Although we recently had a full week without rain it’s been a very wet autumn and the rest of the week doesn’t look too good. I was a bit tired after doing a hard days work yesterday and saw on the forecast that the best time to ride would be earlier in the morning. I thought that my local man made trails at Healey Nab would be the best option but set off with no definite plan. I stuck to the road around the back of the hill but before climbing off road to the top, I’d been thinking about my plan to ride the 47 mile, 6,500 feet of ascent, Mary Towneley loop next year. A bit of extra climbing seemed like a good idea so I stayed on the road to climb to the highest point on the way to Rivington. The climb is only a little over 300 feet but it’s steep, being only 0.8 miles in length. I was working fairly hard at it and found later from Strava that, despite a reasonable wind against me, I climbed quicker than on my few previous attempts. I had started the ride at a good pace but was still surprised that I’d set a personal record. I wouldn’t describe the climb as enjoyable but kept going just for the training, hoping for an endorphin high. The high didn’t kick in, I’m afraid, but I did have the prospect of a steep, fast downhill to the dam at the end of the reservoir. In the wet conditions it would have been risky on a twisty road to go all out but I still managed to reach 37.6 mph, so in dry conditions this would be a good place to reach 40 mph, if that’s important to you.
I rode up the gravel road towards the top of Healey Nab, with the intention of just riding down the trail, then home. The slippery conditions made me quite cautious. I saw 2 other riders stopped lower down the trail and said hello as I passed. I’m starting to feel a little sorry for the riders who’ve told me they never ride the red graded trail, presumably because the black trails are supposedly harder. It’ll be a macho thing. I do ride the blacks but since the changes made this year the red has a sublime section which never fails to entertain, pictured at the top of the page. I touch the brakes a couple of times in this short section so it isn’t just a rollercoaster.
On the road back to home I had no motivation so found myself making little effort. I still didn’t have that high, though I remember plenty of times when the ride home feels very nice, with a warm glow enveloping me. Back home I did get that kind of feeling but maybe I hadn’t worked hard enough for it make me really relaxed. I’m hoping the weather will improve before next week. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to ride again because I’m starting to do Christmassy things!