With our two clubs having recently collaborated in trying to negotiate the return of mountain biking to Buckholt Woods we furthered this partnership with a superb gravity riding day at the downhill trails near to Ribbesford (DY12 2TX), just outside Bewdley, Worcestershire on the edge of The Wyre Forest. Bigfoot Chairman Jason Ayres invited me to bring some of our crew along for a joint club day out. Oh yes, this place was a bit special.
CC-CC was represented by Rich Dade, Tim, Dave Forey, Jules and I. Accompanying Jason for Bigfoot was Ed, Matt, Dave and Mashy. We assembled at the entrance to the woodland at about 9:30 after about a 45 minute drive from Cheltenham. Special mention to Jules as it became apparent as we unloaded the cars that he had somehow managed to forget his rear skewer, and as it was for a Trek no one had a spare. So that was our camera man sorted….
We set off in what couldn’t have been better weather conditions for March to the trail head; about 100m form our vehicles. You come into the trails from the top (Bushcombe style) and there are three routes to choose from catering for all skill levels. The woods are Forestry Commission owned but the trails are essentially rider constructed and maintained. “Old School” is pretty much ride-able by all with various table tops and alternate lines, but the other two are more full-on with plenty of double jumps. We did ride all three but for us most action was on Old School. The gradient of the place is quite shallow so you do have to pedal quite a bit, but a pay back is a really easy push back up in no more than 7-8 mins. Lots of runs by all. The flow is excellent with truly well made big berms mixed with a good dose of roots in the lower wooded area after a fire road crossing.
Dave was busy filming us with his chest mounted Go Pro which I trust will be available through a link somewhere on the website soon. No major tumbles or bike breaks, just a couple of punctures. We were surprised to see Rich call it a day first at about 1:30 – however sleep deprivation and giving his new hardtail a good beating at every opportunity wouldn’t have helped his energy levels. Jase had the only truly “big” bike amongst us and gave it a good ripping while we there. Good also to see a good mix of other riders there from young kids to those with far too much talent to mention.
It was great meeting new riders, but still local riders. Thank you Jase for inviting us to a great session. Two clubs, one aim….good fun on bikes.
Words: Roger Smith.