Last time that Nick, Suzie and I went mountain biking in the New Forest we had such an awesome time that we all resolved to do it again. And this weekend, to make the most of an amazing spring Saturday, that’s exactly what we did! This time we pumped our numbers up from three to nine, adding Kylie, Julian, Eva, Peter, Anisha, and Kerrie to the group. We were a force to be reckoned with!
The forest was noticeably less green and lush compared to the last time we went. In fact, the ground cover was so brown and dry that I could have fooled myself into thinking we were back in Australia! This made some of the off-track areas a bit treacherous to ride on – one large stick through the spokes and it would have been game over!
Still, that didn’t stop us from trying – some of us more so than others. Predictably, Nick decided that following a track was taking the easy way out, and instead decided to carve his own path. Mostly this worked out well for him, though I think he found some of the terrain a little bit more difficult than he had anticipated.
Overall, we were following the Deer Sanctuary route as recommended to us by the bike hire company, which included lunch at The Trusty Servant in Minstead. It was a lovely pub, yet it was full of polar opposites! For example, the fish and chips were delicious (good!) – but they came with normal peas (which are on my “list of foods that should never be eaten”) instead of mushy peas (which are fine – boo!!). Also, the outdoor dining area was enormous, and just lovely in the sunshine (good!) – however we found the locals a little too friendly, and I for one wished they would have maintained their distance (boo!!). I think Anisha felt the same way.
Not long into our return journey, we somehow managed to miss a turn, and we ended up on an off-road path through some swampland. Still, it’s all part of the fun isn’t it? Plus, I couldn’t take Kylie out of London without bringing her home at least partially covered in mud; it just wouldn’t be proper! But with a little bit of compass work, we managed to find our way back to the bike shop in the nick of time – only 10 minutes before they closed up for the evening! Phew!
Once again, an awesome day out, and one I’d be keen to repeat at anytime! I think I need to get me some padded bike pants though; my butt was aching afterwards! (TMI?)