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Friston Forest
All info regarding Fritson Forest
Went to Friston on Saturday, interesting that no one has posted anything about it on here, yet there's pages and pages of stuff about Bedgebury.

It was muddy.  Now I'm used to mud, I ride a lot at Bedgebury which could possibly be renamed "bogbury" for about 10 months of the year, but the mud at Friston was different.  I've never ridden anywhere as slippery before and never experienced mud that seemed to clog the tread on my tyres so comprehensively.  I'm blaming the mud for the two crashes I had since I had no control whatsoever over the rear wheel of the bike, on the descents my bike seemed to handle like a 20 year old supermarket trolley.

Overall the Red route (They've renamed the purple route you may have heard of and repainted all the signs) was picturesque and enjoyable, but I reckon about 2 of the 7 miles were singletrack with the rest being bridleway.  I saw lots of promising looking singletrack snaking through the woods but the red signposts were always pointing in another direction.  The trail felt a little like the locals had designed it to keep everyone away from their favourite singletrack sections.  I was a bit reluctant to just ignore the signposts and explore because I wasn't confident the map would be much use and I didn't have the time to get lost.

I'd go there again, but not unless I knew it would be dry and dusty, and I wouldnt stick to the Red route.
Theres quite a lot of singletrack on the official loop there. If you look in the Rides section and the thread about the south downs on the 12th you will see I went through there then taking in one of the "hidden" 2+ mile bits of awesome singletrack. Yes it was a bit greasy but that just meant constant 2 wheel drifts which was fine. We then routed out via the downhill course area and along more singletrack at the top
"greasy" is a pretty apt description of the surface I'd say.

I definately saw a lot of trails that werent on the red route that looked very interesting.  I've also seen pix on flickr of people jumping out of bombholes at Friston and I didnt ride past any of these.  

I did find the signposting a bit confusing to be honest, sometimes I saw some singletrack and thought "Why arent we going that way" only to find we picked that bit up on the way back and rode it in the opposite direction.  I saw the downhill course, if it had been dry I might have had a go at that, but I was having enough trouble keeping myself on the bike on the singletrack  Wink  Some of the jumps there looked seriously hairy, but then that's the difference between 14 and 40.  At 14 you only see the perfect landing, at 40, you only see the three hour wait in casualty.

I am going to try to ride there again in the dry and hopefully it will be a completely different experience.
Went to Friston today with my friend Leigh to do a modified version of my normal ride, most of this will only make sense to Dawg, mbnut and dgw15 as no one else likes proper old school singletrack. Anyway, got absolutely blinking soaked through but still had a brilliant ride.

That first long downhill into Jevington, Nige/Derek, remember how we had to pedal down it and quite slowly last time due to the wind? today there was no wind, outspinning 36x11 with the added bonus that the slippery ice like chalk had a wet greasy extra slippery top layer, it was quite insance to be honest, felt like the front of the bike was seperate to the rear as it was all over the place, excellent fun though!! Smile

Then we got into Friston and did the bit I told you I had only done once before which was on the ride Dawg came on as we found it then, this time I did it backwards so after the first bit it became this brilliant downhill singletrack, both of us 2 wheel sliding all over the place, I was cursing my spd's a bit but managed to keep upright. Amazing section of trail even in these conditions.

Then, you remember where we went into it after climbing the grass field where the horses practise and turning right into the trail, well we carried straight on coming out of it as there was more singletrack, turned out to be longer than that first bit! couple of short steep uphills then into tight hairpins and back down, crashed into a tree on one of these but only at walking pace luckily. Finally got to the end of it amazed at the find, oh then we found some dirt jumps heh!

Made our way back round and up top to come into the downhill area from the top of it, jesus that was slippery, took a slight wrong route then attempting to get back online before a big berm I locked the rear, it slid out on the chalk then the front went and I landed hard on some roots doh. Seem to have two right knees now and a big bruise forming on my right thigh partially caused by my phone/gps being in that pocket. I then bottled part of the run as that was where I did my collar bone before and I was having 'Nam flash backs due to just crashing. Best bit is there are more runs in there now so people are building again, im looking forward to when its a bit dryer for them though or at least when I have flats and my proper pads on!

Riding up that singletrack we kept getting lost on due to the leaves was a slog plus due to the rain I couldnt see anything as my glasses were steamed up so just followed the vague outline of Leighs bike then we cained down that long chalky hill back into Jevington where he had to fix a puncture as we nearly froze to death (should have gone tubeless).

Excellent ride and such a good venue when you know where the trails are, quite tired by the end, soaked through, brake pads fine with almost no wear which is good, bike worked well, at the end of the last downhill (finished in a different place to normal) the rain was sizzling and steaming as it landed on our rotors  8)
I wanna ride there, but you are on the other side of the world, only chance of me doing it is if I get a lift with someone local as even if I could use my dad's car it would cost me £50 in petrol :o  I'll get over there one day though, sounds like a good ride.
Tis quite moist atm! I will put up a ride thing in the new year, early Feb perhaps, sure Nigel or someone will come along again or Derek who is Ashford so maybe able to bring you in his van if you can train it to his for example. Ive also devised a way to do both bits of long singletrack downhill making it even better than what we did today, woo
Pencil me down for that. If all goes well I may be tentatively be back in the saddle by then. And I live for old skool singletrack!  Smile
Nice report - not what I perticularly wanted to see while sitting at  home working...[jealous]  Will be joining you again, its a great venue, your lucky to have it so close, though not a million miles for me either.  Only decent thing I've done all day is replace a bearing in my headset, not quite like getting out & dirty though.
Same as... haven't ridden for ages and not going to for a bit.....  

Sounds like a good day out
Mei securis turpe meus vox<br />            

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