The bacon sandwiches at the café just seem to get better every time I head to The Chase and it would have been rude to break from this tradition (and thankfully we were early enough to enjoy it without rushing!). A bit of a (Camelbak) leak in the car (thanks Tim) meant that there was even more faffing than usual and the café staff did find it a bit odd when we started drying our bags in the sunshine before we’d even started…
Anyway; back on task, we set off into the early morning sunlight, the trail was a bit wet and here that translates to an unpredictable ride due to the stones on the trail surface… The large rocks are much grippier then they look but the trail surface was slippy in a few small sections. We stopped a few times to adjust tyres and suspension pressure to give us the best chances of finding traction before we got into the rhythm of the trail.
The route followed the way-marked trails starting on Follow The Dog, turning off onto Monkey Trail half way round, then back onto Follow The Dog for the last section of the ride (in a bit of a disjointed figure of 8 I guess). Maps available here.
The start of winter had left the trail surface in need of a bit of maintenance with some massive braking bumps developing on sections that are normally really fast… It was still fun and they kept everybody on their toes!
The trail was new to a couple of our group so we took our time and made sure everybody had time to check out the rockier sections and drops before we continued. The downhill new section was really tricky with almost half of our riders putting feet down (see the facebook album) as their tyres struggled to find grip!
We regrouped at the bottom them set off up again to hit the final descent on Monkey Trail, we did this twice as it was so much fun!
The cold and mud slowed our progress on a few final sections on Follow The Dog but we all finished up in the café for a hot chocolate (these also get better each time I go up there!) and a chance to swap stories of near-crashes and our favourite sections before heading back home as the sun set.
Mike, BucksMTB Club Secretary.