (steep roll) and then again on the new trail discussed in these posts before. I guess we can't call it "new" for much longer? I think it needs a name but we don't usually bother with trail names...?

I was setting a steady pace as leader so was expecting someone who wanted to go faster to usurp me at some point. As I headed towards Burnt Stump The Show Onion did so. I didn't give chase and to my surprise no-one else did! I kept at my pace and everyone else stayed behind. I reckon they all fancied a steady one after last weekend in Wales? We let him lead for a while then he let me take over again.

Towards the end of the ride we crossed the road and entered Blidworth woods via the car park. One of the local dogging community in the car park took exception to our bright lights being pointed in his direction and got out of his car to shout at us to "turn that f*cking torch off". Almost to a man he got a resounding "f*ck off" from all of us followed by a few more choice insults!

The trails last night were soft in places but ideal in others. We got back to the pub via some hard work and some fun flowing trails and the bikes didn't need cleaning. A really enjoyable ride.