Saturday, 17 April 2010

Monkey Trail Launch Day (Ladies Ride)

Well as you should all know by now yesterday was the opening of Phase 2, we had glorious weather and the chase was buzzing with people all day long. There were lots of different things going on throughout the day and the ladies guided ride was one of them.

Now the last time I rode at the Chase was New Years Day, a bad back has kept me out of action pretty much since so this was the first ride in about 4 months! The ride was led by Veronica Swinnerton and would take in some blue, green and red sections, so approximately 15 ladies gathered outside Swinnerton’s Cycle Shop at 11.30am. After our official ‘before’ photograph was taken Veronica asked if she could have a volunteer to go at the back, I put my hand up straight away! After all I was going to end up at the back as I hadn’t ridden in such a while so I thought I may as well make it look more official!

We headed off and did a loop round the drums as a bit of a warm up and then crossed into Section 2. There were some ladies on the ride who had never ridden trails before but at a moderate pace we were through through. Headed out past the Stegosaurus we looped round the pools and then peeled off to start the climb up. Despite Abby’s attempts to de-rail me (minor wobble in my direction) I made it all the way up!! We paused at the entrance to Section 12 for a breather and who should shoot past us but Olli! Nice to see him enjoying the Chase! Onwards to Section 12 to face evil root no 2, there were varying degrees of success from our party and well done those who got over it.

Crossing the road we headed through the campsite and to pick up a the new ending to Follow the Dog'. We set off into the Tackeroo which has temporarily (until I ride Phase 2) become my favourite section. It flowed beautifully, little ups and downs twists and turns winding their way through the forest and best of all I fell off!!! Part of it drops down to a left hand bend and then rises up to a right hand bend, I think I hit the back brake a little too hard and simply washed out at the left hand bend and gently slid to the ground! I got up and headed to the end of the section laughing all the way! Our next section we were met by a series on switchbacks on the down, Veronica explained that within this sections there was one with a bit of a drop, otherwise known as the Wolf Drop. Petra advises the group you squeeze through two trees and then drop down but if you lean back correctly it is ok and apparently the second she did it that was the problem not leaning back enough which is why she came off. Success of the day goes to Jess who cruised through the Wolf Drop without a care. Well Done!

We continued up the other side through a series of switchbacks before coming down to the boardwalk at the bottom. Across a bit more and down the drop offs and home was in sight we just needed to negotiate the rollers first. Up and down, up and down, weeeeeeeeeeeee……….Yes! Made it! That was great!! We crossed the road and gathered beside the Chase Trails stand and had an official ‘after’ photograph taken, tired, in need of some lunch but thoroughly enjoyed it. A very big thank you to Veronica Swinnerton for leading the ride and showing us what fantastic trails The Chase has to offer us.


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