SOC MTB Do Stainburn - Sun 3rd April

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2011-04-05

Between Harrogate and Otley on Norwood Edge lies the little known gem of Stainburn Forest.  Packed in to a very small area are approximately 8 miles of technical singletrack.  Seven brave souls (Karen, Emz, Phil, Nev, Judith, Alan & Sarah) joined me and JB for a tour of everything Stainburn has to offer.

 

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qqpRaPaN00]

 

First blood went to the Northside, literally!!  Less than a mile covered and, on a tricky exit off the first descent off Hunters Stones, Sarah was spat over the bars for a nasty face first landing on to the fire road (captured on video).  First aid was rendered expertly by Phil and Emz to a deep cut on the head caused by her glasses and then she and Alan headed off to Hospital for stitches. Thankfully other than the nasty cut Sarah was relatively ok. 

 

Sarah's Big Bandage After her Big Crash!

 

Our party now down to 7, we continued to test ourselves on the natural steep technical trails of the Northside with Phil taking on the gap jump off Hunters Stones and some shonky looking log drop offs on one of the un-official downhill trails. 

 

Phil's Gap Jump

 

After a brief lunch and bike fettling stop back at the trail head we had a couple of runs round the short but fun red loop before taking on the black graded Warren Boulder Trail.  Strewn with hand built rocky obstacles this trail has everything you’d expect to find on a 30km black route at a major trail centre condensed in to 4km.  As a result it’s very intense; steep tricky descents, steep tricky climbs, lots of information to take in and no respite.  The major obstacles are: The Slab (as it sounds), Wall of Death (steep rock hump), Lumpy Bumpy (think that’s its name, very skinny raised rocky section), Hovis (steep rocky hairpin), Cascade (steep narrow rocky descent) and Cole Shute (board walk on to twisty rocky path).  There is also some high north shore with a see saw that we saw Phil ride in awe, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it.

The consequences of mistakes on this trail are high and it has taken JB and I months of riding here to be able to ride it well and we were very impressed with how everyone stepped up to the challenges of this route.  At some points I did wonder if this ride was such a good idea after all as Baz attempted to out do Sarah for most spectacular crash of the year, face planting in to the rocks on Cole Shute followed by a forward roll to finish sat upright, bemused and thankfully unhurt save for a small bump on the head.  Also, I made a bit of a boob when Judith almost fell off Cascade, but I’m glad I was on hand to offer support and nip the likely crash in the bud – you could say I was an off the boulder shoulder holder.

With half the group mentally and physically spent JB, Phil, Judith and I ended the day with a quick blast down the red descent line while the rest rested.  Final score, Stainburn: 3, Visitors: 6.

Thanks to all who rode and to JB for co-leading.  Best wishes to Sarah and Baz, hope it hasn’t put you both off the place.

Appendix

As fads change the SOC or Santa-cruz Owners Club is fast becoming the Suspended Oranges Club. So with the early departure of Alan and Sarah the Mojo was gone and the un-official battle of Santa Cruz vs Orange resumed on the trails and puzzles of Stainburn.

 

Obstacle

      Santa Cruz

        (Inc. Phil)

      Santa Cruz

       (Exc. Phil)

       Orange

Hunters Stones Drop Off

               1

               0              1

Hunters Stones Kicker

               1

               0 

             0

Hunters Stones Gap Jump

               1

               0

             0

Downhill Log Drops

               1

               0

             0

The Slab

               4

               3

             2

Wall of Death

               1

               0

             0

Lumpy Bumpy?

               3

               2

             1

Hovis

               3

               2

             2

Cascade

               4

               3

             2

Cole Shute

               2

               1

             1

North Shore

               1

               0

             0

See Saw

               1

               0

             0

Totals

              23

              11

             9

 

Even excluding the talented Mr Martin you can see Santa Cruz is still clearly the better bike* 

* Author may be prejudiced.


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