A trail ride for fitness.

Today I thought it would be a good idea to do a continuous trail ride with no targets for any particular section. By gradually increasing the effort during the ride it would help my fitness, especially in terms of stamina. So why should this matter? Well, miraculously the weather has turned dry and sunny. Could there be a chance that Healey Nab would dry up and I would have a chance of breaking 11 minutes for a full lap? I’ll need all the fitness I can muster! I started with  about 4 miles of road riding to Rivington, a famous mountain biking area. I had already climbed well over 250 feet by this time, followed by a 600 feet climb to Georges Lane, a dirt road which runs through the area. I then had an old school downhill about a mile in length with a drop of over 400 feet. It starts with 3 straights, each followed by a fast corner. I messed up my line going into the first left hander, turning in too late so making the corner sharper than it needed to be.  I picked up speed down the straight. The trail has been smoothed out for better access in case of forest or moorland fires which plagued us last year. I imagined that the big, fast right hander would be easier but the surface now has gravel as slippery as marbles right round the turn. I took the widest line I could on the way round and made it to the next corner. After a 30 mph section the trail changes completely. The gradient is steeper and the corners are incredibly tight. It twists and turns, becoming rockier. I was struggling on the tighter turns. I was trying the modern technique of keeping the body low and leaning the bike, not the body. I think I need to go back to the old ways. Locking the rear wheel on the approach to the corner and sliding the rear end around until I’m facing the exit of the corner, up on the pedals and away to the next turn. I timed my decent on the stopwatch at around 3 minutes. I seem to recall it taking me around 2 minutes 45 seconds 20 years ago so I was quite pleased.

I rode back to Rivington village on a fairly level trail then took the route towards the Anglezarke reservoir. Climbing a rocky road the ground was bone dry. I started to hope that Healey Nab would be better than it was 2 days ago. I stopped along the side of the water to take the pictures in this post.

IMG_20190917_135901The trail is worn into the ground. Beautifully sunny at this point and the trail was still dry.

Unfortunately the next part under the trees was very wet, as was Healey Nab. It was only the open ground which had dried up. Still, the weather should be good until at least Saturday so you never know. I could feel the effort on the later climbs. I was not surprised that many of my Strava times were personal bests. After all I was just riding at a decent pace rather than taking it easy and saving myself for particular segments, which I often target. It was a good ride. I must do more rides which are continuous, rather than only riding hard on chosen parts. I covered 14.43 miles with 1,489 feet of accent.


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