The rain has continued to be very heavy but not heavy enough to deter a determined rider! Since my last ride on the newly acquired but 23 year old Proflex, I’ve given the forks a service, cleaning the internals and lubricating them. They feel much smoother and have lost a lot of the notchiness which was making them very poor over small bumps. I’m still blaming the fork for causing me to crash last time but at least the scars are healing. Older bikes are not nearly as well protected against wet conditions as new bikes so today, although I was keen on another ride, I just took the Proflex for a spin in the road, testing the fork by bumping up small kerbs. I took the Boardman out for my off road ride.
Will classic MTB enthusiasts talk, one day, about the Proflex Attack LE in the hushed tones a motoring enthusiast would reserve for a blower Bentley or a Mercedes 300 SL gullwing? Who knows?
It wasn’t actually raining during the ride and by choosing Healey Nab I knew I could expect rideable trails where I wouldn’t have to get off the bike and push. I saw one other rider who was contemplating at the side of the trail. He near the new jump section and may have been trying to work out how to ride it better. I’ve ridden it quite a lot now and know that if I stand up on approach to the first jump I can allow the bike to rise up underneath me, absorbing the bump and staying on or close to the ground. I was being cautious in the slippery conditions but still enjoyed 3 more or less continuous laps, riding for 1 hour 20 minutes and climbing 1,021 feet. I’m now sure that I won’t have any more chances to beat the 4 challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year. I’m claiming victory over 2 of the challenges, one of the others was just too hard. I’d underestimated how much ability I’ve lost with age. OK, I could change my diet and train harder to try to climb Crooked Edge without a foot down but really? Do I want to put so much effort into something so trivial? Would I want to drink less beer? What if I injured myself by trying too hard and missed weeks of riding? Enough excuses. I haven’t done it but got within 8 seconds of my sub 11 minute target for a lap of Healey Nab. That target will definitely be rolling over to next year.
Some longer rides, maybe at trail centres, would be good things to do this autumn and winter but it’s very time consuming to drive there and back as well as doing the ride, so I’ll just have to enjoy local riding, I think. I have an oak tree, which we planted 21 years ago, to cut down and a building to make with the timber. You see mountain biking isn’t quite everything in life but I’d hate to be without it.