2B Friston Friday night 13/09/13 ride report

Despite a wet forecast, 7pm arrived with no rain so, our usual Friday night 2B ride went ahead. Numbers was down again, as a few 2B riders were unable to make it on the night, but we still had 4 riders.
Another 6 fast riders took the 3/4C ride.
Both rides went straight up cardiac with the rain starting by the time we got to the top. The 3/4C went down via the bomb crater run and I decided to introduce one of the original Friston single track trail (Secret Trail) to the 2B riders. Last time I was on it was probably 10 months ago and must say that I did see plenty of “new to me” trails branching of it. Towards the bottom , I managed to take an unplanned turning and we got to the second car park instead of my planned route. This did force us to cycle a little on the road, luckily two of us had rear lights which allowed to proceed safely on the road to rejoin our starting point at the gates. This loop was 6.17mls which we did in 50mn pedalling time.
We were all soaked but as it was still quite early we all decided to do a little more.
We went back to “mobby” and took the lower part of the “fairy trail” (which may have a new name now) and got back to the gates. This second loop was 5.57mls and we did it in 37mn. In all we must have been out for close to 2 hours. Due to the very slippery condition and the rain I will re-label this ride as a 2C. One of our rider had a couple of wipe out, but luckily did not hurt himself.
All in all, a good ride, a little more demanding that first expected due to the weather changing during the ride.
This bring me to a few “winter ridding tips”: Always a good idea to cycle with a small rucksack or camelback, this will enable you not only to carry your water and puncture repair kit but also a small lightweight rain garment and your back light if you do not want to have it fitted on your bike while ridding in the forest (yes they do sometime fall off). Having a small bag will give your back some extra protection from the rain and from a fall. The extra rain garment will also come handy to keep warm in case you have to repair a puncture or have to stand still for any reason.
Another essential item is glasses as you will end up with mud in your face from your front wheel or the rider in front of you. Also you may want to fit mudguards front and back so that you don’t end up looking like having done a mud wrestling match and covering the inside of you car with the brown stuff!
Don’t forget to recharge your light batteries for your next ride, if they have lithium type batteries (most high powered lights do), they can be recharge when they are half empty, the only thing they do not like, is to be left flat for any period of time!
A lot more can be said about winter riding, but this would require a specific article.
Hope the weather will be better next week and hope to see you all at 7.15 on Friday night.
Luc