Acheing , briused, tired and happy, these two muniers had a great weekend
in the Forest of Dean at the British Muni Weekend 3. Lots of thanks to
Leo, Caro, Geoff and Dave for their route planning, masterminding and
general organising. This years event was smaller than prevoius years , but
16 muniers and 3 bike riders showed up. The weekend kicked off with a
night ride through the forest to sample local beers and play pool (very
badly in some cases). Fortified by a few pints a number of us then chose
to take a more extreme off road route down a rubbley gulley back to camp.
Saturday’s main ride was from Pedalabikeaway on a circular route through
the trees. Sections such as “Narnia”, “The Rogerable Ascent” and “Rockets
rooty Mudbath” proved challenging and fun. There was blood drawn on three
sections. Barry had the best injury from a piece of fence needing ongoing
first-aid for the rest of the ride as he reopened the wound. Just as well
we had an A&E nurse with us in the shape of Stuart.
The single track was fantastic, lots of climbing, lots of rocks, roots,
drop offs, steep decents and fun riding. After a brief pause for lunch,
ice creams and showers we headed off to Jubilee Maze, a hedge maze some
eight feet tall, so even on a unicycle you can’t see over it. As it was
the end of the day and there were few other punters ( and the owner
unicycles!) we were allowed to ride riot in it. “Maze mans hat” played on
unicycles was great fun, a form of tag with the added complications of
dead ends and limited slightlines.
Sundays ride started out from the campsite , taking a steep loose rubbly
path down to the River Wye. Alan suffered the only puncture of the weekend
- a double snakebite. We crossed the river on a narrow suspension bridge,
Roger tried wheeel walking while Rocket tried slack rope walking the
surport wires. It was a bit werid riding this bridge as it swayed and
“bounced” under you, the hand rails were level with your hips which
added to the precarious feeling.
More up-hill, to steep even foe Roger in places took us to a broad track
round the hill to some caves. Dave ( a cave rescue chap in his spare time)
lead a group in serch of bats. Others decided to head straight for the pub
and lunch. Getting to the Pub involved crossing the river again, this time
by hand ferry. One of only two left on the Wye, where a chain crosses the
river and a ferry man hauls the boat along the chain by hand. The lunch
was Ok as was the beer and the sunshine, but we had to wait ages for some
of the meals.
In consequence there were two groups for the ride back to camp, Paul and I
were with the first ones ( our lunch came in decent time). We slogged up
to the top of the hill , an R2 ( ie Roger managed it but with 2 rests). We
stopped at the top for ice creams and bird watching, getting a glimpse of
a Peregrine Falcon in its cliff side nest. The ride back to base was in
Leo’s words “undulating”. some of the undulations were small and some were
big. At one point Roger fell off on a flat tarmac bit “because it was too
flat”. We retraced the last part of our night ride , unrecogniseable in
daylight, and had another go at the rubbly gully, before arriving tired
and happy at the campsite.
We had a great weekend and can warmly recomened the Forest of Dean for
See you at BMW4?
British Muni Weekend September 14th-16th Bracelands Campsite, Forest of