TIMBER MTB Website Thetford Improved Mountain Biking EnviRonment http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/frontpage Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:32:20 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Easter Weekend Double Yolker! http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/168-easter-weekend-double-yolker http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/168-easter-weekend-double-yolker With two bank holidays in four days, social rides were planned for Good Friday and Easter Monday around Thetford Forest. These usually take in off-piste sections are are really good to find hidden gems of singletrack

7 riders assembled at High Lodge on Friday morning, setting off some time after 10am towards the pump track soon picking up the Beater trail then off-piste. Unfortunately due to weather and forestry activities the trail was blocked by trees - this would become a common theme throughout the ride.

I won't go into details of where we went because a) I can't remember and b) join a social ride to find out where we go.  After spending a bit of time on the High Lodge side we headed to the BCP side, which was where the first crash occured -front wheel washout on a muddy corner, nothing damaged just pride.

After more singletrack we headed back to High Lodge side to play in some of the pits, with a fantastic save in Tom's, a close call on the exit of the Skip and a minor off on the Beast, most of the group headed back to High Lodge for food and drinks.

Bank Holiday Monday came, with marshals in the car park and 15 of us, old and new faces, left at just after 10am.  We headed out towards the middle of the Beater trail at quite a pace, and quite soon the first crash occurred just before Duck and Cover, with a second through Duck and cover.

When we reached the exit road from High Lodge we headed towards St Helen's side of the forest which was less crowded then High Lodge. After some fireroads we soon hit the various pieces of singletrack that litters this part of the forest.

A snapped pedal, motocross bike, quadbike and a big off greeted us here, and after the last crash it was decided to head back to High Lodge with all riders making it back safely.

Both rides were really enjoyable, even if the trail conditions on Friday were far from ideal, and it's good to find those obscure gems of singletrack.

Richard Hall (rshall)

 

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rshall1974@hotmail.com (rshall) frontpage Mon, 06 Apr 2015 20:12:08 +0000
MSG Round 1 Shouldham Warren 1st March 2015 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/167-msg-round-1-shouldham-warren-1st-march-2015 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/167-msg-round-1-shouldham-warren-1st-march-2015 First round of a new season of races only a week after the end of the last ones, what could go wrong? Not too much, traffic was slow heading towards Shouldham, then I missed the turning but arrived just before midday, signed on and went for a walk.

I have never been to Shouldham Warren before and it's similar to the off piste sections of Thetford, Brandon and Santon Downham, but lumpier. I met Jon and we went for a sighting lap, there were a few interesting sections, two steep climbs and a small pit.

Just after 2pm we all lined up for the start in lines of six for our respective categories, yours truly was right at the back, with Jon in the line in front.  The whistle went and we were off up a fire road climb then looping back down to the start/finish fireroad and into the first section of singletrack.

This was twisty, sticky and rooty with an off camber lump which caught people out (yes me!), small section of fireroad then up the first 'nadgery' (TM Jon) climb with people having clipless moments as they ran out of steam. The course went left into the first technical section, a couple of rollable drops followed by a little climb causing more stalls (me again).

There was a very lumpy and muddy downhill section from here into more singletrack though trees and rhododendrons, out onto fireroad and another wider but smoother steep climb followed by a wide descent.  From here on it was mainly singletrack either rising or falling with no real places to catch your breath.

Towards the end of the lap there was the other technical section, a small pit with a rollable drop entrance, small bump and a loose climb out.  I tried to make this but stalled at the top, stopped myself rolling back, then got out of the way rapidly as another rider was approaching.

Even though no photos were taken of my fail, the rider behind me was Jon! so I have to mention that I did have an off and managed a very tiny cut to my left knee. More singletrack after this and then a nice swoopy drop to the start/finish line.

The next lap about half way round I was overtaken by the leader, so that meant one less lap, dropped a gel, went back for it and lost places and bypassed the second technical section.  Each lap became harder, especially the climbs, but some sections were riding in nicely.

The bell went to signify the last lap, the fast riders were still going strong, I was starting to flag.  Down the final section of singletrack and an attempted sprint finish. I crossed the line having completed 4 laps, finishing in 46th (out of 54) place feeling slightly sick but pleased with completing the race

Richard Hall (rshall)

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rshall1974@hotmail.com (rshall) frontpage Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:57:18 +0000
Winter Series 4 22nd February 2015 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/166-winter-series-4-22nd-february-2015 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/166-winter-series-4-22nd-february-2015 The final race of the winter series was at Fire Road 6 Brandon Country Park side, and after watching the weather forecast all week it was cold(icy) but dry. The course was described as 'undulating' which meant climbing, and with defrosting conditions would lead to being hard work as the race progressed.

As normal I got overtaken by nearly everybody in the 2 hour race, and as in the previous race their was a crash on the fireroad start.  When I got to the first bit of singletrack there was the usual queue but nobody pushed in. After the singletrack came a fast downhill fireroad section which turned 90 degrees right into more singletrack, through into a section called Ferg's Berms which rode really well, and scarily fast when I got it right.

The route then turned back on itself, another small section of single track, more fireroads, into pinball, then out into more downhill fireroads - I hit 25mph on this section. The route carried on towards Brandon Country Park through some sticky, rooty uphill sections that I struggled to get into a decent rhythm on.

Dropping down from Brandon on the usual sections of singletrack, short sections of fireroad, across Heather Terrace, a few more sections of fireroad and single track them up Plumbuster/Nutcracker.  When I first got to this there was a train of riders climbing away,  this would get harder each lap.

My second lap was faster and riders were getting more spread out, there were times it felt like the end of a 4 hour race with no one around me. End of the lap and up Nutcracker, not too bad but starting to hurt

Third lap and pushing on a bit as I wanted to 4 laps in, one point having full on rear wheel drift through one of the fireroad corners.  I was slowly catching some of the riders that passed me at the start, yet again Nutcracker was hard work with three of us winching away up the hill.

As I came into the arena I heard I was in 64th place, this pushed me on a little as I knew others around me in the standings would be suffering as much as I was. If I saw a rider in front of me I tried to catch them, while not getting in the way of the much faster riders

The final section of fireroad before Nutcarcker and I passed a few riders, up Nutcracker I passed a few more, one guy was walking very slowly - sometimes I love having a triple! Out of the trees for the final time, no final push for the line as my legs were shot.

I did't stop riding after crossing the line, just rode very slowly back to my car, nearly collapsed and felt sick.

Final result was 58th out of 83, which I was pleased with, other Timber members finished 17th, 23rd and60th, so well done to all. A bit of rest as I have stupidly signed up to MSG on 1st of March, I must be a glutton for punishment!

Richard Hall (rshall)

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rshall1974@hotmail.com (rshall) frontpage Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:39:14 +0000
Winter Series Round 3 2014/15 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/165-winter-series-round-3-201415 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/165-winter-series-round-3-201415 My second race of the season and confidence was higher. I’d finished rebuilding my crashed bike, my fitness and confidence had increased, I’d eaten nearly a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes and it wasn’t forecast to rain! I had arrived with enough time for a sighting lap and duly set off.

Parts were still covered in frost and there was some ice around but generally looking good.  The first feature was Tom’s Pit, this was to be bypassed on the first lap, but I wanted to check it out.  I took my entry too slow and had a clipless ‘moment’ on the hip jump, falling to the outside edge – not a good start.

The rest of the lap was a good mix of single track, fireroads and pits including mower trail, parts of rusty bucket, Flint and Howe’s pits, and Super Big Dog, surprisingly there was no going up Double Shocker – perhaps too slippery?

I met up with Jon and Adam and had a little chat with them prior to the start. Soon we were off, quite controlled really even though there was a crash on the first section of fireroad! Queues formed approaching Tom’s pit as it was bypassed, but via single track.

I settled into a steady rhythm, felt quite strong so decided to push a bit where I could and soon was catching and passing people.  Things were going well until Howe’s Pit where the rider in front of me changed lines on the entry and crashed, blocking the entry but I don’t think he hurt himself.

Out of the pit with no more issues and on to the feed zone/start where I went past few people. Still feeling strong I pushed on the fire roads and tried to use Jedi training on the single track.  Next lap, I still felt strong and carried on the same vein, passing one of the Timber 4hour riders.  Once I had started my fourth lap I knew I wouldn’t get anymore laps in so eased off a bit and enjoyed the race, still passing the odd rider, and being passed by the much faster ones

After 2Hours 18 minutes of racing I crossed the line in 55th place (out of 86), which I was very happy with.  Other Timber riders finished 19th, 28th and 30th, all in the 4hours race (nutters!)

Richard Hall (rshall)

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rshall1974@hotmail.com (rshall) frontpage Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:36:10 +0000
Winter Series Round 2 2014/15 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/164-winter-series-round-2-201415 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/racing/164-winter-series-round-2-201415 Approaching this race with a little trepidation following my last excursion into racing (a 'little' off resulting in 3 months off work), my primary aim was to finish in one piece.  I went for a sighting lap and the conditions were good, a little moist in places, the lap was just under 8 miles long and took me 45 mins at a steady pace. I made it to the start, took my normal position at the back, waited for the countdown... and we were off.  I'd forgotten how fast the start of the two hour race is and soon lost sight of the main group.

The course took in all the usual bits, down plumbuster, dartboard, past the fenced off area, parallel to the main road, parallel to fireroad 6 and other bits I don't know the name of! The first lap started well, then it started to rain, light at first then heavier and heavier, dropping the temperature and morale. The ground conditions changed from good in most places to slippery, energy sapping and downright messy in under a lap.

Second lap started and I hadn't been overtaken by the fast riders in both the 4Hr and 2 Hr classes, and settled into personal battles with a few riders around me, some pulled away on singletrack, others I caught. Soon the leaders started passing me, most of them really courteous, some breathing so hard they couldn't speak.

At this point I knew three laps would be my limit, both physically and time wise, so I was determined to complete these laps but it was getting harder and harder, tyres squirming for grip then feeling like the brakes were stuck on.  This got progressively worse, and at one point on my third lap I felt I had hit the wall.

A fellow Timberite came flying past and gave encouragement that helped me continue, very slowly at times, but on I went.  Looking at other riders, some had the gaunt look off 'what am I doing here/when will this end' the racers still had their race faces on, covered in mud though.

The final corner was a welcome sight and I was more than relieved to cross the finish line, it was over, no more pain but I had finished, which was my goal. Checking the results I had finished a lofty 77th out of 91, but I had riden for the whole two hours.

Looking at the results from the comfort of home there was a top 10 finish for one member and others finished 22nd, 27th, 39th and 79th in thier respective catagories, so well done to everyone who entered.

Richard Hall (rshall)

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rshall1974@hotmail.com (rshall) frontpage Mon, 08 Dec 2014 15:04:06 +0000
Mud Sweat & Gears - Thetford, Round Six http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/163-mud-sweat-a-gears-thetford-round-six http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/163-mud-sweat-a-gears-thetford-round-six We will be playing host to the sixth round of Mud Sweat & Gears over on FR24 (off A1065 north of Brandon).  Matt, Graham and team put on fantasic events, especially with the work they put i encouraging youngsters and the ladies events.  Together with this they are huge advocates of reinvesting in the sport and to that end they will be donating a substantial figure to TIMBER post event which we will obviously be reinvesting in the trails n which we all ride.

Not only will we need marshals on the day but there will be quite a bit of preparation work on the course in the next few weeks and with set up and break down on the day. So could all TIMBER members make every effort to put a few hours in somewhere along the line to support the MSG event and ultimately support TIMBER.

Keep an eye on the forum for details. Thank you all in advance for your efforts!

Martin (Moe)

Chairman

Forum discussion: http://www.timbermtb.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2956

http://www.mudsweatgears.co.uk/

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martin.monaghan@hotmail.co.uk (Moe) frontpage Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:50:58 +0000
Membership Renewal http://www.timbermtb.org/website/announce/55-club/162-membership-renewal http://www.timbermtb.org/website/announce/55-club/162-membership-renewal With the AGM just having passed us, it is a sign that yet another successful year of activity has drawn to a close - and I think we can most certainly say it has been an interesting and productive one! Our continued progress over the past 12 months is solely  due to the sheer hard work undertaken by our members.

I hope, as we enter into a new year, we will still have your full support in order to help mountain biking within Thetford Forest become a much greater experience.

I confirm that the membership renewal fee remains at £10.  If you wish to renew your membership, you can click on this link RENEWAL.  As a member of TIMBER, you will have access to discounts on products and services provided by sponsors and affiliates.

Additionally, once you have given your time at a ‘Build Day’ for 24 hours in the year you are entitled to a free High Lodge Discovery Pass which allows you free parking at High Lodge for a year.

 

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sjansma@srmj.co.uk (jaz) frontpage Sun, 04 May 2014 19:53:03 +0000
Forestry Operations http://www.timbermtb.org/website/fc/161-forestry-operations http://www.timbermtb.org/website/fc/161-forestry-operations The High Lodge Area is currenty undergoing extensive thinning and felling operations, this has all been planned to minimise distruption to the cycle trails and other public access to the forest. Inevitably though there are areas that are out of bounds for periods of time.

Although these operations may be inconvenient, they are a necessary part of forest life. Please obey the signs and do not enter these areas even during the evenings and weekends, as depending on weather conditions (and even market conditions), the crews may well be working extended hours. Any 'near misses' or conflicts with machinery or contractors and public encroaching onto operations areas will only cause delays or worse (machinery v cyclist? .... the machine WILL win!). Please allow the crews to complete their work as quickly as possible and stay out of the area while operations are ongoing.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

High Lodge information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry//INFD-9DLLD3

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martin.monaghan@hotmail.co.uk (Moe) frontpage Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:41:34 +0000
TIMBER 4x4 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/160-timber-4x4 http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/160-timber-4x4 Thanks to our relationship with the Forestry Commission, TIMBER were allocated a place on an officially recognized, 2 day, 4 x 4 course on a former gravel pit in Suffolk.

The weather was kind on the two days but unfortunately hadn’t been the previous weekend. This resulted in thick mud and large areas under water. Instructor Pam Bicknall, an ex RAF engineer and lifelong Land Rover enthusiast, did her best to get us out there driving, but in the poor conditions it did mean digging and winching the FC Ford Ranger, and even Pam’s own Discovery, out of the mud on a number of occasions.

The pictures here, and on the forum, don’t give a true reflection of the conditions!

Many thanks to Emma at the FC for enabling TIMBER to participate, and thanks also to the FC guys on the course, Adrian and Simon, for their help and encouragement. Luckily we got Simon’s Ford Ranger back in almost one piece!

On top of all that, we all passed our LANTRA 4 x 4 certification … some with more faults than others..humm.

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peterh@peterharper.info (peterh) frontpage Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:18:02 +0000
Christmas at High Lodge Cafe http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/159-christmas-at-high-lodge-cafe http://www.timbermtb.org/website/component/content/article/159-christmas-at-high-lodge-cafe On Friday 20th Churchill Catering laid on a Christmas lunch for all the staff of the partners and associated businesses of the High Lodge & FC site.  I can say categorically that all the Cafe staff did a fantastic job of delivering a great meal and a highly enjoyable afternoon!  All the Timber members that were there would like to thank Beverly, Emily and all the staff for all their hardwork, not only for the Christmas meal but for putting up with us throughout the year, keeping us fuelled up with tea, coffee and food. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year from all the Timber trailpixies!

Martin (Moe) Monaghan

http://www.highlodge-catering.co.uk/

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martin.monaghan@hotmail.co.uk (Moe) frontpage Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:00:22 +0000