A voyage of discovery.

I still don’t have the wheels of my Boardman back. The shop was deserted today so I had to chose another bike. My pedals were already fitted to the 25 year old Proflex Attack LE full suspension mountain bike, so it was the obvious choice to ride it again. I’ve been enjoying my time on the older bikes but I’m anxious to get back on something modern so I’ve decided that after 2 months of waiting I’ll get my wheels back ASAP and fix them myself. I only sent them to the shop because I thought it would be easier but now I’ve had enough.

I was going to do a trail ride over Healey Nab but then I remembered a trail along the canal at Worthington Lakes. I can’t remember if it was last year or the year before when I found a good downhill section and rode it 2 or 3 times. I still don’t feel fully recovered from my heavy work digging a new pond but thought it was time to get back to training. I worked hard from the start to get the blood flowing and rode along the canal bank for a few miles through Adlington and on to my objective.

The downhill I was seeking is a little complex because several paths dissect each other and you have to make the right turn. I wasn’t sure I was on the right track until I reached the end by a reservoir. I didn’t know quite what had been so appealing about the trail in the past, though it could just be several fallen trees which have been left across the trail, breaking the flow. I decided not to try a faster descent and started to explore the area instead. It was only when I got home later that I found my unimpressive run was still the second fastest this year on the app. Strava. With the fallen trees I was still slower than in the past. I found some more interesting paths and noticed how much steep climbing you need to do in the area. I found some trails too steep for the gearing of the Proflex, which doesn’t have the low bottom gear of contemporary bikes. A couple of times I just dug in, gritted my teeth and forced the bike up, pushing my muscles to the limit. It reminded me of digging a pond, but more fun on 2 wheels.

No bikes beyond this point.
No dogs either. Are they trying to make me feel unwelcome?

I was returning by the canal and took a trail which would land me on the edge of Adlington but I noticed a path to the right which I’ve never seen before. I have often imagined that I know every option within an easy ride of home but have been proven to be mistaken plenty of times, often when riding with others. This time I discovered not only a trail but a river I’ve never seen before. It was good though not exciting riding and it finished in the middle of the village. I joined the canal again and rode along to a turn I know I’ve tried before. For some reason previously I’ve turned back after a short distance but now, with our current very dry ground, I continued to find an undulating woodland trail with a slight downward tendency. It’s physical and a good ride but also takes me to Ellerbeck where I used to ride a lot in the mid ‘90s. From here I will be able to link to all sorts of options so it was a very useful discovery. Today I chose to ride back by road and picked up the pace for the last few miles. It had been an unexpected voyage of discovery and has got me imagining plenty of good trail rides which can incorporate what I’ve found today.

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