Today I rode Healey Nab. I considered other local areas but we’ve had so much rain recently that few places would provide good riding and the Nab has a year round series of trails. I helped to keep the ride fresh from the start by riding my usual mixed road and dirt approach but then when I reached the trails I turned left from the main climb. This almost secret way has a decent length of single track. You join the official top loop of the red graded trail near to the Strava full lap start point after a stiffer climb than the normal way. I’d decided to ride 2 full laps from this point which Strava would allow me to compare after the ride.
Looking at my data I rode 2 almost identical laps. The downhill times as well as the time for the 2 circuits were just about identical. I don’t suppose this should surprise me too much. I’ve ridden the circuit hundreds of times and know it so well. Strangely I would find it difficult to imagine a full lap. I don’t think it’s as simple as just memorizing a longer trail. The mind must just store visual clues which remind you where you are and what’s coming next. Something strange happens if I stop on a well known trail. When I get going again it feels so unfamiliar and I struggle to find any speed. I think once I’ve lost the flow of the trail I lose the feeling of intimately knowing the track in front of me. This happened today because I stopped after a new jump section. This is being built to keep the trails fresh for regular riders like myself and to give a harder option than the old route, which still exists to the right. On my homeward descent I took the jumps and modified my technique before stopping and turning back to the jumps for pictures.
The big hump with the bike looking tiny in the dip which follows.
On my previous 2 laps I was using the method I’d worked out on a previous ride to take a big hump which is followed by a flat topped “table top” feature. I stand up and absorb the big one, allowing the bike to rise up under me as I go up over the hump, then pushing the bike down into the dip which follows the jump. The gradient up to the table top was, however, causing my rear wheel to kick up with my front wheel landing first and a lot heavier than I was happy with. On this third lap I pushed my weight well back after the first feature and it worked, allowing the bike to rise up flat, landing the 2 wheels at the same time just at the end of the flat topped part.
The approach to the jumps is quite a steep drop so speed is plentiful.
Dropping into the dip leaves very little space to prepare yourself for the table top.
The section will be perfected in the near future and is a good addition to the track. I reversed the way I arrived to avoid a soaking open field on the more direct descent. I enjoyed my 78 minutes with 1,085 feet of climbing. 26 of these minutes were accounted for by the 2 full laps. We are getting some hotter, drier weather this week so fingers crossed for my next ride which I hope will be in 2 days.