On Sunday 27th March the E-Bikeshop Owners Club visited Aston Hill bike park.
Of which turned out to be a wet & muddy ride around the XC track and around the surrounding forest. We all met in the main car park @ 10:30am. Aston Hill is a paid site, so after we all paid up and got the bikes setup, a quick briefing followed and we were ready for action.
I counted 13 riders in total, so good to see so many people out on a rainy day. It was also great to see a few new faces, as the club grows this seems to be a common theme, so it's nice to meet new people and share the same passion we have for riding. It also makes for a mix of abilities to go out riding together.
The plan was to head out and follow onto the green marked XC route to get warmed up. Then a few members could attack the DH sections if they were feeling ambitious. Unfortunately a wrong turn lead us straight onto a black run and thus a rather tricky descent down to the bottom of the hill. It's worth mentioning it had been raining non-stop the day before and the sticky mud / chalk conditions made it hard to even walk down the side of the hill, let alone ride the trails!
I get the feeling a few of the new members were thinking: "What the hell have we signed up for!". Fortunately we all made it to the bottom (some sliding down on their backside I might add!). At the bottom a quick regroup led straight onto the Green XC trail. Which was much to the delight of many! I must admit at this point it was raining further and even the short steep climbs of the cross country route led for some tricky spots. A long climb to the top meant we could enjoy a little of the single track as we snaked up the hill. Fellow member Bernie's bike decided to play up at this point, fortunately we were on hand to rectify a small issue at the top, but it left him somewhat out of breath to say the least!
As we were all sopping wet, the XC route was almost to the point of being un-rideable as they were so sloppy wet decided for a quick change of gloves and jackets at the main car park and led into the woods opposite for a longer run over some more natural terrain. This took in a mixture of road, bridlepath and forestry tracks. One track in particular was fast flowing and led to lots of mud splatter. Literally some were unrecognisable at the bottom of this trail! It's all part of it I suppose and glad everyone got stuck in!
Unfortunately about an hour in the group was split at a junction and we got completely lost as one group went one way and the other another way. This led to a load of confusion with people darting off as we were trying to communicate and re-group. At this point we had covered many miles and we were at the limits of the bikes, so we managed to find a road and coordinate everyone to meet in a local town. On arrival we all had a well deserved bacon sarnie and much desired hot chocolate. Before a short road ride back to the main car park.
This ride was unlike no other! For one the weather was not on our side, as everyone knows this can spoil a ride before it's started. The trails had not had a chance to drain and this left a lot of sloppy mud everywhere we rode. The fact that we all got split up didn't help either. A lesson learned on this one I think. On the plus side we all returned safely and at least managed to get some miles under the belt. Plus not forgetting the social side and a good natter in between! Finally well done to the Cooke's in particular - Alli, Nigel & Julia done so well. We thank you for staying well spirited, keeping up morale & continuing to ride the duration of the ride. The next ride will be different - Promise!
Really looking forward to the next ride, which will be at Cannock Chase at the end of next month. Already live on the club events section, you can sign up now. We will of course publish all the photos of this ride on the club page in the next few days, don’t forget to tag yourself in them. The E-Bikeshop Owners Club is a closed group of riders, if you have purchased a eBike from us and want to get involved, please get in touch.