Thrunton Night Ride mini report
Then there were three. Dr Drew, shattered from his epic drive back from France decided to opt for some sleep and god knows what happened to Sithlord- we waited dude!
So the three Thruntoneers, myself Toons and AlpWilli scowled at a grey sky that was threatening to piss everywhere, set off up the climb into Thrunton. The hill was soon rattled off with the usual banter with red deer scattering back into the treeline (WTF do they go??). We took the XC loop up toward the Dragonfly Pond. Even though it had rained heavily the trails were mainly dry but with big puddles- some deeper than others. Onward toward The Cairn and a brief stop to take in the view and a fag and then at last downward. Great section with multiple line choices and some nasty ruts and holes to keep you on your toes.
I then had the only fall of the day on that hi-speed section with the ruts that claimed Kaiser last time round. I remembered to land on my good wrist and rolled gently through the heather.
AlpWilli got a phonecall at this point to say his house had been broken into, so we headed back toward the forest up that infamous steep rock climb. To add to our misery the heavens opened with that fine rain that really soaks you through. After a good ten minutes of pushing we made it to the top and the rain stopped. Now back in the forest, with Alp peeling off toward the car park we saught out Thrunton's hidden jewels.
Tiny gaps with tyre tracks heading into the treeline is all you have to work on, but once in a whole new underworld snakes off into the darkness. I must add at this point that this was Toon's first time. Even though it was still light on the outside world, the interior was as black as night. I'd forgotten to tell him he would need lights so he had to stay close and I would call the bends, drops, stumps and roots that litter these hidden gems. Traverse, Cresta and the likes were despatched at a slightly reduced pace. They really are the best trails I have ever riden on- manacing, technical, steep, flowing, slippy and rooty. You only see about 10 feet in front of you and it keeps you on your toes as you adjust your line or use a handful of rear brake to slide around a hairpin. We had several runs back up the hill to take on the next section, diving in to find junctions with other options down the hill side. At this point I noticed I had been riding with my fork locked out.
As darkness began to swallow the outer world we headed back toward the carpark via the legendary HP sauce (the top part still being closed for thinning). I had a tweek on my forks- really getting the hang of them now and they were superb on the final section, and for the first time in my life I 'got the point' of suss.
HP rocks! Its a little wider, open and flowing than the stuff further up the hill and you can really have a go at it. Too soon we emerged onto the fireroad at the bottom and I scouted out for the HP extention that P20 showed me last time out. In the darkening gloom I spotted the entrance and in we went. This part is dark on a sunny saturday afternoon as MacRetro will tell you, last night it was evil. How Jamie got down without killing himself was amazing. The guys have done some work on this section, doing more cutting back and they have filled the two little drainage ditches that caught out many halfway in- it now flows and even allows a little air here and there.
And that was it. All that was left was the traditional top gear blast down the steep fireroad and the last of the late brakers game before the stout wooden gate- wow, discs are great!
We got back to the cars to find we had just 15 minutes until last orders, bikes were slung in, no time for a change, flat out to the nearest pub (which closed its doors when we pulled up
) so on to the next one for a well earned pint.
Cheers for coming guys, hope things were OK willi??
A grand night out!