What a treat!

After several days of rainy weather we now have a fabulous treat of 4 or 5 days of dry, sunny weather. We had friends round last night, ate too much, possibly drank too much and stayed up late. I felt OK this morning, though, so was looking forwards to a ride. Our son had visited us for the weekend. He has wanted to be a farrier, that is to shoe horses, ever since he thought about a working life and now, at 18 years old, he has been serving an apprenticeship for over a year. To do this he’s had to move nearly 300 miles south to the county of Sussex, so he can’t come home for weekends too often. He left for the long drive in the early afternoon and I thought I’d ride to Healey Nab. I feared very wet conditions but it has already dried up a little, just leaving the odd muddy puddle.

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Our local Mormon temple is the white building, clearly visible in the middle distance, if you must.

It was good to be out in the sunshine, though the mountain bike trails are mainly through the trees around the top of the hill. I felt surprisingly fresh and completed 4 varied laps taking in both red and black graded trails, as well as diverting to the top of the hill to take the photographs. Plenty of other riders were taking advantage of the better weather and it’s encouraging to see a lot of teenagers riding. On my second lap I took the sharp, right hand corner in the middle of the jump section and convinced myself that I didn’t need to brake. There was less grip than I’d expected and the front wheel slid with incredible speed, dumping me on the floor! It was about as good a crash as I could have had. The only damage was that the saddle was twisted round slightly, which was quickly straightened. I didn’t scuff any skin off or bruise myself but at least it demonstrated, to the half dozen teenage onlookers, that I was trying. They asked if I was OK.

Despite having only 2 or 3 miles of designated trail you can make up some long routes around Healey Nab, especially if you mix in some of the old footpaths, which give some good variety. A mixture of natural, flat corners and the typical, man made banked turns. In 4 laps I rode 10.58 miles with 1,277 feet of ascent in 90 minutes. An excellent ride for the time of year. I had that glorious tired and relaxed feeling that only hard exercise gives, on the way home. I don’t feel bad about missing a ride on Friday since the wet weather allowed me such a lot of time to work on my fork making project for the Proflex bike. See….. Suspension of Disbelief.I’ve now taken the fork apart for a small amount of finishing off, then painting. Maybe by Wednesday I’ll be able to build it back up and ride it off road. It feels strong to ride and doesn’t flex at all so should be safe enough.

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