Working too hard?

I’ve been laying paving edges and slabs for a couple of weeks and it’s been hard work. I’ve really felt the effects in the muscles, especially in my back and around the hips. What better, then, than to ride my mountain bike to give the muscles a stretch?

I didn’t want a mammoth ride with too much climbing so I rode to Brinscall Woods on undulating ground which only involves one short, sharp climb. Once at the woodland the gradient increases. I used the fire road which diagonally dissects the area because the longer climb is less steep than if I’d ridden to the end of the woods for the alternative ascent. I must have been feeling OK because I then used a savagely steep woodland track to reach the high point.

At the top of the page is my winter bike, the Trek Fuel EX8, ready for the descent. It may only be 3 to 4 minutes in length but in that time the bike and trail are all that exist. It’s totally absorbing to push the pace, risk sliding or even hitting the ground and delight in the thrill of speed. The overnight rain had made the surface a little slippery but there was little in the way of deep mud. I would have liked to know my time for the descent but the app, Strava refused to sync. the activity later for some reason. A stopwatch would have been a more reliable choice.

I rode back over Healey Nab and again found the purpose built trails to be on good form. The lack of maintenance hasn’t been felt so far but I fear that by the summer degradation of the ground will start to cause problems. I’ve no idea why the formerly enthusiastic trail building crew have stopped working on the trails. Still, I was riding here for 15 years or more before any trail building was undertaken so certainly won’t be stopping now. Maybe one day I’ll take some tools up to give the trail a clean. Twigs, mud and loose stones are accumulating in places and it would be beneficial for safety to clean the surface.

I was getting tired after 12.8 miles but as ever I’d ridden at an enthusiastic pace. I fear that I might have let my fitness fall a little further this winter. The cold weather hasn’t been conducive to riding and there always seems to be so much else to do, like path laying in the garden or building a new boat.

I’ve already bought most of the materials I need to build my new pedal powered boat and have started to make the first of 4 hull sections. I’m hoping that by now having 3 motivational riding targets for the year I’ll be able to improve my fitness back to the level of a couple of years ago. I’m hoping to get out on the bike 2 days after my last ride.

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