A bit of training before Christmas.

I hope that I’ll get another ride in before Christmas but today was a good opportunity for some training before the big day. I rode to my local hill, Healey Nab, to ride 3 energetic laps. Since I’ve been writing my blog I’ve often been reminded of how often I ride the same places and repeat very similar rides. I haven’t ridden Healey Nab for over 3 weeks, though, and last time I did there was some snow on the ground so the riding would have been markedly different. I saw only 3 other riders in the area today and the weather, though dry, was rather gloomy and overcast. Honestly this makes almost no difference to a mountain bike ride, the state of the trails is the deciding factor for the quality of an outing.

The trails at the Nab are purpose built for mountain biking and so are all bermed (banked) on the corners. This is not generally my favourite type of riding because I like to reach the limit of grip for excitement. A berm holds you onto the trail and steers you around the turn but reaching the limit of grip puts you in a precarious position due to the high speed. The only saving grace is that you can hear the tyres striving for grip before they let go so it’s quite gratifying to ride quickly and hear the gravel crackling under the wheels. It hasn’t rained for over a week so the trails were running well though at this time of year there’s little chance of all the muddy puddles drying out. I worked hard on the climbs and after 8.4 miles and 919 feet of climbing I knew I’d had a decent workout. I’d told myself previously that I shouldn’t ride an open descent towards town until it dries out in spring. I forgot about this until I was already under way but fortunately it was OK to ride down but the next rain I’m sure will ruin it again.

My wife, being a school teacher, is on holiday at the moment. She will retire at the end of the academic year, at least from classroom teaching and I was reminded how we will need to accommodate each other when we both spend our days at home. Hopefully she’ll be able to find some benefit from me being out from under her feet so with a bit of luck my riding will be unaffected.

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