After days of rain and slushy snow the prospects for a mountain bike ride didn’t look good. This morning I walked the dog in a very muddy Duxbury Woods but towards the end of the walk the sun broke through. I realised that I might not get a better day for a while so I knew I had to ride. A road ride with a target to aim for would have been entertaining enough but with nothing to aim for it would probably be uninspiring, so I decided to ride a trail ride beginning with Healey Nab. I rode to the north end by a route along the canal bank then a road section to the ascent. When I reached the woodland it looked better than it’s been on recent visits and I climbed the trail to the top with no problems. I was feeling a little tired but it may simply have been because of the extra effort needed to plough through the deeper mud patches.
Looking over towards Great Hill and Brinscall Woods left me longing for drier weather so I could tackle the best local trails but riding the top loop was good as I dared to corner as fast as I could. I moved on to the red graded descent, went left then right without braking but dragged the brakes into the third corner, a downhill lefthander. Next time round I’d make sure I went in at full speed because surely the berm would get me round. The recently renewed surface is still gravelly in places and needs some caution on the many corners. I climbed back to the top and thought that if I added in a run down the back of the hill, over a series humps designed to divert water which make excellent jumps, it would be a long enough ride after I’d dropped down the hill again.
I rode the jumps and climbed back up to ride the red descent again. I went through the first 2 corners then made sure I didn’t brake into the downhill left. It may be true that men can’t multi task. I seemed to need all my concentration to keep my hands off the brakes and used the wrong cornering technique. I leant over with the bike rather than pushing the handlebars down into the corner. I needed to tighten my line and really struggled to avoid running over the top of the banking. It’s always useful to get a reminder that you need to get the basics right! I completed the trail and rode home by road.
I’d ridden 10.03 miles with 1,004 feet of climbing and could feel the effort on the last stretch. In the evening, as I write, my legs are seriously fatigued. Could it be after over a week with only a couple of easy rides I’ve lost fitness?