Saturday, July 5, 2008

Keith and Rob go Dirt Jumping

The nasty people at Evans would not let John "Jesus" Holme out to play, but Keith (Banshee designer) was good to go and joined me on a trip down to Woburn Sands in Milton Keynes for some 'biking action

There was even a rumour that Esher local legend (and star of pinkbike videos) "Hot Carl" would join us, but more of that later

First of all, we caught a train out of London Euston down to Bletchley, and had to contend with this monster spider which came crawling out of a dustbin looking for some snacks

After arriving at Bletchley (a miserable post-industrial town next to Milton Keynes), we caught a local train for the 10 minute trip to Woburn Sands

Woburn Sands is a very pretty English village, and holds one of UK freeride's best kept secrets - Aspley Woods

Run by a local trust, the woods are open for mountain biking in a huge bowled out area, with steep cliffs above - an old sand quarry at one point in the past

I took my Wildcard and Keith took his AMP, but there was a fair bit of bike swapping going on, as we both wanted to try the bikes out on all the various short course downhill runs, freeride stunts and dirt jumps

Woburn's dirt jumps are something of a legend in the South-East DJ scene - originally built by Elliot Eveson (who now lives in Cornwall and writes the "Dead Sailor" column for Dirt mag) , Sam Johnson, Div (ex-DMR team) and a bunch of renegades, the DJs have been taken over by a new group of locals and were in fine shape

The main line starts small, and gets big pretty quick, with each pack having its own quirk, and the 4 in particular having a very thin take off and landing tip which makes it important to be accurate

The hip line, as seen above, is very tricky with a small technical step down into a bombhole followed by some roller bumps and then the first hip, it took us quite alot of attempts to get this dialled

To the right of the main line is the "Jam" line which is absolutely huge, and we left it well alone for good reason ha ha

Well both the AMP and the Wildcard rode very well, with both bikes withstanding numerous lip casings due to our rusty DJ skills, but we both started getting through the lines and having a proper blast through the jumps

Keith stepped up to the challenge of riding a hip to the right, his opposite way, as seen above, and got the job done despite a few runs into the greenery

I did my best to plough through the main line with style, and got through half of the hip line but left the third alone which was basically, a huge hole and a sheer face...scary!

We both had a great ride, and Hot Carl showed up about 4pm and had a session on the numerous DH tracks above the DJ area, and after getting his head around the loose sandy riding surface and pinecones, started enjoying himself and even pinned a cool gap jump into a long chute

Keith is returning 'up North next week, and then off to Whistler in a few weeks, but has promised to return and next time we will try Chicksands and take more of our motley crew along for the fun


Rob C