Hamsterley Introduction

Posted by Mark Russell on 2015-04-16

Nine folk turned up to join me at Hamsterley forest for a beginners intro to the centre and what it has on offer. I had to change the start time to a very leisurely 3 P.M as I have joined an elite set of mountain bike apprentice’s for top secret skills coaching that took place in the morning. However I thought it actually worked quite well because as Yvette and I were arriving the last of the weekend warriors were then heading home.

After a quick count up and introduction I gave a very quick explanation of what the day was about and where we would be heading.

Part one involved all of us carrying out two loops of the skills course so that those who were completely new to trail centres could get a feel of the types of trail and features they would be encountering through the day. Thankfully we had Kev on hand to show us how to tackle the see-saw and Yvette had it nailed very quickly! Once the two loops were complete we all joined back up at the start to discuss the next stage. It was here that we had to say goodbye to Chris G’s partner as she was on a loaned bike that wasn’t working for her. The rest of us then went straight on to tackle the black route!! Baptism of fire?? Well not quite, the plan was to climb and then descend Pike’s Teeth. The reason being is that since it has been renewed it actually can be ridden by beginners with basic bike handling skills so long as their speed is kept in check. Therefore the seasoned SOC  riders were sent off first with the newer riders at the back with some of us stopped at key points in the trail to point out changes of trail type or upcoming technical features. This appeared to work quite well.

Once at the bottom, the SOC regulars decided to Part Company from the group and explore the trickier areas with plans to meet us near the end. That left four of us Yvette, Sarah, Jenny and I to carry on with my plans of ‘steady away’. We carried on through the centre and then took on the new Oddsox section. As it worked well before I rode ahead and stopped where the track splits between red and blue options so that I could let the new guys know where to go. Hence to say it worked well and everyone reached the bottom safely. Sarah decided to go the red way and looped through the mini hully gully section.

From here we then pedalled our way to the top of Transmission, briefly took in the views and then made our way down. Just before starting accelerator we then met up with the rest of the group and finished the ride by zooming down Nitrous and back via the grove link.

Everyone back to the car park safe and sound.

I hope it was of some help to the newer riders and I am planning more intro rides for Q3.

Thanks for coming out to play.

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