Tuesday, 17 November 2009

First MTB in years

I got out for more riding yesterday and today.  The weather here is a bit variable to say the least. 

Yesterday morning started grey, wet and windy, but by 11 it was bright and sunny, so I thought I’d get out for a spin.  After being out for about 30 mins, the wind picked up again, the rain and even hail came lashing down.  Or rather across, most of the rain was horizontal.  Eventually it eased and I staggered round to Bonds for a cup of tea and a tea cake.  Leaving the warmth of the cafe was a wrench, as was heading into 30-40 mph head wind.  I finally got home after 22 miles in an hour and a half, knackered and soaking wet.

Today I had arranged to meet Catherine to go mountain biking.  Catherine’s bike was at Bike Treks, so were going to head up to the Lakes.  The overnight weather was gale force winds and heavy rain, but we woke up to light winds and sunshine.  We decided to set off.  This would be my first mountain bike ride for over 18 months.  The last ride I did was a quick hour or so around Ashton Court in Bristol.  I was a bit worried about how I would get on.  Catherine was worried that her bike wouldn’t be ready.  She’d meant to ring the day before but forgot, and we had to set off before they were open.  Sadly, when we got there, the bike wasn’t ready, her forks hadn’t returned from the manufacturer.  The did lend her a 2010 Specialized Stump Jumper FSR demo bike so that we could go riding though.

We set out to do a bit of Loughrigg.  Not all of it, not the hilly, hard bits, just some of the nicer bits, just in case I wasn’t up to it.

We usually go in the other direction


Up the first road climb, I managed to stay in front of Catherine.  It set the tone for the day.  The drop down into Sawrey was basically down a stream.  Although it wasn’t raining, by the time we got to the bottom, we were soaked to the skin.  This was the second theme of the day, every off road climb or descent was a running river of rain run off.  We got very very wet.  But we decided to crack on but the hail and rain came down hard as we dropped in towards Coniston.  It soon cleared and as we were ahead of my schedule and expectation we headed up the hills again.  One more blast of hail and rain saw us into Elterwater and the slog up Red Bank.  Then pretty much down hill home.  One final obstacle was the big rock in Rydal water.  There is usually a bit of rock sticking up to tell you where the route is.  Unfortunately, it was fully underwater today.  I rode straight into it and stopped in thigh deep water.  This did allow Catherine to avoid me and the rock and ride through clean, but actually no less wet than me.  Here’s a picture from a few years ago when the water was less deep!


That rock to my right was completely covered, by at least 8 inches of water today.

We headed back to Ambleside.  Catherine returned the bike and I bought us bacon butties,mushroom soup, tea cakes and tea.

For my first MTB ride in 18 months, I was pretty please.  Thank you Catherine for taking me out.



No comments:

Post a Comment