20 Aug, Green Dragon, (8,15)
It was another balmy summers evening when a select few gathered in the Green Dragon car park at Liphook for the inaugural ride of Tonka and Slumpy's bush tours. Our heroes this week included Chuffy, Smashie, Fracker, Simon the Wheels, Nurse Brown, Jonny Godfrey, RM virgin Tonka and DRM virgin Slumpy.
It was a nice relaxed start to the ride through the hanger to Bramshott village via the church yard and up Woolmer Lane and onto Bramshott Common then several styles to negotiate (footpaths ? perish the thought). A picturesque ride past Waggoners Wells ponds followed and then a challenging section negotiating slippery roots and some adverse cambers. Then to the 'impossible incline' which is covered with loose rocks and debris. I say impossible as it has not yet been successfully ridden and RM and DRM were so confident that it would remain unscaled that there was the carrot of a free meal to the first to successfully ride to the top. There were valiant attempts by Nurse Brown, Chuffy and probably the closest fail by Jonny Godfrey who got to within 6 feet of the summit and then inexplicably lost traction (a suggestion that gravel was thrown under his rear wheel by the RM are strenuously denied). It was mentioned that had Dobbie been present, that he would have been up there like a rat up the proverbial drainpipe at the offer of a free meal, but luckily he was conspicuous by his absence.
Onwards through Grayshott and a downhill section to Whitmore Vale Road. There we met one of the friendly local residents who dared to question that the kissing gate we were expertly negotiating led to a bridlepath - how very dare he !
After stating that we had the express permission of the National Trust to ride on anything we fancied, we continued on our way to echoes of "I hope I don't meet you coming the other way" coming from our friendly local. So we wound up a technical uphill singletrack through the heather to a spectacular view at the top. Then through another kissing gate thing and a windy woodland pine trail where Simon the Wheels kindly located a hidden tree stump ! This led to a fast downhill section where, you guessed it, we met our friendly local coming the other way with dog and friendly wife in tow. So after a further exchange of pleasantries we continued on our way to an uphill grind to the aptly named Beacon Hill.
Then a road section and then right back through some wooded singletrack over a jump where some impressive aerials were performed including Slumpy's 'off the saddle and onto his arse' routine then back through Grayshott, Stoney Bottom and Waggoners Wells in the fading light. Finally was a fast section through the woods which emerges beside the A3 and the final leg through the Bramshott green lane back to the Green Dragon for a Thai meal.
So the stats ;
15 miles covered
A fall for Slumpy and Simon the Wheels,
Meals for all
T shirts for all that possess them
No mechanicals or punctures but 1 x botanical for Slumpy recorded on the stats sheet. Not sure what that means but possibly a reference to his nose getting 'at one with nature' when it ploughed a furrow in the dirt ??