Mud doesn’t matter.

We’ve had 12 consecutive days of rain and it’s muddy. Despite that I’ve had a really good ride today. I gave it a lot of thought before I set off. I wanted something which was worthwhile, exciting and not just a mud fest. I have loved my riding at Coppull Mill. The mill is now split into industrial units and behind is an area of woodland. One segment, which has been christened “Faccy track” on Strava, is an exquisite, twisty downhill with plenty of roller coaster like dips and bumps. You finally reach a precipice where the trail drops by around 3 meters or 10 feet. You leave the ground over the top and at speed won’t land until you’re most of the way down. The feeling of freefall is thrilling. You still have a right hand bend to get round before the climb back to the top and today is was slippery, causing two wheel slides, a mountain biking nirvana for me.

I left home and after a short road section I took a tough climb through the woods which I managed without a foot down. After passing some modern houses I rode old Burgh Lane with it’s Strava segment “Drop to Birky” on which I hold the “King of the Mountains” title for the fastest run ever at 1 minute 24 seconds. Today I did 1 minute 42 without much effort and enjoyed the slithery surface. I climbed to the top of the Birkacre slope, diverting half way to do a twisty downhill just for the excitement. Through the village of Coppull brought me to the mill. I’d decided on 10 laps of the circuit down the Faccy Track and back to the top so I just launched into the first decent without stopping. 1 minute 12 seconds whilst I checked the trail conditions for the descent but by the third lap I was down to 1 minute and 4. In fact I rode 3 of the 10 descents in 1 minute 4 and another in 1 minute 5. Consistency shows you’re getting it right. On some laps I had to stop or slow for various reasons. I had been lashed across my face and neck by a hawthorn twig so I stopped to break it off. I also needed to slow for a woman with a couple of children who were surprised to see me several times riding in circles.

The rollercoaster track was fantastic on every lap and the climbing was worthwhile training. I was really pleased to do such a good ride in conditions which could have ruined my day. Only 7 people have ever recorded a Strava time on the descent and my best time today would have put me in second place, except that my best time from the past at 57 seconds is second. In dry conditions I’m sure I’ll improve on that. At the top of the post is my bike in our front garden after the ride, slightly muddy and surrounded by peonies, which are looking beautiful.

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