Wet weather trail riding.

It didn’t rain today but trail conditions are very wet. It’s just, for me, a question of accepting that fact then thinking of a ride that will still be enjoyable. Too many rocks and roots could be dangerous and too much mud is unlikely to be much fun, so today I decided to ride a circuit, not repeating any sections of trail. It was just the kind of ride I used to do with my mates from 1995 for the best part of the next 20 years. When I ride on my own I’m usually much more likely to ride to a good riding area and repeat the best parts. Not only is this enjoyable but by repeating you can correct any mistakes you’ve made which really helps you to build skills. The next time you meet a similar corner, jump, drop off or section of rough ground, you’ll be ready for it, hopefully!

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The Boardman is still waiting to be washed.

trailride Oct 14

11.43 miles with 975 feet of climbing.

I entered Duxbury Woods only a few hundred yards from home and found it rideable. Shortly after the start I took a right turn from the obvious route to dip down into a fast left hand corner. It was gorgeously slithery so I went for a second lap. I was deliberately going just a little too fast in order to get the wheels sliding. I was starting to enjoy it. It was another 5.7 miles after the woods before I reached the top of Healey Nab for a guaranteed classy downhill and although most of the way wasn’t especially exciting I enjoyed seeing places that I rarely ride and thinking of alternatives I could take when the ground is drier. One downhill segment, which should have been good, was just too muddy and rain rutted, though I was glad to see that a low hanging tree has been cleared for next year. I must have ridden here hundreds of times, timing my descents and pushing myself to, and often beyond, the limit. I can’t remember ever injuring myself since I don’t consider cuts, bruises and the loss of a bit of skin to be a real injury!

I’m hoping a more continuous ride will help with stamina, rather than short sprints which are good for power and strength. This may become a pattern if the wet conditions continue. I hope next week to be able to do something exciting, though. I’ve already opened negotiations with my wife to do the Mary Townely Loop, a 47 mile circuit in the pennine hills on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. Apparently it’s the climbing that hurts at around 6,500 feet. 50 gates to stop for also sound like a pain but I fancy the challenge.

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