Frosty morning ride.

The weather is now approaching from the north, straight from the frozen arctic, rather than its accustomed south westerly origin. This is bound to mean that it’s cold, despite Global Warming. We’re even expecting snow over the next few days so I was glad that I could ride today when it was only slightly frosty.

I decided to ride a few laps around the Birkacre area which is now a country park. I’ve ridden there since 1992 and never tired of the fabulous corners. Wet or dry you can find the limit of grip on the flat corners and to add to the variety we have some man made though unofficial berms and jumps. I like to practice cornering technique as often as possible and think that the best way is to repeat sections rather than ride one long, continuous trail. For safety I didn’t intend to do much in the way of jumping but rather absorb the jumps by approaching them stood up and allowing the bike to rise up underneath me then pushing the wheels back down by extending my legs. It may not have looked spectacular, even if there had been anyone else around, but by keeping the wheels in contact, it was safe. I had my last bone breaking accident here in 2016 when I decided to ride a section of berms and jumps one final time at maximum speed and spectacle. I broke a collar bone and a few ribs. Ouch! I may be more mature now, who knows?

There’s one particular segment with 3 corners, right, left then a tighter right which exits up hill. From the first time I was getting small, controlable slides so rode around a loop 3 times before going to the berms. This part looks little used now and had a lot of leaves settled on the corners but was still an exciting prospect. I rode 3 laps of the area at an energetic speed. I wanted good training value from a fairly short ride of only 6.88 miles in 55 minutes. The 787 feet of ascent suggest that there was quite a lot of climbing. I always think that if I climb 100 feet or more in a mile then it’s a hilly kind of ride. I still had one climb on the way back home.

The final climb of any consequence follows a dirt road up to the houses at Eaves Green, where I once lived for my sins. I seemed to be slow on this ascent all year until I realised that I just wasn’t working hard enough. I didn’t try to maximise performance today but was only 8 seconds slower than my last attempt and really felt the burn in my muscles when I over stretched myself trying to maintain speed as the gradient steepened. I noticed how I was using the full circuit of the pedals to get the power in, rather than concentrating the effort on pushing the pedals down. I’m certainly using more turning force than I was using earlier in the year though probably at a lower cadence but I’m generating more speed, which is the aim after all. I had a good time and will try to get out for a longer ride next time, snow permitting.

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