Friday, 18 April 2014
It took around 6 hours to drive there in Craig's amazingly comfy "Super Custom" mini bus, we dropped our stuff off at the B&B, had a quick drink at the trail cafe and started the climb up the Glentress's freeride area. We got our eye in on the skinnies and black short cuts on the entertaining climb before reaching Buzzard's nest and the jumps, drops and obstacles of the free ride area. We spent a good hour here, we'd picked this week hoping it would be quiet, and it was so we had run after run on the jumps until someone suggested "just one more go" which is fate's code to produce a disaster and we knew it was time to continue on.We'd planned to stick to the easier Blue route as we were all suffering from "van-lag" But as we passed the final climb to "spooky wood"which is on the blue route, we thought, sod it, lets do the climb and put our feet up later.
Spooky wood needs no description here, It's well documented and anyone in the UK into mountain bikes will have heard of it but suffice to say the giggles and smiles on the lads faces told the whole story as we regrouped at the end of the 1st section. the 2nd and third brought similar results and quite a lot of arm-pump with stories of near misses and how we tamed the terrain and went faster than each other.
It was a great first day and as we rolled back to the B&B we knew after a refuel, tomorrow would be even better
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
But today I thought sod it, I've not been up it for at least a couple of years, now is the time to see if I humiliate myself as usual.
The thing about this sort of mental block is that when you actually confront the obstacle it's never as bad as you remember, I'm expecting a long drawn out climb with numerous steep ramps that seem never ending where I'll wheeze and huff and puff my way up wishing for another gear to drop down into. Not today, i was a little shocked to find myself on the more open twisty section in next to no time and i arrived with three sprockets to spare. Job done, metal block dissolved. Now all i have to do is improve my time on the next attempt!
Monday, 7 April 2014
I wanted to get a longer ride in today as I wasn't sure if i could ride tomorrow. So i set off towards Worcester on the singlespeed bike via the canal system. It was quite muddy in places, a semi slick rear tyre didn't help grip and the lower part of the towpath near Hanbury is quite neglected and technical because of large holes, off camber roots and deep mud pits. It also didn't help as i suffered a puncture on this section. Tube replaced I joined the Droitwich canal which is now happily fully open, there was a dangerous bridge at one point and the towpath was diverted through a farm and along some lanes to avoid it but it's now open and easily navigable. A bit of tarmac and a nation cycle path later i was near Worcester race course. I pedalled over the cycle bridge to the opposite bank of the river Severn to have a look at the houses built on stilts to avoid the flooding that occurs ( and did not a month ago). Crossing back I found an American football game, the home team being Worcester Royals Uni AFC before hitting the Pumb house Eco cafe for some lemon drizzle and a cuppa!
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Now I'm not disabled and although I'm getting on a bit I don't consider myself an O.A.P. yet but even I thought twice about riding and getting a lung lining of silicate particles. Then i thought that in the summer I've ridden through a lot more dusty conditions especially in races where I've ridden through clouds of the stuff so I thought I'd risk it. In the event the rain was more of a hindrance than the air. Now, if we could have some Saharan heat along with dunes falling from the sky things would be great
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
I think I only uncovered my legs for about 2 hours and much less than that was actually in the woods but my skin must be like a beacon lit and burning on the highest hill around as something homed in and feasted on my blood with abandon and not just once! spring has finally arrived. fecking insects!