A pleasant surprise.

I’ve been thinking of going to an area which I rode regularly 20 years and more ago. Today I did and was pleasantly surprised.

I rode the segment “Drop to Birky” where I set a new fastest time on my last ride. I noticed how much easier the Boardman is to ride fast on the stoney downhill first part. I just felt glued to the ground rather than skipping across the stones. I took the alternative longer route at the end, so was a good few seconds slower in total.

I then did a few runs at Birkacre including a full lap of the area. Ithas rained this morning and the surface was slimey but a lot of fun! I rode to the mill at Coppull where I’ve ridden so many times in the distant past. My favourite track from those days has been grown over by substantial trees in the last 20 years and the first part has disappeared completely. A new first section has emerged which joins the previous second half. A pleasant surprise is that it is a sinuous, twisting track with some smooth manmade jumps towards the end. This was previously a mining area and when the thin soil is scraped away a superb shale surface remains. Just about perfect on a mountain bike. The segment has been christened “Faccy Track”, presumably to indicate that it is close to a mill or factory.

On my cautious first run I took a wrong turn and had to retrace my steps. A second run went smoothly so I lined up for a third go. I put more effort in and as you can see from the photo I achieved the second fastest time ever! Another pleasant surprise.

Whilst looking at the Strava information I remembered that I’d almost ground to a halt and ridden the wrong way around a bush when I saw a woman walking 2 chihuahuas up the track! It should therefore be only a matter of time before I beat the fastest time so far. You may think that out of only 6 riders it is a rather shallow victory but I recognise a couple of the names on the list and often see them at the top of much longer lists.

I’m getting unnecessarily excited about the prospects of riding these trails again. Roll on spring.

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