SOUTHERN REGIONAL RAMBLE – NEW FOREST CHALLENGE, 30TH MAY 2014-06-08
This was different to our usual format in that we set a little challenge by going slightly “off piste” on a track which was quite rutted and rather muddy! We had an exceptional turnout of 13 scooters, with some members who haven’t been for a while turning up plus a new member who we were pleased to welcome – which was very pleasing indeed. Happily we also had 5 walkers and they were magnificent! That may sound rather over the top – but without them it would have been difficult, or even not achievable. We set off along a sandy ridge that leads out from Bolton’s Bench at Lyndhurst, a route we have done many times – itself quite a difficult one because of the sandy bed, quite deep in places, and also channels in the track made by the rain etc – then turned down the “challenge” track. Because of the recent rain it was very muddy, no problem for the Supersports and Trampers but several of the other scooters had trouble. Luckily, I had taken my mud traction mats, cheapos from one of the books that come through the door, and they were surprisingly effective. So with the mats and lots of help from our valiant walkers we got everyone through. One thing which became very obvious was that, in future, on a ramble like that I will know better which scooters are capable of the conditions because without the walkers it would have had to have been abandoned – so very many thanks to those who did all the extricating, pushing and support. As it was, we all enjoyed it, and the helpers assured me they were OK and having fun, and we then had lunch before setting off on the rest of the ramble.
This led us back on up the sandy ridge and into an enclosure the other side of the Beaulieu Road and alongside a meandering New Forest stream, quite a large stream but not a river, it is so lovely and peaceful and it was an experience for our members to be in such a situation – one which without our scooters and DR we wouldn’t be able to enjoy. We then went on through a beautiful inclosure which was easy going, which meant all could relax and take in the surroundings without worrying about getting stuck! This led us back to the start point at Bolton’s Bench. A good feed back from all who attended, and all in all a really good day. Not one of our usual regional rambles but it made a change for everyone. One tragedy was that at the start Bob’s Supersport, which he had been riding around on, suddenly refused to go another inch so he had to sit the ramble out, on returning home it turned out to be a simple grub screw that had worked loose, and of course, the tools he needed had gone with the ramble leader! At least the wheel didn’t fall off!