After a dry week last week the weather changed on Sunday and is predicted to be wet for the rest of the week. It hasn’t stopped our garden from still looking good, pictured above with my bike after the ride. This morning the rain held off so, although I felt a bit tired, I decided to ride in the calm before the storm. It would have been easy to choose the weatherproof, man made trails of Healey Nab but I wasn’t excited by the prospect of riding the flowing berms, with little challenge unless you try to maximise your speed. I thought Birkacre would be quiet and to be honest I didn’t see a soul there.
I slid around some good corners and did a full lap of the area. I love to find that little envelope of speed where you’re between full grip, at one end, and wiping out in a massive slide to the ground at the other end. You may be able to corner faster in dry conditions but the thrill was much the same in today’s wetness. I took the short hop by road to the woods behind Coppull mill with the delightful downhill with it’s amazingly quick climb. I’ve had a great time on this little trail, which has been one of the highlights of this years riding. I wrote before about the vandalism, directed I was sure, at mountain bikers. A large oak tree had been cut to lay across the trail near the start. Today the trunk had detached and is now low enough to sculpt into a jump. I used the route around the obstacle which I worked out on my last visit but after the first right hander another, slightly smaller tree has been cut to block the trail. The vandal had reckoned without a determined mountain biker. I heaved the whole tree out of the way, completed my lap and rode 5 laps in total. I returned via Birkacre and although I was annoyed that someone should try to stop me riding somewhere I’ve ridden on and off for nearly 30 years, I had a good time and can feel the effort in my legs as I type. I covered 10.46 miles and climbed 1,106 feet of ascent.