As we entered the outskirts of Sherwood Pines we picked up one of the Moto-X trails and Robbo upped the pace. Conditions were perfect and I could see dust in the air from the bikes in front in the beam of my light. My mud guard and Swamp Things were definitely surplus to requirements.

At the end of the trail we came to the railway. Crossing this involves a steep down and a steep up. Speed is your friend if you want to make it up the final steep section of rock on the other side! I had the speed but hadn't left a big enough gap and had to stop behind Fairy who had stalled near the top. I managed to unclip and get some grip on the exposed sandstone. The show Onion behind me had left even less of a gap and Andy Hill and Medium Steve behind him had done likewise! Pretty soon there was a jam of bikes and bodies slipping backwards down the slope :o Comedy!

Once everyone was across we started playing catch up with Robbo who was into full "fun hoover" mode. To be fair with the conditions as they were nobody wanted to go slow but a few more stops would have been nice. We descended at speed on part of the Adventure Trail and then picked up The Kitchener Trail. Not far into this Jamie and I were lagging a bit behind due to the fast pace and then I had to stop to adjust my seatpost which had slipped down. At this point we were both thinking "I'm not that bothered if they have dropped us. We can do our own thing". However fortunately (or unfortunately - depending on your view!) Robbo was sticking to the marked route so we caught up a mile or so later when the main group stopped to wait for us. As usual as soon as we arrived they were off again. No rest for back markers!

The only short rest we got all night was when we passed "The Folly" and I got the camera out as a few of the lads had a go with varying degrees of success.

Andy Hill about to attack The Folly

The Fun Hoover ready to go! 

We completed a full lap of The Kitchener Trail in what must have been a very fast time? Robbo didn't even stop when Fairy crashed! When conditions are like they were last night The Kitchener Trail is really good fun: really fast and flowing. The added bonus of doing it at night when there is no-one else on it to hold you up makes it even better. I was pleased to see that they appear to have done a fair amount of work on it too. Stone surfacing is appearing here and there and some parts have been re-dug. Hopefully it will one day become the "all weather" trail it is supposed to be? There's still a lot to be done.

After our lap we picked our way back to the cycle route to Rainworth and on to a pint in The Lurcher. If only the conditions could be like that for every ride....?